Good Omens: An Un-Blessed Excerpt

Good Omens

Evil in general does not sleep, and therefore doesn’t see why anyone else should. But Crowley liked sleep, it was one of the pleasures of the world. Especially after a heavy meal. He’d slept right through most of the nineteenth century, for example. Not because he needed to, simply because he enjoyed it. *

One of the pleasures of the world. Well, he’d better start really enjoying them now, while there was still time.

The Bentley roared through the night, heading east.

Of course, he was all in favor of Armageddon in general terms. If anyone had asked him why he’d been spending centuries tinkering in the affairs of mankind he’d have said, “Oh, in order to bring about Armageddon and the triumph of Hell.” But it was one thing to work to bring it about, and quite another for it to actually happen.

Crowley had always known that he would be around when the world ended, because he was immortal and wouldn’t have any alternative. But he’d hoped it would be a long way off.

Because he rather liked people. It was a major failing in a demon.

Oh, he did his best to make their short lives miserable, because that was his job, but nothing he could think up was half as bad as the stuff they thought up themselves. They seemed to have a talent for it. It was built into the design, somehow. They were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse. Over the years Crowley had found it increasingly difficult to find anything demonic to do which showed up against the natural background of generalized nastiness. There had been times, over the past millenium, when he’d felt like sending a message back Below saying, Look, we may as well give up right now, we might as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here, there’s nothing we can do to them that they don’t do to themselves and they do things we’ve never even thought of, often involving electrodes. They’ve got what we lack. They’ve got imagination. And electricity, of course.

* Although he did have to get up in 1832 to go to the lavatory.

Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett, “Good Omens”, Workman Publishing Co., Inc. NY, 1990

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