Hello people! Good Omens is one of my favorite books and I felt it was one of those stories that just begs for a sequel, an all too rare occurrence in this day and age where people have a tendency to beat an idea to death instead of just allowing it to die with dignity. Anyway here is what I think such a sequel would look like, so kick back, relax and let the hijinx that come with the End of the World commence...
I don't own Good Omens and all characters therein (except the ones I've incorporated) belong to those two mad geniuses Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet.
Roughly two years after the (supposed) Cancellation of Armageddon...
It was just another day down in the Pit (not the ancient chalk quarry that a certain group of children from Lower Tadfield frequented in their youth; the real one). Damned souls wailing and gnashing their teeth, imps going about their torments, the head infernal architect designing the Nixon suit in the Eighth Circle in preparation for the former president's arrival, Michael Bolton's Greatest Hits playing incessantly over the PA system for all eternity (1). Just the daily grind for the denizens of the underworld. At least that's how it started for one such gremlin named Harry when he woke up that day. He bathed, shaved and stopped to pick up a pastry at the local Starbucks (2) on the way to the Outer Ring of the Seventh Circle where he was scheduled to attend to the torments of a certain Iraqi dictator (3), when he noticed something amiss. Something improbable. Something that simply did not happen down there.
After a moment of indecision, he scurried off to the City of Dis and sought out Duke Hastur, who was in the middle of his lurking exercises with Duke Ligur (4). Naturally they were annoyed at being interrupted and, as is customary amongst demons, threatened bodily harm, torture, mutilation, dismemberment and a few things that should never be mentioned ever, upon Harry's person before he explained his reasons for coming.
Their anger replaced with concern and a growing sense of dread, they investigated Harry's claims and after a brief deliberation they went to Pandemonium Tower - the 145th floor to be precise - where Prince Beelzebub's office was located. As the Morning Star's right hand man he was very busy, and still a little angry at the two Dukes of Hell whom he held at least partly responsible for the fiasco that transpired two years ago.
"I don't havzze time for thizz," the Lord of the Flies buzzed testily as he signed a contract Mephistopheles had sent him in triplicate concerning the immortal soul of one Tiger Woods (5). "Szzztate thine biszznesszzzz and bugger offzz."
"W-well your L-lordship," began Ligur tenuously, before Hastur cut in, "It's the Lake of Fire sir."
Beelzebub disinterestedly thumbed through the file sent to him by his agents in the National Republican Convention (6). "Whatzz of itzz?"
"It's...well...that is to say it's...er..." Hastur stumbled awkwardly through the almost-sentence, and Ligur, sensing Beelzebub's growing impatience, finished quickly, "It's frozen sir."
"Zzzz?!" buzzed Beelzebub, standing up form his desk so suddenly that he spilled coffee all over Lindsey Lohan's documents. Taking no notice of this, he rushed to the window, from which he had a fairly decent view of the dreary expanse of the Underworld. Where a roiling, boiling lake of lava usually was there was instead a lake of ice, which imps and demons of all ages were gleefully skating upon.
Beelzebub blessed so virtuously that he won a collected gasp from both Hastur and Ligur. People joked about Hell freezing over so often they don't realize the gravity of such an occurrence. Ice of any kind appearing in Hell typically coincided with a remarkable, significant event occurring on Earth (7). He had to notify the Great Lord about this...
- - -
The Great Lord took the news better than expected. Much better in fact. He had been in ill humor since the confrontation with his spawn two years ago and his subordinates suffured his discontent. Now, however, from the deepest chasms of cold Cocytus to the highest battlements of gloomy Gate of Hell, Satan's triumphant laughter echoed throughout his dark empire...
- - -
Meanwhile, about a quantum leap or so away, the denizens of Paradise were dealing with a similar crisis, albeit not as spectacular as a frozen lake of lava...
"What do you mean all the vending machines are out of Cherry Cola?" demanded a rather upset new arrival. "This is heaven for Go-... Pete-... hea-...oh you get the idea!"
Several cries of agreement echoed through the alabaster halls of the Holy Commissary of the Heavenly Kingdom. One panicked cherub rushed to inform Gabriel of the unprecedented predicament (8). Gabriel in turn went to his superior Michael with the news. Michael, the commander of the heavenly host, took this information to the Metatron.
"Out of Cherry Cola?" demanded the Voice of God incredulously.
"I know it sounds daft, Excellency," said Michael cautiously, but the fact is we've received numerous complaints regarding the...er...provisions."
"But this is heaven! Heaven!" insisted the golden seraph. "We shouldn't be able to run out of anything!"
"I'm afraid the vending machines say otherwise," said Michael calmly.
The Metatron looked as though he was about to argue but then decided against it with a resigned sigh. There was no help for it. He was going to have to commune with Him.
