The First Sunrise

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

This story originally appeared on Reddit.


The thought intruded into the angel’s mind. He winced, as direct contact between his mind and The Holy Presence tended to hurt. “Aye, Lord?”


“Aye, Lord. Is the Metatron ill, or-”


Gabriel winced again, and uncased his wings. Within moments he was within the presence of God.

“What is thy command, O Lord?”

God was huddled over some kind of ball he was toying with. The thing was tiny — Gabriel himself would probably have lost it in his robe if he were given it. It existed only in three dimensions — Gabriel couldn’t imagine such a pitiful existence.

“I need you to go to hell for me.”

Gabriel stared at God, stunned. “Lord, I don’t understand.”

“The instructions were clear, Gabriel. I need you to descend into hell.”

“For what?”

“Bring me a piece of it. I think my new creation needs warmth.”

“You mean that tiny ball? You’ll burn it to cinders, beg your pardon Lord.”

“Then bring me a small piece of it.”

Gabriel sighed. “Is this some kind of test, Lord? Because I do not relish the thought of descending into that…thatinferno.”

God turned for the first time. “You will not do as I command?”

Gabriel gulped. “I…sorry, Lord. I cannot.”

“Then I will find an angel who can. Michael!”

From the distance a loud “Ow!” could be heard, and within moments the archangel Michael appeared in God’s workshop. God asked him the same thing, but Michael also refused. After asking even the angel of Death the same thing with different sounding but similar results, God threw his hands up in frustration.

“I will protect you, don’t you understand? My creation needs heat!”

Death consulted his clipboard. “Your experiment isn’t due for destruction for another-”

“I. KNOW. THAT.” God clenched his fists. He didn’t recall making angels such morons. The first thing he was going to give his new creations was knowledge and intelligence, so that he need not suffer these fools any more. “Just bring me…a piece about the size of a grape seed.”

The three angels glanced at the small globe their Lord had made in unison. Michael said, “Well, that is about the size of a grape seed.”

“In proportion! Imagine how small grapes would be when I place them in this world. Then imagine the seed. That size.”

“Oh,” the angels sang in unison.

“Well? One of you?”

The angels averted their gazes and stared off into the infinite. God sighed. “Imbeciles, I’m surrounded by imbeciles.” Suddenly the door to His workshop opened and a haloed head poked through.

“Oi, Mike,” the head whispered. “We’re playing five a side, the other team needs an extra player.”

“Hello, Lucifer.”

“Lord! I-sorry, I-”

“Will you obey me, Lucifer?”

Lucifer glanced around at his brethren angels and wondered what might be going on. “Yes, Lord, always.”

“Come in, Lucifer.” Lucifer entered. His brethren shrugged.

“Lucifer, will you descend to Hell for me?”

“Wait. What?”

God explained everything to the angel. Lucifer was stunned. “Lord, I-I don’t know. If Death himself can’t bear to go-”

“I will grant you complete protection. Have faith in me, Lucifer, and you shall be rewarded.”

Lucifer stared into the all-knowing, all-loving face, and nodded. The other angels immediately protested.

“Lucifer! You can’t-”

“It’s too dangerous, go back to your game!”

“My clipboard says you’re not going to-”

“Stuff it, you,” Lucifer says. “I trust in the Lord. If he says I shall not be harmed by Hell’s fire, so shall it be.” To God, he turns and bows. “I hope I am worthy of your trust, Lord.”

It seemed aeons before Lucifer returned, tired and bedraggled. His golden crown had nearly been seared black. His robe was torn, tattered, and he appeared gaunt and fearsome, but otherwise unscathed. He crawled to God’s workshop, one hand clenching the small piece of Hell he had been sent to retrieve.

“Lucifer…you have succeeded.”

Lucifer smiled as best he could, as a few seraphim tended to his condition. “I couldn’t let you down, Lord.”

“You have not.” God turned to his work table. Using his tools, he cracked the piece into even smaller pieces, and doused each in Holy Water. Then he scattered each piece into his small globe, whispering, “Let there be Light.”

And there was.

God turned to Lucifer. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. As a reward, I bestow upon thee this; that from this day forth ever shalt thou be known as The Lightbringer, Lucifer Morningstar.” And with that, Lucifer began to glow a pale, bright light. Lucifer bowed.

“Thank you, Lord.”

“Would you like to see what you have wrought? Oh, and I need someone to see how it looks like from down there. Two birds, one stone.”

Lucifer nodded, and descended into the ball God had made. As he arrived, he gasped; such a complete world, with oceans and mountains, his Lord hath made.

“Look thee to thy left, Lightbringer. No no, other left.”

Lucifer turned and gasped. The largest piece of hell he had brought was suspended in space, and the ball of rock he was admiring was spinning and circling around it. But that was not what he saw first.

What he saw was the light, slowly appearing, first a reddish brown, then slowly growing brighter as the ball of rock rotated upon an invisible axis. The dark black of the sky slowly glowed purple then dark blue. As the light crept forth, the sky turned from dark blue to a lighter blue, the light growing brighter and turning yellow as it stretched from its place, covering all the oceans and plains and crept even over the peaks of the highest mountains. Lucifer wept.

“So how does it look? Be honest, Morningstar.”

“My Lord, it’s…it’s beautiful.”

“That’s not the half of it. This same light will now creep forward across the world I have made, until I decree that it stop. Ever should my creations that dwell here feel lost, they need only look to the sky and to this light to see my magnificence.”

Lucifer continued to stare at the first sunrise, marvelling at its beauty. He felt a pang of jealousy then, that these new creations would see such wonder every day of their lives, but then he shook his head and got rid of the thought. Why be jealous? It is God’s decree. They shall have this new world, while he, Lucifer Morningstar, the Light-Bringer, shall remain in heaven. That much, he thought, would never change.

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