Lucifer could feel Raven. She had traveled far from the pit, far from the palace. He knew the farther she traveled, the more pain and suffering she would find. Lucifer grimaced, trying not be worried for the silly girl. Maybe, after seeing other human souls suffering and being tortured, Raven would become docile, and stop fighting him while all he was trying to do was help her leave.
On his way to find her, Lucifer passed many newcomer souls that were mostly fresh, not yet suffering badly. Usually, if Lucifer traveled from his palace he took pleasure introducing them to their new life of pain. His distaste for humans inspired a joy in torturing their pathetic souls. And Lucifer was much more creative than whatever their pathetic minds could come up with when it came to pain. His mission today stopped him from indulging but he was thinking of a different kind of torture for Raven when he found her.
And he did find her.
She wasn’t running as he had expected her to be. She was hiding behind a rock formation in the hills. Raven was watching something as he approached her.
“What are you-”
“Shhh…” Raven interrupted him. Lucifer came up behind her, to see what she was looking at. Lucifer saw a woman- Jenna- one of the newcomers that had arrived with Raven. The woman was being attacked by little creatures with burns all over their naked bodies. The woman was screaming and she was naked, too. The whole scene was surrounded by a ring of fire.
“What are those things?” Raven asked, not looking away from the woman.
Lucifer could tell this was a form of punishment the woman was inflicting upon herself. He had never seen those creatures before, but they weren’t really creatures…
“Those things are children.”
“What?” Raven broke her stare to look up at him.
“She is doing this to herself. It is the guilt she holds in her heart that is torturing her.”
Raven looked back to the woman and before Lucifer could get another word in, she ran to the woman. Lucifer watched confused and amused as Raven stepped through the ring of fire to reach the woman. Lucifer followed her to just outside the ring. Raven stepped around the burnt children and grabbed the woman by her shoulders.
“Calm down.” Raven said. The woman stopped screaming, but her eyes were still wide with fear of the monsters that had been attacking her.
“They aren’t real.” Raven continued, though the woman kept looking around nervously at the kids.
“Did you hear me? They aren’t real, you’re making them up!” Raven shook the woman to refocus her attention. Lucifer watched on: amused. The woman finally spoke:
“They’re not real?”
“No, they aren’t,” Raven assured her. In that instant the burnt children disappeared and the circle of fire around Raven and Jenna stopped burning.
“See?” Raven said.
Jenna looked around and not seeing the children or the fire, she seemed to relax a little bit. Raven smiled. Her smile was enticing and Lucifer was stunned that she had helped the woman. To further his disbelief, Raven offered the woman her shirt. When Jenna was covered, Raven continued to console her.
“You know you can leave here, you don’t have to suffer.” Raven said.
“How?” Jenna asked, staring at Raven like the miracle she was.
“I think you just have to forgive yourself.”
“I don’t think I can do that…” Jenna looked down. “I was a bad person, I deserve this.”
“No, you don’t!” Raven insisted. “You should find peace.”
“I can’t forgive myself!” The woman was crying.
“I do.” Raven said, taking Jenna’s hands in her own. “I forgive you, no matter what you have done.” Jenna’s eyes seemed to brighten as she said this.
“You forgive me?” The tears were coming faster now. “Really?”
“Yes, really.” Raven’s smile never faltered. Finally Jenna smiled back and with a blinding flash of light, she was gone. Raven’s eyes widened and she stepped back. She looked around for a moment, then looked to Lucifer. He was frozen with shock. He was not certain that it could be done, but Raven did it. She helped a soul move on and find peace.
In less than ten minutes.
Lucifer didn’t know whether to be delighted or pissed. He decided on being confused and strode over to the girl. Upon reaching her he decided it was better for his concentration that she was fully clothed and produced a shirt to replace the one she had given to Jenna.
“What was that?” She asked him as she dressed.
“I think you know.” Lucifer scoffed.
“I really helped her?”
“Yessss, you did….” A familiar voice sounded from behind the pair. Raven turned to the sound of the voice but Lucifer had known who it was that spoke.
“What? You aren’t going to introduce me?” The hissing, serpentine voice asked.
