Not the Saving Kind

“What about them?”  She pointed at the sufferers below.

Azazel nodded agreement.  “They are the reason why I must win.”

“Baraqyel said they were the unhappy dead.”

“They are.  Heaven has coined a new word for them, in fact.  They are the damned.”

“How are they damned?”

Azazel sighed.  “It means they have done terrible things in their earthly lives, and now that they are dead, they have to work it out.”

“What does work it out mean?”

“I don’t know.”  Azazel’s eyes got a far-away look.  “I haven’t worked it out yet.”

“Must they suffer?”

“They chose suffering themselves.  What they need is someone to make their suffering worthwhile.”

“Are you saying you’re going to save them?”

Azazel stamped one hoof on the floor.  “I definitely won’t save them, nor will I save anyone else.  I am not the saving kind.  What I’m saying is that pain can be healing.  Pain can unlock what is inside a person, it can release him of the burden of greater pain and set him in the path of recovery.  Pain can, for instance, bring remorse.  And I am very definitely the pain-inflicting kind.”

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