Upon waking the first thing that met his weary eyes blinded him and made him scream out in two things he’d never before experienced; surprise and agony.
The scream that fought its way upward through an already dry throat was weak as it exited his cracked lips.
The agony, however, had nothing to inhibit its brilliance.
With no other choice, he shut his bright blue eyes tightly against the glowing light so bright it brought pain to his head. He squinted tightly as he held up a bare arm encrusted with sand to guard his precious orbs from the cruelty of the invading light.
In so doing, a bright flash of pain flared in another place, his shoulder. "Oh! Dear Dad! What is that?" He exclaimed to no one for there was no one around to hear his cry. Cupping his raised shoulder with his free hand to support it he found the other shoulder hurt just as much. "What is going on here?" His voice just flooded away in the vast emptiness around him, nothing more than a wisp of sand on a scant breeze. That was just as well as he hardly recognized the sound of it, so raspy and raw it was nothing but a whisper.
Very slowly he lowered both lanky arms to his slender side and stood still for a moment. Even behind his closed lids that thing in the sky burned so bright his lids lit up red. Instead of blackness, blessed blackness, he saw a great glowing red orb. Like a beating heart, the strange red orb pulsated until it made his head pound in time.
"What is this?" He mumbled. "Where am I?"
Before he could open his eyes for a second glance something flitted over his skin. It was a strange thing, just as strange as the blinding light all around him.
Yet, both were familiar all the same.
"Wind," he uttered taking the chance of opening his eyes again but instead of looking up, he glanced down at his bare feet to see the scorched cracked dust he was standing upon.
That was when he noticed he was completely naked. There wasn’t a single stitch of cloth to protect his flesh from, "The sun, that’s the sun!" He cried in a more pleasant form of surprise.
For eons all the light his eyes had known came from burning fires and torches to keep the ever-present darkness at bay. He stood there for a very long moment opening his eyes wider and then a little bit wider until they adjusted to the brightness they were forced to view.
Wherever he was, it was a desolate place. Turning around in every direction he saw absolutely nothing but scorched Earth at his feet, a shockingly blue and utterly cloudless sky along with that lemon yellow ball above him. Trying to get his bearings, dread began sinking it. From what he remembered there should be birds flying around up there but there were none. There should be people milling about somewhere but again there were none.
Not even a single tree
The heart within his athletic chest began to race
That too was an unfamiliar experience
"Alright, alright, just calm down. Just relax. Just…breathe." He encouraged of himself. "There has to be a rational explanation for this."
As his eyes adjusted to the brightness around them and the pain in his head began to subside, he took in a deep breath of clean air. Then another. Then another. It was so strange not to smell the burning stench of Sulphur or have hot ash catch in his lungs. But the air was dry and hot. Almost hotter than where he’d been residing since nearly the Beginning of Time. Sliding his tongue along the roof of his mouth he realized another strange thing and asked himself aloud; "Am I….thirsty?" His mouth and throat were as dry as the land at his bare feet. "Yes, I think I am. How strange." Not only that but he was hot, oh so hot! And he was in pain.
Without further thought he threw back his head, stared straight up at the sky and called out; "Father! Father! What have you done to me?"
There was no reply even though his Father was the only logical answer to the current conundrum.
He looked down at his naked body with the blistering sun beating down upon him he noticed his flesh, so white it was ghostly from all those millennia in the dark, was starting to burn. He waved a hand in the air. No clothes appeared to cover him.
The agony in his shoulder returned when he moved. He glanced to each of them only to see each now bore a very large hand print that had been burned into his skin.
"Father!" He called out again but this time his throat gave protest as it clenched tight with thirst. He held a hand to it and swallowed trying to create saliva to slake the parched feeling. A little came to wet his mouth but it wasn’t near enough. "Well, I don’t know where I am but I’m not staying in this desolate place," he sneered to the sky and called forth his wings so that he could fly off to somewhere better.
That proved to be a mistake.
Normally his glorious white wings would pop from his shoulder blades in all of their awe-inspiring Celestial Wonder and he would fly away.
This time, as he flexed his shoulder blades to call them forth, two jagged ends of busted humerus jutted through his tender flesh ripping it open in bloody flaps.
