The screams of the tortured and the damned are a constant chorus to her ears. She never flinches at the sound, but rather relishes each aching cry as she sits upon the throne of bones I helped build for her centuries ago. She is my Queen, and I serve her unquestionably. Who am I? I am of no significance, for this story isn't about me. This story is about her. I am about to recount for you a tale that she refers to as "The Rise," a tale she recounted to me herself ages ago. Behold, all who would hear it, the centuries old tale of The Rise of Lucifer!
A Night On The Earthly Plane:
"You are absolutely glorious. Beauty incarnate! All the stars in the sky cannot compare to the light that radiates from your eyes." His words are silk to my wanting ears as we lay intertwined, skin on skin, in his bedchamber. I have spent the better part of my four weeks on the earthly plane in human form with this man, and, in these four weeks, he has won my heart. However, he knows not my true angelic form for I have kept it concealed at the instruction of the Lord. I was sent by the Lord, as were many of his angels, to Earth disguised in human form to appreciate and learn from and guide his latest creation: Man. And what a beautiful creation they are! In my arms, I hold a small piece of Heaven. He calls himself Nathaniel. And I have him call me Lucy.
"I cannot imagine my world without you, my dearest. Must you truly leave on the morrow?" Nathaniel's breath tickles my forehead as his soft words penetrate through my many thoughts, his hand still stroking my carmine colored hair.
"I must, my love." My words sound slightly strained even to my ears. "I was sent here to learn from you and guide you. I must report back to my instructor with all I have accomplished here. But I will return to you. Always. You are my heart."
"And you cannot tell me where you are going, who this instructor is, or when you will return to me?" Nathaniel asks, a desperation in the echoes of his voice.
"You know I cannot. But, when I return to you, my love, I will return with answers." This reply always seems to satisfy Nathaniel's curiosity, if only temporarily. And temporarily is all I need. In the morning, I will go. But, tonight, I am still his.
A Return to Heaven:
"Lucifer!" The voice of the Lord echoes through the vast expanses of the Heavenly realm, calling me to his presence.
"Yes, my Lord." I position myself before him in a humble stance and await his review of all I have witnessed and learned on the earthly plane.
The Lord instructs, "In your time on Earth, you have favored one man over all of my many creations, sharing his home and his bed. Tell me of this man and what you have learned."
"My Lord," I address him, "in my time on the earthly plane, I witnessed many of your magnificent creations, but none of them as truly magnificent as Man. They are resplendent, intelligent beings with an inner core light that we would term a soul. Their inner light is of a dimmer quality than the light residing in us angels, and they are not immortal. But they are very similar to us nonetheless. The man I favored calls himself Nathaniel, and I love him, my Lord. He has opened my heart to a different type of love, a love beyond the type of love I hold for my sibling angels. I long to be his companion in life, my Lord."
"You would have me cast you out, no longer an angel, but a human, to live at his side?" the Lord inquires.
"I would, my Lord. And when my time on Earth was through, my soul would pass from that realm back into your arms. In the end, I will always be your creation, but I wish to spend a lifetime with this human." I pause, briefly, to recollect my thoughts. The Lord, all knowing, already knows of my secret, I am sure. But I wish to voice my miracle for his ears nonetheless. "From my time spent with Nathaniel, we have created a life that is germinating in my womb. A miracle, my Lord. I would build a human life and a family with this man."
"My lovely Lucifer, creating life is always a miracle. But you have much to learn, my angel. And I fear this next lesson shall be a difficult one." The Lord steps closer to my side before continuing. "My creation of Man, as you have witnessed, is similar to my creation of angels. However, they are also different. While all of my angels are inherently good, not all of Man hold these same characteristics and values. A side of Man you did not witness in your brief time on the earthly plane is a darker side of man coated with corruption. Greed. Wrath. Deception. Lust. These are all dark traits some humans possess. What I have never revealed to my angels is that some of my human creations do not return to me when their bodies perish. I have placed an everlasting soul in every human. Yet, some souls become so corrupted and weighted down with dark traits that when the soul is released from the body, it cannot ascend to the Heavens, but rather sinks into a dark, desolate wasteland."
