Frank opened his door, bleary-eyed, towel over shoulder, wash bag in hand.

The queue for the bathroom stretched down the corridor, the usual faces. He nodded to a few as he walked past and reached the end of the line.

Hot cobbles burned the souls of his feet, singeing the flesh. Others swayed from side-to-side shifting their weight from one foot to the other, trying to bring a modicum of relief.

‘Taking longer than usual today,’ Frank said to the woman in front after five minutes.

‘Newcomer,’ she replied, gesturing to the bathroom door.

After an endless wait, the door opened. A woman exited. As she drew nearer, Frank recognised her.

‘Helen,’ he called out. ‘You’re here?’

‘Oh, hi Frank.’ his wife looked surprised. ‘You’ve been here all these years?’

Frank shrugged, ‘That’s what I get. A lifetime on the 2nd floor of the Hotel Inferno.’

‘It’s horrible here,’ Helen sighed.

‘Could be worse, one up, the ‘Gluttony’ floor, they don’t even get a shower. But how did you end up on the ‘Lust’ floor?’

The door next to Frank opened. He turned and looked into the face of his best friend, Brian.

Helen shuffled off down the corridor.

Copyright J. Hardy Carroll

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

The first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, Inferno, splits Hell into 9 levels of increasing sin. Level 2 is ‘Lust,’ where the adulterers go, Level 3 is ‘Gluttony,’ and so on: Wikipedia.


    • I think he rolled selfishness into lust and gluttony, but your right, they could do with an update for the modern world and a few new circles need to be added.


  1. Clever idea! You had me thinking you were going for “Hell is a Never-ending Line for the Bathroom”, though, LOL!

    Even without the other man getting involved there’s something truly sad about a man asking his *wife* how she got onto the “lust” floor of hell!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! And now we see why the marriage failed. I have a feeling her stay at Hotel Inferno will be just a little bit worse living on the same floor with her ex and his boyfriend. Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what a great story. I love the ending and the idea that they are now stuck together forever. It all feels very appropriate. Also, I like the Hotel California association, assuming that’s on purpose. Nicely told.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a lot of history between them. He can’t have killed him or he’d be on a different level of Hell, but perhaps he just didn’t stop an accident happening…


  4. Great take on the prompt. Sounds like they could do with space between them – are there separate sections for ‘requited lust and ‘unrequited lust’ ? Sounds like Frank was used to being turned down.

    Liked by 1 person

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