To Live in Hell This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Living in Hell isn’t as bad as people may think.

The Hell that Lucifer VI lived in wasn’t the actual Hell, but it was close. The real Hell, where Satan and his fallen angels lived, was a place of darkness, of fire, and damned souls crying for mercy. Lucifer’s Hell was a small town hidden in the woods away from the world’s disapproving eyes. If someone stepped into Hell they would be deafened by roaring flames and screams from tortured souls. Where Lucifer lived, you could only hear the nocturnal animals, the few people still out in the woods and the servant knocking at his door.

“What?” Lucifer refused to stop reading simply to acknowledge the servant when he stepped in. Those who served him were inferior and unworthy of his gaze.

“Master Lucifer.” Good, it was Toby. Poor Toby had been Lucifer’s personal servant since the two were six years old and he was one of few that he could tolerate.

“Miss Belle would like to speak with you,” Toby said. Against his mind’s commands, Lucifer felt something close to a smile battle its way to his face.

“Cassandra?” he asked hurriedly while he swung himself out of his chair.

“No.” Toby’s answer, short and hitting its mark near Lucifer’s heart, was enough to make him stop his walk to his cloak.

“Blair?”

“No.”

“Damnit.” In Hell-town, there were three “Miss Belle’s”; Cassandra, Blair and Helena. Of the three sisters, middle daughter Helena was easily Lucifer’s least favorite.

“Did she ask for me personally or for her Master?” Lucifer had begun moving again to his cloak. As Toby answered, he pulled the velvet black cloak around him and felt the familiar feeling of both cloth and authority surround him.

“Her Master,” answered Toby. “Should I bring her to the confessional?”

“Yes.” Lucifer melted away as prepared himself. The silent and reflective teen had instead become angry and filled with unrighteous hatred. Lucifer was no longer Lucifer when he pulled his hood over his head and stepped out of the house to the church; he was a different person and one that he hated.

The town church was the center of the town and the most disturbing thing that Lucifer had ever seen. Even after living next to the church and preaching in it for his life, he found it horrifying to look at. The looming towers that stared him down as he entered had terrified him as a child, but now it was what went on in the church that terrified him more. Stone gargoyles that were hunched into grotesque and tortured faces that had given him nightmares as a babe were now angels next to the townspeople he lived with. One of those people who Lucifer found himself cringing away from was Helena Belle, the young girl kneeling in front of the altar.

The altar was the center point of the church yet it was the one thing that Lucifer could look at with being sick to his stomach. The altar was what his found his dark eyes drawn too. It was no more than large red platform with a black clothed table (everything in the church was black or red) but it was the large painting behind all of this that captured your attention. It was an artist’s rendition of the Lord Satan and should have been terrible to behold but Lucifer found it calming. The golden throne that Satan sat on had always intrigued Lucifer. He would stare at during services and wonder why Satan would chose gold for a throne would gold was what angel’s halos were made of. If Lucifer found himself bored with the throne he could shift his eyes to Satan himself, cloaked in a black cloak (the exact same one that Lucifer wore) and holding something in his flaming hand. His hand was outstretched and in it he held a cracked halo that was melting in his hand. Surrounding Satan were his Sins, leering horribly down at the church pews and tempting those they looked at. On most days, Lucifer would stop and admire the painting as it was rather good but tonight he simply walked up to Helena Belle.

“Helena.” The girl had been so intent on her prayers that she literally gasped when Lucifer stood next to her. She stood up quickly, throwing back the hood to her black cloak and curtseying as she did so. The middle child of the Belle Sisters, she was a year younger than Lucifer but looked older than her sixteen years. The girl had looked twenty from the age of thirteen and knew the effect she had on most men, which she constantly used to her advantage. It had always horrified Helena that her looks had no effect on Lucifer but she never stopped trying to get his attention.

“Master Lucifer,” she muttered as she curtsied. She was bold and kept her blue eyes (Lucifer could not help but think that Cassandra’s were a brighter blue) fixed on his as she knelt out of respect.

“Did you have a question of me?” It was fortunate that he had retreated behind his invisible mask or else his voice would have betrayed his disgust at having to deal with her.

“I would like to seek Lord Satan’s help, Master. Something is bothering me and I have no one else to turn too.” Helena tried to make concern seem sincere by widening her eyes and wringing her hands together but she only succeeded in looking like a scheming girl. Any of the others in the town would have believed Helena was truly saddened by something but Lucifer could see right through her. She had a reason behind this visit and it was desperation.

Lucifer turned away without a word; he was not needed nor expected to speak. That was fortunate for him as he was beginning to hyperventilate behind his mask of indifference. As the Voice of Satan, it was expected that Lucifer could ask a question of the Master and receive an answer. From birth, he had been raised with the believe that he had been chosen as Satan’s Voice to interpret his will onto his followers and his first night as the Voice over a year ago, he had expected an answer when he bellowed the question his own father had asked. His father, the retiring Voice, had told Lucifer to say exactly what Master Satan told him and nothing else. Master Satan did not like when his followers changed his words and Lucifer had been terrified this would happen to him. That was when we he had asked his first question of Master Satan he stood in silence for two minutes before he realized that Master Satan would never speak to him. Lucifer had panicked and was force to make a quick decision; he could incur Master Satan’s wrath by creating an answer or incur his father’s by revealing the truth of the silence.

