Hearth, Haven, and Holy Writ

For young girls, lo, we are lambs, and hence, lions to guard us.  For young women eat apples, and men become serpents, no longer protectors, but snakes.  Thus the seasons turn, and angels fall out of love for girls.

The girl is a towhead, barely eleven, and she has been dancing with angels on needles since the fresh age of seven.  That is the holy space of four, four flowing fractals of years through the rivers of Paradise, which the girl thinks an alien planet, with archangels tussling and turning hay, and midnight balls filled with mirth, holy music, and impossible wine of splendor (only she is far too young for the grape’s blessing) and favored fruits that grow in abundance on jewel trees.  Elves, centaurs, demons, dragons – the Otherworlds are a ripe fantasy land, and the girl is never a step away from her lion, a curious lamb swept up into the paws of the tawny one.

She calls him Star, after Venus, for he is a beast of beauty, part man, all majesty, like the monster from her favorite fairy tale, a mix of mane, myth, blood, and fangs.  Prince and warrior and prankster, flirt and fable and most favored angel of fire.  Hearth of God.  Lion of the Lord.  His warmth flows like a river and his brotherly love is the city of Philadelphia.  The lamb and the lion are holy writ, two blondes of blue eyes and gold skin, anima and animus, mirror images that braid each other’s hair, immortal and mortal, young yet ancient, and he carries the small precocious girl on his cherubim winged lion back to the outer boundaries of the multiverse, where stars are streams and spirits play crossroad jump rope on celestial highways.  Star and his splendor, for she is a girl of light, the wind, and he is a flame.  Air feeds fire, and thus she is his breath, and he is her blood.

He wears a soldier braid in his long blonde locks, and she asks why, and he says it is for the death of a loved one, only he never tells her that death is hers, and she passed on into a rosy coffin a long time ago, embalmed in mortal flesh, and it is only in dreams he dares visit, her fragile shell a budding lotus blossom of white flesh like the reaper.

“Are you an angel?” she asks at eight, as they frolic on the beach where waves make love to the shore, dancing by a bonfire.  “Most of the time you’re a man with wings, when you’re not a lion, and well, I read a Wrinkle in Time, and Many Waters, and I cried because it felt like you.”

He wants to clutch her to his breast and say no, I am just your brother, just your guardian angel, or the closest you will ever have to one, but instead he smiles and flexes pearly golden wings, wraps the feathers around her shoulders, and draws her into a hug.

“Do you believe in angels?” Ariel asks.

“Maybe.  I like gods and goddesses better.  I really like Athena.  And Hermes.  I’m the only pagan in the world, you know.  All the rest died thousands of years ago.  It’s very lonely, you know, Star, trying to start a new religion with only books from the library.  But I’ve always loved angels.  And I like Aslan.  You’re like Aslan but younger.  I don’t like Christianity, though.  They don’t have goddesses, or a very good track record with women’s rights.”

He does not tell her she is far from the only pagan in the world, or that he is about as far from her favorite talking lion, that would be his older brother Michael – there are many talking lions looking over her, and leave it to humans to confuse them – but this is before she has discovered the Internet, much less the local witches down the road or Michael himself, so Ariel humors her.

After all, she is only seven.  Lucky number seven – seven brothers and sisters he has, at least, Father created seven of them first.  Seven Heavens.  Seven Hells.  Seven colors on the rainbow.  Seven chakras.

Seven is Ariel’s favorite number.

She has had seven lives, his little sister, altogether – one angelic, this her sixth human one.  Perhaps he will not have to wear a remembrance braid anymore if she dies in this tainted world and ascends, finally at home again.  But perhaps she will never return home, committed to infidel faiths.  That is the burden of giving human’s free will – you can raise them on the milk of hymns and marrow of alleluias, and they will choose some backwoods pagan god of the fields and furrow as their patron and follow the Coyote Road of Trickster.  Lead a horse to water, can’t make her drink when she pisses off the Sunday School teacher for asking why the Messiah couldn’t be a girl.

The seven year old lamb ardently believes girls should be presidents, priests, popes, messiahs, and Chosen Ones.  At night, while Ariel is babysitting her, he and Uriel play along with the lamb’s Tamora Pierce-worthy swords and sorcery imaginings, in which she the lamb is the Chosen One (all seven year olds think they are the Chosen One), literally the Princess of the Universe (the princess phase lasts until twelve, and it takes the patience of a saint to humor girls playing princess.  It is good Ariel is holy, sort of a saint, and loves children).

