An Unholy Redemption Chapter 9
“Did you enjoy that?” Lucifer’s head went forward as David’s hand slapped hard on his back.
“It was, how shall we say, interesting.” Lucifer gave him a look. Embarrassed, David removed his hand from Lucifer’s shoulder and tried to lighten the atmosphere. “Well, I suppose we had better go and find our ladies, they should be in the bar. Knowing Ruth, she’ll have drunk it dry by now. I can’t wait for you to see Mary, she’s a cracker, you know.” David winked and nudged his elbow into Lucifer’s stomach, which was met by a
lifting of Lucifer’s eyebrow. “Where’s the toilet, David?”
“Up there on the left. I’ll go and find them. Meet us in the bar.” Lucifer sat on the toilet fully clothed. He bent forward and put his hands over his face. What am I doing here? Someone such as me, lord of all dark angels, sitting in a toilet with no direction in my life, no idea of how to return to myself, Lucifer in all his glory, and continue my timeless battle with the Most High. His thoughts were interrupted by a knock to the closed toilet door.
“Are you going to be long?”
“I am finished when I am finished,” Lucifer growled. “Now go away.”
“Charming, I must say.” The stranger’s voice faded into the distance. David joined Ruth and Mary in the bar and ordered some drinks. Half an hour passed and an anxious David looked at his watch “What is keeping him?”
“Maybe he’s nervous about meeting Mary?”
“Ruth, you’re awful. Please stop teasing me.”
“I’ll go and find him.” David put his drink down.
“No David, let Mary go and find him. It will be fun to see if she can find him without knowing what he looks like.”
“Ruth, stop teasing your sister.”
“No, it’s okay David. I need to go to the toilet anyway. I’ll see if I can find him. If nothing else it’ll get me away from my sister’s infernal teasing. Where was he last?”
“He wanted to go to the toilet, the one at the end of the corridor, on the left.”
“Thanks, see you soon.”
“Remember, his name’s Luther,” Ruth shouted at Mary, as she made her way out of the bar. Mary didn’t bother to acknowledge her.
The corridor seemed to last forever as Mary made her way through the men in their black suits and the other women heading to the nearest toilet to powder their noses. Lucifer’s head shot up and his eyes widened as that same feeling he felt at David’s house prior to the meeting started gnawing at his chest. His heart was now beating faster and faster. Outside in the corridor, Mary got closer to the lavatory door. She stopped her advance as that same excited feeling made its way around her body. “Are you all right?” One of the suited men with a yellow stained beard from too many cigarettes, peered at the flush on Mary’s face, as she stood, hand on chest. “Yes, I’m fine, thank you. Just a lot of people in a small space makes me nervous. Have you seen Luther? He’s the new man.”
“No, I haven’t. Everybody’s talking about him, you know. They say he has great power and that his appearance is the sign we’ve been looking for.”
“Really? I think I’d better find him if he’s that special. I was told he was heading for the lavatory.”
“I haven’t seen anyone going in, because I’m waiting myself. All I know is that there’s a really obnoxious man in there. He told me to go away. I doubt that’s Luther. Try the reception area or outside, he might have wanted to get some air.”
“Okay, thank you. I’ll try reception first.” Inside the toilet, Lucifer’s heart was now at bursting point, pushing the blood at maximum speed through every vein and vessel in his body as Mary walked past the closed door towards the reception area. The rush of blood to Lucifer’s head made him feel light-headed. As he stood, he almost fainted. Falling back he took hold of the sink and steadied himself. It will pass, he thought. As Mary became more distant, it did pass, and he slowly returned to his normal demeanour. Another knock sounded on the door while Lucifer was straightening his tie in the mirror, then Lucifer angrily swung open the toilet door “Yes! You knocked,” Lucifer grunted in anger looking at the interfering man, “Oh, it’s you Luther,” the man replied pulling his head away from the door, startled at the sudden opening of the door, “I was just wondering how much longer you’re going to be.”
“I’ve finished now.”
“Yes, thank you, may I?” Lucifer stood aside to let him pass.
“By the way, there was a fine lady looking for you. I told her you might be at reception or outside.”
“What was her name?”
“I don’t know. I tell you, she was very fine, with a quiet and very calm demeanour.”
“Well, the fine lady can come and find me in the bar. I’m not waiting for her.”
Back in the bar, David and Ruth were talking. “I don’t believe it, where can they be? It’s been over forty minutes.” David was again studying his watch intently.
“Relax, I’m sure they’re both fine. Maybe they’ve gone for a kiss somewhere.”
“You really are terrible Ruth. I want them both to enjoy themselves.”
“Pour me another glass of wine, dear.” Ruth was aware that David was about to stand on his soapbox about the brotherhood. “You might want to think about slowing down a bit this evening, it is only just starting and -” David’s objections were silence by a perfectly timed kiss from his wife. It lasted for about three seconds until David broke it off in embarrassment.
