Monday, July 18, 2011

To Hell and Back (Maybe...)

Ah, summertime... heat, vacations, maybe a little rest and relaxation by the pool, huh?  Or maybe you're the adventurous sort, preferring travel to exotic locations, checking out little known hot spots and boldly going where angels fear to tread. 

I hope so.

Just in case you're stuck at home at the moment, I thought it would be huge fun to take you to the hottest supernatural hot spot of them all, and give you a guided tour of Sheol from my main character's perspective -- that of His Infernal Majesty, Sammy Divine. Pack your bags, grab some bottled water (you're going to need it), and step into Sammy's world. Don't worry if he seems a bit cranky at first... he'll warm up to you.  :)


Hasn’t your mother ever warned you not to play with fire?

And yet here you are, asking for a guided tour of Sheol, Kingdom of the Damned.

Be warned: even though my hair isn’t as black as pitch, and I have neither a goatee or a pitchfork, I’m nonetheless a devil. THE Devil, if truth be told, but I rarely make a habit of telling the truth. The road to Hell may be paved with good intentions, but you’ll find none of that nonsense here.

Yes, I know quite well that the cover of DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE looks intriguing, but looks can be deceiving…. do you trust me to take you to Hell and back?

Very well. If you’d like a glimpse inside the world of Samael the Fallen, Lord High Prince of Darkness, then take my hand, and come with me.

You might expect our tour to begin with the River Styx, and its taciturn ferryman, Charon, but I’m afraid that the name “Styx” holds some bitter memories for me these days. I prefer to avoid it, and shall instead take you directly to the opposite bank to show you the handiwork of my friend Ariadne, the Weaver, in the Forest of Forgetting. It’s peaceful here, is it not? Yes, the trees are stunted and mishapen, but listen to the wind… it speaks of dreams and nothingness, of flowing water and endless skies, of oblivion and absolution. All lies, of course; lies designed to lure you into the trees, where you’ll find a myriad of spiderwebs, sticky traps for the foolish and unwary. For there is no such thing as forgetting, once you’ve entered Sheol. Here, you’ll find an eternity to remember past mistakes, a fact I know all too well, for I have made many, and have had eons to reflect upon them and wish things had turned out differently…

But enough about me—let’s move on, shall we? Next is a place where I’ve spent many an hour, listening to the song of the Nereids. Strange creatures, the Nereids: half woman, half octopus, singing the songs that the Sea of Sorrows moves them to sing for a captive audience, the lingering shades of regret who wander the shoreline. Not your average beach, I’ll grant you, for there are no colors here, merely shades of gray. Don’t let those wisps of guilt and shame touch you, lest you be trapped here with them forever. It’s all too easy linger here, thinking of what might have been had you only been honest with those you loved, and let them love you in return. All too easy to wonder how your life might have turned out had you made different choices… whether the touch of a loved one’s hand was worth more than you traded for it, whether their laughter could’ve banished the shadows within your soul…

Bah, enough of this place. The Nereid’s maudlin caterwauling has begun to effect even me.

I know! I shall show you true splendor, and take you to my audience chamber, which is papered in red velvet and hung with Swarovski-crystal chandeliers. Thirty-eight columns of pure gold line the vaulted chamber, which I fondly refer to as my Unholiest of Holies. The cries of the damned echo here, a mere reflection of the damnation I suffer every single day, all for one simple mistake, that of being tempted by a woman. Oh yes, my dears, I was the one made to suffer for introducing sin to mankind, while it was mankind, and their lust for the flesh, who tempted me.

Ah, well. Water under the bridge, I suppose.

Finding the audience chamber too gaudy for your tastes? We could always visit the edge of the Abyss and watch the fire imps at work, or stop by the Canyons of Despair, where the moaning of the wind sounds like millions of voices, lost in misery and anguish. The imps are ugly creatures, but a necessary evil, for there are so many souls to torture, and so little time. Don’t give me that look; contrary to popular belief, I’m not responsible for how people end up here. Mankind creates more more than enough cruelty and chaos to destroy itself, with little help from me. I’m merely doing my job—my thankless, never-ending job. Others get to laugh, and love, and live out their days in the sunshine, while I, I am condemned to the Darkness. Have you heard the old saying, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven?” I should let you try for yourself and see if it’s true.

Shall I tell you a secret? I loved a woman once. Not that seductress in the Garden, for that was merely sex, not love. (How was I, an angel, innocent of the ways of the flesh, supposed to resist her, by the way?)

No, I loved another, with brown eyes full of kindness and laughter, streaks of pink in her dark hair. Her name was Nicki Styx, and she chose another over me. I wish I could hate her for it, but I don’t. In all these eons, she alone knew me for what I was, and forgave me anyway. She alone touched my blackened heart, and lifted it to heights I’d long forgotten, earthbound and damned as I currently am. If I let you go, will you perhaps go check on her? You can read all about her, and the lost spirits she helps, over at

Yes, my darlings, I said “if” I let you go, not “when” I let you go. Don’t look so surprised… I warned you in the beginning not to trust me, didn’t I? These days, I’m a devil without a cause, and everyone knows that idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. I have plenty of work for you to do… would you like to borrow a pitchfork?

Oh, very well. I’ll let you go on one condition: watch this video about my latest book, and listen to one of my favorite songs, “Devils” by The 69 Eyes. Their lead singer is a friend of mine (in a way), for he, too, finds inspiration in the dark side…


llamannerdymama said...

Funny but that isn't how I picture Sammy when I am reading about him. But, now I have a different picture to work with maybe I need to reread Devil Without A Cause.

Rose said...

We need more Sammy

Terri Garey said...

A DEVIL NAMED DESIRE will be out the end of January, Rose. :)

Sharon said...

I love this post. I would follow Sammy anywhere!

Rose said...

YAY! haha 2012 can't come any faster