After establishing an unspoken agreement of friendly relations with Lucifer, Skylar finally felt obliged to walk home with a spring in her step. Somehow, in a lifetime of questions, things finally did turn out okay.
The final rays of sunlight faded away as twilight journeyed to nighttime. Walking back from school did not take her much time, but she intentionally took the longer route. Walking was one of the few forms of exercise she had and she enjoyed the route. It led her through a small park, where children and their parents or nannies were in the hurried process of taking them home. The park was almost abandoned now, but she was unafraid.
My angels will always watch over me.
"That's a rash assumption you're making there"
Skylar stopped dead in her tracks, suddenly enough to make her trip a little. The voice behind her emitted a faint chuckle. She slowly turned around to see an irritatingly handsome boy walking towards her. More ostentatious than his appearance was his aura, that shone brightly enough to make her temporarily shield her eyes.
"That's right- be amazed. Obviously, I am the most handsome man you have ever encountered."
Skylar pursed her lips together in what she hoped was a terse expression. By the obvious effort that he was exerting to not laugh, she gathered that her expression was not very convincing.
"So, you can't talk, huh? Nope, not buying it. I saw you practically cooing my brother's name in delight that night. Speaking of which, what are you doing here all alone. Didn't brother dearest offer to walk you home? Of course he didn't- he's a bit of an idiot around girls. It's a small wonder he could actually talk to Eve. Yep, I'm talking about the one who likes apples. But I'm going off topic here… " He frowned for a few seconds and then finally, his eyes lit up with remembrance.
"Aha! What in the world do you think you are doing wandering alone, young lady?" His handsome features contorted into a stern expression.
Skylar, who had stood there quietly for a few minutes, listening to the angel talk on and on, shrugged slowly in reply.
He sighed and mumbled, "Still not talking, eh? Hardly fair-after all, I am better looking than Lucifer. Oh, well" he groaned and reached forth to clasp her hand in his own and almost drag her homewards.
She stood there for a second, shocked. Thankfully, the angel caught on pretty quickly and introduced himself.
"I'm Gabriel, awesome elder brother to Lucifer and official in-charge of prophets and important human beings in general .Obviously, it's more formal than that, but human beings are stupid, so I simplified –or as I like to say, idiot proofed it. Now come along, I've better things to do and you're not pretty enough to be in my company. "
Before she could fix him with another terse expression, he was walking with her, loosely grasping her hand constantly. With slight effort, Skylar suppressed her mildly violent thoughts about the insufferable angel walking with her and arranged her thoughts to the best of her effort.
'What brings you here, Gabriel?'
The angel puffed his cheeks and blew out a thin stream of air before him, which reminded Skylar to bring out her sweaters from the bottom of her sparse closet. Winter had come quickly this year.
"I came to warn you. Obviously, my brother did not tell you the dangers of being associated with a notorious angel like him. Of course not; well, did I tell you my brother was an idiot around girls?"
'Yes, but I'm not really a moron. I understood that something sinister was underway when arch-angels randomly started appearing in my relatively quaint town. Hell, I knew something was strange when I figured out that nobody heard angels in their head'
"Well, at least you are not as deranged as I believe you to be. However, I don't think you know anything of the dangers that will befall you once you choose to support my brother. That is, if you choose to support him at all.
'And if I do not? ' She queried quietly, her face a neutral mask.
Gabriel's hold on her hand softened, "A smart choice, indeed. One would have to worry about self-preservation at first, before rushing off like idiots into matters that do not concern them. I am glad you didn't seek to support him. He can learn to fend for himself..."
I never said that I will not support Lucifer. I asked whether it would make any difference if I didn't.
Gabriel sighed, "You human beings and your innuendos. To answer your question truthfully, no it wouldn't. Honestly, you'd just die anyways with a terrible weight upon your conscience."
"But" he continued, slightly eager to change the subject, "If you wander alone at midnight, there are many hostile forces that will not resist their bloodthirsty urges and prey on you. If you are supposed to be of any use in the war, we'd need you alive"
'There shall be a war?'
"Lucifer has returned from hell. Surely you know that this will irk the people who sent him there in the first place."
'You mean to say..."
"Yes, my father shall be most displeased when he receives the news"
'But isn't your father God? Wouldn't he know already?'