While Lucifer attempted to control his breathing, he led Helena to the confessional. There was nothing as horribly grotesque about the confessional box as the rest of the church. It was a simple black box to the corner of the church that sat the confessor (here, Helena) kneeling on the floor while Lucifer stood over her. The two had been coming to the confessional since First Loyalties were sworn when they were eight and took their places without a thought.

“You swear on heaven and hell that you are bound to Master Satan with life, body and soul?” Lucifer’s ‘Satan’ voice as he called it was drastically different from his typical voice. His normal voice was a quite and respectful as his natural person was; his ‘Satan’ voice was meant to evoke images of hellfire and damnation. It did.

“I swear it.” This whole ritual was disturbing but when one was faced with a believer as fervent as Helena, it became horrific. Her face took on such a look of ecstasy it would be easy to get swept up into her fervor but Lucifer was only disgusted.

“Is your question worth the time of Master Satan?”

“I pray so.”

“What do you ask of him?”

Here, Helena paused and began to breathe heavily. That was all she did for a moment before Lucifer realized what she was doing. The heavier she breathed the more her chest moved up and down and, with Lucifer’s position above her, he could easily see down her shirt. Her attempt to get his attention was useless as Lucifer had distanced himself from the entire situation; it was not his eyes that stared down at her but the eyes of one who did not feel. Distancing himself made it easier to do what was needed and to stop himself from screaming at the madness of this. When Helena realized her behavior was not getting the reaction she wanted she took a breath to begin.

“It is not for my concern that I come, Master, but my sister’s.” Damn her. The barrier that Lucifer had surrounded himself with had been blown to bits with Helena’s words. The image of Cassandra immediately swum to Lucifer’s mind along with concerns as to what was so drastic that Helena would bring herself to ask Master Satan. Lucifer did not voice this concern however, but rather gave a dark chuckle.

“Selflessness is not one of Master Satan’s preferred behaviors, Helena,” he said.

“No!” Helena was so appalled at the thought of being considered selflessness that she genuinely gasped in horror and placed her hands delicately over the spot her heart was meant to be in. “This concerns me too, Master! I would never—”

“—tell us.”

“It is my eldest sister Cassandra, Master Satan. I believe she has been…..I can’t….I—”

“—Helena, Master Satan does not like when people mince their words.”

“I think I saw her reading the Bible!”

There was silence as Lucifer realized just what Helena was saying. Reading the Bible was a cause for expulsion from the Hell-town. They believed that reading the Bible encourage people to turn to God the Deceiver but would also cause people to question their religion. When one questions a religion, one weakens it.

“I confronted her about it myself, Master. She told me that I should not be meddling in her business and that it was school purposes. No teacher would assign Bible-work and I told her this. She told me that to be a lawyer she would have to understand the world and that included blasphemies. If she is caught she will be expelled but worse, she will bring doubt upon my family and ruin my prospects within the town. Master Satan, what do you command me do?”

Lucifer let Helena’s second remain unanswered for a moment as his mind began to spin He knew what he must say if he wanted to protect Cassandra, that was easy enough. The problem was that it was not the answer Master Satan would give and that was Lucifer’s job. When asked a question he was forced to invent an answer that would apply to their religion. By doing that, he subjected Cassandra to disgrace and she would be taken out of his life. Yet a larger part of his mind was concentrated on the very nature of Cassandra’s offense. She had been reading the Bible. Was she, like himself, questioning the authority of this insane life? That question would be for later. For now, he had to make his decision.

“Leave her.”

“M-Master?” Helena had obviously not been expecting that answer. That was why she had come. For once, Lucifer let his true hatred for Helena come through and allowed his hands to clench at his sides. Helena, whom he was certain had guessed of his attraction to Cassandra, was hoping that by telling him this, he would have Cassandra expelled. It was their laws to do so.

“Leave her. She has strayed but for a moment.”

“Master Satan, it is your law,” she protested. That false look of concern on her face became real as her plan collapsed around her.

“Cassandra is simply tempted by curiosity. Curiosity, questioning what you are told, is the foundation of who we are. Did I not tempt Eve with the Apple?” Lucifer found it very disturbing when he had to answer as Master Satan himself, referring to himself in the first person like this.

“Of course. Shall I tell you if I see this again?”

“Yes.” Lucifer would have to allow that. If Cassandra was foolish enough to be caught again, the situation could get out of hand. “Leave me.”

“Master.” Helena rose from her kneeling position on the floor gracefully and horrified. This was certainly not how she thought the night would go and that was written across her pale face. She left quickly as her failure became evermore clearer to her, leaving Lucifer alone.

Cassandra was questioning their world, just as Lucifer was. She was like him. For years Lucifer had felt that something was wrong with this life. As a child the feeling had been nothing more than a thought that would occasionally flick across his mind during masses or during school. As he became older and saw more of the twisted side to this life, his rebellious thoughts took a clearer and more traitorous form. Expected to become the Voice of Satan from birth, Lucifer had been trained in the doctrine of Hell from the time he could talk. Following Satan consisted of two given laws; Master Satan offered all for his followers and that one could never accept what God told them. That had confused Lucifer. He knew that God told his followers not to believe Satan when Satan was the one who was correct. Would it also stand to reason that Satan, in essence a God himself, was the one who could not be believed? That had been Lucifer’s justification when he first began to lie to the townspeople who asked Master Satan’s advice. For a time he had told them to do as Master Satan would have commanded. Then, he had felt bold. He told them to do as he believed. He told them to do as God the Deceiver would. The Hell-town Lucifer lived in was no longer Hell.

That was why living in Hell was not at bad as everyone thought. It was because Hell was on its way to becoming Heaven.





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