- - -
As usual with his meetings with the ineffable one, Metatron walked away feeling bewildered, disheveled and more than a little disoriented (9). The Almighty Creator of Heaven, Earth and Stuff In General, watched the Voice leave smiling, as He always did, like he knew a good joke but had no intention of telling anyone the punch line just yet...
- - -
Meanwhile at the Ritz, an inebriated young man in a sweater-vest was staving off unconsciousness by attempting to explain to the equally inebriated fellow with sunglasses something concerning ineffability versus free will when a sudden shockwave of supernatural vibration jolted the both of them into sobriety. They sat blinking at one another for a few moments then slowly turned toward the general direction of Tadfield.
"Oh," sighed Aziraphale. "Dear!"
Crowley blessed colorfully under his breath.
- - -
Newton "Newt" Pulsifer had no psychic abilities, nor any concrete connection to the supernatural realms to speak of. He was currently attempting to write a revamped, bold, new Witchfinder's Handbook for the next generation of Finders. His old sergeant, Shadwell, would likely have had his head for even suggesting such a "southern nancy-boy" idea, but the lovable old bigot was retired now, living with "the painted Jezebel" and deliriously happy - or at least as close to happy as he could get - and had left Newt to carry on the WA's never-ending crusade against the forces of darkness, so it was really his call now.
He had figured that the first order of business was to gather new recruits. He had rented a small office in town put up a sign and everything. Shockingly, not only has anyone signed up, some vandals had spray painted a very rude word indeed upon his office window. He had decided to reach out through the medium of the written word and set to work on the new Handbook. Of course, with the way technology behaved around him, he was forced to resort to writing the entire Handbook by...well...hand, a lengthy process he expected to finish in two to three years.
He gazed fondly at the very attractive shape of his sleeping girlfriend, the sheets pulled around her so that they accented her curves perfectly, and the ceiling plaster still in her hair from their latest lovemaking session, the as of yet unopened Further Nife and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter Concerning the World that Is To Com;Ye Saga Continuef! to her chest (10). Anathema Device slept soundly, the only sign of her sensing a proverbial disturbance in the even more proverbial Force, was a soft moan in her sleep as she rolled over on her side, parted her lips and drooled on her pillow. She was the most beautiful woman Newt had ever seen.
- - -
MR. COLLINS, said the scythe-bearing figure in black robes, beckoning to the terrified soul. YOUR TIME HAS COME.
"B-but...but..." protested the deceased Mr. Collins lamely.
REALLY NOW, sighed Death. YOU SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO THAT DOCTOR OF YOURS. YOU CAN'T EAT FAST FOOD FOR BREAKFAST LUNCH AND DINNER AND NOT EXPECT TO HAVE A CORONARY. IF YOU'D HAD THAT SALAD YESTERDAY YOU PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD YOUR HEART ATTACK IN YOUR CAR FROM EATING THESE HASHBROWNS.
Death pensively reached through the shattered window of the Ford Explorer crashed into the street light, gently nudged Mr. Collins' limp corpse away from the shattered windshield that cut up his face during the impact, away from the steering wheel that fractured his skull, and back into his seat, one hand still clutching his chest, the other still clutching the pack of hashbrowns he had purchased not two minutes ago from Burger King on his way to work. Death plucked a hashbrown from the corpse and popped it into his mouth.
MMM, he said. THESE ARE QUITE GOOD. I CAN SEE WHY YOU ATE 15,678,374,089½ OF THEM THROUGH THE COURSE OF YOUR BRIEF LIFE. DO YOU MIND?
Mr. Collins only stared at Death dumbfounded, which the cosmic being, of course, took for an affirmative. He devoured the rest of the hashbrowns as he led the disoriented soul to his final reward.
MMM, Death repeated. WELL IT'S NOT LIKE I NEED TO WATCH MY FIGURE (11).
He paused for a moment to note that something strange was happening in Lower Tadfield - something that hasn't happened in two years - and absently wondered if the other Horsepersons were stirring to new life within their prisons in the minds of the human populace. He shrugged and went on his way.
Unlike some people he had a job to do...
- - -
Somewhere in Lower Tadfield, flying pigs played Cricket.
Somewhere in Lower Tadfield, the stars bloomed into flowers.
Somewhere in Lower Tadfield, a mermaid bubbled up from the pond, looked about hopefully for a moment or two, then splashed back down below in disappointment.
Somewhere in Lower Tadfield, Dog made love to the pant leg of a very upset R.P. Tyler, who resolved to write a very vehement letter to the Tadfield Advertiser concerning the case for having such animals neutered.
