Nya Rawlyns is amazing. When she says, “Let there be … [love, intrigue, turmoil, sex, romance, beauty, realism even in the fantastic],” the reader’s response is “And they saw … and it was excellent.” I wish she had written Genesis; not only would it be more fun to read, the world in which we live would be a reflection of a gorgeous mind of marvelous depth. That mind is an artesian well soaking a crazed and desiccated landscape with love — true love, not artificially sweetened romance. (Not all romance falls into that category; enough does to warrant the phrase.)
In her series, The Strigoi Chronicles (and I would link to Amazon, if WordPress would allow me to, so please, go search for her books; you will not be disappointed), she throws open the gates of Hel and invites us in. One of my favorite characters is Jefrumael, right-hand-demon/assassin to one Michel De Velours, the Liege Lord of Hel. Jef is fascinating to me, and a photo prompt inspired this poem in his honor.
And as he fell, he knew the truth
The truth of kingdom come
That in that place, if ‘all for one’
Lacked ‘one for all’ refrain
Then heaven couldn’t, wouldn’t be
His home. Or theirs, the ones
They’d watched live out their lives
Their swift and painful lives.
He’d not believed the fears were true
The fears he should not have
That whispered ‘something’s just not right’
When standing at the Throne.
He’d shushed them, brushed them from his mind
The One could not be wrong
But there could be no doubt not now
As shattered, wingless still he fell
Flung from his sheltering home
Towards earth and them, the piteous ones
The One had fashioned there
Cast out, cast out, he was cast out
And yet he’d ask again
He’d stand before the One and shout
“It’s not fair or right, old man!
You say you love them, they’re your own,
And yet you give them that?
A few brief years, with pain and strife
And war and flood and storm
And when it’s over, their little lives,
In heaven here to sing your praise
Or hell to curse your name?
Where is the love, old man, in that,
Where is that father’s love
That you and they sing fondly of?
And yet I see it not.
You lied to them, old man, you lied!
You love them not at all.
It’s you, you love, and only you
And so must all of us
And even all those little ones
Must bow to you, you say,
Or suffer through the fires of hell.
How is that love?” he asked.
And then answer he’d been told
The words that sealed his fate
“They’re mine, I’ll treat them as I please,”
From heart as cold as death.
He’d leapt, his choice, he would not stay
And then the thundering doom
The curse that mocked his deed
“Be gone from here,” it said,
“They’ll see you’ve fallen from my grace,
Now hell’s your twice-damned home.”
He plummeted from heaven’s throne
And shattered boundary line.
Glad tidings once again rang out:
He’d opened heaven’s gate.
He’d take the the roaring fires of hell
And tenderly he’d care
For all the hapless hell-bound souls
The truth would bring his way
For even soul-blind see the light
When darkness shelters all.
Freedom sweet and freedom pure
Soaks parched and withering souls.
His dive from stagnant throne did break
Glass ceiling from above.
[image credit unknown. Information sought.]