This little story is based on the writings of Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy - Inferno. Dante writes of the poets journey through the underworld of Hell after getting lost on a walk one night. Good read!
It was millennia ago, but he still remembers the first time he ever laid eyes on her. He remembers the smell of Hell on that day, the sounds that surrounded him, and the hum of something different in the air.
Lucifer woke earlier than usual on the fateful morning. Unsure what had woken him or why he felt like he wouldn’t get to sleep again and so he stood to his feet and stretched his arms wide, alleviating the sleepiness from his body. He walked to the large window that opened out onto a wide balcony and looked out over Hell. This was his Palace, looking over his domain. He had crafted and shaped this Hell as everything he could ever want or need for the damnation of the sinners below, and he was proud of his achievement. As he looked out over his balcony that morning however, he knew something was very wrong in his kingdom.
It was a feeling. Maybe something new?
It was a smell. Maybe the lack of one?
It was a sound. Was that quietness he heard?
It couldn’t be shaken.
Lucifer walked back inside and knew that he had to find the source of this unease.
With haste he made his way through his Palace and out through the ornately decorated vast doors. Crafted from the bones of virgins and decorated with the blood of slain angels. As the large door softly closed shut behind him he thought for a moment about the countless angels he himself had disposed of, and wondered if their vengeance was now upon him.
Step by step he approached the gates of his Hell and noticed something immediately wrong. Upon creation of this Hell, Lucifer himself had chiseled the words ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE above the great stone gates. However as he approached Lucifer saw dark markings blasted over much of his first artwork so the inscription now read: DON HOPE, WHO ENTER
Lucifer stopped in his tracks and wondered how many angels might it have taken to blast his carving into that.
Seconds turned into minutes as Satan stared up in confusion.
Shaking his head and knowing he must move forward to find the source of this abomination he moved into the vestibule of Hell.
But here again things were wrong. Many of the horrifying plagues of bugs were lying dead on the floor. The stench of putrefaction was no longer lingering in its depth. A vast majority of the ‘lost souls’ damned to live their afterlife in this vestibule seemed content and at ease.
Something was very wrong.
The black river of Acheron was ahead and Charon the Ferryman was parked on this side of the shore, ready to transport newly damned souls to the other side where the nine circles began their descent into the deepest pits of Hell. Charon’s long gray hair hung down in dirty ringlets. His beard hung low and ratty. Circles of fire surrounded his eyes.
“Charon!” Lucifer called across the expanse as he walked forward, his large and terrifying body stomping over wasps, hornets, maggots and worms.
“My dear Lord Satan.” Charon bowed politely as Lucifer approached him. Charon could feel the frustration and confusion festering within his Master.
“Who caused this mess?” Lucifer demanded brusquely of the Ferryman who chauffeurs all new souls across the river to the depths of Hell.
“My Lord, I cannot say whom, only that a creature arrived in the night. A Creature of great power and prowess. The Creature would not show its face, and I felt a great need to simply keep my mouth shut and drive the ferry to the main lands of Hell as soon as it climbed aboard. I have not felt quite right since My Lord.”
Watching and listening intently to the Ferryman as he spoke, Lucifer did not detect malice, lies or deceit from Charon, simply doubt of what had actually happened, as though he was there but not quite there when the Creature arrived. “Take me to the main lands,” Lucifer replied shortly.
With a nod of his head Charon beckons his great Lord Lucifer onto the ferry and together they set off just the two of them to the main lands of Hell directly ahead over the black churning river of Acheron.
Lucifer was incredibly proud of his constriction of hell. 9 circles built in a concentric pattern moving
into the deepest depths of the underworld. Each circle representing a deeper increase in wickedness of the sinner.
Each circle held a different class of sinner;
When they reached the shore Lucifer stepped off the Ferry onto the land of Limbo, where the guiltless damned are punished.
Immediately the Ferry began its trek back to the other side of the black river where it would await another round of damned souls, waiting to be ushered through to the underworld.
