In the dimensions of the boundaries of Heaven and Hell, imagine a sphere. This particular sphere is composed of the most translucent material, yet holds the components needed for existence. Within the sphere, there lie three levels. Underneath each of these levels is a transparent, glass-like material, through which each of the other levels can be seen. The first level is known as Heaven, this is naturally where my father resides in all his greatness and power, along with the remainder of my siblings. Within Heaven, there were rumored to be seven dimensions. However, each level served a purpose, and only housed those who belonged to that particular purpose. I myself was told that I resided on the fifth dimension; and had only ever been allowed outside for random trips into the Garden. I wasn't at the time sure of which way the dimensions ascended, or what level my father called his dwelling. All I knew is that whenever I was needed, I was found and that suited me just fine.
The second level is home to Eden; a beautiful garden created for the pure and innocent souls to reside within. This regrettably did not last, my brother becoming jealous of man and our father's adoration of them. Lucifer seduced the wife of Adam, and allured her into eating the forbidden fruit; they were no longer allowed to remain in the garden. Their purity being stolen; my father created a world to place his creations on as a form of punishment for disobeying him. He placed the world on a pedestal in a room of pure white. It was glorious and tantalizing, every angel wanted to delve inside, but alas we were forbidden. He still loved his creations, he loved them enough to give them choices, unfortunately giving the beings the right of free-will made for an intriguing outcome. Darkness consumed some of the mundane folk, and this created wickedness. Father also made the mistake of giving Lucifer the gift of human emotion, which caused heaven and earth a bit of chaos. The gift my father gave to his favorite son bore him two grandsons, or at least that's the human term for what they were called. Half human and half angel these beings lived in heaven, unable to live in the mundane realm. Years later they would be the cause of much chaos and destruction.
My sister had once told me about the humans whose souls she so gracefully cared for. She described how gentle she was, and how each was temperamental to its environment, and that the sustainability of every human soul depended on a delicate balance. Each piece of beautiful light used to make the soul needed to be tended to in the most loving manner, as to not prematurely tarnish its essence. I had never seen the soul of a human. I had not wanted to. I was content with creating them, molding them with my hands, and making them appear beautiful on the outside. Their inner workings seemed to be none of my concern; otherwise, father would have allowed me the pleasure of attending to them as well. But alas, he did not. My specified job was to outline each person's appearance, as their names appeared on the scroll I kept open inside of my chambers. The only information ever directly given to me was their name, from there it was up to me to adventitiously create the rest of their natural born lives from my head. Unlike the majority of my siblings who were also in the occupation of working with humans, I only had this interaction with them. After the sculpting was finished, and the plans drawn in the most delicate manner, they disappeared from my sight, never to be seen again. I had never seen a human living, moving, or breathing for that matter. All I was allowed were the lifeless shells. This confinement earned me my name. The name I was given upon creation was long gone among my siblings; to them, I was Canvas. I was told that this was a human term for a blank space used for creating the next masterpiece of the artist. The name seemed to enthrall my brothers and sisters; and therefore, it stayed.
I remember receiving the orders to create Adam and his lady, Eve. My siblings had only been warned about Adam, father however knew that Adam was going to need a companion in his paradise. Thus I produced Eve the same time as I produced Adam. This was the first time I had worked with clay. I couldn't help but like how it felt beneath my fingers. Once beginning to create the pieces, I was shocked to find that I knew exactly how to manipulate the substance to produce exactly what I wanted. I held them in the chambers that father had created for me, and hid them from the curious eyes of my siblings on the other side of the door. When father came to examine them, he complemented me on my efforts, and took Adam away with him. Eve remained in my chambers, lifeless and beautiful. I marveled at my handy-work; admiring the way that the human women would look. Immediately I stopped myself, realizing what I was doing and left the room, hanging my head in shame. I went to find my father to ask when Eve would be moved, however to my dismay; it seemed my beautiful artwork would remain hidden in my chambers until Adam was ready. He wanted Adam to realize on his own what he wanted. My father was lenient in that manner. He allowed every being he created to have the pleasure of freedom; no matter how dangerous the idea might be.
