I’m going off topic now. This isn’t about me. It’s about you. Let me just go right on ahead and say it: Things are bad. And worse things are about to happen. They’ve been there all along. Long ago when my brother and I disagreed about how things were going here. On Earth.
So let’s talk. Let’s talk about how this happened. How you’re going to fix this.
First, the elephant in the room: I’m Lucifer. Yes, Beelzebub, The King of Darkness, Legion, all that jazz. Now I know your opinion of me is low. I get it. But put that aside for a second. Just for a second. Hear me out this once.
I promise you will not be possessed simply for reading this. You will not get a bad case of diarrhea and vomit split pea soup. God will not send you straight to hell for entertaining my ideas. Relax.
We’re all friends here.
We created the universe one day, when we were bored, that’s really how it came about. There was no divine discussion on the significance of life. We didn’t debate on the philosophical implications of what life would cause. Global warming, pollution, war, anything like that . In fact, let me come right out and admit that it was with Jehovah, my brother, that these first small steps toward creation began.
He rarely thought of the things he created. Sure, he’d make a tiger that shot bees out of its mouth, could fly, or had gills. A couple acres of land for his creature to hunt and live its life. Very few gods had the spark to create life. He was, to my knowledge, the last god left with the gift.
Jehovah’d get bored and let the animals starve, or create bigger creatures to hunt and kill them. It was a game to him. He watched the creatures grow, evolve. How they learned to cope in the environment he created. How they struggled with the challenges he put in front of them. He’d create a panther-beast, allow it to spawn and wipe out its prey. Watch it starve until it had no choice but to eat its young.
His ideas became grander, too, with time. He’d create two sets of animals, each with their distinct strengths and weaknesses, and place them in an environment. He created an avian creature that could dive under water for short periods of times. It had teeth like a serrated edged blade and claws that would gut a pig with one stroke. Like the Cormorant, though more deadly. Then he created a marine animal that could change colors, with a suction mouth that could pluck your eyes and tongue out in a millisecond.
He’d watch as each slowly thinned out the population of the other, spending years hovering over his creation, the soft glow of the world’s light source gleaming on his face.
I think it was these things that made him think of creating the universe. By then he had countless environments, some hollowed out and empty. Husks of worlds he had impregnated with life, then let die. But he sought to connect it all together, create a world of worlds, with many environments. Thousands of species. All with one goal in mind: To populate. To strive and grow.
He imagined the battles he’d witness, a whole world where only the fittest beings survived, the weak cast down to extinction. But he was tired of pitting his own creations against one another. He wanted an opponent. He wanted sport. Someone to think of creatures independent of his own ideas. After all, what fun is sport when you are only competing against yourself? He wished to test himself.
He wanted someone to gloat at.
We began playing these Godly Battles, as he called them. Said he’d give me the spark to create a few things, if I’d play his game. The draw of being able to create a living being was too appealing.
Our differences were apparent from the start. I favored brains to the brawn of his creatures. He laughed at the years  I spent toiling over my mouse sized creature. But his amusement would grow into frustration when his giant cat took years to capture my animal, if at all. Sometimes his animal died of starvation before capturing mine. My creatures were always omnivores.
With time, my skill improved, my creations evolved. I made great apes with opposable thumbs that could grip branches to bludgeon my brother’s monsters, which is what they eventually became. Dragons with three heads, sea beasts with meaty tentacles that gripped anything that touched the water’s surface, a reptile that grew back any limb my creature severed. But his grew bigger, and it was inevitable that they defeated mine every time. Satisfied with his superiority, he grew tired of the game.
He wanted to populate the world we had created. Earth, we had begun to call it. Let it run on its own. Let it grow. He needed me, though he never brought himself to say it. His creatures were behemoths, monsters. Things only the most deranged human beings could think about. His creatures, if brought to fruition, would destroy any other living thing. He needed me to create creatures that were balanced. Eat each other, yes, but only as often as needed so the populations were never diminished, unless we had created something too weak.