"My father was not the being he once was. If he were all- knowing as he used to be, he would have flooded the planet a thousand years ago. He has retreated into the deepest recesses of heaven, seeking truths unknown to himself. The world he created now befuddles him. He has lost focus and resolve to lead. We knew he was forever lost to us when he cast Lucifer away from him."
'What happened' Skylar had heard stories of Genesis and the creation of the world, but they were all different and hardly convincing.
Gabriel smiled a little and continued, "Well, then. Here is how the true story of Genesis took place."
"In the beginning, there was naught but space. Vast spaces of nothingness that surrounded a small atom. The atom broke free and from it emerged God. He was a being of immense power, which he sought to use to alleviate his loneliness. He created the light, the darkness, the universe and its galaxies. He created Heaven and the Earth and realized that it held his fancy more than the others. So he created vast seas and mighty mountains and bestowed the blessings of Nature on the planet. Then he created the four of us – Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Lucifer- the arch-angels.
"Then, choosing to create something entirely different, he created the first of mankind –Adam and Eve. They were allowed to live in the Garden of Eden, a tiny but breathlessly beautiful part of the planet Earth. They stayed there happily for many ages."
"One of the little known facets of their stay in Eden was that Lucifer was greatly attached to Eve. She was a wonderful woman – extremely intelligent and aware of the surroundings. They would talk for ages, and sometimes Adam would join in these conversations as he couldn't understand what they found so interesting. Lucifer was one of the main reasons for her intelligence – he answered every single question that she asked him. He loved her dearly and would do anything for her."
"One day, when they observed the tree that bore the Forbidden fruit, Eve wondered what would happen if she took a bite of the fruit. Lucifer did not know, and fearing his father's wrath, he tried to convince her not to think of it. But her incessant pleading got the better of him and he took the form of a snake – his preferred form- climbed the tree and brought here a ripe fruit."
"Once the fruit was in her hand, she couldn't resist it and so she took a bite from it. Immediately her eyes opened and the flood of new emotions and sensations overpowered her. She fainted. After a while, Adam came about and ate the fruit, after which he too fainted. Lucifer waited and tended to them for a long time. He was almost going to mourn her loss when she finally came about."
"She sat up immediately and eyed him with a mixture of malice and fear. She cursed and blamed him for harming her and Adam. He tried to console her, but she cursed him again for looking upon her bare self. She took the leaves of a nearby tree and tried to cover herself and cowered from him. We had to be content with watching the events unfold, because our father had given us strict instructions not to interfere. So we watched as Eve spewed venomous words at him, cursing him distastefully for not being like her- for having wings, while he quietly listened. Adam woke up around that time and quickly covered himself. He tried to harm Lucifer, but he defended himself and Adam was defeated. Eve wailed at the sight of his defeat and bade Lucifer to leave. He quietly turned his back and walked away. Adam regained his senses and tried to incapacitate Lucifer in a cowardly attack behind his back. God averted it and cursed the humans to fend for themselves while Lucifer went into hiding"
Later, Lucifer returned with blood thirst in his eyes, demanding the immediate destruction of human beings. God refused, and Lucifer fought him alone, while we fought with our father. He was quickly overpowered and Father cast him away, preventing him from returning home ever again. Lucifer fell to the Earth, becoming the first fallen angel. His anger and grief created massive floods and storms. It destroyed living beings completely, except for Noah and his family"
'Lucifer caused the great flood?"
"Yes, and Father knew of it, so he chose Noah and asked him to build an ark which prevented him, his family and the chosen species of animals from extinction. Meanwhile, Lucifer's unspent malice buried itself deep in the Earth and brought forth Hell. Unfortunately, his own malice wound itself around him and dragged him to the deepest recesses of its fiery depths. It is where he has remained since that day. Sometimes, he would send parts of his consciousness above his prison, sensing the surroundings, learning new things and becoming increasingly aware of his surroundings. But he could not feel, so the only emotion he remembered when he returned from the planet was his hate for humanity. However, since he is bound to you, he mellowed down considerably, adjusting to your quiet nature and agreed to not destroy humanity."
"Losing Lucifer was one of the last straws for Father. He was already disintegrating when he sent away Adam and Eve. After the loss of Lucifer, he disintegrated into several parts, which became deities. The deities were initially united; however they slowly drifted apart, influenced by man's ideologies."
