The screen lights up on his 65” plasma TV as he hops on his old ratty couch. Everything around him is falling apart and rotting with age, except the new TV. Huberus refuses to look at his dismal surroundings and focuses on the screen; a new series is starting today. A drop of dirty sludge lands on his cheek from the hole in the ceiling.
“Ugh!” he snarls and drags the couch out from under the hole.
Satisfied that he’ll now be dry, He crawls up unto the couch and finds a comfortable spot between the poking coils. Now finally at ease, he settles in to watch ‘Second Chances.’
The screen turns hazy and dark in the opening scene:
Our home is a plain imitation of Earth; looking through space we can see the vibrant blues and greens of that planet. Whites swirl across the surface haphazardly. It is a beautiful scene to behold, as is the universe around her. We have no real universe around us, just our dark home. It was meant to be better than Earth, but he failed.
Asheron looks up into the inky sky, blackness fights with the electrical storm that dances across the horizon. He knows he shouldn’t be outside, but he can’t take another moment in his underground bunker. He wears a rag wrapped around his scarred face. It helps filter out the sulfur that belches out from the cracks in the ground. The fierce hot wind finally is too much to bear and it drives him back inside, despair rips through him. There is no hope here, no joy. It’s the complete opposite from his former home. Here they only do the masters bidding. But what if?
Asheron suddenly finds himself in the presence of his master. He’s a frightening figure, he towers over Asheron, his long taloned claws scratch at the scaling face. Smoke billows from his nose and his tail whips in agitation. He grumbles as he paces,
“So close, so close, just a little longer and earth will be mine. Humans are so greedy, vain and narcissistic. I’ll show the Father how pitiful his creation is when I take it over and destroy them all. I’ll show him who is better, who is….”
“You summoned Master?” Asheron knew he should wait quietly, but his Masters rambling were as annoying as they were ridiculous.
Everything word he used to describe the people of Earth was just a reflection of his soul. But he forgot evil. That is what he is now, walking talking evil incarnate. Once he was the Morning Star, he was a guardian cherub; he walked in the Garden of Eden. He was given great power and influence. However his exquisite beauty caused vanity to enter his heart. He was not satisfied to worship the Father; instead he wanted to be worshipped. Jealousy consumed him. So as a serpent he tricked Adam and Eve to sin against the Father, hoping to destroy his creation.
He did disrupt God’s perfect creation by bringing sin to it, but God already had a plan to save man, his one and only son Jesus. The Father banished my master and a third of the angels that foolishly believed his lies. Since then my master has tried everything in his power to conquer God and receive the worship of mankind unto himself.
Fire spewed from the master’s mouth engulfing Asheron. “How dare you interrupt me!”
“Pardon Master, but you summoned me.” Asheron said as he patted out the remaining flames.
“Yes I did, didn’t I?” He transforms from the hideous Dragon into the beautiful creature he had once been. Asheron inwardly stiffens, he can never transform into the being he had been. That is part of his punishment for rebelling against God. He accepts that, he deserves much worse. But it still galls him to see Satan, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles or whatever he calls himself today, still retain his beauty, even though it’s only on the outside. A decorative shell that hides the putrid rotting soul within.
“Yes Master.” He says with contempt.
“You’ve changed! You are not showing me the adoration I deserve!” Again he transforms into the hideous dragon, he snatches Asheron off the ground and attempts to pull him limb from limb.
“Please master, please! Forgive me!” Asheron screeches in terror. He is thrown down and stepped on by the dragon as it transforms again into the once angelic being.
“Never say I am not as forgiving as the Father. You may rise now.” Satan says preening as he steps off Asheron. “I am sending you to Earth, There is a young girl that the Angels flock around, so she must be special. You are to destroy her spirit so her faith in the Son dies.”
“How can I do that with Angels guarding her? They will easily spot and banish me.” Asheron asks uneasily.
“You dare to doubt me?” Satan asks, his visage flashes between his many forms; dragon, serpent, angel, man in his anger. He is so narcissistic that he will tolerate no kind of criticism or opposition. Asheron stays silent, so Satan continues, “I snatched her father right before his death, his body awaits you. You will be in his mind, seeing his thoughts and memories. This way God’s spies will not see until it’s too late.” Satan flicks his wrist and Asheron disappears.
The first thing he notices is an absence of heat and the smell of fresh earth. Groggily he sits up, he is near a babbling creek, green grass cushions his body. For an instant he thinks he’s in Heaven. He crawls to the creek, sips the refreshing water and looks at his reflection. Gone are his hideously deformed features, in their place is a human face with a scraggly beard and blood shot eyes. Memories flood his mind. He was wasted again and got into a fight with his dealer; he’d been dumped out here in the middle of no where. Actually, Alec had been dumped here, left for dead and now Asheron inhabited his body.