He fell to his knees gasping for breath as his slender fingers gripped the dusted Earth with the urgency of utter agony. Disbelief flooded through him. This was too much even for his Father and he began to believe some other force yanked him off his Throne and tossed him into this blistering abyss.
As he sat hunched there on all fours like a dog and wanting to wretch, he looked to his hands covered in dirt and noticed his gold and ruby ring was missing. He held his dirty hand to his dirtier chest and found his bear claw necklace along with the ancient key he kept on its chain were also gone.
Rising up to his knees, with his dick dangling on the dead soil, and still trying to get enough of the hot air into his lungs to make them work properly he ran a hand down the side of his head and came up very short.
Normally his luscious sun-like locks tumbled down from the top of his head to the middle of his back but now stopped short of base of his skull.
That was the last indignity he was willing to suffer before crying out again to the silent sky with its merciless sun, "Thief! You cannot strip me of my power and leave me out here to….to…cook!! Come here and face me, you coward!"
There was nothing but the blistering heat, the light breeze, and the utter silence of the emptiness around him.
Feeling the seriousness of his sudden situation settle on his slender shoulders and knowing his Father the way that he did, Lucifer Morningstar set his bare feet to motion in search of three things he never thought he would need; water, shade, and shelter.
As he walked, forced one foot in front of the other like some common Mortal, he tried to recall how he got here.
Wherever here was.
All he could remember was that one moment he was lounging on his Throne in Hell lording over all the demons, monsters, and fallen human souls just like every other day.
He was here.
The method of his arrival was clear when he looked at his reddening shoulders. For whatever insane reason, his Father had reached down from Heaven and pulled him out of Hell only to leave him in this vast desert.
"I guess unjustly sentencing me to be the King of Hell for all time wasn’t enough any longer, is that it, Father? Or were you just bored today?" He mumbled as he trod over the burning ground in his bare feet feeling each step sear his tender soles. "You know, the least you could have done was to clothe me, you Old Bastard. A canteen of water might have been nice, since you seem to have stolen my Immortality along with my wings and my hair! They call you the Just and Merciful One." The last he said with a snort as he forced his long slender legs to keep going forward, "Fools."
He walked until the sun made its daily descent. As it faded the air began to cool and became easier to breathe. He stopped to take a few breaths and watched in awe as the blue sky lit up in magnificent shades of purple, red, and orange.
How long had it been since the sun set or rise?
Or felt the rain on his skin?
The softness of green grass between his toes?
"Too long, far too long," he said quietly to no one.
When the day was done and darkness filled the sky he again marveled at the sight of the stars in the heavens. For a little while he thought it good to be back here again if only he wasn’t so alone.
Then the heat that made him sweat all day was replaced by the bitter cold of night. He found himself shivering and wrapping his arms about him trying to stay warm. What he wouldn’t give for a single blanket and cup of water. Whoever could provide him with those simple things could have the keys to his rotting kingdom. Yet there wasn’t even so much as a single scrap of wood to provide him with even the hope of building a fire to keep the cold at bay.
Tired and aching from his long day of walking, Lucifer lay down upon the cooling cracked earth. He curled up into a ball and fell into an uneasy sleep as he kept one eye and one ear open for any signs of predators. He was relieved and saddened when he found none.
In the morning he restarted his arduous Journey to Nowhere.
He walked and he walked and he walked until the soles of his feet were blistered and his legs were numb. Until his body was burnt from the sun and his lips white with thirst. Running his hand through his newly shortened blonde hair, he found it was matted with his own sweat. The desert dust clung to it turning it a muddy mat. His shoulder hurt but between the blades was the worst. The bones jutting through his baking skin wouldn't recede. They just kept drying out under the hot sun turning brittle and sending shooting bolts of pain down his spine to his bleeding toes.
Worse than the pain was the silence the total and complete absence of any single living thing beside himself.
As he walked he talked to himself, "I am not alone. The world still exists, people still exist, and I know that because the line just to get into Hell was as long as ever when I left. There was no shortage of souls."
Yet the terrifyingly nagging feeling that he was indeed utterly and completely alone on a now lifeless planet would not go away. Looking around at all of the emptiness it was hard to argue with that thought. Especially not when his stomach rumbled like thunder and his throat closed up tighter than a virgin after 9pm.
