The Prince of Darkness

January 13, 2020

Refrain of Bertolt Brecht’s Ballad Mack the Knife:

And some are in the darkness
And others in the light
But you only see those in the light
The others are hidden in the night

Und die einen sind im Dunkeln
Und die anderen sind im Licht
Doch man sieht nur die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht

The Prince of Darkness

When the Prince of Darkness crawled out of his cage, he was for a few moments blinded by daylight. Normally he came out only during the night, but every now and then, when he was in the right mood, he also appeared to face the light of the day.

The few moments while he was blinded could have been used by brave and lion-hearted people to wrestle away the prince’s elder wand and his magic ring. While the elder wand gave the prince power to fend off even the most forceful assault, the magic ring was even more important because its loss would have meant the instant metamorphosis of the prince into a little grey toad.

Many ages ago a goddess, annoyed by the prince’s machinations and intrigues, did cast a spell on him which would have transformed the prince into a toad, but the spell didn’t work because he was protected by his magic ring. The goddess would have probably succeeded if she had only tried a little bit harder and used all her supreme powers, but soon after her unsuccessful attempt to reign in the Prince of Darkness she retreated from this world, apparently tired of human folly and stupidity.

So the prince, unrestrained and unchallenged, lived on in his cage, which was in fact a huge subterranean castle, bigger than the biggest luxury doomsday bunkers of the worlds top billionaires, and he came out whenever he felt bored or itchy to do mischief. He always easily found collaborators for his evil schemes who under his supervision started wars and committed unimaginable atrocities. The Roman emperors Nero and Caligula, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Charlemagne, King Leopold II, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin were among his many conspirators, and he was very proud of what they had achieved with his help.

The Prince of Darkness epitomized every psychopathic trait one can think off, for example: Lack of empathy, dishonesty, deviousness, turpitude, wickedness, vice, and pervertedness. But the Prince of Darkness was also clever, and he was aware that his short period of disorientation and blinding by daylight was a vulnerability. He consequently one day developed a plan to dim sunlight down to a level which he was comfortable with.

There are quite a few humans who just like the prince try to avoid daylight and rather operate clandestinely under the cover of darkness. They are mostly political leaders, generals, bankers, and other criminals. They often like to wear dark sunglasses, this is one of the features by which one can identify them.

The prince got on the phone to call the most eminent leaders of the evil empire. He had worked with them already on many projects, mainly in the Middle East and Latin America, and they knew each other well. One could say, they had a good working climate, which is not surprising, because they were, after all, on the same wavelength. 

They sat together in the biggest conference room of his underground castle and he presented his plan. There was not much persuasion or convincing necessary, they all liked his plan and there were only minor differences about some details.

The scheme started with an attack against one of the few nations which were still independent and not absorbed into the evil empire. This by itself was nothing extraordinary because such attacks happened all the time. The new twist was that the imperial air force in the initial phase of the assault would drop special bombs which were generating lot of smoke and the clouds of black smoke would cover the sun and create nearly complete darkness even at the brightest day.

The imperial forces could cope with such conditions, they had night vision hardware (thermal imaging devices and infrared searchlights) mounted on every combat vehicle, they had battlefield surveillance radar, they had laser sights / designators, and all soldiers were equipped with night vision goggles.

This technological advantage would allow the imperial forces to take over all crucial positions and command posts without much enemy resistance and without losses. The daytime darkness would also deal a devastating blow to the enemies economy, agriculture, and social fabric. Under these conditions it would be easy to install a puppet government and convert the country to another sweatshop vassal state.

The example of this successful conquest would also show any other nation on earth, that resistance was futile, and create a condition of total world dominance, or “full spectrum dominance.” Full spectrum dominance was a goal the evil empire had pursued all the time, but it now was in reach, it was a realistic objective, and it could be achieved in a short time.

After two month of preparation a war against one of the smaller countries was started and the plan worked perfectly. It also worked against a second country, but the two most powerful nations still didn’t surrender. Their informants were placed in the highest ranks of the imperial military, and they knew since long about the smoke bombs and the planned warfare in darkness. They had developed their own smoke generating warheads and equipped many intercontinental missiles with them. They also had worked together to outfit their armies with infrared, radar, and laser devices so that they were able to resist an invasion.

One day a barrage of missiles was launched against the imperial heartland and it completely surprised the empire. In an escalating exchange the imperial forces dropped every smoke bomb they had onto the enemy while every missile equipped with a smoke warhead was sent towards the empire’s territory.

This was still not a nuclear war, but it was bad enough. A ceasefire was negotiated, but it was too late to avert a global catastrophe, as clouds of black smoke now covered most of the planet and temperatures dropped more than 10 degrees. Crops withered and there were no harvests. Northern areas were blanketed in snow and ice. The darkness impeded industrial activity, social structures unraveled, and countries disintegrated into thiefdoms of local warlords.

There was famine all around the world and a complete breakdown of institutions on all levels. Millions of people starved to death, froze to death, or were killed by criminal gangs and ransacking militias. Millions died from pandemics which quickly spread. In only two decades the human population dropped to two billion, with wide regions being completely empty of any human life.

