1: Giant Gas Cloud
She was never one to do things just to cause uproar. Hannah was simple and stubborn and honest. From the moment she heard the name, she loved it. But she also wanted to make sure the child that bore it would fit into it one day. She didn’t want to use the name to run amok. No one seemed to understand that part.
Jacob loved Hannah in a way that never caused a stir. It wasn’t the type of love that changed the world, beat all odds, defied every harrowing turn. No, it was a love that was content in just being. Jake would allow Hannah to do as she wished, within reason and explanation. He had always been one to go with the flow of the world and being married with children did nothing to change that. So when she explained what the name would represent to the child, he agreed as long as she would keep in mind what she was doing to the child.
It was that dark and dreary day in February that the twins arrived. They were both beautiful and smiling babies, one content with the world as his father and one as stubborn as his mother. Though they had never been incredibly religious people, Hannah and Jake adored biblical names and their first sons started the trend off strong. As she held her paramour in her hands, she knew she held Gabriel Peter, a stubborn son with ideas of his own and a backbone to match. As his brother was passed to her, a light seemed to beam through him. This was the boy. He would hold the name and do it justice. He would be strong enough to bear all that came with the name and to live up to all she knew he would. This was Lucifer John, a boy who would love and stand for what he loved beyond any objection. A boy who would shine brighter than any other star. With an exhausted smile, Hannah sighed, “Lucifer and Gabriel, my loves.”
Many family members had voiced their opinions upon the name, some proclaiming Hannah would change it after the shock wore off. She would just nod her head and smile through the comments. “Let them think what they like,” she had told Jacob one day after his mother had cursed her and ran out. “One day our boy will show them all what he is made of. And I know our Gabriel will be there next to him with pride.” Jacob had nodded his head and held Lucifer close to his body. He hoped all of Hannah’s dreams for him would come true. Less for her peace of mind, more for the boy’s.
The true testament began several months after the boys were born. It was time to baptize them into the Catholic church and nearly everyone expected the church to turn away poor baby Lucifer.
“Father,” Hannah said with a smile as she walked toward the office, a bundle held close to her. Jacob followed with his plain smile, the other son resting like an eyelash on a cheek in his father’s arms. The priest beamed as he shook hands with the new parents. He had baptized both adults and was overjoyed to be able to bless the next generation.
“And what names shall we bless these young boys with?” The priest had held both boys at this point, favoring Lucifer and continuing to hold him as he conversed about the ceremony. He had yet to ask after their given names, only their middle and baptismal names.
“John and Peter,” beamed Jacob. He had picked the middle names and knew they fit the boys well, just as Hannah was positive their first names fit.
The priest looked overjoyed. “My biblically named family stands true. I assume their given names are just as holy?” Jacob bowed his head as Hannah’s straightened. With excitement, the priest asked, “Please do not hold me in anticipation any longer.”
“Well, I hold Gabriel Peter.” The priest smiled at Hannah’s bundle, who had refused to have his face covered by the blanket in any way. He had to see what was going on and seemed to sound his opinions on some topics with various squeals and grunts. “And you hold Lucifer John.”
The room fell silent. The priest had such a shock on his face, Jacob worried all the blood had drained from his body. Looking over, he could see Hannah’s just as white but the emotions held as tightly inside as the boys were swaddled. Raising the boy to his eyes, the priest stared into the sleeping face of young Lucifer. “You have named this boy after…” The priest’s voice was swallowed by his own fear.
“After the angel who loved the Lord so dearly, he was cast aside,” finished Hannah. Her gaze had stoned and her jaw squared. The priest had barely heard the mother’s explanation, focusing instead upon the face of the son. What he searched for was beside anyone’s guess, especially his own. This was the child he was drawn to, this innocent baby who could hurt no man. Could he find the evil this child’s name implied? “It is not as if I named him Satan.” Her voice had hardened into the protecting tone of a mother. The priest had thanked them for meeting with him, handed the child delicately back to Jacob, and dismissed the family as politely as he could muster.
3: T-Tauri Phase
Five years later, the christened boys were off to school. A mother filled with anxiety and a father with pride stood in the doorway of the public school. Hannah held both boys tightly and Gabriel giggled, “Mommy! You’re gonna squish me!” With a smile and love filled eyes, Hannah apologized and turned to Lucifer.
“Hi, Mommy,” came the calm and measured voice of her youngest boy. “I’ll be okay, don’t worry. I’m coming right home after school and we’ll play like we used to.” She chuckled to herself as the five-year-old tried to console her. Her hand cupped his small cheek and she kissed his forehead tenderly.
“Be strong, Lucifer. Be proud and strong and remember who you are.” He nodded his head, as he always did when she told him these words. He didn’t quite understand them yet, but he was wise enough to know he would one day.
“I love you!” Both called as they ran into the room.
