It wasn’t long before we were walking away from Phlegyas and his boat, travelling towards the red city in the distance. It seemed, however, that the gates were guarded.
“Stay here,” Virgil said, speaking rapidly. “I’ll get us into Dis, one way or another.”
I watched him approach the harpies guarding the gate. It wasn’t long before they began fighting and Virgil began waving his fist. I played with the dirt while I waited. Soon, however, I saw him being picked up and flown over to me. The harpies dropped him, cackling the whole time.
“Well that does it!” he said, standing up. As he brushed himself off, he started chanting a prayer under his breath.
“Now watch this,” he said.
And nothing happened.
Shocked, he tried his prayer again, and this time, a light opened above us, flooding this circle of hell. A figure wrapped in light descended upon us, unfurling its wings to reveal… a high school janitor? He landed with pomp and grace weilding a broom. His sunglasses would have been cooler if there was sunlight in this part of hell, but it was still a pretty bomb entrance.
“Maintenance here, what’s up,” he said, ending the streak of coolness in his entrance. “And please, don’t call twice again.”
“You didn’t respond the first time,” Virgil replied, shocked. “Either way, you need to get me in to the City.”
“Sure, what seems to be the problem?” the janitor/angel/man replied.
“That,” Virgil said, pointing towards Dis in the distance. The harpies had closed the gates and were laughing at us.
“All right, come along,” the angel-janitor said.
As we stood in front of the gates, he fumbled with a ring of keys.
“I know it’s one of these,” he said, testing each key. “Not cool guys!” he said to the harpies watching.
It wasn’t long before the gate was opened and the angel ascended back to where he came from. The light scared away the harpies, clearing our way.
Virgil patted himself on the back, “Heavenly privilege goes a long way, you know.”
We stepped into the dark city together.
It wasn’t long before the antics started again. Flaming tombs were strewn around this circle, and I was afraid to approach them.
“Look at this,” Virgil said, pointing to one of the tombs. “It’s Epicurus!”
Peeking in, I saw an old man sitting rather calmly inside his tomb of fire.
“And what did he do to get here?”
“This circle is for heretics, those who don’t believe in the supreme power of the High School,” Virgil responded. “You know, kids who flaunt the rules, think they can just ignore safety presentations in the auditorium.”
“This guy doesn’t seem so bad.”
“Doesn’t seem so bad? His whole philosophy is to not obsess over grades and endless obedience to the school. We can’t just let people find tranquility during school, that’s just obscene.”
As we walked away, Epicurus remained grinning slightly in his cage filled with fire.
And thus ends the seventh part of the Erudite Comedy, or otherwise known as, The Commedia Erudita!