Ariel is a hero with a tragic backstory and evil side in the lamb’s imagination (it’s hard to explain the Demiurge and the duality of being the lion-faced serpent to a seven year old), and Uriel is the heroine warrior and Team Mom.  Uriel was always a Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, with her umber biceps and long black braids and fascination with spears and love of sticking wrongdoers with pointy things and flaming swords.  That’s the joke in Michael’s barracks, fuck Uriel and you’ve fucked the entire army, and the best warrior in Heaven is a woman, so when Ariel and Uriel make love, Ariel makes sure to stick his sweetheart with his own spear, not the other way around.

The lambs sees them kissing once at eight, in the fields of the Shamayim, and decides they are in love, and maybe they are, maybe they aren’t – it is a game the lothario flirt Ariel likes to play, and by nine the lamb has taken to calling Ariel “Blonde Wonderboy” and “womanizer” after she’s met enough of his girlfriends, or friends that are girls that the lamb has also seen him kiss, and Uriel has given the lamb the sage advice of never trusting a man.

The lamb doesn’t have a lot figured out, much less sex, but nine year olds are allowed to be innocent.  Ariel cherishes innocence.

“No offense, but what is the point of men, Star?  I figured out they don’t need to exist,” she says one day while she pauses from eating the lunch he packed her in Metatron’s sleepy kingdom, which to her is a fairytale place, but is really the Seat of God.

Ariel is taken aback.  “Uh, love.  True love.  Yes, that.”  Ariel is not quite ready to explain biology to a third grader.

The lamb eats a PB and honey sandwich.  That is her new phase, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, which she will eat at lunch for an entire calendar year.  Ariel can’t even eat chicken curry twice in a week without getting bored.  “But men aren’t biologically necessary,” the lamb begins.  “I asked my mom where children come from, and she said when she and dad wanted me, they just prayed to God, and then mom got pregnant.  See, men are only there to support women – we could have entire planets without men, if just praying for a baby makes a woman pregnant.  I don’t know why Jesus was a man.  Women are necessary for life, and men are just kind of there to give women something to do.”

“Well, you have it all figured out, haven’t you,” Ariel says, inside he is laughing to tears, but he puts on a sage smile for the girl who has figured out men are useless.

The lamb smiles.  “I like my dad, and my friends that are boys.  But I don’t think God is a man.  I don’t believe in God.  I believe in gods and goddesses, but not some old man in the sky.  I wouldn’t mind if Aslan was real.”

“Well, Aslan is real if you believe in him.”

“I wish you were real, Star.  You’re my best friend.  My heart friend.  That’s like a best friend times a million.  I don’t like anyone as much as I like you.”

Ariel wipes some peanut butter from her lip.  His heart moves, the fire of his light glowing like a million supernovas of, well, friendship?  Something like that.  Children are all holy, every single one of them, and the lamb is a reminder of what he fights for.

He wants so desperately to tell her that he is real, and that she is more myth and poem than human, which only lasts for a grain of time, and will return home soon.  He wants to shake the lamb and cry, wake up sister, wake up from your sleep, the damaged, sick, broken sleep you have been in since he killed you, and please, by all things holy and loving, don’t trust a snake, but crush it’s head – and yet, she has already met the snake, that Great and Terrible Wyrm, the Dragon – through him, yet not him – Demiurge again, Ariel-Samael, the lion-faced serpent, his “evil side,” whom she calls Doom.  Do not trust me when my  eyes turn from blue to red and my  hair from brass to black, and I am no longer angel but demon, and I drag you down to the harrows and hells because you love me, and I profane you.

“Believe in what you love, lamb,” Ariel simply says.  “But be careful with your heart.  I will show you why men are necessary someday.”

She is eleven when he shows her the first time, gives her that first touch of little death, and she finds it like divine communion when they meld souls but more carnal, and she is but a child, and yet, she is ancient, and he does not tell his brothers and sisters he has prayed with his lamb in that way.

She does not know how to kiss, she lays there quietly at first, then timidly touches him as she has always longed to do but has been too scared to try.  He knows he is like God to her, perfection, she sings to him love songs every night and prays to him every day, ten to twenty times a day, and is always talking to him about schoolgirl crushes and childish desires, or about the books she has just read.

