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Steve sighed as he tried to stretch his legs in his small cell. He knew that in a day, he was going to be banished to the nether, a place that only a demon could call home. Just thinking about that place made his heart sink. What made Steve even worse was that he was being banished for a crime he didn’t do. His ex-girlfriend, Alex, was killed, and the police believed he killed her in anger for leaving him. Since there was no evidence that pointed toward someone other than Steve killing Alex, Steve was taken in for a trial. He was found guilty.

After his trial, Steve learned that he would be held in a cell until tomorrow before being banished. He would be given a sword and a bit of bread to take with him, but nothing more. “My life is over. Just let me die here so I don’t have to suffer starvation or being burned,” Steve thought. He buried his face into his hands and cried for over 10 minutes. He then pulled himself together, got under the thin, short blanket, and went to sleep.

Steve felt the poke of a sword against his chest. He groaned, opened his eyes and looked up. There was a guard standing above him, looking down at him.

“Get up. It’s time,” he said.

“Fine,” Steve said, irritated.

Steve was escorted by the guard past several cells, into a narrow hall. At the end of it, it widened into a large room that contained a square made of obsidian with a hole in the middle. There was a purple mist coming from the hole. Steve knew that this was a portal to the nether.

The guard said “Here’s your sword and food,” as he handed Steve a sword and a small bag full of bread. Steve stared at the portal for a long minute, then took a step toward it. He looked back, knowing he won’t see his home ever again. Steve turned back toward the portal, and stepped into it.

Everything around Steve began to distort, until all Steve could see around him was a mess of random colors. The colors turned bright red, then began to become clear. As the random colors turned into the world around Steve, he observed it. It was like Steve expected, but seeing the land still surprised him. There were lava pools everywhere and very little land. About a third of the land was covered in fire. The land that wasn’t covered in fire was filled to the brim with what looked like decaying pigs walking on their hind legs, called zombie pigmen.

Steve took a deep breath and began to explore his new home. He tried to resist the temptation to attack the zombie pigmen, knowing they would only attack him if he provoked them. Steve pressed on, until he was met with 2 paths to go on. The first was toward a nether tower, which Steve knew was filled with dangerous creatures. The other path led to a road made of sand, which could slow him down. Steve looked at both paths for a second, before choosing the road made of sand.

About one mile later, Steve stopped and ate a piece of bread from the bag the guard gave him. After that, he looked down at the ground for a few moments, wondering if there was anything he could have said during his trial that would imply that he didn’t kill Alex. After pondering over this, Steve got up and continued his journey. He was starting to get annoyed by how slow he was moving in the sand. Another half a mile later, Steve noticed that his control over his legs was getting worse, as it was taking more effort than usual to lift them. It didn’t feel like he was getting tired, but more like something was holding his legs down.

After Steve traveled 3 miles in total, he decided it was time to sleep. He didn’t want to sleep in the open, though, as he was worried something would attack him while he was asleep. So, he gathered some hard clumps of sand and made them into the shape of a tent. Steve then crawled in and tried to go to sleep. He was just about to fall asleep, when a strange thought echoed in his head. It wasn’t voluntary, and made Steve’s heart jump.

“Feel our pain,” said the thought. After Steve heard this, he stood up and wondered why he thought that. Was the shock of being in the nether making him go mad? Steve hoped that he wasn’t losing his sanity. But if that wasn’t the cause of this strange thought, than what was the cause? Suddenly, another thought went through Steve’s mind. “Come out and let us find you,” it said. Steve picked up his sword and went outside. Not because his thoughts said to do so, but because he wondered if these “thoughts” weren’t thoughts, but instead, something coming from outside his tent.

Steve sneaked outside of his tent cautiously, holding his sword tightly, and his ears searching hard for any sounds that would imply where his “thoughts” were coming from. He looked at his surroundings. There was a lava lake in the distance and a bit of fire here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary. Steve was about to try and convince himself that this wouldn’t happen again, when he felt a sensation of something crawling up his feet. He tried to walk, but his feet were stuck to something. Looking down, Steve saw that he was sinking into the road!

Steve tried to lift up his feet again, but was unsuccessful, as the sand held him tightly in place. It began to pull Steve further down into it. When it reached his waist, he stabbed his sword into the nearby ground to hold him in place until he found way out. Steve held tightly onto the sword to keep him in place, but let go once the sword began to sink too. As he sank deeper, his brain began to race, thinking for a way out.

Suddenly, when only Steve’s head wasn’t stuck in the road, he stopped sinking. It didn’t calm him down, though, as he still couldn’t get his body out of it. Then something strange happened. The sand surrounding Steve began to lift off the ground. He watched as it formed into a giant square with several livid faces on every side. Steve’s mouth dropped open when the faces began to speak in deep voices.

“We are the souls of those who died here. We suffer pain in death greater than what we suffered in life. Join us, and share our pain,” they said.

Steve said nervously “What…what sort of pain do you feel?”

“The pain we felt at the moment of our deaths. If you die here, you feel that pain for all eternity,” the voices said.

Suddenly, Steve snapped. “Let me out of here,” he said.

“No, share our pain,” the voices responded.

Steve shook back and forth violently, trying to free himself. The souls, as they called themselves that, watched him struggle for a minute, before they backed up a bit, than flew toward Steve, squeezing between his eyeballs and eye sockets. It caused Steve pain beyond imagining. He also felt another sensation. He felt like he was floating.

After Steve’s pain finally dulled, he noticed something that shocked him. He looked back and saw his body. Everything from the head down of it was stuck in the road. But he was right here. How could that be? Just as Steve tried to ponder this question, a thought popped into his head: “I will feel the pain I felt at the moment of my death for all eternity.” Then the pain in his eyes he felt hit him out of nowhere. It got worse and worse, and Steve felt like he was going to pass out. As this pain damaged Steve’s body, or more accurately, his soul, his mind filled with jealously. Jealously for all those who didn’t suffer the same way he did, and would for all eternity. He wanted everyone back in his home world….to share his pain. 

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