Fortunately level-headed technicians and operators had safely shot down all nuclear power plants, refineries, and chemical plants, but some spent nuclear fuel pools nonetheless overheated and burning nuclear fuel contaminated large areas, resulting in nuclear disaster exclusion zones the size of whole countries. Plants and animals were adapting to the increased radioactivity, colonizing these territories again, undisturbed by human activity.

The Prince of Darkness had watched the carnage with growing excitement. He was delighted, elated, exalted, ecstatic, blissful. Not even in his wildest dreams he had foreseen this outcome. He stood there in front of his cage and with all grandeur and gravitas he could muster he slowly said: “I’m proud, I’m very proud of myself!”

What the prince didn’t realize was, that, undetected by state surveillance, insurgency groups had formed. They were undetected and unhindered because as there was no state anymore, there was also no state surveillance and there was also no federal or state police to take them out. There were local police forces guarding the few intact communities, but they mostly were identical with the insurgency movements.

One of these groups had discovered the prince’s cave and they were watching it around the clock. They also realized that on the few days where the sun was strong enough to pierce through the cloudage which was still covering most of the planet, the prince was for a short moment incapacitated by sunlight. 

The strongest and most adroit of them built cleverly camouflaged positions beside the caves entrance and manned them around the clock on all days where there was a chance of sunlight.

And one day, as the prince appeared from the cage and was for a few moments blinded and disoriented by a ray of sunlight they attacked him, and they wrestled the elder wand from his hand and pulled the magic ring from his finger.

The prince was completely surprised, he only said “No!” and then a second time “No!” But that was the last word he said as he began to shrink and after a few seconds had become a little grey toad.

The members of the assault group were a bit unsure what to do with the toad, but as the spell was fulfilled and the toad never would morph into a prince again they just stepped back to let the toad hop away in search of a creek or lake or puddle.

The toad had retained all the memories of its former life, but the world looks different through the eyes of a toad and slowly the former prince realized the severity of his crimes. As he was a little toad now he could not do anything to alleviate, ease, and reduce the pain and suffering he had caused. Even as a powerful prince he would not have been able to do that.

Is there redemption, absolution, and forgiveness possible in the face of mass murder, crimes against humanity, and genocide?

Just like the prince the toad was not aging and it was strong and clever. Toads are an endangered species and they are rare, but after a long and excruciating search the prince-toad found a small colony of fellow toads and it got busy reproducing in order to help the species survive. Soon the nearby creeks and ponds were filled with tadpoles and they grew to little toadlets.

The prince-toad was always around to guide and protect the toadlets and as it watched them hopping or swimming it quaked with all grandeur and gravitas it could muster: “I’m proud, I’m very proud of myself!”


  1. Redemption through toads! I always knew toads had the power to save even the most lost. Toads are awesome!


    • Usually princes are bewitched into frogs, but I have a special affinity to toads. I held already three times a toad in my hands, as I saved it from the murderous cats. In every case the toad was completely quiet and didn’t resist, it apparently understood that it was safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I try to catch up reading your blogs when I can. [I saved all]
    My place is in the wet part of the island. In the 90’s there were so many toads here, it was hard to dodge them up and down my driveway. As the climate dried up and it rained less and less I rarely see them now. But they are still here. Overnight they soak themselves in the cats’ water bowls, do their toilet and shed skin. it is a mess. My first job in the morning is always to clean the water bowls and change the water. There are 16 or more water bowls around since my place is a cat sanctuary.
    I had to leave due to a medical emergency and will not be able to get home for 2 month and have to rely on 2 tenants who are only marginally reliable. This really worries me.
    There are also feral chickens who drink the water, and even deer come and drain all the bowls. I will have to call every few days with reminders. Those are my only worries since I don’t really care if I drop dead at 84.
    I really enjoy your blogs. Thank you for sending them!


    • Thank you so much for your comments!

      I have the same problem concerning my cat family of seven. I really want to accompany and guard them till their last day, but I cannot rule out that sickness or death will upend my plans and leave them orphaned.

      I try to live healthy, though with all the industrial poisons contaminating the biosphere, including carcinogenic substances and endocrine disrupters, even the most healthy lifestyle and diet is no absolute protection.

      A neighbor and her daughter cared for the cats when I had to go to the hospital for three days, and they did it well, but in case of my longer absence or death there is nobody who simply can take over. I set aside significant funds for the cats, but they need love and safety, not only money.

      People who visit or pass by seem to be enchanted by the cats. “How cute, how lovely,” they say. But nobody has time to spend with them, people are completely consumed by their smartphones or other electronic gadgets. This is a necrophile society, a fancy car, designer cloth, gadgets, appliances are all more important than living creatures.

      I wonder about your toads. Some of my cat friends unfortunately kill toads, frogs, and blind worms. I created many hideouts at the little garden ponds, but every now and then I find a dead animal which was incautious and paid the price.

      Finally, I have to apologize that I didn’t answer your last comment, where you asked about the squirrel in the Christmas tree. It was only a photograph from the internet, a squirrel in the house would’t live long, because my murderous cats would soon kill it.

      Nature is cruel and unforgiving. Paradise only existed in human minds. Nevertheless, let’s make the best out of it!


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