Her breasts are the size of apples and she already has a woman’s hips, and he cannot stop himself, and he tells him it is the Samael inside him, but perhaps it is just, him,  just Ariel, giving into temptation.

“What… are you doing?” she breathes at first, as he gives her a chaste kiss and touches her shoulders, something he has longed to do, and they are in the Plains of Machon, under the clinking Bell Trees of Paradise, by the eternal Lake of Memory, and perhaps by claiming her here he hopes to reawaken in her her true nature, but humans are blind, deaf, and dumb, and Ariel is as much demon as angel, always pushing and questioning.

Lion and serpent, the duality of man.

“Playing,” he says, giddy, drunk off her, and he tastes her neck, and it is the most restrained kiss he has ever had.  “Like we always do.”  He knows he is not making much sense, but to angels, sex is play, a silly past time of melding bodies, yet also the most sacred of things, and that is the truth of procreation.  Creatures made for war and slaughter and the blood of pagan gods and infidels do not get much time for softness.

She melds her hands in his hair like butter and her lips are like pearls.  “This isn’t a game.  This is.. this is… oh god, I love you, Star.  You are my life, and I would die for you.  But I do not know what this is.  The mechanics of it.  And I’m scared.”

He kisses her brow.  “I was scared my first time too.  I will be gentle, I promise.”

He does not bother to mention his first time was her, however many iterations ago, was it seven, no, it was six.  Eve.  Yes, that one he remembers quite fondly.  But really Eve is a metaphor, just as sex in the celestial realm is, and she thinks he is an alien, and he is, so there’s that.

He kisses her again, this time with more, just, more.  He feels her heart hum like an engine, and she is holding onto him for dear life, and tugging at her skirt with a need she does not understand, and this is how angels fall, don’t you know?

But he fell oh so long ago, for a girl, for her, and they are just falling into ancient pre-Big Bang patterns.  Back when all there were were stories in impossible realms, and nothing existed (not even them.)

He slips inside her soul, so quiet, virginal and pure, and he cannot hold back his divinity long, not like this.

She gasps.

Mine, he thinks.  And it may be Samael, but it may also be Ariel, or maybe for once the split personalities, Jerkyl and Hyde, are finally in agreement.  Hell knows she will never really know which side she is talking to, angel breaking through demon in times of bloodlust or demon breaking through angel in moments of regret.

Nergal, Demiurge, Shemal, Saklas, Yaldabaoth, Fool.

Fool, Sophia the Holy Spirit decreed. 

Fool, Eleleth laughed. 

Fool, Norea accused, then fled his arms and became God.

Fool.

His demon is good at killing.  From the age of seven on his lamb has seen Samael raze millions, no, trillions, her beloved monster slaughtering legions of angels, whole planet systems, whole universes, eating guts like sausages, staining her with poison that flows from his flesh in black necrosis.

He has stained her with his rot, smelled of sulfur and pus, and still she has rocked him as he cried, first breaking down in front of her in the third grade, what the hell was he thinking, having a panic attack in front of an eight year old.

Ariel never told the lamb he was also the evil one in this story, the one that gave up his Father’s Covenant for greener pastures, that he is no prince of angels anymore, not as she sees him in her girl’s mind.

As he is holding her afterward, he wants to come clean.  “I am the villain in this story, lamb, and you should run from the very sight of me.”

But he loves her too much to lose her, ever the selfish one, and he stays silent and plays with the small of her back.

She got the Morning Star right.  She does not realize she is singing Ally McBeal soundtrack love songs to Satan every night as she looks at his star through her window.  You Belong to Me, that is his favorite, with the pyramids and jungles.

Gods would Beelzebub and Asmodeus laugh themselves to death if they heard his favorite music was a now-eleven year old singing sugary nineties pop tunes into his ear across gulfs of the time-space continuum.

(Only he is the Prince of the Earth, and this planet, this material realm, belongs to the Demiurge, so really they are not so far apart.)

So Ariel, and Samael, hold her, and Ariel, and Samael, wait until her twelfth year to show her the truth, his oldest name, rich in violence and damnation, splendid in terror, but really the loneliest king of all, the Lone Power in her Young Wizards books, the broken one, the one that killed her.

