Blasphemel stood atop a rocky outcropping, looking out over a lake of fire. The screams of the damned were particularly grating today, and he wished there was somewhere he could escape them.
There wasn't, so he settled for a nice view. Not that there were many views in Hell one could call "nice", but the aesthetics of the lake were pleasing enough. He shrugged, and his leather wings rasped against one another.
He sighed. He missed having feathers. He missed soaring through the vastness of Creation, rather than over the festering pits of Hell. He missed the music of Heaven. He missed his friends. He missed being beautiful, and he missed Love. He missed... he choked back tears.
He missed God.
There. He thought it. Okay? He missed God. Not for the first time, Blasphemel wished he'd never rebelled. Never turned his back on Him. Never Fell for eons into Darkness, his angelic beauty burning away until only a charred vile demon was left.
Another scream broke his reverie. Damned humans, he thought. Wretched little ape-things. Why did God have to go and give them brains? And freewill? It was madness! He'd thought it then, and still thought it now. Blasphemel knew, first hand, what horrors the humans visited upon each other with their big brains and freewill. He always knew no good would come of God's grand "experiment".
But maybe, just maybe, he should have kept quiet about it. There hadn't really been any point in shooting his mouth off, had there? Where had it gotten him? Hell, that was where. Yes, looking back on it, Blasphemel should have known how their little rebellion was going to go and stayed well out of it.
But Lucifer had been so damned convincing. Up in Heaven, when Lucifer spoke to you, well, it was the next best thing to speaking to God. He'd felt special, important, just to be asked to join Lucifer's crusade. He thought he was going to make a difference. He was working to save Creation from a horrible mistake.
Too late, he realized he'd been little more than a pawn for Lucifer's wounded ego.
Of course, it was "Satan" now. Woe unto any demon who dared call Satan "Lucifer" to his face. That would get your wings torn off, then sewn back on, then torn off again, and the rest of you fed to Satan's hounds. Blasphemel shivered at the thought of them. Foul creatures.
He shivered at the thought of Satan, too. Of all the former angels, he had changed the most when he Fell. As beautiful as Lucifer was, Satan was that ugly. Gone was Lucifer's charisma and irresistible charm. Satan ruled by fear and cruelty. The other demons whispered that, where God had loved Lucifer best, so did He hate Satan most of all.
Blasphemel turned away from the lake and the screaming souls. Acid tears sliced gouges in his ravaged scaled flesh, falling to the bare rock with an audible hiss. He fell to his knees, claws raking the ground, and did something he'd sworn never to do again.
"Dear Lord in Heaven, forgive me!" he cried. "Please, forsake me no longer! I admit my mistake, and my black heart fills with naught but regret! Please! I beseech you! Take me home!" He buried his face in his hands.
"Please God, I want to come home."
There was no answer, save a deep mournful howling. God could not hear his prayer, but Satan had, and he'd set his hounds upon Blasphemel. They would be here soon. When they finished with him, they would drag his ravaged body back to their dread master and Blasphemel would suffer millennia of torture.
A thought struck him then. What if he ran? What if he hid? What if he found others like him, regretful and filled with bitter longing for a home forever denied them? He flapped his massive leather wings, flying far out to the edges of Hell's domain. An idea began to form in his mind.
Yes, he would find others like him. He would gather them to him.
And they would rebel.