Surprised by Hell

Geoffrey Baron
3 min readMay 20, 2022


Vladimir’s sunken eyes turn to the machine whose job it is to monitor his heart. He see the lines form on the screen over and over again, each time getting more irregular. The time has come. His mind still swims with all he has yet to accomplish but it gets murky and everything goes dark..

“Hello, Mr. Putin? Are you awake?”

Vlad’s eyes blink open and dilate as they adjust to the bright room. Sun is streaming in through and open window. Birds sing in the distance and a slight breeze plays with the curtains.

“What.. what is this?” He was alive.. again. His eyes focused on the face in front of him. A pretty young girl, maybe fourteen.. but she a bright red spot in the middle of her forehead. It was bigger than those sometimes worn by foreigners. His eyes were fixed on it they remembered how to focus.

“You are wondering about the hole. Everyone does when they get here. Yes, that is how I died, I keep it to remember.” She was smiling a big but complex smile.

Vlad’s brow was furrowed. This didn’t answer questions, it just made him more confused and more agitated.

“Relax, it’s okay. You are in a good place. I’m going to take care of you.”

None of this made sense. He was dead, she was dead. An afterlife? This is real? This was.. unexpected. He continued to stare at her.

“Let me guess.. you want to know how I died? I mean, aside from the bullet hole in my forehead. Well, as you can probably tell, I am Ukrainian. Your soldiers raped me and put this wonderful hole in my heads when they were through with me.”

Vlad’s eyes were now wide, he pulled away from her.

“Don’t worry, no hard feelings. You didn’t really know what you were doing. I forgive you. Surely, if you knew that you would be spending an eternity with me you wouldn’t have had your men invade my country and murder me and my family. Right?” She winked. “It can be a little hard to comprehend.. it’s going to take some time. I’ll give you a few minutes, besides, there are a lot of people eager to meet you.” She got walked away from his bed and opened the door to his room.

He looked through the door down the hallway and it was lined with thousands of people who seemed there to see him.

She nodded to a young boy entered as she left.

“Hi! I don’t have a neat hole like Svetlana does, you wouldn’t want to see what I looked like.. it’s nearly your lunch time.” He was smiled up into Vlad’s face.

“Enough!” Vlad yelled. The boy didn’t move or even wince. “There is nothing to fight here Sir. There is no point in yelling. There is nothing you can do to us here, and why would you? Everything is going to be okay. We forgive you.”

Vlad screamed screamed and jumped headlong out of the window.

Moments later he woke again in the same room, light still pouring in. Birds still singing softly.

“Hello! You are awake! My name is Tatiana.. here is a picture of my son who died.. “