After careful consideration as to the direction of this blog, I have decided—with no small amount of trepidation—to return to the dark recesses of the abyss and once again stand face to face with the most insidious and vile creature in all of creation. This will be a most difficult journey, fraught with peril and I urge you to consider carefully the path that is set before you.
While not for the faint of heart, I am confident that should you choose to join me in this journey, you will by the grace of God be able to stand by my side in the face of this terrible creature and live to tell about it.
If you are ready then, let’s be off. If not, please find the EXIT nearest you.
The Scribe –
The Interview Continues …
“Have you always found fear and intimidation to be an effective means of accomplishing your will,” I said as I placed my satchel on the desk.
“And a good day to you as well,” Satan sneered, as he stood stretching his arms.
The devil eyed the scribe, who seemed particularly agitated this morning. “My most reliable methods,” he grinned, “though not all of my angels would agree. A few—” he hesitated, holding back his words as he stepped forward, taking careful notice of the scribe who dropped into his chair and began digging around in his satchel. “—just a handful of my angels avoid such methods completely, if you can imagine. I make no claim to understand them, but I won’t force their hands because occasionally their alternative methods do produce results consistent with my overall objective.
Drawing to the limit of his chains, he stood tall, with his hands on his hips. Cocking his head, he shriveled his face with a questioning look. “You know scribe that you don’t seem to be yourself today. Has your question something to do with you?”
He turned to face the accuser, his eyes widened and questioning, before narrowing in focus. “No. This isn’t about me.”
“Really?” he questioned sarcastically. “Your words say one thing, but everything else about you says something to the contrary.”
The scribe twisted his lips before pulling into a smile as he shook his head.
“But—if you are certain,” the devil chuckled, “who am I to question. I will take you at your word.”
“Thank you,” the scribe responded, hunched over his desk, gripping his pen having yet to write a single word. “Now, concerning our interview for today, I brought with me a guest, who is waiting in the shadows. He is a young man I am certain you will remember—well, as a matter of fact.”
“Well now, you have my curiosity flowing,” he grinned. “So come now. Come out of the shadows where I can get a good look at you.”
“And I you.”
Lucifer turned in the direction of the voice, stepping back with a shocked smile. “Can it be?”
A tall, slim figure emerged from the distant shadow, walking thoughtfully toward the fallen angel. “My name is—”
“Stephen!” he gasped. “It is you.” Attempting to reach out with his hand, the chain drew tight, and he lowered it to his side.
As the scribe looked at the two of them, he felt for a moment that Lucifer was genuinely moved to meet Stephen—but only for a moment as the surprised look on the devil’s face malted away, turning dark and sinister. “What a treat this is,” he chortled looking at both men. “My, my, my but it has been a long time, hasn’t it?”
Stephen stepped closer, staring into the face of evil. “I have not had the pleas—uh, the distinction of meeting you face to face, though I am certain that you were there on that day,” Stephen said calmly.
“You are speaking of your stoning I presume.”
His question went unanswered as Stephen lowered his head and took yet another step. “There is no mistaking the calamity of your practice and the carnage of your means. And in the haze of its aftermath lingered a most offensive odor of decadence which is most evident—here, and now in your presence.”
“Yes, I was there,” his voice growing quiet. “Every outburst from those religious fools was as if it came from my own lips. Every rock thrown was as if it came from my very own hand. Yes, I was there, and rest assured that I relished every moment of it.”
“Surely, you can’t be serious,” the scribe interrupted.
“What do you mean?” Lucifer asked angrily.
“Well, you may have enjoyed seeing this young man pummeled by stones, but I cannot imagine that there was anything you enjoyed beyond that.”
“Oh but I did,” he retorted. “I even enjoyed the skillful words of Stephen here,” he said pointing his finger. “I can still hear him calling the crowd stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, I believe those were his words.” He laughed again. “Yes, I recall them clearly now. He then went on, accusing them of always resisting the Holy Spirit, just like their fathers did. That really got the crowd going, of course with a bit my help and some of my angels. While Stephen stood there, presenting his little speech, we were aggressively working behind the scenes, poking and prodding minds and whispering inflammatory words to bring them to the brink of—“
“Killing me?” Stephen asked.
I looked up from my desk and watched with great interest.
“Yes,” Lucifer. “Killing you was the climax to great sport.”
“And please tell me,” Stephen pressed. “What great sport was enjoyed at my expense?”
