The Angels Saga
Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright 6181 SC
PART ONE – OLD ENEMIES
Zion Blues 2
Azrael and Cosadriel II
Happy Chaps Tower IV
Angels of Hope 14
The Final Day of Glory
PART TWO – ZAPHORA +
Spanner in the Works
The New Districts of Zaphora
Happy Chaps Tower V
Angels of Hope 15
The Cherubim Urakiba – Angel of God III
PART THREE – SERVICE TO THE MOST HIGH
Angels of Hope 16
Happy Chaps Tower VI
The Fabulous Misadventures of the Famous 17 Kaleidoscope Collectors IV
Azrael and Cosadriel III
Service to the Most High
PART FOUR – PARADISION
4 O'Clock 20
Ruth and Boaz 2
The Ex-Serviceman's Club
PART FIVE – GOOD FELLAS
Azrael and Cosadriel IV
I Will Always Love You
Happy Chaps Tower VII
Angels of Hope 17
PART SIX – THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING
Happy Chaps Tower VIII
Angels of Hope 18
Azrael and Cosadriel V
The Final Day of Glory 2
The Fabulous Misadventures of the Famous 17 Kaleidoscope Collectors V
Old Enemies II
The Ex-Serviceman's Club 2
Good Fellas 2
Spanner in the Works 2
I Will Always Love You 2
4 O'Clock 21
Ruth and Boaz 3
Service to the Most High II
Alive Enough 2
Shards of a Crazy Heart
The Times They are a Changing
'You have a lot of glory. Make sure you are humble enough with it,' said the Theophany to Daniel the Seraphim.
'Yes,' replied Daniel. 'I concentrate these days on not letting the humor get to effervescent. I make it is there traditionally, to lighten up situations, and keep the ball rolling on life. I am committed to eternal life, and read the Seraphim Torah, The Bible and the Rainbow Bibles of ANM & CBN regularly. I stay focused on a strong spirituality to ensure I never turn to evil and keep faith with goodness and kindness. But I do let it rip from time to time to make sure I am not predictable and to stir things up if they are getting bogged down in the mundane. Mikey Dyke needs to learn his lesson about turf, and stick with Zionistya, which keeps him humble as well. That way the system works, and we are not at each other's throats all the time. When Mikey has finally settled and gotten over being so obnoxious the Arch-Regent will permit him regular visitations of his homeland. But his obligations are to establish Zionistya with his wisdom and skill.'
'This I do not dispute,' just don't let it go to your head,' replied God.
* * * * *
Daniel had been reading the Chronicles he'd written, and going over things he knew he'd generally committed to in life. He looked at his general obligations, and the kind of responsibility he must set, and took himself away with Melanie C to Citydale, in a flat they shared, and they went through the commitments they had both made to God.
'If we were proud we'd just insist on doing our own thing, instead of God's agenda' said Daniel.
'We read his scriptures and apply them to our lives,' replied Melanie.
'God always likes works of charity and concern,' said Daniel. 'Saruviel has recently committed to doing permanent charity work for the rim of producing toys on a regular basis. I will choose an item, likewise, and maintain that eternally in producing it, with quality in each work, to contribute to the less fortunate in life.'
'I am going to take lessons from Krystabel on knitting,' said Melanie. 'And produce some items regularly and contribute likewise,' she said.
Daniel nodded. 'Then we apply and commit these principles, and we please God by doing this, staying humble and eternally serving God and his kingdom.'
'We commit,' agreed Melanie.
* * * * *
'Quite frankly I find Israel racist and separatist,' commented Daniel to Melanie. 'I think that they are qutie proud of themselves, thinking themselves something special. I've observed them a long time – they are just human beings. There is nothing special going on wih them. I see no need to connect to them, especially as they dish out arrogance towards humanity a lot of the time.'
'You are probably telling the truth,' replied Melanie. 'Yet we are supposed to know they are imperfect beings and love them anyway.'
'That is true,' said Daniel. He sat there, in his flat, thinking that over. 'It doesn't work terribly well. Trying to get along with Israel as Noahides. We don't get along terribly well. They are simply better off in their own turf where they can dictate there own way of life. I recall a comment, a long time ago, but a Jew. He said, or approximately, we have our own land now and there is nothing that the world can do about it. I mean, what the hell is there problem? So what? It's them against the world in their book. They don't really give a damn about the rest of us. Just into exalting themselves. So in the real world, because of their attitude, they are better off in their own turf, away from us, and never the twain shall meet.'
'You might be right,' sighed Melanie. 'I think, deep down, the unity of the faith is what is tikking in my heart, but it might not be that practical in the end.'
'Why I've never committed to Israel,' said Daniel. 'They are too dictatorial. They insist they are right on everything. It's just too much trouble with them, and they are better off left alone to fend for themselves. Chalk and cheese in the end, dear Melanie. Chalk and cheese.'
Melanie nodded, and walked out to the balcony, looking over Citydale. She knew then, it would never be like it was at the beginning again. Things were set in stone, and attitudes wouldn't change. Better to accept that and move on. Chalk and cheese indeed.
* * * * *
'Well, we believe in all people prospering don't we? Asked Melanie.
'Of course,' replied Daniel.
'So trade with Zionistya in the future is acceptable?'
'As long as the trade deficit is balanced between us. Then it us ok. I don't believe one nation should prosper over another. It should be fair and equitable for everyone. Everyone deserves a chance to have success in life and to have family, friends and a community they are proud of. This is defintiely true for the ANM's attitude towards Israel also. We encourage them to prosper in their own dominin, to work hard and have a good life. We don't wish any ill will towards them. Good luck to them when they succeed.'
'What about sports?' asked Melanie. 'An issue for me if you must know.'
'That is strictly about comptetition, being fair and decent, and doing your best to win and triumph. That is individual glory, and you should take it seroiusly to excel. The glory goes to the ones who work the hardest and dedicate the most. Good luck to the winners as far as I am concerned.'
'Mmm,' said Melanie. She took out her notebook and started writing things down. 'You seem to have well developed opinions,' she said.
'I try hard to get the best of philosophy on life,' said Daniel. 'I want to be part of a good world, which is happy, and people can fairly achieve what they want to in life. You can't put someone down to exalt yourself, though. That's not right. Fairness and equity. That is how it works. That is how the law works. It's always been like that for us westerners.'
'I know,' said Melanie, scribing down some notes.
* * * * *
'Well I think we have resolved some issues,' said Melanie. 'Best you get back to Gloryel and your commitments to her current work.
'You are probably right,' agreed Daniel. 'This has been a nice break, though. But back to my lovely angel of hope.'
The packed up their things that week, and Melanie returned to Danielphon and her work as oversee, while Daniel got back home to Gloryel in the second heavenly realm. And life went on.
Zion Blues 2
'He thinks I'm proud?' queried Michael the Seraphim, regarding Daniel's opinion of Michael.
'Israel apparently thinks itself something special. Said the theophany of God.
'We were chosen to serve,' said Michael. 'This Noahide brother of mine can go fuck himself.'
'That seems to be the issue,' said God soberly. 'You are proud about your chosen status.'
'And so we damn well should be. God chose us. Not the schmucky Noahides. He's up himself. Should learn his place,' said Michael.
God looked at Michael. 'And that attitude you have there is the problem. I chose you to be a meek people, serving God in humility. Not arrogating yourself to the highest heaven. Have you not recalled passages in the Neviiim about pride? You were chosen because you are a loyal people, yet don't think I do not desire a spiritual man as well.'
Michael looked at God, and sighed. 'You chose us. Live with it. We can only be ourselves.'
'Meanwhile Daniel and Melanie have gone back to proper service, doing eternal charity work, which they have committed to in their hearts, and you laze around, playing golf, and goofing off.'
'It doesn't matter,' said Michael. 'Life goes on anyway. It's just whatever we do to pass the time and get our kicks. All that service is religious pride.'
'Is that what you think?' asked the theophany.
'Pretty much. Just be yourself,' replied Michael. 'Yes, the Torah guides us, but don't let it go to your head. It's just showing off.'
'Mmm,' said God, taking those words into consideration. 'I'll think things over then.'
'You do that,' replied Michael. 'Daniel is just jealous. Nothing more. Take it from me. Saruviel and co served hard to get one up on us. They don't really give a damn in the long term. You'll see that in the end. Believe me.'
'We'll see,' said God.
'And I'm off to golf,' said Michael. 'Seeya around.'
* * * * *
'So we chase down the babes, and have some fun' said Michael to Ambriel.'
'I'm married,' said Ambriel to his older brother.'
'You never stay loyal to your wives. I've heard all about you and Fiona the Harlequinn.'
'We're just good friends,' said Ambriel.
'Tell it to the judge,' said Michael.
'I'll come alonf,' said Ambriel. 'But I'll only be polite to the ladies.'
'Come on then' said Michael.
They spent the afternoon partying with girls from a Zion tavern, and Michael observed Ambriel's calm spirit.
Ok Ambriel. We'' go home now,' said Michael. Michael bid the girls adieu, and they returned to Zion Keep.
'You should visit Elenniel at Pellersphon,' said Ambriel. 'Her and Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly are getting along like a house on fire. He respects her, and she is doing good work in the realm. A lot of the female seraphim are welcome in the realm. They don't, apparently, have an attitude. They accept me usually as well. According to Daniel I'm not a dickhead like my older brother.'
'He's always liked you,' said Michael. 'More his style. He pushes you around though. You've done slave labour in that Golden Fries forever.'
'Actually, that I don't mind doing,' said Ambriel. 'He pays me a fair wage, and is a fair boss, meting out correct judgment and keeping the organisation going. GF&G are a respected employer these days, and offer permanent employment which gives security. A lot of companies come and go, but GF&G does good work by maintaining good standards in fast food.'
'Right,' said Michael. He looked at Ambriel. 'That is important to you? That it endures?'
'They give permanent jobs to real people,' said Ambriel. 'Daniel never took it as a joke. Nor with Lucky Thrills. Goes on working permanently with his projects. Commits to them.'
Michael nodded. 'Ok. I'll look into that then. Permanent jobs which give people security is in my intersts also. I'll acknowledge that.'
Ambriel smiled. ' You have a lot of ideas, Mikey, which can work if you put your heart and soul into them. We have been told many times we can make something of this Zionistya. The evening stars say that all the time to us. Make something of the opportunity.'
'Gotcha,' said Michael. 'Now we party again next week, kapiche.'
'Fine,' replied Ambriel, sighing. Michael was quite the dude, in the end. Quite the dude.
* * * * *
It was midnight in Zion, and the girl was asleep in Michael's bed. He'd bedded her, and didn't care if the world knew. But he was having a smoke on the balcony, looking out a the city, and thinking. Thinking on what had been said. Especially on what Ambriel had said about security. And that much did make sense. It took commitment, though. And a positive attitude to stay with something, even when times were tough. He'd been through life long enough that he knew how to endure. But committing to anything apart from God and Torah? Was that his way? He had written out a few ideas, and concluded that he was naturally a bit of a party-going thrill seeker at times, and thought on paintball. Simple as that, with a cafe they could go to after their sessions. Fast food was not exactly glorioius work, the company Daniel had founded, but he committed to it regardless. If he was serious about his paintball idea, and made it last, and stuck with it, it would offer permanent employment, and give permanent entertainment. And in a life which just went on he felt that might be a positive for the world. He'd think it over, and if it still made sense, he'd commit. And he would stick with it, despite any difficulties. He mused that all over, watching the city, and then slipped off to his new lady, nudging her, and she woke, and smiled.
'How about it honey?' he asked her.
'Oh, Michael,' she said.
And he committed to having a good time the rest of the night. A very good time.
Gabriel had drifted up to the realm of eternity, to a Perth in an Australia, where a twin was residing. He drifted up, and knocked on his twin's door, and she opened it and looked at him.
'I'm doing spiritual things,' she said.
'I'd heard that. I understand this is the spiritual things place,' he replied.
'I'm getting to know the people here slowly,' she said. 'It's another home for me. A permanent home on occasions. I take it seriously,' she said. 'My spiritual sanctuary.'
He came inside, and sat down on the couch. 'Do you have the Seraphim Torah?' he asked her.
She walked over to the bookcase, and fished out a copy of the Seraphim Torah. She handed it to him.
'I'll study it in my time here,' he said, and opened it up, and started reading.
She nodded, and went to the kitchen, to begin cooking the evening meal.
After they had eaten Gabriel spoke. 'No TV?' he asked her.
'Not in this place. Not anymore,' she said. 'Quiet spiritual living.'
'Very well,' he replied. 'Do you have some Irish Cream?'
She went to the cupboard, and returned with some 'Irish Bailey's Cream', and poured him out a glass, pouring some for herself.
'Do you have Mozart?' he asked her.
She went to the record player, and fished out Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto, and put it on.
They sat there, quietly, listening to the music, and Gabriel picked up the SeraphimTorah, and started reading.
She looked at him, and then picked up the copy of 'Macbeth' she had been reading, and continued on.
It was quiet. The fireplace was burning steadily. The music was soft and beautiful. She was in a good mood.
'After Macbeth?' he asked her, not raising his eyes.
'Probably Romeo and Juliet,' she replied. 'Or Much ado about Nothing.' I haven't decided yet.'
'Do you have any volumes of the Cherubim Torah?' he asked her.
She nodded. '3 or 4 of them.'
'I'll read through them,' he said.
'Good,' she said.
The music played, and the A side finished, and Aquariel changed to the B side.
Gabriel sat there, reading through the Seraphim Torah, occasionally sipping on his cream. Later that evning he retired to the spare room, and she looked at him.
'No funny business. Not here,' she said.
'I understand,' he replied.
A few weeks passed.
'Spiritual again,' said Gabriel. 'I feel spiritual again.'
'Then this is working well,' said Aquariel.
Gabriel felt that too.
Azrael and Cosadriel II
'Ok,' said Cosadriel. 'Charity work is in vogue. But apparently you gotta commit to a personal work eternally. Too fake unless it's an eternal commit.'
'I can handle it,' said Azrael. 'Don't mind doing things for the wee little ones.'
'Then woodwork?' queried Cosadriel. 'It's what we do best as a team?'
'Nah, let's get them drunk on cider pop,' said Azrael.
'Interesting suggestion. I'll keep it in mind. But the general thing is it has to be a gift appropriate for eternal use by theless fortunate,' said Cosadriel.
'I get the gist,' said Azrael. 'Ok. We do small bookcases and drawers and tables. Stuff they can use permanently in life.'
'Has to be quality work,' said Cosadriel. 'Stuff which is fitting to be eternalized.'
'Our work is always quality,' replied Azrael. 'What we have a name for.'
'And that we maintain,' said Cosadriel.
'Hah, rich,' said Kwintakel. 'We've been doing this forever, and it's only catching on with you fellas now. The ladies of the Seraphim Torah are well equipped with this knowledge. It's mother mercy, not father mercy.'
'True,' agreed Cosadriel. 'But its our turn now, and we can commit as well.'
'So let's get to it and stop yakking on,' said Azrael. 'Once a year we spend a weekend working on the product, and we can get them done in a weekend.'
'Does Saruviel have a network for you to go through?' asked Kwintakel. 'Our's is well established.'
'Don't know,' said cosadriel. He picked up his mobile, and rang a private Seraphim number which got through to Saruviel.
'Yo, dude. It's Cosadriel,' he said.
'Yes. I recognized the yo dude,' replied Saruviel. 'I'm busy. What do you clowns want?'
