He lay across the pew and idly played with the bell on his jesters cap. "Of course," he said, "it could be just like it was. I need someone to arrange my affairs and run things, and conveniently youre here. Things worked themselves out nicely in the end."
"I have no intention of working for you now, or ever again." Daimonique paced back and forth up the isle. "Its over. Its done. You can run your own affairs." She stopped. "Christ almighty, youre almost as old as the universe itself."
"But you were so good at it," Raphael said, as the bells jingled merrily. "Come on, Daimie," he wheedled.
"Do you have any idea how many of your people died in the last ten years, in your name? Do you want demographics and charts? How many of your servitors that I had to lie to and tell them they werent sick? How about my own child?" Daimonique was trying very hard to keep her anger in check, and it was leaking out through tightly clenched fists. "They didnt even know what was going on."
Raphael waved a hand. "Thats what demons do. That is what they are designed to do. They die. Usually messily."
"Thank you, Mr. Enlightenment. Im more enlightened now."
"Look kid," Raphael said, "here are the facts. I have your geasa and your soul. I can make you do anything I want. If I want you as my personal ass washer, who does nothing but stand in the bathroom and wash my ass, then thats what you get to be for the next century."
"Gee thanks, Boss," Daimonique said with distaste, as she stopped pacing. "How Archangelic of you. Im sure all the little relievers will admire and worship your great wisdom as you create a legion of enslaved ass washers with no free will."
"Whoever said I have wisdom?" Jingle, jingle, jingle.
"I did, once, but it was in a moment of weakness," Daimonique said. "I clearly was wrong. Do you honestly think that youll get servitors to follow you if your single model is a mindless geased Lilim?"
"Ill make you do it with a smile," Raphael said.
Daimonique sneered, "Theyll be lining up around the block. Its a damn good thing that I know who and what you really are. You cant hide it forever."
Raphael sat up, and reached up to move the bells out of his face. "And what am I, exactly?"
"Not what you think you are," Daimonique said. "Youre not really anything at all, now." And she stalked out of the Cathedral of Enlightenment.
Later, she sat cross-legged at the base of Jacobs Ladder, watching the souls ascend in the hundreds. It was like a stream of white, flowing from the ground up into the formless sky. There were so many, it was difficult to tell the individual souls apart. She had been there for hours, or at least an extended time period which had seemed like hours. It might have been seconds or years or millenia. All she knew is that it felt like too many souls, too many dead, too many leaving the Earth forever.
She didnt shift her gaze when she felt the presence behind her. "There are so many of them," she said.
"Yes, I know," he said behind her, and she could hear him sitting down. "Many, many souls, all going to their final reward. I wouldnt feel bad if I were you, they earned this. When it came time to die, they got to go up there," he gestured upwards. "Up to whatever is up there now."
"But there is no Destiny," Daimonique said. "How do the souls know where to go?"
"I dont know," he said.
"Honestly?" She looked confused. He was supposed to know everything. That was part of the rules.
They fell silent.
"Your future doesnt lie with them," he said, gesturing up the Ladder. "Theyre done. Theyre finished. And there are thousands of angels, and soon to be thousands more, who will be rebuilding Heaven." He put his hand on her shoulder. "Your future lies with the mankind who needs you."
Daimonique sighed. "It always comes down to that, doesnt it. What is Needed."
"That is why youre the Lilim." Eli reached out and turned Daimonique to face him. "Do you trust me?"
She shrugged. "Sure."
"No, thats not good enough," he said. Long brown hair obscured large brown eyes. "Do you trust me?" he asked in earnest. "You have to trust me. Its very important."
"I trust you." She felt the grasp of some unknown impending doom grasp on her heart.
It was like some crucial barrier had been passed. "Okay." He took a deep breath. "Right now, you have to do something very important for me. And you must follow this to the letter."
"Okay " she said, tentatively.
"Daimonique, you must go down to Earth and help them rebuild. And not just rebuild their homes and towns. You must help them rebuild their faith. You must do what Needs to be done, what you were Meant to do. Right now, the world has almost been destroyed and Armageddon has shown its hand. Daimonique, you must go down to Earth and remind them that, above all else, through all the misery and the pain and the death, God still loves them."
"God loves them. God loves them beyond all else. Mankind must have faith in God once again, Daimonique. You must remind them of this." Eli stared deep in her eyes.
"Youre asking me to Create faith," she said.
"Im asking you to do what Needs to be done."
"What about Raphael?" she asked.
He grinned. "I can handle him. Not your problem."
She was silent for a while this sunk into her brain. Finally, she whispered, "Why me?"
"Because," he said, "you were born for this one single purpose." He ruffled her hair. "Besides, Im low on Lilim, so you get the job by default."
He leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. "Youll do great."
And then, once again, he was gone.
We Protestants must sooner or later face this question: Are we to understand the "imitation of Christ" in the sense that we should copy his life, and if I may use the expression, ape his stigmata; or in the deeper sense that we are to live our own proper lives as truly as he lived his in all its implications? It is no easy matter to live a life that is modelled on Christs, but it is unspeakably harder to live ones own life as truly as Christ lived his. Anyone who did this would be misjudged, tortured and crucified .
(Jung: Modern Man in Search of a Soul)
Daimon Lightner, ex-comedian, ex-writer, ex-actor, ex-man in the fast lane stood on the hill overlooking the destroyed finishing village nestled into the bay carrying nothing but a backpack, feeling like this is where he had started, somewhere in the hazy past when different things made a difference.. In the morning dawn, a few lights were still twinkling in the purplish light, hanging on the prows of boats leaving for the first catch of the day. The highway he stood on was packed with dead cars filled with dead bodies stretching both ways to the horizon, but no one paid them any mind. Up on the hill, no one lived. But down there, somewhere, there was life. He descended.