An Unholy Redemption Chapter 8
“Well, did you find that interesting? They are three very special people aren’t they?” Lucifer turned to see David had re-entered the room. “Interesting yes,” Lucifer said, “but tell me David, why do you see them as special?”
“Well, they have been very good to me. They took me under their wing and introduced me to quite a lot of influential people. The most exciting thing is the secret knowledge they have, which one day I hope to obtain.”
“And if you received this knowledge, whatever it is, what would you do with it?”
“I expect, depending on what that knowledge was, if it was the power to heal people, I would help as many people as possible.” Lucifer started laughing aloud at David’s angry face, which contorted at the thought of his good intentions being mocked. “You honestly believe that this so-called knowledge will bring you such a gift? Well, I have seen much deceitfulness and trickery. A long time ago, some men decided on a way to obtain money from susceptible individuals. To do this they would tell other people they had a secret, the biggest secret in the world. They further informed them that they too could be part of this secret, but it would cost them a great deal of money. Still not satisfied with the money they received from these gullible men, they told their initiates that the ‘secret’ could not be learnt straight away, but only in stages. Each stage cost you more money until finally you were too old to learn anymore. Then it was too late. Look at Jeremiah, at death’s door and he still doesn’t know the truth.”
“Why do you say such things? Our fraternity is built on charity towards one another and helping one another in times of need.”
“Have you received any of this charity?”
“No, but I know it’s there if I need it.” David looked more and more anxious at the thought of his fraternity being not entirely honest in its intentions. “Well, if you believe in such a philosophy, one that is preached but not practiced, it’s your life.”
“I don’t believe you,” David replied. “Anyway, you’ll see for yourself this evening. You are going, aren’t you? It’d be a shame if you didn’t. Many rich and influential people would give anything to have the invitation you have received.”
“Do you know David, I think I just might, even if it’s just to satisfy my amusement.” Ruth came back into the room from the kitchen. “Luther,” she said, “it’s not a laughing matter. David takes it very seriously.”
“I’m glad you both find this funny,” David said, “I’ll leave you to it and go and have a bath. Ruth, show Luther the spare room. He can rest before we leave this evening. Remember, us men have to leave at five o’clock sharp. Is my suit ready?” Before she had time to answer he was off upstairs towards the bathroom. “Yes sir,” Ruth retorted as she held a military salute for a while. “I heard that,” David’s voice sounded from upstairs. Ruth laughed, and turned to Lucifer. “Come on Luther, I’ll show you where you can rest. How is your head? David was telling me what had happened. It’s such a shame, the streets aren’t safe anywhere anymore.”
Lucifer followed Ruth up the stairs without answering. His mind was on the events of the evening and what was to come. Ruth led him into a bedroom. “Here we are. David won’t be long in the bathroom. I’ve put a suit for you on the bed there.” Lucifer looked to the bed to see a suit neatly ironed and laid out carefully. “I don’t know if it’s your size but it looks like it might do. I hope you don’t mind, it is second hand. It belongs to, well belonged to, my younger brother. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit him anymore due to his illness. He’s lost so much weight.” Her voice started to crack with emotion at the thought of her brother’s illness, leading Lucifer to muse about human nature and why humans get emotional so quickly over one another.
“By the way I spoke with my sister Mary. She’ll be very happy to accompany you as your guest this evening. She is a nice girl, a bit quiet though. You’ll be her first date.”
“Date? I don’t need or want a date. What a horrible thought.”
“I’m only teasing.” Ruth’s mood had now changed after putting the thought of John to the back of her mind. “However, you are the first man she has gone out with,” Ruth continued. “We think she’ll never get married and will die a virgin.” The sound of the phone ringing downstairs made Ruth excuse herself and she left, closing the bedroom door behind her. Lucifer sighed with relief and fell back on the bed. How much longer do I have to endure being around annoying humans? I want to kill them all. But becoming an angel again is more important. When I work my way out of this punishment, I shall make all their sufferings tenfold worse. He turned his head to look at the clock on the bedside cabinet: it was showing a little after three o’clock. Down the hallway, he could hear David whistling and splashing about in the bath. On the wall opposite he noticed a picture of Jesus, his face smiling and his head completely surrounded by a halo of light. Lucifer sat up and reached out for the picture, staring at the image in front of him. Why did my brother choose to allow himself to be used by the Most High? He did exactly what he was told to do, then in the end the people and even the Most High forsook him, allowing me to exert my power and have him tortured, eventually crucified on the cross. They call me the evil one, but what sort of parent would let that happen to their child?
