C h a p t e r F i v e
The Perfect Race
Despite being the original brains behind them, Lucifer was surprised at the similarities between himself and the humans. Whilst they were smaller than himself, and did not shimmer with the glow of the purely good, their brains were brimming with the prospect of future as his own did, and they hungered for the first sweet tastes of knowledge in the way he craved more and more, intent on learning every scrap that God could tell him. The humans' fragile, mortal bodies hovered limply in the air by some sort of magic, waiting patiently for the breath of life to give them what they had been made for.
Waiting to be given life. Waiting to be granted souls.
Waiting to knowingly receive the love of their God as He gave His heart to them.
God gestured to them, his features glimmering with the brightly burning rays of pride. "Well, Lucifer? Are they not beautiful?"
Lucifer smiled back - he could not help it, for when God smiled at him with so much glorious, glorious love in his face, Lucifer fell into it like a wearied traveller returning home. "They are indeed beautiful, Lord." His voice was breathless, and his heart flew on wings of gold as he basked in God's beautiful favour, but still he knew that their relationship was not as it had once been.
Before, he wouldn't ever have thought of doubting God's unwavering love for him. Lucifer watched the floating humans, and the seed of hatred was planted in the soils of his soul.
Nodding, God retreated back a few steps, looking upon His two greatest creations side by side. As He stood surveying them, careful quiet, silently still, with the hand of the almighty He presented Lucifer with one more question, speaking in a voice so soft it was almost as if He were addressing Himself. God said, "Are they more perfect than you, Lucifer?"
Lucifer's face paled, and he let the icy fist of envy grip his heart. "Th-the humans, Lord?" he replied, a stuttering fear sidling into his speech. He looked towards the motionless bodies: a toxic mist of muffled jealousy clouding his sight and distorting his vision till he saw monsters, rather than the men that hung before him.
The seed of hatred began to grow, its long vines and tendrils twisting round Lucifer and squeezing him, tightening the manacles of suspicion and contempt.
"Did you not hear me rightly? The Humans," said God, the corner of His mouth twitching in confirmation. Staring at Lucifer intently, it was almost as if He could see into the angel's soul. Lucifer shook his head, for he could not stand that to be true. Should God see inside his soul then he would know that Lucifer looked at the humans, and saw the hateful, absolute perfection they held that he never would - that would forever be so much greater than his own. And God would know that Lucifer hated the creations that He was so horribly proud of, and that would tear Him apart inside - to know that His first love so loathed His second. Lucifer would rather die than let God know the truth.
More than that. Death is not the worst thing that can happen, after all. In a way, it is quite beautiful - the illusions of men with scythes, and sirens singing sailors to their doom only adds to the charm. Perhaps Lucifer longed to end his life, then, at least a little bit - go the one place the omnipresent ruler couldn't, and prove himself by dying to be just as perfect - if not more - than the humans. God's ultimate creation, no longer rivalled by pitiful mortals.
Yes, Lucifer would have welcomed death. While he would certainly rather die than let God realising his private truth though, there are many more, worse things he would have done to stop God from knowing. He'd rather be cast into an eternal fiery abyss of demonic betrayal and bitterness than let God know the truth, for one thing.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
Still, as he found out, the eternal abyss really wasn't so bad. Take it from me - it's where I live. Not quite 'Home, sweet home', but still. Home.
Out loud, Lucifer said, "That is not my place to decide, Lord." His face contorted into a quavering attempt at a smile, but his eyes remained empty and filled with a terrible sadness, the seed of hatred blossoming rotten, flaking flowers. God looked at Lucifer, and He saw the pain that showed so plainly in his face. Stretching out a hand, God ran his fingers down the angel's cheek, His fingers tracing the contours of His creation's jaw, searching for a way to share the obvious suffering in its eyes. Confused and concerned, God stared into Lucifer's heart and sought out his soul, shaking slightly at what he saw there. And though outwardly the Lord put an acknowledging hand on His Angel's shoulder and blessed him with His equally wobbling smile, inside...
Inside, He wrestled with Lucifer's truth and He felt Himself shattering until He broke.
The pieces of God's jigsaw were flung far and wide, and it could not be Lucifer to put them together again, recreate the broken Creator. Lucifer would not be the one to mend Him, not when he himself - God's one constant, one surety in life - had been the very cause of the wreckage, with his concealed truths and spoken lies.
Lucifer would not fix him. Lucifer would not even know he was broken.
God looked to the humans, hanging limply in the air.
Lucifer did not have to be the one to mend Him. After all, the creator of Heaven had plenty of other options.