Lucifer created Limbo as a deficient form of Heaven. Bearing no brutal punishments as the remaining circles would, Limbo is simply a place of being for those souls who chose not to take Christ into their hearts, but did take human virtue as a meaningful and serious endeavor in their lives. As he walked through he felt that the souls trapped here felt a ‘contentment’ that was never intended to be felt in Limbo and he was greatly un-eased by this.
Several souls he encountered were even smiling!
“This will not do,” he muttered bitterly to himself, promising to get to the bottom of this upheaval of his perfect kingdom.
Continuing along his journey Lucifer crossed down from the first to second circle, which was guarded by his serpentine creation Minos.
This monster had been crafted by Lucifer’s hands specifically to determine the depth of sin a soul committed during its tenure on Earth. Minos would look deep into the soul and see all the misdeeds and shortcomings of the earthly human. The creature would wrap its tail around itself a corresponding number of times according to the deliberately willed sins, and sentence the soul to that number circle in Hell.
As Lucifer approached his monster he noticed Minos was laying on the floor, cowering and hurt. The demon had been slashed and ripped throughout its grotesque body and found itself incapable of standing.
Lucifer knelt to one knee and placed a hand upon the great beast’s head, attempting to see what had happened to his brilliant and terrifying monster, but to no avail. The monster felt only fear of something that entered Hell and attacked him late in the night.
Knowing there was nothing he could do for the monster in that instant Lucifer moved on through the second circle, where a terrible and violent storm would blow without rest, buffeting the lustful to and fro throughout eternity, symbolizing the power of lust blowing needlessly and aimlessly.
As he descended into the circle he noticed that the wind was but a light breeze and the darkness that was supposed to fall throughout the day and night was but a light twilight. The souls damned to this circle were walking about and talking pleasantly to each other. Rage billowed up inside Lucifer as he began to realize that his Hell had been raped and purged of its former glory.
Circle by circle Lucifer descended. Noticing in every circle along the way that his punishments had been massacred to barely nothing.
The fourth circle of Greed; where the damned were to drag and pull great weights around the circle for eternity, were now carrying but pebbles and gladly gathering as many as they could find. The monster Pluto standing at the entrance to this circle had been flayed of all his leathery skin and was howling in pain beside a great boulder.
The fifth circle of Wrath was once a place where the actively wrathful fight each other on the slimy surface of the River Styx, and the passively wrathful lie beneath the surface, damned to be forever tossed about in the turmoil above. Phlegyas is the damned soul in command of the skiff that carries souls across the River to the circles below. But as Lucifer looks out across the expanse he notes that the souls are merely arguing plainly and the River is still. The skiff that has skillfully carried souls across the once churning water for millennia is busted and broken at the foot of the river, and Phlegyas himself appeared to have been heavily beaten.
“What happened here?” Lucifer demanded of his minion.
“It was a soul My Lord, a damned and dangerous soul who walked through as though nothing was what it was, and with a wave of its hand stilled the river and the souls within.” He spoke quietly of the memory with a reverent tone and shuddered slightly at the thought. “When it approached me I felt a pain explode within me like never before My Lord, and I knew that there was nothing I could do to stop it. The soul clapped its hands once and the skiff exploded, along with my face, and the monster simply dissipated in an instant, and reappeared upon the other bank.”
Lucifer thought for long moments at this account. He wondered if Archangel Michael was indeed in his kingdom of Hell, wreaking this havoc upon him. And if not Michael, which angel could it have been? Which monster could do this? Was it indeed merely a soul?
With a click of his massive red fingers, Lucifer righted the skiff again and skillfully stepped on board, taking himself across to the far shore, where the city of Dis stood in ruins.
The fallen angels securing the walls of Dis seem far too content as Lucifer walks past them, and he notices that their wings have begun to regrow. The gates to Dis have been completely destroyed and lay broken and twisted at the entrance.
Stepping over them with his great clawed feet Lucifer was now intent on finding the monster that had so easily destroyed what he worked so hard to build. Hell was in ruins.
