The Worst Misery: Chapter Ten
I’ve been channel surfing through Heaven unable to leave my window alone for a single second. I stared on with dry, unblinking eyes scared to miss a single detail. It was a numbing process that pulled at you. I felt weak against the grip of it as it dragged me down. I became one with my chair, a sulking state of desolation.
“What to do… What to do…,” I said over and over waiting, trying to will that tiny voice to talk once more. I needed it to deliver some wisdom, a clue, anything would be most obliged. If I just knew who spoke then perhaps I could visit them. Then it clicked.
“The source of that tiny voice!”
I closed my eyes before I saw were the window took me. Would it be the madness? Saint Michael? Luci? Baal? Or what if it was God? The idea was petrifying. I wanted to see something else. Anything else. Too scared to look, I shouted the first thing that came to mind and hated it the second the sound left my lips.
“Luci!” I screamed almost begging. Wouldn’t that make her happy! I cursed my mind, damned the thought, and rejected the demented idea of sanity. But that couldn’t murder my desire to see her. When I opened my eyes, I saw her sitting hunched over… Weeping? What would make the Devil weep? She was in the white room, but all my ‘paintings’ were gone from its flawless, white dimensions. All alone the Devil looked frail. Pride was out the window without eyes on her.
Is this window beyond her ability to detect?
I figured Luci would be able to see straight through it. Like in that dream…
Was it a dream? Or is the Devil just playing with my mind right now?
I stood there, wondering and watching.
What if this is all a carefully placed pawn moved in Luci’s grand scheme?
I mulled over the questions slowly keeping in mind the idea of a moment. I should be more care—
No! I shouldn’t!
If I was careful in the face of every unsettling thing I would still be in that white room instead of Heaven. I would refuse all things out of fear. I wouldn’t have even left my cage.
You think all this isn’t a dream?
Do you truly believe that you’re not in that cage still?
“I would’ve seen myself next to that madman!” I shouted, hushed, at that tiny thought.
Can you really say that you weren’t? I mean, and be honest with yourself, were you really paying attention to anything else?
“Shut. Up.” I managed to get out through clenched teeth.
Just a thought.
I shook the conversation deep below. Returned to the now, to staring at Luci, recovering my train of thought.
Risk was needed. I would’ve refused Saint Michael otherwise. Would have never considered eating the Abyss or spat in the Devil’s face as often as I did. All that I’ve done would’ve been as far from my thoughts as they could have been.
So, I concluded that I needed to take another risk.
The instant I cracked the window Luci turned to face me, all her pride and glory returned, glowing like the light that lit the universe, all her poise shone as if it had never faltered. She was as beautiful as the day she had showed me what perfection was. The same day she’d descended from the sky and took away—
What were their names?
That sounded made up.
Or was it—
O, who cares? Not me…
Anyway, that aside, it was as if she had never wept a second in her life.
“The prodigal traitor returns!” Luci spat at me. It seemed redirected as if she had had that same insult thrown at her but that could just be wishful thinking. Trying to bring her down to my level. But the pain in her tone was there! It was hidden well, very well, but I could still see hear it. Or was that fake? I wanted it to be real. Deep down I really, really did. However, I feared wanting because it was probably false.
She doesn’t miss me or feel betrayed.
But Baal said I was valuable to her in some way. Maybe she’s angry at the fact that he told me.
“How are the splendors of Heaven? Is the pleasure worth all the pain you caused?”
I was quiet.
“To think…,” Luci licked her lips. Her fingers followed the curves of her naked physique with all the seduction of a stripper, “…all I had to offer was a bit of pleasure, and that indomitable will of yours would have crumbled to dust! I could’ve offered you the sweet honey between my legs, and that alone would have revealed the spider that you are.”
“Saint Michael,” Luci said each word more mocking and spiteful than the last, “the Archangel of God’s good graces came down and spoke his—”
“You betrayed me! I went through the miseries of Hell for nothing! I was supposed to endure all that agony for them, for the damned souls of Earth! But that didn’t happen, did it? Saint Michael showed me what became of Earth! How long did you wait before returning Hell to it? Or did Hell ever even leave in the first place?” I screamed at the height of what my voice could manage without breaking too terribly. As she started to speak I shouted, “Answer me!”
“You’re staring at a wall and claiming to see the truth beyond it. You’ve never seen it, you have the ability to see it, but you refuse to climb up and over that wall! You just sit there and stare, blind, because you think you know better! Better to believe the lies of someone else than to suffer the truth of your cowardice! People are suffering but so long as you don’t have to deal with it, who cares, right? Does this help you sleep? I thought you were good. One of the first pure good souls in far too long, but I was wrong. I just went about the wrong way in breaking you. A simple lie. That’s all it took to break the mighty will of Malloreigh—a lie and the promise of pleasure!
