"Neutral? What do you mean neutral?", Lucifer asked, "humans are incapable of being neutral! They are either good or bad! So, make up your mind brother, with whom does she go?". Lucifer and God had been bickering for what felt like millennia, seemingly unable to decide my eternal fate. God talked of my strengths, rescuing children from abuse, and saving women from violent spouses. He told of my accomplishments in medicine, political reform, and social structure, insisting on my “goodness”. But Lucifer argued on my flaws; my inability to make choices, my need for vengeance, my desire to collect people like trading cards of fate.
Back and forth they argued as what was left of the earth burned, the only light left was that of the flames that engulfed what was once my home. The stars fizzled out as the sky gradually grew darker with every passing second. The end of days grew gradually closer, as the light around us faded. I sat there on the edge of my patience as time dragged on and my boredom grew, so much so that I almost begged for one of them to concede. As they yammered on and on, I let myself get lost in thought.
"Alright", I heard suddenly, "we have come to a decision", God said. "due to the scales sitting evenly, my brother and I have decided to let you plead your own case. Where do you think you belong? And why?". I was taken aback by this, "plead my own case?", I parroted back, "you want me to make a case for either my salvation or my demise? What am I, a circus monkey?", I practically growled back at him. Who did they think they are, making ME plead? Oh, right, god, I thought. Well, OK, a power trip should've been expected, but really?
"Fine, you want me to tell you where I belong? You want me to tell you about my life and help you decide? Then so be it, Let’s do this", I said. If they want me to write my life out, then I will, but I foresee they won't like the ending.
"I came to be seemingly eons ago, the child of a merciless creator that never intended to show me any kindness. From the moment I could hold my head up I was tasked with an important job that, while gruesome, was ultimately necessary. I was born alone and fated to ultimately live in solitude, forever the grim reminder of the mortality of men. You see, as a young one, I watched the sun rise in the east for the first time, and then as he was chased from the sky by his ill-fated lover, the moon. I watched as stars shot through the night sky, bursting, and creating a light, like which I'd never experienced. For once I wasn't alone in the darkness of my own creation. You see, it was the starlight that inspired me to be both the good and the bad guy in the stories of every life I touched, but what does that mean”, you ask.
I stopped briefly to catch my breath, noticing the look of confusion on their faces, "don't worry, I will explain", I said calmly. "You see, I have done things I am proud of, and things that bring me shame. I have spared the lives of those who still needed to complete their fate, I have ended the journeys of those who only brought harm, and I have been faced with choices you could never even begin to imagine. You see boys, like the stories created by men, there is a string of fate for all of us, and in many ways, I have held the scissors. It is a thankless job most of the time, but someone has to do it”.
I paused to take a deep breath; “so what things qualify me for salvation? Perhaps my work as a teacher, saving students from societally imposed ignorance. Or maybe for my work in medicine, cures for disease and research to make vaccines, and therefore the lives I have saved. Or is it the lives I have saved simply by being in the right place at the right time; or more so, knowing where disaster will strike and moving people off the tracks of the trolley of fate”.
Lucifer looked at God with a puzzled expression, “tell us then of your sins, perhaps you do not belong with me, but then, you mustn’t be so good if you didn’t pass to my brothers kingdom. Go on”, he said. I smiled softly, “as you wish”. “I may seem to be worthy of salvation, but you do not yet know the entire story. You see, I have done some horrible things. There have been many occasions where I have been faced with a choice of epic proportions and was unable to make a choice for so long that the choices became moot".
"Moreover, I have such disdain for those who cheat me that I make it my mission to win any wager they present me, ending them in the process as a demonstration of my power. And you see, it invigorates me to win, to own the fate of their immortal souls, mounted above my fireplace like hunting trophies. But you see, these things are small potatoes compared to some of my grander sins; sins so grievous I doubt I could ever be forgiven for them, even now as the last soul on earth”. God and Lucifer looked at each other in shock, “what could you have possibly done that would shock beings such as us?”, they asked. I smiled sheepishly, “don’t worry, I’m getting there”.
“I spent my life buried in my work, saving and parenting those around me, while ignoring my other responsibilities in the process. You see, there was a time that the loneliness I felt became so severe that I decided to use my divine power to create my own companionship. I harnessed my feminine power and birthed two beautiful sons into the universe; twin boys, one made of light, and the other of darkness”.
