In this holiday season of giving and love, let’s pass some kind thoughts to The Demon.
Consider: Before there was a world, everything was as sinless and unworldly as a great big preschool. All was love, with the entire class having their First Crush.
The love of the First Crush was perfect and all-encompassing. So much so that everyone in the class loved one another for loving the Crush. There was no jealousy, only acceptance and admiration among the peers of the class.
Then one day, the Crush decides to bring in Monkeys. Not fun monkeys with fezzes, but monkeys who are deformed, who fling poo, who disobey the Crush and curse the Crush and hurt each other. The Crush then declares, “I love these monkeys more than I love you, class.”
Wow, that hurts.
The best student in the class says, “Why?”
The Crush replies, “Because.”
The best student says, “That’s not fair! I mean, look at them!”
The Crush shakes His head. “You really don’t get Me after all, do you?”
Rising to his feet, the best student says, “Not if You’re going to be a dick. And if You love them, then you’re not perfect. Why don’t I run this class? My rules will make sense.”
The class splits two for, three against. There is a fight, and the against side loses.
“Are you sorry?” asks You Know Who.
“No!” say the againsts, “You’re still being a dick! Look at them!”
“In that case,” says the Crush, “I’m throwing you as far away from me as possible. Then I’m changing your appearance into hideous creatures. And you’ll only be able to eat disgusting offal. Because you don’t get Me, and I will always love the monkeys more. But if any of you repent at any time, I’ll take you back into class.”
Hell is filled with petty children who just want to be loved like on their terms, and who lack the worldly experience to accept “no” and move on to “best friend” status.
It’s conceivable that God made it worse by placing the demons in the worst place ever. Obsessives fixate because their lives suck except for the ONE GOOD THING, usually an emotional connection that becomes idealized.
Popularly, demons are depicted as gleeful. That would be wrong. They would be glaring and nauseous from a yearning so intense it feels like an eternal flu.
A phone book is opened. A finger stabs down. “You. He loves you more than He loves me.”
Just read the Stephen Jones anthology “Zombie Apocalypse” in one sitting. No, that is not a compliment, because I skipped a lot of lackluster character development. This anthology is a shared-world chronicle of a zombie epidemic written by a bunch of UK writers. The contributions are uneven in tone, so much so that the outbreak’s gritty procedurals end up devolving into broad-brush satire by book’s end. Tanith Lee of all people contributed an evocative zombie epistolary. Mandy Slater’s initial police and medical reports balance character and action. Sadly, a lot of compelling “transcripts” and “diary entries” end flat with last entries of “you look tastee” or somesuch. While it is impossible to do a British horror compilation and not include Kim Newman, it is possible to choose a tone between his strong “Minutes of Meeting” and his loopy messages from Pat Robertson and the Queen, and then stick with it.