Of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake’s, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
– Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Body’s Beauty”
My name is Lilith Lotan. Trite, I know, but we love trite down here – at least, the upper class does. The damned don’t know the difference. I am perceived as the President and CEO of Abbadon Industries, but I prefer to be addressed as Queen, or Your Majesty. I can get away with it, too – because I create the realities here.
That’s what Hell is: your reality, created by someone who not only doesn’t care about you, but actively sets out to make you miserable. I don’t physically torture you, or even influence your existence to the point that that it has no more meaning. I just create situations of sustained discontent through the use of carefully planned, and – if I may say it – brilliant disappointments. I don’t push the damned to total desolation – there’s too much drama in that, which in turn gives the damned a redeeming nobility through their ability to endure. I’m going for the almost-but-not-quite unbearable unhappiness, caused by the kind of events that you can’t really complain about to others without receiving “other people have it so much worse” looks of disdain.