Cassandra Freiborg


Father McKenzie sat in a dimly lit box on the inside of his cathedral. Stained glass windows cast eerie beams across the stone floor and alter. This was his home, his sanctuary, and had been since he could remember. 'Until recently,' he thought. The white collar felt tight and itchy around his throat. He breathed deeply, inhaling the incense that wafted through the tiny holes of the wretched mahogany box, seeping in from the alcoves. The bells in the towers above tolled out the time, nearly startling him. "Forgive me father for I have sinned." A man spoke calmly from beside him. Through the screen Father McKenzie could hear him shuffling his feet, fidgeting with his hands. It was as quiet as the catacombs that lay beneath the church. "This will be my first confession." The sinner said uncertainly. Father McKenzie bowed his head sadly. "What are your sins?" he asked tiredly. The man confessed quietly. Sins of the flesh, of the mind, all these wicked things he'd heard before. " I…killed a woman…" he said, barely a whisper.

You've been burning up for days. The voice payed no attention to the sinner, impatient as it was.

"Shut up." The father hissed under his breath. There was a silence on the other side of the screen, a fearful, uncertain silence. "Excuse me?" The man mumbled. "What shall I do now? I think I'm supposed to say a prayer, or something?"

You can't keep going on like this. You know that. Stop fighting with me. Accept that I am here and that you are just as damned as the rest of them.

A rage grew inside the Father. He crossed himself and folded his hands neatly back into his lap, fighting the voice, keeping it at bay. "Son, look to book beside you and say the Act of Contrition. Pray to God and tell him you are sorry for your sins. He will forgive you because he loves you, as he loves all his children. He will not forsake you." He emphasized.

Loves you? The thick voice snickered sadistically. The words licked like flame at his skull, bursting forth. One foul move in the face of God and you are damned! You and the ones you love. No petty words of regret will save you. Even I, his right hand man was cast forth, and for what? WHAT?!

Father McKenzie doubled over, clutching his head, his nails leaving small lines of blood in their wake. "It is God's will that I help them! Get out of my head! In the Name of the Father! The Son! And…" THE HOLY SPIRIT? The voice of midnight gave another chuckle. You really are pathetic, an old man who is just a tool to his own faith. You should believe, of that be sure. But you should not worship a God so unmerited. What has he done for you? Please, tell me, I'd like to know. The devil cooed.

"Nothing." The father shook and gasped. "He's done nothing for me."

The man sat quietly on the other side of the screen, listening. He dared not move and interrupt, though his instincts told him to flee at once. Perhaps find a priest who did not talk to himself inside a confessional. Surely he was a madman, not fit so save anyone's soul. He listened while the Father shook and jerked about, rattling the box. His gasps for air did not go unnoticed. The man was concerned, but not so much as to risk himself. Such was humanities greatest flaw. Fight or flight. The man tensed when all went silent suddenly.Come now Father McKenzie…let me take control. The priest's back straightened, and he stood. His skin felt like hellfire. He stepped into the cathedral, shutting the door behind him. "Father?" The man called uncertainly. You know they can't all be saved. Father McKenzie opened the door to see the man, sitting quietly on the bench, hymnal in hand. He gasped as he saw the priest, eyes red and crazed. "Amen." He let out a hideous cackle of victory. He felt his spirit slip slowly into the flesh, molding to the shape of a man once more. The flesh split twice down the shoulder blades, as the demon unfurled a set of bloody onyx wings. He flexed his muscles and turned his head towards the sinner who sat wide eyed, staring straight into the devil's gaze. "Be not afraid. Join me, and you shall never want for anything again, child." The man let out a whimper and crushed his eyelids closed, curling into a ball. Lucifer gave a sigh and with a wave of his hand the man was gone, replaced only by a pile of ashes.

The creature stood a moment in complete silence, inhaling the earthly fumes and orienting himself. His claw like fingers tore the white collar from his throat and he threw it amongst the pews. Where was she? He couldn't sense her anymore. Where was Jetsabel? Lucifer drew his gaze to the rose window, observing the garish light of day that filtered through in various colors. Jetsabel loved colors, if she weren't mortal, he would have called her a new line in the spectrum. He watched curiously as the light grew brighter and his eyes squinted in annoyance. The light grew blinding as the devil threw up a hand to cover his face. Suddenly the glass shattered into a million tiny slivers and splayed across the cold stone floor; pieces sliced Lucifer's shoulders like sharp, cutting snow. His lips drew back in a snarl, revealing new fangs as he released a predatory growl. Two white spears struck the ground near his feet, shattering the stone and sending a resounding cry off the walls. They glowed brightly and vibrated in the ground, echoing their holy song up into the steeple. Cursing the sound, Lucifer covered his ears and took a step back. "Seraphim." The word escaped his lips like a curse. The spears began to morph, twisting and jerking until what lay at the devil's feet were two forms. Their white robes folded outwards across the stone, their three sets of wings tucked neatly against their back. Their movements were synchronized as they turned their giant oval eyes to meet his; the Seraphim stood from their crouch languidly. "Ah, it's been a while Gabriel, Uriel." Lucifer gave his holy brethren a courteous nod. Gabriel tilted his head sideways, deep in thought. Ugh, he was disgusted by them. Every inch of them was ringing out in Heaven's light and song. Uriel was the first to breach the silence. "We know why you are here, Son of Morning, but you are too late." There was no triumph in his voice, merely sadness. Lucifer growled low in his throat. "What do you know of anything?! Go back and sit in God's lap. Do not stand there and say you know why I am here!" A fear was growing inside him, twisting his gut with a poisonous vine of doubt. "You took her… didn't you? You unholy bastards!" His voice flowed like red wine, smooth and bitter. "It is not within our power to discuss the will of God. We are merely his tools." Gabriel whispered. Oh Jetsabel… The longing burst forth and he shook violently. "We knew you'd come here. The man…" Gabriel gestured to the pile of ashes. "He was the answer you were looking for; your last link to her. And you've gone and sent him away in your impatience." The realization of all the events that had conspired to create this very moment came crashing down. "Let us give you peace." They said in holy unison. Lucifer gasped a "Never!" as the priest's body began to distort, the legs grew thicker, and the hair darker and longer as the Devil took on his second form. His massive wings unfurled and with a giant rush of air he sent himself flying towards the Seraphim, catching them off guard. Lucifer grasped Gabriel by the throat, tearing at the illusion of flesh. Gold seeped out of the wound and the angel gave him a look so full of sorrow that Lucifer released his grasp momentarily. In an instant the Seraphim were at each of his sides, clutching his arms with a grip of stone, holding him in place. "Michael!" They called up to the heavens.

Lucifer snapped and snarled, trying to break their grip. The brothers cast their eyes through the broken stained glass window and waited. The Devil tensed, and followed their gaze towards the sky. A new angelic spear hurtled towards the ground, surrounded by fire. It drew closer and closer and suddenly all was still and quiet. Lucifer heard only the chorus of angels as Michael, head of the Seraphim, aimed straight for the heart and hit his mark. Lucifer gasped and collapsed to the floor. The image of his mortal love danced in his vision, calling him forth into sweet oblivion.