Attendance began with a splurge of names. The twins waited patiently until they finally heard, “Gabriel!” He jumped up with a smile and walked toward the teacher. He proudly announced that his twin brother was next on the list and everyone would love him too. The teacher smiled gently and turned back to her list. Her face ran white and the children patiently waited. “Um...This must be a mistake in the list. It says...Lucifer?” He wandered up to the front of the class, his face as peaceful as it always was.
The teacher looked down in pity at the boy with blonde hair and blue eyes who was named such a horrid thing. “I am named after an angel,” was all he said, keeping silent for the rest of the day.
That night Jake received a call from the school claiming there had been conflict between his son and the teacher. Wondering what Gabriel had done (being the more rambunctious of the two), he spoke to the school for half an hour.
Hannah walked in the door to find Jake deep in thought with the boys running in circles and the youngest, the newest baby named Jesabel, sleeping quietly in the chaos. “The teacher refuses to say his name. She calls him Luc.”
She caught the boy as he ran past her and made him to face her. “Do you like being called Luc?” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. She nodded and let him go, turning toward her husband and stating, “Looks like we already have a Luc, I suppose we’ll be thinking up another name for our next boy.” With that, he became Luc to the world.
4: The Main Sequence
The years passed and Lucifer grew to be a young man accepted by the world. He played football, soccer, baseball, anything that kept him busy. Not only was he physically preoccupied but mentally as well. He read every book, studied every topic, and enjoyed his time with a book or a ball all the same. Lucifer never had problems with friends. He was a measured boy with the external attitude of his father, going along with the flow of the world. He also had the inner determination of his mother with a confidence that no one would notice unless they challenged him directly. And no one ever found the need to.
There was rarely an issue with his name after he began middle school. He would walk into a new class and introduce himself, telling the teacher to call him Luc and moving on with the hope that the teacher wouldn’t question further. And that worked for him just fine. The students all knew him well enough to just call him Luc and any new students were never told his true first name.
Everyone was his friend and he was fine with people claiming to be close to him, even if they weren’t. Only three people in the world were truly as close to him as they claimed: his mother, his brother, and Meredithe. The forward had always seemed to understand him and was the most open to talking to him about anything. His twin had never left his side, on every team he was ever on, in most classes, proud as their mother had ever hoped.
Then there was Meredithe. She had always possessed a certain curiosity toward Luc. They had shared classes together for years but it wasn’t until high school that she finally spoke to him. It was freshman year and about a month into the year when a substitute teacher wandered into their science class. Luc always knew how substitutes worked for him but this time he didn’t notice in time to introduce himself. The attendance call began and a soft giggle ran through the class as the substitutes clutched her crucifix for a moment before becoming angry. The crucifix told Luc all he needed to know but she was so angry, he couldn’t get a word in. She began lecturing about playing practical jokes on substitute teachers and how immature it was. Everyone watched Luc, wondering how he’d play the situation.
“Madam, my name is Lucifer.” She looked afraid once more and Luc just stood there awkwardly until she looked into his eyes, searching for the same thing everyone did when they found his name was not “Luke.” “Please just call me Luc.” She nodded her head slowly and told him to sit down, a mumbled apology lost in her own pride.
By the end of class, everyone had mostly forgotten about the name incident. Once more, Meredithe was the exception. She walked up to the group of tall boys and pushed until she was next to Luc. No one really payed her much attention so she looked up and began talking into the air. “I didn’t realize it was Lucifer.” He heard it in the back of his mind but feared looking down. He didn’t want to deal with more confrontation about his name that day. Once was more than enough. “Hey, giant!” She poked him in the rib and he glanced down. She was mousy and small with eyes set so deep in her head they looked like black orbs.
“Yeah, but just call me Luc.” His answer didn’t seem to satisfy her but she kept quiet. He couldn’t help but smile as she jogged to keep up with him in the hallway. “It’s Meredithe, right?”
Her surprise was evident to everyone as she nodded her head quickly. “You’re good with names cause of yours, right?” His brow furrowed as he looked over for a second at the mouse following him. She was very straightforward and he wasn’t sure how he felt about that. His mother was straightforward and he liked her. She was the easiest to talk to and always told him how it was. But he wasn’t sure if he wanted another honest person in his life. Did he really need more than one?
“Maybe. Never thought about it.” She tried to watch him closer but her jogging got in the way. Why was he being so difficult? She only wanted to befriend him. He was interesting, different, nothing like the common high school boy....or any boy for that fact. She asked if she could sit with him at lunch and got a shrug in return. With another poke in the ribs he finally responded verbally. “Yes! You can. I don’t mind.” She took those words better and from that day on she was present in his life. They grew closer over the years and by junior year she was one of the rare ones he trusted.
