The Devil's Lawyer

Matthew Donnellon

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

*a work of fiction

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The archangel Michael sat in a conference room under the harsh glare of a flickering fluorescent light. The powerful entity sat in an uncomfortable office chair. He would have looked at his watch if he wasn’t a primordial entity that existed outside time and space.

He did have a watch though, but it was mostly for looks.

The only other person in the room was an nervous looking, expensively dressed lawyer on the other side of the table.

“He’s running late isn’t he?” Michael asked. He hated coming to his brother’s domain. Plus, his brother had a habit of making Michael wait for no reason.

The attorney shrugged.

“Answer my brother when he speaks to you,” the voice came from behind the lawyer.

The scared lawyer spun to see Lucifer standing behind him, a tall broad shouldered man with close cropped black hair, and a permanent five o’clock shadow.

“Michael,” Lucifer said taking his seat.

“Lucifer.”

They sat in silence for nearly a minute. The lawyer went to speak several times but thought better of it.

“What are we doing here Lucifer?”

“Did you not get the summons?”

Michael placed a sheet of paper on the table, “Yes. I did. Lucifer you cannot sue God.”

“Sure I can. Finding a process server on the other hand. Now that was hard to do.”

“I’m in no mood for games little brother.”

“I assure you I’m not playing. I brought representation,” Lucifer said.

“Is that what he’s doing here?” Michael asked.

“Yes. He’s quite the shark.”

“Does he realize who he’s representing?”

“Please. He’s represented the worst. Killers. Terrorists. War Criminals. Republicans. I’m an improvement considering his normal clientele.”

The lawyer shrugged, knowing it’s true, “Someone has to defend them. Might as well get paid for it. Speaking of which, I have a retainer agreement right here,” the lawyer said, reaching into his briefcase.

Lucifer looked the paper over, “How about you do your job and I don’t throw you in the lawyer pit.”

“The lawyer pit?” the lawyer asked.

“Lawyers don’t have souls. So I can’t torture them. They just get chucked into a pit for all eternity.”

“Seems about right,” the lawyer said turning to Michael, “is there an attorney I should contact?”

“There are no lawyers in Heaven.”

“Will you be representing Heaven in this matter?”

“Yes.”

Lucifer smiled, “Big brother, you know what they say about a lawyer who represents himself.”

“Finish that statement and I will pull your skull out through your mouth,” Michael snarled, “if you insist on this farce you will keep your mouth shut.”

And Lucifer, to the lawyer’s surprise, did so.

“My client is making a number of claims, including emotional abuse, false imprisonment, and Libel.”

“Libel?” Michael asked.

“It’s called the bible Michael.”

Michael sighed, “Continue.”

“Now, my client has decided instead of trying to take this to court he would be willing to settle.”

“Let’s hear it,” Michael said.

“My client wishes to call off the apocalypse. He doesn’t want to participate in the final battle. He will remain as Lord of the Underworld and will stop meddling with Earth’s affairs. Provided. He wants to be able to return to Heaven occasionally. He misses his brothers and sisters. He would also like a parade in his honor. He wishes to rehabilitate his image.”

Michael looked over the settlement, “The parade is out. But the rest looks okay. Heaven doesn’t want a war either. I’ll take this upstairs, but I think we’re good.”

He didn’t want to show it, but Michael was relieved. He’d spent eons looking for a way out of the war. He finally got his father to agree to an extension, provided his brother behaved.

Michael turned to leave.

‘There’s one more thing,” Lucifer said.

“No Lucifer. We’re good. This is good. We’re done here. Don’t ruin this.”

“I want him to apologize.”

“He’ll never do that and you know it.”

“Then tear up the deal.”

“Stop Lucifer.”

“No brother, he has to.”

Enough!” Michael yelled. Gone was the mild mannered man. His eyes glowed a deep yellow orange. His voiced emanated through the entire realm. Everyone stopped what they were doing. His voice was so powerful the lawyer turned to dust at the mere sound.

“I have had enough of this insolence little brother. I am the commander of the vanguard of Heaven. I sit at the right hand of God himself. I will no longer tolerate this,” Michael said. As he spoke, his human visage melted away giving birth to his angelic form. Armor sprouted. Large fiery wings grew out of his back.

“You couldn’t just go along,” Michael said, “we were done. The war was off. But you couldn’t just let it go. One last selfish wish. It’s always the same with you.”

“Michael I have to. He locked me away.”

“Because you refuse to listen. And now? Now it comes to a head. There are no more cute little games. No more stalling. I swear on all that is holy the next time I come here I am bringing my army. Thousands of battle hardened angels will be at your doors tomorrow morning and I will raze this place to the ground and scatter the dust to the four winds. And then I am going to kill you. Is this what you want?”

Michael expected his brother to take his angelic form as well, and meet his challenge. But he was still in his human body. And for the first time, Michael really looked at his brother. He looked scared.

“What father commands his son to kill his brother?” was all Lucifer said, “I just…just…I don’t want to fight you Michael.”

And now it all made sense. The games. The delaying tactics.

“You were just trying to put this off? Weren’t you?” Michael asked.

Lucifer nodded. He would never admit it, but there were tears in his eyes.

“I have to Lucifer.”

“No you don’t.”

“I must. It has been written.”

“Then write a new book.”

“I can’t.”

“You can, brother.”

Michael looked not the Prince of Darkness, but his little brother. The brother he raised. Take care of your little brother, he kept hearing. It’s your duty.

“I am Order,” Michael said, “I can’t break the rules.”

“I am Chaos,” Lucifer said, “I’ll show you how.”

“They will come for us.”

“Then let them come.”

Michael hugged his brother, “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

The primordial entity known as Michael, the most powerful creature in the universe, with his brother at his side, prepared for battle.

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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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