Antagonist Monologue: Mammon

I blame Satan.

Of course, I blame Nick Giordano, too, but if he’d just known his place, I’d have kept him on once I became Devil.   As they say in Hell, he made the trains run on time. (Do you know what other human made the trains run on time? Mussolini. That should give you an idea of Nicolas Giordano.)

Satan was an okay Devil, and we were doing fine, and I had no problems waiting until his term was up to take over. Okay, maybe not fine, things were a little disorganized, but that gave us room to breathe, to be creative, to thrive.

Then Satan decides we need organization and talks to that damn Rodrigo Borgia and here comes the Pope’s dead bastard to sort things out, in skeleton form, no less, because Satan takes that from the grave to give him corporeal form, and if you think that didn’t make office visits uncomfortable, those empty eye sockets telling you to pay your fine and not break the rules again, let me tell you, you weren’t there. Especially early on when there were still parts of him . . . rotting. Thank Hell he finally learned to façade. Even then, same dark, flat, dead eyes. The guy is creepy.

And unnecessary. Things were fine unsorted. Things were good unsorted.

But no, we need this human to catalog us so Satan always knows what’s going on. You know what they call that on Earth? Big Mother. And God knows Satan is one, that’s why She sent him in to clean up after Beelzebub, who I admit was a disaster.   A damn good time, but Osiris wept, he almost wiped out the Earth because he wanted to see the dinosaurs scatter. There’s flair and there’s just puerility and Bub has that with a side order of crazy. So yes, fine, we needed Satan. I certainly wasn’t going to clean up that mess.

I feel compelled to mention that Satan is not a demon. We are world of demons, we should be ruled by a demon. It’s not like we don’t have candidates. Me, for example. I’m one of the oldest demons here. I know how things work. I’m perfect for that office. But no, God brings an angel down from Corporate. It’s like She doesn’t trust us.

So okay, we’ve got Satan, but I can roll with that for five hundred years (five thousand Earth years, like anybody counts in Earth years), five hundred years is nothing. Plus the whole angel/demon thing is just classism; we’re the same beings under the skin. Well, they’re not green unless they get thrown out and end up under our sun, more a minty blue, look like they were all born on glaciers, but now you’re talking racism.

Green is FAR superior. That’s why Bub and I founded the Green Power movement. Only don’t call it a movement in front of Bub because that’s just asking for some stupid joke. When the women’s movement started on Earth, I thought we were going to have to gag him to get him to shut up.

Green Power was popular right from the start. Moloch joined right away and then Thanatos came in although I’m still not sure he has any idea of what’s going on; I think he just likes the beer at the meetings (Bub’s idea). Well, Thanatos lives with a bunch of dead spirits and he’s stoned on the Dreamtime air most of the time, so his comprehension is not great, but a good guy. And Ashtaroth came in because Ashtaroth will join anything that makes him feel superior to somebody else.   We had hundreds join the first year. Now we have more hundreds. The problem is that although we were all upset when Satan brought Nick out of the grave, he did make life easier. So recruiting for the group hasn’t been quite as fast as we’d hoped, but now, NOW we have a cause.

Satan’s going to make Nick Devil.

That is just not acceptable. Satan was bad enough, but at least he’s Hellish. Nick’s a human. Yes, I know he’s dead, I don’t care. He’s a human. You know what those people are like. They’re animals. And they think we’re the bad guys. Have you see what they do to each other? Torture, war, poverty, terrorism, disgusting, they’re disgusting.

And Satan’s going to put one of them in power over us?  Not while I’m in Hell, he’s not.

But this has to be done carefully. I was hoping Max would help, Max is excellent at devious action, but he seems to think that Nick’s some kind of superhero and opposing him can only lead to grief. I may have to fire Max. I will admit that he’s pulled me out of some close calls, but now that he’s throwing a tantrum if I even think about crossing that pile of bones, I might have to do this without him.

Which is where Demons First comes into play. We’re a subset of Green Power which, frankly, has degenerated into a lot of support groups and geneology classes. The last time I checked in, they’d started woodworking. I mean, great, celebrate demonity and your place in it, form demon bonds, but action is needed, not ceramics.   We have a goal, damn it.