'Do you have a charity organized for your toys thing?'
Silence. 'Actually, I just handle it personally,' said Saruviel. 'I go off to various institutions out on the rim, charity organisations, and they direct me to families in need. I visit with them a while, and give them the toys.'
'Daniel is committing to this, from what Melanie went on about the other day,' said Cosadriel. 'At a power brunch of the woman of Zaphona City. Oshanel told me all about it. So perhaps we organize.'
'We call ours charity of the woman's heart,' said Kwintakel. 'It's a universal charity.'
'Mmm. First I've heard of it,' said Cosadriel.
'We don't talk to men about it,' she replied.
'Good fellas,' said Saruviel. 'We call it Good fellas.'
'We'll sound like gangsters,' said Cosadriel.
'Gangsters with heart. Drop by the office, if you and Azrael are taking the idea seriously. We'll get something properly organized. But its Good fellas. I've already had a bit of an idea on the project.'
'Good fellas,' said Cosadriel to Azrael.
'Great,' replied Azrael.
'Will see you next week,' said Cosadriel to Saruviel, and hung up.
'That sounds fine. What, he's organised something.'
'Not yet. But he has ideas. We'll run with that.'
'Then let's have a celebratory drink,' said Azrael.
And they did. And there was mirth.
Happy Chaps Tower IV
'Hey, there is that Janelle chick,' said Boris. 'You dated her for a while. How did that go?'
'Didn't work out,' said Percival. 'She wants a black man in the end. An aboriginal if she can get one. Is part of a community and waiting for someone to take a serious interest.'
'Too bad,' said Boris. 'Always thought she was cute.'
'She's not the girl for me,' said Percival.
He continued on working his job, and the afternoon passed. Boris worked with him in their duties, and they were also family. Later in the afternoon Janelle showed up to his work station.
'The boss wants a word with you,' Janelle said to Percival.
'No worries,' said Percy. He walked with Janelle up to the office. 'How you been?' he asked her.
'What? Do you care?' she asked him.
'Only asking. Sheesh. No need to bite my head off,' replied Percival.
'He's in his office,' said Janelle.
Percival spoke with his top manager, regarding some work protocol issues, and left the office. He looked at Janelle, who was working, but looked up at him. She just glared at him. He shrugged, and returned to his station.
'She's got issues,' he said to Boris.
'Don't they all,' shrugged Boris.
That evening Janelle knocked on his door. She looked at him. ' Look, sorry ok. Just going through stuff at the moment. Can I come in?'
'Sure,' replied Percival. She came in, and sat down on the couch, and he got her a drink of apple juice. She drank it slowly, and stood, looking at his bookcase.
'Same old titles, I see,' she said. She looked at him. 'You don't change them around from time to time?'
'I like my favourites,' he replied. She continued looking through the books, and picked out one, and went to the couch, sitting down, and started reading. Percival looked at her. He really did not understand women.
A few hours later she closed up the book and looked at him. 'I'll drop around next week. Can we do this again?'
'Sure,' he said.
She smiled at him and, nervously, came forward, and kissed him on the cheek. 'I still like you,' she said. And then she left, leaving a very confused Percival Nighthammer.
* * * * *
Percival had applied and joined the Good Fellas charity which had started recently. As a Happy Chap he was dedicated to similar principles like Good Fellas, but didn't exactly have a committed charity output. But with Good Fellas established he worked through the list of suggested charity objects. He was knowledgeable in paper products and the like, and chose to manufacture carboard chess boards, and make plastic chess pieces. He didn't want to make too fancy ones, as some people didn't always need such things, and liked a compact chess board they could fold up and put away easily. He decided on more basic approach. Janelle liked what he was doing, and after a while helped him with the manufacturing plant he had set up in his spare room to produce the plastic chess pieces.
'We can probably manage about 100 sets a month with a little commitment,' he said. 'Good Fellas suggest not getting too involved with this work, but having it as a basic focus. Just something you can keep on doing.'
'Sounds good,' said Janelle.
The weeks passed, and then months, and a year ticked over. And Janelle showed up regularly now. And Percival sensed something more was going on between them. They were suited. That was becoming obvious. And he felt, soon enough, he would have to do something about that. Something more personal.
Angels of Hope 14
Gloryel looked at the chicken sandwich. 'I'm not sure I even want it anymore,' said Gloryel.
'I quit eating meat recently,' said Daniel. 'Just not working for me anymore. I don't smoke any more either.'
'You quit smoking?' she asked him.
'Pretty much permanently,' he replied. 'A lot of things I've left behind me. All sorts of foods I don't eat anymore, and television I just won't watch. Unless it's like pre-2000 earth tv stuff, or stuff of similar value, I won't watch it. It's just too carnal for me. Finished with a lot of things. Too much for my system, now.'
'Probably God at work,' said Gloryel, looking at the sandwich. She signalled to the waiter, who came over. ' Take this away. I'll have a salad sandwich instead.'
The waiter nodded, and took away the sandwich.
'Time of sanctification in the world, most likely,' said Gloryel. 'God is probably getting around to improving things somewhat, after all our rebellions of youth.'
'I suppose,' said Daniel. 'Maturing, after all this time. Probably bound to happen eventually.'
She looked at him. 'So what are you into now?'
'I am into lots of things. Older things. Things not so obsessed with the glitz and glamour of the world. Things with a little bit of soul.'
'Sounds good,' said Gloryel, stirring her tea. 'And I don't drink coffee anymore,' she said. 'Just lost a flavour for it. Harsh taste, really. Just don't like it anymore.'
'We must be being sanctified,' said Daniel. 'Probably happening universally.'
Gloryel looked at Daniel. 'Maybe,' she said, and sipped on her tea.
'Well, if that is what happening, it is probably in our best interest, so best to run with it,' said Daniel. 'Not go back to the old ways, which were probably temporary. Move with the times and go with where God wants to go with us.'
'You are probably right,' said Gloryel. She sipped on her tea, and looked at her magazine. Then she put it down.
'What's the problem?' asked Daniel.
'It's too glitzy,' she said after a bit. 'I've noticed that. Vanity, a lot of it. Not what I think I represent anymore.'
'You have a humanity in you or something?' asked Daniel.
Gloryel smiled. 'I guess so,' she replied. 'Glad you've noticed.'
'I notice a lot of things about you Geraldine,' said Daniel.
'Obviously,' she replied, looking at Daniel. 'Obviously you do.'
'Indeed,' said Daniel, and sipped on his tea. It was a happy cafe scene.
* * * * *
'Life goes on,' said Gloryel. 'Life goes on. I am not sure, though, if it will be the life we knew. Some of the Cherubim, I've looked up. They're dead. Completely dead. Been in Sheol thousands and millions of years some of them now. And it just aint there anymore. A life in them. Sheol kills you eventually.'
'Some adapt, and survive,' said Daniel. 'And some die. Because they are too stubborn to change their ways, and want to do it their way. According to their own wisdom. The point in religion is to do it God's ways, who teaches you the values of eternal life. Some people – they just don't connect to that.'
Gloryel sipped on her tea. 'You'd like to think we were guaranteed, but no. Sin kills in the end.'
'It always has,' said Daniel. 'My friends list on my email account has half the names gone now. It was huge once, and half of them are dead. It's not like it was. Just unwise decisions, and unwillingness to amend ways to live a better life.'
'And that is what it is about?' asked Gloryel.
'It's supposed to be,' said Daniel. 'A better life. A happier life. With people dedicated to eternal values.'
'Then that is what I will give,' said Gloryel, and stood, smiled at Daniel, and walked off from the cafe. Daniel watched her go. Whatever had come over her?
* * * * *
'Michael has gone into 'Warball,' said Valandriel to Daniel.
'Warball?' asked Daniel. 'What the hell is Warball?'
'Glorified paintball. He says if he is going to go out, he is going out with a bang.'
'Going to go out?' asked Daniel. 'What, another death wish?'
'He thinks his days are numbered,' replied Valandriel. 'He can't stomach the theophany any more, and can't commit to the rules he once agreed with. He's working toward a final day of Glory for Michael the Seraphim, apparently. Where he has his last dance with Elenniel, and faces the end bravely.'
'Fuck,' said Daniel. 'Eternal life is not for him?'
'I don't think so,' said Valandriel. 'I don't think its for everyone either. God gave me a kick in the pants the other day about my pride which had come in because I was settled in life with a partner, and hating on people. I got over it, and remembered mercy and kindness. I'm thinking over issues, and amending my ways. I do enjoy my life, and want it to continue. I will reform according to what God wants, you know. I do like my morning paper, and my tea and toast, and chatting with Elsabel, and getting off to a day's busy activities, and a good routine on things. I have a timetabled life, and have judged people who are not settled into something like that. So I'll let people choose their own destiny, and mind my own business, and simply enjoy what I have, and try and set an example with that much.'
'Good for you,' said Daniel. 'Who cares, you know. In the end I've prayed a million prayers for some people, and if its in them its in them, and if its not its not. I let them go now. Just leave it be and concentrate on God and his will, and get on with things. I seek God for his advice in my ANM ministry, and what to teach. And how to impart eternal values. And I'm learning those values again, and learning them properly. Trying to stabilise with permanence. A committed life. An eternal life.'
'Sounds like what its about,' said Valandriel.
Daniel nodded, and they got to the table, and sat, while Gloryel came into the room, and served out dinner. As they ate they both looked at Gloryel.
'You've had a facial or something?' asked Daniel.
'Not quite,' said Gloryel. 'Major change in diet, and letting some things go permanently. No makeup now, you see.'
'That's what it frikking is,' said Valandriel.
'Is it temporary?' asked Daniel.
'Its for keeps,' said Gloryel. 'Now eat your meal.'
And Daniel ate his meal, but couldn't take his eyes off his older Seraphim sister. She had – changed. Quite obviously.
The Final Day of Glory
Elenniel was naked, in the fields near Zion. 'Ok. You can fuck me up the arse like a beast,' she said to Michael. Michael did so, and felt the carnal urge satisfied.
He looked at her. 'Thanks, babe. That will be all. I've a few hours left. I still love you, I guess. But this is it. You know, I won't be back this time.'
'No. I don't think you will either,' she replied.
Michael gave his twin one last look, and saw an eternity in her wihtout him, and almost wanted to stop and object, but a compulsion in him moved him on, and he walked on. He took off his clothes then, and walked around the outskirts of Zion keep. People looked at him, but they knew what was going on. They'd been informed. He mocked a few people he'd long wanted to have a go at, and walked on. After a few minutes he came to the precipice, not far from the keep, which dwindled down a sharp incline to the Zion rubbish tip. The fall would kill him if he didn't unfurl his wings and fly. He looked heavnwards, and though about one last word to God, but then thought better of it. He looked out at the city, and sighed. 'Such is life,' he said to himself. And then the angel fell. He didn't unfurl his wings.
* * * * *
It was a news item, again. But did not make as much fuss the second time around. This time they sensed it was for keeps. Michael did not seem to get along with life. It was not a Morning Star of service. It was a Morning Star of his own will. His own ideas. And some people took that to mind from the various commentaries on talk shows, and others just went on with their lives, avoiding the whole fiasco. Elenniel sobbed a while, and then got up one morning, and stopped wearing black, and looked at the picture of Gabriel, but decided against it. She'd marry again one day, but in the Realm of Eternity, as Zionistya was not for her. She'd find a faithful husband, probably a Seraphim offspring, and settle down with him in Glimmersphon district, which she felt comfortable in him. And life would go on, and she would move on, and that would be that.
And in Sheol Michael felt the departure of most of God's spirit, and didn't care, and settled down to dying, and was lost from life. This time there would be no return. This time he was finished with it all.
'His name is Michael. He's mine and Rihanna's child,' said God to Gloryel.
'Oh,' she replied. 'I see he is Seraphim.'
'He's the official replacement model. Riri was a little alarmed giving birth to an angel, but she coped. 'He's nothing to do with Michael who is gone from us. No essence of his spirit in him either.' God looked towards the distance, and his eyes misted up a bit. 'No, I cheated a little with this one. Like the children of heaven. He can't die, ok. He's permanent.'
'Do we ever get that?' aske Gloryel. 'It would be nice you know.'
'I think that issue is mostly resolved with you Gloryel,' said God. 'You've made new changes, which were not essential, but will imrove you even more. You probably know, somewhere in that heart of yours, you don't need to worry. You know that, don't you?'
She looked down, and thought a million thoughts, then looked up at him. 'You're sure?' she asked him.
'Don't worry,' he said. 'Your Viva Forever, dear Gloryel. Viva Forever.'
And then Gloryel smiled.
* * * * *
Satan stood on top of 666 Paramount Tower. At last. His adversary dead. The dude couldn't even stomach eternal devotion to God. What a frikking joke? Was that all that Michael the Seraphim had been made of? Truly pathetic. He looked towards Zaphora. 'You know, God. I expected more from Michael than that? I mean, come on. I have a good diet and things, don't kill anyone any more, but am mostly a wild child. Yet I go on? And Michael does not? How does that work?'
The Theophany tapped Satan on the shoulder. Satan turned and looked at him. 'You like your life,' said God to Satan. 'And in the ultimate of eternity you are reformed enough by your own conscience.'
'I'd imagine that potentially true,' said Satan, looking at God. And then he turned, and looked towards Zaphora. 'But not today, Almighty one.' And he unfurled his wings, taking to the sky, off to his next agenda.
* * * * *
'He's got some new ideas,' said Samaen to Saruvien. 'About conquering the Morning Stars and the Evening Stars. Their's a new Michael, now. But he's just been born recently, and has no hope against our experience. We can have a shitload of fun for a shitload of ages. They'll feel the loss of Michael. They won't admit it, but they will. A strength of theirs is gone now. He kept the peace, and they look to Gabriel now. And the rest of those Seraphim are no contenders. Just fools for the picking.'
'Sounds good,' said Saruvien. 'Time to party in Zaphona City I think.'
'We'll hook up with Marckonyel. He's always good for a laugh,' said Samaen.
'And then let's drop in on old Saruviel. 'Have a word with him. See how he's enjoying his work. Could be most entertaining getting a visit from his old Saruvim pals.'
'Most entertaining indeed,' replied Samaen to Saruvien's cold words.
* * * * *
'Hey bitch. Bite me,' said Satan to his adversary.
Kayella was in Zaphon cafeteria, the smaller one, sitting next to Callodyn. 'It's the bastard,' she said. 'Isn't it?'
Callodyn turned and looked at the devil as he came up to them, and took a seat, sitting down, staring at them. 'Long time no see, Callophim bitch. Your mikey dykey is dead forever. Who rules the roost now?'
Kayella looked at Callodyn.
'Danny boy?' queried Satan. 'As good as a bar of soap in a sodomite shower block. Drop that shit and watch out.'
Kayella glared at Satan. 'I'm having lunch with my twin. Your departure would be as welcome as the bright new day. Make like a tree and leave, buster.'
'I taught her that one,' said Callodyn, grinning at Satan.
Satan glared at Daniel, and returned his focus to Kayella. 'You. I don't think you are that tough without firstborn around. And I'm pretty sure he's fucked. God's replaced him. So....watch your back. Sweetheart. You never can tell when someone will rip it apart.'
'Go to hell devil,' said Kayella.
Callodyn looked at Satan, and then picked up his salad roll. 'Yeh, the bulldogs are having a good season,' he said continuing his conversation. 'Could be our year. And the Ice Wolves have a good start as well.'