“What are you waiting around here for?” Asheron turned to the voice; it was a hideous being floating next to him.
“How am I going to get to town? I’m corporeal now!” Asheron sarcastically told the being.
“I don’t care how you get to the girl, just get there the Master is waiting.” Asheron watched the being vanish in a puff of smoke.
Picking through Alec’s memory Asheron slowly walked to town. He had missed this so much, being amidst God’s creation. This wasn’t the first time he’d been back to earth, but it is the first time he was able to feel, smell and enjoy God’s creation. He had forgotten the fresh clean smell of the trees and vegetation, forgotten the blues of the sky. It was like being born anew. He picked some wildflowers at the side of the road, marveling at their delicacy and fragrance. He wondered why the child was special, from Alec’s memory he saw a quiet timid child with large cornflower blue eyes and long blond hair. He didn’t see anything about her that would cause fear in his Master, but Asheron knew that he feared her, that’s why he was here.
It took hours for Asheron to arrive at the child’s home and he’d had a lot of time to think. After all these millennia he was no longer enthralled by the master. He knew his sin was unforgivable and his heart ached because of it. He also knew that if he crossed Satan death would be his fate, but he had coward long enough. He would show the Father he was sorry even though forgiveness was beyond his reach. So with this resolve in mind he was ready to do battle on her behalf, if she was special to God then she was special to him.
“Hello Genesis.” He said when he walked in the door, she immediately hid the book she’d been reading and shrunk away from him. He saw her reaction and accessed Alec’s memories. Anger filled him as he watched her father beat her and kicked her aside like rubbish.
Genesis saw her fathers shoulders stiffen; she’d angered him again by not speaking up. She prepared herself for her beating; she knew the routine by now. Slowly she walked over to him with her head bowed. She stood there trembling for several minute before Asheron realized it.
He saw the tears silently slipping down her face, he watched her lips quiver. Sympathy replaced the feelings of anger inside him. It’s been ages since he’s experienced any emotion other than negative ones. He knew from Alec that a beating was what she expected and he ached for her. Slowly he came forward, she stiffened readying herself for the blow, he put his arms around her and gently drew her close. She stayed rigid, now not knowing what to expect.
This feeling was so foreign to him, yet memories, his own push forward. Love and compassion use to rule his life before his fall, before Satan filled his head with lies. The emotions were overwhelming flooding him, tears came to his eyes. Timidly he laid his cheek atop of Genesis’s head; her sweet sent filled his nose. Gradually Genesis relaxed and leaned into his hug, crying with emotions she couldn’t explain; relief, astonishment and mostly love for her father who had never showered her with anything but contempt. She didn’t understand the change and she wasn’t sure she trusted it, but she was grateful for it and would enjoy it as long as she could.
The angels watching over her were confused; this was not how her father behaved. He seemed different somehow, so they cautiously watched and prayed for the best.
“So, what were you reading?” he asked, already knowing the answer. She stiffened; terrified he had only been tricking her. Tears ran down her face as she slowly answered,
“It was my bible.”
“Will you bring it to me?”
“Please don’t destroy it.” Genesis cried.
“I won’t destroy it I promise.”
Genesis went to the couch and reached behind it, withdrawing an old frayed bible she had found behind the apartment building. She reluctantly brought it to Asheron. He stared at the bible now in his hands and slowly opened it.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…”
Genesis crawled up unto his lap as he read. Hours rolled by as Asheron read God’s word cradling Genesis on his lap. She felt loved and cherished for the first time in her young life.
“Did you know that God loved you so much, he sent his son to die for you?” Asheron asked. Genesis smiling nodded yes. Asheron was astonished at the love he felt, his soul rejoiced. He hadn’t believed he could have this feeling again after his great sin.
Suddenly a savage wind blew through the apartment, knocking over shelves and overturning furniture. Asheron jumped up, pushing Genesis behind him as Satan appeared in the room. He was in the form of the dragon and he barely fit. As he tried spreading in wings and moving his body Asheron hid Genesis behind the sofa,
“What’s happening? Is it a tornado!” she cried.
“Yes, yes! It’s a tornado, stay hidden don’t make a sound and everything will be okay” he kissed her forehead and turn to face the beast, he saw the angels had been flung against the walls and were struggling to get out from under the beasts massive form. Asheron grabbed the one closest to him and pulled him free, then ran to the next; the dragon roared twisting his large frame round and round trying to keep his eyes on Asheron.
“YOU BETRAYED ME!” the beast roared. He grabbed Asheron with his claws, ripping ribbons of flesh from his body. “I SENT YOU HERE TO CRUSH HER! INSTEAD YOU ENCOURAGED HER! YOU LOVED HER! YOU TOLD HER OF THE FATHER! THE FATHER!” “You were mine, WHY?” He screeched into Asheron’s face.