“Oh, now I understand,” Lucifer snorted, glaring at the scribe. “Fear and intimidation indeed.”
“What great sport Lucifer?”
The great angel turned in a huff and walked back to this rocky throne dragging his chains behind.
“It seems that you cannot answer,” the scribe said. “Your silence Lucifer—is it because apart from a few moments of inflicted pain, there was nothing about Stephen’s martyrdom that gave you any joy?”
He flopped into his seat, resting his chin on his hand.
“It seems that he doesn’t wish to answer,” Stephen said with a grin.
“Which is an answer in and of itself,” the scribe continued as his pen flew across the page. “Throughout history, evil people have claimed victory over the children of God when victory was unavailable to them.”
Stephen walked over and stood next to the scribe. “They believed that persecution, torture—”
“And killing,” the scribe said.
“And killing,” Stephen continued, “constituted victory for the enemies of God. But they were wrong—you were wrong, for what could you do to me? Your attempts to inflict me with fear and to intimidate me were no match for the power of God that day for my Lord God was my shield and my buckler, my high tower and deliverer. The Holy Spirit held me up and strengthened me that day to carry the message that God intended that I give. The arrows of your attack fell helplessly to the ground despite all of your conniving in the dark hearts of men. Am I not told to fear not those who can kill this body of mine, but are not able to kill my soul? For I was not bound for hell as those who took up stones against me, but for heavenly places. Of this you are aware, for you were there.”
“That’s enough,” Lucifer said, turning his head away.
“You saw the veil of heaven as it parted,” Stephen said.
“Stop I said!” He jumped to his feet, defiantly waving a fist in their direction.
“I gazed upon the glory of God and Jesus, the Lord Christ standing at the right hand of the Father. Surely you saw him as well.”
“Aieeeeeaaaaa!” Lucifer screamed, his hands pressed tightly against his ears. With a set jaw and clenched teeth, he stumbled forward.
“And given the opportunity to take up stones against me this day, you would. But you would fail now as you did more than two thousand years ago.”
“If I could get my hands on you!” he snarled, his eyes wild with fury.
“You would fail,” Stephen said, turning to the scribe, “again.”
The ground shook and stuttered as the devil fell to his knees, but the scribe gave him little more than a quick look as he finished writing the last few words. Sealing up the inkwell, he put everything carefully into the satchel and stood from his chair. Turning to Stephen, he put his hand on his shoulder. “Have you been to the café Anat before?”
“No, I haven’t,” Stephen said as they began walking away.
“Well then, I cannot wait for you to meet Lavi and his dear wife who makes the best shakshouka in all of Jerusalem.”
When the voices had finally faded away, Lucifer looked upward and screamed and screamed and screamed.
My book, Abyss is now available in epub format for your Kindle or other device for $3.99 from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Lulu.
I have included a short excerpt from the book for your reading pleasure:
“His hand pointed behind me and I turned to see the emptiness of the heavens quickly filling with a massive wave of white, silver and gray angelic wings. They bore down on us like a torrential flood, twisting, turning and rolling in the sky. Their numbers swelled dramatically before my eyes, and soon there were so many of them that all that I could see was a vast sea of angels—my warriors.
“It was not long before my great liberated army stood behind me, facing God and those angels who remained loyal to him. Between us lay a great expanse of heavenly sky, a chasm formed not by distance, but by will. It would prove to be a rift that would forever divide those who were once united in purpose.
“As our forces faced each other, tension rippled its way through the ranks of my newly formed legion. Their demeanor changed along with their allegiance, and soon they were growling and snarling at those who just moments before were called friends and allies.
“A line had been drawn scribe,” Lucifer said. “It was a line drawn from heaven to earth and from the beginning of days until the end of time. It was a line between the forces of God and my own; between light and the darkness. It was a line which would separate not only heavenly angels and fallen ones, but separate friend from friend and brother from brother.
“Both armies remained in position, poised and ready to strike. But all eyes and ears were trained on God himself. Everyone waited for God to do or say something. But as the silence dragged on, God continued to reinforce his weakness and amplify my strength.
“Drunk with their new-found power, my angelic army broke the silence with a steady beat of Lucifer—Lucifer—Lucifer. Again and again they chanted my name, waving their fists in defiant synchronicity. Each stanza grew louder and more boisterous than the previous one. Eventually they gave way to an eruption of ferocious threats and wrathful taunts.”
So order your copy of Abyss today and thank you for visiting my blog.
The Scribe –