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The Pard

Everybody thinks that when God cast me out, I fell directly from Heaven to Hell. That’s not true. I was able to catch myself on Earth for a time. I was angered both by the fickle nature of the humans and God’s obliviousness of their flaws until I realized that it must be a test. Just as I convinced Him to to test Job, He decided to test me. I would have to prove that humans were vile and corrupt. Only then would God realize His mistake. Only when I proved it to Him would God acknowledge how terrible His precious humans were. Then God could restart, create new creatures without the mistake of free will, and He would lift me back to Him and raise me above Him. He would realize that I had been right the whole time. All I had to do to prove it was kill every miserable human on the face of the earth. It shouldn’t have been hard.

I was injured, my angelic nature had been ripped from me and destroyed. I was a shadow of what I once was but if I was to eradicate the human race, I had no time to waste, I had to start immediately. I could not take the form of a heavenly being so I settled on a physical body. I took the shape of the pard; a gruesome beast of my own design that drew inspiration from the strongest of God’s creatures: the lion, the bear, and the dragon. Unfortunately, no matter how strong my physical form was, it could not stray far from where I fell or my weakened spiritual grip on the world would slip. I would have to wait for humans to come to me. I could wait; I had been an angel after all; I had existed outside of time longer than the human race had existed.

So I waited. I found the perimeter of where I could roam without straining my spiritual grip. Desolate scrubland with the occasional watering hole. It was barely suitable for me and I couldn’t die. There wasn’t a substantial group of people anywhere I could go. Barely any humans crossed my path. The foolish ones who did were usually hunters who, more often than not, were armed with nothing more than a twig with a sharp rock or bit of metal at the end. They proved to be just as weak to me in my new shape as they were to my angelic form. I killed them with a single pounce, slicing them through with my knifelike claws. None of them stood a chance. One day after killing a small group of three, I went to a watering hole to wash off the blood. Halfway through cleaning myself I caught the scent of a lioness across the river. She was in heat. I swam across to find her slowly lapping up water. My blood was still high from the kills, and my brain was part lion, so I did the most natural thing. I pounced her, took her and left. I left unsatisfied.

Nothing was satisfying because nothing did anything. Killing only frustrated me with the weakness of humans, giving in to carnal desires only relieved my physical form for a short while, cursing God did nothing, praying for forgiveness did nothing. I tried to prove myself, but it seemed that God had forgotten me.

After that realization of my abandonment I tried to recruit assistance. I had given in to my primal instincts enough that I would occasionally see my offspring as I wandered the grasslands, in search of more humans, their spots proclaiming loudly their father’s sins. I hoped that they would contain a spark of my intelligence but alas they were nothing but mindless beasts. I gained many scars from attempting to approach them. I had to kill countless of my spawn. I did not care; they were not part of my grand design.

I had nearly despaired that I would never be able to prove that I was right and make God remember me, when I was given a small blessing, a chance. One day, as I stood at the edge of my perimeter, I saw a human village being built in the distance. I bared my fangs in a grin. In time there would be more humans to kill. All I had to do was wait.

Everyday I would watch as the distant humans built what I could soon see was not a mere village, but a city. It got larger and larger by the day. I would stretch myself everyday attempting to get closer and closer but it was futile. It was as though my soul had been holding onto a leash attached to a tree; no matter how hard I strained it would not stretch me closer. If I attempted to go, I would lose my grip. I stayed were I was and tried to be satisfied with the small increase of humans wandering into my reach.

Nearly a decade later I saw the the city finished and I panicked. The people I was killing weren’t enough. I could see that the humans were increasing in number too quickly. I would never be able to eliminate humanity at the rate I was moving at. I needed to do more. Their destruction was my only way to make God remember me; my only way back to Heaven. I decided that my first step would be to destroy the entire city. It was farther than I could stretch, but I was sure that if I just tried hard enough I wouldn’t lose my grip. A great cleansing would occur, not by rain, but by blood. The city would be my first step to a purge that not even God Himself would be able to ignore. After the mass extinction of humans, not even God Himself would be able to say that I was wrong. He would see me; I would make Him see.

I waited a week until his day of rest so he wouldn’t be distracted by the humans. Sundays were for heavenly business and I, fallen though I may be, had been an angel. On that clear morning, before dawn, I ran. As my lithe, feline form practically flew over the plains I could feel my spiritual form slipping. I did not stop. I could not stop. I ran further than I had ever gone before, my red-tan coat a streak of shadows in the predawn light, my bear paws ripping up bits of scrub with every step. I was triumphant, I had known that I would be able to make it, I raised my face to the sky as I let out an earthshaking roar. I was less than a quarter mile from the houses on the furthest outskirts of the city, so close to my goal when my tenuous grip broke, and I fell.

The last thing I saw as my physical form collapsed was my namesake, the morning star, as it was fading away in the encroaching dawn light, before I was entirely engulfed by Hell. God did not save me; he did not care for his heavenly son. Lucifer, the Angel, was gone, only Satan remained.

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