Poor Satan

Once there was a being that thought it was unique. It
thought of itself as a man. It remembered having been
a child, although it was not a child. Often, it seemed
that the child had been someone else.

Since the being thought of itself as a man, it lived as
a man; it married a woman, it fathered children, it
owned a house and a piece of land, it went to work and
did what had to be done. But it came to the being that
there was an invisible wall between it and all that it

As time went on, the being thought that it was weary of
its world, that it had been destined for something
different, that it was unique. It saw itself as one
who was against its world, one who rebelled. At the
same time, it believed that beyond an invisible wall
the world was imperturbable; that nothing it, the
being, did, could really affect the world; that if it,
the being, disappeared, it would be to the world like a
ripple on a pond which dies away -- like the reflection
of a ripple -- after which the pond is clear.

Finally the being came to understand that all that it
had seen, and touched, and felt, its world, was an
illusion. At that moment the heavens were rolled up
like a scroll and all that the being had known
dissolved into nothingness. The being found itself on
a limitless plain. Standing in front of it was a
creature more beautiful than anything the being had
ever seen; its flesh was made of light; it was an

The angel advanced and spoke. "You are Satan, poor
Satan," said the angel. "You cannot rebel. From
before all things, you were cast out of the company of
the blessed. You were created to be that one who sees
the door which cannot be entered, hears the voices of
those who do not answer, touches bread and finds a
stone. Your vision shall be darkened, and even your
dreams shall be empty."

The angel smiled, a smile of supernal joy; the light of
it shone out on the plain in every direction.

copyright © 1998 Gordon Fitch