Scientists often talk about gravimetric forces, quarks and charms as the glue that holds the universe together. They’ve got it partly right. A little charm will go a long way, but promises are the basic glue of the universe.
Think about it. You start off with God’s promises to the angels (broken), His promises to Adam and Eve (broken), His promise to Noah (hmm… the jury’s still out on that one) and his promise of Heaven for the redeemed and Hell for the sinners.
Well half of that was right. Hell is booming. We’ve annexed or leased the afterlifes of several previously popular cultures to make room for ours. The Underworld, full of those pagan philosophers and followers of the God of the Hebrews, has been the anteroom of Hell since we bought the freehold in 1439. Tartarus is reached from a bridge on the second circle and the pyramids of Egypt are the gateways to whole realms of improbabilities.
On a more personal level, the whole of the mortal plane revolves on promises. Have you ever looked at a bank note and the words “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of…?” It’s not money you’re holding, but the promise of money; the promise of £X worth of gold, hamsters, or whatever your local currency is. You’re not holding money at all, but the promise of value. Take it a step further. What’s in your bank account? “Money,” you say (or the lack of it). No, it’s not. All that there is in your bank account is the promise of money. Trade is conducted solely through the barter of promises, and the only real trade that exist is the barter of goods and services, though without the promise of money how can you compare me composing a song with you plastering my bathroom wall?
I had a builder in last week. He put in a new shower and I paid for it with an ode to his wife and a sonnet. He still owes me three haiku in change.
“How do you know it was another demon?”
Julie had found me ferreting in Harold’s closet for clothes and I had to explain what had happened. Have I talked about Julie yet? In case I haven’t she’s a nephilim, only her angel-gifted power is the ability to manipulate the lines of the dead. A Mage, if you like, that wields spells through a complex interface between her and the land of ghosts – those who have left the mortal realm but have sufficient disbelief in God not to go to either Heaven or Hell. She would be blind but for a little trick she does with seeing-eye balls, one of which she wears in an empty eye socket.
“Because of the brimstone,” I said. “Who else would reek of brimstone?”
Julie cleared her throat and recited something I knew by heart and was too muddle headed to remember. “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
But Lot's wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”*
“Bollocks,” I said. “It’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee, isn’t it? Those two angels that gave us all the trouble when Harold Awakened.”
Until the morrow. X
*Genesis 19: 24-26