5: Red Giant
“Luc!” He turned with a blank face before smiling at Merie. She bounded over and grabbed his arm, less as a sign of affection and more to keep him from running ahead of her. “What’s the plan for after school? If my calendar is correct, we’ve finally hit the sweet spot between sports and activities when you’re all mine.” Her tiny teeth glinted in his direction and his kind eyes shone back. She was a possessive mouse, hoarding him away for the few days a year she could. And he felt he owed her at least that. She was there all year round but those special days were just that, special. They’d be locked away in rooms and cars and corner booths in restaurants for a few days where no one could interrupt. These were days they both cherished, her for the rare alone time with the amazing boy beside her and him for the rare intimacy with a person he was comfortable around. It was those few days he was called Lucifer by her and didn’t shudder. He was always called that at home, his mother would say, “That is what I named you and you shall be called that in my house.” His father would nod contently and tell her they understood, only calling him son. But, as seen before, he wasn’t called that by anyone his age.
“This is true, yes. But I still have one last day of workouts before then. Sorry.” He only shrugged but felt the guilt pang inside when she batted her eyes. “I promise, tomorrow I’m yours.” She smiled and squeezed his arm tighter. He always knew what to say to comfort her.
6: Fusion of Heavier Elements
Later that night, after getting home and jumping into bed, the world before his eyes blurred as he drifted from this plane. His dream world built itself in moments and he was standing outside a nightclub, a bit grimier than he’d ever seen. He wished he could walk away but his curiosity and feet carried him inside to the dark caverns of the building. As his eye adjusted he took in the scene before him; grime covering every surface, old posters and various paraphernalia covering the walls, and a thick layer of smoke hanging in the air. The bar was empty and the dance floor was abandoned. It took some searching before discovering the only other person in the place, an older man with a guitar sitting on a stool atop the stage, strumming away and humming to himself. Luc internally rolled his eyes, wishing his imagination would be more creative but beggars can’t be choosers so he tentatively walked toward the man.
“Son, if you want to talk, pull up a chair. Otherwise buzz off.” The man didn’t look up at all. Deep inside Luc felt a pang of disgrace, as if he wanted to impress this man, be important to this old man sitting on a stool in the middle of a disgusting dive. He pulled a chair over and the man looked pleased. Whether the pleasure was for the strong boy sitting beside him or the instrument in his hands, Luc couldn’t tell. For what felt like hours, Luc just watched the mans cracked and weathered hands move in a nimble way, as if the physical age didn’t affect the way he played. “I’m young at heart,” responded the man and Luc jumped a bit. How had the man known? Annoyed at himself for questioning dream logic, Luc looked toward the man’s face.
Instead of the soulful eyes he had expected, Luc found eyes a deep black. Not like Merie’s, no they were actual black pupils with white around them. He felt the same pang in his stomach most divers feel when looking into a deep cavern in the ocean. All you know is something is looking back at you, even if you can’t see it.
“What a name you have. Why’d your mama give it to you?” Pulled from his thoughts once more, an annoyance began to form within Luc’s breast. Why would a dream ask about his name? Nothing had happened that day to cause him to be thinking about that and it wasn’t like it bugged him anymore.
“It means bringer of light. My name sake was someone who stood for what he believed in and did all he could to fight for his beliefs. My mom said she could see all that in me when I was born. I go by Luc.” That same pang of shame hit Luc in the chest after he used his annoyed monotone with this man. Why did he want to impress him? Why did he matter?
“I know what it means,” snapped the decrepit man without looking up from his melodic piece of wood. “And I am well aware of what he stands for.” Luc’s brow furrowed as he noted the present tense. Everything within him yelled to stop but Luc did not appear to have much control in this dream.
“Stood for... He’s a biblical figure. He probably never existed.” The irritation was almost childish and yet Luc was insistent. The biblical Lucifer was never a thing, ever. Why did this man in this dream think otherwise? What was the point of this dream? Luc became so irritated, he attempted to wake himself up.
A dark chuckle came from somewhere deep within the caverns of the man’s chest. Somewhere light had never seen and would never see, somewhere oozing with the black tar of years of smoking something worse than tobacco. Luc felt a moment of pure rage, an anger he never known in his entire life, an anger that made him want to be violent in a way he had never been. In an instant this emotion scared him deep within his soul. Why? All this teenager could think was “why?”.
“You want that to be true. It’s not.” With a deep breath, Luc remained calm and waited for the man to finish. “No rebuttal? You disappoint me as you have continuously disappointed your family.” Before the man knew what was happening, Luc was throwing open the door of the dive and stepping through. Luc fell to his feet in confusion when he faced the bar that was supposed to be behind his back. The chuckle formed into a cackle and Luc’s anger flared once more.
“What is the point of this? What do you want?” The projection was stronger than anything Luc had ever uttered. The man stopped playing and a harsh silence fell over the room.
“You think I’m here for me?” He was speaking to an ant, something he could squish if he wanted. “No, kid. I am here for you. You need me to answer a lot of questions and help you. I don’t have to but I am doing this out of the goodness of my heart. You know, the one your precious god took away from me.” There was a bright flame in his hollow eyes now and Luc wasn’t sure how to react.
“I’m not religious,” was all he could think of to say and the man gave him a sideways glance before the strings began to pluck again. The man took a breath and began to play a melody that triggered a reaction deep within Luc.
“We shall continue this conversation tomorrow night. Don’t do anything stupid before then, huh?”