C h a p t e r T h r e e
The words of Satan
A day in Heaven is nothing like a day on Earth, or on any other realm. There is no constitution called time, and there is no need, for the residents have all of eternity and do not have the obligation to document each hour of each day. Time passes, and life goes on. It is strange though. Life is essentially meaningless when you live forever.
Why bother to do anything, when you'll always have the chance to do it later? Skies darken when night dawns, and the inhabitants of Heaven do not miss the sun, for they know they'll see countless more just like it. It is easy to forget the sky, up in Paradise. It's spectacular, of course everything is, but when one sensational event is followed by dozens more, equally as miraculous, all events are forgotten in the wake of more, and more, and more. In a way, it makes you feel sorry for all those unremarkable remarkabilities contained inside the pearly gates.
Despite all this, Lucifer always remembered the day he knew he was in love with God - a vibrant, glowing memory amongst the dark shadows of his past. With memories that is often the case. One will always withstand the toils and decay of age, and burn ever brighter because of it. The brighter the memory, the stronger, and more passionate its owner is for it.
When Satan showed me his memories of God they seared my eyes, and penetrated my soul until I felt that there was surely nothing left of me but ash and dust. Sometimes, when I allow myself to think of all the terrible pain he's been carrying I almost wish I were, but never aloud.
Wishes are powerful things, after all.
The day that Lucifer recognised his love for God was a crisp, clean-cut sort of morning, tasting of mint leaves, and chopped wood, and the sound of papers rustling - the sort of magical time when it seems as if you've accomplished everything in the world simply by sitting quietly and lapping up the surroundings from a bowl made from wonder. While other angels talked amongst themselves, idling away their forever with the frivolous gossip of peasants, Lucifer sat alone, contemplating. In his perfection, he did not need the company of others in order to be happy - he simply amused himself, the musings of his own head friend enough.
From a distance, God watched.
Though God guarded each one of his angels with a father's eye it was Lucifer he found himself drawn to, compelled towards with a power even He himself could not explain. An artist cannot help but keep his finest work; an author shall look upon his greatest epic like his baby. Lucifer was God's grand achievement: the finest of all his angels, and God could not help but to admire his own skill, taken shape in the form of the perfect disciple. Despite this, God had never made contact with him, nor with any of his angels. He did not want them to grow jealous of Him or of His power, or to know that He favoured one above the rest, in a way no just leader should.
It is believed by mortals that God loves and has always loved all equally - a truly omnibenevolent being. It would be wise to dismiss this nonsense from your mind immediately however, for while his children share his attention equitably now, in the past God, despite His immense amount of power, was hardly fair. To be fair, how could He, when Lucifer stood out so brilliantly from the rest of his work?
It seems important for you to note that the occupants of the universe come in twos. Two animals of every kind to enter the arc, two people whose fates are entwined by the stars, two friends to guide each other through the tribulations life offers.
Beautiful, paradisiacal angel Lucifer. God's one equal - His sole, glorious pair.
A match, quite literally, made in Heaven.
Lucifer, in all his unrivalled magnificence, thought thoughts no other angel had dared to stumble across, that day as he sat in the shade on his own. He had not yet seen God – looked with startled eyes upon the radiant figure of his Creator - and so, he wondered if God were indeed real. Perhaps, he thought, the angels were spawned by the hand of chance rather than design. Maybe the God they worshipped and believed to be real was simply a way to pin the odds of life on a being who wouldn’t complain as the pins pricked his skin and flowered buds of crimson blood, justly because he wasn’t really there.
It was an interesting phenomenon.
So Lucifer scratched his head, and he wondered. If the angels were the result of chance – a gamble of the dice, rolled and won – was there other life apart from them? It was possible, he pondered (an unknown selfish jealousy seeping into his tone with silent feet), that if there was other life it would be of a higher intelligence and distinction than anything made on Heaven. He bit his lip, concentrating. Or possibly – possibly, if there wasn’t already - a new life could be conceived: forced upon the galaxy in the way that God had supposedly created him, and Paradise, and every other angel. It was then that Lucifer bit, for the first time, into the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The envy of this would-be people dispersed into the nothing it had come from, replaced by a sharp, burning light in Lucifer’s eyes.
It was the light of creation, and he shared it with God.
A species of people who loved and lived, much like the angels –only, truly lived – the direct opposite of his own people who whiled away the vast expanses of forever in a trance like, saccharine state of placid serenity. The new race would crave knowledge, and live out their life as a brief, short burst of flowing, vibrant colour. They would be gifted the curious present of mortality, and with that gift they would know to treasure their short existence, and to use it to do great, good things to their world.
And it would be he, Lucifer, who would be their constructor, and their designer.
He smiled, a bubbling surge of glee rippling like water through his chest, clamouring to be let go in the form of laughter. Laughter. It is a precious thing, which mortals tend to come across so much more easily than any other race I know. Still, if it were bottled and sold, even on Earth it would be worth far more than any expensive metals combined. Laughter is the currency of the truly blissful, and there is nothing anyone wants more than to be happy.
As Lucifer thought, believing the internal workings of his head to be private, and entirely his own, God listened, a silent, still statue racked with a dangerous grief that man could not know if they tried. His greatest achievement believed that there could be something better than it – worse, accredited its own manifestation to the workings of chance, and not He, its true creator. God looked down upon Lucifer with sad, heavy eyes, loaded with the baggage that comes with a mother’s ache at seeing her child grown up. A single tear dripped from his eyes, marring his face till it no longer seemed so eternally youthful and now carried all the weight of his infinite years of existence, and as he wept for the loss of his greatest pride, God had never felt so alone.
It is peculiar to think of the master of Heaven so vulnerable, but in that one, pathetic moment, he was more so than any creature to ever breathe the air of the living. With his hand, God stretched out to Lucifer, and he spoke to him, in a trembling voice more beautiful and more exquisite than the sun which swung from the azure swathes of sky.
He said, “Do not be afraid, Lucifer, for there is no other race more lustrous than yours.”
Lucifer looked upwards in stunned amazement, straining his neck as he craned upwards to stare at the sky, searching for the speaker. When God had spoken, Lucifer shivered, but not in fear. A lustrous, sanguine scent of yearning curled its tendrils round his soul, embracing it as Lucifer let it in, gladly and without hesitation or second thought. “Who are you?” His own words dripped like a melodious honey from his mouth, his words sending wondrous tremors through the heart of his Creator.
“You know me as God, although I have many other names," God replied, barely daring to let himself grasp the miraculously of the situation. Lucifer inhaled sharply, sucking in air like a plug sucks water, each of God's words sending his body into wild convulsions, wrapping him tightly with the cloak of magnificent, unfathomable love. Looking around at his fellow angels, still talking of nothing but of nothing, Lucifer knew that God spoke to him, and only him, and that He was indeed the one creator. And Lucifer loved him – suddenly, and without reason - like he’d never felt anything before.
It was as if all this time he’d been living in a small cage of emotionless calm, living in a hazy dream world of chains and regulations, and now God’s words had set him free – given him the weapon of respect, and desire, and radiant, radiant, love. Love. The word mesmerised him, danced foreign, swirling patterns the colour of cognition inside his mind that he’d never even considered to dance before. He was hypnotised by an overwhelming passion that chained him in an entirely different way from before – woke his senses up with continuous sweet breathless kisses of devotion.
Neither Lucifer nor God spoke another word to the other that day, but there was no need, for they knew the other was there, listening, and silence said more than any fragile little words could say.
Sometimes the best parts of a piece of music are the pauses between the bars.