Tides of Sorrow

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The warning from Samael had agitated the Prince of Demons. For one thing, Cain, being as ineffectual as he was, needed either to be ‘shown the way’ or put out of his moping, miserable existence. The vampire was nothing more than a hindrance to greater things. This persistent pursuit of him was distracting and needless.

But, Samael, for all he (as far as Beelzebub knew) had never made himself known to Cain, was still fiercely protective of him. Without doubt, if they harmed the blood-sucker, their General would not hesitate to carry out his threat.

Sitting at a table outside Costa coffee house, he flicked open the newspaper someone had left behind. His eyes scanned the print for news of his work. How he enjoyed reading the headlines heralding yet another successful unveiling.

There were some successes abroad at least. Another massacre at some complex in Norway, one or two conflicts in the East and a serial killer had been sentenced to lethal injection in California. Run of the mill really.

It was at moments like this Beelzebub wished he was like the fictitious devil he was believed to be; a master of nefarious creatures, all horned, fanged and cloven-hoofed would be rather delicious. And stampeding through the likes of Whitby would also be highly amusing right now. The only demons which his title referred to, however, were the ones which resided with Man himself.

The atrocities which human race inflicted upon their own were found under labels such as ‘Cults’, ‘Suicide Bombers’, ‘Fascists’, ‘War Crimes’ and a million more besides.

The culprits, if ever detained, were further branded, ‘insane’, ‘unstable’, ‘deranged’. Oh, the talking monkeys did like to analyse such things, but never did they find the real trigger. And how could they? He was but a painting on a wall, a story in a book, a character in a song or a film.

Yes, even the most docile of men harboured a grotesque alias. Some were buried deep, others floated just beneath the surface. But, they were all accessible to Beelzebub. He was like a snake-charmer or the fabled Pied Piper - play the right notes and they all come scurrying. Well, almost all.

He had tried so very hard to penetrate Cain’s soul. Laughable to think he still had one, but then again, God did work in mysterious ways. Had he been able to manipulate him, he would have been a glorious demon indeed; biting, tearing, ripping, drinking and then creating an army across the globe, losing sight of whatever he’d believed was expected of him. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Beelzebub just could not find that switch in Cain.

He could tell Samael was frustrated; things had not turned out as he’d hoped but, still, he would not tolerate anyone trying to harm Cain. Quite why he favoured this one, Beelzebub wasn’t entirely sure.

The General had produced many offspring over the centuries, his inability to resist a warm inviting sex had issued forth goodness knows how many little demi-gods - or demi-angels, however one preferred to think of them. For some reason though, Cain was special.

Even so, the vampire was surplus to requirement. There was too much focus on him. He had been the ultimate failure. The Prince of Demons along with his cohorts had fired up many susceptible humans to carry out their instructions in the past, a large number having been very effective - at least for a while.

If they were allowed to focus more on others, then their job would be done. Man would be no more. But no, their leader insisted on ‘looking in’ on his son every now and again. Sometimes for months or years at a time, before moving on.

Not for the first time, Beelzebub wondered what it might have been like to have had a son. Well, for one thing, he thought, he would have been obedient and done what was expected of him. Alas, that was not even a possibility for the prince of demons. He did not possess the necessary equipment. Classed as an abnormality in the human race it was quite commonplace in his genus.

With a sigh, he folded the newspaper and placed it back on the table. He stood, stretched then contemplated which direction he would go. It mattered not. He turned left. There was nothing to do other than be a tourist and try to find Apollyon.

Hopefully, they would receive word soon about where they should all congregate.

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