Lucifer walked with determination through the Heretics of the seventh circle, whose tombs were no longer flaming endlessly. Their damnation to burn forever having been extinguished. A roar of anger was suppressed by Satan as the rage bubbled higher and higher within him. With a massive swish of his long and powerful tail he brought it down in one foul swoop, completely destroying four tombs in the process.
Forward he continued.
The seventh circle of Violence was divided into three rings, each one holding those sinners whose violence became deeper and darker. As Lucifer approached he noticed his Minotaur was completely absent from the entrance. Moving through to the first circle, where the River Phlegethon was made of boiling blood and held the sinners within its depths, he saw his great and powerful Minotaur dead on the shore, ripped and torn almost beyond recognition, and the sinners pulling at his flesh with their fingers and teeth, intent on ripping the beast to pieces.
The river no longer boiled.
The river no longer rushed with great power.
The centaurs who guard the sinners in the river were cowering and hiding behind the rocks here and there around the edges of the circle as they too were attacked.
The Dark Lord could no longer contain himself and howled out in anger, a long and horrid sound of disdain broke the shores of Phlegethon and sent the sinners running from the monsters body, finding places to hide from Lucifer.
He stormed through the River and followed it through to the second circle, where the harpies (hideous clawed birds) were forever feeding on the souls of the human suicides, who had been transformed into great gnarled trees. Yet as Lucifer stormed through the circles he noticed that a vast majority of his prized harpies lay broken and twisted on the ground, and the forest of trees seemed fuller, healthier and almost at ease.
“WHERE ARE YOU!” Lucifer bellowed across the forest, instantly causing a ripple of shock throughout the forest of souls who took their own lives.
The great tail of Lucifer broke and mangled many trees as he stormed through the forest to the desert, the third ring of the seventh circle. Where flames fell from the sky and the sinners were damned to burn for eternity. But as he charged through the plain, almost running now to find the beast who had caused this chaos, he felt the warm sand beneath his huge feet and noticed that the fire was no longer falling from the sky. Instead the fireballs and lightning streaked across the vast sky creating a light show of great magnificence.
Still following the river of blood, Lucifer runs toward the cliff where the monster Geryon should be hovering. Geryon’s great spiny wings like a dragon should be beating the air, his tail of a scorpion ready to sting those sinners who dare attempt escape, his hairy arms bulked like that of a viking prepared to grab and wrestle if need be, and his face of an honest and just man looking over the plains between the two circles. Watching. Waiting. But Geryon was not to be seen.
With a menacing growl Lucifer jumped from the cliff and down through the air he soared like the fallen angel he was. Landing with a ground shuddering thump that reverberated through the circles above and below him, and cracking the solid stone beneath his clawed feet.
Knowing now that he will only find this Monster in the deepest pit of Hell, the ninth circle, Lucifer runs as fast as he can through the ten rings holding these sinners. On his fierce journey he sees his demon guards of this circle ripped to shreds, some of the sinners beaten and bruised, others with limbs torn off or severe lacerations across their bodies and faces.
At least these ones got what they deserved, he thought bitterly to himself as he pushed forward.
He sees the bulk of the biblical giants lying ahead and knows he is close now, as instead of standing tall and proud, with their legs frozen in the lake below, they are bent over in pain and discord.
At the entrance to the well that leads to the pit of Hell, Lucifer stops and looks down. His huge frame will only just fit through the entrance and he did not intend to break the ice of the Lake Cocytus below him. Using the giant claws on his hands and feet he lowered himself into the well and down onto the ice of the frozen lake below.
He had always admired his creation of the pit. So many mortals believed Hell to be fire and brimstone, yet here Lucifer stood, in the bowels of Hell, upon a frozen lake that housed the most vile of sinners.
He felt something new around him.
There was a distinct smell that now filled his nostrils.
A sound could be heard distantly across the lake.
He knew now that it could not be an Angel in his midst. There was a monster lurking in the pit of Hell.
“WHO GOES THERE?” Lucifer bellowed out across the vast frozen lake.
