A New Short Story

I sure would like some feedback on this:

1. Can you figure out what this is about?

2. While I know this is extrabiblical, do you think it unbiblical in any way?

3. How do you like the writing style/content?

 Tormenter – Part 1

“Oh. . . . I see” thought Knifeweed, or at least he was beginning to. Normally his direct supervisor was . . . well, delighted was perhaps too positive a word to describe the emotion. Positively Challenged? Made proud? In any case, his supervisor (Japeskim – regional vice president for this part of Asia) usually jumped at the chance to work directly with the Chief. And there were so many intriguing works to be done in the immediate service of their father below; the carrying out of a curse, for example, the punishment of an incompetent or insubordinate senior manager (the higher the better), or special torment of a human.

But this time, his supervisor had found a plausible, demonstrably reasonable, but (at it’s core) untrue excuse for avoiding an appearance (and subsequent handling of a project) with their chief executive, and asked (some would say ordered) Knifeweed to do the job for him.

In other words, Satan had demanded, Japeskim had begged off, and now Knifeweed found himself in a place that he had never been before – in Satan’s direct presence.

Normally he would have been . . . well, again, pleased was too positive a word . . . inspired by the potential strengthening effect this might bring to his career? Sure, that would work. Who knew? If he did his job well, on whatever this assignment was (of course Japeskim had been very vague – but he had mentioned murder as a significant possibility, and who wouldn’t want to be tasked with that?) he could potentially be positioned higher in the ranks, higher than Japeskim even, a lovely thought. Japeskim was no fool – he had to be aware of this possibility. So what was up?

But it was only minutes after the interview with the chief that step one of the project assignment was laid out: the initial meeting with the Almighty. Wait a second. . . What was that, again?

So now he was beginning to understand. Japeskim was risking damage to his career, but most would say that he was doing so wisely. No demon in his right mind would willingly choose to be anywhere near a meeting of their chief with their creator. Nothing good could come of that. Anything they learned from the Rejected King always turned out to be a curse to the demon that learned it. Any new goal set before them, no matter how much potential it looked to have, always turned out to be, again, a curse for the demon that did it. How could their chief not see this? Why did he persist?

Obviously he did see it. Obviously he had unspoken (or spoken only to a few) motivations. But Knifeweed would almost certainly never be privy to these. His mind began to pound with the thought of being so near the One who had cast them down, the One who was so cruelly able to have his way with them. . .

Now Satan was mentioning, almost casually, that Knifeweed would not actually be with him in the searing, glaring light of the presence of the head of the triune. No, he would wait some distance off, in the outer court. A minor consolation, but still a consolation. The Supreme Knower would, of course, be aware of his presence – he knows everything – but at least Knifeweed wouldn’t have to face him. Only (curse his ears!) listen.

At the end of the assignment briefing, Knifeweed bowed his head, and left. He had three human days before the Meeting, so he had some time to prepare, but what does one do to prepare for this? And the answer came back: Nothing.

So all that this extra time provided was the prospect of no rest and no peace for the next seventy two hours. But such is life for a demon, so how could he complain?

“Had I not predicted this?”  thought Knifeweed three days later. His spirit was still shaking after the meeting with the King of Kings, but at least he had calmed down significantly during the debriefing with the Chief.

This phase of his assignment was clear. Japeskum had been correct; Murder it was. Several, in fact, and they had been given much latitude, indeed it was surprising the freedom that the Rejected King had given them. And it looked to be a pleasurable and relatively easy endeavor.

Could this be some kind of trap? Almost certainly not. The Almighty was always above board. Disturbingly so.

But he knew well that the job that he was now leaving to do was just the surface of what was happening here. In the debriefing, the chief had focused almost exclusively on What Was To Be Done Now, ignoring the meeting’s subtext, the underlying and more important (and thus the expectedly unsaid) truth, that what they did here would be of no significant avail.

It was almost as if Satan wanted to pretend that Knifeweed hadn’t heard the extremely illuminating conversation he’d had with the Almighty. He supposed that one could argue that the Almighty hadn’t stated outright that the Human in question would stand firm in his faith and thus it was perhaps possible that he would falter. But Knifeweed was of the mind that one would only argue this who had merely, for example, read the text of the conversation, and not heard the father-like tone of certainty regarding the spiritual state of the man in question. And what fool would suggest that the Almighty might be predicting incorrectly? Did he not know the beginning from the end?

No, the man would not be turned, Knifeweed was certain, and he was pretty sure that Satan was certain of this as well, based on the solemnity and non-celebratory nature of the debriefing. It was an unstated, neglected fact that the normal primary goal of what they were about to do was not to be met. Of course there were secondary goals. The man’s wife held some promise. Even before the meeting’s revelations they could have guessed that she was less spiritually stable than the man. And what of the man’s associates?

This was not even to mention the piercing pleasure of the actual acts that they were loosed to accomplish. Terror, Sorrow, Bloodshed, the rending of flesh, screams of pain and the snuffing of (well, relatively speaking, of course) innocent life. But even the lowest among them were taught that this emotional reward, despite the joy it brought, was not to be the end of their goals. “We mustn’t be so shortsighted.”

Knifeweed grunted as he thought of it. Unfortunately, due to the knowledge that they had been given, shortsightedness was all they were allowed, at least with respect to the honorable man. He was his Father’s and that was that. So now he must accomplish the pleasant duty.

So that evening (as the humans of that region reckoned it) he took out his sword, walked past the servants of the King (with no small amount of trepidation, despite the promises the Rejected King had given them and the restrictions he had placed on these servants,) entered the bedroom of the Sabean prince and watched as his eyes opened with wakefulness and hatred as the demon placed the word into his mind: “Attack”