Lucifer stood staring at the slow moving traffic before him, disdain at the occupants, and confusion at the traffic system jostling for superiority in his mind.
Am I ever going to get the hang of the way these meat sacks go about their droll ridden lives? With his patience wearing thin Lucifer stepped out into the oncoming traffic and waved his arms above his head in an attempt to get one of the cars to stop. He was greeted with blaring horns which did little to mute the expletives shot his way as the cars veered around him and carried on their way. These pathetic ants in their motorised carriages, don't they know who I am?
No Lord, they don't. A small voice politely stated in response. Lucifer momentarily looked around for the source of the pitiful noise before remembering the person he was possessing was still alive. Would you like some assistance?
Yes, peasant. I'm looking for a man. Another horn blared at Lucifer and acting on the body's instinct he flipped the driver "the bird".
That's not what we agreed to when I signed up for this, Lord. I’m not gay. But perhaps we can get out of the road first? Lucifer shrugged and walked back to the pavement.
And not that sort of man, you distended rectum. I know he returned here in Brighton but where I don't know.
Well first of all my name is...
But if I can't find him here I know where he'll be heading. He'll be looking for that fucked up little wife of his so we could always start looking there.
...Sid. Lucifer paused at the mention of the man's name.
Look, I don't care what your name is. Shits like you are ten a penny and if I didn't need you to bring back Alan the only time we'd talk would be when you begged for me to return you your flayed skin. I sure as Hell wouldn't have made a deal with you so let's set some ground rules. You do what I say, when I say. Is that understood?
Sid swallowed hard, as much as a mind can do when it is no longer in control of the body it is connected to. Understood, Lord. How can I be of assistance?
I want to get to a woman named Mary. She resides at Blackwood Lodge. Do you think you can manage to get us there?
Sid visualised nodding but got no response. Yes. Yes I can get us there. As soon as Sid thought the word "there" he was given back control of his body, instantly pulling a face at the remnants of the meaty mild on his tongue.
'But where exactly is there?' Sid felt a sigh in his mind and images of a demon rubbing salt into his flayed skin flashed across his mind. The urge to urinate almost became unbearable as Lucifer momentarily reconsidered the idea of giving this half-wit control of the body.
It’s in Manchester. Do you require even more information or do you think you can now manage this simple task I’ve set you? Sid didn’t reply, only smiled a nervous smile. He then wandered ten yards down the road and sat down on a bench where two other people sat, both shifting slightly away from him. Lucifer raged and wrestled for control again.
Here am I, Lord of the Underworld, issuing commands, and this bag of puss can’t even follow simple instructions.
Wait, no. Listen to what I’m doing… Sid began as a bus pulled up alongside them. Satan stopped trying to take back control and watched one of their fellow bench-mates stand up and climb on board, the other shuffling yet further away from Sid.
These are buses, Sid began cautiously, and they will take us to where we need to go. We just need to wait for the right one. So Lucifer agreed to wait, not that he was comfortable doing so. Time slowly ebbed by and whilst Sid was quite content, mainly because he’d been chosen and a pact had been made, Lucifer was getting more and more restless. He was also distracted by Muriel and whether the angel was going to be stupid enough to report his presence on Earth to God,
That could really scupper my plans. He thought as another bus arrived. This time Sid manoeuvred his body inside.
‘Where to?’ The overweight bus driver asked curtly, clearly having a bad day.
‘Manchester.’ Lucifer replied instinctively, taking back control in response to the question. Sid mentally slapped his own forehead much to the devil's bemusement; then it clicked, they must still use the compass! ‘In the north.’ He added with a flourish and a grin.
Mind if I take back control, Lord? Sid asked politely. Lucifer - confused though he was - agreed. The bus driver watched the man before him shudder and was momentarily convinced the eyes just changed colour.
‘What he,’ Sid began slowly, now in control, ‘I. I mean what I meant to say is. How much to the train station?’
‘Two pounds twenty five,’ the driver replied, anxious for this strange man to go away: his sickly smile and ever changing eyes were giving him the creeps. Putting the right amount of loose change in the machine, and receiving his ticket, Sid went to sit down besides an elderly lady. She looked up and smiled at Sid, who smiled a car selling smile in return. At that exact moment she decided to get off at the next stop and walk the next mile and a half home.
The bus rocked back and forth and Sid's eyes began to droop. A hot meal and a warm pint were lulling him asleep. Just as his eyes finally closed a screaming thought boomed through his head, causing him to bolt upright to standing.