'Fascinating,' replied Kayella, still looking at Satan, who was doing his best to grin badly at her. 'Are you going to tell this creep to fuck of Callodyn?'
Callodyn looked at Satan. 'He's probably bored. Needs someone to play cards with. I think he's had a long crush on you.'
'Is that true Devil? You have a crush on me? I'm married.'
The devil glared at Kayella, and stood, played with his crotch, and walked over to Kaladel. She handed him a salad roll, and he sat down, with some Melit water, and began his meal.
Shortly the Theophany wandered into the cafeteria, and looked at Satan, relieved, and sat down next to Kayella. 'Is everything ok?'
'The devil was being an asshole,' said Kayella. God nodded. 'He likes to be tough and fearsome. Stretching out his reach, at the moment. Did he make a threat?'
'Not really anything significant,' said Callodyn.
'Then that is about all he'll try. Gabriel would show up and have words if necessary, and he doesn't want that.'
Callodyn looked at God. 'You don't want me to actually say something to you?'
God shook his head. 'You don't fight. It's not your style. Besides, you get very tempestuous when your dander is up. The devil would misconstrue it.'
'Right,' said Callodyn. 'Never mind then.'
'See you two again some time,' said God, and left the cafeteria.
'Knew he'd be here shortly,' yelled out Satan. 'I'll be seeing you around Kay,' he said, and stood, farted, and wandered off.
Kayella watched him go. 'Fowl cretin,' she said, when he'd left the room.
'Indeed,' replied Callodyn the Cherubim.
* * * * *
God looked at the core shell of Michael the Seraphim in sheol. There was a remnant of the soul still left, tiny, but alive, curled up in itself in a foetal spiritual conditition, dreaming, going through the heart of God, not caring, not wanting anytyhing more from life. He'd reached the end of the rebellion that he actually wanted to rebel with, as there was no more in him to rebel any further, as he did not desire that – there were rules and morals which he agreed and did uphold. Things which Michael still thought were right and good, and which were mostly settled in his nature. God took the spiritual cocooon, and dug deep into a crevice of sheol, and placed it there, covering it over, and said some things to the spirit. There Michael would rest – perhaps eternally – or perhaps, at the end of his sojourn, to emerge a beautiful butterfly. Perhaps.
Spanner in the Works
'Dafuq?' queried Saruviel.
'Look. Stand there idiot,' said God.
Saruviel stood, facing the rim of Zaphora, were Michael and Ambriel traditionally visited.
'Ok,' said God. 'I've always wanted to do this.' He put out his hands. 'Let there be land!' he said. Suddenly land started forming at the edge of the rim. It took several minutes, and Saruviel watched, stunned. Finally the land stopped forming.
'Zaphora has doubled in size. Diamater, anyway. Every disc in the Realm now has. And they say I do nothing new. Bah, humbug. Now settle the damn thing, because it's not the last time it will happen either.'
And God, after throwing that spanner in the works, waltzed off, leaving a very stunned Saruviel staring at the spanner in the works which had just ocurred in the realm of eternity.
The New Districts of Zaphora
'The member for Zaphon district would point out, first of all, he has promised further expansion still one day. So let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. I suggest a uniform approach to district sizes, which makes about 30 new districts. Approximately that should about do.'
'The member for Kazraphon seconds that,' said cherubim Kazramiaton.'
The counsel then appointed Saruviel, just for the heck of it, and to see what he was made of, to come up with 30 new Keep names.
'Come on,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. 'You've heard enough Keep names now, buddy. Give us 30 original nouns.'
'Like to see it,' said Meltonia.
'Ok,' said Saruviel. He sat, looking into the distance, then began. 'The 30 new Keeps of Zaphora are Jindlaphon, Krandelphon, Zimblaphon, Pornographon, Bastraphon, Shintarraphon, Monkeeraphon, Chinaphon, Blandraphaphon, Michaphon, Speznellazphon, Kandraphon, Mollyphon, Hembbanaphaphon, Jollyphon, Simplaphon, Shintakaphon, Jamennaphon, Dolnaphon, Dilnaphon, Dulnaphon, Peldraphon, Zandaphraphon, Chimnaphon, Meshdaphon, Lellypantraphon, Skizmaphon, Kondaraphon, Absolutophon & Astrophon. They are the names.'
'I have recorded them,' said the recorder out lout, which was a rarity for her to speak, but at official points she sometimes did.
Later on they reviewed the spelling of the Keeps, and Saruviel nodded that the spellings were all about right which the recorder had used, and the district names were assigned based on the Keep titles in usual accord. God was sent a priority email, who responded within 5 minutes confirming the names were appropriate, told them excellent work, and to get on with things. He had places to go and people to see, apparently.
So the formative ideas for the new Keeps began forming, and soon a beginning of the building projects were coming along, a mixture of old and new styles, and Zaphora, once more, grew. Another chapter of life in the Realm of Eternity.
God looked at the spirit of Michael in Sheol. He'd whispered words of Zaphora's expansion to it and let it know with every process there would be a new expansion. And the spirit of Michael the Seraphim shimmerred for a moment, then emerged before him, his old self.
'The hell?' he asked God. 'Why did you want to do that for?'
'Good to see,' said God. 'Yeh, you'll do. Over most of the bullshit now.'
'Been enjoying myself in your heart,' smiled Michael. 'It's been lovely.' Michael had a good expression on his face, and in his spirit.
'Your back to Zionistya. You have a long desitny there and will have to work long and hard to get back to the Realm of Eternity. But as you can see your personal overseersmanship of Zaphon District and Zaphora itself has an eternal growing future, so take your work in Zionistya seriously, and you don't need a child to replace you in the works planned, as I have a Michael now, my own child, who will replace you Zion eventually. So that is already worked out.'
'Oh, good,' said Michael. 'That sounds tops, God. Good idea.'
Yes, Michael was over most of it. God sensed some residual arguments in his son's spirit, but mostly resolved. Stuff they could live with anyway. 'Let's go,' said God. 'And first you will apologize to Elenniel, and let her know your carnal fascinations are finished with her. No more crude language, thank you very much.'
'Sorry about that,' said Michael. 'Yes I recall the outgoing trip.' He laughed. 'I was a bit of a devil, wan't I?'
God put his hand on Michael's shoulder. 'You're back now. So back we go with life.'
'From eternity to eternity,' said Michael, soberly. 'On we go.'
'Here is the visa,' said Michael the Seraphim to Daniel the Seraphim.
Daniel looked at it. 'Yeh, I heard that was approved of.'
'I have 7 new comics so far,' said Michael. 'There has been a fair bit of eternal copyright released to the new expanded inner discs. Things God had reserved from the beginning, and I am NOT missing my opportunity this time buster. I know exactly what you've been up to forever. Got you figured out now, Daniel the Seraphim.'
Daniel took off his backpack, with Ariel standing next to him, at the Jindlaphon Comic Conference, and pulled out a wad of about 80 comics. 'I've been busy myself,' replied Daniel.
'Fuck,' swore Michael. 'How did you get rights for so may so quickly? God would hardly allow that so early for anyone?'
Daniel tapped his nose. 'Prayed straight away,' he said. 'When I heard about the new release of some copyright I hit the prayer room hard, and prayed over the formation of the new districts, for their sanctification, salvation and prosperity, and laboured for 3 years, every day for an hour, on them. When things started coming along I had gained very good rights of obtainment.'
'Oh,' said Michael.
'The early bird catches the worm,' said Ariel. 'Daniel is not an idiot. He had me praying half as much also. Sure, why not, I said to him. I don't regret it now. Some lovely figurines I've been getting. He's wise enough,' she said, touching her twin's arm.
'I have a few new places in the new territory,' said Daniel. 'Including a plot of land which cost me a ton. Enough to build a chapter of Happy Chaps, which they have informed me should probably be ok with them.'
'Happy Chaps?' asked Michael.
'Pretty cool organisation out in Glimmersphon District which I and Ambriel fellowship with from time to time. We're starting to have board game evenings with them, and enjoying ourselves. Positive attitude on life. Really works great.'
'I see,' said Michael, taking in that information. 'Well, gotta run Danny boy. I can probably afford 3 or 4 more comics, and maybe a trading card set. See you around some time.'
And Michael the Seraphim disappeared, leaving a happy Daniel and Ariel getting on with their collecting.
Gabriel was at Gabrephion Keep in Zionistya. Working.
'Ok,' he said to his secretary, Chandler. Chandler was a polite male Seraphim offspring angel, who had drifted down from Terraphora with the exodus, and was working for him at Gaberiphon. 'Day's activities?'
Chandler placed a wad of files into his inbox. 'First of all,' began Chandler. 'Our primal city is firming up. The votes are in for its name and 'Gabringforth' has won. It is about 42 trillions miles from here along our degree line, where the expansion of Zionistya has its current colonizing and settling going on. We've registered with Zion Records, and Gabringforth establishes, ruled here from Gaberiphon, the degree of our land authority dominion. It will expand along our degree expansion alignment from Zion from that point, onwards forever. Should you ever choose sub-overseers who apply for dominion within Gaberiphora's dominion, then the usual thing suggested is at the outskirts of the dominion degree, so as not to divide the territory, which could really get messy after a while.'
'Understood,' replied Gabriel.
'They'll expect you at Gabringforth in a few weeks to lay down the official cornerstone for the city, but it's already under way regardless. Mind you, after all your recent time in the Realm, you are really falling behind. Nearly all the other Morning Stars have their Keeps well established, and their foundation city well established. Ambriel is miles ahead of everyone in this respect.'
'He would be,' replied Gabriel. 'A real go getter.'
'So there are some companies who want do do business, and a lot of institutions which have to be ratified for working in Gaberiphora, so there is your inbox. Enjoy,' said Chandler. 'I'll be in the office with the guys and gals, so buzz me if you need me.'
'Will do Chandy,' said Gabriel, and took up the first file in his inbox, and got stuck in to the day's work.'
* * * * *
'Work good?' asked Aquriel, in the Gaberiphon cafeteria.
'Getting on with things,' replied Gabriel. 'Stil raw in a lot of ways, but I generally know what's going on. Not much new at this stage. Usual city and land planning issues, and getting a society up and running. We've all been through that already. No real surprises. Zionistya has to be built also, and its hard work, and sweat and tears, but hopes are formed from our decision, so it has to be taken seriously and gotten with. Good work, though. Wouldn't trade it. Starting to enjoy myself a bit as well.'
'Good,' nodded Aquariel. She fished into her pasta and fed her twin some.
'Your happy?' she asked him.
'I was very happy with you in Perth,' he said. 'That was a very spiritual time. That place has really developed a lot over the years.'
'The realm is well established now. And now God wants some new work, for new souls and dreams still come along, and Israel needs its Zionisty to have a firmer country where they can get along with people. Lots of Christiand down here also, but very few Noahides and others, so they have mostly, well nearly everything, their own way. And this needed to be sorted out, and to be given to them to get their own go at life and love and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'
'Obviously,' replied Gabriel.
'So it has to be taken seriously, as an opportunity, like the Evening Stars maintain with you guys. This separation is what will probably work best in the long term. Very fearful to start with, but once it gets well established it will just work better in the real world.'
'Pretty much,' sighed Gabriel. 'Oh well. Such is life. What needs to be done.'
'So get on with things, and do them well, twin of mine. And everything will be ok in the end.'
'Everything will be ok in the end,' echoed Gabriel, affirming that idea, and committing to his current workload.
Happy Chaps Tower V
Boris Blindfrith was a Happy Chap. He was brother to John Blindfrith, who was married to Percival Nighthammer's sister. Boris was married himself to Glady Blindfrith, a very traditional Happy Chap. She was a matriarchal figure, one of the earliest Happy Chaps, which was open to males and females, and Boris, who had joined a little later with his family, were a settled part of Happy Chaps Tower. He had good life, working alongside Percival in the tissue producing factory, and while it was basic work he enjoyed it well enough. He had shares in the Happy Chaps organisation, as all members did, and he got a dividend payment occsaionally, and would often go on holiday with Gladys, around Zaphona City from time to time, and even out to Terraphora on occasion. But now? Well, Zaphora + as they were calling it. The news at Happy Chaps at the moment was Happy Chaps Tower 2, being started in Sepznellazphon District, which was to the west of Glimmersphon, out past Shadlaphon, in the new area of Zaphora. Dameriel had quickly gotten on to the Cherubim Shondavriel, 47th Cherubim of the Realm of Eternity, who resided mostly in Terraphora, but did work in his disc of overseersmanship often, and champioined him at council to be Speznellazphon's new overseer, and they had agreed, as Shondavriel said he was 'All up for the challenge'. Dameriel had old friendship with Shondavriel, who visited Glimmersphon regularly, and had quickly formed an alliance with Shondavriel at the council, letting it be known that they would generall vote united the majority of the time, not technically attempting to form any particular party, but that they would offer a united front in the council for unity's sake. And Speznellazphon district had quickly emerged, with new life flooding in from Zaphora to settle and populate it, knowing pretty quickly that they were teamed up with Glimmersphon and its institutions. So Happy Chaps had moved in quickly, and Boris had been called up to the Happy Chaps board for querying whether he wanted a job on the board at Happy Chaps Tower 2. He'd been thinking it over.
'Good move,' said Gladys, looking at the game of chess she was playing with her husband.
'Aye,' agreed Boris, and turned and looked out over Zaphona City.
'We're settled of course, you know,' he said to her.
'The new tower is just down the road a little Boris. Hardly a hop, skip and jump.'
Aye. True,' agreed Boris. 'I know I can probably do the job, but its a big leap in work responsibilities.'
'You've always been up for a challenge,' replied Gladys Blindfrith. 'You're a Happy Chap. It's in you.'
'Well,' he finally said to her. 'I've no objections to the move. I've only one last question. Are you up for it?'
'I think you already know that,' she replied. 'It will be a good opportunity for us.'
'I'll let them know I'll take the position,' he said. 'And off to Happy Chaps Tower 2 we go.'
'Off we go,' smiled Gladys. She moved her bishop. 'Check,' she said.
'Here we go again,' smiled Boris, another game with his faithful wife.
Meludiel shifted the Vibronic out on to the Zaphon Keep auditorium, and Gamrayel sat down in the auditorium, puffed out.
'Melladon again,' sighed Meludiel. 'Here we go again.'
'Michael is in town,' said Gamryael. 'And Saruviel wants us to put on a show for the reborn Seraphim, who appears a lot better. Rejuvenated. More like his ancient self. Full of hope again. Not so pathetic.'
'He'd gotten like that,' agreed Meludiel. 'God had fun with him down in death, trouncing his ego in the pit. Reduced him to ashes his pride.'
'We all need a dressing down from time to time,' agreed Gamrayel. 'Gosh, have I put on this much weight?' he asked her, inspecting his girth.
'The good life, Gammie,' said Meludiel. 'It has caught up with you. You'll have to get some motivation tips from Gloryel. Or Winoniel. She is good at getting Talzudiel to be careful with things.'
'I'll sign up for a power woman of Zaphona City Brunch, shall I?' asked Gamrayel, a smile on his face.
Shemrael came into view. 'Where do you want the cymbals stored?' she asked Meludiel.
'The tables are coming in shortly,' said Meldiel. 'Leave them on the stage for now, and if it rains we can keep them under the tables.'
'Very well,' replied Sharlamane.
