Leaked Documents: Ichabod to Apollyon (The Final Letter)

Editor’s Note: Administering a website like this occasionally makes editors privy to some exotic and intriguing correspondence. In light of the particularly dark nature of some letters we have stumbled upon—we can’t reveal exactly how—we thought it our duty to share this series of missives. We appear to be in possession of only one side of the exchange of letters—from a nephew to his uncle. The nephew’s name is Ichabod and his uncle’s name Apollyon, who seems to be in an advisory position of some sort. It’s not our intent to demonize anyone by divulging what we have seen, but we feel we are performing an important service by bringing this devilishly cunning correspondence to light. Here is the final letter we were given. 



My sure-to-be-furious Uncle,

You must have noticed that it’s been some time since I last wrote.  That’s because I have had some strange experiences that I will try to explain to you, though I have little hope you will understand (indeed, I’m not sure I understand myself).  These events have shattered my assumptions about the nature of the battle between our Infernal Father and the Eternal Ruler he has taught us to hate.

It began with my trying out a new strategy with Brother Whitesoul, who has been the chief obstacle to my campaign to neutralize Broad Way Church as an effective base of operations for the propagation of the “Good News.”  Although I have been able repeatedly to bring discouragement on this preacher, the Power he serves has always stepped in and thwarted my designs.  So I thought I’d take a more direct approach, worming my way into his confidence by offering to “pray” with him regularly.  However, after I had met with him a few times, I realized that, though he has had enough trials in his life to make him cynical and even bitter, he has a simple trust in his Lord that makes him both joyful on his own behalf and truly loving toward others.  I was taken aback when inquired into my background, and he seemed so genuinely interested in me that I found myself telling him more than was good for maintaining my cover.  Even with only partial information about my history (a bad social environment, hanging out with sordid characters), he had enough insight into my feelings to detect my uneasiness with what seemed to me his naiveté about the tactical advantages of evil over good.  Here I was trying to undermine his soul, and his love and sympathy toward me put me into confusion.  I had to reassess the values that had always driven me.

I realized after some agonizing analysis of my motivations for service to our Lord Satan that I have been driven by a combination of relishing what seemed his spirit of noble rebellion against arbitrary Sovereign Power, and wanting to please my peers (especially you, my mentor).  Both of those motivations now seem trivial to me in light of the unqualified, magnificent love of the Creator as seen in the life of Brother Whitesoul.  Also underlying my service to the Master of Rebellion was a desire to escape from the consciousness of being under the condemnation of the Righteous Judge of all; I feared punishment and wanted to ignore its inevitability by pretending that our fight against it was a noble project.

I can anticipate what you are going to say in response to this letter: You will appeal first to my sense of loyalty to the Infernal Cause, and warn me not to throw away all of the training and education that you and others have bestowed upon me.  Then you will threaten me with very present torments for my heresy, and you will remind me that no one leaves the ranks of Fallen Angels without paying heavily for it.    But you can rave on, wily uncle, and promise me deliverance from crude immediate consequences, merely to distract my attention from the inevitable eternal calling to account that awaits all those of our party.  I now realize that this judgment of God (yes, I now dare to use His Name, even out of the depths of my personal pit) is merely the objectification and final result of what we have done to ourselves by turning away from Him.  I recognize now that underneath the façade of hearty collaboration among devils is our loathing and contempt for each other, and that means that we have no capacity to do anything at all except to turn pleasure into pain, for ourselves as well as others.  Having deadened ourselves to any real satisfactions (because we are at war with the only Source of satisfaction), we are compelled to justify our emptiness by perverting pleasure in others.

I do not yet have certainty that salvation is possible for me, but I no longer fear you, nor the Infernal Master to whom we have both sold ourselves and whom we have allowed to take the Creator’s place.  I would rather have the Almighty’s punishment, acknowledging who He is, than to have your reward and be self-deceived.   I am now in a limbo of understanding without fulfillment.  I really don’t know why I am not in a state of abject terror, having seen the light that shows me what I am.  It’s hard to believe that the transcendent love of which I had a glimpse in Brother Whitesoul’s study can be concerned even with those who were a part of the original rebellion against Him.  Yet I know, with a perception that goes beyond the intellect, that the God of All Ages was reaching out to me, seeking to pierce even the dark veil that shrouds our Lying Father’s kingdom.  I cannot even sink into the self-preoccupied, perverse comfort of despair that I have often foisted onto my “patients” as a palliative against facing reality.  Even though I am now fathoming the gravity of my position before the Great I AM, being utterly without answer to Him, there is a strange comfort in accepting my helplessness before Him.  I understand something of what His servant Job said: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”

How far does God’s mercy extend?  I don’t know; the path I now walk is uncharted territory, so far as I can tell.  Has a demon ever repented?  If so, it is not recorded.  Nevertheless I have heard that true repentance is never without result.  If it is only human beings who can experience salvation, then I shall gladly relinquish my created special nature and experience all the vicissitudes to which humanity has been subjected because of what we led them to.  I shall even embrace the grave as a bride if it brings me into contact with the One who brought Love to the earth and conquered death.  The most wretched state a human could endure would be a welcome penance to prepare me for the glory of deliverance from the body of the first Adam, a liberation that even angels cannot look forward to.  Yes, Uncle, though all the fires of Hell consume me, I will utter the Name Above All Names—Jesus!

Yours finally, in hope beyond all reason,


Image: "Redemption?" G. Macorig. CC License. 



Elton Higgs

Dr. Elton Higgs was a faculty member in the English department of the University of Michigan-Dearborn from 1965-2001. Having retired from UM-D as Prof. of English in 2001, he now lives with his wife and adult daughter in Jackson, MI.. He has published scholarly articles on Chaucer, Langland, the Pearl Poet, Shakespeare, and Milton. His self-published Collected Poems is online at Lulu.com. He also published a couple dozen short articles in religious journals. (Ed.: Dr. Higgs was the most important mentor during undergrad for the creator of this website, and his influence was inestimable; it's thrilling to welcome this dear friend onboard.)