The Worst Misery: Chapter Eleven
It was obvious what I had to do. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind whatsoever… However, using the window to meet Jesus Christ? That was something that you had to prepare for.
How should one behave in front of him? I wondered.
I was at a loss. And then the silly thought sprang up in the form of a question. “What should I wear?” I asked myself. It sounded completely unimportant, but when seeing someone important you always want to look presentable. “What’s presentable to Christ? Should I trim or shave, comb my hair back or clean it up around the ears?” I asked all these questions and more to the madness.
“Go before him naked!” the madness screamed. What confidence! “That is how God created you after all.”
He had an excellent point. I laughed.
“Imagine the looks on all those conservative faces that think they know God so well! Can you imagine madness? No suit and tie, no ‘presentable’ polish to my look. Just go running in there with my cock and balls bouncing!” I giggled until my sides hurt, but then the merit of the idea silenced me. “Wait, should I? I mean, should I actually go before him as I was made?”
“Adam and Eve knew no shame before the forbidden fruit! Ignorant to all evil and good and… Well, just plain ignorant. Might as well have been deaf, blind, and dumb!”
“But why is Lucifer always in the nude and Saint Michael never without something covering him?” I asked the madness perplexed on a different note by the notion.
“Maybe he’s got a needle dick,” the madness said. We laughed. “It does make you think, doesn’t it?”
“Indeed,” I said wiping the tears from my eyes.
I was standing before the bathroom mirror. I’ve got a bedroom, a bathroom, and a magical window. That is my Heaven. Why? Why was I different? It had never ceased to bother me, all these awful questions, and thinking about using my window to seek out Christ made it worse for some reason.
“Maybe he’ll know,” the madness said to which I replied, “I hope. I hope he knows all the answers to all the questions I have…”
We laughed again. “You are mad!” No idea who said that.
I looked myself over, again, for the hundredth time. I had allowed my hair to get messy, my beard bushy, and my white clothes stained with paint.
“What if Lucifer is the good guy?” the madness asked.
“That would make Saint Michael the bad guy!”
I was happy to have my madness back, granted I never thought he had left, not fully anyway, but it was nice to have someone who I could trust.
“What if they’re both good guys with different views of good?” I asked, seeking madness’ wisdom, because trusting my own sanity had become a gamble. That means you’ve lost it, and that there’s no hope in any of this… I pushed the thought out of mind as soon as I thought it. It was too pitiful. I didn’t need pitiful. I needed indestructible courage, blind confidence… I needed madness.
“What if they’re both bad guys seeking wickedness through a false goodness! Who cares? I don’t!”
“And that’s why you’re losing it.”
“Is that how you lost it?”
The madness was silent. He was probably tired of talking, probably… Maybe he just wanted to get this show on the road. And why not? I asked myself. Don’t you?
“Yes,” I shouted shattering the mirror. “Nothing changes here! I’m trapped in this frozen misery… A prisoner! We’re all prisoners in Heaven! At least in Hell we knew we were trapped. How cruel is ignorance to allow such a false beauty?”
“How cruel is truth to shatter such lies?” the madness stated. “That’s the real question.”
“I want to destroy it…”
“Yes, finally! Destroy Heaven!” chimed in the madness. “Let it burn!”
“I’ll bring this—”
With a blink, the mirror was fixed, my hand no longer bloody, and everything was back as if nothing happened. Everything was fixed. That was, everything but for my rage. It swirled around inside of me like an edge of a blackhole wanting to devour all light and warmth, and crush it into a disfigured mess. I punched the mirror again…
I ran around my Heaven ripping the paintings from the walls. I used my bare hands until the madness pointed out the fire poker. My lips curled into a smile. I bashed the walls, smashed the pretty decorations. I shouted the entire time; madness laughed all the while.
“Stay! Broken!” I chanted in a fast and earsplitting string of words. I spent the better part of forever trying to break my unbreakable prison.
Nothing worked. Not even thinking of it as broken worked.
I lost the remainder of my mind to it. I could feel it detach from me and fly away into the ethereal nothingness. I was unsure what brought me to this point. I think it was the madness being given the cold shoulder for so long. Maybe, but the problem with insanity is that the chaos doesn’t leave a clean trail to follow. All I know for certain was that It had taken over, and, before I knew what was happening, I was mad once again. It nearly reminded me of that low point I suffered in the white room. Almost. I was so close to breaking then. Looking back, I could see that now… That nasty stuff I ate. It had done that to me. It made me fall so far that if I had descended just one more inch—
Close, but no cigar! I only cracked! And only slightly—yes, only slightly—and thankfully not beyond repair.
