Lucius Satanas: Hotel-Owner Extraordinaire  

Posted by JC Lamont

Lucius Satanas: Hotel-Owner Extraordinaire
JC Lamont

(FaithWriters Flash Fiction 1st Place Winner)

Hotel-owner, Lucius Satanas, grinned as he stepped into the elevator and pressed the “1” button. He had loved Hotel Erets ever since the day he had acquired it and his daily tour was the most favorite part of his day. He loved all of it, well, almost all of it. He had been forced to lease out the top floor, the 7th floor, to a man from a far off land.

The elevator doors opened and he peered among the first floor occupants; rebels, haters of everything good, and those who performed the vilest of acts. He didn’t even need to leave the confines of the elevator. Everything on this floor was intact.

The doors opened again on the 2nd floor. Here dwelt the intellectuals; the science minded, the brilliant and the geniuses. Huddled together, they discussed the plausibility of Hotel Erets construction without either blueprints or an Archtect.

Floor three. This was Lucius’ favorite. Here the bitter and hurt resided and it pleased him that many of their scars stemmed from insensitive encounters from wandering 7th floor occupants.

Lucius could hear the raucous music floating into the elevator chamber from floor four before the doors even opened. Scantily dressed girls and intoxicated men danced under flashing florescent lights. He noticed a few 7th floor occupants also enjoying the festivities. “Very good,” Lucius chuckled.

Floor five scampered with Lucius’ room service employees, attending to every need these spiritual seekers could conceive. One group was in a corner deep in meditation, another engaged in pleasant discussion on becoming one with the divine.

The doors opened again. Floor six was heavily guarded by Lucius’ security. These occupants were intrigued with the 7th floor and always only one step away from joining them. Lucius noticed the two 7th floor tenants - one held a degree under his arm, the other a handful of talent.

“Get out of here?” Lucius roared.

They balked at the sight of him and scurried towards the steps leading back to the 7th floor.

Amateurs,” Lucius chuckled.

The doors opened once again, on the 7th floor. Here, access by the hotel owner, was forbidden. Confined to the elevator, Lucius scoped out the inhabitants. Most of them were sleeping, but one group was complaining about the noise from the party floor, and another, over in the corner, were arguing.

“Good enough,” Lucius said.

He was about to return to the lobby, when a twenty-something girl entered the elevator with him. He eyed her for a moment, especially the backpack slung casually over her shoulder.

“You are not worthy,” he said. “Go back where you belong! Your past is too blemished for you to leave.”

“My past is just that,” she said lazily as she pressed button “6”. “Past.”

“Most of your family is here,” Lucius taunted as the doors opened. “Especially an Uncle you are most fond of. Give up. He never listens to you anyway.”

The girl left the elevator briefly and placed a Christian fantasy novel on top of her Uncle’s copy of the Da Vinnci code.

“Yea, all right, honey,” he said. “I’ll get to it.”

She stepped back in and pressed button “5”.
“So, you plan on visiting a dear friend again,” Lucius said as the doors opened. “You’re wasting your time here, you know that.”

“David,” she yelled. A young man looked up at her and smiled and waved. “Catch,” she said, tossing him a Christian rock CD from her backpack.

“Thanks!” he said.

She leaned forward to press button “3” but Lucius stepped in the way. “You don’t want to forget a floor, do you, my dear?”

The doors opened to the fourth four and the girl caught a glimpse of a young man sitting at the bar, alone.

“Look,” Lucius said. “There is the one you love. He waits for you. I know you can hear him. I know how his voice makes your heart flutter.”

“I can’t hear you,” the girl replied.

Lucius chortled. “Yes, you can. Why do you allow Him to cause you so much grief? Why do you serve a merciless Master who withholds the very thing you want the most, that which you need—”

“That’s where you wrong!” she retorted. “It is only your lies that tell me that is what I need. It’s my fault I let my heart wander, not His.”

The elevator doors shut again, but not before a tear trickled down her cheek.

Floor three.

Lucius laughed. “And what do you possibly think you can accomplish here?” he said. “You yourself resided here among the hurt and bitter for over 10 years.”

Ignoring him, the girl walked among the occupants. From her backpack she took a jug of water and poured some into a battered, chipped cup. “If you are truly thirsty,” she said, “you will drink from an imperfect cup.”

A few sipped from the cup and thanked her. She told them there was as much as they could have on the 7th floor. Most blew her off, but one muttered a quiet, “maybe next time”.