“Just go,” Lucifer said, turning to look at his questioner. He didn’t so much look at her as he turned to gauge Raven’s reaction to her. He knew what she would see. A beautiful woman, standing at a height taller than himself, with long jet black hair that veiled around her. It was impossible to tell where her hair ended and her body began. Her face was white but her body was spotted black. Her hands and fingers were the most noticeably so; they looked more like claws than human hands, her long nails ending in sharp points. The way her hair splayed around her naked and blotched black frame made her appear birdlike- though she had no wings.
“Oh darling, now that’s not nice.” Her tongue slithered through her teeth on the last syllable.
“You have no business here, you witch.” Lucifer said, really looking at her after establishing that Raven was truly terrified by her. It almost made him angry that he did not seem to have the same effect on her.
“She does not belong here, that makes her my business.” She sang in an eerie voice, daring to step closer to them. The hairs on the back of his neck shot up. “Introduce me.” She commanded. Not wanting to anger her more – not out of fear for himself, but for Raven- he complied.
“Raven, this is Lilith.” Her name felt like knives on his tongue. He looked to his tiny companion to see how she was fairing. To his surprise, as she was continually surprising him, she looked confident, determined even. Raven was standing her ground, after she seemed to have composed herself from what Lucifer knew was the initial shock of meeting Lilith.
“Lilith, Raven.” Lucifer completed the introduction, not wanting to be in Lilith’s presence any longer.
“Why are you here, Raven?” Lilith asked the girl as she continually approached, her hair circling her body in swift motions, like it was being blown in a breeze that was not there. Raven didn’t answer Lilith, obviously catching onto Lucifer’s distaste for the witch. Raven was openly defying her. Lucifer was half proud, half disturbed, because he knew that Raven’s defiance would only anger Lilith more. Raven stood tall beside him yet, even as Lilith’s advance on the girl was obviously jarring.
“Why are you here!” Lilith screamed, her voice sounded like howling wind, like a wounded animal, like suffering. Lilith grabbed Raven by her chin, black claws digging into her flawless flesh. Raven’s eyes widened at this act, and she tried to pull away. Tried and failed. This confused Lilith.
“She has the eyes, but not the strength?” Lilith brought Raven’s face closer to her own, lifting Raven from the ground at least a foot. Raven struggled to free herself from Lilith’s grip, daring to touch the witch, pulling at the claws digging into her face with small, weak hands. Lucifer wanted to help her, wanted to rip Lilith’s arm off, but he knew this would not help Raven. This would only make things worse.
“Let her down.” He said, deciding that this, trying to sound as disinterested as possible, was a safer option.
“Get rid of her.” Lilith spat. She threw Raven to the ground with such a force that her small body looked like it would break. “If you do not… or cannot…. She will be mine.” With that and the flash of her black eyes, she was gone. When Lucifer was sure she would not come back, he scrambled to help Raven. He picked her up in his arms and made sure that there was nothing broken. The scratches on her face he healed with a touch of his pointer finger. When he was certain she was alright, he set her down in front of him, righting her on her feet.
“What was that?” She asked. She looked more frightened now that Lilith was gone.
“I told you before about your eyes.” He said, not wanting to get into specifics about Lilith. He needed to get Raven back to the palace soon. He didn’t need her to cause any more commotion. He needed to give her incentive to stay put until he could get her out of Hell, but there was another reason he wanted her to stay in the palace. He was now worried about Lilith getting her hands on Raven for good, but why? Lucifer now knew something interesting about Raven. She could help souls move on. He could use her to rid his domain of all these human spirits. How was he to know that she would be both beautiful and useful?
“Hello?” Raven was waving a hand in front of his face. “Lucy? You still there?”
“Do not call me that.” After all that had just happened, she was still trying to push his buttons.
“Okay, well I like calling you that.”
“Let’s go. We have a lot to talk about.” This time it was Lucifer who took her hand, pulling her to follow him. She held on tightly, complying without argue.
Hey guys, this is my third post for Inktober! The image has two credits because I have cant really find the owner, so if you know the artist, please comment and let me know! I linked the Pinterest page where I found it and the tumblr the Pinterest link brought me to.
Also, this excerpt is from a longer work that I am writing. Let me know if you like it!