“The Reluctant Demon Diaries” is the story of an unnamed angel who was standing in the wrong place and fell to Earth by accident when Lucifer rebelled and was cast out of Heaven. The angel is sentenced to serve Satan as a watcher over the Earth. His assignment is to report what God is doing to try to save the Jews. At the same time, the angel is preparing a legal brief in hopes of one day presenting his case before the court of Heaven to appeal his exile.
The following excerpt follows the installation of Saul as King over Israel. The unnamed angel returns to the Second Heaven to give Satan an update. He arrives to find Baal and all the arch demon gods being berated by Satan for having lost possession of the Ark of the Covenant.
There must have been thirty or forty demons huddled in front of the doors leading into Satan’s inner court when I got there.
“What’s going on?” I asked as I tried to maneuver my way to the front of the line.
“Where have you been?”
“On assignment – to the Earth. I’m back with my report.”
“Good luck with that,” Bezel’s sarcasm caused a tittering ripple through the crowd.
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“Guess what, moron?” Bezel continued. “Satan doesn’t need your report to tell him when things are a mess on the Earth.”
“He already knows?” I found it disappointing to think someone had pre-empted my report to Satan. I had so few opportunities to impress him.
“Why don’t you just go in and see for yourself?”
Two demons pulled open the doors and made a mocking bow, then sweeping gestures with their arms to usher me in. As soon as I stepped safely inside the threshold, they pulled the doors closed behind me. I could hear the noise on the other side of the curtain that separated the entryway from the throne room. The demon guards standing on either side of the curtain didn’t see me because their eyes were scrunched shut as if not wanting to witness what was taking place right in front of them. I shut mine, too, but it was too late.
“You incompetent baboon! I told you what I would do to you if you failed me!”
I opened one eye and prepared to run when I realized Satan was not talking to me. I caught my breath and opened the other eye to see that he was jumping up and down on the back of Baal who was sprawled on the floor like a smashed pig. His eyes bulged and his tongue sprang out at every stab of the spear Satan held in his hand and as he came down hard again and again on the battered demon.
“Talk,” Satan seethed, “Tell me the rest of it before I slaughter you and feed you to the night birds.”
“It’s – not my fault,” Baal choked out the words.
“Then whose fault is it?” Satan continued to jump up and down on his back until he spotted me in the doorway. He gave one final stomp on Baal’s head and made his way toward me.
“Do you know about all this?” he demanded.
I had no idea what he was talking about.
“Yes, sir,” I lied, “I’m just here to fill in the gaps so to speak. Where would you like me to start?”
Satan whirled and strode to his throne and plopped himself down. Baal didn’t move or twitch.
“Is it true the Philistines had the Ark in their possession then lost it?”
“It’s true they had it, but they didn’t lose it. They gave it back.”
“They gave it back?” he jumped up and grabbed Baal up by the neck. “They had it and they gave it back?”
“There was no choice,” Baal spoke through ragged breaths as his tattered wings hung at his side. “It was killing them. They had to get rid of it before the entire army caved in on itself.”
“Do you know what it would be worth to me to have the Ark?” Satan slammed him to the floor.
“Yes, yes, that’s why we took it.” Baal picked himself up and tried to snap his wings back into place. “I was planning to bring it to you as a gift. But it was too strong – it was like the power of Michael’s sword was in the box.”
“Coward and weakling – that’s all you are. I never should have promoted you.”
I was desperately hoping Satan wouldn’t continue his tirade along this line. More than that, I hoped Baal would have the good sense to shut up. Unfortunately, as I’ve pointed out many times, demons, as a rule, do not have sense of any kind. It’s almost as if they can’t process cause and consequence.
‘Oh, is that right, Mr. Lucifer?” Baal seethed.
Don’t go there. Don’t go there, Baal. Suck it up.
“Oh, that’s right, your name isn’t Lucifer anymore, is it? Let me see, why did you change it?” Baal tapped his claw finger to the side of his head in a mock gesture of trying to remember. Satan was beginning to glow. I looked for cover and quietly slipped over behind one of the guard demons whose eyes were still shut tight.
“Of course you would have no problem coming against Michael’s sword.”
Drop it – drop it right there. I silently urged Baal to no avail. He had no idea the collateral damage that would occur if Satan exploded.
“Oh, oh, now I remember – you’ve already done that, haven’t you?” Then Baal made a sweeping gesture around the room, “which, correct me if I’m wrong, is why you were thrown out of Heaven into this god forsaken (no pun intended) black hole of the universe.”
Baal laughed like a banshee until he realized the granite floor he was standing on, usually cold to the touch, was heating up as it absorbed the white hot fire generating from Satan himself. The stone walls began to tremble and boulders from the top of the cave could be heard falling and tumbling into the street outside. I was pretty sure the demons who were waiting at the door were all but gone by now. I grabbed for the curtain rod over my head to pull myself up from the burning floor. Baal was hopping from foot to foot as Satan loomed before him and blocked any effort at retreating.
“No, wait, I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me,” Baal babbled still hopping as Satan levitated himself, roared so loudly my ears were stinging and crouched menacingly over the trembling demon god.”
“Wait, sir, you don’t want to destroy him!”
Who said that? Oh, no, it was me. What was I thinking? No one in their right mind would ever get between Satan and the object of his wrath.
“Oh, but I do,” the words dripped from his open mouth along with the ooze falling over his prey.
