12.21.2006

HH Com 263 (260)

An airliner falls from the sky, exploding in a conflagration of fire and religious fervor. Michael Shepherd, the lone survivor of the world’s latest terrorist attack, is left with nothing but the guilt of surviving the tragedy that took the lives of his wife and daughter and an all-consuming hatred of a God who could inspire such horror.

Three years later, the death he so narrowly escaped finally catches up with him. He soon finds himself in Hell, a fitting punishment for a man who let his family die. Yet, with the help of a group of strangers, he soon learns a startling truth that may explain how religion could have been perverted into an excuse for such evil: Michael and his new companions are not the only ones trapped in this strange place. God is trapped here as well. But if God is in Hell, who is in charge of Heaven? And what does that mean for Michael’s wife and daughter?

Desperate to reach them, he will travel across a barren world, hounded by a demon hungry for his soul, and aided by a group of people who look to him as their savior. Yet how can a man with a soul so darkened by hatred and despair, a man who couldn’t even save his own family, hope to save anyone?


Interesting premise. Then splat.

He's in Hell (why he got there is backstory). He's surprised to meet God there too. What does he have to do to ...fix/solve/cure/redeem the situation. What are the consquences if he doesn't.

You've got a tricky problem here in trying to describe something only you have imagined and we don't have a frame of reference for. The usual hook form might not work but you should decide that only after trying it a couple times first.

7 comments:

Brady Westwater said...

Great premise.... buried at the end. Open should be... lead character finds himself in Hell - and discovers that God is there with him.

Anonymous said...

How does an inanimate object explode with religious fervor?

Anonymous said...

The guy's in hell and it's not clear what the stakes are if he doesn't fix things? I dunno,
eternity in a furnace hounded by demons sounds pretty stakey. But that's just me.

This story doesn't appeal on many levels, but not getting what the stakes are isn't one of them.

Anonymous said...

I liked the first paragraph, lost me after that. Maybe just personal preference. I'd rather have him be crazy and think all that other stuff is going on.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. His family died in the explosion, but he goes to hell because he let his family die.

Did he blow up the plane?

dana p said...

But if God is in Hell, who is in charge of Heaven? And what does that mean for Michael’s wife and daughter? <-- This is the best bit. What an intriguing premise. I'd love to know more.

Things that don't work have been mentioned already: An airline explodes in religious fervor? I don't think so. And, he "let his family die"? How could he have stopped them from dying? You confused me there.

But it sounds like you've got something original and interesting going here. Good luck with it!

Virginia Miss said...

Sounds interesting. I agree with some of the other comments. I wondered if he was a terrorist.
Lead with your strong premise: he finds himself in hell--with God.