"I do not understand, my Lord." I reply, confused as to the lesson my instructor is laying out before me.
"I know, my Lucifer. But you shall." At this, the Lord moves in front of me and raises one hand to place upon my forehead. "I will show you."
When the Lord's hand contacts with my forehead, my eyes no longer view him standing before me. Instead, I am back on Earth in Nathaniel's bedchamber. Disoriented, I slowly take in my surroundings until my eyes settle on Nathaniel in his bed. Yet, Nathaniel is not alone. At his side is a beautiful raven haired woman. He has his arms wrapped around her, whispering in her ear and holding her as he had held me. I can hear his words, faintly flowing and full of seduction, as he tells her, "You are absolutely beautiful. I cannot imagine my life without you..."
A Return To The Earthly Plane:
I do not understand. I love Nathaniel, and he loves me. Who is this woman? I am his everything. And he is my heart. Yet, I feel as if my heart is cracking. I feel as if my pieces are crumbling. What is this terrible feeling?! And then the Lord removes his hand, pulling me back into my current surroundings before he again speaks.
"My lovely Lucifer, I know you do not understand, but what you have experienced is deceit. You ask me to cast you out to be with a man who does not love you as you love him. And he will not be waiting for you when you return. I cannot do that, my angel. But you and the child you have created are forever welcome here within the Heavenly realm, regardless that he shall be part human. I know this is a difficult lesson to learn, and I shall give you time to process this information. I love you, my angel. Do not view this as a loss, but as a lesson." And with those words, the Lord removes himself from my side, leaving me alone in the vast Heavens to ruminate on these thoughts.
And I still do not understand. Alone and confused, I can fathom nothing. A lesson? How can this be a lesson?! I love Nathaniel. No. I cannot accept it. I will not accept it. I will return to Nathaniel, as promised. I will reveal myself, my true self, to him, and his love for me will be revived. And with these thoughts, and a crumbling heart, I plunge from the Heavens to Earth, appearing in a flash of light within Nathaniel's bedchamber. My landing rattles the walls of the cabin, startling both Nathaniel and the raven haired women from the bed. When they spot me, I watch them clamor to the farthest reaches of the room, clinging to each other in fear.
"Nathaniel, my love!" I address him, "I have returned." I stand before them with my carmine hair cascading around my flowing golden robes, and my wings slightly spread, glistening with their inner light. "Tell me, dearest, who is this woman that shares your bed?"
I watch as a slow recognition spreads across Nathaniel's face, but I find no love radiating from his expression or his eyes. Rather, I see only fear and repulsion. "Lucy...?" Hearing my name from his lips spoken so questioningly and fearfully only furthers the cracks in my crumbling heart.
"Yes, my love." I take a step closer only to watch both Nathaniel and this woman shrink back farther in fear. "I have returned to you in my true form, with love in my heart and our child in my womb. I know this form is foreign to you, but our creator can change that. The Lord can make me human, and we can be together. But he doubts your love for me." I take another step closer, a slight pleading tone creeping into the edges of my voice. "If you would but prove your love to me by dismissing this woman and inviting me into your life, the Lord could cast me in human form and we could be a family."
"Lucy..." I hear Nathaniel whisper, the fear and repulsion still etched in his face, as his eyes keep moving from my face to my wings. "This cannot be..."
"It is, my love. And it can be." I take another step closer, longing only to touch him.
"No!" Nathaniel shouts, his outburst startling me. "Stay back! This cannot be! We cannot be together for I am to be wed to Cecilia." I watch him gaze upon the raven haired woman with adoration, before turning back to me. "She is my future."
I feel a catch in my throat and a moisture pooling in my eyes before it overflows, spilling over my cheeks. "But I am with your child," I hear myself say. "I love you, Nathaniel."
