.   Before her, she saw what looked like a tunnel suspended in space, a portal leading to the realm
of the damned.   Gray ethereal clouds swirled into  it,  like waters descending into a drain,  and  as
they were swept in, they vanished into the darkness.  It was a terrifying sight, like  a  special effects
expert’s version of a black hole.  Yet,  unlike  a  black hole,  the walls of this tunnel appeared not to
be composed of swirling vapors but rather of dark shadowy rock. Near its mouth, something caught
her eye.  It was there for but a moment; then it was gone.  It was a long slithering form, like a titanic
snake,  that had emerged from its layer and into the light,  only to retreat once more,  to lurk in  the
shadows, just out of sight. Then it emerged from the shadows again, much closer this time.   It  was
not so much like a snake as it was like  a  winged dragon.   It had frills around its neck,  and coarse
scales covered  its long sinuous body.  It turned,  rolled,  and  pirouetted  about the entrance of  its
layer.   Only then did Serena see them,  a  myriad  of  tiny  forms,  dwarfed  by  the mighty serpent,
swept along with the  clouds into the darkness.  They  were  the  forms  of  human  beings,  a great
multitude of them,  caught up in the ethereal winds and  swept  into the  darkness.   And  the  great
dragon watched them,   every last  one of  them,  as  they  tumbled  helplessly  into  his  dark  layer.