A Deafening Silence In Heaven - Thomas E. Sniegoski


Intense amounts of love and thanks to my long-suffering wife, and to Kirby for always keeping things interesting.

Special thanks also to my buddy Christopher Golden, the amazing Jessica Wade, Ginjer Buchanan, Howard Morhaim, Kate Schafer Testerman, Thomas Fitzgerald, Dale Queenan, Larry Johnson, Pam Daley, Frank Cho, Dave Kraus (from his La-Z-Boy in Heaven), Kathy Kraus, Mom Sniegoski, and the Filthies down at Cole’s Comics in Lynn, MA.

You ain’t seen the last of the Boston Seraphim.

What we call the beginning is often the end.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from.



A shopping mall food court

Somewhere in the United States

It was a day that seemed just like any other.

The sun rose as it was supposed to, and people woke from their nightly slumber to begin their daily routines: preparing for work, getting dressed for school, walking the dog, retrieving the morning paper from the front walk, making breakfast.

It was all so normal.

All so mundane.

If only they were aware of the event of cosmic proportions and significance that was about to occur.

• • •

He who had been called the Son of the Morning sat at a table in the food court of the mall, observing the ebb and flow of humanity.

Leaning back in the metal chair, Lucifer Morningstar saw them at their best and worst: an old woman fumbling with multiple plastic bags unwittingly drops a wad of dollar bills to the floor; a man sidles up alongside her, snatches up the money, and then promptly returns it to her. A teenage girl—a mere child—picks up her phone from the tabletop, her hands shaking horribly as she checks to see if her dealer has called, and bursts into tears when she sees that he hasn’t. An overtired and whining child is brought to obvious joy when handed a book to read. A man who is unhappy with the speed in which he received his burrito takes it out on the young girl at the counter. A Benny Goodman instrumental plays over the food court sound system and an old man grabs hold of his wife’s hand; they look into each other’s eyes and smile, their love still strong.

“Don’t tell me that you’re still upset with them,” said a voice beside him, and Lucifer turned to see an elderly gentleman, dressed in a beautifully tailored dark suit, standing at the table, orange tray in hand.

“I was never upset with them,” the Morningstar said, pushing out a chair so the gentleman could sit down. “I was much more upset with you.”

The old man sat down and began to disperse the items on His tray. He placed a cup of steaming coffee in front of the Morningstar. “You thought that I loved them more,” He said. He took His own steaming cup from the tray, and what appeared to be a container of chicken fingers.

“I wasn’t the only one,” Lucifer said. He continued to watch the patrons of the mall food court.

“No, but you were the loudest voice.”

The old man prepared His coffee: two sugars and three containers of cream.

“I felt I needed to be loud so you would hear me . . . hear us.” Lucifer sipped his own black coffee, dark eyes roaming the court.

The old man chuckled, drinking delicately from his cup before setting it down upon the table. “Oh, I heard you, all right.”

Lucifer fixed Him in a steely gaze.

“But did you listen?”

The old man did not answer but reached into the foam container and removed a piece of fried food.

“Is that a chicken finger?” Lucifer asked Him, shocked by what he was witnessing.

The old man studied the batter-covered object, which did not resemble any part from a chicken, or a finger, for that matter. “I love chicken fingers,” He said, taking a bite. “Horrible for you, but everything in moderation.”

Lucifer drank more of his coffee, noticing the euphoric teenage girl from before, walking past them while talking happily on her cell phone, her dealer having finally called. Life was good again. Or not.

“I listened, but I don’t believe there was anything I could have said at that time to convince you otherwise,” the old man said, picking up a napkin to wipe the grease from His mouth. “You did what you felt you needed to do, as did I.”

Lucifer turned his cup ever so slowly.

“Was it worth it?” he asked, feeling a heavy sadness for all that had come to pass.

“That’s a question I should be asking you,” the old man said,