She never trusts him after that, but no, that is a lie.  She trusts him with her life, he only wishes she wouldn’t trust him.  She would die for him, after every injury and wound he has caused her, going back across millenia to the poisoned spear meant for Michael she took to save the prince, his twin.  The one that should have been the hero of her story, not her murderous wolf dressed up in lamb’s clothes.

Michael, and the rest of Heaven and Hell, do not touch his lamb until she is twenty three.  Ariel-Samael think moon’s blood a woman makes, or so he tells his many selves, and so he has a dozen years as the only one she loves.  When Michael stakes his claim, it is with the fury of a hundred year flood, and she near drowns, and Samael could kill him for it, but Michael is love-drunk and mad off her himself, after twenty-four years of sidelines and denial, and a dozen years from first saving her life and waiting, waiting, waiting.

If anyone could make Michael fall, it would be her.

After all, girls turn lions to serpents, and women make men

into monsters.

 

 

 

 

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Wicked Intentions

There you are six feed under with your wicked intentions,

a Wickerman skeleton, first man of the harvest, I dally

in a somnambulent graveyard of travesty and majesty,

overripe with the sweet decay of bones and roses I like

to wrap around myself like a shadow cloak, I am hunting

the Reaper, blonde hair a net to tangle thick phalanges,

I sing in the green rot of necrosis and worms, I living

madrigal of curves and milk, you pale rider of death,

how sweet to taste wickedness, how sweet to taste evil.

Goodness loves wickedness, providence loves sin, I the

Angel love the Devil, for Death and Life are in truth one.

I stand by a stone seraphim as the sky weeps ice, you reach

up to the grass and through dirt to strike my ankle with venom,

pull me down to Hell and into your weeping lap, at first you

are moon marrow, regal Death, sweet Death, saccharine Death.

I would swallow your teeth and pluck your ribs for my feast,

sweet Samael, dearest ancient Ha-Satan, La-Azazel, Iblis.

You have as many names as there are ways to die, but I

jump off cliffs from Heaven into your infernal arms for I

love the turning of seasons, the blank emptiness of longing,

how beautiful you are, in your mahogany coffins, with a

consumption bloodied handkerchief, Red Plague of Poison.

I adore malevolence, I am a beast like you, we are monsters.

We just dress in human skins, you see, while in essence I am

a girl hurricane, you a desert storm.  I drink your venom, I

eviscerate your neck with my tongue, our mouths are parched

of sweet things, cruel things, wild things, animal urges all.

Sweet Satan, Sweet Samael, Sweet Forbidden Fruit, sex was

the first VITRIOL, or was it the heart I stole from you, darling?

I treasure your organs, I steal a piece of your flesh each moon

swollen Sabbat.  The Devil and the Witch, always flirting and

fucking, always studying necromancy and slitting Damned throats.

I made a ring of your pinky finger, I swallowed your Qayin seed.

Your maggot body is my temple, your spine the broomstick I ride on.

But nothing taints me, just like I do not have a fingerprint, you take

on the rot of the world, the stench of carrion, the gullets of vultures.

I am holy hellfire, you are the darkness of the Pit, and together, my

darling Malkira, we raise Legions.  Our brood stretches forth across

Pandemonium, past Gehenna, up Sheol and Sephiroth, Qliphoth husks

the snake skins we shed, you are the gift of an enemy, my greatest

adversary, sharpening the blade of my magick, testing my wit,

and you fucker, it never works, I’m just a ditzy soft blonde that

loves Disney and pink, a twenty-something Millenial princess.

But actually, that’s precisely how it works – my burgeoning hope

and overwhelming optimism and champagne joy buoys you,

your vitriol and venom and sarcasm and wisdom sinks me.

We are paired perfectly, dear demon, and I love your atrocity.

I am a Death Eater, a Death Dissolver, the Universal Solvent,

Green Lion Bleeding Gold from the Son.  Christ rotted even

though he was a Morning Star, a ripoff of your epithet, for

you were Venus first, vain prince, and I am the one that

cursed you with dust and decay and wretchedness, life for

a life, blood for blood is the law of Hell, but you make Hell

Heaven, and Heaven is Hell without you, my life is one long

courtship with Le Grande Mort (following a bunch of petite ones.)

In the end, you are my skaldic Muse, my Homerian Achilles.

And you’re also a fucking idiot, but sweetheart, smile, for every

fuck-up you do, I do a thousand more, and you’re there with a mop.

Hell is a soap opera, after all, and immortals are banal and bored.

