This is my stop during the blog tour for The Heaven Falls series by Christopher C. Starr. The Heaven Falls series contains 2 books so far: The Road to Hell and Come Hell or High Water. This is an epic fantasy/ religious fiction series.
This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 10 till 23 January. See the tour schedule here. And check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post.
My name is Lucifer and I was first…
…and, yes, I am that Lucifer. Fall from Heaven, Prince of Darkness, ruler of Hell, Satan, the Devil, the Adversary, and a thousand other names.
Forget what you think you know. You’ve never heard this story before—not from me. Others have tried. None of them got it right.
See, I don’t want you.
I’ve never wanted you.
I want Him.
Everyone else is just in the way.
Lucifer heard me; as soon as my feet touched the glass surface of his platform, he laughed aloud and doused all the light in Heaven.
“I know why you’re here, Raphael.” Lucifer spoke into the darkness. “You’re afraid.”
I was afraid, but I wasn’t willing to admit it. Instead I said, “Why should I be afraid? The Father is with me.”
“You sure about that?” I could see Lucifer’s teeth glinting in the light wafting from my body. He was smiling. “You think he’ll still back you up now that you’re failing him?”
His face was the color of fire, deep and red, and a haze made him seem like a mirage. Even in the darkness, in the heat of his rage, Lucifer was still beautiful. His thin face, the angular cheekbones, his wide and open eyes, his halo of shimmering hair—all presented a portrait of absolute perfection. Even in this dark hour, I envied the crude formation of my own round face, my pudgy nose, the softness of my jawline.
I tried to sound as sure of myself, as certain as he was, but my voice cracked. “I’m not failing—”
He pounced on me, laid long, thin fingers on my shoulders, pushed that gleaming grin into my face. “Sure you are! Why else would you be here, Peace Keeper? Angels are dead, Raphael. Everything is slipping through your fingers. Sounds like failure to me.”
“This is your doing!” I pressed him back.
“Raphael, you insult me. Finger pointing seems so…beneath you. Besides, I’m bound, remember?” He fondled the chains streaming from his wrists and ankles, smiled at me again. “You chained me up so I couldn’t cause any problems for the others. Weren’t those your words?”
He was right. And I hated him for it. “Yes.”
“So you failed them, or you failed him. Either way, you’re a failure, kiddo.”
“I want to talk about what we do next.”
He was walking around me now. I could hear the chains scraping the surface of the glass.
“And I want to talk about your fears.” His voice sounded like velvet in my ears.
“This doesn’t help us, Lucifer. It doesn’t help us end this nonsense. ”
“Maybe I don’t want to end it. Maybe this is exactly what we need.” His voice became louder, bolder. Closer. “Does that scare you, Raphael, that you won’t be able to keep it together? Is that why you tremble in the darkness? Because when it’s just you and the Father and all the light and noise is gone, you know you’re going to have to tell him you failed?”
He had me. I understood in that moment how Lucifer could enflame the deepest of emotions. His words touched the very root of me; they spoke directly to the futility flexing in my palms. It was out of my hands—I knew that much. Lucifer knew it too. By virtue of the fact that I was there, standing before him, while he taunted me, it was out of my hands.
I tried to turn it back on him. “What about your fears? What about what you’re afraid of?”
“I’m scared,” he whispered, “that the Father won’t want me back once I’m finished.” The smile was gone.
I was taken aback by his honesty, his vulnerability. Lucifer acted as this impregnable fortress of a soul—deep and impenetrable. Everything seemed so calculated with him, like he was some celestial chess master moving all of us as pawns. I’d never known him to be a being of emotion—even his rage seemed intentional and justified. But here, when it was just him and me, Lucifer showed his face. He showed me his heart.
“Finished? Finished with what?” I said.
Lucifer was right in front of me, his slender frame alive with light and fire. “Got to even the playing field, Raphael. We have to make it fair. He destroyed my Heaven over a few souls. I think turnabout is fair play. Don’t you?”
“They call you the Satan for a reason, Lucifer. Don’t prove them right.” I reached for him, but flames licked at my fingertips.
“It is what it is, Raphael. What else can it be?” And his voice was sad.
Heedless of the warning, Lucifer had taken his mantle of the Satan and embraced it, owned it. I had hoped he would hold it like a talisman, keeping it at arm’s length as something to ward the darkest parts of him away. I had hoped it would be something that would keep him from falling over the edge. But he took the title—the name—and cherished it. Held it close. Satan was no longer a label for him; now it was an identity. A shadow that haunted him.
