INFERNO: Closing out the Ninth Circle with Lionel Ray Green

Lionel Ray Green is a writer whose short works I have enjoyed for some time at Horror Tree and I was pleased he came onboard the Inferno, treating us to a great story, ‘Lex Talionis’.

Infernal Clock: What was the inspiration behind your story?

I’m a happy-go-lucky guy, but the thing that disturbs me most is adults and parents abusing and neglecting their children. What do adults think they gain from abusing children? I feel like abusers are rarely punished properly for their crimes. I had wonderful parents as a child, so I struggle to understand this behavior. I feel like the government, legal system, and society have let many abused children down. To me, child abuse is like a plague. Thus, my story ‘Lex Talionis’ is a grim tale about an enigmatic plague doctor who visits a village where the parents hope to gain something from the results of their abuse and neglect.

Infernal Clock: What is your idea of hell on earth?

Hell on earth would be forever stuck in traffic on an endless hot, humid summer day in the middle of a desert highway with Electric Light Orchestra’s Out of the Blue CD in hand but no CD player in my car.

Infernal Clock: The Inferno was created on old ideas of sin. If you had to label the nine levels now, what would you call them? Would you keep it at 9? Increase or decrease?

I would create a 10th Circle especially for corrupt politicians and change the name to Dante’s Decadents.

Infernal Clock: They say the Devil has all the good tunes. What song would you recommend as an accompaniment to your story?

The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash.

Infernal Clock: If you were able to visit the Inferno, what level would you want to go to and who would you want to see there?

I would want to visit the First Circle Limbo and meet Plato. I quote him in my story, ‘Lex Talionis’, for your Inferno anthology. He was the greatest student of Socrates who later became the greatest teacher of Aristotle.

Infernal Clock: What is the hottest food you’ve ever eaten. Can you share a recipe?

Chicken wings dipped in Ass Kickin’ Carolina Reaper Hot Sauce. Cook some wings and smother them in this sauce and your mouth will know what an inferno feels like. Hyperbole? Maybe, because I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy food.

Infernal Clock: Who is your ‘favourite’ villain in history or fiction?

I love Gollum from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Gollum is such a pitiful and tragic character. I find it fascinating that someone like him could simultaneously be a powerful symbol for the duality of man and whose obsession could impact the world in such an epic way.

Infernal Clock: What is your long-term ambition for your writing?

I simply write for the love of writing, but if Netflix called to adapt one of my stories into a movie, I would answer the phone.

9.    Top tip for other writers. Fighters fight and writers write, so write every day if you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t.


Lionel Ray Green is a horror and fantasy writer, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a U.S. Army gulf war veteran living in Alabama. He ironically loves Bigfoot and hobbits and believes Babe is the greatest movie ever made. Lionel writes a column for titled The Bigfoot Files. His short stories have appeared in more than two dozen anthologies, magazines, and ezines, including The Best of Iron Faerie Publishing 2019Halloween Horror: Volume 1America’s Emerging Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers: Deep South; and Alabama’s Emerging Writers. His short story ‘Scarecrow Road’ won the WriterWriter 2018 International Halloween Themed Writing Competition All Hallows’ Prose.

Latest publications:

My website is and it features a link to a delightfully creepy reading of my award-winning short story ‘Scarecrow Road’ by The Night’s End Podcast. Here’s the link:

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