"I do not love you, Lucy." Nathaniel's words, cold and disgusted, are a dagger through my chest. "How could I love you? You aren't even human. Now, leave us to our life together and return to your own kind. We do not want you here."
My breath keeps catching as the moisture pours relentlessly from my eyes. What are these feelings?! I stare helplessly at Nathaniel and Cecilia, feeling broken and ashamed. My heart feels as if it has shattered. "You don't love me...." I hear myself repeating aloud, as if saying the words will relinquish some of the pain in my chest. In a response to my words and actions, Nathaniel only pulls Cecilia tighter in his arms.
I feel my world crumbling as I stand in Nathaniel's bedchamber. Something deeper and more vital than my own heart is breaking inside me. Yet, from the ruins, I can feel something new arising. A fire begins building in my chest, engulfing the pain, and replacing it with something darker. The moisture spilling from my eyes, tears I finally recognized them as, begin to slow. My entire body begins to shake. "How could he choose her over me?!" I think to myself. "How could her choose her over our child?!" Then a new emotion fills me, yet I can name it easily from my studies. Rage. It engulfs me as I watch Nathaniel and Cecilia cling to each other. And in the following moments, when the dark thoughts become overwhelming, I know my following actions will forever alter my fate.
I can feel the rage pooling in my chest and coursing through my body. It consumes me. I need to let it out. "No. No....no..." The words keep spilling from my lips, getting louder with each repeat. I watch as Nathaniel and Cecilia's fear turns into terror.
"Lucy. Stop this!" Nathaniel shouts, as Cecilia whimpers at his side. But it is too late. I can feel my skin rippling with heat. I am burning on the inside. And as my cries turn into screams that surpass the decibel capacity of the human ear, I watch as both Nathaniel and Cecilia sink to their knees, holding the sides of their heads as blood pours from their ears. Their cries only beckon my cries to increase in volume, and I relish in our shared agony as blood begins to pour from their eyes.
"LUCIFER! STOP THIS NOW!" The voice of the Lord is a loud echo in my mind. But he is also too late. I silence my screams and close the distance between myself and Nathaniel and Cecilia. Placing one hand on each of Nathaniel and Cecilia's heads, I sense their souls. And into their souls, I pour all of my rage. Their screams of pure agony do not phase me. I continue to pour all of my rage until the rippling heat from my skin can be seen behind their bloodied eyes. And I burn them alive, beginning with their souls, from the inside out until they are nothing but a pile of ashes on the floor, erasing them from existence.
Yet, still my rage pours! I cannot stop it. I pour it into everything around me, until the walls are engulfed in flames. And it is here, amidst the raging inferno, that I feel a pull on my wings, and the Lord's voice is again in my head asking, "Lucifer...What have you done??" I am then ripped through the burning roof of the cabin, through the skies, and through the very fabric of the earthly realm before being deposited in a broken heap in Heaven at the Lord's feet.
Crumpled at the Lord's feet, I do not even attempt to rise. I can hear other angels not far from the Lord's side, and I imagine what a horrific sight I must be to them, bloodstained and soot covered on the ground. But it hardly matters. As I lay there in a crumpled heap, I realize that I no longer rage. Yet, I don't feel any remorse or shame for my actions either. I feel no love or affection for those around me. I feel hollowed out. I feel nothing.
"Lucifer. Rise!" the Lord commands. I look up, wonderingly, into his raging eyes before deciding to pulling myself from the ground and stand before him.
"You have shamed me and enraged me, Lucifer." The Lord's voice is clipped, yet filled with both sadness and anger. "You deliberately disobeyed orders to conceal your angelic form from humans. You returned to the earthly plane without my consent. You disobeyed me. And, as if to further seal you fate, you have not only tortured and murdered, but you completely obliterated two of my creations from existence! Their souls are gone. Forever. How can I even begin to forgive this, Lucifer? Tell me, have you learned nothing from your actions?"