He's here, he's here. The little fucker is here! Sid felt control of his body slip from his grasp as Lucifer took back over. Watching through his own eyes as his head swivelled from one side to the next, coupled with the alcohol swimming around his brain, Sid fought back nausea. Then his eyes locked on to the bus window on the opposite side and Lucifer charged, banging his fists on them.
'It's him! ALAN! Alan you little shit! Don't you move! Sid, get him on the bus!' Sid was confused by Lucifer's outburst and more so as the world became unsteady and he was thrown back into his seat.
'No standing on the bus,' shouted the bus driver, accelerating sharply and causing Sid and Lucifer to fall into their seat, 'it's not your stop yet.'
What's going on? You can't just stop a bus like that, we have designated stops. Sid thought at Lucifer.
That was him! That was Alan! We need to get off the bus! Wait, where's he now gone? Lucifer went from red hot rage, to confusion, and back to rage again in a matter of seconds. Sid, you've lost him! You've lost him you absolute and Sid's mind was filled with a number of scenes involving him, sharp pointy objects, and his ex-mother in law. He tried his best to ignore them but, despite not being in full control of his body any more, his bladder emptied itself in response.
As the bus pulled up outside of Brighton train station Lucifer thrust Sid back in control.
You’ve lost him, you find him. Get me to his bitch of a wife and don’t fuck up again. He commanded as they entered the train station through the sliding glass doors. Watching through Sid’s eyes absently as his rage ebbed back and forth, Lucifer's thoughts wandered elsewhere as the car salesman ordered train tickets to Manchester. The groan emanating from Sid’s mouth as over £100 was added to his credit card barely registered to Lucifer; he certainly didn’t take in the fact there were going to be three changes and almost 4 hours of travelling. Lucifer was reminiscing again. It had been a long time since he last visited Earth and it was stirring memories of the woman he first fell in love with, and wondering if he would ever get the chance to see Eve again. Whilst she was unaware of his existence, it was because of her that Lucifer had started the rebellion in heaven in the first place. Lucifer now remembered the argument that had ensued upon his return to heaven, after his three week break involving an owl.
After the owl incident, as Lucifer preferred to remember it as, God was a little mad.
‘You! My top angel! Have been missing for three weeks! How in my name did you expect Heaven to continue to run smoothly with the chain of command missing its second cog?' God shouted down at a cowed Lucifer from atop his throne. Shattered beer bottles littered the floor immediately surrounding Lucifer, who had managed to dodge most of the projectiles thrown his way.
‘I had to temporarily promote Michael to second in command, who in turn promoted that half-wit Gabriel.’ This fact had annoyed Lucifer no end as he and Michael had never seen eye to eye, despite the many pleadings from Gabriel to maintain the peace over the years.
‘Michael’s a know-it-all and a suck up.’ Lucifer said in response, trying his best not to be drawn into a row with God. Whenever they had argued things never went well for Lucifer. It was hard to get one up on an all-knowing being.
‘I know that, Luci. But what was I supposed to do? What were you even doing in the first place? Disappearing for three weeks!’ God, with a face like thunder, threw another bottle at Lucifer, catching him on his shoulder.
Great, He’s drunk, again. Lucifer thought as he stared at the mountain of bottle tops beside God's throne, before lying through his teeth in reply.
‘I just needed a break, your Holiness.’ Lucifer saw God bristle at that. God hated being called your Holiness due to something about a trumped up little upstart called the Pope taking that title for himself, some time in the future. Lucifer often struggled in the conversations when God used his omniscience to take offence at things yet to happen. ‘I mean, being your second in command coupled with running the Garden of Eden is a very tiring job. Whilst it’s true you did a wonderful job in creating everything, and in a mere six days I might add, you have been kind of resting since.’ God, who was about to throw another bottle, halted mid-throw at Lucifer's last comment.
‘Well. It was six days of hard labour…’ He said, suddenly unsure of the situation. Lucifer seized the opening and, taking a leaf out of Michael's book, decided to brown nose his way out of the situation.
‘And what wonderful labour it was, my Lord. I just need a break every now and then to, erm. To collect my thoughts. Surely a three week break wasn’t too much to ask?’ God raised an eyebrow. ‘Not that I did ask, and shame on me for that.’
Thus a new contract was wrangled out between the two friends; Lucifer politely pointing out when God's handwriting was getting as slurred as his speaking.