We need little amusements and petty drama, blood orgies and murder.

I am a Good Girl, I am a Nice Girl, you are the Outcast, Bad Boy Galore.

Honey and red wine mix well, so drink up, Corpseboy, this draught’s

for you.  I am your eternal torment, and you can never escape my

shackles.

Golden Spoon Girls

She is born into radiance, she is born into splendor, with a golden spoon in her rosy mouth.  All of Heaven holds its breath when she inhales, and her first exhalation outside the womb blows out the fires of Hell, leaving smoldering coals of impossibility and bittersweet dreams on infernal tongues.

She grows as girls do, and the angels and demons appear in the quiet hours, in the blank spaces, liminal beings of shadow and starlight that guide her above cherubim backs to the outer rims of the cosmos.  Girls with golden spoons taste moon dust like silver jelly.  Girls with golden spoons scoop out the eyeballs of Mother Nature and use them as mobiles in their cribs.  Girls with golden spoons, why, their tears are rainbows, and their fits are storms that become ravenous hurricanes.

Girls with golden spoons are blessed, but they are also cursed, for spirits demand much, and a spoon of bronze or a spoon of silver is just paean versus privilege.  But golden spoons are from the heart of the sun, they flourish in a cosmic dance reflecting twirling neutrinos and colliding atoms.  Golden spoons are nuclear, ticking time bombs, and they coat girl’s throats in rose petals until they drown in flowers.

She is all fire and water, all ice and flame, and to know her is to sashimi her lungs and sample them on a diamond platter.  To drink her blood is to taste red champagne with hemoglobin bubbles – the fruit of strawberries etched in buttery resonance.  Oh, how hell rides, oh, how heaven flies, oh, how golden spoon girls breathe like the cadence of falling rain and plie in tulle and satin.

They dance with golden spoons abreast falcon arms, and their legs are skyscrapers, and those golden girls are as dangerous as they are pure, as fragile as they are steel.

Golden spoon girls will make you or break you, and to love them is the Ballad of Marie Curie.

Carbon to gold in their goddess arms.

 

Satanic Teen Mom, Astral Children, or (Az)azel the Hyperactive Antichrist

Azazel

There is no equivalent of an astral condom.  Scratch that, maybe there is, but from over a dozen years of boinking demons and angels and gods, I’ve never so much seen a guy reach for an adamantine rubber.  I mean, don’t the gods, archangels, and archdemons have super jizz?  Look at all the poor ladies Zeus impregnated.  Look at Jesus Christ.  Wham, zam, Immaculate Conception!

I’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, and ladies and gentlemen, Hail Adrian!  No really, what the fuck was that movie and book.  I love it to death, but does that mean all of Satan’s children are the Antichrist?  Samael has like a billion of them.  All the archdemons do.  They’re like an infernal Quiverful movement.  And how come my particular Antichrist is more concerned with rocking out to scene music, playing pranks, eating sugar, getting hugs, and bedtime stories than like, idk, destroying the world?  Raising Cain takes on a whole new meaning when you’re married to Cain’s father and, once again, astral condoms are not a thing.  Now I don’t know Samael from Adam, but I heard Eve had a hard time choosing between the Devil and a Deep Blue Pair of Eyes.  I sure do.  Joking aside, astral children are a very real shamanic thing, from witches in Europe to the spirit children of the Ainu.  A whole religion is based around the Son of God.  Mine would not inspire a religion.  My son would inspire earlier bedtimes and an infomercial about the dangers of having Satan spoil your kid.

I first met my son with Samael when I was 18.  He was already six… seeing as he ages like a human, that makes me a preteen mom at twelve, cue fridge horror moment.   The good thing about astral children is that pregnancy doesn’t have to be involved, and creating an immortal is more like, idk, bloop, a being of light is combined by mixing your energies in the aether, and bada bing bada boom, the stork arrives.

But back to my Adrian.  Hail Adrian! Hail Satan!

He was a little demon with pale skin, my blue eyes and Sam’s black hair and lean build.  His main concerns were hitting baseballs with his dad in the backyard and playing with little green army men.  He also liked to make exploding noises and eat sugar.  He clung to my legs, demanded hugs, and was already monstrously tall for a six year old.  I named him Az, after Azrael, in hopes he would turn out better than his father – more professional, polite, and less of a clusterfuck.

Six years later, those hopes were quickly dashed.