“Not in front of everybody my love, people are watching.” David glanced over at a few of the older men facing their way. “At last, here he is.” David was relieved that Lucifer had entered the room and had captured everybody’s attention. “Luther please come and have a drink. Did Mary manage to find you? We sent her to look for you.”
“No, but I was told someone was looking for me.”
“Good evening Luther, you still look very handsome.” Lucifer felt Ruth’s eyes looking him up and down again, “So what’s your poison?” Lucifer gave her a puzzled look and she rephrased her question: “What do you want to drink? The brethren have put five hundred pounds behind the bar tonight.”
“I think I’ll have water or maybe coffee.”
“You are joking right? This is a bar. It sells alcoholic drinks not coffee or water.”
“What’s an alcoholic drink?” David looked surprised at Lucifer’s question. “You mean to say you’ve never had alcohol?”
“No I haven’t!”
“Well, they have beer, wine, or spirits.” Lucifer looked around to see what everybody else was drinking. James was at the end of the bar and lifted his glass of whisky to sarcastically salute Lucifer.
“I’ll have what James is drinking, but fill my glass to the top, not halfway like his.”
“Are you sure Luther? Whisky is very strong you know.”
“Just get me the drink, David. Anything he can drink I can drink a lot more of.”
“Okay, on your head be it.”
“It certainly will be in the morning,” Ruth laughed. David passed the drink to Lucifer and he grabbed it and downed it in one. “Get me another one!”
Lucifer snapped angrily as his eyes fixed on James smiling at him. He could feel James’ contempt towards him. If only I was Lucifer standing here with all my power, I would have great pleasure in making your death a very slow and painful one. It wasn’t long before the effects of the whisky took hold, making his body relax and sending numbness into his head.
“This is great; does it always make you feel like this?”
“Yes, it does,” David said. “It makes some people feel relaxed, confident and powerful, while others feel aggressive or depressed. It depends on what state of mind you are in before you start drinking. I’d advise you to slow down though because you’ll wake up in the morning with -”
“Never mind that dear,” Ruth had put her hand on David’s chest, interrupting him. “I’m sure Luther doesn’t want to know about the morning, he should be enjoying the evening. Anyway, shouldn’t you be checking if our dinner places are ready and set up correctly?”
“You’re right, darling. I’ll be back soon. Will you please look after him.”
“Oh, I will my dear, I certainly will,” she said looking Lucifer up and down and ignoring her husband. Mary had made her way outside into the moonlit gardens where people had gathered, drinking cocktails and eating hors d’oeuvres under a floodlit canopy. She made her way through the crowds, stopping occasionally to ask them if they had seen Luther. When her enquiries were exhausted, she decided to walk away from the crowds and go into the surrounding darkness. Finding her way in the darkness, she headed towards a bench at the end of the garden. Sitting down, she looked up at the moon which hung in the sky comforted by a darkness like a dark veiled blanket. She contemplated her lonely life which centred on caring for John whom she loved dearly. Maybe, she thought, God had created a situation where there was no man in her life so she could dedicate it to caring for John. She sighed as she pondered on the thought of a life without a man and any form of love in her life; she had resigned herself to a life devoted to John and his welfare. The moonlight sparkled on a tear as it crawled out from the corner of her eye and rolled down her cheek. Come on, pull yourself together Mary, you’re a grown woman. She decided to give herself ten minutes to regain her composure and then she would make her way back to the bar. Back in the bar, Lucifer stared out the window of the bar at the full moon.
“Are you all right?” Ruth asked.
“Don’t you think the full moon is spellbinding?” Luther said in a drunken voice “It sort of captures your mind and holds you in its awe.”
“Yes, very nice,” Ruth replied, uninterested, “don’t you think there are other things to look at and admire?” She was now pushing her breasts out to maximum effect, waiting for Lucifer to turn round. “I used to fly above the moon quite a lot you know. I used to fly as close to the sun as much as it would let me.” He carried on looking out at the moon; his eyes could not be drawn away. “I give up!” Ruth said, angry that her womanly charms were not succeeding. “I think you’ve had enough to drink? Especially now you’re talking about flying. If you love the moon so much, why don’t you go outside and talk to it? I’m sure it’ll want to listen.”
“I will. At least it won’t try to undress me with its eyes.”
