Us, inhabitants of the Universe, we know many ways to measure time: by the moon, by the seasons, cycles ruled by the stars’s motion… But what would happen if there is no such motion? That was the reality that the Hell found at its far origins. An ageless land, infinite and flat, illuminated by fire, without any sun.
The demons who lived there just ate when they were hungry, slept when they were sleepy, or indulged in play and pleasure if they wanted. The most comfortable beds that could be found were of soft dust and into the open air; the lucky could get a place of refuge in the caves, so they wouldn’t be disturbed.
Hell’s Regent, Serpens, realized then that sleeping on the ground weren’t so comfortable, and the rustic and uneven walls of the cave were no appropiated for someone of her range. Tired, full of pain because of an eternity of sleeping on the rocks, she went with demon Af, who was sleeping below a hawthorn, and then she made him wake up for his bad.
“Eh? Why is my sleep interrupted?”, complained the inferior creature.
“Meaningless Af, your ruler commands you to build a castle. Go and get the most hard rocks and raise strong walls.”
“I will, Your Excellence.”
“When will you finish your labor?”
“In a while, Your Excellence.”
And so Serpens continued her walk, and she met Azazel, and thus she claimed:
“Sweet Azazel, go and get the softest feathers, the finest silk, and make for your Supreme a mattress and a pillow where I can rest.”
“I will, Your Excellence.”
“When will you begin your labor?”
“When the game is over, Your Excellence.”
Then Serpens went to roam the infinity of Hell, dreaming with her mighty castle and her comfortable bed, until she felt her feet tired and she had to go back. And she found Af again, resting below the hawthorn.
“Af, have you builded a castle for me?”
“Not yet, Your Excellence.”
“How much will I have to wait for shelter myself on my fortress?”
“A while, Your Excellence.”
And the Regent continued her walk, hoping at least she would have her soft mattress. And she met Azazel again.
“Sweet Azazel, had you make for me a mattress, a soft pillow?”
“Not yet, Your Excellence.”
“May I know the because of your non-compliance?”
“I’m not in a non-compliment. The game isn’t over yet. Does Your Excellence wants to put a limit to my game? Should I stop playing when the Eternal Fire extincts, when the ground broke ruthless, when the salamander becomes a great monster?”
Serpens thought gravely: <<But the Eternal Fire will never extinct, the ground will never break, and the salamander always be salamander.>>
Weighed down, she decided to retire to the vast infernal deserts, to the unnamed dunes. And there she stayed a long time; an instant or an eternity.
<<Nothing changes, nothing evolves… And things must be done, but when? Without Time, even for me it’s impossible to excercise control>>, she repeated to herself.
Until she noticed how the dunes changed its form, how the sand grains moved with the magical deed of wind, and she took a bunch in her hands.
She left falling the bunch of sand between her fingers, and then she knew which was the solution to her problems; making use of her immense power, she took not a bunch, but all the sand in that infinite desert, and carried it with her back to the populated regions of Hell.
Thus she reunited all the demons to her.
“My vassals, my slaves, today I have to make you a question. An important task must be done and for that I need the most rewarding, the most disposed to help me. Who within you all appreciates me the most, who ventures to fulfill the great mission for wich I will be eternally greatfull?”
The demons looked each other, there were murmur, babble, and offers full of falsehood, until an infernal deity, the humble Satres, raised his hand shy.
“I, Your Excellence, will joyfully do anything you ask.”
Serpens, full of happiness, brought Satres before her and took his hands.
“My Satres, you will have the most of responsabilities in Hell. I bring with me all the sand of the unnamed desert. With your cleverness you will invent an artifact that contains the sand and let it fall grain by grain, and so when it has fall completely, could fall again. Then we’ll talk.”
And Satres got himself into the commanded labor, and he didn’t wait, thus it was true that there wasn’t demon in Hell so disposed to serve as him. Immediatly he went with Serpens and showed to her his work; not one, but infinite sand clocks, each one with the double of capacity than its last.
“My Mistress, I hope to fultill your expectatives. You’ll see, the only thing I have to do is to turn them, and the sand will begin falling again.”
“Satres, my Satres, you fill me with proud. Together we have invented Time. What I must to ask you now is still bigger than what you’ve already done.”
“My Mistress, you may ask what you want, and I’ll serve.”
Serpens went to the biggest clock and turned it, so the sand began to fall.
“When the last grain falls, not before or later, you’ll turn again the clock. And so you will do each time. That will be your responsibility for all the Eternity.
Thus, before the first clock, Serpens saw raising her castle. The ones who didn’t comply at the terms were excecuted. The highest demons took advantage too and ordered to buid their own dwellings. The impossible lovers could dream that their wishes would be fulfilled, two or three clocks later. Meantime, Satres turned the clocks, inventing different time measurements by Serpens’ orders, until his life was simply that. There was an opportunity when a distraction, a slip made him turn the clock an instant or an eternity later than he should, and that caused enormous problems in Hell and in other worlds, but that is an outlier.
Written by McKaren