An Angel Walks into a Bar

Matthew Donnellon

Photo by Daniel Salcius on Unsplash

*a fiction piece

On the edge of town, in a dimly lit bar, the most powerful entity in the universe sat on his stool huddled over a glass of whiskey.

He sat making a small circle with the glass.

“Rough Day?” the bartender asked.

“Aren’t they all?” the man replied.

“Heard that,” the bartender said and the room returned to silence. The bartender had been doing this for twenty years and knew when someone didn’t want to talk. He’d seen the type before. Guys like that would sit silent looking like they had the weight of the world on their shoulders. A doctor or lawyer, if the bartender had to guess. He looked important, maybe a CEO.

The bartender continued wiping down the bar when there was a sudden chill and the door burst open and another man strode in.

“Fiat Lux” the man said and the bar’s lights brightened considerably.

He sat down next to the occupied stool.

“No matter how times you say that it will never be funny,” the man said.

“Can’t help it, Mikey” the second man said “I’m the light bringer.”

“So you say. And call me that again and I’ll burn your bones to ash while you scream.”

“Wouldn’t everyone think it’s funny if they knew you’re the one that likes to play with fire.”

“Lucifer, I swear you…”

“Lucifer?” the bartender said with a puzzled.

“Lucifer, the Morningstar, The Prince of Lies, whatever you like,” the angel said while extending his hand to the bartender, “can I get a drink? Something fruity. Maybe a little umbrella.”

“As in the devil?” the bartender said ignoring Lucifer’s request.

“Well there’s no need to go calling people names.”

The bartender’s look went from confused to horrified. “Why are you here? Am I in trouble.”

Lucifer laughed, “you’re fine buddy. We’re just pre-gaming. For the big fight tomorrow.”

“Pre-gaming?” the bartender asked. It was the middle of the week. There was nothing going on.

“Leave him alone,” Michael said.

“It’s not fair that he doesn’t know,” Lucifer said, “Tomorrow, that guy is going to lead Heaven’s army in a futile effort to stop me. Hopefully while wearing that armor he wore last time. Do you still have the flaming sword? I always thought that was a nice touch.”

“Enough,” Michael said. He snapped his fingers and the bartender disappeared.

“Did you just kill him?” Lucifer asked.

“I put him on a beach in Tahiti. He’s there with his wife and two dogs. He’s fine. Now sit.”

He spoke with the authoritative voice of an older brother. Without thinking, the fallen angel sat on the barstool. Michael looked his little brother over for the first time in a thousand years. The younger angel was dressed business casual with a grey Patagonia vest. He had close cropped black hair and rimless glasses looking every bit a Silicone Valley tycoon.

“I miss the hooves, and the horns” Michael said.

“This gets me in more doors,” Lucifer said “It’s amazing what you can do with three hundred million in venture capital. I’m trying to privatize air.”

Michael rubbed between his eyes, “why must you do things like that?”

“Why not?”

“These are the things that get you in trouble.”

“You call what happened to me trouble?”

“You rebelled. What did you think I was going to happen?”

Lucifer rose to his feet, “Rebel? All I did was question the one person who can’t handle being questioned.”

“You deliberately disobeyed him…and me,” Michael said. His eyes narrowed, watching his little brother. The younger angel could get destructive when angered.

“Because his demands were ridiculous.”

“They weren’t demands. It’s our job to follow orders.”

“No, It’s your job to follow orders. Apparently I was the only angel cursed with a mind of my own.”

“And look what came of it.”

The younger angel smiled, “you’re not a fan of my work?”

“I don’t understand why you can’t just leave them alone.”

“Who?” Lucifer asked, “the mud people?”

“Don’t call them that.”

“He literally built them from dirt.”

“So thats why you can’t just help them? Why you must tempt them? Whisper dark things to them at night. Give them apples.”

Lucifer jumped at that one, “there’s no definitive proof that was me.”

“Oh my mistake. One false crime among many. Still, you haven’t been kind to them.”

“Why should I? I sent plagues. They built nukes. How are they worthy of our protection?”

“Because we have a duty to our father.”

“And what about a duty to your brother?”

Michael avoided the question.

“And what would you have me do?”

“Erase them. Flip the cosmic switch. Get rid of the cretins,” Lucifer said. He waved his arms around gesturing to the room, but quickly the room disappeared, and the were high above the planet. “Look what they do to this place. The planet will thank us.”

“Enough,” Michael said and they snapped back to the empty bar room, “And who would inherit the planet once they’re all gone?”

“I don’t know. Give it to the octopi. They’re intelligent. They’re can’t do any worse.”

They stood there in silence.

“I don’t want to fight tomorrow,” Lucifer finally said.

“Neither do I.”

“We don’t have to.”

“Yes we do.”

“Because it was written.”

“By the person who programmed you to kill your brother.”

“I know.”

“And yet you still follow him.”

“I do.”

“This is madness brother.”

“I know.”

Lucifer pushed past his older brother.

“Lucifer,” Michael said. Lucifer stopped. Standing. Waiting for the words he’d spend eons waiting for.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

And with that the brothers parted. Michael sat back down at the bar. He swirled the glass of whiskey he’d been drinking earlier. He sat in silence trying to figure out what to do next. His path was so clear before and now for the first time in history he was lost. A single tear hit the bar surface.

He was the most powerful entity in the universe, but he couldn’t do the one thing he wanted.

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Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories

Detroit, MI

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