“I know you do, and certainly you have every right,” I was making it up as I went along, “and I for one would enjoy seeing you take your justified revenge on the traitor, but of course your wisdom won’t allow you to give in to your well deserved emotional fit.”
The walls stopped trembling and the glow from the floor was fading as Satan eased back from his crouch and looked quizzically at me.
“I am wise,” he said, “always have been.”
“That you are, sir. No doubt about it. You would never get into a fight based on a wrong assumption. Baal’s just joking with you. You know Michael’s sword isn’t in the Ark.”
“Of course, I do. Everyone knows that.”
“What’s in the Ark is far more dangerous than anything Michael could do. It’s the Spirit of God Himself who lives in the box. Or at least He did for a while. That’s what whipped the daylights out of the Philistines.”
“But He’s not in there anymore?”
“No, He’s still fond of it and watches over it, and there’s the residue of His Spirit certainly, but that’s true of anyplace God goes. He doesn’t personally spend any time in there now although He still regards it as holy as do the Jews.”
Change the subject.
“May I say how I admire your restraint? Even though Baal has brought you nothing but grief and disappointment, still you know the better decision is to let him live.”
Satan looked at Baal who was nodding in agreement so wildly he looked like a puppet of himself with a bobble head attached.
“Remind me why this is the better decision.”
“Because the rules of engagement on the Earth have changed.”
“I knew that.”
“Certainly, you did, sir. Now that Israel has a king, the battle will be more organized. You don’t have time to train and reassign replacements for all the demon gods who have disappointed you.”
“Israel has a king?”
“When did that happen?” Baal blurted out then slapped his claw hand over his mouth. Satan shot him a look that made him pound his own head between his eyes with his free claw.
“Ah-ha, I knew it. God abandoned them.”
“No, no nothing like that. He just decided to give them a king. It was bound to happen. The judge idea didn’t prove to be a long-term strategy, just like you predicted.”
“I knew it all along.”
I desperately wanted to say how Satan had no concept of anything long term, much less strategy, and it had been me – not him – to make the observation that a judge over Israel wasn’t a final solution. Instead I kissed up.
“You’re remarkable, sir.”
“So now God has given them a king.”
“To be more accurate, first Israel begged and pleaded for a king before He decided to give them one. I believe He always intended to give them one, just not right now.”
“Aha, then Israel is in disobedience. Right?
I didn’t say a word.
“Never mind, I know the answer. Israel is always in disobedience; though it doesn’t seem to stop Him from rescuing them.”
“I know it’s frustrating, believe me, I think about it every day. Nevertheless, God has abdicated kingship over the Jews and will now work through a human being to govern them. So your strategy will likewise adjust.”
“That’s right. Explain it to Baal. He’s too stupid to figure it out.”
‘Right away, sir,” I turned to face the confused, bruised face of Earth’s most powerful demon god. “It’s like this. Instead of scatter gun approaches, conning whatever insignificant group of humans you choose, your target is now the king.”
“Tell him why,” Satan interjected.
“Because as goes the king, so goes the nation. It will be up to the king to decide if Israel remains true to God or strays into one of your pagan temples for a little adulterous worship on the side.”
“What does this new king have going on? What’s his strong suit?” Satan asked.
“He’s quite tall.”
“Tall? That’s all?”
“Tall Saul – that’s his all.”
“Doo-wop, doo-wop,” Baal sang from the sideline before realizing his mouth was open again and quickly stuck a claw in it.
Time to change the subject again. I cleared my throat and referred to my notes.
“Whether or not Saul can be successful will depend, in my mind, on Samuel. On his own, Saul does not have the emotional or spiritual maturity to be a war-time king over an unruly population, as the Israelites are.”
“I see,” Satan mused. “but, I know just how to take care of Saul.”
“I’m sure you do, sir.”
“Tell Baal what it is. I’m still not speaking to him.”
“Right away. It’s like this. For Saul to succeed, Samuel will have to stay on him all the time. Saul is prone to take shortcuts, doesn’t listen, oversteps his boundaries, and has no patience. He didn’t want the job as king, feels insecure in the role and will soon become paranoid. At the same time, Samuel is old now and more important,” I lowered my voice as if telling a secret, “he doesn’t like Saul.”
“Then we go after Samuel,” Satan said.
“Not gonna happen,” uh oh, I appeared to be correcting Satan, “because Baal here,” I deflected, “has been after Samuel since he was one year old and has not succeeded.” Nice recovery if I do say so myself.
“Anyone can see getting Samuel is no strategy,” Satan snorted.
“If I may offer a suggestion,” I paused until Satan nodded to go ahead. “I propose you do nothing at all. In some ways, this is uncharted water. God has never allowed a king before and never settled on someone as leader who has so many obvious leadership challenges. Let me watch this at eye level on the Earth for a while. When I report back, it will be clear what you should do.”
“Be sure you don’t mess it up,” Satan said. “You watch the Earth, but I’m watching you. Don’t ever forget it.”
As if I could.
The King is book three of the series and follows the time of the Judges through the death of King David. Lucifer’s Flood and The Deliverer are books one and two. The fourth and final book in the series, The Redeemer, will be released in early 2011.
“The Reluctant Demon Diaries” is published by Realms.
Book 3, The King, was released on May 4, 2010
296 pages, Paperback
For more info, here’s my affiliate Amazon link: The King