“You can’t let them tear themselves apart, Lucifer. You can’t. They’re innocent!”
“THEY ARE IN THE WAY!!” Lucifer was roaring now, fangs filling his mouth. His robes flailed with his animated movements. “The Father wanted something from me, and I didn’t understand it then. But I understand it now. I know what he wants now. And these—these animals—are a poor substitute for the real thing. They’re in my way.”
“What are you—?”
Lucifer calmed and dropped to his knees. He began to cry. “You know, there was a time, Raphael, before all of this. Before Heaven and the angels and you and Lilith—even before Gabriel—there was a time when it was just him and me. When I was all that he needed. And I messed it up. I ruined it! And I’m going to make it right. No matter what.”
There was something in Lucifer’s voice that frightened me. That let me know he was serious. That he meant every single word.
I sank down to his level, put an arm around him. “And you think making millions of souls slaughter one another is making it right?”
He walked away from me. “I’m not doing this! I am not responsible for their anger. You are. You’re in charge here, remember? This is your problem. Not mine.”
“And what happens when they finally turn on you?”
Lucifer chuckled. “They can try.”
There was nothing left to say, nothing to persuade him with. I played the only card I had left. “If I set you free, will you make it stop?”
Lucifer spun about and walked toward me quickly, with purpose. There was fire in his eyes and a wicked smile ripped across his face. He tapped his fingertips together. “You’ll set me free? Really?”
I dropped my head. “If you help me, help us, yes. I will release you.”
He cupped my chin now and brought my eyes to his. The smile was gone, replaced by the coldest look I’ve ever seen. His eyes were aflame and he stared at me until my eyes hurt. “I can’t make it stop, Raphael. I can’t. And I wouldn’t if I could: they’re getting what they deserve. But that’s not the best part,” he said.
Lucifer’s chains ignited. The worms that held him, that bound him to the floor of Heaven, screamed and pulled at his flesh, clamping down on his bones while being incinerated from the inside out. Finally the beasts jutted free from Lucifer’s form, but it was too late; they melted to puddles of silver that pooled at my feet.
“I’ve always been free, Peace Keeper. It was just more fun this way.” He began to laugh hysterically.
“How? How?” I could only stutter.
“Aww, you look surprised,” Lucifer said. “You didn’t see this coming? Okay, let me break it down for you since you’re a little slow. I know this place. I’ve been here for a long time. Sure it’s dressed up real pretty for all of you, but I know what it is. I know where it came from. And I know how it works. Did you really think I would let you hold me here?” Lucifer vaulted into the air.
“Got work to do,” he said. “See you around, kiddo.”
And the platform exploded, raining shards of glass, and me, into the darkness below.
# # #
My name is Lucifer…
I told you my story in The Road to Hell. It was only the beginning.
Now the war in Heaven is over; the damned souls have fallen. All is as it should be. But Heaven is a fractured, broken husk. The Host is silent. The angels do not sing. The Father does not speak. All of it is frozen. Dying.
Except for Michael. Michael the Archangel is busy hunting. Everyone.
And I’m in Hell. This horrible place is a living cauldron of agony that engulfs the damned and burns them for eternity. And in the midst of all this chaos is me. But don’t despair: this is just a means to an end.
A means to The End.
The Father made a mistake and I’m going to make Him end it. Because I know what scares the Father. And when you know what someone fears, there’s no limit to what you can make them do.
My name is Lucifer and I will be the last.
About the Author:
Christopher C. Starr is the author of The Road to Hell: The Book of Lucifer, the first novel in the Heaven Falls series. These stories examine God’s relationship with Heaven and Earth, told through the eyes of the angels. The next book in the series, Come Hell or High Water, will be released December 2020.
Chris makes it a point to look at the dark side of his characters, both heroes and villains, and his work explores the “grey”—that place where good and evil come together in all of us.
When he’s not writing, Chris enjoys comic books and movies, staying away from cemeteries, and poorly participating in P90X. He lives in Austin with his wife, two kids – the Boy and the Honey Badger – and a pack of dogs. You can check him out at http://christophercstarr.com or join the conversation at https://facebook.com/groups/heavenfalls
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Heaven Falls series. One winner wins a signed set of both The Road to Hell and Come Hell or High Water. US and Canada only.For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway