it was the only way she could make up for her own terrible sins, and not be dragged off to hell herself.
every night, after a long day of cleaning rest rooms in a ninety-one story office building, amanda walked the dark streets and alleys of the great city, looking for an abandoned angel.
as the city was very large and dark, she rarely went down the same street twice in her travels, and her fellow humans paid her little notice.
but a couple of demons, who were more perspicacious and alert, noticed amanda one night .
the demons’ names were moloch baalovich and alexander sergeyevich.
they were sitting in a burger king, beside the window with a good view of the street and the people passing by outside, when they saw amanda with her empty shopping cart.
moloch baalovich had noticed amanda before, always with her shopping cart empty.
“i wonder why that human walks around with a shopping cart when she never puts anything in it,” he mused absently.
“i know,” alexander sergeyevich replied. “because she walks the streets all night looking for an angel with broken wings, that she will put in the cart, take home with her —“
“does she have a home?”
“yes, in the basement of the ninety-one story office building she cleans the rest rooms in.”
“just asking. and then what?”
“she will nurse the angel back to health, and when the angel flies back to heaven, it will put in a good word for her and she will not be dragged down into the bottomless pit as she so richly deserves.”
and both demons had a good chuckle at the folly of humans.
“i have an idea,” moloch baalovich said, “ for a good laugh.”
“and what might that be?” asked alexander sergeyevich.
moloch baalovich did not answer directly but pointed to another demon, cleopatra osirisevna, who was seated a couple of tables away greedily devouring a mushroom burger with spicy fries.
“cleopatra osirisevna!” moloch baalovich cried. “i have a favor to ask of you. but i think you will enjoy it.”
“i doubt it,” she replied sulkily, after swallowing a mouthful of fries, “but what is it that you wish?”
“come, cleopatra osirisevna, you know you owe me one.” moloch baalovich described the situation of the wandering sinner amanda, and concluded by saying - “
“you will impersonate an angel and she will find you, pathetic and broken-winged in an alley. she will take you home, but instead of you healing and flying away, you will remain on her hands for long years - long for them, short for you - and instead of becoming more angelic, you will become more demanding as the years go by, eventually revealing your true nature as a demon. a merry jest!”
“but,” interrupted alexander sergeyevich, “ this is behavior humans are all too used to. it is what they usually get from their own children.”
moloch baalovich brushed this aside. “will you do it, cleopatra osirisevna? it is only a couple of dozen years out of your billions?”
cleopatra osirisevna slurped down the last dregs of her strawberry smoothie. “very well. i will do it. but then we are quits, moloch baalovich.”
and so it came about that on the next night the unsuspecting amanda discovered cleopatra osirisevna , in the guise of a golden-haired child with two broken pink wings, in an alley beside a bustlingly busy hooter’s.
amanda put cleopatra osirisevna in the shopping cart and took her through the streets to her little room in the basement of the 12207 washington st building.
the years went by. cleopatra osirisevna, now called “lucy” by amanda, followed the letter if not always the spirit, of moloch balovich’s humorous plan. she tortured poor amanda a good part of the time, but also spent long hours just staring at the ceiling of the little room, and daydreaming, impervious to amanda’s tender ministrations.
but then fate stepped in, in the form of the new and most evil empress, katerina iii caligovna, who instigated a new and terrible persecution against the old believers.
amanda was denounced by a member of the custodial staff at 12207 washington st, who had long resented her as “thinking she knows everything”.
amanda was thrown into one of the empress katerina’s gleaming new interrogation centers.
cleopatra osirisevna aka lucy was arrested by the special police along with amanda, but feeling that the game had gone on long enough and that she had fulfilled her bargain with moloch baalovich, she briefly explained to amanda who she really was, resumed her demon’s form, walked unmolested through the corridors of the interrogation center, and disappeared into the night.
with her beloved lucy gone, amanda fell into despair, but was determined to embrace martyrdom.
at this point the accounts of different chroniclers diverge, and the details of amanda’s end on this unfortunate earth are unclear.
bishop unwin states unequivocally that she was admitted to the host of saints after enduring the most terrible tortures with smiling resolve. but sister agatha denise in her “history of the most recent persecution” simply states that amanda was numbered among the slain.
professor davis in his account - the most exhaustive and heavily annotated - does not even mention amanda.