Once again, Edward stood before the Gate to Hell. It loomed above him in revolting glory: two stone doors guarded by the carved bodies of twisting, screaming humans. Poor souls trying to pull themselves out of the damnation of lust, gluttony, avarice, pride. Wrath, envy, sloth...they were all there. Edward had never seen anything uglier in his life, but at the same time, within him burned the first spark of hope he'd known in two years.
He reached out one finger toward the gate, feeling the cold bronze under his skin.
"Hey, don't touch that!"
Edward snatched his good hand back, and muttered an apology in his butchered French.
"This is the first ever casting of Rodin's masterpiece; it's priceless. Keep your pretty fingers off it, limey. Get back behind the line."
This drabble was inspired by the cleverness of FMA, which modelled its visual rendition of The Gate after the one and only sculpture by Aguste Rodin, who was in turn inspired by the poem Inferno, by (you guessed it!) Dante. That'll teach you to pay attention to names, won't it? My fandom is so deliciously meta.
Having actually stood in front of a casting of The Gates Of Hell (at the Stanford University), I just about shit a brick when I saw it on my favorite anime. I can only imagine how Edward would feel, if suddenly he came across this piece of artwork depicting the very source of his nightmares and his hopes and dreams, something he believed no one but alchemists could ever see-- and there are no alchemists in our world. That's gotta freak one out.