The angels froze trying to understand what was happening, this human could see them, he helped them and he had drastically changed from the cruel, self serving reprobate he had been just a few days ago. And now the beast was here?
“I am no longer yours! I know now the liar you are! All you have ever done is try to manipulate humanity, twisting the Fathers word in your warped imitation of reality. You will NEVER be God; you will NEVER have the love and adoration of humanity. You promise riches, fame and fortune but you deliver sorrow, shame and despair. You are NOTHING! You are no longer the beautiful morning star; you are nothing more than rot and decay, clothed in envy and evil. I renounce you Satan and pray repentance to God the Father and his only begotten son Jesus.” Asheron cried out.
“AAAAH!!!” Satan plunges his claws into Asheron’s chest, and with a hideous roar, rips Asheron from Alec’s body. He flings the body away and raises his enormous leg to crush the fallen angel. Asheron knows is time is up.
He cries out when the dragon stomps on him, the angels stand nearby in shock,
“Save Genesis! He knows she special to the Father, he will stop at nothing to turn her!
Please save herrr….” Asheron cries.
Satan stomps on him again breaking his bones and cutting off his plea. He raises is foot again to finish the job.
Light floods to room; Michael the archangel stands before Satan.
“Leave beast, you are finished here!” Michael tells him loud and clear. Satan eyes his foe, he knows that Michael has the advantage here, so he transforms into his former angelic form.
“No need to challenge me, you can have the girl, there is a whole planet for me to choose from.” Satan reaches down to grab Asheron and leave.
“NO!” Michael Barks out.
“HE IS MINE! He is one of the fallen, there is no reason for you too be stuck looking at its repulsive visage.” Satan whines.
“He is yours no longer!” Satan’s eyes flash as he tries to stare down Michael. Rage fills him when he sees that Michael is standing firm. Defiantly he transforms into the dragon again and spews smoke and fire through the apartment as he leaves.
Asheron gathers his remaining strength and gathers Genesis into his arms, she is unconscious having been overcome by the smoke and he floats out of the apartment building, followed by an angel carrying Alec. The other angels make sure all the residents leave the building safely and they stand guard as the fire department and ambulances arrived.
Asheron stayed with Genesis, even though she couldn’t see him. Gradually she woke, when she saw her father lying beside her, she crawled to him.
“Daddy, Daddy, Please wake up.” Alec opens his eyes to see his beautiful daughter hovering over him with tears in her eyes. He reached up and caressed her soft cheek. Memories flooded his mind of all the abuse he had heaped on her these last few years.
Shame filled him, he remembered earlier in the day, what it had felt like to hold her and love her. He was so thankful for this reminder; he had let drugs consume him and everything around him.
“Oh, Genesis, I am so sorry, I will never treat you bad again and I promise NO more drugs.” He dragged her to his chest sobbing.
“I Love you Daddy.”
“I Love you too honey.”
Smiling Asheron brought to mind the spot he first arrived as Alec. Though it was a weak imitation of the Garden he wanted to be as close to the Father as possible as his life ebbs away.
“What are you doing here creature?” Michael boomed when he suddenly appeared.
Asheron sighed, he didn’t want a confrontation, he just wanted to pass with his memories of the Father and the joy he had known.
“Please let me die with a measure of peace.”
“Is that what you want to do? Die?”
“I will NEVER go back to do his bidding! So yes this is what I want.” Asheron tiredly croaks. He can’t stop the tears of regret from flowing. The pain of being separated from the Father was to much, to unbearable. For a brief moment he’d felt the hope and love he’d been without for millennia and he could not continue without it any longer.
“Why did you save the girl? Did you think you could earn your way back in after what you’ve done!”
“No, I know that I can Never be forgiven, I understand. What I did was unforgivable.” He silently whispered. “I just knew she was special to the Father, so I wanted to save her.”
Thunder sounded across the Heavens, but Asheron barely noticed as he dragged himself to the stream. He was an abomination, the sins he committed had modeled his features, the ugliness on the inside had pressed to the outside.
“I am so sorry Father, forgive me,” he uttered as his eyes closed.
Michael stared into the Heavens listening then he went to Asheron and laid his hand on his brow, instantly the twisted scaly body changed. Hands replaced the claws, the horny protrusions vanished and silky hair covered his head, his spine straightened and wings again graced his back.
“Awake” Michael commanded.
Slowly Asheron’s clear blue eyes opened, his vision was now clear, not clouded by smoke, in confusion he stared at Michael.
“A truly repentant heart is always forgiven.” Michael told him offering his hand.
Huberus throws his TV changer across the room in anger, his Master lost again!
“I hate reality TV!”