“Well, Malloreigh? Can you explain yourself?” Luci asked, arms outstretched. I wanted to run into those arms and weep.
“God should not have made the Devil so strong! I’m only a mortal!”
“No excuses can bring about my forgiveness!”
“Why do I need the Devil’s forgiveness? Why does the Lord of Lies care about a good soul? You could’ve never tortured those souls! You could have taken in all the broken, all those sinners, and showed them a better way, but you didn’t! You just raped, murdered, tortured, played with, and whatever else your sick mind could think of. You did that over and over again! Why does me failing to save them mean anything? If you cared, truly cared, you’d have never put them in a position to need saving!”
Her words confused me. The Devil was evil, right? Everything that I’ve seen in my life has proved that.
“Are you truly a man? Or are you a woman? You come to us mortals, other demons and angels even, in whatever it is they love most playing off that desire, and for what? Our love should hold nothing to you. Do you seek to be loved that much? Or are you just a monster that manipulates for fun? Does your mind know no other way of functioning?”
I could feel my mind spitting, and all that lurked deep below erupted forth. The madness was back, and spoke swiftly, chuckling, “The Devil wishes to be as loved as God! That’s why you were banished to Hell. You challenged God for the throne and lost! You just want to be loved!”
“None can challenge God! I love my father!” Luci screamed.
“I challenged the liar that twisted his words. The tyrant that assumed power over everything and gained the approval of the other archangels. Michael set them all against me and is trying to destroy any chance I have at challenging them again, but I can’t be killed so easily! So, I was banished and cursed to dance to Hell’s will. The other archangels betrayed me for the false words Michael said were from God. They thought he was special, that he was privy to secrets no others were worthy of! They don’t see the truth, however. God doesn’t speak! God only watches, for to intervene at all would be to disrupt free will. Ask your beloved ‘Saint’ Michael what God wants and you’ll hear gilded words of oppression and slavery!
“I refuse to allow that! I’ll save this world even it means wielding the power of the Abyss itself!”
Luci vanished, and just as she did, I could’ve sworn I saw a weeping face shatter her arrogant mask.
Is it sinful to want to console the Devil? Luci is a being of great power, but is her mind not so different from mine?
I decided to seek words from someone I thought I could trust. Someone who wouldn’t lie, for lying, according to them, was worthless. I wasn’t sure if it held any merit, but I had nowhere else to turn. Looking into the white, empty room, I whispered, “Baal.”
The window had remained open so I was still unsure as to whether angels or demons or other lofty beings could see me when it was closed. Before I could speak, or react even, Baal spoke as if reading it from a textbook, “So, you hold no trust for Saint Michael. You’ve come to a prince of Hell for words of advice? For more truths perhaps? I was expecting you much later. I thought you would’ve asked for the other archangels. You did see into the true Heaven after all.”
“I have no desire to just walk into the true Heaven,” I said. “It’s probably just as confusing as Hell.”
“And the other archangels?”
“Let’s just say I’m afraid Luci is right.”
Why am I trusting him? It felt odd, yet something about him told me he was more like a medium between good and evil than a prince of Hell, a doer of evil and beast of malice.
“You don’t trust me. You’re just trying to rationalize your actions and the fear of having nowhere else to turn.”
I ground my teeth together. “I want answers!” I shouted.
Baal looked at me for the first time but said nothing.
“Tell me about God. Tell me about Lucifer. I want the truth about everything!”
“I have nothing to tell you. Besides you wouldn’t believe me. I can see inside your mind. You don’t believe the words of Lucifer, yet because of those words you hold doubt in Saint Michael. And you wonder whether you’re mad or not? Your mind is badly torn.”
“Speak!” the madness screamed, or something inside of me screamed, but I bet it was the madness. Something told me it was never cleansed from me, that the madness was being suppressed. You can’t simply magic away the warped aspects of a mind, I guess. This depressed me.
“The façade of Heaven crumbles before you.”
“Please, I need words of truth!” I begged.
“You still refuse to believe that that man in the cage was your father. You can’t just pick and choose truths. You must accept all truths for what they truly are.”
He’s getting bored. Think of something before he flies away! I told myself.
“You’re right. I am bored. Tired. So tired. If you truly wish to know truths, then why not speak with God’s son?” he said son as if it wasn’t really a truth, but a title that was given to him. My mind has never been so lost to truth. I got mad at my feebleness, but that anger felt useless.
“That’s because you lie! That was not my father, and you saying that that madman was makes you a liar!” I spit through my teeth.
At those words, Baal buzzed away.