Looking all about for any sign of movement Lucifer felt an anxiety rise up inside him. What if it had escaped already?
Then in the distance he saw something moving.
A tiny speck.
So far away.
The figure grew as it approached the great and mighty Lucifer.
But it can’t be, Lucifer thought to himself as the vision before him slowly became clearer.
He couldn’t understand.
His brain wouldn’t comprehend.
Across the expanse of ice was a woman. Adorned in what was once a long white dress, but was now covered in all matter of Hellish substances. Her hair fell in long dirty black ringlets around her wicked face.
And she skated toward him barefoot on the ice.
On the frozen Cocytus Lake.
As though she owned the place.
The woman, who was easily a quarter of the size of Lucifer, skated right up to his huge clawed foot and looked up, directly into his demonic eyes. “And who the HELL are you?” she asked in a tone of voice that commanded adherence and respect.
Lucifer was speechless.
A woman. Skating barefoot across his lake. After turning the Hell above upside down. Demanding to know who he was?
Instantly he fell in love with the woman.
She was no monster.
She was no angel.
She was a gift.
Perhaps from God himself for the work he had done in Hell.
But here she was all the same.
Lucifer dropped to one knee so as to come closer to the woman’s face. He eyed her from top to toe. Noticing fantastic little things like the flesh and blood stuck beneath her nails. The obvious broken fingers in her left hand. The patch of hair that was missing. And the fire that burned in her eyes. Hell fire.
“I’m Lucifer. This is my Hell. Might you tell me who you are?” he spoke politely and with reverence. This woman was special, and he knew it from the instant he had laid eyes upon her.
“Of course you are,” she replied with a smile of great achievement on her face. “I’m Lilith. This is now my Hell.”
“How do you figure?” Lucifer was shocked at the allegation and knew that he could pick her up in his hand and squeeze her into pure nothingness.
“Believe me Luci, you need me here.” She shortened his name in both a goading and playful way. “Take me to the Palace, lets sort this out.”
Lucifer saw no other option but to take the amazing woman to the palace above. If she could do all these things to his Hell in just one night, imagine what she could do in an afterlife.
Arriving back at the Palace, Lucifer took human form to be more comfortable with Lilith, and he made love to her in the giant bed that overlooked his Kingdom.
Days later they married.
For years they raised and formed The New Hell side by side.
Her creations of monsters were genius, even Lucifer couldn’t have praised Lilith more when she created the first Hell Hound. A gigantic and ferocious dog like creature that would hunt down damned souls on earth and drag them to the underworld.
Soon there was a whole hoard of Hell Hounds, but the very first of these creations was Lilith’s pet and she kept dear Beatrice by her side at all times.
And Hell was full.
Full of souls.
Full of screams.
Full of torment.
But after many hundreds of years Lilith became bored, having exhausted her imagination to such a point where the simple creation of a demon was hard.
She took no joy in the torture.
Or the screams.
Her own demons in her head chased her around all day and begged her for greener pastures and new challenges.
But her deep love for her husband Lucifer held her to Hell.
“What is it love?” Lucifer had watched his wife suffer in her own personal hell for months now. Every time he approached the subject Lilith refused to talk about it and buffeted his questions at every turn. He expected this again now.
“I need more,” she said simply.
“You can create anything you wish down here love.” But Lucifer knew this wasn’t what his wife meant.
“No darling, I need more than all of this. I need life again.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke the words that had haunted her for so long. “I need to travel and discover and learn.”
“Okay.” Lucifer had known this was coming, he knew his wife was a gypsy and wrestled with Wonder Lust. She had been deprived of adventure for too long now. “I’ve been thinking about you a lot, and what I can do to make you feel better, wondering if it was the centuries you’ve been here now, molding and creating this New Hell with me. I have an option for you.”
Lilith’s eyes sparked briefly with the Hell fire Lucifer had fallen in love with so many centuries ago. “Yes?”
