A Cold Hell by Bogdan Dragos

A close up of a mother and child, dirty and poor, crying and hugging each other
Image Source: Canva

the clouds seemed

to be holding

the sun back

like a slave

with chains of lead

After a night

of heavy snow

the day tried to make

a comeback

and failed

It was 11:00 AM

and dark as evening

and since it was

also cold as hell

they concluded they

were in hell

“But hell is not

forever, mother,” he

said. “I’ll make it outside

of hell. In a place where

every soul has a home

and no one freezes in the

streets like us.”

It was a childish promise

that came from

a child

Unlike his mother and her

purple lips

and faded eyes that looked

towards his face

but not at it,

he was blazing with life

and with rage

He shook his tiny fist

at life’s own


and cursed the coldness

of the gods

It was still pathetic

in comparison

with the coldness

of humans

but on humans he

gave up

a long time ago

There was only one human left

in his insignificant


and he was smart enough

to understand that

he’ll have to say

goodbye to her

as well

soon enough



The food he found in

the snowy, frozen

trash cans along

the alley

wasn’t enough to feed

a sick rat

He found two

banana peels

a can of soda with a

drop left

a few food wrappers

stained with

sauces and salt

a surgical glove

and plenty of surgical


like everyone wore

and discarded all the time

thanks to the pandemic

He placed the glove

on his hand

for warmth

Several times he

called mother’s name and

she would not


He could see the blue

veins across her

gaunt face

He screamed her


but all she could do

was stretch a skeletal

hand that would join his

“I’ll make it outside

hell,” he said again. “I’ll cross

the border. South of this hell

there’s a place where

people don’t cut your

fingers if you steal food. I’ve

heard this

plenty of times. So many times

that I believe it, mother.

I’m going there.

But… I won’t be able to make it

if I have to carry you

along, won’t I?”

An answer was not


Mother still held

on to his hand

“I am going, mother. I owe

it to myself. If I die,

I want to die trying. Else how

could I rest in peace?”

Those weren’t a child’s words

It was ambition

and hunger

speaking through him,


through his veins

Just thinking about it

made him as warm

as mother was cold

It was decided

He would go

But he would leave

a fraction of

this insane warmth with

his mother

in her dying moments

He stood

and walked a few paces


Removed the surgical glove

from his hand

Pulled the front of his

ragged pants

down and pissed

inside the glove

and tied its opening

at the wrist


It looked like a bloated


and it was warm

Steaming against

the cold air

He placed it into

his mother’s hand,

its fingers intertwining hers

and kissed her

gelid face

for a final time

and was


The coldness of humanity

had taught him




Bogdan Dragos supervises casinos for a gambling company, working twelve-hour shifts locked in a dark office full of TV monitors. There he mostly daydreams and writes poems and stories. He also manages a poetry blog Daydreaming as a profession.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Terveen Gill says:

    Bogdan’s dark tale of a son’s love for his mother casts a gloomy shadow upon the mind and heart. Adversity must be experienced to know its true nature. It can be debilitating, breaking a person’s spirit into so many pieces that it may never recover and be whole again. A child going through this is simply heartbreaking. Though some may find this piece to be cold like the title, I can only see the warmth of a child’s love for his mother. A heart slowly turning to stone for no fault of his own. Tough decisions made in an age that should be meant for fun and frolic. Life can be unforgiving….
    Congratulations Bogdan!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A very good pic selection Terveen……….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Terveen Gill says:

        Thank you so much, Don. Took some time to find it, but it was THE ONE.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You couldn’t have found a better. Well worth the time spent…….

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Many thanks, Terveen!

      As usual, the pic you’ve selected goes so well with the text. This one really gives the creepy, disturbing vibes at first glance.
      ⊂( ・﹏・⊂)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very good write…….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. -=≡Σ(((⊃゚∀゚)つ Thank you very much, my friend!


  3. kenhume31 says:

    Wonderfully dark; heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time Bogdan! 👏👏😁😁👌👌

    Liked by 3 people

    1. (つ▀_▀)つ Thank you!

      It’s incredibly weird when you start writing something and think to yourself that you’ll produce something funny and uplifting in a wacky way… but end up with this…

      This is why I love creative writing so much :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kenhume31 says:

        I know what you mean. It’s so satisfying when you get the inspiration to write something that you’d pictured in your head.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I am speechless by this poem, Bogdan! It is so skillfully written, and conveys so much truth and brutality in just a few lines. Truly a masterpiece of dark literature.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dawn, thank you so much!

      Ok, now I’m really blushing (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Daily Poetry says:

    Dark and unsettling. It’s a wonderful piece of writing. The distorted love of the child for his mother and his fury raging inside him for his cruel fate are a great story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you!

      ༼つ ◕_◕ ༽つ It would be great if those things could be seen in stories only, but unfortunately they creep into reality too often…


      1. Daily Poetry says:

        Yes, unfortunately that’s true.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrew Dabar says:

    A freight train of a poem, Bogdan. Heavy.

    The glove of piss is so unnerving and, at the same time, touching. How the hell did that idea pop into your mind?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Andrew!

      The glove of piss idea came, as all others, in daydreaming :)) But to be more precise, there are hospitals in which nurses would fill a plastic glove with hot water and tie it to the hands of terminally ill patients whom nobody comes to visit (yeah, this is a real thing). It simulates human comfort, makes them feel like their hand is being held by a real person.
      Well, I guess daydreaming just made the link between this practice and my story. I’m glad it happened (you never know what you’re gonna get from daydreaming, that’s the beauty of it…)

      Liked by 2 people

  7. jonicaggiano says:

    This is a sad piece that makes us look at a future that would be horrific. I love how descriptive this piece was and the deep love for the mother that the son had. Also I liked the urinating in the gloves to warm his hands up. Sending big hugs your way, and very nicely written.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Joni! (°◡°๑) .:。

      When I think about dystopian futures I always picture cold places where people have to fight to stay warm besides staying fed. The one described in this poem is among them. It seems like there’s been a lot of stories depicting grim futures along the years (George Orwell’s ‘1984’ comes to mind here) and their role was (and still is) to warn us about how bad it can actually get. However, more often than not, the warning is ignored…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jonicaggiano says:

        So true my friend. If scientist are right we will be low on water by 2050. People will be dying from thirst and water will be covering many coastal areas around the world. It is only a matter of time. Big hugs, I really enjoyed your piece.

        Liked by 1 person

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