“Please yourself, you have half an hour before we eat, don’t be late.” Feeling spurned and rejected she turned her back on Lucifer and walked off to a group of three men talking at the bar, holding her out her glass to them to get her another drink. Lucifer glanced a drunken sneer at the people in the bar as he pushed past them and made his way to the exit, stopping only to pick up a bottle of wine from one of the tables. Outside, the cool evening breeze made its way across his face, making his drunken head feel dizzier. Clumsily, he made his way down the steps into the garden. Men were whispering in their wives’ ears and pointing at him as he walked past. “Good evening.” He raised his glass to them, causing their faces to light up with pride because their special guest had acknowledged them. Fools, he thought. Beyond the floodlit area, he walked into the darkness. He stopped in the middle of the garden and lifted his head skywards once again to look at the moon. His memories, fuelled by the effects of the alcohol, rushed through his mind: memories of the great battle, his red army against Michael’s blue angelic opposition, when swords came together in a timeless battle of wills. Although he hated Michael, he paradoxically missed him. In angelic form, when fighting Michael, Lucifer felt he belonged and had a purpose. But now he did not have the ability to fight for anything. His powers were gone and his will was being slowly taken away from him. In an instant, he regained control of his thoughts. No, you might have taken my powers, my wings and sword, but I won’t let you take my will away. I still defy you, the Most High, and by this dim light of the moon, I swear that I will be seeing you again with Michael at my feet. He held his glass aloft to salute the moon and affirm his vow.
Sitting on the bench at the end of the garden, Mary’s mind went back to John’s words, “You have to look for the light”. She watched a small light moving from side to side in the moonlight. Was this the sign was John talking about? A tingle went down her spine and filled her whole being as she stood and made her way to the light, ever aware that the strange feeling she had experienced in the corridor earlier was returning. As she got closer, the same feelings were now rising in Lucifer, but this time slightly dulled by alcohol. Mary’s heart was racing as she realised that the connection she was feeling was now associated was with this stranger in front of her. Could this be Luther? Her whole body was aching with anticipation as she approached the dark silhouette standing with his back to her and the moonlight reflecting off the wine glass. Finding the courage to open her mouth, she put on her finest voice.
“Hello, is that you Luther? It’s me Mary, Ruth’s sister.” Lucifer stood for a while, still looking at the moon and not saying a word.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Mary tried again. “I always wonder at it is spellbinding nature, quite magical.” Lucifer finally slurred, “Magical yes because I am of a magical nature and recognise its true nature, but beautiful I am not.” He turned around to see Mary standing in front of him looking coy. Her face and arms were pale in the moonlight. In the dim light he could make out her soft round face and perfectly formed lips harnessing a beautiful smile while her long dark hair gently moved from side to side in the gentle breeze. As their eyes finally met, the feeling inside Lucifer started to intensify.
“I need another drink,” he grunted. Mary’s smile dropped in disbelief as Lucifer turned his back on her and began walking back to the building and the bar. “Charming I must say. Don’t they have manners where you come from? Aren’t you going to introduce yourself?” she shouted, but Lucifer didn’t even offer the faintest hint of a response.
“So much for John’s vision of a light,” she muttered to herself. “More like a torch whose battery died a long time ago.” At the entrance of the door, a man was calling everybody to order and requesting that they made their way to the dining room where dinner was to be served. Lucifer had already walked past the announcer and made his way back to the bar.
“Thank you,” Mary said to the man holding the dining-room door open. She briefly waited before entering in hope that Lucifer would follow her, but he didn’t appear. Lucifer barged his way to the bar. “Get me another whisky,” he said. The barman looked annoyed at Lucifer’s rudeness and abruptly placed the glass on the bar. Before his back was turned Lucifer had emptied it. “Another one, in fact, keep them coming.” Inside the dining room, an embarrassed David was looking around at disapproving faces. Jeremiah gave a slight nod of his head in the direction of the door. David rushed out the door in search of Luther. He found him in the bar.
“What are you playing at? Everybody in there is waiting for you.” Panic set in as David realised that Lucifer was now very drunk. “This alcohol is a marvellous invention,” Lucifer slurred. “It helps you to forget things and helps eliminate any feelings inside. Tell me if you drink more and more, will it help you to forget altogether?”
“It’s only a temporary thing and you’re going to feel like hell in the morning,” David snapped.
“Now please Luther, I implore you, can we now go and dine?”
“Okay, okay, I’m coming, lead the way.” Lucifer got up from his stool and steadied himself. David nervously opened the door to the dining room and beckoned Lucifer. The light from the chandeliers and the wall-mounted lights blinded Lucifer for a moment. All around him everybody was applauding as he and David made their way to their seats. Occasionally David had to support Lucifer with his hand on his back so he could get to the table safely. They finally reached their seats, much to David’s relief. The clapping ceased as a wooden gavel sounded on one of the tables.
“Brethren,” Daniel said, “let us pray.” Lucifer let out a small giggle like a naughty schoolboy.
“To the light which is from above, we would like to give thanks for everything we have received and the blessings bestowed upon us. Amen.”
Everyone sat down. Lucifer looked at the table in front of him, which was round and covered with a white cloth. There were wine glasses in front of every seat, alternately adorned with blue and red serviettes neatly folded inside. A red candle was alight in the centre of the table, the flame dancing side to side.
“Luther, this is Mary,” David said.