The three angels carried on with activities, and Kimborel, as promised, showed up later that afternoon. The four of them worked all that day, and got stuck in the following morning preparing for the Melladon celebration. Soon the auditorium of Zaphon was looking dressed up, with gala celebratory themes all round, some ancient things which had been around forever.
'I have the new caterers from Jindlaphon working with us,' said Melladon. 'They have claimed a Melldon specialist role, and that they are committed to the celebration. Will champion it eternally, apparently.'
'I don't think we have any company completely dedicated on such things,' said Gamrayel. 'A lot provide for it, but nobody I know of in Zaphora goes to the effort these new guys are dedicated with.'
'Must be something reserved for them in God's planning, perhaps,' said Meludiel. 'Maybe has had them in mind a very long time. You know father. Plans well ahead.'
'You could be right,' agreed Gamrael.
'Tonights the night,' said Shemrael. Melladon often began its celebrations the night before, and tonight they would have an introductory concert, with the main event the following evening.
* * * * *
'It's looking good,' said Saruviel. 'I spy things you haven't brought out for use in an eternity.'
'Down in storage,' replied Meludiel smiling. 'We'll have a proper go at Melladon this occasion. The new caterers are very enthusiastic also. Very dedicated to the event. They hang on every word I say and want to be a permanent fixture. Pretty happy to make that the case actually.'
'The Jindlapphon mob?' asked Saruviel.
'That's them,' replied Meludiel.
'I'll have a word with Cindradel,' replied Saruviel. 'We'll put them down in the filing cabinet in the Melladon folder. It hasn't had a new entry in aeons. If they are really that committed, which I've heard to, they can be the permanent caterers for things Zaphon Melladon related.'
'Sounds good,' agreed Meludiel. 'Well, Michael is coming this evening briefly, but will be at the concert proper tomorrow. Will you be in attendance tonight?'
'Busy, sorry. But tomorrow night expect me in the front row the whole concert. Krystabel will be right beside me, and Michael also. We'll all pay attention to the show, and enjoy ourselves.'
'Good,' said Melladon. 'Like the old days.'
'Like the old days,' replied Saruviel.
* * * * *
The first concert was a simple affair, a few Seraphim in attendance, and Michael did end up showing briefly. But the following evening Meludiel was nervous. The auditorium was packed, and many Seraphim were out there, as well as Semyaza the Cherubim unusually, with his twin, dressed in an AC DC tshirt naturally enough. Gosh, she had goose bumps.
'Your next,' said Gamrayel.
Meludiel's turn came, and she came out on the stage, bowed, and sat down at the Vibronic. Then she played a Bach piano piece, followed by Chopin, finishing with Beethoven. She played flawlessly, well rehearsed, and the crowd clapped approval when she was finished.
'You were brilliant,' said Sharlamane after the show.
'A great Melladon celebration,' said Gamrayel. 'Happy people out there, mingling, eating the food, and a joyful spirit. A very traditional Melladon going on.'
'Then lets go out there and join them,' said Meludiel. And they did, and mingled, and the night passed, and fine food, song and laughter filled the air, a happy time as the angels of God were united and one under the skies of the realm of eternity.
'Hey Danny boy,' said Sharakondra.
'The devil herself,' said Melanie C, as Sharakondra waltzed into Danielphon.
'It's growing babe,' she said to Daniel.
'No, your ege,' replied the firstborn female of the Cherubim. 'Of course Danielphon you idiot.' She sat down next to Melanie, and took out her nail kit, and started filing her nails. 'I need coffee,' she said out loud, to nobody in particular.
'I'll get you some,' replied Daniel.
Melanie glared at her, but returned to her papers.
'You have a problem with me Melanie C?' asked Sharakondra.
'No problem big sister,' replied Melanie.
'I should think not. How the hell you got the job as the next overseer of Danielphon is beyond me, you know.'
'What, do you want a position here?' she asked.
'Is that an offer?' asked Sharakondra, looking directly at Melanie C. Daniel came into the room.
'What did I miss?' he asked.
'Sharakondra wants t be an overseer of Danielphon.'
'Shit,' said Daniel.
'My thoughts exactly,' replied Melanie C.
'I mean, babe. Come on. Can you cut the mustard, go with the flow, wax the jollicles, and all that jazz?' Daniel asked Sharakondra.
'I can keep the wannabe in line better than this secondrate attempt,' said Sharakondra, sticking her tonuge out at Melanie C.
'Valandriel is third overseer, followed by Kardos. Ariel wants the last place, but I can offer you position four, if you want it. If Melanie approves,' said Daniel.
'Valandriel? Kardos?' queried Melanie. 'Why did I not hear about this?' she asked, fixing her gaze on Daniel.
'I think I mentioned it in an email or something. Not sure if I sent that email, but you know,' said Daniel.
'Yeh, you know,' replied Melanie, returning her gaze to Sharakondra. 'Big sister can have the job, if she is faithful to the aims and mission of Danielphora. If she is capabale of actually reading the documents.'
'I can read,' replied Sharakondra. 'I'm far brighter than people think. Or is that smarter? I never know which word to use.'
Melanie gave Daniel one of those looks.
'Do I have the frikking job or what? Overseer, what is it, five on the list?' asked the model queen.
'You can have the job, Shara,' said Melanie. 'Just don't let the big words confuse you.'
'Oh, go googlebox yourself,' replied Sharakondra. 'I'll be back when Kardos has finished his turn. How long? Let me guess, a few million years.'
'Something like that,' replied Melanie. 'Similar principles at work to the Zaphon timeslot for overseermanship in my current plans.'
'Well that's good to know,' replied Daniel.
'The cycle begins again after the 45 are complete,' said Melanie, looking at Daniel.
'No problems, babe,' said Daniel.
Sharakondra stood, tidied up her dress, and smiled at Daniel. 'I dig your work, babe. You've always been polished enough for my liking. See you round.'
And Sharakdondra was gone, leaving a very amused Daniel and a not so amused Melanie C glaring at Danielphon Overseer Number 1.
Angels of Hope 15
Mikey Robinson sat in 'Infidel's Park' in the centre of Joniquay. 'Satan had once been rebuked severely by firstborn Gabriel in Infidel's Park, and it had been named after the Lord of Infidel's because of it. Mikey found it a pleasant place to come and relax. He had his Sony Walkman with him, and a copy of 'Sacred Heart' by Dio on the player, and was sitting, in the morning sun, watching the ducks in the pond, and relaxing. He threw them a bit of bread from time to time, and then, after a while, got up, his tracksuit on, with his quality joggers on his feet, and carried on with his jog around the park, his backpack on his back. He jogged from time to time, most weeks he got a few Ks in, and today he had bussed it into town early in the morning to enjoy the park, and jog the distance home all day. It would be quite an effort as well. He had places he'd marked out for morning tea, lunch and afteroon tea, and planned on getting home around dinner time. He jogged along, waving to various people who crossed his path, some actually familiar and while Joniquay had a vast population, over a vast time you actually got to know some faces. He continued with his jogging, around the pond, and soon started the trek home. He passed by city blocks full of offices and merchants, plying their trade in busy Joniquay, and came to a crstyal store. Crystals were popular among the various magic and astrological sort of people of the realm, and others also who simply enjoyed them for decoration. Not many permanent goods stores existed any longer in Joniquay, as most citizens of the city had completed their life list of possessions and it was only disposable item stores which usually functioned. Things like paper producers, hairdresseers, massage parlours, medical institutions, as people still got unwell from time to time, and a plethora of restaurant and other food industries littered the streets. Stationery suppliers were very popular, as things like pens and pencils were replenished all the time, as people always used them for ongoing business and personal use, and function specialists, like Lucky Thrills, were around quite a bit as well. Whatever was an ongoing permanent industry flourished in Joniquay, and Mikey's current work, apart from the work he did with Gloryel and Daniel for GlorDan, which looked like actually becoming the main long term thing, was as an 'Adventure Tour Co-Ordinator' doing special trips around some of the places of Joniquay City in a big SUV, sometimes onto the specified parklands for such purposes, and ending usually with a big barbecue lunch. He was well loved be his firm, one of their best workers, but he had recently let them know he would likely be in a position with GlorDan in the future at some point, and they had said to give them a firm date when he had one, as they would celebrate his departure. He looked in at the crystal store, which had a gypsy which gave palm readings and crystal ball readings, as well as promising to do your horoscope, obviouisly the ongoing work for the store. He chuckled at the idea of those things, which he nearly always passed off, in true Aussie mockery, as bullshit, but today opened the front door and walked in. A lady behind the counter smiled at him.
'Yes Mikey Robinson?' she asked him. 'Can I help you?'
'You know me?' he asked.
'Small city after a while,' she replied. 'I've seen you around.'
'Read my palm,' he said, and forked over his card.
She cashed it, and took him to the back room, where she sat down with him and looked into his eys.
'You've lived long,' she said. She looked at his palm. 'You had a regular enough life on earth, didn' you? You should have.'
'It went on long enough,' he replied.
'You have children,' she said. He nodded. She continued looking at the palm. 'You crave adventure, but this can be satisfied. You are not silly with what you put yourself through.'
'That sounds right,' he said. 'You learn after a long time.'
'Still, you seek love your current partner is not giving you. There is something in the tone of your skin which suggests the love balance is not perfect.'
'The frikking tone of my skin?' he asked her.
'Palm reading is very extensively researched now,' she replied. 'A palm tells us much about the soul.'
'Sure,' he said. He looked at her squarely. 'What you say. It might be true.'
'Then act as your heart tells you,' said the gypsy.
Mikey nodded, and left, after buying a token crystal, and as he jogged along he thought on that. New love for Mikey Robinson? Nah? But you never could tell could you? And of course, if the gypsy said so, it had to be true? Right? Who was he kidding. But his current love, and his not complete devotion to her was on his mind, as he jogged along, steadily making his way back to the Robinson abode.
The Cherubim Urakiba – Angel of God III
Urakiba was messy. His twin 'Shard' always maintained he was messy. He was one of the bad boy Cherubim. It was his prerogative to be messy. But time had passed, and he'd learned righteousness once, like in his youth, then let it slip, but he was reforming his ways again, on his slippery roller coaster ride of spiritual living.
'Do you want to go out tonight and have some fun afterwards?' Urakiba asked Shard.
'Don't know,' she said. 'What type of fun?'
'Innocent enough,' he replied.
'Sure. Why not,' she replied.
'Ok. You go off and have some fun with your girlfriends, and the boys will come over and play cards,' said Urakiba.
Shard glared at her twin. 'You, Urakiba. You are an asshole.'
'I'll get your car warmed up,' he said.
When Shard had made like a beer and headed, in Urakiba's persuasive way, the boys soon showed up. Semyaza, Ramiel and Armaros, all looking cool in their leather outfits, bikes out the front.
The evening got going, and the stripper showed up around 10. Semyaza took her to the other room for a while, and they came back in, and she looked quite disshevelled.
'Did you use a condom?' asked Urakiba, not looking up from his card.
'Nut,' replied Semyaza, and sat down at the table. The others looked at him. 'Screw condoms,' he said. 'Sides. We didn't do much. Got a twin for that, you know.'
'You didn't scruff her?' asked Armaros.
'What business of that is yours?' asked Semyaza.
'For fuck's sake dude,' said Armaros. 'You gone soft or something.'
'She sat on my frikking lap and I played with her tits for a while, and she kissed me a bit,' replied Semyaza. 'And that was all. Like I said. I got a twin.'
'Right,' replied Armaros. 'Well no matter then. Man enough I suppose.'
They played cards and Urakiba spoke. 'That's all I'd do these days as well. Wouldn't do more than that with a girl. Apart from my twin.'
'There you go,' said Semyaza to Armaros.
'Fine, fine. Keep your coat on,' replied Armaros. 'Seems like there's new rules now is there? What, the girls getting strict?'
'Just maturing,' said Semyaza. 'I'm a frikking old Cherubim, and I don't need the thrills of youth that much anymore. Besides Sharakondra is nearly always loyal,and I like the good thing we got going. She says I'll do in the end.'
'Right,' agreed Urakiba. 'You know that is probably wisdom Semyaza.'
'I rest my case,' finished Semyaza.
'Course, I'd shag her in a second if I was single,' said Semyaza. 'But you know.'
'Don't I,' said the girl.
'Don't worry babe. I've got some mates who can fix you up if you need a bit of loving,' he said to her.
'Sounds wonderful,' replied the blonde babe.
'We'll be wearing cardigans then soon enough,' said Armaros.
They all looked at their cherubim brother Armaros. He grinned back.
'Shard knitted me a jumper the other day,' said Urakiba.
'Talael gave me a wollen scarf, which I wear at the mall in the colder months,' said Ramiel.
'Socks,' said Semyaza, glaring at Armaros. 'Got an issue with that?'
Armaros said 'No issue.' Then, softly, 'Wusses.' He didn't win much at cards that evening. He knew his luck had amazingly changed.
'Zaphora is a new world,' said Saruviel.
'New and bright and beautiful,' said Krystabel, up high on Zaphon Tower, wings spread out. 'Let's fly.'
They took to the airs and flew. They flew in the heights of Zaphona City, around scrapers, ducking in and out of them, steadily going north to Dalnaphon, and then further, on a distance again, to the rim. Eventually the got to the new rim of Zaphora and settled down, Terraphora in the distance. They landed, and sat on the grasslands, this part of Zaphora yet to be settled properly.
'It's new again, isn't it?' said Krystabel.
'Like it was in the beginning,' said Saruviel. 'I've temporarily brought an end to new constructions nearer the rim to ensure we enjoy this for a while yet. Want to feel that spirit again. To enjoy it a while.'
They sat there and Krystabel brought out her knapsack, and unfolded it, bringing out the bottled juice and cold pies. They ate quietly, looking at the grasslands, and the rim, and they were happy.
'I feel like a newborn in some ways,' said Saruviel. 'Fresh and innocent.'
'Do you know how long it has been since I have flown?' asked Krystabel. 'Long enough. Believe me.'
Saruviel hooked into his chicken pie, and sipped on his juice. They tasted good as well.
'I think God has been good to us,' said Saruviel. 'And this will apparently happen again next process.'
'Will it happen every time?' asked Krystabel. 'Will we always get this new life at the end of our long adventure?'
'It would be wonderful,' concurred Saruviel. 'But hard to say. You can never tell with God. Mayhaps there are expansions for a while, maybe dozens of processes worth, but the final Zaphora might be in his mind. The final outcome. I am not sure if it can really expand eternally. Just the rim in general. We still have urge and zest for life, to expand and grow. Still to procreate even yet. But another few processes and many of us will be over a lot of that instinct. Just too settled in life for anything new like this. I think we enjoy this while we can, and whatever will be will be,' said the Seraphim.
'Whatever will be will be,' echoed Krystabel. They watched, and wildlife also was alive, butterflys flying around, and birds tweeting. New Zaphora. Zaphora + as many had called it. A wonderful time to be in the Realm. A Wonderful time to live.
SERVICE TO THE MOST HIGH
'Ok,' said Callodyn the Cherubim. 'Time to promote the ANM.'
'I can print you off a million flyers,' said Daniel the Seraphim, playing Sega Megadrive games.
'I can give you mailing addresses where you can send them,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly watching Daniel the Seraphim playing the games.
