“Push! Come on Martha, one more push. The Baby’s crowning!” Dr. Lee instructs from the foot of the bed. “Come on, one…two…PUSH!” For a moment all that’s heard is the wailing of the newborn. “Congratulations Mr. Furr, you’re the father of a beautiful healthy baby boy.”
With a smile on his face Luscious calmly replies to the doctor, “Thank you doctor, but I think Martha’d prefer to hold it, I need some air.”
“Our son’s name is Gabriel; that was your choice so please don’t call our son ‘it.’” Martha says scolding Luscious, but he was already out the door.
As Luscious walks down the hallway of the hospital, he can hear his perfectly healthy son crying in his mother’s arms. Halfway down the hall Luscious stops and turns back to face the room, “Don’t forget son, I have plans for you.” And with that he puts on his black pinstriped derby hat and turns again, instantly Gabriel stops crying and dies in Martha’s arms. Luscious resumes his walk and unnoticed by anyone a slight knowing smile sprawls across his face matching perfectly to his finely tailored black and red suit, humming a quiet tune.
Martha’s cry can be heard well outside the hospital, over the sirens, over the car horns, over all other noises. Then all at once the cries, the sirens and horns, and all noise cease.
In an intense white flash of light Gabriel wakens in front of small polished wooden gates with no definable markings. “Hello Gabriel, I am Peter and this…” the man steps aside and opens the gates with a wave of the hand, “… is Heaven.”
Confused Gabriel gets to his feet and for the first time notices his body, and now he’s even more confused, “But I’m just a baby, right?”
Peter explains, “Yes you did pass away as a child, and now you are at the peak of physical ability as are all who are in Heaven. Do you think you’d be expected to spend eternity as a baby? You are in Heaven; you’ll never age or become ill.”
Still confused Gabriel asks, “Where is Heaven, WHAT is Heaven?”
“Forgive me; I understand you died as a baby before you could comprehend these concepts. Give it time, your mind has the capacity to understand all things, and there are certain notions and emotions instilled in everyone before birth. The rest you’ll learn while here. Trust me, you have time to learn.”
With that Gabriel floats through the gateway and is immediately comforted by the countless others he just joined. Completely carefree, Gabriel’s mind is absorbing everything he’s taking in and the longer he stays the more at home he feels. For what would have been over a decade on Earth, Gabriel nonchalantly spends his time mingling with everyone in Heaven, but mostly those he’s learned to have been in Heaven longer than he. Throughout it all he hasn’t a single care or concern, except his father.
With no sense of time in Heaven, Gabriel has no idea of the time passed on Earth. The entire time, he keeps in his mind that his father has a plan for him. Focusing on that Gabriel speaks to an angel that is said to have been there from the beginning. “John, do you know who my father is?”
With a voice that can sooth the wild out of a boar John replies, “Of course I do child, your father is the same as mine, the same as all of us here in Heaven, he is God the all father.”
“But what of my Earth father? He has a plan for me.”
“The only plan that matters is the Lord’s plan, and of your ‘father’ on Earth, he is not your father. As I said God is your father. The bearer of flesh means nothing to the creator of all life.” Placing a hand on Gabriel’s shoulder, “You’ll learn this soon; here you have nothing but the chance to learn.” Nodding with a smile Gabriel walks away, but he still isn’t satisfied.
Returning to some of the friends he has made, a group of angels who all died as children, some older than others. Speaking to a child who died at the age of 10, “Hasar, everyone says children and good people come here, right? Well, where do bad people go?”
Having died long before Gabriel, Hasar has accumulated a vast amount of information, and is always glad to relay it. “All bad souls go to the land of the fallen one, where everything goes wrong and no one is happy.”
“The fallen one? Who is that?”
“He was the greatest of all angels, but rebelled against God, leading other angels to their doom. His name was Lucifer.”
The sound of that name cracks open a barrier of thought overtaking Gabriel’s mind, Lucifer? Lucifer? Luscifer? Luscifur? Luscisfur? LUSCIOUS FURR! With that the floodgates of his mind explode with memories he never knew he had, rewriting his life. A father he couldn’t remember re-enters his life giving a new meaning to his afterlife. The plan he never knew becomes the destiny he is to fulfill. And for what seems like decades, Gabriel prepares for the inevitable.
A lifetime after being abandoned by her husband and losing her only child on the same day, Martha dies alone in an alley with a needle in her arm. At the time of his mother’s death, Gabriel embraces his new life with a new family, a family of angels influenced by a cunning he inherited from his father.
“Brahman, you lived your life as a Buddhist yet instead of achieving Nirvana, here you are in Heaven. This ‘god’ commanded his people to live a certain life style filled with prayer and ceremonies, but here we are among Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, even agnostics and atheists. Where is the importance of our lives, if we all arrive here governed by someone we didn’t believe in?” Every word that leaves Gabriel’s mouth adds another seed of doubt in the mind of the recent arrival.
Trying to present a valid rebuttal, Brahman clings to all he can, “God doesn’t govern, everyone here is equal and free to do as he pleases.”
Truly furious Gabriel responds, “Equal! Are you equal to Peter, or the powerful Michael, or better yet, my namesake, Gabriel? Free as we please! Are you truly free, are you free to leave?”
“You’re named after the Archangel Gabriel and here you are trying to convince me to revolt?”