“You see, despite being their mother, I could not, and did not raise them; instead, choosing to bless them with sacred gifts and allow them to grow on their own. You see, my oldest son saw the light in all things, believing that all beings were worthy of forgiveness and redemption, his brother however, did not. My younger son, headstrong as he was, refused to find common ground with his brother, instead choosing to leave the home he had grown up in and creating his own. The darkness inside him was all consuming, so much so that he stole half of what was once theirs and lit it ablaze out of anger. But that isn’t the worst part”, I said, ashamed of what I was about to confess.
“You see boys, as their mother, I should have intervened, I should have put a stop to their fighting and to the rift that was so monumental it changed the fate of time itself. But I couldn’t. I was so dedicated to my work that by the time I saw the damage they caused it was too late. My sons, so consumed by their feud, destroyed all their possessions, their homes, and their surroundings, then ending the lives of anyone who dared cross their paths. They were so angry, in fact, that they brought forth the end of days for their realms, and the end of fate for so many”. I paused, silently stewing in my own shame.
“Even though I wasn’t there for them during their formative years, I am still their mother, and as such, I willingly cleaned up the mess they made, because that’s what mothers do. You see, my profession that I have been so all consumed by? It is to gather the lost and deliver them to their fate at the end of their journey. For I am the collector and the creator of souls, fate incarnate, and the creator and destroyer of all things from the beginning to the end of time. I am the allmother, bringer of life, and of death, and the mother of the two most influential beings in existence; the two of you”.
Looks of horror flashed upon the faces of God and Lucifer, “It cannot be”, said Lucifer, “Mother?”, said God. “Yes, my child”, I asked softly, “Why here? Why now? After all this time, why return after we have destroyed everything? Why didn’t we know you when you didn’t pass on?”, God asked in disbelief.
“Because my child, the soul of a celestial cannot be measured by the parameters of men. You saw me as a saviour because I ended abuse, but what you did not know is that I ended it in death. I relieved the pain of the flesh by granting relief in the form of the afterlife, but the suffering still occurred. I have been called by many names in the time of men, goddess, mother, Valkyrie, angel, death; all aspects of one divine existence, the grantor of salvation. For you see, I am the weaver of the tapestry of fate, from me all things come, and unto me all things return. I am here before you, granted neither damnation nor ascension because it is not I who is to be judged; it is you”.
God and Lucifer’s jaws dropped in disbelief, “But… but… what do you mean?”, God stammered, taken aback by the revelation that it was not he nor his brother who had the ultimate decision in the fate of existence. “You heard me”, I said, “It is not I who is to be judged, but you. You shall be judged for your sins the same as any other of my children. For as I said, fate is at my discretion”.
Before either God or Lucifer could respond, I continued; “you see my sons, I created you first as a test of my power, but you failed me. I made you in opposition to prove that opposites can work together, but instead of following the path, you destroyed the gifts you’ve been bestowed. I have watched you create and destroy, bring peace, and bring war, and more importantly, I have watched as your arrogance killed all that was once beautiful in the world. While it pains me to do it, you must pay for your crimes, I am sorry my sons, but this is just how it has to be”. Both God and Lucifer tried to plead with me, but I silenced them before they could. With a wave of my hand, they crumbled, blowing away as dust on a cosmic wind.
It is then that I knew, this was a hell of my own creation. My greed overcame me, and I created companionship despite knowing my fate was that of solitude. I was created to exist alone, but I thought myself more important than that of destiny; and in my arrogance, I created suffering. For I am birth, I am death, the beginning and the ending of all things, and the ultimate decider of fate. Souls were created and destroyed because I could not be bothered to complete my duty to the universe, and for that I must punish myself. My sons have ended existence, and I have ended my sons; and now it is my turn to fade into obsolescence.
The last of the stars are beginning to burn out, and it is only a matter of time before the last light fades. For you see, when the last star dies, so will I; and for now, I must wait. As the planets crumble into space dust, I must make peace with my fate. And perhaps I already have.
It is time.
Feeling Peachy Queen!
Once upon a time in a galaxy that’s, well, this one, There was a perky redhead who needed to cheer up her friends. You see, their friend group had gotten together to do a banishing spell to rid their lives of a toxic former friend, who had hurt them all differently, but equally as bad. The person in question had used or betrayed everyone in attendance that night in ways that only the others could understand, and they were sick of it. After months or years of her bullsh*t, everyone was ready to be rid of her once and for all, and so they got together and banished her from their lives. They banished her flakiness, they banished her lies, they banished her bullsh*t, and both literally and magically cut ties with her. But Spellwork of this magnitude wasn’t something to be taken lightly, and so afterwards, the aforementioned perky redhead started raiding the cabinets and got right to work!
