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A Crack in the Wall

Greetings, Asylum Seekers...

I apologize for my absence. I understand you were forced to listen to that intolerable demon, Jude, spew vitriol and half-truths. As I’ve stated prior, there are rules against open combat between Authority and Malifecium here in the Asylum. If there weren't, Jude would be cowering in one of the Asylum’s empty cells.

Believe me.

Empty cell... That is becoming a phrase we can no longer use. This facility is extended to capacity, and I fear the long-reaching red tape that has kept souls from passing north or south, the constant legal meandering and peacocking between the two sides halting the process, will result in an extremely combustible environment.

Before I continue, I feel it is important to expand your knowledge as to the various corners and crevices that make up our spiritual prison.

To explain it best, the Asylum is akin to a dual hallway that seemingly never ends, with each corridor reaching out from this rotunda, which is connected to various interlocking administrative chambers that are filled with both Authority and Malifecium agents.

You can only imagine the dark, combative looks that are thrown across our common area.

Both hallways possess a series of doors of every shape, size, and function. I’ve already mentioned these are the entrances to the prison cells that hold the souls during their rehabilitation, with each door (and cell interior) transforming to fit that particular soul’s existence on earth. The difference is, one hallway leads directly to The Pit, while the other draws you closer to The Light. Those cells closer to either side of the morality coin are souls that have been pre-sorted to their proper afterlife – either they are rehabilitated to The Light or (in my opinion) lost to darkness.

For a mortal, to walk down one of our hallways would be a visual feast. You may one moment walk steadily on marble with a stained-glass representation of the creation of the universe overhead, and in the next instant you are in a ratty hotel with paint peeling from the walls and cockroaches climbing over your feet. You turn a corner and you are in a dark wood, and the next turn you are in the passenger walkway of a cruise ship. One of my favorite corners of this facility is a museum filled with artwork that reflects each cell door — a tapestry of an iron safe door in one wing, or a Ming vase painted with a rotted gate on its face in another.

Access is restricted in certain areas of the Asylum. There are only two sets of master keys in this facility. I hold one. Jude holds the other.

Back to the dilemma at hand...

To put it simply, we are running out of room. Our rules and reciprocity on good and bad, Light and Dark, has become so twisted and tangled over the last few million years, that it is hard to dictate which soul is truly eligible for Paradise or the Pit. To be frank, every soul that is sentenced here is guilty of some large transgression (or a lifetime of small transgressions), so the Malifecium has an advantage right off the bat. Luckily, those transgressions are often offset by positive moments, or an unfortunate set of circumstances, such as a tragic childhood, which buy the Authority time to work on a salvation strategy.

However, the celestial energies that power the Asylum are not infinite. We can only sustain so many cells at one time, and neither the Authority nor the Malifecium are willing to give more resources than they get.

It’s a headache to be sure, and recently my demon counterpart has been more uncooperative than usual. The darker wings of this facility have not been kept to the standards of the Light. Souls wait in the terrible cells created for them, unattended to, left to suffer the tragedies of a life that put them under our care, without observation or interaction from the Malifecium agents that are supposedly taking care of such things.

Even when I have time to make my rounds, I am blocked from some of the darker cells, and written requests for forcible entry can take mortal lifetimes.

There are ancient dark souls that have not been attended to in quite some time, existing in cells that haven’t had proper upkeep and corridors of this Asylum that an angel or demon haven’t passed through for centuries. That is a recipe for disaster.

I have reached out to my mother on numerous occasions. The Source will not answer me. Not a dream to be had, no guidance whatsoever.

Even the Seraphim, usually very amicable, have shut down all communication regarding these matters.

To use another one of your mortal phrases: we are up shit’s creek without a paddle.

Because we're backlogged and there aren’t enough agents to go around, I actually had to provide counsel to a recently sentenced soul. It is a duty that is underneath my station as warden, but I rarely lose. I was born a warrior, after all.

But this particular soul, a suicide... There is something special about this one. Extraordinary. I can’t reason why, but this woman has occupied my thoughts beyond the normal desire to see her reach salvation. I can’t put my finger on it.

Not yet...

I apologize for getting off track. The pipes are leaking and the walls are cracking around us, mortals. The Asylum is finally showing its age and the vultures, I fear, are circling.

Pray we can contain the pressure cooker.

May the Source gift all of us with sweet dreams into the morning.



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