The Bleeding Son (3)
Chapter 3: Domino Effect
“So tell me, comrades, when a person is raped, who is the victim?” Azazel said, with a smile on his face as he leaned back on his plush rich couch, a goblet of wine in his hand, which he sipped from every now and then. Two well-built guards stood behind him him, motionless and unblinking. They were some of the most ferocious warriors in Azazel’s ranks. On equally plush couches, eating sweet meats, fruits and other spicy titbits were other generals of the region, all subordinates to Azazel, Prince of Sector Four, which included portions of Europe and Africa. The others around the golden table were princes of individual countries in Sector Four.
“The person who gets raped is the victim, of course,” Rabkar, a quiet but extremely blood-thirsty fellow replied.
“Any other answers?” Azazel asked, looking around the room with a mischievous smile on his face. The others simply stared back and waited. It was one of those moments where one had to be patient to allow Azazel ‘school’ them, as he like to do – which was fair, because Azazel was well and truly cunning.
“Ok, Rabkar is right. The person who gets raped, in that scenario, is the victim.” He paused for effect before going on, “However, to inflict damage on another, you must have been damaged in some way. The rapist has been broken in some way, the abuser has been abused, the criminal has been starved, deprived, of something – and it goes on and on. You must always understand that in order to damage humanity, which is our delight and our response to the One who calls himself God, the emphasis must be to create damage that causes more damage, to spawn destructive systems that spawn destructive systems…
If you can destroy an individual, warp him and mess him up, that is good. If you can destroy a community, that is even better. If you can destroy a family, that is absolutely fantastic – because families replicate, they breed, they multiply, they become more and more, and if you have an infected seed, a rotten union, a dysfunctional home, that, my comrades, quickly becomes the breeding ground for a broken society. It’s a game of Dominoes - “
“Though one can say the hole in the your argument is that no one damaged our High Prince!”, Ekans cut in. “He was the anointed Cherub that covered, dressed in the brightest garbs and covered by Kabod almost like no other”. The effect of his words on the room was almost tangible; the mention of Kabod always had that effect among their ranks. Kabod could evoke feelings of pain, sadness, loneliness...but this time, it seemed to evoke none of these in Azazel. The smile never left the lips of the master Strategist, but if you could see clearly or looked very closely at those malevolent dead eyes, you would see they were not touched by the smile that had curved his lips. Still smiling, he leaned back and raised the goblet to his lips to drink.
Then he was moving.
Like all high chiefs, Azazel was not just a master of wit and words; he was also a master of warfare. In a blinding move that was a blur, he crossed the space between his couch and that of Ekans the Seducer, drawing his sword in one quick move with speed that could hardly be followed by the eyes. There was no time for Ekans to draw his sword to block the attack, but millennia of combat had also sharpened his reflexes and without missing a beat, his dagger appeared in his hands with speed that almost matched the blurry motion of Azazel’s sword as it cut through the air, held in sturdy arms. And then, just when dagger would block sword, Ekans had gasped as sharp bolts of pain erupted from both sides of his lower torso - and then Azazel was catching the blade of his sword that he had let go of in midair with his teeth, his twin daggers firmly plunged into Ekans with both hands.
“The next time you cut into me when I speak, I will cut, literally, into you, dear Ekans”, he said without uttering a word, but all present could hear him - and in the midst of it all, the horrifying smile never left his face. Then he yanked out the daggers with a cruel twist of his hands that flung a writhing Ekans to the floor. Fallen angels do not bleed, but they could hurt like hell. A look that was a combination of pain, anger and embarrassment twisted Ekans face as he lay gasping on the floor before the other generals. The pain would pass and so would the moment, but the murderous intent that laced his heart would be there forever. One day, he thought to himself, I would have my revenge - and yet, he knew that Azazel would know that such a thought would have crossed his mind, and master Strategist that he was, he would lay plans that were a million steps ahead. In time, the opportunity would present itself, but for now, he would watch. For now, he would wait.
“As I was saying before the, er, intermission,” Azazel continued casually, sheathing his sword and walking towards his couch, “damage begets damage. Our High Prince was damaged by the one he loved more than any other, the EL Himself. Our Enemy. Yes, he had kabod almost like no other, but when the brilliance of the EL began to lead the EL into dark and ignorant pathways, then our righteous prince, the Morning Star had the duty of shining in the darkness - because of his great love for the EL and for light. And now that our Prince suffered damage, it is only righteous and just that he metes out damage to the very one that caused damage and also, to the expression of the madness of the EL Himself:
Man.” He finished.
The smile shimmered on his face as a look of confusion temporarily distorted his features, his mind going back to a distant conversation he had had with his Prince, their Morning Star, who, on that occassion, had a face that reflected the same confusion on that now shrouded Azazel’s face, a confusion that had turned the clear voice of the Morning Star, their now-fallen morning star, into a shaky croak as he paced the room with Azazel and asked in incredulity, “But Azazel, what exactly is man that EL is so mindful of him? Tell me, brother, what is man that He, EL, the great one, continually goes to him? When did divinity begin to find delight in sand...in dirt?” he spat the last word with disdain. Then the smile returned in full to Azazel’s face again and he sat down and looked around at the room full of generals.
