The Devil, Chapter Eighteen

“And he don’t have the answer

And if he did he’d lie

The devil is a joker

And he don’t want you alive.”

 

Things got out of control for an instance, at the gate, when  Abaddona and his henchmen were brought to those guarding the gate. Seizing on the opportunity, the demons behind the gate attempted to break free.  It almost worked. Almost.

Sataaniel took lead just long enough to attempt the prison break. Like always, the demons were a little too independent of one another, each wanting a share in the leadership. It would have seemed funny if the scene hadn’t been so sad. A mass of demons, arguing about who would lead them after they broke free, unable to pull together a strong and effective coup.

Adriel shook his head. He couldn’t fathom why his “brother, those demons around him, couldn’t stop bickering long enough to regain their freedom. No wonder they lost every battle, save one, they had staged to overthrow heaven. Only once had they ever been able to fight a cohesive battle against the angels of heaven. It had been the only time that they had overthrown the Father and taken over heaven.

After that, they had fallen victim–no, prey–to their own pride. Each felt he had been key to the overthrow, thus destroying all union among the demonic horde. With pride came envy, self-importance, loathing of their fellows, and all other dark traits. And with these dark traits came their downfall.

But, then, he really wasn’t a demon. He had been asked to infiltrate and gather information for heaven. He had to keep up the appearance of being one of them. And he felt that he had done well.

But instead of being one of those who bickered about being the leader, he chose to hide behind the ambiguous and nonchalant front he now put up.Over the millennia, he had passed messages to Abaddon, who passed them on to Uriel or whichever angel was sent to pick them up. Now, he was wishing that he could be released from the obligation he had been obedient to undertake. He wanted out. Someone else could play spy.

Perhaps they could talk a penitent demon into taking on the role for, say, a full pardon. After all, a penitent was more at home here. They were far better at putting up a front.And there were plenty penitents.

As for him, he longed for heaven’s splendor. Just to see it once more, to be able to look upon the face of the Father, would be divine. He detested the conditions where he was. He had never wanted to think like Lucifer or his horde. It was…below him.

***

Aleriel was a penitent. He hated how Lucifer and the rest had become. So full of themselves. So individualistic. So independent. They acted as if  they didn’t need any other.

But he was a penitent. He really didn’t want to be among his fellow demons.  He wanted to be forgiven and return to the beauty of heaven. Still, he knew that to be impossible. He had fallen with the rest of the devil’s followers and they were all damned. they were all going to be cast into darkness, no matter what. At least that was what man had been told.

Still, he couldn’t help but wonder if he would be given a final wish. If he could, he would wish for death. That would end his suffering. Or would it?

At the same time, he knew he had to suffer for all that he had done. He had, after all, participated in the deaths of trillions and the corrupting of billions of souls. And he had done so willingly. For that, he was eternally sorry.

But, then, he hadn’t actually done so of his own freewill. Not completely. He had reservations about Lucifer even then, before the fall. Even then, Lucifer was too proud. too arrogant. Too self-important.

And Satan, too, had been the same way. After all, he had been Lucifer’s second…not Lucifer. But they were always being mistaken for one another or thought of as the same. Lucifer, the light bringer, was a prince of the air. Satan was, well, something completely different. His nickname of “Great Dragon” was almost too accurate. Indeed, he often took the form of a dragon.

Actually, before the fall, Satan had been a Teriph. He had been one of the special angels, a prince of the earth. But so had Lucifer. But Lucifer had been of a higher order. Lucifer had been a Seriph, a prince of the air. Many others had been princes of powers.

Once fallen, they had all lost their positions and their titles. Satan had become nothing more than a master of illusion, a force of temptation. Lucifer, on the other hand, had become the great corrupter, lord of lies, the power behind all earthly governance where he could continue his regimen of twisting man’s heart.

Both became known as “devil”, but there was only one true devil. And that one true devil was Lucifer, the only one who could pretend being a representative of light while  being a master of darkness. But man knew nothing of the difference. All demons were called devils and Satan and Lucifer were erroneously thought of as one and the same.

The sad thing was that the “fallen” consisted of more than just those who’d rebelled against heaven. There was also the ones called the Watchers, who taught men many things he now took for granted. But the Watchers had repented and been granted reentry into heaven. Their human offspring remained and the heavenly blood was diluted until it was nearly unnoticeable in man.

But that was the past. Aleriel knew that there was no use in going back that far. Besides. The events of the last few days had nothing to do with the Watchers. It had everything to do with Lucifer’s greed and arrogance. Lucifer had wanted a special  young lady, one that had great power. He had spent decades trying to cut her off from those who could help her. First he had taken her parents. Then her oldest brothers. and finally, he had supposedly sent the remaining family into self-imposed exile out of the mountains.

When the time was right, Lucifer had assumed the guise of that luckless priest who’d been lured to the mountains in search of imaginary gold. Even men of God seemed to fall easily to greed. But the priest had died in the battle for his soul, giving Lucifer a human form to take. And so, he took the priest’s form.

But now, Aleriel knew Lucifer was on the losing end. With Satan behind the gates  with the rest of the demons, Lucifer was on his own. He was fighting a battle he couldn’t win. It was already over, but Lucifer didn’t know it.

 

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