'That's the easy way,' said Callodyn. 'Time for us to get off our arses and do some old fashioned evangelism again. We have a plethora of new districts, without any solid commitments to a religious faith, and new souls to convert. We can get the upper hand in Zaphora with some effort, as none of the other guys are currently caring on this issue.'
Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly stood, stretched, and looked at the clock. 'It's 7 in the evening. If we bus it to Jindlaphon, which shouldn't take long, we can knock on some doors till midnight. People probably won't mind too much in Zaphora. We'll take a handful of ANM paperback Rainbow Bibles, and give them to anyone firmly interested.'
'You two have fun,' said Daniel.
'You – you pray,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. 'While we are out you pray for our success.'
'Will do,' replied Daniel the Seraphim.
Callodyn led the way to the den, where the grabbed some ANM Rainbow Bibles, and they put on their jackets, and headed out to the bus stop out front. The buses came regularly all night, and soon enough they were in the emerging Jindlaphon neighbourhoods, looking at a large row of flats.
'We might run into some familiar faces,' said Callodyn. 'So we just share our faith and move on.'
Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly took the lead and they proceded up to the first unit, knocked, and began their ministry. Around midnight, with a few complaints, but not too many, they'd knocked on 80 houses, as they had set that number to achieve, with about 10 positive results of angels who said going to an ANM meeting sounded ok. They'd handed out the Rainbow Bibles they'd brought along, and were on the bus, heading home.
'A bright city. Still a lot happening,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'Let's get Daniel some chocolate,' said Callodyn. 'I think his praying has worked this evening.'
They got off at the shops near Danielphon, and walked home, looking up at Danielphon tower still under construction. It was still on slow build, as Melanie and Ariel were getting very fussy with new levels near the top of the project, and it wasn't yet set to be moved into. But the base level was fine enough, so life went on.
'Here's your chocolate. Your praying worked,' said Callodyn.
Daniel switched off the games. 'I prayed for about 15 minutes, using biblical psalms. Psalm 1 and 3 repeated often.'
'Well we got good results,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly. '10 definitely interested parties who took a Rainbow Bible.'
'Good work Callodyn,' said Daniel the Seraphim. 'If you guys don't mind me doing the praying, do this every weekend. We'll do it for the next few centuries. I have to get back to Gloryel eventually, but maybe a 500 year commitment to get a lot of the new turf covered.'
'Sounds good,' said Callodyn. 'Old fashioned work is the best. It shows just that – commitment. That we care.'
Callodyn recorded the details in his permanent diary, and archived the information, and reflected it was a positive thing to continue to affirm the faith they lived by and which gave them a living, faithful to God and his holy covenant, not giving up, or slacking off, but staying eternally committed. The only way to go in the end.
Angels of Hope 16
'I want to dedicate GlorDan to the Lord,' said Gloryel. 'For service to him. For his glory and use to make a better world.'
'Yep,' replied Daniel. 'Nice to see you smoking those weeds in the back garden,' said Daniel.
'I'm serious,' replied Gloryel. 'God comes first.'
'God is a lovely old goat, who looks out for God, takes care of God, prioritizes on God, looks to the welfare of God, blesses God, and worships, you guessed it.'
'That's not true,' replied Gloryel. 'God is very caring.'
'Be that as it may, I retain ownership of Glordan in percentages, and it aint going to happen,' replied Daniel. 'We serve the Most High on his Noahide Covenant. Not him personally in freedom of his will. Only under specified protocols. He can't be trusted otherwise. He is biased towards Israelite interests.'
'Again, untrue,' replied Gloryel.
'You don't know him,' said Daniel. 'I have old battle scars from wars with the Lord to establish our Noahide community. He always wanted the Jew involved. We declined Abraham's blessing time and time again till the old fart got the point. Not interested in God's unrestricted will. Does not act in our best interests or his original commitments to humanity. He's biased, prejudicial and unfair with the rest of us unless we keep him honest.'
'I doubt that,' said Gloryel.
'Ask him,' said Daniel. 'He'll waffle on about his deep devotion to Israel and how its all a glorious thing if we seek the prosperity of the Jewish people. Same old rhetoric he always spits out if given the chance. Glordan will ETERNALLY not be intersted in Service to the Most High apart from specified Noahide obligations and commitments. Dream on Gloryel.'
'Then we dedicate it with Noahide service,' said Gloryel.
'It already is. It complies with ANM business plan protocols, and is a functioning institution with a moral basis and purpose in this world. It wouldn't have been formed by myself otherwise.'
'I want a dedication ceremony to recommit to that ideal, and so I will know it,' said Gloryel.
'That I can comply with,' agreed Daniel.
'Good. Get to it. And soon. I want to show the Lord my devotion.'
'Fine,' agreed Daniel. He looked at Gloryel, shook his head in frustration, but agreed to her current mood. Might be a thing at the moment, zest for God. He'd run with it and see where it ran. Could be interesting times.
Happy Chaps Tower VI
Boris examined the document. 'Happy Chaps Management Protocols,' he said out loud to the team watching him. 'Are the edifice of administration for the Happy Chaps organisation.'
'To what extent does the management team direct the affairs of the Happy Chaps?' asked Claudette Summers, boardwoman.
'The necessity of ensuring the Happy Chaps continuity of life and faith. We are sovereign in our rights to admit or disfellowship a Happy Chap depending on their eternally developed attitude in life. After serious discussion on their life views, if they come up for review due to failing Happy Chaps way of life principles, and their life views are not in reasonable and fair accord with the mission of the Happy Chaps, they are to be disfellowshipped from Happy Chaps. This review must fairly listen and give credence to the moral fibre and substance of the views presented. Each member reviewed must have full right of expression, to voice their concerns, and if they can be accommodated with what might be otherwise considered a lifestyle non-conducive to the ongoing Happy Chaps continuity of life principles, then we must seek all reasonable ways of accommodating them. Yet, if they can't, and they understand this, they must be given time to consider their position in the Happy Chaps organisation, and whether their own life views can be amended to maintain their membership in our organisation.'
'It must be fair and reasonable,' said Claudette Summers. 'We do not dismiss a Happy Chap lightly. Life is sometimes new, and we do not always know everything, even if pride rears its ugly head and we say we know it all. And in this life which is wide in its lifestyle options for the children of God, we must be fair with our membership to see if their life views can be moulded into the Happy Chaps manifesto. We are not rigid, unyielding or unreasonable. But a positive attitude is the fundamental thing which must always be brought in any amendments, for if it is of ultimately a negative spirit, which has deleterious affect, it can not produce what we are all about – happiness. So in this sense the duty of management is to ensure happiness in our membership, and if that is ultimately unattainable with a member of Happy Chaps in how their life choices and views ultimately arise, they must be disfellowshipped. It is not a decision taken lightly, as bonds of trust and friendship have usually developed a great deal in our members, but for the continuity of life of Happy Chaps – well, it must be so.'
'You will need to reflect on that for a while,' said John Deakin, another board member, to Boris Blindfrith. 'We will meet with you again in a few months, and will query your knowledge again at that time.'
Boris nodded, stood, and left the board room.
His wife was out there, in the waiting room. 'How did it go?' she asked him.
'Well,' he replied. 'They require further study and contemplation on various core issues. But it's proceeding ok.'
'Good,' she replied. 'Well, let's go home. Get dinner started.' She rubbed his arm. 'I'm proud of you.'
'Thanks,' replied Boris, and gave a look at the boardroom door, before making his way home, for another night of Happy Chaps way of life.
'King David,' said Chandler. Gabriel nodded as King David walked into the overseers office of Gaberphion. The overseers office overlooked Gabrephion Jungle. They called it Gabrephion Jungle, as, when it came down to it, that was pretty much what it was. It was not a garden, it was not a park, it was not even a nature reserve. It was 5 square kilometetres of wild jungle, on the eastern side of Gabrephion, where crocodiles and alligators and even some dinosaurs roamed, an enclosed jungle, with a moat surrounding it, and a tall wall around the moat. Gabriel, some afternoons, would sit quietly in the office, classical music playing, and listen to the screeching tyrannosaurus rex's, as they roamed around, hunting the wild deer the gameskeeper sent into the jungle every few days for the beasts to find, hunt and eat. Very primitive to many, but Gabriel had a sense for the classical, and it made exciting viewing, as he had a telescope on upper levels, where you could sometimes watch the beast devouring their prey. Call of the wild indeed.
'David,' said Gabriel. 'What brings you here this fine afternoon?'
'Kaleidoscopes,' said David. He had in his hand a diamond encrusted kaleidoscope, which he passed to Gabriel to examine. Gabriel turned it over, looking at its beauty, and looked through the lens, turning the knobs.
'What of Kaleidoscopes?' asked Gabriel.
'I need room for a Kaleidoscope Company with a Museum. Ambriel said his room was all used up around the keep, and I noticed that on the southern side you have a few storefronts still empty. That would be enough for what I am after, and this is a good location for the project.'
'Why not Zion? Isn't there room there?'
'Michael is hard to work with,' replied David. 'He's very fussy about approving anything these days, like he was in the beginning actually, and we've not any real room around the inner city anyway. And I want the project as exalted as possible. Personal reasons. The southern section of Gabrephion Keep is enough glory for my ambitions.'
'You want to make 18 on the list. It's a long honoured tradition in the Kaleidoscope community they honour the first 17, and nothing more. I know all about it dude.'
'Is it a problem then?' asked David, scratching his butt.
'Those stores are for rental. They are not for sale,' said Gabriel. 'And I've had it in mind that a million years is the maximum lease arrangment I'll enter into, as I want to change things from time to time. You would want a covenant rental agreement, I would take it. Permanent use.'
'Well, frankly, yes,' said David.
'I'll think it over buddy,' replied Gabriel. 'It might be a goer. Go off and sweet talk Chandler. He's my usual counsellor these days on such things. Has good vision.'
'Fine,' replied David, who nodded to Gabriel, and left the office.
Gabriel heard a screech, and looked out at the jungle. 'Poor deer,' he said to himself, and picked up the next file from his inbox, getting on with his day.
The Fabulous Misadventures of the Famous 17 Kaleidoscope Collectors IV
The Covenant was not forthcoming. David thought it over, but Chandler wouldn't budge. So he decided to take the risk with Gabrephion anyway, and negotiate later for the covenant. He would trust in the Lord, pray, and see it through. He paid out the full million years rental in advance, and moved in his stock. The museum took a few months to get the format he wanted just right – classical balanced with modernity – and there were paintings on the wall of famous Kaleidoscope creators. The admittance to the museum was by coin donation, and the store was stocked with the best of David's own designs. It got up and running after a few years, and he produced an official almanac for the store and museum, and let it run at that. It was one of the steps of gaining glory, hitting number 18 on the all time list, and he would add that, once achieved, to his growing accolades. It was David's own ongoing mission to improve his name and reputation in life and while he had long been a bit of a party kid, after the heart of the Lord, he was taking more seriously challenges from the likes of Azrael and Cosadriel's partnership and Daniel and Valandriel's. He had a fair degree of assets to embellish his status, but that was not the primary focus. It was achieving accolades and glories from competition and performance – in various fields. He would not compete all at once at everything, but work through an idea in its own logical time, and do the best he could at that before progressing. And then, when exhausting all his main talents, concentration on minor areas. He continually wanted a good name in the service of the Lord and his ambition was personal and ongoing glory, served in humility, and earned honesty. Whatever way to go could there possibly be?
He spent the following decade designing kaleidoscopes, finding most of them already patented, but he would come across unique designs from time to time, and work to establish them, building up his rights. He would find markets here and there in Zionistya in places futher out, and especialy in the Televere sub-planetary bodies, which was one of his main focuses. All this fanaticism, which Bathsheba often accused him of it being, simply gave him something to do in the real world, and earning a reputation, a good name, David always felt may as well be the way to go. It got you along well with angelickind and mankind, and brought you respect, good conversation and good friendship. It was always a good thing to be popular for accolades you had genuinely earned. So he pursued Kaleidoscopes for the time being, with some passion, and continued on with his good intent. The regular work of kingship always beckoned also, and he got on with things, loved God, served his Torah, was faithful to friends and family, and got on with life. And thereby he found general satisfaction and contentment in things.
Meludiel was sitting in the choir room of Zaphon. She turned over 'Give your best to God' the Master Copy, and looked at some notes on the back. One of them read 'Remember Saruviel is stubborn.' She thought on that, and remembered he needed encouragement to actually praise God. Not easy for the Satan of the Seraphim of Eternity. Of course, he had been called that by God once. Satan. He was not the actual Satan. That was the fella from the Realm of Infinity, who usually resided in the Realm of Eternity anyway at 666 Paramount tower. Ironic. He completely disavowed Christian faith as the Devil would, but prided the 666 imagery to annoy Christians. Totally ironic. She stood, walked through the lower keep to the overseers ground office, and knocked.
'Come in,' said a voice.
Meludiel entered, and smiled at her older brother Saruviel. 'Time to praise God, brother. He needs your attention and loyalty.'
'Will the throne room do?' asked Saruviel.
Meludiel nodded, and they went through the rarely used door from the overseers office into the throneroom. They decided to sit behind the clock of Eternity, and sat, and Meludiel started humming an old Seraphim praise song, and Saruviel sang softly. They went through half a dozen of such ancient works, and Saruviel sang softly but truly. She noticed he was a good looking angel. She'd never bothered noticing Saruviel in any romantic way, as he was faithful to his twin Krystabel, but he was a handsome enough fellow, with his dark hair, and dramatic dress code, often in black.
'How have you been?' asked Saruviel, sitting there.
'Quite well enough,' she replied.
'You are happy Michael has lost a lot of his stupidity since his time in sheol?'
'Very,' replied Meludiel. 'Things are like very ancient times, right at the beginning. He is mostly stuck in Zionistya, but that is apparently starting to come along well, with its own strengths.'
'They will be rivals to us evening stars in time, I fear,' said Saruviel. 'They did not purse the professional course of things. Michael liked to imagine life was just la di da and it didn't really matter what you did very much in the end. I do agree with Gloryel's Torah wisdom not to take life too seriously. But conversely it must be taken seriously at times, and not become a joke. Michael, I felt, ignored some of the things God stressed were always angelic responsibilities. He faltered at times. But he learns, as we all do, and we can not expect firstborn, just because he is firstborn, to work it all out at once also.'
'True,' replied Meludiel.
'You are happy with Jacob Fink?' asked Saruviel.
'Mostly content,' replied Meludiel. 'We continue to get along and like each other. Ambriel is settled with Fionat MacIntosh, who he claims he is happy to be his ball and chain. Comfortable with her being his matriarchal authority. It's amusing. She's a lovely girl with a chipper personality and good work ethic. Harldy the type, but actually works that idea well somewhat with Ambriel. He's happy now. They are a team. Good for him in the end.'
'Life has always had hard times,' said Saruviel. 'Eventually fruit from the labour comes forth. Be patient with Daniel and others. They'll shine in time.'
'I think they have somewhat already,' replied Meludiel.
They sat there, and eventually Saruviel rose, smiled at her, and returned to his office. Then Meludiel returned to the choir room, looked at the note, and put the sheet music away. She'd remember to do this again one day. It had been a worthwile note to make.
Azrael and Cosadriel III
'Yep, we've kicked arse,' said Cosadriel. 'Great stuff we are making for the people.'
'I'm proud of ourselves,' said Azrael. 'Let's get drunk.'
They got drunk. Kwintakel, up past the midnight hour in Az's place, watched them as they sat there, at the table, reminiscing.
