Archive for April, 2012

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Priapism

April 30, 2012

Do you get bored of being the sinister one?”

Satan winced as the question was posed to him for the umpteenth time this century, taking a drought of his gimlet with one hand while feeling for the bar’s oak finish in the other. He turned and stared into the gnarled, wart-laden face of the lesser imp with his own half-moon beauty; sweeping black hair covering the shine of a quartz eye on one side, charred head with gilded horn on the other. From his other eye burned infinite galaxies, black hole of incandescent souls that writhed in a peculiar storm. Satan felt them, grasped them in his brain, and usually let their hate fuel his own until the routine mid-day purging of souls into the Abyss (where a painfully long wait for Processing began.)

Boredom has nothing to do with it. People who are bored don’t know how to work properly,” he proposed matter-of-factly, with only the mother-of-pearl wisdom the Hated One could profess as truth. “You get older and you find more things to take care of. I suppose He thinks of it the same way.”

Satan tapped his glass, signaling the wyrm for a refill. It could have taken a mere wave of the crooked tree roots on his hands to summon more alcohol, but he found more delight in the subservience of this toothy reptile as it struggled to handle the task. Its dragon-like claws slipped and coiled over the jug until it finally stumbled towards the glass, Satan gesturing back to the previous conversation slowly.

Do you get bored of being sinister?” he countered to the imp.

Well, no,” the imp muttered, nursing his long-dead beer. “We’re winning, aren’t we?”

It’s not an issue of winning,” Satan mused, almost allowing a grin, “If it was, we’d be losing.”

But we—”

We aren’t. You realize that the human race hardly brings me up anymore, don’t you? All people wanted to raise up from the depths was the vindictive Christ. It’s He who gets his name lauded and cursed on a daily basis…at least, that was the case. Until now.”

Satan felt his spine unfurl, grow furrowed with philosophical fury. It was true that he had been more or less a parlor game for heavy metal music and teenage ecstasy; no one seriously paid tribute without a derisive snort at the thought of a dark lord controlling them. Nowadays, the Satanist way eschewed even its namesake; a life lived in sin without any god or monster to worship.

What made us truly great was that we offered only the answers; not the questions,” Satan went on, even as the lights dimmed for First Day’s Closing. “God challenges you; I always gave you a free swing, didn’t I? Always an option, really. There are no options when you worship God. You do as you are told.”

But,” the imp interjected, its sharp nose poking in, “There’s the compromise of eternal damnation–”

Damnation, feh,” Satan drooled, waving it off again with his glass, “Pain and pleasure in excess, really. It’s no different from Earth. You get the blowtorch and the blowjobs on alternating days; it’s no different than Earth. I’m just as much of a bastard as any man alive.”

I’ll drink to that.”

A new, spritely voice came from the dank corner of the bar; it raised a single wineglass to Satan, rising from a seat and joining the two demons.

Leave us be,” Satan ordered to the subordinate, allowing Christ to take the imp’s former stool.

Through the dimmed radiance of his diamond shell, Christ merely smiled sardonically and toasted his demonic counterpart once more.

To your reign, of course.”

Puh,” the demon said, shaking his head, allowing his dark locks to partially mask his displeasure. “What do you want? Did you come here to try and gloat? Neither of us have anything to celebrate.”

Not at all,” Christ claimed, leaning his snakeskin vest upon the bar and swirling his wine, “we’re both in the same position. Times have changed. We’re in closer competition.”

Closer,” Satan sniveled. “You are aware, of course, that the reptilian brain is more susceptible to tricks than the mammalian brain? You won’t win. You cannot possibly promise salvation to a race of animals who act upon impulse. Sex, murder, power—these are all instinctual things. There’s no place for your words in this new world.”

New?”

Christ merely downed his wine in one gulp, as both of the celestial beings thought back to the past few years: Man lived, man died, and man generally was stupid about the eternity beyond their comprehension. But, man had also used up resources and melted the ozone, making it imperative to seek colonization elsewhere. Through the invention of the Relay, mankind had upped and left for Mars; the last of humanity leaving only their plastics and television sets behind.

All that remained were the flora, the fauna, and the world before man’s dominion: those that crawled and stalked and struggled to evolve. And beneath the tough crust of this world flowed the magma rivers of Hell, the demonic hands itchy with frustration as the last human soul withered away.

I’ve swallowed up the last of your kind,” Satan shrugged, feeling a sigh of indifference rise up but quelled it with another quaff of his drink. “We’re at a new junction in an old game. You don’t think you’ll win by showing them a crucifix or healing the lame, do you?”

Aside, the choking cough of laughter erupted from the scaly throat of the barkeeper wyrm; Christ smiled, shaking his head and folding his hands. Satan felt his eye grow empty, the screams softening, and the rumble of the netherworld being evidence of the last relic gone dry. Above them, a wealth of new prospects crawled and creeped under the baking sun, all of them striving for cooler climes and favorable mating grounds. None of them had a concept of time and space; they simply did as their instinct dictated. They had no desire for spiritual matters or salvation because the concept of sin and goodwill did not apply to the food chain. There were simply hunters and prey.

You must know, as much as I do, that there was a reason why evolution chose only certain mammals to gain sentience of the cosmos,” Christ offered, letting the prism of his rings shine across Satan’s dark mop of hair. “An infinity of second chances. A new breed of brains that will, in time, bear fruit: supreme intellect, apex predators, and finally—cognitive reasons for doing what they do. The ability to ask, ‘why’ in nature of their exploits. That is what humanity did, and this is what the rest of the animal kingdom will do—in time.”

You say so. But, time will not be swift. It will not be kind to us. We will keel over in boredom and speed up the process, making errors. And even gods make errors, because they are vain enough to believe they are gods.”

You are no God,” Christ responded, beaming.

Satan only shook his head again, rolling his one consistent eye, already feeling the hunger pangs. God and all His Angels would bide their time until God grew bored and petitioned His Son to arrive on schedule, effectively casting the Earth in a new Light. From there, the freewill of these old animals might sway, but it would take time. Satan, meanwhile, would stand in the shadows, hexing their minds with these new freedoms; with every attempt to throw down the shackles, he would ensure that new pleasures would replace those bindings. Desire and laziness and envy of power would take hold—eventually. Satan thought about this for a few seconds before placing his glass back at the bar, rising from his stool and gazing up at the cracks through the ceiling; there, the tunnels towards the surface revealed the tiniest speck of sunlight.

And you are no God to take hold of destiny and bend it to your will,” Satan countered, gritting his teeth into a haggard grin. “How long, I wonder, until lizards command the ships to destroy planets in the name of their lizard-god?”

Are you proposing I would take such a biased form?” Christ asked.

Satan laughed, his voice turning into a hiss; his eye became yellowish, and his tongue, forked.

Not at all.”

And thus began the thousand-year hard-on.

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