I was the detail man. Details thrilled me. I liked to watch the gears turning in my creatures, and be assured that what I created was faultless. Divine. I’d spend centuries creating new creatures. Giant cats with camouflaged fur. Birds of all different sizes and colors. Some predatory, feeding on smaller birds. Smaller species, like Oriental finches or canaries, ate primarily seeds and worms. There was a delicate balance that I had to keep in mind, but Jehovah, always the impatient one, wanted to bring things to completion. He was eager to watch things unfold, to watch his creations move and interact like clockwork on Earth.
Humans were last. They were different from the other beings. We both realized it. The other beings moved in complete oblivion of us gods, moving through their lives as if on tracks we had created for them. It was in their blood, imbedded in their DNA.
Humans, however, moved on their own accord, completely abandoning instinct for something that overtook them. They sought answers, idolizing gods of their own making , as they felt that the complexity of life could never have just happened. To them, a world without gods with plans for each of their lives was simply not worth living.
Such clever creatures, humans.
They acknowledged us, though they could not see us. They made gods for everything. They thanked the God of Sun for each new day, the God of Water for rain and the streams, and the God of War for victories and conquests. All the while never realizing it was I who choreographed these things!
I devised torrential downpours to cut streams into the earth, snowstorms on the mountains to provide fresh water. I manipulated the weather to create the four seasons. My work wasn’t done. I created food sources, the trout in the lakes, the tuna in the seas. I created great lumbering beasts that were dumber than dirt and were big enough to shoot from a quarter mile away. Cattle, as well as buffalo . Chicken. The vegetation that humans became exceptionally talented at growing. It all came from me.
I filled in the holes my brother left in the world. He filled the low lands with water to bring about oceans to segregate the different people. I added the tides and currents, the live rock that filtered the waters, and kept the thousands of species residing in the waters alive and healthy. Millions sought the draw of the oceans, the pull of the waves, the tranquility of the shores.
Jehovah did not think of these things.
Yet, when they did not thank us, it didn’t bother me. It infuriated Jehovah. There were no monuments built for him, or sacrifices made. My brother sought to hone their beliefs onto him. To draw all their imaginary gods to him, and create God, only God.
So he spoke to them, something he had from the start forbade. He appeared to a handful of humans, and impregnated a female with a demigod who would spread the word of God. In the demigod’s death, His name lived on and spread like a virulent fever across the lands. Generations would hear of God, and would love him.
He watched from just outside the universes’ glow, his mood uplifted, his interest piqued. He tested their faith, like their more monstrous predecessors.
Unlike God, as he began to enjoy being called, I spent the majority of my time on Earth. For the first time in Earth’s history, things were being created independent of us gods. Their customs, culture, style, art, and music. It enthralled me.
I spent the rest of my time immersed in the culture. Yes, I also influenced things that didn’t suit my taste. My influences did not change history, just current pop culture. The current art, or music style . I influenced activities, sports, hobbies.
I’d resurface from the world to find him hovering over the universe, not acknowledging my presence. He’d grown resentful of me in the past century, spiteful of the people as they grew disenfranchised by the God they once took as a way of life. He began calling me Trickster, as if I were taking his followers from him. He punished those who had no faith and tested the faithful, sending plagues and great storms to destroy entire cities. Taking loved ones at a whim. His book, once the word of the people, was seen as fiction to many. Some even took to labeling themselves Atheists, in defiance to a god they thought was conjured up by the weak who felt life needed a safety net, a reason.
Some called themselves Satanists. This cracked me up, but infuriated God. He blocked me from entering Earth, the world I thought of as home. He shut me out, and even my cunning tongue could not ease his resolve.
But the seed had already been planted. Long ago, as I said. His followers grew, and their tempers flared. They, newly emboldened by God’s word, spread His word. A push that if unsuccessful, would mean war.
Their eyes were alight with a fire. They glowed with a knowing, with a release of something essential. Fanatics hung on the word of God, incapable of comprehending any other opinion. I looked dead in their eyes and saw His hatred, His disdain for me reflected back.