To humans, time is of the essence, however, as for angels, time does not exist. In an endless eternity, father had intended us to live a blissful and serene existence. But when Lucifer's son decided to turn against us; the peaceful oblivion was shattered; like glass hitting an unforgiving pavement. Our 'time' had become about doing what was necessary, and more importantly keeping Lucas at bay and away from innocent souls. After Adam and Eve; I received more names; and more images in my head begging to be crafted from the clay. From the start, I couldn't tell which of the vessels that I molded would turn to wickedness or which ones would remain loyal to my father. It was some time after making my 400th vessel that I understood the meaning of the name I had been given; I created canvases. Each of these bodies were blank canvases that a soul would eventually paint, making them human. Because of my father's gift of free will, there were endless opportunities that would make each canvas unique and unlike any other in all of creation. I suppose in this way, humans had the advantage. To be their own person, and to lead a life they chose to live; even if only for a little while.
Deep inside of me, I knew something big was coming; and my emotions reacted strangely to this. In human terms, I guess the feeling would be called fear. Yes, I was afraid. I wasn't sure what it was, or when it was going to happen; but I was afraid for the outcome. I feared for the humans, for the choices they were making and where it would land them when this was all over; but mostly, I feared for my brother. Call it what you may, but Lucifer never meant to create this mess. As the story is told on earth; he was indeed the most beautiful angel inside and out. However, the day that father made man, something changed inside him. Jealously overtook his demeanor at first, and his soul darkened, as if the fire that had created us burned the goodness inside of him to ash. But when Mary intervened, he was changed. His love for her saved him in a way that is unexplained to my kind. It was even harder to imagine that our father had allowed this without having some ulterior motive. For once I wished that I could ask questions; but to question father was blasphemy. So I sat in silence, wondering the possible outcomes of the war, and questioning my nephews unknown mission.
"Mary come back to bed love, it is far too late for this argument." Lucifer said looking at his adorable lover with her arms crossed over her chest and lips formed into a pout. His essence heated at the sight of her; he could never love another being more. "I do not understand why it is that you will not tell me where it is that you go every night. I think you have found another lover, one better suited, one less... fat." She pouted, looking down at her enlarged tummy. Lucifer laughed, unable to contain his amusement. "You are pregnant my darling, and beautifully so... please come now and stop this nonsense. How could I even think of another when the most beautiful woman is carrying my children? Come Mary, you must sleep, and I am late." "Late for what?" she questioned, her eyes looking to his for answers. "In time my love I will tell you everything... now come you must sleep, if not for yourself, for me, and our children." They looked into each other's eyes for what seemed like eternity. Finally, Mary gave in and slid into her bed, nestled next to Lucifer. He rubbed her back gently as she fell into a peaceful sleep, her hands cradling her stomach. Lucifer watched her as she slept, so completely and utterly in love with this human woman he could barely contain his natural state within his vessel. He pushed her hair from her face and kissed her forehead. Soon he would tell her everything, soon he wouldn't have to keep secrets from the people he cared for most in this existence. He rose from the bed and left Mary sleeping, walking outside under the sky. Stripping down to his bare human skin he raised his arms to the sky and ascended to heaven.
The room was brilliantly white, pristine, and empty. In the center stood a pedestal with a sphere sitting directly in the middle, twirling slowly. There was a light fog coming from the sphere, making the room hazy in comparison to the clear hall outside. Lucifer appeared before the sphere, his seraph form towering overhead. He sighed, feeling his wings stretch out behind him. Time was different between heaven and earth; this fact alone had kept his secret. He could spend hours with Mary and be gone only minutes in Heaven. The reverse was very dangerous... too long in heaven could be days and weeks away from Mary and his unborn children. Surely, he would never forgive himself if something were to happen to them while he was here, playing caretaker. Lost in his thoughts Lucifer didn't realize that another had crept into the room.
