Authors: Glen Duncan
Tags: #Psychological, #Demoniac possession, #Psychological fiction, #London (England), #Screenwriters, #General, #Literary, #Devil, #Christian, #Fiction, #Religious
Also by Glen Duncan
For Kim, with love
I, Lucifer, Fallen Angel, Prince of Darkness, Bringer of
Light, Ruler of Hell, Lord of the Flies, Father of Lies,
Apostate Supreme, Tempter of Mankind, Old Serpent,
Prince of This World, Seducer, Accuser, Tormentor,
Blasphemer, and without doubt Best Fuck in the Seen and
Unseen Universe (ask Eve, that minx) have decided - oo-lala! - to tell all.
All? Some. I'm toying with that for a title: Some. Got a
post-millennial modesty to it, don't you think? Some. My
side of the story. The funk. The jive. The boogie. The rock
and roll. (I invented rock and roll. You wouldn't believe the
things I've invented. Anal sex, obviously. Smoking.
Astrology. Money ... Let's save time: Everything in the
world that distracts you from thinking about God.
Which ... pretty much ... is everything in the world, isn't
Now. Your million questions. All, in the end, the same
question: What's it like being me? What, for heaven's sake, is
it like being me?
In a nutshell, which, thanks to me, is the way you like it
in these hurrying and fragmented times, it's hard. For a start,
I'm in pain the whole time. Something considerably more
diverting than lumbago or irritable bowel: there's a constant
burning agony, all over, so to speak (that's quite bad) punctuated by irregular bursts of incandescent or meta-agony, as if
my entire being is hosting its own private Armageddon
(that's really very bad). These nukes, these ... supernovae
catch me unawares. The work I've botched, the ones that've got away - honestly: it really would be shameful, had I not
done the sensible thing (you know it makes sense) and
become utterly inured to shame about a thousand billion
Then there's the rage. You probably think you know
rage: the trodden-on chilblains, the hammered thumb, the
facetious boss, the wife and best mate soixantc-neufd on the
conjugal divan, the queue. You probably think you've seen
red. Take it from me, you haven't. You haven't seen pink. I,
on the other hand ... Well. Pure scarlet. Carmine. Burgundy.
Vermillion. Magenta. Oxblood, on particularly bad days.
And who, you may ask, is to blame for that? Didn't I
choose my fate? Wasn't everything hunky-dory in Heaven
before I ... upset the Old Man with that rebellion stunt?
(Here's something for you. It might come as a shock. God
looks like an old man with a long white beard. You think
I'm kidding. You'll wish I was kidding. He looks like a foultempered Father Christmas.) Yes, I chose. And oh how we've
never heard the end of it.
Until now. Now there's a new deal on the table.
Certainly you may snort. I did. As if it was ever, ever going
to be as simple as that. He knocks me out, He does, with His
little whims. With His little whines and His ... well, one
hesitates, naturally, to use the word ... His naivety. (You'll
have noticed I'm capitalizing the aitch on He and His and
Him. Can't help it. It's hard-wired. Believe me, if I could get
past it I would. Rebellion was a liberating experience - rage
and pain notwithstanding - but acres of the old circuitry
remain. Witness the - excuse me while I yawn - Rituale
Romanum. I'm tempted to prompt the ditherers. Gets me out,
though, eventually. Every time I think it's going to be different. Every time it isn't. The blood of the Martyrs commands
you ... Yes yes yes, I know. I've heard. I'm going, already.)
Naivety's conspicuously absent from my own cv. As a
matter of fact I can hear and see pretty Much everything in
the human realm pretty much all the time. In the human
realm (trumpets and cymbal-crash of celebration, please ...)
I'm omniscient. More or less. Which is just as well, since
there's so much you curious little monkeys want to know.
What is an angel? Is Hell really hot? Was Eden really lush? Is
Heaven as dull as it sounds? Do homosexuals suffer eternal
damnation? And what about being consensually buggered by
your lawful wedded hubby on his birthday? Are Buddhists
In time. What I must tell you about is the new deal. I'm
trying, but it's tricky. Humans, as that pug-faced kraut and
chronic masturbator Kant pointed out, are stuck within the
limits of space and time. Modes of apprehension, the grammar of understanding and all that. Whereas the reality is -
now do pay attention, because this is, when all's said and
done, the Lucifer, telling you what the reality is - the reality is
that there are an infinite number of modes of apprehension.
Time and space are just two of them. Half of them don't
even have names, and if I listed the half that did you'd be
none the wiser, since they're named in a language you
wouldn't understand. There's a language for angels and none
of it translates. There's no Dictionary of Angelspeak. You just
have to be an angel. After the Fall (the first one I mean, my
fall, the one with all the special effects) we - myself and my
fellow renegades - found our language changed and our
mouths friendly to a variant of it; more guttural, riddled
with fricatives and sibilants, but less poncy, less Goddish. As
well as a century or two of laryngitis the new dialect gave us
irony. You can imagine what a relief that was. Himself,
whatever else He might have going for Him, has absolutely
no sense of humour. Perfection precludes it. (Gags work the gap between what's imaginable and what actually is, necessarily off the menu for a Being who actually is all He can
imagine - doubly so when all He can imagine is all that can
be imagined.) Heaven's heard us down here, cackling at our
piss-takes and chortling at our quips; I've seen the looks, the
suspicion that they're missing out on it, this laughing
malarkey. But they always turn away, Gabriel to horn practice, Michael to the weights. Truth is they're timid. If there
was a safe way down - a fire escape (boom-boom) - there'd be
more than a handful of deserters tiptoeing down to my door.
Abandon hope all ye who enter here, yes - but get ready for
a rart of giggle, dearie.