An Unholy Redemption Chapter 17
Lucifer paced back and forth at the zoo’s entrance as he watched David talking to his friend from the brotherhood. Security guards were ushering people out of the exit doors as the zoo closed. In the distance Lucifer could hear the roar of the lion, which made him even more impatient. “Excuse me sir, if you don’t mind we are closing.” Lucifer turned to see one of the security guards directing him towards the exit gates, “Please, sir.”
“It’s okay Eric. He’s with us.” The zoo manager and David had joined them.
“Oh, okay sir. I think that’s everybody. I’ll make a final sweep of the grounds then
I’ll lock up.”
“After you’ve done that,” the zoo manager said, “bring the keys to me because I have to return later on.”
“Isn’t this a little unusual sir? We’ve never done this before. May I ask why?”
“You can, but I won’t answer. It’s a private matter between friends. I’ll return the keys to you later on tonight so you can open up in the morning.”
“Very good sir, as you wish. I’ll see you later tonight.”
“Goodbye Eric.” Lucifer was pleased to see the back of the interfering security guard. “I thought he’d never leave.”
“Luther, it’s a pleasure to see you again. I hope you enjoyed this ceremony the other night, although the food wasn’t up to much was it?” Lucifer just looked at the zoo manager with contempt. “Well, okay,” the zoo manager continued awkwardly, “David tells me that you want to spend some time with Samson.” Lucifer gave David a puzzled look.
“That’s the name of the lion whose cage you shared when I first saw you.” David reminded Lucifer,
“Oh right, can we go now?” Lucifer was looking over his shoulder towards the lion’s cage.
“Robert has agreed to leave you here for as long as you wish. He will wait over there in his office.
When you’ve finished, just knock on the door and he’ll let you in. He’ll then phone me so I know when to come and pick you up.”
“Fine, fine. I just want to go to the lion now!”
“Come on Luther I’ll take you to see Samson again ...” Before he had chance to finish what he was saying, Lucifer was running towards the lions. Lucifer could feel his heart beating faster as he got closer and closer to where the lion was resting. The anticipation of seeing the graceful beast again was almost too much for him to bear. It grew stronger as Samson let out a deep roar as he approached. It wasn’t long before Lucifer had climbed the safety fence and was crouching down in front of the lion’s cage, nose to nose with the noble beast. The lion was intently staring at him through the wide cage.
“Hello again.” Lucifer blew air into the lion’s nostrils, and the lion breathed it in. He then let out an almighty roar that moved the hair on Lucifer’s head and sent a shiver down his spine.
“Where is that damn zoo manager?” He put his fingers in the cage to stroke the fur of the beast. The lion looked over Lucifer’s shoulder cautiously watching the zoo keeper approaching. “At last, I thought you’d never get here.” Robert was very nervous at seeing Lucifer so close to the lion. “David told me and the brotherhood about how he first saw you in this cage. I must say some of us doubted the validity of his story, but now seeing you with Samson, it utterly inspires me. He is usually very bad-tempered and aggressive. It makes a change to see him so calm.” Robert had spoken too soon, as at that moment Samson pinned his ears back and threw himself growling at the cage.
“I don’t think he likes you,” Lucifer said with a smile as Robert got closer.
“Are you sure you want to go in there?”
“Yes, I am sure and once I’m in there. I think it would be best if you left as soon as possible.
Samson and I want privacy.”
“Okay, follow me.” Samson was angrily watching Robert’s every move. Clearly he did not appreciate Robert’s intrusion and wanted him to leave immediately.
“Here we are.” They both stopped at a large green padlocked iron door.
“Before you go in Luther, I just want to tell you that I am honoured to be in your presence, whether or not you’re the one the prophecy talks about.” Lucifer’s heart was nearly beating out of his chest as he waited for Robert to unbolt the door and let him in - he didn’t have time to listen to niceties. Robert unbolted the door and let Lucifer in, quickly closing the door behind him.
“Yes John, my dear, I’m in the kitchen.”
John opened the kitchen door to see his sister preparing some sandwiches. “I’m really looking forward to my television interview tomorrow night. This talk show is one of the world’s most watched. Soon God’s message will soon be beaming into millions of households.”
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
“Mary, do you still not believe in God’s word?”
“You know I do. There has been so much evidence to renew my faith in God, but it’s you I’m worrying about.” Mary handed him a plate of assorted sandwiches.
“Why do you worry about me?”
“It just seems like you’re being used and being told what to do rather than thinking for yourself. Imagine what would happen if tomorrow night you are asked to give some evidence of your special relationship with God and nothing happens. The whole world would think of you as a fraud – or worse a fool.”
“I thought you said you had a renewed faith.”
“I do, it’s just that I am so used to seeing you so vulnerable. I accept I have to let go of that over caring side of me.”
