Sunday 13 August 2023

Night of the Demon


Once there was a Demon Lord who had tired of Hell and all its ways; and being a Lord of the Nether Realms, he had the power to free himself to wander the earth

Where he saw war and famine and pestilence

He saw cities burn under mushroom clouds and men grow rich in the light of the flames

He saw death-robots fly and drop rockets on weddings halfway across the world

He saw a great city by night, with brightly lit shops and restaurants, yet the alleys were dark and deserted, and came down for a closer look

And in one of the alleys was a house, and the house was crumbling; and in it a room, and in the room a bed

And on the bed was a little girl, curled up and not crying

She was not crying because it was difficult enough finding the strength to breathe; and the demon saw she had been brutally treated and was clearly dying.

And the demon's mind was touched with compassion, so that he reached out to comfort and heal her,  when there was a flash of light;

And he looked up to find an angel covered in wings, and the angel said to him:

"Do not presume to heal this girl, I forbid you." And the demon furrowed his brow and said,

"She is suffering, and she is young and has her life ahead of her. Why should she suffer like this and die, when you could heal her at a touch, and so could I?"

And the angel said, "If she dies now, she will die innocent, but if she lives she will accumulate sins; so it is better that she dies now. And young death is beautiful."

And the demon looked at the angel, and so great was his wrath that the creature fluttered backwards. "So this is your Kingdom of Heaven," he said. "Suffering and death is what you love. And you call us evil!"

Then turning to the girl, he murmured, "I am forbidden to heal you. But I am not forbidden to do this." And he gathered the child up in his arms.

"What are you..." the angel shouted, but it was already speaking to the empty air. For the demon was gone, and with him the girl too.

Perhaps there is a world where he can heal her, and there they have gone.