“What if you were to be reborn on Earth? To live a life. Full and unburdened. To discover and learn. New forms of torture. New ideas for creatures. Your life will be yours to lead as a human being again, with no knowledge of our life together, and you will die by any natural cause that your life leads you to. Upon your death your place will be secured here for the next 100 years by my side, to teach me all you have learned in your latest life, and then you can be reborn again, as many times as you feel you would like.”
The spark had become a blazing fire with every word Lucifer spoke. He knew this was what she needed and wanted her to know that her happiness and contentment meant more to him than anything else in all the Earth and Hell.
“Are you sure?” she asked tentatively, practically sitting on the edge of her seat. She could feel the spirit of adventure calling her name again. It was practically screaming her name.
“My darling, it is now as it has always been since the moment I laid eyes on you in the pits of Hell, anything you need you shall have.” Lucifer felt a tiny sting of loss and sadness, knowing he would lose his wife for a vast number of years, but upon her return they would reunite stronger and fiercer than ever.
She made him strong.
Her brutality and imagination inspired him.
She was his muse.
He knew that letting her go would make her stronger and more powerful than ever before, which would in turn strengthen him.
So he had to let her go.
“Thank you,” she whispered through the tears and sat herself upon her husbands lap.
They made beautiful, delicate and intricate love one last time before a very long goodbye.
Laying naked on the gigantic bed, Lilith closed her eyes and trusted in her husband to perform the ritual he had never done before.
If even one little thing were to go wrong during the ceremony she would become nothing.
As though she never even existed.
Taking his natural form again, Lucifer knelt on the huge bed beside his now very small wife. He had forgotten tiny she was in comparison to his demonic body. He knew how careful he must be with this ritual to ensure Lilith’s survival. His great clawed hands trembled at the thought.
Lucifer closed his eyes and raised his arms in line with his shoulders, palms facing up towards the Earth. With determination and conviction he spoke the Latin words he never would have believed he would every say.
The room shook in response to the ancient majick being summoned.
Verse after verse Lucifer spoke into the room before bringing his hands together in a great, almighty CLAP that created a howl through the damned souls of Hell.
He took one of his long sharp claws and pressed it to the chest of his brave and beautiful Lilith, who had not once flinched through the ritual so far. Lucifer pressed hard and carved the appropriate Sigils directly into his wife’s skin.
Not once did she whimper.
Or even flinch.
With care and love Lucifer carefully cut each symbol into his wife’s body. At the completion of this ceremony he placed the tip of his large claw directly over her heart.
Lilith opened her eyes and looked up at her great and powerful husband.
A single tear rolled from Lucifer’s eye.
With the last three words of the spell he drove the massive claw straight through her and into the bed below.
The sigils glowed bright white.
Lucifer knew now that the spell had been performed correctly, and he would see his wife again before the next century was out. He breathed a sigh of relief and removed his claw from Lilith’s glowing body.
Through the hole that he had created a great white light shone and began to rise up from within Lilith, making its was out of her body and into the room.
Her soul of bright white light hovered and shone its brilliance for just a few seconds, one final goodbye, and then as quick as lightning it soared out of the room and vanished, intent on finding the Earthly plains and embedding itself in an embryo, ready for its new life.
A deep sadness filled Lucifer as he looked down and the body of the woman he married had disintegrated upon the bed, leaving nothing behind but a smattering of dust.
All of Hell was suddenly filled with a noise.
A great monstrous noise of love and loss.
Lucifer howled at his misery.
But he knew she would be back. And together they would rule Hell once more. For another 100 years they would be side by side.
Lilith was born 9 months later.
Looking back through history we can note the times when Lucifer’s Wife has walked the Earth with us again. When the most terrible and traumatic things have come about in the world because of one single human being.
She has been reborn as many different men and women throughout the centuries.
And will continue to haunt the Earth for eternity, returning to her husband for another 100 years at the end of each new lifetime, and developing their Hell by her new methods of torture.
Lucifer has now mastered the ceremony of rebirth, and has mastered his emotions of losing her every 100 years. Now he simply watches over Hell and patiently waits for his Queen to return to their Kingdom.