“Never! You must never lose that side of you. It’s what makes you so special and why I love you so much. More importantly that side of you is the very thing that is going to help Luther.”
“What do you mean John?”
John’s face suddenly went blank and emotionless; his eyes were fixed on one spot and his pupils dilated.
“John!” Mary cried out while shaking him. His head just rolled back and forth as she clumsily tried to find his pulse in his neck. To her surprise there was a perfect rhythmic beat and she could hear him breathing. It was like he was in a trance. She rushed into the corridor to phone for an ambulance, but as she was dialling the number John let out an enormous cry.
“Mary!” Dropping the phone receiver she rushed back into the kitchen to find John slumped on the table. His head was buried in his arms and he was sobbing.
“John, I’m here. Are you all right?”
“I am, Mary.” He lifted his head to look at his sister. Mary took a step back on hearing a strange voice that was not John’s. He now had a completely different face. His usual brown eyes had now turned blue and his facial skin was glowing with a golden aura lighting up like the sun. Terrified, Mary struggled to speak.
“It is all right Mary, don’t be afraid,” a deep resonating voice sounded from John’s lips.
“Who, who are you? What have you done with John?”
“He is fine, his soul has been temporarily taken over by me.”
“Taken over by who? What have you done with John?” Mary was now full of panic almost to the point of fainting.
“Mary!” The voice had now become authoritative. Mary looked deep into the blue eyes, and at once she began to feel serene and calm.
“Sit down Mary, I have something to tell you.”
“Who are you?”
“I am a messenger from God, my name or identity is of little importance to you.”
“Is this really happening?” She turned her head side to side, looking at the strange face that had imposed itself on her brother. It was like she was in a hypnotic trance herself.
“Yes Mary, it is really happening. Your brother has a very important message for mankind which he will reveal tomorrow night, a message sanctioned from the Most High, this message when revealed to all mankind will tell of a great event that will change the way man thinks forever.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Because you have a very important part to play in preparing the one for what is to come.”
“The one, who is that?”
“Mary, do you still not know what I’m talking about? Have you not felt love for the first time in your life over the last couple of days?”
Mary looked down to the floor trying to hide her embarrassment, then she looked back up with her eyes wide. “Yes, I know, Luther.”
“Yes, God has spoken to John before and told him to tell you that when you and Luther meet he might find love again.”
“Yes I remember. But Luther is very arrogant and I thought I couldn’t possibly help him. Who is Luther anyway, and why is he is so important?”
“Only I and the Most High know Luther’s true identity and hopefully soon he will too. Luther still has a great deal to learn. That is why God has sent me to instruct you what to do.”
“Instruct me? I thought I just had to meet up with him and he would remember.”
“It is not that simple. What is demanded of you takes great courage and faith, but remember this is bestowed upon you from the Most High with infinite love.”
“What is demanded of me?”
“First let me explain, Luther is lost and has been for thousands of years. His anguish, hate and envy have kept him from remembering and feeling love again. He cannot discover this for himself. He needs to be shown an example of love in its purest form. That example is you.”
“Me an example of love? I’m just a woman who hasn’t known a man yet.”
“Precisely, and that is what the Most High had planned for you. You needed to be untouched, pure and unsullied. Only then you could be a perfect example demonstrating that love for Luther.”
“And just how am I supposed to demonstrate this love?” Mary’s cheeks had now flushed a vibrant pink in anticipation of an answer.
“You must go now to meet Luther. You will find him at the zoo. There you will find the zoo manager in his office. He will let you in and tell you where Luther is.”
“What if he doesn’t let me in?”
“Trust me, he will.”
“What do I do when I meet up with Luther?”
“That, my child is up to you. A choice has to be made and all I can tell you is that you must search your heart for courage and faith. Look for that truth which has been buried since time begun. Then and only then will you know what to do. If you fail, all mankind will fail. The Most High and angels will weep at the end of time and the end of the human race.”
“If I fail? I don’t understand.”
“If your faith and courage fail you, we are all lost. Good luck, Mary. I am sure the trust the Most High has placed in you will not be unwarranted. Go and fulfil your destiny. We will pray for your life.”
“My life? What do you mean? Where are you going?”
The light around John’s face started to disappear; the blue colour was leaving his eyes returning them to their natural state.
“Wait!” Mary shouted but it was too late, the angel had disappeared. John began to cough as he regained his own consciousness.
“John are you all right?”
“I’m okay, can I have some water? My throat feels like sandpaper and my head is pounding.”
“Of course, wait there while I get you some.” She went to the kitchen sink and poured John a glass of water then rejoined him at the table.
“What?” Mary was staring at John’s face intently.
“Do you not know or remember what happened to you a few minutes ago?”