These were not things with which Archangels like himself were familiar with even if they had been damned to Rule Hell for All Eternity. He found them most unsettling yet was faced with the fact there was nothing he could do about it except to find food and water. After that he'd sort out the rest.
On the third day of his Journey to Nowhere with his body beginning to blister as it weakened from hunger and his lips began turning to ash, off in the distance he saw an amazing sight glinting and glistening beneath the waves of heat.
"Water!" He whispered from a cracked throat.
Not just water. He saw tall trees that would give him shade and shelter from the harsh sun. As he neared it, he thought that there might be fish in that pool. Fish he could catch and eat to quell the hunger that made his newly mortal body feeble. Wanting nothing more than to reach it he stumbled faster and faster until he got to its edge and cried out in victory, "Yes! Yes!"
He stumbled into the shade of the oasis, fell to his knees, and crawled to the water bank before he began gulping handfuls of crisp cold water. He felt it quench his parched throat as it ran down from his filthy hands and slip through his fingers to run in little rivers across his arms. He stood up. He took a few steps back from the blessed water and charged at it to dive it head first as he anticipated the wonderfulness of being submerged in it as it washed and cooled his sun burnt body. At the bank of the pool, Lucifer leapt high into the air happy as a child on the first day of summer vacation.
Instead of breaking the surface of the cold water the top of his head impacted on the hard cracked earth so forcefully that it let out a loud splintering sound, like a dry log under a heavy axe. His naked scorched body skidded across the dry dirt leaving a good bit of his angelic skin behind as he slid on his stomach faster than a slugger rounding for home at the bottom of the 9th. Perfect flesh was replaced by throbbing road rash from his handsome face to sunburnt cock. The final insult was the abrupt stop which broke his nose.
With all of the wind knocked out of him it took a great deal of effort for him to roll over onto his back exposing his full blistered and battered nakedness to the sky above. Laying there silently cursing his Father, his chest seemed to seize in place, suddenly his body sat up on its own and it began coughing. He watched as puffs of dirt flew from his mouth. His head lolled in the direction of the pool and saw nothing but dust. "A mirage? I bet you got a good laugh out of that one, didn’t you Father? Yes, very funny, very funny indeed," he sneered looking down at his scraped knees and his poor cock. "I know I haven't used it in a long time but I still enjoy having it, Father." The poor thing was a mangled mess of ripped tender flesh, angelic blood, and the blasted dust. His flat stomach hadn't made out any better and there were fat droplets of some red liquid falling from the sky onto his thighs.
He started coughing again only this time it was a wet guttural sound. From out of nowhere he had a sudden and disgusting urge to simply blow snot out of his nose into the air. That was odd but everything about his current predicament was odd.
No longer able to resist, he drew in as big of a breath as he could and let it fly as he exhale out his nose.
"Ow!" He cried again as clots of his own blood and mucous sped from his nostrils to spray out into the air and land on his lap.
For a long moment he just stared at it unable to believe he was watching his own angelic blood spill out onto his burnt flesh until it flowed in little crimson rivers over his aching thighs to form little pools dancing on top of the dry dirt.
Narrowing his powerful blue eyes upon the tip of his nose he thought it looked—bent. "Broken?" He muttered in a voice that was too thick with fluid to be his own, or so he thought. "That's not possible."
He held a hand to the side of his stinging face and even though he couldn't see it, by the feel, he understood it looked a lot like his wounded cock.
The pain was unbelievable. The way it ached in one spot, stabbed in another, and stung in the next was quite unnerving and angering.
"This really is a new low, even for you." He whispered through his throat still raw with sand. Sitting up straighter he tried to get to his feet but his ragged knees wouldn't allow it. "I have had enough of this game! Get down here and explain yourself!" He thundered as loudly as he could through the blood, rising mucous, and swelling in his nose. Without thought his dirt encrusted hands balled into weak fists. "Right now, Father, I mean it!" All his shouting got him was a ruthlessly pounding head and an even drier throat. "If you want me dead why don’t you just get it over with?"
Of course, there was no answer.
Lucifer sat there bleeding in the hot expanse of desert and felt helpless. Every centimeter of his body hurt, it ached, it cried out in a primal roar for sustenance and water—Oh, for a single drop of sweet blessed water—but, above all, it whimpered for the sound of another living creature. The desperation crept up on him in cold tendrils until he started to weep, losing precious water that he could not afford to expend.