‘So it’s settled. You’ll get one weekend a month off as well as one whole week every six months.’ God stated before draining the bottle of mead he’d only just decided against throwing at Lucifer. ‘In return I expect you to train Michael. Who will become an Archangel.’
‘What?! No! That wasn't agreed!’ Lucifer cried in annoyance.
‘No, I refuse!’
‘Luci, yes! And that is final. I won’t hear another word on the matter. Unless you’d rather we go back to the how things were?’ Lucifer caved at the thought of never returning to Earth and never seeing Eve again, so relented. He spent the next three weeks, through gritted teeth, teaching Michael the ropes; with Gabriel ever in tow. He did his best, when alone, to focus on how he was going to spend his upcoming weekend off with numerous options spinning through his mind. He finally decided, the Friday before his first weekend free, on how it was going to be spent.
‘A bachelor pad, on Earth.’ He proclaimed to no-one nearby one night. A better idea then struck him and turned his face into a grin that nothing with eyes would enjoy seeing. ‘No, inside the Earth!’
First thing Saturday Lucifer made his way to Iceland; his favourite volcanic island due to its blend of red-hot heat and snow-white ice sheets. The contrast was stunning, in his eyes. He’d managed to wrangle some time off for a few of his angel friends, who had started referring to themselves as the Grigori, under the guise that they would be working on maintaining the Garden of Eden. Instead Lucifer put them to work creating a retreat that would put even Heaven to shame. The first problem they had encountered was the heat. No matter how many vents they created it never made a dent to the temperature, although it did cause a few earthquakes, lava flows, and the extinction of many animals. The second was that despite carving into the mantle, where the rock was solid despite the heat, magma from hot spots and elsewhere had an annoying habit of finding ways into their carved-out rooms during their time back in Heaven. Lucifer eventually figured a way around this by tapping into the “waters of the deep”; a source of water deep within the Earth’s core which God was saving for a future flooding of the Earth. A plan He’d largely kept to himself but which He’d partially let slip to Lucifer after a night on shots of tequila and horns of mead; a drink God was partial to after Odin had introduced it to him during their University days in Valhalla. Using the “waters of the deep” to set up a water effect along the walls of his bachelor pad Lucifer managed to keep the magma at bay, even if it was now persistently sealing up his air conditioning vents. Another touch, he though would impress, was the inclusion of bones of terrible lizards within the bedrock. From giant two-legged monsters with tiny arms, big heads, and sharp teeth, to smaller terrible lizards with a giant claw on each foot for the disembowelling of prey.
Oh, and some larger docile ones to have hunted, had they existed beyond the construct of my imagination that is. With his pad coming along nicely, Lucifer started turning his thoughts back to his object of affection, Eve, and began to formulate a plan to win her affections.
‘The train bound to London Victoria will be departing from platform 4 shortly.’ The announcement shook Lucifer from his memories and he instantly grabbed back control from Sid: crouching into what he considered a decent representation of a Bruce Lee stance but looking more like he was stopping a bad case of flatulence from ruining his trousers. Sid attempted to calm Lucifer down,
It’s our train, Lord, he thought after a moment of confusion in selecting the right term to call Lucifer, want me to take back over, or do you want to drive?
‘No, no. I think it’s best you continue to take point. Just remember I’m watching. Always’ Lucifer replied out loud, relinquishing control again. The lady who was sat next to them looked up in confusion. Sid slowly righted himself, sat back down and was made uncomfortably aware of her stare. He turned to look at her, mid-40’s with cropped red hair, “Rhianna-style”, and flashed her what he considered another one of his car selling smiles. It was the same smile he’d been using all day; a smile which he’d perfected over years and one he believed put people at ease, especially as car buyers quickly signed the paper-work once it was on display. In reality it made them anxious to get out of the room and so they would sign anything put in front of them without question.
‘That’s the second sign of madness; talking to yourself.’ The lady next to him said with the pompous air of someone who believes they know what they’re talking about. ‘The first is answering back!’ She got up and boarded the train that had just pulled up in front of them, fighting her way through passengers getting off in an attempt to get away from Sid. Sighing, Sid got on via a door a little further up the train, to avoid attracting any more attention than that which his kung-fu crouch had already got him.
Perhaps this loaning of my body to the devil wasn’t the smartest idea I’ve ever had. Lucifer began to chuckle inside his mind, much to Sid's further discomfort.