CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTY-NINE
“I take care of them,” Lucifer said.
“What does that mean?” Confused, Jeraine wrinkled his nose and shook his head.
“I take care of those souls who cannot love themselves,” Lucifer said. “They are broken, sorrowful. They weep and cry. I am their caregiver.”
Lucifer gave a nod.
“His ruler, the one you call ‘God’, was asked by Abi for help,” Hades said. “Lucifer is the most beautiful, cleverest, and loving angel. He was willing to love these poor souls back to soul integrity.”
Jeraine blinked at Hades and then Lucifer.
“What about the levels of Hell?” Jeraine asked.
“They are things the souls do to themselves,” Lucifer said. “I care for them until they are able to stop injuring themselves. You see, Jeraine, the soul holds the energy of the universe and in that way is the universe. It knows how to be whole, complete, unbroken.”
“Abi says that the body wishes to be whole,” Jeraine said.
“The body is a reflection of the soul,” Lucifer said. “If you care for the body, your soul will heal. It takes time, but it can be done in this realm through therapy and other modalities. If a person dies in, or particularly from, this state of self-loathing, these poor souls come to live with me.”
“Some souls are never able to heal,” Hades said with a sad nod.
“No matter what I do,” Lucifer said.
“But most work their way out of their broken place and come to live with me in the Underworld,” Hades said. “We welcome them with open arms. They see their families again, those who loves them. They share the knowledge of what their self-loathing had done, as well as how they healed. Everyone grows.”
“Human civilization has become more kind and more peaceful over time,” Abi said from the table.
“Am I going to remember this?” Jeraine asked.
“If you wish,” Abi said from the table.
Jeraine pointed to the clock — more than five minutes had passed. He took the tea strainer out of the tea pot and carried it to the table.
“Can you …?” Jeraine nodded to the mugs.
Hades picked up the mugs. Lucifer picked up the cream. They carried them to the table where Abi sat. Jeraine set the containers of cookies on the table and went back into the kitchen to warm the cake.
He stood on the other side of the barrier while the God of the Underworld and the devil he’d feared opened the cans of cookies and marveled at their first tastes of tea. If anyone had asked him, even a year ago, if he’d be warming cake for the terrifying monsters of his childhood, he would have said “No.”
But here he was – making sure the cake was delicious and getting ready to sit down with these creatures and share some tea.
Jeraine shook his head.
Life really was amazing.
And in that moment, he understood what Lucifer was saying. His own soul had been damaged by self rage from his addiction, his feelings of inferiority to his sister, and his abusive relationship with himself.
Lucifer looked up at him. He held up his tea up and nodded.
“To you, Jeraine Smith,” Lucifer said.
“To Jeraine!” Hades and Abi said.
Somewhere deep inside him, he felt some teeny-tiny portion of his soul move toward healing. It felt so good that he promised himself to try to stop the self-rage that injured his soul.
“Come, share tea with us,” Abi said.
Jeraine brought the cake to the table and sat down next to his friend and mother of all, Abi.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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