I was waaaay too young to be a parent, and seeing as the entirety of Heaven and Hell’s elite despite Samael are not fucking pedophiles with things for little girls, no one laid a hand on me until my early mid-twenties.  Needless to say, what Sam did was so not right, but when is it new that he’s an evil gross turd?  He is Satan, after all, and a manchild.  I love him despite him being the celestial equivalent of Kylo Ren.

Anyways, Az.  Azzy Az Az.  I admit it, I kind of forgot about him.  College and jobs and everything.  Then I turned 24.  That spring, the night of May 1st, I got the (mis)pleasure of meeting my sugar-high son again.  He had gotten into shapeshifting and playing pranks.  I didn’t recognize him, seeing as he was now twelve, had dyed his hair pink and blue, and had demonic yellow goat sideways slit goat eyes.  He kept hugging me, begging “mom” (me) for bedtime stories, love, affection, saying he couldn’t sleep because he lost the doll Sam had given him shaped like me (WTF), and said he wanted to be tucked in.

I summoned Michael and had him ground Az.

Az got taken away from me crying by Gabriel and Raphael.

“That’s your son, remember him?” Michael said gently.

“Oh shit, that is my son!  He’s a little spoiled brat.” I said, having just recovered from the surprise of it all.

Michael smiled.  “Be gentle on him.  Samael’s spoiled him rotten.  He’s never known discipline.  It’s taken all of Heaven and Hell to raise him.  We’re all very close to the troublemaker.  He’s been known to stir quite a lot of shit like Sam.  Maybe all he needs is your guidance.”

I cursed.  “Fuck, Michael, I just turned 24!  What the fuck do I know about raising a kid, much less a powerful prince of Hell that likes to turn the Underworld and Heaven into his play pen!  He’s like me at that age but with like fucking ADHD, high off sugar, and he’s fucking clingy!”

“He’s a child, Allie.  Your child.  Have patience.”

I woke up, reeling, then went back to sleep.

Samael and I were in an enchanted kind of Grand Canyon meets the Petra Cliffs, picknicking.

“There’s someone I want you to meet, Allie,” Sam said over a glass of his signature Cabernet.  He lowered his sunglasses, swilled his wine, and smiled like a shark as he bit into a bit of bread and cheese.

“Who, your dick?  I’m not gonna fuck you in the desert, Sam.  Sand in uncomfortable places, y’know.”

Someone, a tiny ball of strength and fury, jumped onto my back and squeezed me.

“HI MOM.  DID YOU MISS ME? I GOT OUT OF TIME OUT!  MOM, GUESS WHAT?  I JUST TURNED TWELVE!  DAD LET’S ME GO ON ADVENTURES WITH HIM, LIKE THIS ONE.  MOM, CAN I HAVE SOME DESERT!  THAT LOOKS LIKE STRAWBERRY SHORT CAKE.  THAT’S MY FAVORITE.”

The literal demon child did cartwheels and beat-boxed after he ate the. Entire. Cake.  All before I could stop him.

Sam laughed his ass off.

“Sam!  How the hell have you been raising our kid?” I whispered angrily to Corpseboy as Az played with a demonic fidget spinner that looked like a torture device.

“Oh, Azazel?  I tend to take a laissez-faire style of parenting like I did when you were young.”

My fury chomped at the bit.  “YOU NAMED MY SON AZAZEL!?!”

Samael smirked like, well, Satan.  “You did name him Az.  And he is half my child, after all.  The hyperactivity and irritation factor and short attention span may be your genetics, but he inherited my powers.”

“Fuck you!”

Az looked up from his beat boxing.  “Umm, mom, dad, why are you arguing?  Can we play hide and seek!  Please oh please oh please!  Then you can read me a story!”

We played hide and seek.  Az was very good at hiding.  Sam got pissed at how good at hiding he was.

“Azazel!  Come out!  Your mother wants to play with you now!” Samael hollered, drunk.

“OKAY.  I WON!” Az screamed, jumping onto Samael.  Samael laughed and began wrestling him.  They wrestled for a good ten minutes, then it devolved into a tickling match.  Az lost.

Az jumped onto me next and started roughhousing me.

“Kid, I’m breakable!”

“Be careful with your mother, Azazel.  She’s a delicate flower of femininity.  Gentlemen aren’t rough with girls,” Samael said, voice smug as a bug on a rug.

