Coldly Calculating: Nine Circles of Hell

Coldly Calculating: Nine Circles of Hell
February 3, 2016 6 Comments Coldly Calculating, Writing Prompts A.L. Mabry

Welcome to Coldly Calculating: Writing by the Numbers.

I will be your host each week as we probe the darker corners of your imagination. This series is meant to help feed your mystery/horror muse, so try to give us chills! The prompt is open to interpretation, but try to include the phrase somewhere in your piece.

Last week we had a great response to the “A Stitch In Time Saves Nine” prompt! Here is a highlight:

Paul brings us a Professor whose life just took a turn for the worse? Better? We’re left with a cliffhanger!

“Straight to the point, my dear Professor.” Gregory stated without losing his smile, although it was obvious that the smile no longer reached his eyes.  “I am here to avoid larger issues.  As my mother always said, ‘a stitch in time saves nine.’  You would do well to listen to me.  Call Janet and clear your day.”  He looked at my phone expectantly.

This week’s prompt is:


nine circles of hell

I have often described school car loops as one of the circles of hell. I could add to this list; parenting teenagers and people who insist on talking to me when I have headphones on, and those times when your child insists on chanting “Mom, mom, mom, mom” without ever actually presenting a point. This colloquialism, favored by many, can be attributed to Dante’s Inferno.

WikiWisdom:  Inferno (pronounced [imˈfɛrno]; Italian for “Hell“) is the first part of Dante Alighieri‘s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed byPurgatorio and Paradiso. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.

This week I want you to choose one of the circles of hell (limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, hearsay, violence, fraud, treachery) or any combination you’d like and throw your characters into some chaos. I like it dark, don’t be afraid to push the envelope.

nine circles of hell

bykst / Pixabay

The rules are simple:

  1. Read the prompt and the history behind the phrase.
  2. Write a story 700 words or less answering the challenge.
  3. Share the url to your story in the comments OR, if you don’t have your own blog, share your story in the comments. Either way, it will be seen.
  4. Please keep your stories pg-13 or under since this is a public page. Add trigger warnings where necessary. Keep vulgarity to a minimum.
  5. Have FUN!

Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy!


A.L. Mabry A.L. Mabry is an Executive Editor for Our Write Side. As an author, she enjoys writing in all genres and forms, even grocery lists. She is an artist and Wiccan who has an obsessive love of vampires, kilts, and blue butterflies. She is passionate about many topics and her posts are often laced with the snarky sense of humor one acquires from raising five teenagers, all at once. In her downtime, she can be found with her loving husband, Shawn and their children. She maintains her shreds of sanity with yoga, tea, and cats.
Leave Comment
  1. 6 Comments

    Circles of Hell | Trials and Tribulations of Writing Fiction

    […] back over at Our Write Side, so the stories continue! This week’s prompt revolves around the nine circles of hell, so it seems fitting that I’d use it for Secondhand Soul. We were to pick and choose circles […]

  2. 6 Comments


    I was wondering how to submit a short story to your site or an excerpt of our book. you have a fantastic looking site! thank you for sharing~

    1. 6 Comments

      A.L. Mabry

      Hi and thank you for stopping by! You can find all submission information here:

  3. 6 Comments


    I’m so sorry, but every time I come here…it summons Joe and Charlie.

    1. 6 Comments

      A.L. Mabry

      Don’t apologize, I love Joe and Charlie!

  4. 6 Comments

    Coldly Calculating: The Four Seasons - Our Write Side

    […] week we had a great response to the “The Nine Circles of Hell” prompt! Here is a […]


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar