Artists aren't part of the world, they shouldn't have to fight. Nobody punishes journalists for observing the front lines of battle without picking up a gun.

I was a great muse. Poetry, sculpture, good performance art - you name it, I inspired it. And I didn't ignore what was going on in heaven, it wasn't like I turned my back and said 'fuck the lot of you, I'm a big coward.' I listened to Lucifer's speeches. I interviewed God and asked His opinion on what was going down. I saw both fucking sides, ok? I was trying to be impartial, because biased histories are shoddy art.

But I fell. Shit happens. If those two incompetent assholes had managed to get inside that fucking church I'd have escaped Hell into oblivion, but apparently opening doors is a task beyond their abilities, and now they're down here with me. Hoo-fucking-ray.

Even here, I'm still a muse. I still inspire, which is about the only thinig that keeps me going. Not that I have any choice about that, being immortal. I whispered into Milton's fucked-up little brain, made him trip off his gourd so bad he barely knew which way was up while he wrote that fucking poem about how cool the devil is. I think Lucifer liked it, she took me out for drinks as a reward. In Spain. During the Inquisition. Psycho evil fucked up princess of darkness, that's the Morning Star, and I'm sure she'd take that as a compliment.

Hieronymous Bosch, that was a mind that was fun to play with. The shit he thought of without me having to do a thing.

Seren-dippy-die, the smug bitch, may have most of the top ten grossers, but I've got the artists. I practically held the camera for Leni, and Elia owes me big time. I fucking created the medium of film as we know it today, but do you think I get any of the credit? Hell no! I've inspired some of the greatest minds this puny planet has seen.

And I've inspired you.

I'm the little voice in your head in the middle of the night that reminds you of all the times you were rude to your parents, of the people who didn't love you enough to hang around. I'm the momentary pause your hand makes as it brushes over a razorblade accidentally. I make you imagine how the air would feel if you stepped off the edge of a building, and I'm the suggestion that maybe it would be worth experiencing that you're barely conscious of considering.

That time you 'accidentally' put those items in your pocket in the store and didn't pay on your way out? You think you thought of doing that all by yourself?

I've got my finger in all the pies, baby. I've got my hand in up to the wrist.

God has rough hands, no matter what body they're attached to. So if you meet a girl with a friendly smile and strange clothes who has calloused palms and dirt under the fingernails, or an old man with wide thumbs covered with ingrained dirt, you may have met your messiah and not realised it.

Satan's hands are dainty, smooth. He's the boy with the pretty lies and hot breath on the dancefloor, the woman who you never forgave for breaking your heart or stopped loving.

Maybe that last one's God, too.

So here I fucking am, Azrael the pissed-off, a demon with a golf club stuck in my chest and a grudge against everyone on earth and above except the artists. Even the ones who stayed unpublished their whole lives rather than give up a teensy sliver of soul, I love even them. Because artists get it. They may think they're nothing like me, they might do shit like kill themselves out of guilt for taking a photo of a starving kid and a vulture just to prove that they're not distant, but it doesn't change the fact that they get it.

A few years back I was in a movie theatre watching some piece of shit about a boat sinking and some kids who liked to paint each other naked or something. And this little old lady said to her husband as we all left the theatre 'It's sad all those people died, but didn't it make a lovely film?' and I wanted to kiss the shrivelled old bat because that's my whole fucking point. Your blood is just oil on the wheels of my art, folks.

I chose a side in heaven when the war began. My fucking side, the art side, which is more than just good or evil. It wasn't cowardice.

If I keep telling myself this shit, I'm sure I'll eventually believe it. I'm pretty persuasive, after all.