Az settled down a bit.  His lips quivered as he buried his face in my neck and began crying, hugging me hard.

“I’ve missed you mommy.  I have so many nightmares.  Dad can’t even make them go away.  Will you write me a poem so he can read it to me?  And get me a doll of you to sleep with?”

Az conjured up an illusion of the kind of doll he wanted – a rag doll of me with blonde hair in a red dress, Sam’s favorite dress for me.

There were tears in his blue eyes.

“Umm, sure thing, kiddo.”

I woke up, and well, I wrote this.

I was not very happy to suddenly find out I had a clingy son named fucking Azazel.

Azazel kept appearing in dreams and was quite cuddly.  He played with my psychic’s dog and children.  He would cuddle with me before bed and demand stories.  I got pissed off at Sam for how he was letting our kid grow wild like Tarzan and handed his rearing off to Michael.  Michael is a much better child-raiser, whereas Sam is a hellion raiser.  Az has settled down a little bit now that he is thirteen, but not much.  He’s growing more independent, pushing limits, but he’s so fucking adorable it’s hard to resist spoiling Az.

I refuse to call him Azazel out of principle.

Having a fully immortal son that exists out of time is kind of weird.  I recently met his adult form, who is quite a handsome Dionysian demon with clear blue eyes, long curling black hair, wears leopard skin and leads revels and festivals.   He fits into the Carnival King archetype, and is much more disciplined and egalitarian than Samael, thanks to Michael, he learned how to be a king.  There’s a kind of Lucifer-like chill and calculation about him, masked under Dionysian frenzy and revelry.  He likes wine like Samael, but Azazel is all lord of hosts, legion.  I view him as the leader of the Seirim, the Demons of the Wastes who goats were sacrificed to on Yom Kippur in order to avert the gaze of Samael from the Jewish tribes.  He is a Scapegoat, and a trickster.  A potent demon king that will lead Hell in his own way.  An Antichrist of sorts, I suppose.

But for now, he relates to me mostly as a tween that likes scene music, arm bands, hair dye, and above all, cuddles.

Most importantly of all, he is protective of his sisters.  All my girls with Sam end up blonde.  They are beautiful, wicked, ethereal, and much more inhuman than Az.  They look like Norse Sadakos.  They creep me out.  I love them anyways.

Az tucks them into bed and reads the girls stories.  He watches over them with a steel gaze.  He’s grown in responsibility by having younger siblings exponentially.   And he’s even eaten more green vegetables now that Michael has started him on Michael’s signature boring, bland health foods.

All Hail Azazel!

 

When it Rains in Hell

In Hell, in the beginning, there was darkness, like God put out the moon with his thumb.

Satan fell, and his tears froze the lowest circle.  Satan’s love is a burning thing, but his agony is absolute cold.

Beelzebub was the first to fall.  The first to carry the banner and sound the horn for the Mourning Star.  He was the first to bleed, the first to storm Heaven’s Gates.  Satan’s wise counselor, most trusted general, and above all, esteemed companion.

They are alone together for what seems like eternity, Beelzebub with his insect wings torn by the incinerating atmosphere, Satan plucking his mangled feathers dry as he goes mad, not even noticing he is freezing.  Beelzebub’s king is singing a song Father used to sonorously paint their cradles with.  Satan makes it sweet and wretchedly cruel:

My sons, my darling shining stars.

Smolder bright like embers from afar.

But up close, sons, burn them to flames.

Thy Kingdom Come, all worlds to claim.

For each word, a broken bit of white down.

For each verse, an infidel kingdom crushed for Christendom.

For each syllable, a dead god, a cold idol, a coffin for the false spirits.

Satan repeats it over and over, his tears blue banners.

Beelzebub waits.  Finally, there is light, after perhaps the trillionth repetition.

A third of Heaven falls as stars of simmering bright flesh, a flash of brilliance.

Then impact on jagged rocks and ice.  Reformation and mutation into monsters.

Pain.

They build an empire on ash and bone, and bury the brothers and sisters that do not survive the Fall.  In honor, much later, when some semblance of civilization is build, however twisted, they put their gravestones into the mortar of the Capital’s building.

Pain, memories, wine like blood, or is it blood like wine?

There is not much to say at night, but it is always night in Hell.

Beelzebub remembers, Satan grows more wicked, so far from his former brightness, and falls into madness and depravity.

