"...She hadn't really expected infernal regions to resemble anything that the great poets and painters and storytellers evoked throughout the millenia, but she was still astonished that they had fallen so far short of what her spirits eyes now saw. The sky contained neither sun nor stars which was predictable enough, but what it did contain, was a stone the size of a small planet. The stone reached high above the immense landscape that spread out below and it threw off fissures like lightning bolts, through which brightness poured. The effect upon the vast panorama was uncanny.

   This was scarcely a promising environment, but still it found a way to grow, even prosper. On the slopes of the hills beneath her, long white grass swayed in some infernal wind and here and there bushes grew, the branches barbed and knuckled but bearing small colorless flowers. Her mind began to run wild once again. Where was this journey taking her? Did it even have a destination, or was she simply loosed from her body and fated to wander Hell for eternity?

   Regardless of her will or intent, the invisible tether continued to pull her toward its unknown purpose, and as it did her spirit began to sink toward the ground. In a few seconds she was moving inches above the level of the white grass. Some distance ahead of her was a small forest. The canopy of upper branches was intricately knotted, except for perhaps thirty of forty wild ones that had freed themselves and grew like sticks of black lightning. Large black birds were perched on several of the knotted branches, fighting with beaks and claws for the choicest spots. She was so distracted by the sight of their feuding that she didn't notice the people emerging from the darkness beneath the trees until she was almost upon them.

   Then she smelled blood, and everything went white."


Clive Barker - 10