“The ‘Messenger of good news,’ yes my father has an interesting sense of humor. However, if ‘trying’ is all I’m doing perhaps I was wrong in thinking you were worthy of being saved.” With his last con in play Gabriel turns to leave.
“Wait,” Brahman bites the bait, to the delight of Gabriel, “What do you mean saved? Saved from who, from what?”
“Despite what you naively think, we here are not equal. During the battle of Armageddon we will be nothing more than canon fodder. A distraction to be used by the higher angels in which we’ll be sacrificed for the ‘greater good.’”
“And what do you propose?”
“Join me, help me overthrow this righteous hierarchy and we twelve will have our thrones in the kingdom to follow.”
“How do you know this? How do you know what no others know?”
“I know much, for I was chosen, but if you still doubt, I shall find another to be saved.” And with that the 12th disciple of Lucifer was converted, slating an attack on the unprepared angels in Heaven.
Sometime later the 12 unholy disciples of Lucifer gather, where Gabriel dictates the coming war plans like a seasoned general. “Listen up every one, there’s no way the twelve of us are prepared or capable of completing the task at hand.”
“But I thought you said we were done recruiting Gabriel?” asks one of the disciples.
“We? What is this we? I finished recruiting but if you interrupt me again ‘we’ll’ have to find one more. As I was saying, we can’t do this alone. So our first order of business is to eliminate Emmanuelle and take her sword. With her sword we will be able to open a rift that leads to Hell where my father will be waiting with his legion of minions ready to over throw Heaven and this hypocritical hierarchy which has stood too long unchallenged, when finally I… we twelve will be able to take our rightful places in the coming kingdom. However, Emmanuelle is constantly surrounded by several powerful ‘friends’ and getting to her will be the more difficult of our tasks. That is what will require our greater numbers. We will deal with each of the three angels she will be with, with a 3-1 ratio. The strongest of the one we’ll need to deal with is Abdiel, he is perfect even among angels and was responsible for thwarting my father and his resulting banishment to that boiling inferno he’s been damned to since. The other two will be much easier to eliminate, Ammiel who basically observes the sins of humans on Earth, and Rumael, who’s nothing more than a traitorous peon who was with my father in the great rebellion, but he atoned for his sins and still resides in Paradise. I want John, Brahman, and Robert taking out Abdiel first and fast. Yoon, Mathew, and T’Chakal eliminate Ammiel while Paul, Chris, and Kl… Klie... I’m sorry I still can’t pronounce your name.”
“Yea, you three are going to deal with Rumael, and be sure he suffers. Meanwhile Mark and Anthony will attend to Emmanuelle and open the window to Hell.” Gabriel, happy with the future event he knows will so perfectly unfold, relaxes in his chair to revel in the moment for a while longer.
“And what will you be doing in the mean time?” Mathew nervously asks.
“Me? I have a theory to test.” With that Gabriel waves them off, to rest for the following night as he smiles in anticipation.
Interestingly enough, there is no following night, nor any previous night, no night at all in a kingdom of eternal light. The notion of night is another thing implanted into Gabriel’s mind from his father. None-the-less, the time arrives and John, Brahman, and Robert, lead the front followed by the rest with Gabriel following behind donning his father’s lost armor.
They approach nonchalantly enough, according to plan, and only steps away they break formation, as it were, and all attack their respective targets. Seeing John, Brahman, and Robert struggle with Abdiel, like a good general, Gabriel turns back and gives his men an unexpected hand, surprising the angel allowing the three to overpower him. Happy with his soldiers’ progress Gabriel leaves for his own mission.
After their leader’s assistance, the three point men were able to deal with Abdiel with little struggle. Same goes for the rest of the crew with their respective angels. Mark and Anthony easily dispose of the distracted Emmanuelle who was more concerned for her friends’ well being than her own. After some bumbling and windows to undesired destinations, they succeeded in opening a pathway to Lucifer and his waiting legion of demons and monsters.
In the meantime, Gabriel peaks his head past a small wooden door, “So I was right, your own arrogance leaves you unprotected, oh great one. The mighty Lord sits before me on a raggedy bench, no doubt crafted from the skills inherited from your earthly father. Your time is nigh, for you left your enemies unchecked. Or does one such as you consider yourself above having enemies? Answer me! Very well I should wait for MY father but your death is a pleasure I’ll like to see fulfilled first hand. Hmm? I wonder what happens to ‘God’ when he dies. Any last words?… Damn You Acknowledge Me! Bow before he who will succeed where his father failed. BOW Before Me!”
Gabriel charges in anger, flaming sword in hand. A tear rolls down His face just before He hangs His head in shame. Seconds before Gabriel can attack, a blindingly familiar light flashes, and Gabriel witnesses decades upon decades go by, backwards, and he awakens as a whelping babe in his mother’s arms moments after being born.
Outside of the hospital room the proud father stops his walk, a small triangularly tipped tail peaks below the pant leg of his tailored suit, he tips his hat heavenward, “Just keeping you on your toes old friend, just keeping you on your toes.” Luscious Furr resumes his walk, whistling, “You’re the Devil in Disguise.”
Let me begin by saying that I wrote this story nearly 15 years ago. At the time I recently read the bible and one thing that stuck out to me was that because God loves all kids they, like all dogs, go to Heaven. I began wondering what if one of these kids that was blindly brought to Heaven was corrupted, and from that sprung the story you read.
On a side note, I'm not really an Elvis Presly fan, but I do really like "Devil in Disguise" and felt it more than fiting for the context of the story.