“Okay, enough of the drama. Let us go over the work that each of you great ones is executing in and around the Earth. The take away from my little speech is damage begets damage, hurt people will hurt people, abused people will abuse people and broken people will break people!” He could see in the eyes of some that there were sympathetic feelings for Ekans who was now seated, though one could see that he was still experiencing some discomfort as his wounds, as well as his broken ego, slowly healed. Fear is better than love, Azazel thought to himself, and made a mental note about how the day’s meeting would end. When he bade the generals farewell, he would throw Ekans through the windows of the castle room, right through the glass, knowing Ekans would right himself before he hit the ground - but the additional wounds and suddenness of the act would send a clear message to the other generals:
If you dared to insult Azazel or even thought about some form of harm, then expect sudden pain and damage, his favourite word, again, and again...and again.
Michael sat quietly on the bed that was in a corner of the hotel room, naked except for a pair of boxer shorts. There was little light in the room, with little illumination coming from the light in the bathroom that was adjacent to the bedroom, spilling its soft lights through a door that was ajar. The darkness in the room felt oppressive; there seemed to be an additional shade of darkness and heaviness that shrouded the room, a darkness that went beyond a lack of light. At some level, he could sense the darkness, but what he could translate this to be was his depression. Linda was gone, Hilda was gone….forever - and his only comfort was in deriving pleasure from the bosom and body of a woman that was another man’s wife. God, he thought to himself, how had it come to this?
The sound of the shower from the bathroom pattered to an end, and then there was silence, then the soft padding sounds of wet feet on the shiny tiled floor of the bathroom. There was another moment of silence and he could almost sense a pause as his companion stood just inside the door of the bathroom, almost hesitant to step into the room. Then she walked into the room in full view of Michael.
At the sight of her, he felt an urgent stirring as thoughts of God, wife, daughter, life, everything seemed to dull as his gaze locked on her. She stood before him in silence, leaning against the wall, hair wrapped in a white towel like the towel that now wrapped her body. She wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the world, but her figure and eyes had an appeal that always seemed to suck him in from the first time he had met her. Smooth long legs shimmered in the soft lighting, and he almost sprang to his feet as desire surged through his being - and yet, a small part of him fought. A part of him wanted to sit her down and explain to her how wrong this was, why they should never see each other again, how she belonged to another man, how….
And then she was walking towards him, the swish of her feet on the padded floor dancing around his ears, the smell of her engulfing him, inflaming him and dousing the fires of whatever sliver of morality or righteousness he tried to pull up as a shield. She sat down on the edge of the bed and their eyes locked, and it was at that moment he realised she had been crying. He started towards her now, a cocktail of emotions that was largely an odd mix of of burning lust and confusion surging through him as he reached for her, the touch of her soft skin setting him afire as an animal part of him almost wanted to push past her tears to latch onto the satisfaction that would come with having her again.
“Don’t you just like the way they behave like dogs in heat?” Taog said with a rude sneer. “She is crying but all his ears can perceive is the song titled “Cry of the nether region!”. Taog finished with an evil grin as he sat in midair, his back to the wall, looking like he was sitting on an invisible stool planted on empty air, his tail flicking from side to side like an animated cow, with patterns of brown and white polka dots covering his leathery skin. His eyes looked wise and experienced and, like all the others, extremely cruel in their dead coldness. That deadness was the frightening reminder to us about what losing Kabod could result in.
I sat watching silently with Vlad by my side, not responding to the taunts.
“Just thought you righteous boys should know that I heightened the smell of her skin and added a little darkness to her eyes. I hear pheromones can make the strongest of the sons of men into quivering balls of desire, like this silly one right here. He has lost everything, but at the sight of a little bit of thighs - and a little help from us as well - he is reduced to a quivering mass of putty!” Taog ended, spitting out the last words with utter disdain. Anywhere the lady called Ola went, Taog went along, like an unwilling guard to a prisoner, pretty much the same way Vlad and I went along with Michael. Now that Ola and Michael were in the same space, Vlad and I had to endure the taunts, as well as the sickening stench, of our enemy.
The sounds began again and the bed began to rock gently as the two human occupants of the room became one...again, oblivious to the fact that that they were not alone in the dark room. Actually, no human being is ever alone, but very few were able to sense that we, the others, were always in the room. Watching. Seeing.
First it was a faint musky smell of Jasmines with a touch of rose...and something very close to myrrh, then the tingling began from my feet as a warm sensation went through my being, and at the same time the room began to be full of light that seemed to come through the wall, growing gradually in brightness. That perfumy smell seemed to swell till my eyes almost began to water and glaze over and without looking, I could tell Vlad felt the same way. I looked over at Taog who had dropped to the floor and was staring at the light for a while, struggling to remain in the room because he had been commanded, because it was his duty… But the power of that light and of that fragrance, the intensity of the Kabod that was strong enough to come through the walls, literally bend it without breaking it, was too strong - and then Taog ran right past us, to get away from that light, went right through the walls. And then he was gone.
The Boss came through and I fell prostrate, weakened by the power that came from his being. The bed still continued to creak, but it felt like sounds from a distant planet far, far away. Everything started to go grey at the sight of Him. I wondered why he had come here, to this place of shame, of sin, of dirt, of…
“Because he is my son…,” was all he said, and as always, the gravity and understanding of what he had said in four words could fill a million library of books and my mind went back to where it all began…
To Be Continued...