"Father has been looking everywhere for you brother, have you been a bad boy again, canoodling with the mortal women? Tsk Tsk... you know that he does not like it when you do so." Casius said folding his arms across his broad chest.
Lucifer turned to his brother, smirking. "Excuse me brother, I have things to do." He said placing a hand on his brother's shoulder and walking from the room briskly.
Casius watched him leave, unable to shake the uneasy feeling that Lucifer was putting off these last few days. He was hiding something, but Casius knew better than to go meddling in Lucifer's business. Though created equal, they all knew that Lucifer would always stand out to their father as the brightest and in turn had been given the most power, the most fire. Unjust as it was, no one ever questioned it, and Casius would not be the first.
He did not have much time before he had to be back. It was nearly dawn on Earth, and Mary would awaken soon, looking for him. He descended each staircase with reason behind his quickened pace. When he reached the end of the narrow path he quickly flipped the hatch and dropped, landing on his feet in the middle of the garden.
Lucifer walked directly to the next hatch, unable to look at the souls of the young children playing by the stream. Tending to Eden had been his punishment for the jealousy he had shown Adam and Eve; and at first it was not torturous. The garden, fueled by the holy fire below, was abandoned for a while after his father placed his mortal creations on earth; and Lucifer performed his duties in peace. However, after a few mundane years passed, the world became a different place, and children began to die, their souls never reaching maturity, never reaching their full potential. God decided to place those tender souls in the garden, unsure of what to do with them. Day by day the children lived the same life, never changing, never moving forward; their humanity pushed far beyond anything Lucifer had ever seen. They were a pleasantry at first, Lucifer's second chance to love the mortal kind as his father, but soon it became uncomfortable. It was in the nature of human souls to move forward, to progress, and for those taken before their time were stuck. Of course they were blissfully unaware of their own discontent, never fully aware of why they had such a melancholy nature if one spent too much time with them. But Lucifer could see their flaws and sorrows. He had often mentioned his thoughts to his father of ending their suffering, or at least trying to recycle them through the loop. However, every conversation ended the same. Though his father had great power, Lucifer knew that his father did not have the heart to destroy anything he had created.
Descending down the final staircase Lucifer came to the bottom of the sphere, the darkness curling around the transparent bottom, before him the fire dwindled, and the room was ice cold. He planted his feet firmly on the ground and raised his hands out in front of him. Holy-fire fueled the garden, and Lucifer fueled the holy-fire. He poured his being into the flames, rekindling the almost diminished inferno, and it soared to the ceiling, its warmth quickly spreading around the room. Nodding to himself at a job well done he ascended quickly, careful to avoid the children once more and headed back to Mary.
As Lucifer stood over earth and descended down, Casius stood in the background, watching his brother leave heaven once more for earth.
Mary was screaming; a painful, blood curdling scream. She was lying across the bed, legs bent and spread apart, breathing heavily in between her outbursts. Sweat poured from her, dripping down her face and back. Lucifer watched, unable to do anything but comfort her as she struggled to push out the first. The midwife from the village a few miles from them gathered pans of water and tools that the blacksmith had prepared in the event of an emergency. Quietly the woman worked and Mary screamed, blood flowing out of her. A few minutes passed and the cry of Lucifer's first born filled the room. "You have a son." The midwife prompted as she hurriedly cleaned the infant and passed him to Lucifer. Lucifer looked down at the tiny human; feeling a strange emotion pour out of his vessel. Mary screamed again, the woman prompting her to keep pushing. In time the second child came in the world silent and pondering. The nurse looked over the infant who was not initially crying as most babies do. Astonished, she found that everything with the infant was well. "Another son." She said, breaking her silence. She passed the second baby to Lucifer and rushed to tend to Mary. Lucifer looked at the two little beings in his arms, unable to fathom how such beautiful creatures had come from his love for Mary. He considered each of their dark eyes, both children silent as they watched their father watch them. Lucifer had never felt so much emotion in his throughout his being. He looked back to Mary, still cradling their infant sons. She smiled weakly at him, loving the sight of the man she adored most holding their sons proudly. Mary was dying, and she knew, but the sight of the man she loved being truly over joyed at children that their love had created gave her the peace she needed to pass easily. She closed her eyes and sighed; a great light flashed, and the room was empty.