She entered the elevator again. Lucius didn’t even bother to comment. She was out of her league amongst these intellectuals. But the girl pulled a handful of seeds from her bag and tossed them into the air.

“Since you have finally reached the decision that it is entirely improbable that this hotel built itself,” she said, “have you even considered why is it easier to believe aliens from another galaxy did it, then the One who claims to be its Architect?”

Lucius scowled as a few of the scientists examined the seeds. The elevator doors closed and opened again on the first floor. “Oh please,” he said, rolling his eyes. “These murderers, rapists, and 7th floor haters won’t even let you off the elevator.”

The girl drew her last item, a small bottle of prayers, and blew them throughout the room, before the doors closed again.

She hit the button for the 7th floor. She knew she shouldn’t stay on any level for too long. And she needed to get back for refreshment.

“Ha!” Lucius gloated. “You accomplished nothing. Not one person has accompanied you back. You have failed!”

The girl shook her head. “You know as well as I do, that I have not failed. It is not my job to bring them back with me.”

The doors opened and the girl stepped off. “Goodbye, Lucius,” she smiled sweetly. “See you tomorrow.”

The Haunted Shore of Gerasenes  

Posted by JC Lamont

The Haunted Shore of Gerasenes
JC Lamont

(FaithWriters Flash Fiction Contest Entry)

The shore of Gerasenes was not the lovely beach couples strolled upon in the cool of the evening, nor was it where children played in the afternoon sun.

The avoidance wasn’t due to the vehement waves that crashed against the jagged rocks jutting up along the sand. It wasn’t the ominous cliff that loomed above the shore, like a premonition, warning travelers not to linger. It wasn’t even the foreboding graveyard, high upon the cliff, whose white sepulchers stood up against the skyline as an omen of death.

It was what lurked in the graveyard.

A creature, described in farce, as so savage and so vile, that tourists assumed it was just a local myth. A legend concocted by fisherman in an attempt to haunt the townspeople’s dreams.

But it was neither myth nor legend.

As the shadows of dusk fell across the beach, as the moon cast its evanescent glow on the battered rocks, as the wind whipped through the graves, a forlorn shriek could be heard from among the tombstones. As though conjured by the powers of darkness, the shrieks rose to high-pitched wails. Screams of torment. Cries of anguish.

A streak of lightening lit up the graveyard and the creature, a man, could be seen from behind a sepulcher. Straggly hair hung past his shoulders in knotted clumps. Self inflicted wounds marred his naked body as blood from open gashes glistened in the moonlight. Mutilated and disfigured from burns, shackles, and rocks, the creature uttered another screech into the howling wind.

A torrent of rain burst from the black clouds above and thunder rattled the ground. The man half crawled, half staggered over to the cliff and looked down at the beach. Swirls of angry foam plunged onto the shore, smashing into the jagged rocks below. He looked out on the raging waters and saw a boat rocking perilously in the storm.

Lightening flashed again and the creature added another menacing shriek to the violence of nature around him. But this time he heard another voice beyond his own. Though unable to make out the words, the voice sounded hauntingly familiar and the man recoiled in horror.

The storm came to an abrupt halt. The wind died. The downpour stopped. The waves ceased their ravaging onslaught.

As terror reverberated through his soul, the creature watched the boat arrive safely to shore and its passengers clamber onto the beach.

“What do you want with me?” the man shrieked. But his voice was no longer his own. It was a deep, guttural sound that emanated from within him.

He scrambled down the rocky cliff, falling, sliding, scraping himself against the rocks. His calloused feet plunged into the wet sand as he stumbled along the beach.

“I know who you are!” he hissed. “Have you come to torture me before it is time?”

The man to whom he spoke looked through him, past the mutilated and disfigured body, past the eyes, and into the soul, into the red eyes of evil that stared back at him.

“What is your name?” the man asked.

“Legion,” the deep voice answered. “For we are many.”

“Leave him,” the man commanded.
The man fell to the ground in violent convulsions as the faint sounds of scraping talons and rustling wings echoed into the night.

Early morning dawn sent streaks of pink and gold across the beach as the man, now dressed, stood on the shore alone and watched the boat drift back across the waters. He locked eyes with the man who had spoken to him, who had given him the robe that now clothed him, who had rescued him from the demons which had tormented his soul for years.

Gentle waves lapped at his feet. A cool breeze kissed his face.

For the first time, the shore of Gerasenes was a beach where children could play, where couples could walk hand in hand, and one man would remember as the place his soul was set free.