Somewhere in Lower Tadfield, two sets of hands touched; two sets of eyes sparkled; two sets of trembling lips met. And Adam Young and Pippin Galadriel Moonchild - Pepper to her friends and everyone who was not her mother who wanted to stay on her good side - ventured together into unknown territory...(12)
A Narrative of Certain Events concerning the new world and humanity's place in it in strict accordance as shall be shown with:
Further Nife and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter Concerning the World that Is To Com; Ye Saga Continuef!
Compiled and edited with Footnotes of an Educational Nature and Precepts for the Wise by Neil Gaiman (kidding!) Terry Pratchett (gotcha again!) and Dr. Shibui (for real!)
Metatron (The Voice of God)
Peter (Keeper of the Keys)
Michael (Archangel; Heaven's General)
Gabriel (Likewise archangel; Michael's Second-in-Command)
Aziraphale (Angel/part-time rare book dealer/Antichrist handler)
Satan (Fallen Angel; the Adversary)
Beelzebub (Likewise Fallen Angel and Prince of Hell)
Hastur (Duke of Hell and self-proclaimed arch-nemesis of Crowley)
Ligur (restored Duke of Hell and likewise self-proclaimed arch-nemesis of Crowley)
Crowley (Serpent/Bentley enthusiast/Antichrist handler)
Babs (Babylonian harlot/Homecoming queen)
Nicolas Scratch (False Prophet/network executive/substitute teacher)
Judas the Betrayer (damned soul/would-be assassin/aspiring karaoke star)
Jay (Jesus Christ/Messiah/folk singer)
Anthropomorphic Personifications of Cosmic Abstractions
Newton Pulsifer (Semi-retired Witchfinder/techno-jinx/boyfriend)
Anathema Device (Practical occultist/ex-prophecy interpreter/girlfriend)
Greasy Johnson (Leader of the Johnsonites/sometimes bully/aspiring poet)
Mr. Young (Father)
Mrs. Young (Mother)
R.P. Tyler (Chairman of the Residents's Association/neighborhood blowhard)
Buganhagen (Keeper of the Dagger/souvenir shop proprietor)
Brian (teenage boy/WA Intern)
Wensleydale (teenage boy/WA Intern)
Pepper (teenage girl/activist/love interest)
Adam (reluctant Antichrist/teenager)
Elvis Presley, a kraken, Santa Claus, unicorns, UFO's, Americans, and a veritable plethora of other strange and rare creatures of the End Times plus one really angry tourist
Dog (Satanic hellhound/Defiler of Pant Legs/Soiler of Lawns/Menace to Felines)
1.) What did you expect? This is Hell we're talking about!
2.) I'm telling you, those things are everywhere!
3.) Basically, they tie him to a chair, prop his eyelids open, and force him to watch a never-ending marathon of The View.
4.) After Crowley had dissolved Ligur with holy water, the Duke was reduced to a harmless spirit and there were really only two places a disembodied spirit could go, so he eventually wound up back in Hell. Though unable to inflict any physical harm on anyone, the force of his will was strong enough to "persuade" the geeks down in R&D to construct him a new body. Even so it was not a dignified thing for such a high ranking demon to go through and he remains a malignant and vindictive S.O.B. who, alongside Hastur, plots Crowley's downfall.
5.) You didn't seriously think anyone was that good did you?
6.) If it makes you feel any better, he has agents amongst the Democrats as well. Hell - much like Heaven - likes to play both sides of the field.
7.) The last such event took place in 1994 when the Eagles reunited, fourteen years after the band's initial break up. Ironically, Don Henley was quoted in 1980 saying that the band would play together again "when Hell freezes over". Whether or not this utterance had any bearing on the cosmic event that actually took place in Hell during their album promotion more than a decade later has yet to be ascertained. Even so, Hell's Department of Public Safety urges you to use discretion when throwing that phrase around.
8.) Heaven is...well, it's Heaven! As such, people who live there have a tendency to be more than a little spoilt and crises there aren't so much catastrophic so much as annoying. If you don't believe me, imagine living in Wakiki Hawaii for three years and then be transferred to Nome Alaska in the dead of winter and see how jubilant you are.
9.) God has that effect on people, hence the necessity for a Metatron, though it is more so an over-glorified ceremonial position which, sadly, had long ago gone to the seraph's head.
10.) Newt had convinced her not to open it so that she'd be free to live her life according to her own will, and while she has thus far resisted the urge to open the thing she couldn't bring herself to throw it away, fearing something dreadful might befall her.
11.) He really doesn't
12.) The Antichrist + hormones WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!
So, what do you think? Hit or Miss? Same rules apply, review or I'll just leave this story to rot. Also, if anyone out there has a decent knowledge of British expressions could you help me out? As an American, the only ones I really know and have any semblance of understanding for are: cheerio, jolly good, egad, gadzooks, I say, and bloody 'ell. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated. 'Til next time! Shibui out!