The irony of his own situation made Lucifer contemplate here he was being punished for his sins. Yet he was now like Jesus, having to obey God’s commands, not out of love and want of saving the human race, but for his own pride and the want of becoming Lucifer the almighty again. “Bathroom’s free,” David’s voice was accompanied by a couple of knocks on Lucifer’s bedroom door. “Don’t be long, I’ve never been late for a meeting and I don’t intend to be tonight.” Putting the picture back on the wall, Lucifer gave it one more look then shook his head. Entering in the bathroom, he could still smell David’s aftershave as it hung floating in the steamy, humid room. He removed all his clothes and stood looking at himself in the mirror. What a vast difference to his former glory. Instead of towering at twenty feet, he stood in the frame of a six foot man. No wings, only a tattoo of an angel on his left arm to remind him of what he wanted to achieve. The weirdest thing of all was the appendage that hung between his legs. As an angel, he had no sex and gender wasn’t important. How peculiar he thought, as he relieved himself in the toilet. In the shower, the hot water beat down on his head. The wound had healed well, but had left a mark which he could feel as he ran his fingers through his hair. The muscles in his neck and back began to relax as the hot water took effect. “Are you nearly done, Luther?” David was outside banging on the door again. “You have about thirty minutes to get ready.”
“Okay, okay, I’m nearly done. You’re like a dog with a bone, you just won’t let go will you?”
Wrapping the towel around himself, Lucifer made his way back to the spare room, his feet leaving small wet footprints on the corridor carpet. He paused on the landing to hear a conversation downstairs. “Ruth, have you seen my little ritual book? It was on top of the microwave, the last time I saw it.”
“It had fallen down behind the microwave. I found it when I was tidying the kitchen earlier.”
“You didn’t read it did you?”
“Of course not, I wouldn’t dare. I know how much it means to you Bro Protector.” Lucifer heard her giggle. “You did. How could you?” David’s voice was high and outraged.
“Oh come on David, the words are much too complicated for my small mind. Words are blanked out anyway, so your secrets are still very safe.”
Lucifer returned to the bedroom to get dressed. When he arrived downstairs, he found David pacing across the kitchen floor. “We should have left five minutes ago.”
“Wow! Look at you handsome,” Ruth said. David turned to see. The suit was a perfect fit and Lucifer stood in the doorway, cleanly shaven and feeling very uncomfortable. He wasn’t used to people looking at and admiring him, he liked being feared. “David’s shoes fit as well, I see,” Ruth said and Lucifer looked down at his shiny shoes. “I guess so,” he replied, clicking his heels together. The black suit gave him a feeling of power and an air of mystery. “Well okay, now we’ve got all the niceties out of the way, we have to make a move. Come on Luther.” David said. He picked up his black case. “See you at seven thirty, darling. Have you remembered the raffle prizes?”
“Yes dear, they’re in the hall where they’ve been all day.”
“Right thanks honey, now is there anything else?”
“Just go!” Ruth shouted. “Your anxiety is making me feel quite drained. Go and enjoy your meeting.” She closed the kitchen door. As Lucifer followed David down the hallway, he felt a pain rush through his head. The pain was exactly the same as the one he’d felt after saving Angela at the orphanage, only this time it felt like the pain would burst his heart. “Are you all right?” David asked. “I don’t know, I feel strange.” Lucifer turned to face the kitchen. There was now another voice talking with Ruth behind the closed door, a soft delicate feminine voice. This voice sounded like a voice he had heard a long time ago and he somehow recognised it, but what of the pain it was causing him?
“Who’s in the kitchen with Ruth?”
“Oh, sounds like Mary, she’s arrived early. Come on, we have to go, you can meet her later. I can’t be late. Anyway the fresh air might make you feel better.” Lucifer was glad to be led out the door into the open, because the further he went from the house, the more the pain subsided. To his relief, as they drove off down the road the pain completely went
“Are you all right Mary?” Ruth had noticed a strange look on Mary’s face as she sat at the kitchen table. “I don’t know, I feel quite peculiar, not in a bad way, more of an excited tingling feeling. It only came on as I walked into your kitchen.” Mary’s face was now slightly blushing as she experienced feelings that had laid dormant deep inside her until now. “Perhaps you are getting excited about this evening? Your first official date.”
“It’s not a date Ruth. I’m only doing this because I know how important it is for David. Besides I don’t even know this man. What’s his name?”
“Luther. He’s a very handsome man and there is this air about him, I can’t explain it, a sort of authority. It’s like he can see right into your soul. If I wasn’t with David, his feet wouldn’t touch the ground.” It was now Ruth’s turn to blush.
“Well you will just have to see for yourself tonight, won’t you? Mary, how is John?”
“Not too good. I was in two minds whether to phone you and cancel tonight, then John persuaded me to go. He said that a voice in his head had told him that I had to go tonight and if I loved him, I would do it for him.”
“Is he still hearing those voices in his head?”
“Yes, they are getting more frequent. He tells me that they say, ‘Don’t worry, everything is going to be okay’, and God is watching over him and soon there will be no more suffering.”