“It’ll take more than that to shatter me!” Who am I shouting at? “Do you hear me?”
However, I was falling towards that low point again, but aren’t we all?
Is there an end to this fall? Surely everyone is falling towards their destiny… But will the fall end me? I looked at my hands, the knobby knuckled hands of a mortal man, and wondered if the doom meant death. Of course it does. When I reach the end of this fall, I’ll shatter, but that means I can forget all of this. I’ll be free. If my soul doesn’t exist then I can be free!
I was overjoyed by the discovery! However, I wasn’t so lucky as to have such a scapegoat. I couldn’t kill myself. I had tried to during my mad assault on my Heaven, stabbed myself straight through the eye—don’t run with pointy things!—with the fire poker. I stood up no different, mind worked just fine—as fine as expected. No destruction remained. I was myself in another blink.
“Can I even be sure of this falling theory?” the madness asked. “Maybe you’ll fall forever and ever because the soul is energy and you can’t destroy en—”
I ran up to the window, and screamed, “That black ooze! The Abyss!”
The window came to a shore of the purest white standing against an infinite dark sea. The black hurt to look at, it was of the deepest black. I could feel it pulsating through the window and passing through me like radiation.
This is it…
I lost myself to the darkness of it. When I opened my window, I heard the crashing waves, except they were not like the waves on Earth. The sound of them crashing was that of countless wicked whispers that polluted the soul. The waves seemed to lose power as they washed against the white shore or fine, dust-like, sand. The breeze did not smell of salt. Each inhale created a monster inside of you that begged to be. I hated it. It was an awful feeling. I could feel my belly turn over and over as I gazed at the Abyss. The most beautiful shade of black. Absolutely no shine to it…
The sky danced with distant fires, like stars but not, that lit the air, but the moment a bit of light touched the abyss it was swallowed up whole.
“That’s it, isn’t it?” I directed my words to the twinkling white beach that gave off its own radiance. The intention of the Abyss was clear as day. It sought to flood over the universe, and blackout its very existence. I just knew it. Just by looking at it you could tell. All the greed and hunger it held was screaming as such wickedness twisted inside me, washed over me.
The madness laughed. “No. Not at all, idiot. O how the true nature of existence is so far beyond you!” the madness said.
“What do you mean?” I asked but got no answer.
I went on asking questions, grilling the madness for answer, for longer than I should’ve. I gave up after my voice grew hoarse and the ensuring silence got boring. I had no idea anymore and knowing felt like a utopia, a thought experiment to make you feel good but provide nothing.
Are the secrets of the universe so far off from even gods?
Does God even know the truth beyond him?
Does the madness know?
Or is he just trying to bring about more madness inside me in order to make me more of a slave?
I just gave up those questions, because I felt that the answer would just never be known—ever.
“But such is life!” I cried; madness sighed.
I climbed out of the window. My feet dug into the sand. I was inspired by its touch. Kindness bloomed in me like the most pleasing of pleasures. It had me captivated before I could think twice. An array of colors followed the warm fuzziness. The colors splashed their glory against my being. It felt better, cleaner somehow, than any bath could achieve. I was a blank canvas, and here in this place pure and taint fought over the palette for the right to create me in their image. Without realizing it, I had sprawled out on the beach. I dug my fingers into the sand grabbing up huge handfuls at a time allowing each speck to cascade from my grasp.
This is wonderful…
“Coward!” the madness shouted.
The starry sky of black and white was the war of the pure and the tainted. That was when I remembered the war Baal spoke of. “You’re right. I would be a coward if I just sit here…”
“What? No, no! Go swim in the Abyss!”
I rolled my eyes at the madness. “Shut up,” I said, thinking, My mind hasn’t been this clear in… In a long time.
I never wanted to leave this beach, but the beach filled me with the desire to save everyone from Armageddon.
Can I even do that? No. If Luci is worried, it must be impossible. Especially for a mortal…
“The only reason you want to save them is because of this silly sand. Leap into the Abyss, and it’ll all end!” the madness cried out.
“No! At least, I think…” Part of me still wished to jump into the Abyss and shatter. It would be easiest.
“Who are you talking to?” The voice was soft and kind and tired and powerful, like a waterfall. Sounded like the person behind that voice sought rest but avoided it too. I sat up and turned to see the source. A bearded man with long black hair and dark skin stood there a slight smile, warm and reassuring stained his otherwise unremarkable face. He wore robes that were white—not as white as the beach, not even close, but I doubt anything in the whole universe was.