Skylar interrupted with a small gasp, 'So in a way, all the deities ever invented by mankind – the Greek gods, Norse gods, Hindu gods, Native American Gods, African gods and whatnot…all are real'
"Yep, but even they are somewhat detached…since they are all the same being, with different characteristics. The sons of God – like us angels, or their demi-gods, sub-deities, etc...They run the planet. Now since we aren't really united, we tend to fight and conveniently leave human affairs with human beings. So that's how mass crime began."
'Its amazing as to how this knowledge can bring about world peace.'
Gabriel took in a deep breath and said, "Lucifer's return might be enough to cause the next apocalypse. Everyone who has something to prove will fight. That means, everyone will fight, and most probably very few will take our side. Thus, until I receive news upon the current state of 'heavenly politics', I expect you to remain safe and keep your head low."
They had reached near the gate of Skylar's home. Her parents had probably gone out. Only the light in the living room was lit. She dug into her bag to find her keys. She fished them out after a little fumbling and opened the door. Gabriel turned to leave, but she, after a little hesitation, tried to speak again.
He turned, with another irritating smile on his face, "Apparently your speaking talent extends only up to name – calling."
She raised her eyebrows and then slowly touched his shoulder. It was her preferred way of communication and she did not want that snarky angel to make fun of her communication skills or lack thereof.
'I have a doubt.'
Gabriel rolled his eyes, but said, "Fire away, milady"
'If Lucifer is not the Devil, then what is?'
Gabriel's eyes softened, "An excellent question, but it needs rephrasing. The Devil is not a person – it is a feeling called justice."
"Yes. Lucifer's malice created Hell, but then it preyed on a lot of human beings- the same which drowned in The Great Deluge. But, since most people, who had been good, simple people, were not as favored as Noah, they went to Hell. Due to the punishment of innocence, Hell became more of a grudging purveyor of justice. Hell repels goodness, which is why the legend goes that bad people are sent to Hell. Your deeds in life are weighed, and if your scale deepens towards the dark end, you are sent to Hell, otherwise you are set free."
'What happens to the ones who are set free?'
"They set out on a search to find Paradise."
"Not where, but what. Paradise is a state of being – a place where you can be at your happiest."
Gabriel came closer, took her hand and observed her eyes for a moment. Then he said, "You have wonderful eyes, Miss Brookstein- green and gold is a colour rarely seen. It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul – your eyes have immeasurable calm in them. Calm is a valuable trait. Try not to lose it."
Then he turned around and walked away, not once looking back.
Skylar closed the door and went inside. It had been a long day. She needed time to muse over her recently acquired knowledge. However, one thing was and would always be a constant.
'The angels will always watch over me'
Lucifer sat near a recently felled tree in a forest towards the outskirts of Aurora. Silent forests were good, simply because they were silent. His mind was focused on one recurring thought.
"What purpose do I have? What should I do now?"
"I would suggest you return to where you came from." A silent voice spoke from behind a tree.
Lucifer tried to look at the source of the disturbance but couldn't. This immediately confirmed who that voice belong to. He froze, and waited for the voice to continue.
"Surprised? I suppose not. Surely, you expected me to welcome you back. After all, you are a very special guest.
Lucifer slowly spoke, "Please, you are confused. Try to think rationally. What you believe is wrong."
"Silence, you impertinent fool." The voice whispered. "How dare you set foot in my realm. How dare you try to destroy what I have created?"
Lucifer tried to speak, but the voice drew unbearably close. It said, "There is a war coming, on winter solstice –the time when your power, fictitious as it may be, is strongest. You have a few months. See who will stand by a creature as pathetic as you and then we will proceed."
The presence drew away, and Lucifer took a shaky breath. It spoke one last time, "Farewell, child. I sincerely hope our last meeting proves fatal to you…Wait!" it barked a short laugh "I don't have to hope when I know. After all, I am all-knowing.
Lucifer sat alone in the forest shivering and shaken, as the last remnants of his broken Father faded away into dark silence.
Note- the Great Deluge is one of the many names for the flood that destroyed humanity (except for Noah and co.)
Secondly, the views and theories expressed on Genesis are completely fictitious. I'm agnostic and a strong believer in science, with a deep interest in mythology. So, keep your opinions to yourself. And if reading this disturbs you, tell yourself what a uncultured human being you are and read something that better suits your tastes.