“Do you think it’s the medication he’s on now?”
“Maybe, but they do say that when someone is close to death, they are more aware and know and hear things more than others.” Mary’s eyes began to fill with tears. “I feel it would be better now if the Lord would take him soon and remove his suffering. Is that cruel?” She gave a sorrowful, inquisitive look to her big sister.
“Not at all darling, not at all. God knows what is best for John now. His fate is in the angels’ hands.” They embraced and cried as the clock on the wall behind them slowly ticked.
The car rocked back and forth as David tried to avoid the holes along the small country lane. In the distance, Lucifer could see the old mansion that Sister Sophie had mentioned. Next to the house was a car park with Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Porsches all lined up in a neat row. At the doorway there was a crowd of men excitedly watching their approaching car. To Lucifer, David looked very proud indeed. “I feel like an exhibit from a freak show with all of them watching me.”
“You certainly are not a freak tonight. You are our honoured guest. Look, there’s Daniel.” Daniel was standing in the doorway with his black book open, his pen rapidly moving from side to side as he recorded events as they unravelled. “Here we go, this is my parking place.”
David slowly pulled up his car in a space which hosted a plaque stating “Bro Protector”.
“We’ve arrived thirty minutes early,” David said. “That will give me enough time to get ready.” David was looking at his watch and reaching for his black case on the back seat of the car. “Come on Luther, I’ll try to take you through this rabble to meet Jeremiah. He should be inside.” The sea of black suits parted as men either side of Lucifer stood aside to let him through. Some of the men had inquisitive looks, others looked arrogant and suspicious, whilst yet others looked at Lucifer in an almost wistful way. Slightly annoyed at all of the attention he was getting, Lucifer wished he had his sword. The wooden doorway was about twelve feet in height. Above its archway there was a symbol embedded in the stone: a triangle that had a lion’s head at the top of the triangle, an eagle at the bottom left and a bull’s head at the bottom right. Within its centre stood a naked man pointing to the sun.“What does that mean?” Lucifer pointed to the symbol. “That will be explained later in the ceremony. Oh, look over there.” David pointed to a man who looked very pale and worried. “He’s the brother who is becoming the new master tonight. He has no clue of what is going to happen to him.” David seemed to be feeling for the man’s despair, after all David himself would soon be meeting the same fate of becoming the man of the east and head of the organisation. Lucifer heard one man joke with the candidate, asking him if he had clean underwear on, which worried him even more. “Glad you could make it.” They both turned around to see Daniel smiling, his book now closed and under his arm. “Don’t you think you should be getting ready David?”
“Damn yes,” he replied taking a quick glance at his watch again. “Don’t worry, I’ll escort Luther from here.” Lucifer saw that even though this man was small and quiet, he still commanded a great deal of authority. “Thank you, Daniel. See you later, Luther.” David rushed off into another room and shut the door behind him. Daniel turned to Lucifer. “Jeremiah is so pleased that you have turned up. You have reignited an old man’s dreams and hopes.”
“I don’t see why, I’m not what he is expecting …”
“It’s just I don’t believe in hopes and dreams.” Lucifer refrained from telling Daniel that he was the total opposite of what Jeremiah was expecting. Hardly someone who would save and heal the entire world; he wanted to deceive and destroy the world at its weakest. They both stopped at an inner doorway and through the cloudy glass panels Lucifer could see the flickering of candlelight. “Are you ready to see something you will never forget?” Daniel asked. “Behind these doors there is a beautiful sight which people have seen thousands of years before, and in the beginning they only opened these doors to worthy men alone. Are you worthy Luther?”
“I suppose we will soon find out, won’t we?” Lucifer remarked as Daniel turned the door handle. Back at the house, Mary and Ruth were getting ready. “The blue or red one, what do you think Ruth?” Mary was standing in front of the bedroom mirror holding each dress up in front of her. “What do you think Luther will like?”
“That’s a first,” Ruth said.
“You asking what someone else will think. You are usually so single-minded and do what you want.”
“Don’t be silly. I just want to look good, seeing it’s such an important night.”
“Well I know blue is usually your favourite colour. Why not try something different and go for the red one?” Ruth pushed her lips together while applying lipstick. “I don’t know if I dare.”
“Stop being such a prude Mary. For once in your life, live a little.” Ruth had now left the bathroom and grabbed the blue dress from Mary and put it back in the wardrobe. The phone rang. Ruth put her dressing gown on to go downstairs to answer the telephone. Mary held the red dress up to her chin in front of her and held out her leg to see how the dress hung. “Mary, Mary!” Ruth was calling from downstairs. “It’s John’s nurse, she says John wants to talk to you urgently.” In a panic, Mary threw the dress on the bed and ran downstairs in her underwear. “Hello, what’s wrong?”