Infernal Industries, Inc. went into meltdown yesterday when hell froze completely over. In the face of the phenomenally cold weather experienced over the last few days, the domain of infernal damnation suffered a cold snap which killed the flames which had burnt since creation. As a result, many who have sworn to do something “when hell freezes over” have found themselves obliged to commit such tasks.
The final flame was reported to have been extinguished at 17:29 PMT (Purgatory Mean Time) after a pressure valve burst, flooding the chamber with freezing cold air. Attempts to retrieve the situation were unsuccessful and the entirety of the plant floor has been locked down. In an industrial accident the size of which has not been witnessed since the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, the operational district of hell has been consumed by cold and an estimated 200 demons have died of exposure whilst another 3000 are being treated for chilblains.
‘We don’t know what to do,’ said Magog, floor supervisor to the Inferno. ‘This has never happened before, it’s entirely unprecedented. I mean, there are procedures, protocols, put in place, but they’re not there to be used, it’s just health and safety. We honestly don’t know how long it’ll be before the place is up and running again.’
Sources close to the Lord of the Flies have indicated that the management is in turmoil, with Chairman Satan holding a continuous board meeting. Such is the backlog of souls needing to be processed that Limbo is filled almost beyond capacity.
‘We have nowhere to put them, it’s a nightmare,’ said Lilith, a senior executive who has been tied up in board meetings all day. ‘There’s talk of negotiating some sort of deal with the guys upstairs, just until we’ve got this all under control. They’ll take the souls on a short-term basis until we can get our purgatorial machines repaired. It’s not what we’d want but it’s probably the only option.’
Meanwhile, in the mortal world, numerous sarcastic promises have backfired.
‘I told this guy I’d only sleep with him if hell froze over. You can’t believe how awkward he made the whole thing,’ said Beatrice Longstaff of High Wickham.
‘I said I’d give my kidney to my dying father when hell froze over,’ said Andrew Porter of West Chesterfield, New Hampshire. ‘Now the bugger’s going to be telling me I’m a disappointment for another 20-odd years. Someone has a lot to answer for.’