The title character of my latest novel, Immortal, is a man who has lived for two thousand years. Tricked into a deal with Lucifer he has spent immortality as the instigator of disaster and a cause of chaos in the human world. Given the name Malachi, meaning messenger or prophet, he has almost forgotten his real name or how he became Lucifer’s pet. All he knows is that he hates what he must do, but to refuse would mean losing his soul to the eternal torments of Hell for far longer than he has been alive.
The inspiration for Malachi comes from a biblical character called “the rich man’s son”. When he asks Jesus how he can enter the kingdom of Heaven and be given eternal life he is told that he must renounce his worldly wealth, give up his possessions to the poor and follow Jesus. Only then will he be rewarded with riches in Heaven.
The young man cannot accept this, he doesn’t want to give up his comfortable life and I found myself wondering what he would do if he was offered immortality under different terms. If someone, a stranger, had told him he could not only keep the wealth he already had but accrue even more, be powerful and attractive and spend the rest of time doing anything he wanted in return for nothing more than a few “little jobs” as and when necessary – would he be tempted? Would he resist and question the stranger’s motives? Or would he jump at the chance to live forever?
Once the deal is done it cannot be taken back and Malachi finds himself in an impossible situation. Forced to do Lucifer’s bidding Malachi is at first appalled, but the ever present threat of Hell’s horrors keeps him at his post. Shunned by his own kind he comes to hate humanity and vows to carry out his work with zeal, but revenge is not so sweet and overtime this hatred turns to self loathing and a desire for oblivion.
We have met Malachi once before in Blackfeather, the first book in the series, where his role was to persuade Thomas Whittle to kill an angel and win immortality for himself. Without Malachi’s interference Catherine Whittle would not have died and Ashrafel would not have been exiled from Heaven. Now, five hundred years later, he meets Ashrafel again and all Hell could break loose.
Over the next few posts I’ll explain Malachi’s involvement in some of history’s disasters.