We have to bring down Nick Giordano.

People whine about how much good he’s done. He hasn’t done good, he doesn’t know good from bad, he has no values, he’s dead, he’s an ossified robot. And yes, the fact that Hell now runs as efficiently as Heaven is good, but that organization is done. The human has outlived his usefulness. Yes, I know he’s dead. He’s so damn annoying, he can outlive something after he’s stopped living. In fact, I want him to start living again because then we can turf him back to Earth. And put him under the turf where he belongs.

That’s why the four of us went to Earth awhile back, and we have this secret cell now, getting ready to overthrow Nick before he can become the Devil. Demon Island was a brilliant idea on my part—we could slip out for an hour, make plans for ten hours, and come back nobody the wiser—but I’ve just found out that that baph-brain Moloch decided we need servants and snatched humans to live there. And of course they died because humans are idiots.   Okay, yes, also because there was no food, water, or heat, but come on, demons would have improvised. Humans. They’re worthless.

But as Max is my witness, I did not know Moloch had done that. I don’t like humans, but I wouldn’t kill them. Although I’d make an exception for Nick Giordano if three humans hadn’t got to him first.

And then Moloch figured out how to keep the colonists alive and of course they bred like rabbits—they’re a lot like rabbits, actually, except you can’t eat them, and for the record, they do NOT taste like chicken—so now the island is full of them. I rarely go back there. Place is a mess.

But now Moloch’s doing something horrible there again, and Nick’s looking into it, and it’s not going to take him much longer to find the Demon First cell there. I need to warn Richiel to lay low; if Nick gets near the cell there, well, I’ll just kill him outright.

Yes, I know he’s already dead.   I’m working on that. The big problem is that if my plan works, he might notice he’s coming back to life. Here’s hoping there’s something on the island that’ll distract him until I can get him breathing again and then get him not breathing again.

It’s a shame he’s dead, it really limits my scope.

21 thoughts on “Antagonist Monologue: Mammon

  1. Big Mother. Ha ha ha ha ha. Which was wonderful, because laughter gave me the buffer I needed to deal with the Green Power rant. And then came ceramics, which made me feel better all over again.

    Thanks, this was a wonderful start to my day. Now on to two hours of standing freezing at the side of various sporting grounds. Hoorah.

  2. Sooo glad you gave us a peek into what is “probably ” not going into the final cut. I am really enjoying all this. It reminds me of the time you gave the back story to Wild Ride, maybe you can give us This back story later. Hmmmm?

  3. “Oh, ho ho! You sly dog! You got him monologuing!” [Always the downfall of evil doers]

    1. Nothing like a good Incredibles reference to make me laugh loudly …and descend into a one-woman quote fest!

  4. Love it! Thank you for sharing! Now we know Mammon’s motivations. It makes me feel special that I will know this along with the rest of Argh Nation but that most of the readers of Nita’s book may never have read Mammon’s rant. Perhaps we can all do ceramics or woodworking or crochet together too. 🙂

    It was fun. Thank you!

  5. This example of brainstorming is ridiculously useful.

    Doesn’t this just explain the resentment so beautifully. “I know how things work. I’m perfect for that office. But no, God brings an angel down from Corporate. It’s like She doesn’t trust us.”

    The best bit is that in uncovering this much writing craft you are helping others with their writing. Thank you.

    1. Yes, definitely helping others with their writing! In fact, I just made my high-school creative writing class draw conflict boxes on Friday. We practiced using Cinderella, and now they’re writing their own updated versions of Cinderella in another setting (my favorite so far is probably the Maui version, where Cindy just wants to hang ten at the big surfing competition but her stepdad wants her to get all the sand out of the house first. Impossible!).

      And it’s highly entertaining. The best kind of villain is a villain whose motivations are logical and consistent. (I mean, as logical as Green Power can be–but they do follow the warped logic of a bigot, so.)

      You can really sink your teeth into an antagonist like that. 🙂

  6. (Could practically see the little explosions of Oooo, that means … going on.)

    Thank you!

  7. That was a lot of fun! Many a-ha moments for me. (My big one was: OH! so that’s why the demons needed an island — to buy themselves more time against their rivals, and how short-sighted is that? Short-term gain, long-term they “die” sooner, or whatever demons do. )

    I like Big Mother a lot — it seems to me that Green Power leaders are running on fake news and misunderstandings. Don’t they understand that organization is never done? It needs MAINTENANCE? Sigh.

    I also like the aside about the dinosaurs. Yeah, typical greenneck behavior. “Hold my beer while I shoot at these dinosaurs with asteroids.”

    (-: Books could use extras, bloopers and commentaries! For the super-fans!

  8. “It’s a shame he’s dead, it really limits my scope.” O please keep this, somewhere.

  9. Definitely a fun monologue. Thanks.

    Why does Mammon acknowledge that a fairly high level of order is preferable to chaos? He seems conflicted over the freedom of having fun and, figuratively, getting the trains to run on time. Why does he prefer not to kill? I like the sense I get that Mammon is an exacting type who constantly denigrates his colleagues (Beelzebub et al). That works well with his basic wish to take the top position as Devil (with the suggestion that then he would constantly antagonize God). The more characterization the better.

    This is all so current with the political world.

    1. Chaos does two things: It obscures the really important with the trivial so it allows people with power to get away with murder, and it creates a feeling of uncertainty so people without the protection of wealth tend not to take chances and become very conservative.

      Mammon is out for himself, so he sees Nick’s order as limiting his scope because it does. He recognizes that Beelzebub was a terrible Devil, but he did better under Beelzebub than he’s doing under Satan and Nick. Eventually Beelzebub became such a liability he was ready for somebody to step in and take him out, and he appreciated the order that kept Hell from falling apart completely, but this much order makes everything harder for him.

      I think of him more as a Wall Street type: he’ll support the chaos as long as it’s good for his bottom line; when the chaos threatens to overwhelm his plans to get what he wants, he’ll scream for a change, but then be really unhappy with the regulations and laws that keep him from huge profits. He wants enough order that he can plan, he wants guardrails, but he wants the guardrails for other people, not for him. He’s a Free Market For Me kind of guy.

      He’s not evil, he doesn’t want anybody starving or in pain, he just wants what he wants and he thinks he deserves it and that he has the right to do whatever he wants to get it. He’s been wonderful to Max, for example, but later in the story when push comes to shove, he’s going to choose profit over Max because Max refuses to do what he tells him to do. He doesn’t understand another point of view because he has no empathy. That’s really dangerous.

    2. The way I always think of it is – a chaotic system means you’re really limited in your riches. You can’t build or hold anything more than what you yourself can do. You can have a great farm but you can only feed yourself since 1. no one else has enough extra to buy food from you and 2. anyone else can take it from you at a moment’s notice.

      The Roman emperors were richer than the Greeks because the fruits of everyone’s labor was skimmed off for them in return for roads & armies. But the Roman emperors were still less well off in terms of material things than a lot of middle class Americans.

      You can also think of it as an ecosystem. Too many predators, then everyone starves. Not enough predators, then everyone starves.

      Order builds on order and that generates goods for everyone. So if you can put yourself outside of those rules,you can reap the benefits while not being limited by the rules.

      Chaos starts fresh every time. Which sometimes works beautifully but only if order is created before everything restarts.

  10. Thank you, Jenny and Bridget. Your explanations are really enlightening.

    One question building on what you’ve said: Is there (are there) a gesture, remark, or something that identifies Mammon? I feel a little lost with the idea that only humans have physical appearances. From Jenny’s monologue, I’d pictured a guy who screwed up his nose and use his pointer finger delicately to indicate Beelzebub, Nick, God, and others he didn’t approve of. Will there be nothing like that in the novel?

    1. Good point. All the demons have physical appearances, I just haven’t put Mammon’s in yet; it should probably start in that scene in Nick’s PoV in Hell and then more in Max’s scene in Hell, and then when Nita sees them for the first time. I hate writing description, but absolutely there needs to be some in there.


Comments are closed.