Day 8: Introduction

My name is Ceris. I am over 200 years old, my brother is Death, my father is Lucifer, and my mother was called Persephone. I was accused of her murder when I was 70 and locked in a cage in the pits of Hell until I was finally released by my brother after my 180th birthday. He released me because he had renounced the throne of hell, and it must have a living heir. My father was furious. He had spent decades teaching Methalis how to rule, however Methalis wished to make something more of himself. So, when my father banished him in anger, thinking it would teach Methalis a lesson, he was shocked to find out that instead Methalis had joined the Reaper Core, and was now training to become the next Death.

As the only other heir my father finally had to recognise me. He made me the Gatekeeper of Hell, a lonely position on the very boarder of the kingdom. Little did he realise the power he had given me. As Gatekeeper I was charged with the protection of the lands, this gave me the chance to really look into my mothers death.

I soon discovered that a demon, named Lilith, had wormed her way into my father’s court. From her position there she had been whispering lies and tricks right into my father’s ear. She poisoned his mind, made him believe that Persephone was teaching Methalis all the duties of the Grecian goddess that she was descended from. He thought that my mother was trying to steal Methalis away for 6 months of the year, making him unfit to take Lucifer’s place and rule. His greatest fear was that Methalis would choose Persephone’s role instead of his own, but instead my father’s actions drove him further and further away until Methalis chose Death instead. Besides, my father was half right, she was teaching Methalis, but she was teaching me too.

So, he killed her, with Lilith’s help, and then he pinned the blame on his youngest child. As king no one dared question him, no one except my brother. I was locked away, alone and in the dark. There I fear that I went mad, for I saw creatures in the shadows and when I was free they followed me. They took on the shapes of dogs, red eyes and sharp teeth that glinted madly, they followed my every command. When I first met Cerberous at the gates I truly thought I had lost control, but then I found that he was the original hell-hound. Perhaps in my loneliness Hell had made me some friends? Through many trials I earned Cerberous’ trust and loyalty.

Now I stand with the hounds at my command, and all the powers of Hell behind me. My father does not have long left in this world, and once God has fallen I know that Lilith will seize her chance to try and claim the throne. That is when I will reveal myself. That is when I will finally become queen.

My brother is Death, my father is Lucifer, but I am the Devil. And Earth will bow at my command.

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Day 8: Introduction

Day 3: Fire

Hell was always warm. It was a fact. Just the way things were done. Demons compared it to human sayings like, ‘The sky is blue.’ or ‘Water is wet.’ One of those things that everyone notices but no one comments on. They only strange thing about Hell being warm was that there was no visible sign of how the heat was generated; no radiators or fires, no electricity or some kind of friction. In fact considering the damp stone walls that made up every room, and the deep cavernous depths that housed the condemned souls Hell should have been positively arctic (another human saying meaning very cold).

The only fire in the entirety of Hell was in Lucifer’s throne room. And boy, was it big. The fireplace itself took up the entirety of the wall on the right, there were two mantle pieces. The first one was at just the right height for Lucifer to rest his arm on it. In reality it was nothing more than a decorative shelf spanning the front of the fireplace, but no one pointed that out. He had placed a large clock in the centre and had put pictures of Persephone, his late wife, on one side and Methalis, his son on the other. Ceris, his daughter, was very carefully missing from every photo. During the festive season he decorated it with glittered twigs and stolen angel feathers.

The real mantle piece stood some 12 feet higher, only a little taller than the flames could reach. it was cared from a black marble with red veins, and had faces twisted in agony carved into it, matched with writhing bodies and demons with sharp implements and realistic flames. Lucifer liked to brag that this father had carved it himself, making it a family heirloom to passed through the generations of the rulers of Hell. However Ceris had found a receipt from a marble carver in Greece. The poor human had then checked himself into a hospital for the mentally ill and Ceris had decided it was best not to tell Lucifer, lest he get it into his head to visit the poor man.

Anyway, humans had once theorised that Hell was so warm because each level brought you closer to the centre of the Earth. They thought that the heat from the molten core rose straight through Hell, burning the souls of the damned as it passed. This was a very good theory, and indeed it was wonderfully dramatic. Methalis was very sure that should his father ever hear of this the next time he visited Hell would be lit by an eerie red light, have towering pillars of steam and random bursts of fire, all topped off with the smell of singed hair. It was, then, very understandable why Methalis and Ceris had gone to great lengths to ensure that Lucifer never even heard of the human called Dante, never mind had the opportunity to read his works.

The truth was that while Hell was very warm, it just so happened that it could get chilly too, especially when it’s half 3 in the morning and you get out of bed to go to the toilet. Simply because it is a universal rule that everywhere is cold at half 3 in the morning as by then the heating has turned off, as it does in every house. For while Hell was in it’s own special dimension and it served as a rather unique purpose to very naughty humans and their eternal souls, it was nothing more than a house. it just so happened to have a very large fireplace and a bad reputation.

Day 3: Fire

Jumbled Words.

A note: I’m writing this just as a train of thought. I had some bad news today. That’s what this is about, it might not make sense, it might make perfect sense. It might be exactly what you’re feeling right now, it might not be. But if you do take the time to read it, I hope it does something for you, even if it just wastes five minutes of your time.

In the end, there were no jumbled words. No tilting world or shifting view of perspective. No tears either, but they would come.

It’s always supposed to happen that bad news hits you like a train. You collapse, you sob, maybe you even punch something. Or maybe you’re stoic, firm shoulder and head held high, the only outward sign; a clenching fist.

In real life, there’s all sorts of actions and reactions. You smile, you cry, you wait until you get home and then your curl in a ball around the cat and stare at the TV for five hours. Movies never get it right because there are so many ways to say something with actions.

Bad news always comes with one thing. Words. A sympathetic voice, a hand on your shoulder, a ‘is there anyone we can call?’

Not this time.

The worst part is when you knew. The doctor is just confirming what your body has already known. That gut feeling when you open the door and the police are there, hat in hand. You answer the phone and you already know what they’re going to say.

There are so many signs in this world, many of them that we don’t even know we’re reading, from other people, from the universe itself.

Bad news is just jumbled words. And sometimes, you’ve already worked out the meaning.

Jumbled Words.