The man took a step forward towards me, and that was when I heard the chains. They rattled at each step he took. I looked at the holes in his hands. Looking closer, I saw a crown of thorns tangled into his hair. “Are you Jesus?” I asked, astonishment weighting down my words.
I was no longer amazed by the sighting of biblical beings coming and going. I’ve met Baal, Saint Michael, Lucifer, Abaddon, and I was sure that I’ll meet many more. Something told me that they wouldn’t have it any other way. Before I could ask anything, before this man could answer yes or no the madness screamed, “Chained like a—”
“Silence!” I shouted.
“I am. To both accounts, I am.”
The chains pulled at him.
That’s got to be exhausting. I’d be exhausted.
The shackles that tightly clung to his throat, wrists, and ankles were too large and heavy for one man. I thought that five chains were overkill, but that’s just me. Following them back to a five-sided plinth, to which they were bound, I asked without asking, “Why are you a prisoner?”
“Saint Michael and I…,” Jesus started, stared at his chains, the Abyss, and then back to me, “…have different points of view.”
Was my face that easy to read? I wondered.
“Wait, you and Michael disagreed? How’s that even make sense?”
Jesus smiled. “I’m nothing special, just a humble man of God. I stood no chance against Saint Michael. May I ask your name?”
“Malloreigh Dawntay.” I refused to rise from the soft sands even as my manners told me otherwise. “How is it that you’re here?”
“It’s my duty to stand against the rising tides of the Abyss. Once they reach us, our will shall be broken. Saint Michael hopes that this offering will calm the Abyss and make its assault on reality a slow one.”
I looked about. Off in the distance more people—I think they’re people—were chained up atop of wide plinths just like Christ.
“We’re the army that stands against the Abyss, the last hope for good, the candles in the infinite darkness,” Christ explained. “I am just one of many bound to face this foe.”
“Why not break your chains?”
“Asking a man of God to break magical bonds is still asking a man to shatter steel with his bare hands. Besides, we must face the Abyss, for all hope rests on our shoulders and should we fail…””
“Some Son of God! But I can’t say I’m surprised. You were a bastard, after all. A brat with a bloated sense of self-worth and a fool’s crush on a whore. Weren’t you?
“Look at me! Look at me! I’m the Son of God, the Lamb! My daddy’s got a big house and you all can come over and sleep the night, but only if you worship the shits I take! HA! What a joke,” said the madness with disdain.
Jesus smiled. “I’m just as much a son of God as you are. We all are God’s children, and through us God works miracles.”
“So, I’m a son of God?”
“He is a most blessed and wonderful child of God. The promised morning that upheld such good, before the fall, that is. I’m afraid now that his light has been lost…”
What? This makes no sense. “The Bible doesn’t say that! Nothing in it says that Saint Michael imprisoned you or anyone else as a sacrifice for the Abyss, or that Lucifer is a good guy! You’re just another trick played by the madness, aren’t you?”
“I’m playing no tricks!”
“I want answers! Tell me everything. Don’t speak in riddles like this is some fairytale. Just talk to me like a man. Please!”
“Don’t you say a word!” the madness screamed. I grabbed my hair and started pulling.
“Leave me alone! Release me, madness!“ I shouted, and turned back to Christ, pleading, “Please, just give me the truth! I need answers!”
The Abyss was whispering to me again. Mutters too low to be known, but slowly the volume rose until it was a screeching voice in my mind.
I should go for a swim! Yes, a swim would be—
“I can’t answer something without first hearing the question.”
Smug bastard! I leaped up and barked, “Who was I when Earth was Earth? Why would Saint Michael imprison you as a sacrifice? Is Lucifer evil? Why am I valuable to the Devil? Who am I? What is the purpose of life? What’s going on? Are you happy with those questions? Are you? Answer those, and I’ll be sure to think of some others.”
Jesus smiled weakly at me. It was pity I saw in his smile.
He lifted his hands to the sky as if he was about to hug it.
“Father…,” he began to pray, “…grant me the answers to such questions.”
Are you serious?
“What has praying ever done?” Fire burned me from the inside out. I sprinted at Jesus, climbed the plinth, and took a swing…
I wanted to feel the bone of his jaw break, but the second my knuckles came within a hair’s breadth from his chin, everything went black. My body hit hard against the sand just before I lost the ability to feel.