Lucifer flinched as he hit the floor with a loud thud. He was no longer in a room with Mary and his sons, but standing before his father alone and empty-handed. He bowed his head in silence. "Where are they?" he asked softly. His secret had been found and Mary and the children were gone. "I have taken Mary, wiped her sin and her memory of you; the children are with Zophiel and Canvas, being cared for. And you, where are you? Why did you? You knew my plans for Mary, for the human race... why have you done this Lucifer, my morning star, my son, deliberately disobeying my orders for the benefit of your lust and fantasy." Lucifer could not answer him. He was ashamed, not for his actions, but for his negligence to keep Mary and the children a better-hidden secret. His love for Mary was not wrong, it couldn't be. The way that he felt when he was with her, his desire to worship and protect her fragile mortality could not be a sin. "Father, with all due respect to your authority and power, I believe that you have misjudged me and my intentions. I love her with my entire being, more than love than I have ever expressed to my kind. How can this be wrong?" Lucifer pleaded, staring up at his father. "You disobeyed me, that is why you are wrong. I have given all of my creations the power of free will, the chance to choose what is right over what is wrong. By disobeying me, you have dishonored me. I do not know how to punish you Lucifer. Stay away from Mary, away from the mortals, do not go back to earth my son." God said unable to look his son in the eyes. He strode from the room and Lucifer sank to his knees and began to cry.
Months had passed on earth; Lucifer was certain of that. In Heaven there was no sense of time, but Lucifer was attuned to Mary's life. He longed to lie with her as she slept, to see her smile up at him when she awoke. He missed her, the space in his chest throbbing with pain and longing. He stayed in the garden, sulking and glum, away from the other angels and away from his father. He could not stand to be around his brothers and their impassive behaviors, just continuously performing their duties as if nothing else mattered, no one else mattered. Lucifer had never felt as they did. It was the one thing that God damned his favorite son with. He allowed Lucifer the gift of emotion, the gift Lucifer saw as a curse. He could not control anything he felt anymore, his mind wandering with details of everything he had ever experienced with Mary and of earth. For the second time in his existence, Lucifer felt the jealous of the mortal kind; envious that they could express their love and affections to those around them and have the feelings returned. He jolted up feeling his anger throughout his being and ascended up.
Time passed, and passed, and passed, and the pain inside him wouldn't arrest to any of its usual vices. He had left a trail of destruction. So many women he had used, so many things he had destroyed in his anger. He had fled heaven and was living life a refugee on earth, spending half his time drunk on earthly substances, the other half wrapped in the arms of someone who would never satisfy him. Stumbling through a village, his mundane clothes all too warm for his vessel that was surely over heating at this point. He walked through the city, his mind still fresh with the thoughts of Mary and how he longed to be loved by her once more. Looking ahead Lucifer stopped abruptly, causing the person coming from behind him to bump his shoulders from behind. A disgruntled apology was thrown out as the passerby went around him. Lucifer's attention to the interaction was frayed. In front of him Mary stood, talking to a peddler and picking up fruit. Her kind face displaying her warm smile. She was beautiful. Lucifer wanted to call out her name, to run to her and never let her go. As he fought with his mind on how to react the scene became clearer to him. A man stood behind Mary, his arms placed lovingly at her sides. Her stomach was round, just as before, but this time it was not Lucifer's child. Mary was happy and pregnant, beautiful and radiant, and in love with another man. Lucifer choked back any words that he was about to call out, and a mutilated sound left his mouth as if he were voicing the pain that he felt in his soul. His knees buckled, and he began a slow descent to the ground only to feel arms around him and a great white light flash.
Mary looked up, feeling that someone was watching her, only to see an empty street and peddlers retreating carts heading home for the day.