Standing before the Lord in my ruins, I reflect upon my actions. I replay the blood and the fire and the screams all in my head. And I still feel nothing. There is no remorse rooted in my soul. And in my hollowed out state, I address the Lord as such, "My Lord, both Nathaniel and Cecilia deserved their fate. I hold no remorse for such deception and betrayal. You created a flawed race of Man. I could not suffer such deceit to exist."
"Not all Man are deceitful, just as apparently not all of my angels are inherently good." I look into the Lord's eyes as these words leave his lips, and in them, I find a familiar rage. "I can hardly consider you an angel now, Lucifer, after your actions. You hold no remorse or love in your heart. You are changed. There is a darkness pooling within you."
At the Lord's words, I feel the beginnings of an already too familiar rage creeping under my skin. "You can hardly consider me an angel now?!" I spit the words back in the Lord's face. "This transformation is your fault. You sent me to Earth to learn from creatures you created! Well, I learned, my Lord. Your creation of Man is worthless! They did this to me. And, in turn, you did this to me! At your actions, I can hardly consider you my Lord!"
These words have no sooner left my lips than I feel a surge of power knock me from my feet and across the room. As I lay on the floor, the voice of the Lord, angry and resolute, fills my ears. "If I am no longer your Lord, Lucifer, then you are no longer my angel." I wonder at the Lord's meaning only momentarily before I feel my own wings start to burn. I lay on the floor, writhing and screaming in agony as my wings burn down to nothing but ash, searing the flesh where they were once attached to my back.
When my screams cease, the Lord again addresses me, rage still tinging his words, "You came to me with a request to be cast out, and cast you out I shall. If you wish to sin as the humans do, then you shall live among them. And, until you can learn to love my creations, respect my rule, and feel remorse for your transgressions, you are banned from the Heavenly realm."
At the Lord's final decree, I take a long look into his eyes, seeing the mixed rage and sorrow flowing across his face as he looks upon me. And then, I feel the sinking sensation as I am cast from the realm, gaining momentum as I plummet to the earth.
The fall seems never ending, and yet I do not fight it. Falling is rather easy, actually. However, when I finally make impact with the earth, it is not the earth I expect. And the impact itself is far more than I could have ever prepared myself for.
I've landed in a wasteland of ice and ash, creating a small crater with my impact. I fell much farther than I believe the Lord intended, for I have fallen into the wasteland he spoke of that contained the tainted souls. I'm sure of it. Around me, I watch dark, wraith-like creatures peer into the crater. In the distance, I can hear screams. The air is stagnant and smells of smoke.
When I go to lift myself from the crater, I realize some of my bones have broken on impact. I also realize the wraith-like creatures are assessing my weaknesses and viewing me as prey. As two of the monsters advance, I feel my rage revive and begin pooling beneath my skin. When they are within arms reach, I grab them both, sensing their tainted souls. And I burn them alive from the inside out.
Apparently, the Lord did not make me human. He took my wings, but he couldn't revoke the darkness that resides within. As I kneel within the crater over the ashes I have created, I feel myself becoming stronger. The souls I have destroyed give me strength. Three more wraiths advance, and I destroy them quicker than the first two. The rest of the wraiths keep their distance, lurking at the edges of the crater.
I have pulled enough strength from these creatures to lift myself from the ground. Yet, when fully risen to my feet, the full ramifications of the fall hit me hard as I feel my child's blood pouring from my womb, further staining my tattered robes red and pooling in the ice and ash at my feet. As the rage again engulfs me, my screams echo within the crater and reverberate far into this wasteland. I curse the Lord for every loss he has led me to suffer as the remaining wraiths approach slowly to lap at the aborted blood at my feet...
And so goes the tale of The Rise of Lucifer! I was one of those wraiths who witnessed her fall, and I was one of those wraiths that she allowed to consume her aborted blood. I am the only wraith she allowed to survive that day as she rose from the crater and proclaimed herself Queen. She made me her guide to this realm, and I have served at his side ever since. She relishes in the pain each tainted soul brings to her realm as they share in her never ending agony. And amidst the suffering and the fury in this damning realm, she is the Lord.