The bright masks and costumes, fireworks and fire-dancers, music and dance – a whole celebration went on outside as Sophia kneeled before the altar.
“My Lord, our Saviour, I pray for them. Forgive them their ignorance. They have closed their hearts and minds to the true meaning of this day.”
“And what would that be … Sister?” Every word that was voiced reverberated with a sinister tone.
The blind nun turned her head from side to side so as to determine where the voice came from. She stood grasping her rosary in her white-knuckled hands.
“I am sorry brother but how did you get in?”
“Through the front door Sister, like everyone else wishing to kneel before the Lord.”
The voice was closer now and Sophie felt the hair on her skin stand on ends.
“But the outer gates were locked. I am the only person with a key to the gate.”
Sophie tried to remain calm still moving her head from side to side to gauge the position of her unexpected and unwelcomed guest. Her blindness handicapping her she stood pinned before the altar.
“Ah Sister, you are a lady of the cloth, you know that there are things that defy logic and science and just happen. Miracles, is that not what you call them?
The intruding man stood behind Sophie. His breath warm against her ear as he whispered. Sophie’s heartbeat quickened and for the first time in her Forty-one years she knew what it meant to be sexually aroused.
“Stop this! Who are you and what do you want here? And how did you get in?”Sophie battled with the words, her body and mind in conflict with each other.
“Don’t be afraid Sophie I am not here to harm you. But rather for love.”
“I love only one man Sir and that is my Lord Jesus Christ.”
“My dear Sister I am afraid you are confused. I am not here to love you but rather to love him.”
“That still does not explain who you are and what you are doing here?”
“Oh Sister. You are more than familiar with me. You have invoked my name as blame for all that you and your kind do that is evil. Though many don’t understand I was his greatest gift to you.” The man’s voice echoed in the large church. Even in the echo an immense sorrow could be heard. “I was sacrificed for you.”
Sophie stared blindly in the direction of the voice.
“Who are you? Who do you love, what sacrifices?”
“Please Sister I frightened you at first and for that I am sorry, old habits die hard. I have played the role so long that I often forget to get out of character. I am sorry for disturbing your prayer on this night of feasting but I wish to sing for my Lord.”
“Brother it is late but seeing as you are already here and feel so strongly about this I cannot object.”
The man began to sing and though she knew not the language he used Sophie was moved to tears. Her every molecule seemed to rejoice in the beauty of the song and her blind eyes beheld a magnificent light. The earth began to shake and torrents of rain accompanied lightning and thunder and the rest of the world fell dead silent. With the end of the singing a definite longing was heard in the voice of the singer and then all else was normal .
“Brother you are gifted, the Lord has blessed you immensely.” Sophie spoke to the emptiness around her. Brother please tell me who are you?”
“I am your crutch, your scape goat, the magnetic north of all pointed fingers. I was his favourite, I was his sacrifice I am the first of the Fallen, I was once his musician but you have called me Devil, The Dark prince. You have called me Lucifer. I am everything that you call evil. “
Sophie was horrified and raised the crucifix of her rosary as if to hold the devil at bay.”How dare you enter the house of God you vile creature? “
“Come Sister there is no need for abuse. I am just here to honour my Lord.”
“How dare you..” Sophie was stopped by a finger on her lips.
“The stories that have been told to you are lies. I did not fall from Grace, I never challenged the Father. I never lost his favour. I was chosen. For the Lord knew, even when he created you, that you needed me more than you do him and though few will admit it I am an important part of your lives. Without me whom would humanity blame for every cruel and evil deed done. I am the fall guy and every instant I suffer in His name for your benefit.”
“Away with you Devil! You are not welcome here! You are the Prince of lies. A cruel and evil manipulator.”
Sophie moved to the holy water that stood on the nearby dais. Her movement brought laughter to the Dark Prince.
“Please Sister, I pray, shower me with the blessed water of the Lord. I welcome such anointment for then maybe you will believe me.”
Sophie stopped dead in her tracks, her mind ridddled with doubt.
“I am sorry to have disturbed your prayer Sister, that was not my intention. By the Lords will I must remain hidden and so must befriend the shadows and darkness. But the Lord is great for he has blinded you and given me a companion this night. Come Sister, it is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, a night to feast. Tomorrow lent begins and we shall honour our Beloved by fasting. Come Sister I shall arrange a feast for us if you will dine with me.”
“Enough Satan. I will not trust you. I will not break bread with you. Whatever you conjour from the deapths of hell is not befitting this night nor any other. Begone you filthy spreader of evil.”
“Pity! The Lord in his Grace gave you free will but still you follow like sheep that which you have been taught by power mongers.”
There was a change in his voice. The sorrow was gone. In its place anger manifested.
“I however have learnt much from humans and for that may my Lord forgive me.”
A gust of wind passed Sophie before strong hands grasped her head and shoulder. With a swift push her head was manipulated towards her left shoulder. She shrieked in agony and fear.
“You will never see me as more then the lies that have been created. If a Monster is what you want a Monster you shall get.”
The Dark Prince lifted his head to the heavens, “Father I am tired of loving you from afar, for too long have I taken their abuse. Your Love Father is all I ever wanted. I offer this act to You, My Lord. See Your child truly fall for Your Love. In the name of the Father, the Son and The Holy Ghost Amen.”
A tear fell from the Dark Prince’s eye and fell onto the exposed neck of Sophie. That was the last gentle caress she experienced before teeth ripped through her flesh and her blood stained the habit and churh she held so dear. As blood stained feet left the church the last of the revelers left the street festivities. The feast was over repentance had begun.