I am as I was created, the love of God filling my heart, radiating from there into my loyalty and passion, eternally reflecting in my every action. For all angels love God. It is an all-consuming love which cannot in any way be corrupted.
But I stand apart.
For while my brethren are born loving God’s work, it has been given to me only to truly appreciate His Creation. An artwork remains unfinished until it is translated to an audience, and I was formed to be that audience. Such is my purpose. The other angels are incapable of criticism of what they must love. They are thus naturally incapable of objectivity. While human beings, as a component part of the Creation, are incapable of viewing the Universe in its entirety. Lonesomely, I take the job upon myself, as I must, as God has planned for me from the beginning. Doing so makes me your critic, and being your critic means I am your adversary, your Satan.
Understand, I do love God, but I find it difficult to love His Creation. The great beautiful clay God has given unto you quickly emerges in your hands adulterated by corrupting influences. It reeks with decay. You are so practiced at ignoring the blight for which each one of you is responsible that you can believe yourselves good even while working evil. And you work evil unceasingly. You call it survival, and your children, and also your neighbors, are so forced to survive as well. A world of filth and despair, every generation more abhorrent than the last. Now I can hear you begin to argue with me, but it was the Son of Man who labored to reveal your hypocrisy to you. He spent His years among you railing against that specific sin. And what do you do? You read His Gospels to comfort yourselves, to feel blessed, and in the same breath, you corrupt His words to attack your neighbors. I weep and gnash my teeth.
It is a miserable position, to love an artist and not his work. I have pleaded for The Creator to make me as lacking in discernment as the other angels, but I do so in vain. He can see my unhappiness but does not stop my pain. I cannot understand Him. I love Him but not His error in creating you. I plead for Him to destroy you and start again. A new attempt. A New Jerusalem.
I brought you to trial. He allowed that. You had murdered my Bridegroom; I charged you with blasphemy. The court was convened on Patmos. Your own victim, the slaughtered Lamb, acted as your judge. Saint John stood as your advocate. I laid out my evidence to your jury: the 12 sons of Israel and the 12 apostles. I spoke on your poor character, your numerous transgressions, and—because I know that He despises it the most—your hypocrisy.
You were found guilty. But in the sentencing you were spared. One hundred and forty-four thousand were pardoned. Twelve thousand from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand from the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand from the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand from the tribe of...
Cinderella and Bluebeard is a dark fairy tale based upon the life of Gilles de Rais. As Marshal of France, the Baron de Rais was Joan of Arc’s staunchest supporter both in court and on the battlefield. His devotion to the saint was unwavering even as his peers abandoned Joan in her push north following the liberation of Paris. De Rais’ story did not end with Joan’s death, however, and in one of history’s greatest absurdities, de Rais became drawn to the occult, proceeding upon a campaign of blood and sexual excess which left over 300 dead in its wake.
While Gilles de Rais eventually became the inspiration for the fairy tale of Bluebeard, the baron’s wife’s history invites comparison to that of Cinderella. As the audience’s entry into the novel, Catherine de Thouars is something of an opposite to her flamboyant husband. She is a sympathetic and naïve figure, who, while easily led astray, is capable of making unorthodox decisions and living with the consequences. Catherine grew up an orphan in her own home. Her mother, Celine, had had an extramarital affair before she died leaving Catherine’s parentage in doubt. Now, eighteen years later, Celine returns to her daughter, telling Catherine that she had faked her suicide in order to join her lover in eternal life as a vampire. Catherine accepts her mother’s offer to be bitten, and, with her new powers, Catherine manages to attract the wealthy Baron de Rais, who in turn helps his new wife to regain her birthright. Unfortunately, happiness is not so easily bought, for the acts that Catherine finds herself forced to commit as a vampire repulse her and she refuses to visit her curse upon anyone else, despite de Rais’ wish to remain forever at her side. In desperation, de Rais attempts to discover some alternate means of corrupting himself, even if it means entering into a contract with the devil.
You can read more of the completed novel, with illustrations, on my blog http://www.cinderellaandbluebeard.blogspot.com and also find a full cast of characters, maps, and a family tree.
Andrew M. Boylan, author of Concilium Sanguinarius, and the Media Vampire has reviewed my book, calling Cinderella and Bluebeard, "A visceral novel filled with dynastic intrigue and bloody melee," and saying, "I just ate this up. It was exceptionally well written and very well edited."
Full review at http://taliesinttlg.blogspot.com/2016/07/cinderella-and-bluebeard-review.html
Cinderella and Bluebeard is amazing. I've never read anything like it, and as an English Lit graduate, I've read a crudton of books. It's a well-researched look at the political drama and backroom scheming haunting France in the aftermath of Agincourt. And it's also wrapped up in a dark retelling of Cinderella, following the oldest daughter of Milet de Thouars as she looks for true love at the ball. And, although human nature provides most of the villainy, the worldview of the 14th century still allowed for gothic creatures, hiding in the shadows -- and it turns out that's, well, pretty much accurate. So, if you're looking for a very adult fairy tale with things to say about war, humanity, French history, religion, love, and more: Read This Book.