By F. Gutierrez
Chapter 29: The Price of Living
A light fog seems to fill a barren land of white salt earth and mountians in the distance. The light from the sun is bright, but the sun itself can not been seen, as if the light was coming from the fog itself, diffused everywhere. I stand there, next to me several feet away is a shaft of light streching to the heavens itself. Where it hits the floor, a circle of flames burn in an seemingly endless pit. A faint sound of people talking surrounds everything, like the light from which there is no sun.
He appears out of no where, old in age with white haird and long overgrown beard which matches his gown.
"This is it, Francizi... Purtagory.", he saids.
I turn to face him, "Its not like many says it is.", I say with some confusion in my voice.
"That's becuase those opium heads wrote about it while high on some smoking ember.", he explains.
"And what of you? Saint Peter, I presume", I ask.
He laughs. "That fool?", he continues on with laughter.
"Then explain what is all this?", I ask.
"You ask too many questions, Francizi.", he answers.
"Then why wont you answer them?", I ask.
Another being appears, much younger than the first, opposite to his appearence, all in black.
"Because he wont.", the other says. I step back to get both into my view.
"Not to worry, Francizi, we're not here to hurt you....", the other begins, "but to help you make your choice."
"There is only one choice to make, its only a matter of when", the first saids.
"To step into the light? Is that it? I am to step into the ring of fire and light?", I ask.
"Thats about it." the other saids.
"But I'm not going anywhere until I get my answers first.", I demanded, as I start to step back away from them and the ring of light and fire.
"OK then, have it your way.", the other begins to say, "This is Purtagory. This is where you wait, not to be called on, but to when you step through the ring of fire and light."
"Then who are you?", I ask, stopping in my tracks.
He laughs for a moment, "Who am I?", he asks. "I go by many names, but I orignally went by the name of Lucifer."
"The Dark Angel, Satan, The Devil himself?", I ask uncontrollably.
"Those are but a few names I go by, and that over there is a former friend of mine- goes by the name of God."
"That's enough already!", God spoke loudly.
Looking at both of them, "Why is it so important that I step into the circle of light and fire?"
They look at each other to see who would answer first.
"If you have not thought it through yet, the answer's quite simple if you really think about it.", God says as he stares Lucifer in the face to see if he would interupt him in his little speech.
I stand there, thinking of an answer. "Its to transend into Heaven or decend into Hell?", I ask.
"As simple as it sounds? Yes.", Lucifer says.
"And which way will I go?", I ask.
"Ah... you wont know that until you step inside.", Lucifer explains.
"Thats not true.", God answers, "The choices you made in life are the very choices that will weigh you into which way you will go."
I cross my arms and stare at them both, "But this is so unfair, for the choices I made guarentees me a one-way ride into hell."
"Not true," Lucifer begins to say.
"You are the first of your kind to end up here.", God says, interupting Lucifer.
"What do you mean by that?", I ask.
"You are a Dampiroo. A Living Vampire, born with a soul. Though there have been many who went through here who were not complete vampires, uhm... you know the kind. Not killed totally by their sires, having icor and blood in their viens, you know... the mistakes.", Lucifer begins to explain.
"But you were the first to be born alive as a vampire. Those who are born, get a soul.", God explains further.
"And thats where the differences lie.", Lucifer continues on, "You, by your nature, must hunt and kill humans for your own survival."
"Dont lie to the boy.", God looks upon Lucifer with an angry tone.
"Let me finish.", Lucifer says, "But if you killed in cold blood, took a life selfishly, or any other reason than feeding, accident or in self defense, then you go to hell."
"What if I killed not to feed myself, but to feed others?" I asked.
"That counts as survival.", God answers, "like a mother wolf or lion taking a deer to feed the cubs."
"Alright then," I say, "things seems to balance themselves out here, for the moment. But what if I want to return from which I came?"
"Thats not possible.", God says.
Lucifer looks at God angrily, "There you go again with your self righteous, it has to be my way or no way attitude again!"
"See here Lucifer! I put you in Hell, I control all that there is!", God says in an even more angrier tone.
"And that's where you are wrong! You dont control me, You did not create everything! You did not create this, nor did you created heaven or hell. In hell, before me- there was nothing! I created it in my image... You only created the living universe for these poor morons you place there to see how they live out their lives!!! But everything beyond that, you did not create.", Lucifer begins in a bragging tone.
"Enough!", I yell at the top of my lungs, but notice there was no echo to follow.
"My, he does seem to have fire in his spirit...", Lucifer turn to me with a smile.
"Is there a way back?" I ask.
"No there isn't.", God says.
"Yes there is, but only of you prove yourself worthy of the oppertunity.", Lucifer explains.
"There has to be, many people die, and yet come back.", I explain to myself.
"No- they were partially dead. Only their hearts stopped, but their brains lives and their sould remained attached. They never got as far as you did. They never got here. Face it Francizi- you are for all intents and purposes- are dead. Your soul separated from your body. There is no way back.", God explains
"Ahem...", Lucifer saids in a fake cough, covering his mouth.
"Well, what its it!", God says to him.
"What of your son, Jesus. Was he not dead himself? Was he not here, waiting for you at one time? Dont give me that bull that another cant be sent back once they gotten this far!", Lucifer says to God in a challenging tone.
"Well, he's not worthy enough! He's not capable of creating the miracles my son did. He can not do, will not be, and so can not be sent back.", God says with authority.
A bright flash in front of God, revealing an ancient scroll, wrapped in a bright red cotton ribbon.
"Dont play games with me Lucifer.", God says in a challenging tone.
"What wrong? Too scared to read your own words?", Lucifer says, upping the ante.
God takes the scroll and unwraps it. reading the words inside.
"Why is this here?", God asks.
"Thats a good one- the Almighty asking 'Why is this here!!!', Dont you remember- you gave one man a very long time ago the knowledge you hold in your hands.", Lucifer explains.
"And he did not use it, he failed in his task.", God explains as he rolls it up again.
"But our friend here, while he was alive, owns it, and is willing to use it once he understands it.", Lucifer says pointing his finger at me.
"You both speak of the Montesi Formula?", I asked.
They both turn to me amazed that I even knew what they were talking about.
"See- I think he's worthy.", Lucifer saids proudly.
"He too would fail. Just the other before him.", God says.
"If you think I would not use it, then by all means, dont send me back. I'd rather stay here than to ever face stepping into that ring of fire and light...", I say loudly to myself, but they heard me. Something about this place makes sure, that even the slightest thought gets comminucated to all parties involved.
"Then how about we take a vote on it.", Lucifer waves his hand, and up from the ground those banished into enternal damnation and the demons who constantly punish them arise. They all look surprized, the damned releaved, the demons in protests, all fill the land to the horizon itself.
"That would be a very one sided vote!", God protested, waving his hand and openning the heavens above, where the angels flys and those worthy stand in mid air as if they were in their own clouds, all filling the sky to the horizon.
I look in awe of the infinity there is of good and bad, yet here they do not fight amoungst themselves, for they have one task at hand.
"You all know what is at stake here, since we can not reliably decide amoung ourselves, must pass it onto you...", Lucifer stands and says in a voice from which all have heard.
"All those in favor in sending Francizi back to the moral realm, knowing the risks involved, weather he should succed or fail, to take that risk, cast thy vote now!", God says in a voice that all can be heard.
It starts from the far off distance, and rolls down through the land and sky, a chant can be be heard growing until it fills the infititum of Purtagory itself, in a unison form, "Let him go! Let him go! Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!"
"Those who oppose in sending Francizi back to the mortal plane- let him speak now for forever hold his peace!", Lucifer says in a voice that all can be heard.
The chanting stops, followed by a silence that was there before that filled Purtagory.
Both God and Luficer look upon each other.
"The vote was cast. They all want him to go.", Lucifer says in a boostful tone.
"I still have the final say on this.", God says.
"Hasn't Humanity taught you anything? You can't have it your way all the time...", Lucifer says in a mocking tone. "Maybe in the universe you created, but not the one where you was born in.", he says almost laughing.
Angry, God waves his hand to reveal a doorway of light.
"Go!", God says almost yelling, in an angry tone, point at the doorway.
"And do us proud boy...", Lucifer says as he tosses to me the scroll which holds the knownledge of the Montesi Formula and the destruction of at least one form of evil that has been plaguing mankind since his existance.
I stop, just before stepping through the doorway. "Just one thing- How can one save anyone else from being destroyed...*", I asked before being interupted.
"You already know how...', Lucifer answers before the hand of God pushes me through the doorway. Behind me I heard a loud, but yet faint cheer in the background as the doorway closed behind me.
"Damn you- lets see what you have unleashed amoung the population this time!", God protests to Lucifer.
Lucifer laughs, "Damn me?- I'm already damned.... and for unleashing, it was you who shoved him through doorway. I had nothing to do with that!"
It is cold.
I am in a lot of pain.
Unable to wake up for the moment.
Unable to move.
But at least for the moment- I am alive.
End of Chapter 29