Dante wrote his famous epic poem, Inferno, in the early 1300's. It tells the story of the narrator (Dante) on a journey through nine concentric circles (worlds) which comprise Hell. The poem begins in March. Dante steps through the gate of Hell, over which is inscribed "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Immediately upon passing through the Gate of Hell, Dante recognizes a man of considerable political power whose selfish thirst for his own welfare serves as the metaphor for the door through which too many have entered into delusional salvation. For the next 190 pages or so, all hell breaks loose.
The poem is religious, but times, attitudes, beliefs, perspectives, and scientific revelations change. What a great plot for a modern story.
Oh wait. It's not a story. It's happening right now, seven hundred years after the original version, and because after so many centuries the poem is no longer protected by copyright, my version of Inferno differs.
My main character could be any man, woman or child who walks out their front door, and who discovers their once-familiar portal to the outside world is now the gateway to Hell, in all its flame and fury.
The Inferno is here. Pick a calamity, any of which is a massive story by itself:
1) An inland hurricane in Iowa, which destroyed 43% of the state's corn and soybean crops.
2) Tornadoes in Massachusetts, not unheard of, yet rare.
3) Fires in California, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado which have scorched the West to ash and cinder.
4) Unconstitutional civic behavior and violence condoned by the White House.
5) Racist murders on our city streets and within our homes, justified by the White House under a mandate of "law and order."
6) Corruption and international meddling in the upcoming election.
7) Social media so loaded with lies and altered photographs one cannot decipher what is or is not true.
8) A dangerous person in the White House, and too many misguided souls who want to extend his residency.
... and now an additional level: 10) the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
My story begins in March, just like Dante's tale, yet this updated Inferno is not a story I can write. This series of unfortunate events writes itself daily, sometimes hourly, and each new plot twist becomes so surreal I could never conceive such madness; this story reaches beyond my understanding and creativity. Even if I could, my writing is dark; the ending would be extremely bleak...
... and I don' want this new Inferno to end that way.