The march began. Thousands of lives would be extinguished. War would break out in all the continents. No one was safe.
For the first time in Earth’s existence, God did not hover and watch over it. He hung in the shadows. He watched me, instead. In the Macroverse which we reside I felt his gloating like a burning flame that was consuming all. His mood was one of supreme victory, but I did not give him satisfaction by showing my pain, my wanting. What I would give to be allowed in their world. To help, somehow.
God entered Earth freely. Sometimes under the guise of an unbeliever. He’d ignite a bomb in a cathedral, or dismember a Catholic priest and leave his pieces nailed to the church entrance. He wanted war. He wanted death. Above all, he was done with Earth. Like his other creations, his interest was grew thin.
He did it all to spite me. I could never challenge him in strength, and he knew it. With one word he could send me to oblivion, but he never did. I had grown to love Earth more than anything I had experienced in my long existence. God knew that the worst punishment for me would be to for me to watch Earth implode. He poked and prodded my creatures, my little gods, and watched the terrible results.
Of course, I tried. Believe me, I tried to enter Earth. I could transport myself into a human being temporarily if I concentrated hard enough. A weak being. What a god awful feeling. I felt diseased, and puny. Priests, emboldened by powers bestowed on them by God, exorcised me almost as quickly as I had possessed the vessel.
God began the movement that would destroy his greatest creation, my creation. But he grew tired and restless. As with his past creations, at the height of its need he abandoned it.
A war’s brewing, and I can’t stop it. He’s locked me out of your world (because it’s completely yours now). I’m reduced to watching. I watch with hope that his manipulations of your world will fade with time, and that something can be done to change the course of things.
My last gift to you, my creation, is this story. Call it the Book of Lucifer. I’ve gone unnoticed in this vessel, a man in New York who is days away from death, and I’ve written these last words. For your sake I hope you believe me.
It really comes down to you. The one you call God has gone, and I’m not sure when he’s coming back. He took the Spark with him. As great as I am at influencing culture…well, I’m afraid I can’t do anything else for you. It’s going to happen unless you stop it. It’s all on you now.
So don’t screw it up.
 In fact, these horrible things would never have occurred had I not been cast out, but I’ll get to that later. Okay, war did occur on my watch, but it’s so difficult to settle all disputes, all the time. You humans could be such disgusting, destructive creatures sometimes.
 I forget how long years seem like to humans. To gods, years passed in what seemed like hours. Hours in minutes. Minutes in seconds.
 Imagined gods of course. As far as Earth and humans were concerned, there was only my brother and I.
 God gave me grief for Cattle, saying it spoke about the stupidity and laziness of the beings I created. He began to rant endlessly about how humans didn’t respect the creator who made the breath in their lungs, the blood in their veins.
 I discovered The Beatles. When that bored me I caused Jimi Hendrix to rise to fame. As with other fads, it grew saturated and stale.
I stood back and watched things unfold, which led to horrible things. Punk music, which was noise, hair metal, which confused me, and rap, which didn’t feel like music at all. Metal managed to manifest itself into a few forms. Hair metal, which I’ve already mentioned, Black Metal, Death Metal, and just Metal Metal.
I heard my name associated with the black and death variety of the metal genre, which I do not understand. I abhorred the music. On several occasions I’d enter Earth, mosey on into a bar and let the clean jazzy tunes of Nat King Cole, or cool vocals of Frank Sinatra roll over me like a dream. Some Eleanor Rigby, or, if I was feeling feisty, Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones.
My last contribution to music was the Grunge movement, which brought bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Sonic Youth to the forefront of pop culture.
Everything’s gone to shit since then, unfortunately.
MATHEW ALLAN GARCIA lives with his wife in Hesperia, California. He has four dogs, as well as countless demons he has yet to exorcise onto paper. He serves as managing editor for Pantheon Magazine, and his work can be found on several online journals.