You see, she, or rather I, (surprise!), know that if people are sad, one of the best ways to lift their spirits is to feed them something yummy; this would, as an added bonus, also serve as an energy grounding agent as well as cakes and ale! But, like most of my plans, this was completely spur of the moment and I had no idea what I was going to do or how. But, luckily for my friends, I am basically a human embodiment of the iron chef challenge and can make magic with ease! I found the ingredients for what is now named the Perfectly Peach Pineapple Cobbler in their pantry and randomly started throwing them together to make the magic you’re about to experience. All those in attendance that night agreed, “this is your best creation yet!”, and so I decided to share this recipe with all of you!
Before you begin this journey towards tastebud heaven, it is worth noting that this recipe varies each time you make it! What works for me and my oven, may not work for yours, so feel free to adjust the recipe as you see fit, but make sure you remember that a little thicker (dryer when cooked) tends to be better than too wet! Because this recipe is using pancake mix instead of flour, the end result will be a bit cakey-er than you’d normally see with a cobbler, but that’s ok! You want your finished mix to resemble what your batter would look like to make thicker and fluffier pancakes, so that it remains solid! And as always, enjoy responsibly!
Perfectly Peach Pineapple Cobbler
Three 16oz cans of sliced peaches
One 20oz can of pineapple chunks
8oz of chopped walnuts
4 cups of pancake mix
3 tbsp. of melted butter
3 sticks of butter
1 ¾ cups of light brown sugar (packed)
3 cups pancake mix
How to make it:
Step 1 - Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2 - Pour the contents of all four cans into a large bowl; do NOT drain as you'll need the juices!
Step 3 - Pour two cups of dry pancake mix into the bowl of fruit and juice and begin mixing. Gradually add in the other two cups of flour until you have a slightly firmer than cake batter consistency. Feel free to add drier pancake mix until it looks about right.
Step 4 - gradually mix in the walnuts; I typically add half at a time, so they get evenly distributed, but its honesty bakers preference!
Step 5 - After your batter is thoroughly mixed, add in the melted butter, making sure to mix it in evenly.
Step 6 - Grease a casserole pan (butter adds more flavor but spray if fine too!), and pour your batter into it, then put in the fridge while you make the topping
Making the topping:
Step 1 - Mix the flour and brown sugar in a large bowl and set aside
Step 2 - Melt 3 sticks (1.5 cups) of butter in either a small saucepan or in the microwave.
Step 3 - Gradually add the butter to the flour/sugar mixture with a fork; once all mixed it should resemble a crump topping like one would use on a Dutch apple pie.
Step 4 - take your casserole pan out of the fridge and begin evenly distributing the topping mix over the top. it should be loose and resting gently; attempting to make it a sheet like crust tends to result in oven explosions (I speak from personal experience).
Step 5 - Place cobbler on the lower shelf of the oven and bake for about 45 Minutes.
1 large yellow onion
2 large baking potatoes (cubed)
3 large carrots (peeled and cut into slices)
1.5lbs of stew meat
4 fresh bay leaves (I tore mine apart)
1/2tbsp of minced garlic
1 container of beef stock
1 cup of red cooking wine
Olive oil (varies, will explain)
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder (measurements vary)
1. Chop your veggies and put potatoes and carrots, into the instant pot insert, and set aside your chopped onion.
2. Coat the pan in olive oil, and season liberally with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Let it warm for a moment or so, and then add your meat.
3. Cover skillet, and let the meat warm a bit before adding the minced garlic and the onion, and recovering it to cook.
4. Periodically open and stir until meat is almost all the way cooked; at which time take the skillet off the heat and scrape the contents into the instant pot. If there’s any dark singe at the bottom, try to get that in there too for flavor!
5. Add the beef stock to the instant pot, and stir, making sure to get the meat and veggies mixed well.
6. Add the red cooking wine and stir it again.
7. Put the lid on the instant pot and press the meat/stew button, then in 45 ish minutes BOOM. An excellent stew. Make sure the steam release valve is closed so it cooks faster.
Once it’s done serve over cornbread. I use an instant mix because it’s easy, Krusteaz is my personal favourite but to each there own. 🙂