“What are you talking about? The last thing I remember was that we were talking about you helping Luther, then my mouth and throat went dry. That’s why I asked you for some water.”
“You stopped talking to me ten minutes ago when you were taken over by an angel. The angel told me I had to go and meet with Luther now.” John’s mouth fell open.
“Are you really telling me I was taken over by an angel?”
“Yes your eyes turned blue, you had a different voice and your face was shining like the sun.”
“Wow, that’s amazing. I feel so honoured to have been chosen and used in this way. Tell me, what did the angel say?”
“He told me that I should meet up with Luther now at the zoo and be an example of true love in its purest form. I have to find my faith and courage because the destiny of mankind shall be decided by my choice.”
“Did the angel tell you his name? Did he tell you anything else?”
“Stop all the questions. He didn’t tell me his name, but he did tell me that your message to mankind tomorrow night is of great significance.” Mary sat back as John leapt to his feet and started dancing around the kitchen like a child who had just received the best news ever. He leant forward and grabbed his sister by the hands and pulled her up to dance with him.
“John stop it, please. The angel said that he would pray for my life.” In an instant John stopped dancing around and looked deep into his sister’s eyes.
“What! Are you telling me the angel said you were going to die?”
“No, but any fool can guess if someone tells you that they will pray for your life, it suggests there is a chance you could die.”
“Mary, I more than anyone else, do not want that to happen. So if you decide not to go through with it, I understand”
“It’s not as simple as that. If I don’t go through with it, it won’t just be me that fails. The entire human race will fail. Anyway, the angel might have been metaphorically speaking about the salvation of my soul and not the death of my physical body.”
“That’s the spirit Mary. That’s what the world needs, more people with positive thinking. So what are you going to do?”
“Well I believe there’s a man waiting for me to show myself in my purest form, no matter what the cost. Now where’s my coat?”
Lucifer had sat face-to-face with the lion in the cage for ages. They were both intently looking at one another; the large golden eyes of the lion stared curiously at Lucifer. To Lucifer, it seemed as if the lion wanted him to talk about his problems and worries.
“I wish you could talk, Samson. Maybe you could tell me how to get out of this mess I have found myself in.” The lion lowered his head and rubbed it against Lucifer’s head. “My only desire is to return to angelic form and be myself again, Lucifer the Almighty.” Lucifer was momentarily confused because here in the presence of the lion he was able to say his name again. “It looks like you are the only one who is allowed to hear my true name.” The lion let out a little growl, acknowledging Lucifer’s statement, then he laid his massive body down flat on the straw. Lucifer noticed he was using his old black coat as a pillow. “I see you have kept it safe, my friend. I think I will rest here with you for a while.” He lay on his back and positioned his head on the stomach of the beast. He looked up at the darkening sky and shut his eyes. Mary arrived at the entrance of the zoo to find everything locked up for the evening. Maybe she had arrived at the wrong time? Or worse still, she was not meant to be there at all. Her faith was slipping again. Just as she was about to turn away, a voice sounded from behind.
“Can I help you, miss?” She turned back to see the zoo manager looking at her through the holes of the fence. “Yes I hope so. This is going to seem a very unusual request, but first tell me is Luther here?” The manager looked at her suspiciously.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Mary, David’s sister-in-law. I was told that Luther would be here.”
“Of course. I remember seeing your face briefly after the meeting the other evening. Please come in. What was your unusual request?”
“I have to meet up with Luther, wherever he is.”
“That might be a little bit difficult at present.”
“Why is that?”
“He is with Samson. Maybe you should wait with me until he is finished.”
“Samson, who is Samson?”
“Only the fiercest and biggest lion we have here.” Mary’s eyes widened with awe.
“And Luther is safe with him?”
“When I was walking away from them both, Luther had his arms around Samson in a warm embrace around his neck. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
“Do you think you could take me there? I would love to see such a sight.”
“No I don’t think −” The manager stopped in mid-sentence; his arms dropped by his side and his eyes went blank staring at nothing.
“Are you all right?” After a long silence, he spoke in a zombie-like voice.
“Here is the key to the lion’s cage. I will wait for your return in my office.”
Mary took the key from the manager. Shaking her head, she thought that after what had happened with her brother, anything was possible.
“You will find Samson’s cage in the big cat area. Follow that path until you get to the feline enclosure, Samson’s cage is the last one on the right.” He turned and walked off to his office closing the door behind him. The lights illuminating the path up as Mary began walking. It wasn’t long before she had reached the signpost for the big cat area. She held the key tightly in her hand and nervously began walking to the right. Back at the cage, Samson’s head shot up, his eyes wide with alertness, as she approached. He sprang to his feet, sending Lucifer sprawling across the floor in front of him. “What’s the matter with you?” Luther asked, anxiously.