'Remember that time,' said Cosadriel. 'I wrestled a cow. I had him down, and was fondling his testicles, and telling him I loved him. I'm sure he appreciated it.'
'I assumed nothing sexual would happen. Pretty sure it was not technically bestiality, but I still have the photos.'
'I was frikking wasted that night,' said Cosadriel. 'But a dare is a dare.'
'I remember when I was with Meludiel,' said Azrael. 'And a few years later I gave her a kiss on the cheek and her cheeks lit up bright red. She was incredibly embarrassed. Should have thought better of it, because she's a delightful sister to have, and very dear to me. Don't want to mess with her like that again.'
'Very mature of you,' said Cosadriel. 'Drink.' They drank another shot.
'You two should knock it off,' said Kwintakel. 'I know you both can take a heck of a lot of that stuff now and keep going, but remember your example to God and the community.'
'Let's hit the bedroom,' said Cosadriel. Cosadriel drifted up to the hotel rooms upstairs, while Azrael went to his room he shared with Kwintakel in the official living quarters for them atop the tavern. They all slept soundly.
In the morning they were at it again, this time with ginger beer.
'Now, we love the little ones,' said Azrael. 'Met quite a few of them with Good Fellas now, and they are an inspiration. Let's make this decade one of challenge. To work to the best of our abilities when we do the time, and produce excellent quality work, up to Surafel and Kelkuriel standards, and this may sound gay.'
'Everything you say sounds gay,' replied Cosadriel.
Azrael gave him a look. 'Now, as I was saying, this may sound gay, but let's do silly things like pray over the woodwork for it to find a good home and be loved and favoured and useful. To be a blessing.'
'Sounds good,' replied Cosadriel. 'We want a Good Fellas product to be a good product in the end, of course.'
'Naturally,' replied Azrael.
'I'm fond of God, so the prayer will be good service for his name,' said Cosadriel. 'I'm up for it.'
And so Azrael and Cosadriel continued on with their Good Fellas charity work of making wooden items, and prayed over them, and delivered many of them personally to outer rim less fortunates. They even prayed from time to time for some of those they'd given gifts to, and were finding out what was in their hearts – quite a lot of Seraphic Angelic Love, it seemed. Underneath all the male machismo quite a lot of Seraphim Angelic Love. Surprising to say the least.
Danielphon was finally completed, and there was a big celebration. Then the businesses started moving in on the specified levels. Valandriel took his office, facing the east, on the opposite side of the building on the same level as Daniel, who had his eagle statue jut out from the side of Danielphon, which he could go out and stand on and look over Zaphona City. The levels for the 45 overseers were established, and Daniel, Melanie, Valandriel, Kardos and Sharakondra already had their engravings on the elevator for these levels set in. They were 1 to 5, and that was now a settled issue. And then Sharakondra covenanted for a million years for some office space, and she was a puzzle indeed.
'She's working with modelling,' said Melanie to Daniel, over breakfast on the ground floor. 'For temporary store pamphlets to promote rentals of clothing. Also for various model shows and things, as well as an agency for singers in Zaphona City. She's had it going for a long time, but now wants to get it established properly.'
'Sharakondra has ambition it seems,' replied Daniel, eating his weet bix. 'What should we expect though? She is firstborn of the Cherubim women. She has a go about her.'
'Yes,' said Melanie, obviously her mind on her sister.
There was a knock on the door, and Daniel went off to answer it. It was Sharakondra. She came in, in a feminine business suit, and looked absolutely stunning.
'Hey babe,' said Daniel. 'You're a busy girl these days it seems.'
'Places to go, people to see,' replied Sharakondra. 'The workers will be here today moving in my equipment and things. Do you have a PC?' she asked, a USB stick in her hand.
Daniel pointed to the laptop on the side table in the kitchen, and Sharakondra sat down, plugged in her USB stick, and started working.
Melanie looked at her older Cherubim sister as she sipped on her latte.
'Professional approach. Quite obviously,' she said softly to Daniel.
'It would appear so,' replied Daniel.
'Professional is the only way to go,' said Sharakondra, not looking up from her laptop. 'I intend this business to last forever, and I take it seriously. And I will take my overseers job seriously as well. Danielphon District has a nice feel to it. I will be very serious about good things being maintained here, and offering a lot for my service.'
'Great stuff,' said Daniel, finishing off his weet-bix.
Melanie looked at Sharakondra, puzzling on her. 'Are you a go-getter Shara?' she asked her.
Sharakondra paused from her laptop work, and looked at Melanie. 'Someone has to do the work in the end. Life doesn't just happen. Things which people want in life have to be worked for, and I do some of that work. It's my service to the most high. Nothing religious, but plenty do that. I just ensure I do my own work professionally. And before you criticize there is a regular demand for modelling work. A lot of our models go into catalogues realm wide, but shot here in Zaphona. I have a long list of Zaphora ladies and gentleman who are well known internationally.'
Melanie nodded. 'Your making good money I suppose?' she asked her.
'Heaps,' replied Sharakondra. 'Besides, someone has to support Semyaza's hedonistic lifestyle, and he's always borrowing cashola from me.'
Daniel smiled. 'Faithful to her twin. Good qualities for an overseer.'
Melanie looked at Daniel, and then looked at Sharakondra, and then shrugged. 'Whatever,' she finally said, finished off her latte, and got up and left. Sharakondra smiled at Daniel, and the first overseer of Danielphon keep grinned, and realized the times they were a changing.
'What do you like about me?' Jesus asked Wolfgang, the Theophany of God.
'Humph. Nothing,' replied God.
Jesus smiled, and played the next word in their game of scrabble.
'Well, nothing is a start. Am I organized enough for your liking?'
'Reasonable,' replied God.
'Am I kind enough?' asked Jesus.
'Actually, you are caring enough as a Torah observant Jew. In fact, honestly, not all Jews are as kind as you. They can be quite stiff-necked at time.'
'Good,' said Jesus. 'I guess I'm getting some things right then.'
'You do your job well enough,' replied the Theophany gruffly. 'You still have a vanity problem, but its under control enough. Christ of your generation? Who are you kidding. Never established officially. Fish away for the title, but I don't think you'll earn it son.'
'I can only try,' replied the suffering servant.
The game ebbed and flowed, and some high scoring words were played.
'The Church is going through a revival of devotion to God the Father at this time. I am stressing unitarian concepts at the moment. God is Lord in the Kingdom of Heaven.'
'Good to see,' replied God. 'Keep that up.'
'And that will please you?' asked the Cherubim.
God looked at Jesus squarely. 'Yes. It will.'
'Then I'll ensure they remember who God is,' said Jesus. 'Anyway, life has been good in recent times. The Church is in a quiet period, where nothing much is happening. We're keeping busy with our regular routines, and doing our work and enjoying our eternal life. We're set on standard growth in no weird way trying to out muscle other movements any more. Just steady growth and commitment to the Gospel way of life and our ministry work. We're salt of the earth people, doing proper work in maintaining our jobs and occupations in society, and being reliable in our own commitments to keeping things going. We're not going to shirk our responsibilities in the Kingdom of God.'
'Good attitude,' said God. 'Keep it up. Unitarianize the thing properly, and we'll talk one day about improved responsibilities.'
'Fine,' replied the head of Christendom. 'I'll remember your concerns. Make a note of them when I get home.'
'You do that,' said Wolfgang. 'There. Exploited. Lots of points son. And a triple word score as well. I've done you buster.'
'That you have,' replied Jesus, smiling at the Theophany.
A happy day.
Jontel examined the scroll. 'The reasoning of madness' it was titled.
'You are crazy,' said Sariel to Jontel. 'That old shit is better off left forgotten. It was a crazy cherubim who wrote it, and I doub it has any redeeming qualities. An ancient work of madness better off forgotten.'
'Untouched glory,' replied the black skinned Jontel. 'It's sat in Zaphon Library forever, never borrowed much, more known as a product of infamy than any fame, but it's time to go over it carefully and look at what it says. There are unplumbed depths of knowledge in it which we should finally examine.'
Sariel took the scroll from Jontel's hands and started reading for a few minutes. 'Gobbledy Gook,' he said after a while. 'Some ideas of minor merit, I suppose. But it was always a weird look on mental disorders. Ideas which were not sound or well received.'
'Let's look at them though,' said Jontel. 'Discuss them. Work out the truth of what is in here. There is a logic to it, that much I learned from reading it the other day. Ideas in a, well not exactly coherent format, but it does have its own sense of logic. Time to see what fruit we can gain from it.'
'No, it's not a waste of time,' agreed Sariel. 'We should get to these things in time and eventually review them. It is our legacy.'
Sariel spent a few more days with Jontel at Zaphon, before returning to his keep in Zionistya. Jontel was in the library, most days, reading the scroll carefully, and making notes on a notepad. He was an old angel, Jontel the Seraphim. Armed with a good sense of strategy, and how to achieve victory in things in life, and an expert in Chulara, Chess, Mega Risk and various others of the competed upon strategy games. But he also had acting skills, and good general knowledge on a wide variety of subjects. He was not an expert in psychology or psychiatry, but had read widely on the subject in his aeons of life, and while, like any angel, he certainly did not recall all the information he had studied throughout his long life, there were bits and pieces of ideas which had built up in his head, which he supposed had developed a life knowledge and philosophy, and he had the understanding to work through this scroll he was studying, and to see what merit it had. One thing was apparent – it was entertaining. It was a weird outlook on mental disorders, not terribly sound in any acknowledged reasoning, but there were a few things which sort of made sense to Jontel, so he would think it all over.
Uriel came into the library. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said the Seraphim. 'Sariel let me know you were staying at Zaphon. I've got visa access for a few months, so we can go on with our old Chulara games. Jerahmeel will be here in a few days.'
'Gosh, that was ancient tradition,' said Jontel. 'But good to know you haven't forgotten our roots.'
'It's etched into me. Some of the early memories,' replied Uriel. 'Let's hit the small cafeteria.'
They sat there, and Kaladel served them iced flavoured Melit Water and some beef salad rolls, and they sat quietly, eating, enjoying the atmosphere.
'As far as we get in life, there is as far again to go,' said Jontel.
'And when we finally get to tomorrow, there is always another one on the horizion,' said Uriel.
'Life indeed goes on,' said Jontel.
'And whatever shall be shall be,' finished Uriel.
'I haven't played Chulara or Katchular for a very long time you know,' said Jontel, sipping on his water. 'I doubt I've lost my touch, but you'll have to go soft on me.'
'I'm sure the instincts are all in there,' replied Uriel. 'Get you going and you'll be competing in the competitions again soon enough. And the best at it are brilliant now.'
'I've noticed. I read things about it online from time to time. Very highly skilled the better players.'
'So let us resume,' said Uriel. 'And continue the war for glory.'
'That I suppose it still is,' agreed Jontel.
They sat, they ate, and the mood was agreeable. Jerahmeel showed up a few days later, and Jontel formed some memories of this time in his life, where things were like they were to begin with, and he was happy about that. Quite happy.
Service to the Most High
'Well,' said Saruviel to Michael. 'The amateurs from Zionistya are finally getting there act together and doing some work properly. I didn't think you guys would ever knuckle down and get on with things. Too much taken for granted, the entire attitude for most of the first process.'
'Be that as it may,' replied Michael, looking at the game of Chulara going on between them at Kalphon Keep. 'Zionistya is a permanent thing, and we'll get our glory.'
'We work hard as well, and commit also,' commented Ambriel, watching the game.
'I recall a game we played here once,' said Saruviel. 'You proved a victor in that battle.' He paused. 'But I won the war.'
'Apparently,' replied Michael. 'You got the ultimate victory for the first process, dear younger brother. But the past is past, and the future is unwritten. So dont' expect us to go soft second time through.'
'You were as hard as your balsa wood mentality is capable of being,' commented Saruviel. 'Strength of Ice on a summers day.'
'Water is very flexible stuff,' replied Michael. 'Can transition its state to the surroundings. And the stuff of life. Everyone needs water.'
'Yes. It's good for cleaning shit up,' said Saruviel. 'Works with a lot of shit as well. A whole nation of shit.'
'Charmed,' replied Michael. Saruviel grinned.
'I think you are winning this game,' said Ambriel to Michael.
'It all comes down to service to the Most High,' replied Michael. 'In the ultimate we find out who the victors are. I am confident Saruviel has had his glory, but has peaked. They are just amused by your sense of authority. Nothing more.'
'Challenging the challenger,' replied Saruviel. 'A novel concept. I think you have seen too many Rocky films. It's all gone to your head.'
'Bah. Make your move,' said Michael. 'I have places to go and people to see.'
'Yes. Indeed,' replied Saruviel. The game ended in a technical draw, and Saruviel seemed happy.
'Well, till we meet again,' replied Michael. 'Maybe at Melladon some time. I'll be sure to drop around and survey your work. See if its up to standard. Can't be easy for the seventhborn, I admit. Not used to such high level responsibility. But I'm sure you'll do an adequate job in the end.'
'Yes,' replied Saruviel. 'Mentoring from Zion's chief streaker. Could be interesting.'
Ambriel chuckled at that comment, but Michael stuck his tongue out at Saruviel, said 'Poo you,' and got up, grinned, and left. Saruviel was in a good mood the rest of the afternoon.
Ruth pulled the plug out of the bathtub, and watched as the water swirled around. Still a mystery, and apparently it swirled the other way around on the northern hemisphere. She dried herself with the towel and looked at her hair. Maybe a new colour? Blonde? Should she go bimbo for a while? Cut it to shoulder length, and buy some fishneck stockings and give Boaz a thrill for a few nights? Call herself 'Candy' and charge him for a good time? Why not. She took out an old bottle of peroxide and scissors, and cut her hair, the first time in aeons, and then peroxided it. A few hours later she was in the lounge room, and had dressed in one of her skimpy outfits, and had a shoulder strap handbag by her side. She looked every inch the tramp. Boaz came in after work, and looked at her.
'What the hell?' he asked.
She stood and came over to him, wrapping her arms around him. 'How about it Joe? Fifty bucks and I'll show you a good time? I do – lots of things. Some very questionable.'
'Oh, right,' said Boaz, working out what was going on. 'But miss, I'm a married man. Orthodox and faithful to my wife. I couldn't.'
'What she don't know won't hurt her honey,' said Ruth, reaching down and giving his crotch a squeeze.
'Miss. I just couldn't.'
Ruth pushed him down on to the couch, and undid his pants. 'We'll call this one a freebie. But next time pay up honey.'
Boaz suddenly lost his protestations. The little soldier down below just couldn't resist.
Later that week Daniel was in the kitchen with Claudia, not just once observing Ruth in her current dress.
'Uh, Ruth. I don't mean to pry. But is something going on?'
Ruth turned to him. 'Looking for a bit honey? I remember dealing with you once upon a time.'
'That was a long time ago,' said Daniel seriously. 'We all make mistakes.'
'Don't we,' replied Ruth, batting her eyelashes.
Daniel smiled back, and went to the other room. Naturally Ruth was just having some fun, but he had a bit of built up affections towards her over the many long years, and sat in his room, opened up the bible, and told his hormones to calm down. Some things just had to be endured.
Boaz remained amused most of the following three weeks then, after another night of passion, he softly suggested that she'd had enough fun, and she sighed. The following morning she dyed her hair back to her normal colour, and resumed her more regular dress code. The hair would grow back to full length soon enough, but it had been fun. And she would do it again some eternity. Candy the Harlot? A bit of a thrill she chuckled to herself, as she went to the kitchen and got on with the days regular activities.
