Mara spied the feather on the sand. She picked it up and sniffed it. It was hers.
Another one, she thought. That makes the sixth one this week.
“Why is this happening?” she cried aloud. “I’ve done nothing wrong!”
Mara sat on a nearby rock, brooding.
I’m not so bad. Perhaps I’ve despised a bluebottle but that’s no great wickedness. I admit I’m not always kind but it’s not an obvious sin.
Twirling the feather between her fingers, Mara thought it would be so much easier to be condemned and have done with it - to face the great Day of Judgment with all its delicious terror.
But the daily choice over little things was irksome and Mara did not want to be bothered. She briefly wondered if Screwtape was right – that the road to hell is a gradual one. Then she shrugged and slouched away, leaving another solitary feather in her wake.