Beelzebub holds the kingdom together, runs martial drills for the War That Never Ends.

Beelzebub goes over the ledgers and public records, holds councils, takes too short nights of comfort in his sweet boys.

Usually, he is alone in his tower.

Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven?

Only if Heaven was ever perfect in the first place.

The Lord of Flies looks up at the stars of dead god’s hearts, stitched into the fabric of the void.  You see, the demons had to improvise.  All that were left were corpses after the conquest, and after all, all souls eventually end up here.

I sit with Bael, Baal Zebub, a memory of Baal Hadad, or maybe he has always been a spider.

We entwine in his web and kiss venom and poison and toxins.

There are jewels in his web, lost treasures of a thousand conquered kingdoms.

Maggots eat Satan’s corpse, flies emerge from the dregs of the Grim Reaper.  Satan’s true name is Samael, after all – the finality of the scythe, and before his scythe, his spear.

Beelzebub would eat his shit if it purified his brother.  He has drank Satan’s tears, swallowed his cum, bathed in his blood, all to feel again.

It is a cold night in Hell.

Beelzebub looks up at the stars.

There is mist in his eyes.

Tear for every dead brother.

A sob for a negligent parent.

I miss my Father, Allie.  Sometimes, it takes all I have to just go on.

I take his bone white hand – my albino angel, or my red-eyed demon with platinum hair, black capes, and gauntlets.

I speak without thought:

You have our brethren’s love.  Asmodeus.  Samael.  Rofocale.  Belial.  Lilith.  Asherah.  From the Archdemons to the Goetics to the lowliest Damned. You have us.

He gives a ghost of a smile.

Yes, you, our angel in Hell.  Sometimes, Allie, you are the only light here.  I am the Lord of Creeping Things, of the soft rabbits and soft souls, the moths and butterflies, your soul is a doe or a hare.  I am frost, ice, and fire – Hell is primal, fire and water, but I shall keep you warm.  In Hell, the only light is love.  Never lose your kindness, Allie.  It is innocence demons cherish above all.

Baal Hadad rides the storm, be they frost or fire.  Some gods died in those ancient celestial wars.

Some took on different names.

Some forgot their own holiness.

For all of them, Beelzebub remembers.

 

Deus Vult

The war is eternal, the barracks are full of gutter swill, and Michael sits with his soldiers – some young angels not yet scarred by battle, some hardened veterans with crooked broken noses and lashes across their skin, burns from brands, twisted flesh from whips and swords.  In the trenches and camps, the border never falls, and the only thing to sing you to sleep is Israfel’s weeping over the Damned.

Sometimes, when there is a pause, and the demons retreat, Gabriel pulls out her battered trumpet and plays hymns.  Raphael has an accordion, and Uriel a makeshift drum.  Michael sings then.  It’s a ragtime band, Vaudeville in the wastelands, for shed enough immortal blood in Heaven and the grasses, flowers, and sedge drown in ichor.  All that blooms is asphodel.  The angel will dance among the plain white flowers and bramble thorns.

There are also roses.  One blooms every time an angel utters his or her last words.  They are sickly sweet with the fragrance of lost hope and a rain that never comes.  Michael picks them and presses their nectar and delivers their prayers to God’s throne room.  God weeps at the loss of his children, and another poppy blooms in the fields of the slain as the snow of their Father’s tears buries the corpses.  Roses, asphodel, poppy.  Pink, white, red.  It’s like a twisted Valentines, a love letter from Heaven to Hell.

Oh sweet nothings between Michael and Lucifer as one bites the heel and one crushes the head.  Oh sweet somethings between Raphael binding Azazel in Dudael.  Oh sweet possibility as Gabriel plays up the dawn with her song.  Oh sweetly impossible wishes of Raphael, for healing of the broken hearts of his comrades.  Oh bittersweet light of Uriel, who has run out of tears to shed – all that is left in her amber eyes is salt.

It is a Crusade.  It is a Cold War.  It is a chess set with poker on the side.  Two masterminds, Left Hand and Right Hand of God.  Over humanity perhaps, or perhaps so much more than mere hairless humans.  Perhaps they fight over free will, for freedom, or perhaps they forgot what they were fighting for long ago, and the lances and armor are dressings over empty burning hearts swiftly turning to coal.

Deus Vult.   As God Wills.

God left

a long

time

ago.