Ruth was watching a special on TV on prostitution in Televere. There was a bit of it going round, and they talked on the lives of the ladies and the things they endured. Not every life was a charming story, quite obviously, and they endured all sorts of mucky activity from men who asked for all sorts of crude things. Ruth had concerns.
In the nearby city to the west Ruth took the small car kept in the garage, which was rarely used, and left a note for Boaz on the kitchen table, that she would be away for a few days or potentially weeks. She drove, and got to the city. It was a place where Boaz visited stamp conventions a lot, and they had holidays occasionally. She had looked up a place before she left, on the internet, and drove there. She'd timed her arrival for the evening, and found the establishement, and knocked on the door. It was a brothel. The pimp opened the door, a lady dressed in dark red, and ushered her in.
'You want to see a lady?' she asked Ruth. Ruth nodded. 'How long, love?' she asked Ruth.
'One hour should be enough,' replied Ruth. She paid the bill and chose the first lady presented, and came into the room with her. The whore disappeared for a while, and came back and asked for a health check. Ruth let the lady do that anyway, and undressed. The lady caressed her back, and then said to her 'What do you want then honey?'
'Well, I'll have a massage so you can earn your money, but I really just want to talk with you.'
'Oh, sure,' said the whore. 'Turn over then.'
Ruth turned over, and the prostitute started massaging her.
'Why do you do this?' asked Ruth.
'Cause I have fuck all business nowse,' replied the lady. 'And I just don't give a fuck. This shit will do.'
'Morality? Doesn't mean anything to you?' asked Ruth.
'Not much. I don't kill. Don't steal, and don't do much drugs. Very rare now. Look sweetie. I'm a whore. It pays the bills.'
'Right,' nodded Ruth, and turned over.
'You want me to go down?' asked the whore. Ruth shook her head.
'Are you happy?' asked Ruth.
'Don't know. Don't think God cares if I'm happy or not. I do crude work, for basic money, and that's how I get by. Our type – we don't matter to society. We don't you know. We do dirty work with dirty men, and we're the trash of society. It's always been like that.'
Ruth looked at the woman. She was attractive enough, and if she ever bothered to sort her life out she could probably make something of it. 'What's your name?' she asked the lady.
'Delilah, honey,' said the whore.
'Your real name?' asked Ruth.
'Well, it's Jane, actually,' said the whore.
'Jane. Do you object to my praying for you?' asked Ruth.
'Pray what you like,' said Jane. 'Is that all you wanted then?'
'I just wanted to ask a few questions,' replied Ruth.
'Fine,' said the whore, who looked at Ruth for a moment, then got up, and went to the shower. Ruth put her clothes back on, and when the whore had finished the shower she spoke to her.
'Life doesn't always have to be this way,' she said.
'I don't see change coming,' said the whore. 'But its nice that you care.'
Ruth nodded, smiled softly, and left the room. As she drove back to Paradision thoughts were in her head. She stayed the night in a hotel halfway between the city and home, and took out her notebook, and wrote down notes. She had an idea. She'd talk to Boaz about it first, but it was service to the Most High. Something she could do, for her little bit, to make the world a better place.
'You want to what?' asked Boaz incredulously.
'It's a ministry,' ptotested Ruth.
'Hanging around lowlife whores is hardly a ministry,' replied Boaz.
'I'm not becoming a prostitute Boaz. I am visiting with them to minister to them To pray for them and, when they've grown to trust me, to pray with them. It's service to the Lord.'
'What? Has Ruth the Moabite suddenly become Jezebel's halfway house? Those ladies know what they are doing, and the choices they have to make to change their lifestyle. It's not your job to redeem them.'
'Someone has to clean up the mess!' shouted Ruth, and stormed off to the back room.
Later on, when the mood in the house had calmed down, Ruth went into the kitchen to start the meal. Boaz came in.
'What exactly would you do for them?' he asked.
'Sensible discussion. About life options, and looking for something better. Helping them to focus on a basic sense of morality and achieving a better lifestyle. They are not all wicked daughters of Sodom, you know. They could do something in life if someone helped them. I'm sure of that. They don't care because nobody has really ever cared about them. It's not just a christian thing, mercy, you know. Helping the less fortunate. Torah is that in the end as well.'
'I didn't say the Lord does not redeem,' said Boaz. 'But it's just that – the Lord's work.'
'It doesn't mean we don't play our part,' said Ruth, glaring at her husband.
'I'm your husband,' he said.
'I know,' she replied.
'I make the decisions at times,' he said.
'I accept that,' she replied. 'Well? Are you saying I can't do it?'
He looked at her, then looked at the dinner. 'Get to the cooking,' he said crossly, and walked off to the other room.
When dinner was prepared she served him in the lounge room and sat down and started eating her own meal.
'Ruth the Moabite has a reputation,' said Boaz after a moment. 'It's mostly positive with society. If she were to do this work it would have to be well understood that it was work of redemption. Not affirmation of such a lifestyle.'
'Well,' began Ruth. 'I generally am aiming to help them live a better life.'
Boaz looked at her. 'Your own ultimate moral views are your own concern on the issue of prostitution. But I concern myself with our families good name. I won't say you can't do this work, if you take it seriously and its well understood why you are associating with these ladies. I won't want whispers – so shout it out from the rooftop exactly what you are doing with these women.'
'I can do that,' said Ruth.
Boaz continued to eat his meal. 'The ministry, if it is successful, is an acceptable choice for a woman of God. It's grotty work, but I know that you have the strength of character to cope with it.'
'So you approve?' she asked.
Boaz just ate his meal in silence, watching the TV.
'Life is choices,' said Ruth, to a small gathering of ladies of the night. She was in their private room, were thaey sat waiting on their 'Johns'. 'Every day we make choices. What shall I wear, what shall I eat.' She looked around at the ladies. 'Who am I gonna fuck on the weekend?' The ladies all giggled and Ruth smiled. 'Everything is a decision. And all those decisions build the tapestry of life which we wander through every year. Make positive choices – make better choices – and the tapestry goes from a scene of a backstreet alley to a beautiful castle with moat and a tamed dragon guarding it.'
'Lot of unfriendly dragons trying to get to that part of the tapestry,' said a lady. 'Dragons who know exactly what you are and were you belong in life.'
'Then you sew hard with thread you have saved for and worked hard to earn. And when those dragon's see the steadily improving quality of your work, they'll acknowledge it.'
'You saying we should be seamstresses,' said one lady. The other ladies laughed and mocked her a little.
'It's a good question,' said Ruth quickly. 'That is always an option in life. A realistic option as well. But its about taking it slowly, chipping away at things. A study course here, a prayer there. A review of your health procedures, and making sure that condom is used. One day, after a while, you are a little beteer educated, and you wonder why there are certain things you won't do for the fellas. And then its a minor job option from someone who is willing to give you a go, as the Lord has noticed your improved attitude, and things, slowly,' start happening again. And then you start remembering those school lessons that you can do whatever you put your mind to.'
'Till then we fuck for a buck,' said a lady, and the others all laughed.
'I suppose so,' replied Ruth, looking at them all.
'So how did it go?' asked Boaz.
'They let me speak to all the ladies in their private room. It went well. They didn't mind me.'
'Right,' said Boaz. 'Well. Well done, I suppose.'
'So you finally approve then?' she asked him.
Boaz looked at Ruth steadily. 'I approve of you, Ruth.' And he didn't say anything more. Ruth thought on that as the weeks passed, but stuck with her ministry ebvery few weeks visiting a brothel. It was interesting work, and challenging at times, but Ruth knew she was making a difference. And therein she found her own justification.
4 O'Clock 20
It was 4 O'Clock in the morning. God the Theophany was in the back room of Callodyn's place, in the games room, playing Nintendo DS Donkey Kong Warriors 88. He was on level 11. There was one level to go. The battery suddenly went flat. He had been ignoring the energy light which had changed from green to red. He was mildly upset when his avatar disappeared. He put down the game system, and walked softly into the lounge, sat down, picked up the can of soft drink he had not finished drinking, and turned the tv on, keeping it down low, watching the morning ads. As he watched the female seller was trying to sell 'The Miracle Mop' which you could detach the mophead for, and rewash, and use over and over again.
'Amazing shit,' said God sarcastically. He kept on watching. The next ad was for the professional nibbler. God watched as it cut through every type of modern metal. 'Please, send me two. Take my money,' said God. 'Jesus. Don't these people have real lives?' He continued watching. It was now 4:30. The next 15 minute ad came on. God listened as Cindy Crawfored explained an amazing french melon which rejuvenated the face. 'A frikking melon is the answer to aging?' God queried the ad. 'I'll order a tonne.' He continued mocking the TV ads till 6, then shook his head, and headed for the spare bedroom. He lay down, slept, and dreamed.
11 that morning God woke, yawned a little, and then got up and went to the toilet. He showered, and changed clothes from his suitcase, and came out to the kitchen were Claudia was sitting, looking at a food catalogue.
'Hello,' she said to God. He nodded. He opened the fridge, took out a can of Coca Cola and a can of Ginger Beer and went to the lounge. He turned on the TV and started watching 'Dr Quinn Medicine Woman.' He sat there half an hour, and it came up to 12:30. Claudia came in, with toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches, two large ones, and handed them on a plate to God. He started munching on them, and continued watching the show. The afternoon passed with daytime TV, a few extra toasted sandwiches, and about 3 more cans of soft drink. Daniel arrived home at 6.
'Well, old fart. How was your day? One more day and you will have all my attention.'
'Went fine,' said God. 'Got a huge amount of work done. Life changing decisions which will shape the future of mankind for all eternity.'
'He watched TV all day and drank coke and ate toasted sandwiches,' said Claudia.
Daniel looked at Claudia and then looked at God. 'Life changing, huh?'
God grinned, and told Daniel to move, as he used the remote control to turn on the TV to the A Team. Daniel looked at God, shook his head, and then noticed it was the A Team. He sat down. 'Get me a drink, would you Claudia,' said Daniel, his eye on the TV. Claudia returned with 5 cans of soft drink, giving 2 to God and 3 to Daniel. They watched the A Team followed by Greatest American Hero and then Magnum P.I.. Claudia sat there all evening, yawning often, watching the boys. It was most amusing.
Wolfgang had 'New Jersey' by Bon Jovi on the record player, and was sitting there, listening to history.
'So much detail,' said God softly. 'So much happening in the world at that time.'
Daniel nodded, and looked at God. 'You can tell all that, can you? From one album?'
'I can tell – lots of things – from one album,' replied God.
Daniel smiled. 'How so?'
'It's all in the vibrations,' said God.
Daniel thought on that for a while and looked at God. 'Please explain.'
'CD doesn't do it. But vinyl are based on what is recorded, and it has bumps in the groove which respond to the music produced, technically, at an atomic level and, if you must know, even smaller than that. It's incredibly soft, but in that record I can hear all the conversation and things happening on planet earth at that time. It's all in the background of the record, and no human ear or technology has the slightest chance of picking it up – at least not yet. But I do.'
Daniel picked up a record, and looked at the grooves. 'Yes, the main volume is the music, which is recorded in a soundproof studio, but of course at extremely low volume everything in the world is happening.'
God winked at Daniel. Daniel looked at his large record collection. 'You listen to records like that, do you?'
'I listen to lots of things,' said God.
The week passed, and Daniel and God walked around Paradision, visiting various places in the town. Daniel knew most things, but there was a store or two they came into that Daniel could not honestly say if he'd shopped in it before or not. God seemed to check most things out at least once. He would look around a bit. He wasn't obvious, and normally, unless you were paying attention, you wouldn't notice. But he observed everything it seemed to Daniel, in crucial glances, seemingly, taking in all the knowledge. And he'd usually get it done pretty quickly, and get on with things. A survey then what he came to do. It amused Daniel, and he observed quietly God throughout this holiday period, thinking about what the Theophany had disclosed and how he went about life. When God finally was ready to leave at the end of his time he said to Daniel, 'Hope you learned well.' Then he smiled at him, a rare smile, and left, with his suitcase.
Claudia was amused about the personal letter from the Theophany a few weeks later, him thanking her, and the observations he had made, and Daniel read it also, noting that God would call him on the phone personally in a few days. He took that call, waiting all day for it, and God thanked him with a personal phone call, mentioning that Callodyn had a few letters from long ago from himself, which Daniel still had, but that Claudia hadn't anything personal from God yet. The letter had been treasured by Claudia, Daniel had noted, and she was a different woman in some ways – far more go in life. Far more confidence. Daniel thanked God for his time, and the Theophany said they'd do it again, and to keep his head up and stay out of trouble.
Daniel put on New Jersey one afternoon. He found a note on the record. 'Just pulling your leg, sonny jim.' And all Daniel could say was 'Asshole.'
Ruth and Boaz 2
Paradision was a town, not a city. It was big enough in area to be a city, but it kept a population around 15,000 on a steady basis, and while it sometimes yearned to be a city in the expressions of the town council, it never eventuated that way. There were laws which prevented any real new construction, to maintain the balance between City, Rural and Farming areas on Televere, and while there was certainly the food available on the southern continent to provide for a larger population, the people of Paradision were notorioius for never really changing the structures of their abodes terribly much. And sometimes when they did, it lasted a century or so, only to be removed. It was not a secret to a few people – Ruth and Boaz were aware that Daniel next door had prayed for an eternally stable town – and when change came, it just didn't last. This was understood by Ruth and this was understood by Boaz, and they knew a few million prayers were the foundation of this reality. And then, when God had visited recently, he casually commented on this reality to Ruth, and she had stated, of course, that would never change, would it? And God had replied, of course not. Less of course someone prayed more than that for an expansion of some kind, and grew a stronger prayer than those of stability. Ruth had said, well, it will be the same forever then. And God replied, I suppose so.
'Dear Lord,' began Ruth in prayer. 'I pray for our street, here Paradision, Chambers Avenue, that you would build 45 tower structures of similar height to Zaphon Tower, out of each of the 45 abodes. I pray this would become the CBD of Paradision, and that we would attract the best business in the universe to have offices here. I pray our cafes would be the finest in the universe, and that the changes would last forever. I offer Psalm 1 in reading to sanctify and achieve this request.' And she then prayed Psalm 1 from the JPS Tanakh, and said Amen. She said to God a few moments later that she woud pray the prayer again, and that she would, as she had committed, pray it to 100 million times. Then she went off to her PC, opened the document where she kept the number of times she had prayed the prayer, deleted the 7 from the 457 on the number, but in an 8, making it 458, looked at the document briefly, and closed it. Then she went off and cooked dinner.
About 10 years later Daniel made a comment. 'They are building at number 1,' he said.
'I noticed,' replied Ruth.
'Apparently its going to be a huge megastructure. Right up to the heavens. Humph. Doubt it will last,' said Daniel.
Ruth smiled to herself. 'Apparently,' she replied.
'Yeh, it will never last,' said Daniel.
10 years later number 1 was complete in its tower and number 2 had started a similar project.
'It seems to be a thing for the street now,' said Ruth. 'Perhaps we should do that one day? Do you think that is a good idea, Daniel?'
'Yeh, sure,' he replied sarcastically. 'But it will never last.'
The centuries came and went, and Ruth eventually completed her prayer. The Theophany visited her and said Daniel had prayed about a thousand times since his old prayers, but was not rushing things. 'I'm afraid life is a competition in some ways, Ruth,' said God. 'Daniel's prayers were well established, so are quite kosher. But your prayers were legitimate competition after a long consideration on the idea, so I will honour yours also. Usually Daniel's prayers would be what I would eternally honour, but you are dedicated to what you want, and it was not a crucial prayer for the life of Paradision. To triumph you will just have to persist, though. You'll always have to pray that prayer, if you want it to remain. Daniel will never bother praying against it that much, he has many prayers he prays you see. But he will always commit to it. Just occasionally. Are you prepared for an eternal commitment on the prayer, and regularly enough to maintain your will?'
Ruth spent a few days thinking it over, and decided she liked the intent of her original prayer, so no real reason not to commit to the agenda, so told God so. He nodded, and she got on with praying it once a week as a minimum. And so it remained, and never really changed thereafter. Finally, about 500 years later, Ruth and Boaz got their own tower underway, and Daniel sighed, thinking he may as well go with the flow for the time being. And thus up came the towers of Chambers Avenue, Paradision, and Ruth and Boaz, soon enough, had a whole host of new people for their address.
* * * * *
'Darkangel Fortunes,' said Semyaza to Ruth. 'It is just a basic office, but we'd like it high up. It manages shares and minor companies, but we have a few things established her on Televere and its sub-plantetary bodies, so this location would be good. Been thinking about getting an official office on Televere for some time.'
'Covenant?' asked Ruth.
'Probably acceptable,' said Semyaza. 'I don't see the need to just lease. Permanence should be fine.'
So a covenant for the office space was granted by Ruth and Boaz to Semyaza for a space near the top of their tower, and Semyaza introduced them to his workers, who had living space down the avenue a little.
* * * * *
'Are you happy with the new life in Paradision?' Ruth asked Daniel. 'We nearly have a million souls now, and should achieve that soon enough.'
'It's a change,' said Daniel. 'I liked the sedate life, but I guess I can cope with this. Not sure it will last forever. Sort of think someone is praying about this on the avenue, but we'll see. It's a change for a while anyway.'
'Indeed it is,' replied Ruth, reminding herself to get to her prayer for the week.
And so Paradision had a new population, and while Daniel was not deadset against it, Ruth and Boaz were generally in favour, and a new spirit emerged in the city, one of more complexity, more adventure and more life. And that could hardly be a bad thing, could it?
Claudia sat on the couch. There was a humdrum in the tower – activity.
'Used to it?' asked Callodyn.
'Getting used to it,' replied Claudia.
'Change is sometimes difficult, but I decided to go with the flow of Chambers avenue for a while. Eventually it will go back to the way it was. I'll make sure of it,' said Daniel. 'Why don't we go to the cafeteria upstairs?'
'I'll put on a different top,' said Claudia.
'Just take off the apron,' said Daniel. 'It doesn't matter here.'
They sat on level 2 of their address, on the eatsern side, the sunshine pouring in.
'Nice day,' said Daniel. Claudia nodded, and sipped on her cappucino. 'Quiet day for me,' he said. 'Kayella might drop by in a few months, but nothing on my plate for a while.' Claudia smiled, and sat there quietly. 'You're not saying much,' said Daniel.
'Oh. Sorry,' replied Claudia.
'Are you happy Moneypenny?' he asked her.
'Why do you call me that?' she asked him.
'It's from James Bond?' he replied.
'And I'm your forlorn housekeeper, who has an unrequited love for you, is it?'
'Drink your coffee Moneypenny,' replied Daniel. Claudia sipped on her coffe. She looked at him.
'I'm not in love with you, Daniel.'
'I didn't say you were,' he replied.'
'Moneypenny is hardly an appropriate title,' she said.
'Ok. Bushbitch then. You can be my housekeeper Bushbitch.'
'Call me Moneypenny,' replied Claudia. 'Of the two I think it just wins.'
'Oh come on, give Bush Bitch a go. It could grow on you.'
'I'll pass James,' she said.
'That's the spirit Moneypenny.'
She reached out her hand and took his. 'I do love you, ok. Very much so. You are precious to me. But I'm not in love with you. Not romantically, anyway.'
'Not your type, huh?' he said.
She looked at him. 'Well, what's that supposed to mean? I thought this was a well understood working relationship? Your not after me, are you?'
'Now listen, Moneypenny. Normally James Bond dates Moneypenny every few million years or so. They go out for a nice mesl, do some dancing, and then some passionate kissing in the car afterwards. She might even let him handle her breasts on occasion. But that's all she ever gets, as her love is forlorn, and the working relationship is permanent. M can't have Moneypenny and 007 fraternising. What would Q say?'
'I understand,' she replied. 'Once every few million years a date. Nothing too sexual.'
'Now you get the picture,' replied Daniel.
'Fine,' said Claudia. She took his hand again. 'Then I am in love with you a tiny little bit.'
'Moneypenny!' said Daniel, and he clutched her hand tightly a moment, and let it go.
'Beautiful day, isn't it,' said Daniel. 'Claudia just smiled in response.
The Ex-Serviceman's Club
Cavalier. Cavalier and charming. At least Claudia felt so.
'He's an asshole,' said Daniel.
'Oh, he's all charm,' said Claudia. Major Fitzgibbons continued working the room of Paradision Ex-Serviceman's Club, talking with old Jewish soldiers from Australia. There had been a few over the years who had settled in Paradision, which was traditionally modelled on Cooma from Australia. He approached their table again.
'So you haven't seen any action, lad?'
'I'm not your lad,' replied Daniel. 'And no. I haven't seen any action. Have you in the heavenlies?'
'Not really. Long time ago, but I went out in glory. Bloody battle, on the Crimean front. Nothing like a it of action. Gets the blood running. And Claudia, may I kiss your hand.'
Claudia offered her hand to the Major, and giggled like a schoolgirl when he kissed it. 'You are a handsome beauty, dear maiden. He's lucky to have you.'
'Oh, we're not together,' said Claudia.
'Really?' said the Major. 'How interesting.'
'He's such a man,' said Claudia, as they walked home. 'So boisterous. So macho. So very much a man.'
'Loud and obnoxious,' said Daniel. 'And that moustache is so fake.'
'Oh, you are just jealous,' said Claudia. 'He was every inch the gentleman.'
'Every inch the chauvanist,' said Daniel. 'He'd have you chained to the kitchen, with endless service.'
'Like your any different,' she replied softly.
'What?' asked Daniel.
'Nothing,' replied Claudia.
They continued walking.
'He asked me out when you were at the bar,' said Claudia.
'That figures,' replied Daniel.
'I said yes,' replied Claudia.
'Fools and horses,' said Daniel.
'Go to hell,' replied Claudia.
Daniel looked at her. Of course he wasn't jealous. Couldn't possibly be. Couldn't possibly.
They came home later, both quite drunk, and Daniel was in the lounge.
'What frikking time do you call this?' asked Daniel.
'Oh, stick you,' said Claudia.
'A good time for a nightcap,' said the Major.
'Over my dead body,' said Daniel.
'Your not my father,' replied Claudia.
'I'm your boss. And I expect you to be sober for work in the morning.'
'I fear he is in a mood,' said the Major. 'So I'll bid good night my dear.'
The major kissed Claudia's hand, and made his way out the front door, singing a melody.
'Look at you,' said Daniel. 'You're drunk.'
Claudia sighed, and sat down on the couch. After a few moments she put her head to the side, and fell asleep. Daniel looked at her, and though annoyed, went off and got a doona from the hall cupboard, and covered her.
In the morning she was up, sober enough, and had made breakfast.
'We're going on a cruise. At the coast,' said Claudia.
'Do as you wish,' said Daniel.
'Yes. Well, of course. I'm free to live my life, aren't I?'
'As we all are,' said Daniel.
She nodded. 'Yes. As we all are.' She was about to speak, but Daniel turned the page in the newspaper, and she thought better of it.
A few weeks later she was on a cruise with the major. They were away several months, and when she got back she informed Daniel they had married. He worked on New Terra, but could claim a pension, and had shares in companies, and had agreed to move into Paradision, in one of the spare apartments down the avenue a little. Her work would not be interrupted.
It was a few years later, when Daniel had begun exercising a little more caution around his housekeep, remembering not to touch her on the shoulder so much, that he was sitting in the lounge of his room, looking at the TV. 'I guess I had presumed some things,' he said out to God. Silence was the reply. He went to his bedroom, and took out an old black book of ex girlfriends. He found the name 'Gemstone' on a list of girls who seemed interesting, and dialled her up. The connection to the Realm of Eternity took a few moments, then a voice answered.
'Gemstone here,' she said.
'Callodyn the Cherubim here,' said Daniel. 'You fancy a date.'
There was silence for a while. 'You permanently unattached?' she asked.
'My twin won't ever be available again' he said. 'She finished on romance, and settled down with her husband. There isn't anyone.'
'I don't date. I marry,' said Gemstone.
'Oh,' said Callodyn. He thought it over. 'We'll go on an adventure camp in Terraphora. Strictly controlled AOTDC camp. No shenanigans allowed, with seperate sleeping quarters for males and females. We can do stuff together though. Enjoy many shared activities.'
'That sounds ok,' said Gemstone.
'I'll book us in for next year. Will contact you then' said Daniel.
'Looking forward to it,' replied Gemstone. She hung up.
Daniel returned to the lounge, a little cheered up. This ne friendship could be something. Only time would tell.
Major Henry Fitzgibbon, husband to Claudia, housekeeper to Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly the Second, also known as the Cherubim Angel Callodyn, was a polite but cavalier cad. Loud and proud, patriotic to the British Empire, Anglican Unitarian of faith, and the joy of his wife. He'd married thrice before, aeons ago, and had 7 children, who stayed in touch, but mostly lived their own lives. He was too loud for his former wives – this he spelled out to Claudia – but that she didn't mind in Henry. They now lived at 15 Chambers avenue in Paradision, and Henry had committed to the traditional military figurine wargaming community which ran at 17 Chambers Avenue, conveniently right next door. This would fill most of his time he assured Claudia, so he wouldn't always be under her foot and moping around the house. He would also read and they would visit the Ex-Serviceman's club every Friday night religiously. Claudia had agreed to commit to that idea, The marriage had not really been rocky so far – just something to adjust to to Claudia. But she loved her husband, and she was expecting their first child. Life was happy at the moment.
'Of course, the Russians down the street fight the hardes,' said Henry to Claudia. 'They have extensive wargaming strategies. The Crimean war goes on my dear.'
Claudia would smile when he commented on that, but mostly she would curl up with him in front of the fireplace in colder times, and enjoy his British manliness.
'So what are you going to call it?' Ruth asked Claudia.
'Nathan. Or Jack,' she replied. 'Maybe Boris. If it's a girl, Mary. He doesn't really mind which.'
'The marriage – it's going well?' queried Ruth, sipping on her coffee.
'Oh, it's all I really want in a husband,' replied Claudia. 'He is sensitive to me. He concerns himself to see if he is bothering me. Cares on that issue. He's loud, his voice is booming as you know, and that was the only real problem in his previoius marriages. In reality that doesn't really bother me, and he's a gentleman. I would never leave him.'
'It must be love,' said Ruth. 'And I am sure Daniel is happy for you.'
'Yes,' said Claudia, going soft. 'I'm sure he is.'
The following week Claudia was at work.
'Will you need leave soon?' asked Daniel.
'I can work till nearly delivery time,' she said.
'You don't have to,' replied Daniel. 'I'll pay all your maternity leave. It's not a problem.'
'No. I want to. This job is forever, you know. As you said it could be. Me and Henry are happy at number 15, and this is it. Eternity, really.'
'I guess I won't call you Moneypenny after all,' he said.
'No,' she said, laughing softly. 'I guess not.'
'Well. Good for you, Claudia.'
'And will you be seeing Gemstone soon?' Claudia asked him.
Daniel looked at her. 'Did Ruth mention that to you?'
'Uh huh,' replied Claudia.
'Yes, actually. Shortly in fact. An adventure camp for AOTDC – Assembly of the Divine Creator. We're in separate sleeping quarters, but with shared activities. She's a very traditional sort. Quite obviously.'
'There's always another fish in the sea, Danny,' said Claudia.
'I suppose so,' replied Daniel. 'Anyway, let's play a board game again. May as well enjoy some play time with my housekeeper.'
They played a game of chess, and Daniel let Claudia win, then they played scrabble. And the afternoon passed. She got home to Henry, who was in the lounge snoozing, a book in his lap. She put a blanket on his knees, and ordered a hamburger and coke, which he enjoyed, for home delivery. When it arrived she put it on the little table in front of his couch, and went off to bed. She was tired this evening. As she lay there, looking at the ceiling, she realized she'd gone through a paradigm shift in some ways, from certain expectations of what eternity might promise, to traditional married life. And while she certainly did not have a thing for Daniel, there was the tiniest tinge of regret that it probably would never happen now. Just the tiniest little tinge. But no matter – she had her man – and Callodyn the Cherubim would have to wait yet still to see which woman finally won his heart. Just that little bit longer.
Azrael and Cosadriel IV
Kwintakel and Oshanel sat in the picnic grounds watching their twins with the kids in a Good Fellas organised charity outing. They were involved with various activities you might find on an adventure camp, and had given out various gifts they had made themselves, as well as things like skateboards, roller-blades and bicycles, as well as a surfboard. Good Fellas organized people of the Realm, the males, to give charity from their own creative works for the less fortunate members of the outer realm rimwards communities, often younger citizens who were still finding their way in life. But it had expanded to also include regular products from stores, often ones which the older angels had share investments in.
'They appear to be in their natural element,' said Oshanel. 'Acting like big kids.'
'It's what they do best,' said Kwintakel, watching Azrael and Cosadriel involved in a wrestling melee with half a dozen young children.
'I'm surprised it took them so long to get involved with something like this,' said Oshanel. But Good Fellas has caught on, and that heart of our brothers is now shining. They always cared. We've always worked with charities of various kinds as children of God, but it's never been a strong focus for terribly many, excepting the likings of the official religious communities terribly much. But Cosadriel is giving his heart for the kids and many of the older ones. He donates money to. Quite regularly. It's a commitment he's made. Eternally, he tells me. Always going to make the bookcases and things with Azrael. Every month or so a day dedicated to their crafting.'
'They'll be better men for it,' said Kwintakel.
They watched as the melee came to an end, and Azrael led the way for the kids down to the river where they all plunged in and started splashing around, splashing water at each other. Azrael and Cosadriel were quite old with water activities now, and knew all the correct procedures to ensure saftey and to properly observe those they were watching over. The parents of the children were also in the park fields of the river, various benches around the area with barbecue facilities, and a toilet at the edge of the field. It was an official playing park of the local community, which was rather new, only established in recent times, and you could tell when you drove around the city down the road a little. New suburbs with trees and bushes just recently established and as yet far from grown. But that was life in the rimwards discs – always new and getting itself established.
'So you and Cosadriel. Everything is fine?' asked Kwintakel.
'As good as you could expect,' replied Oshanel. 'We don't argue that much anymore. I've worked him out and he's worked me out, and we have 17 old children who drop around occasionally, and we're family. It always worked with my twin, despite the challenges. He doesn't really bother with his overseer work on his disc terribly much – there is a council who do all the work for him at the executive level – and he's mostly at Az's place anyway. Likes the atmosphere of Zaphona City he tells me. Where the action is, apparently.'
'I find that true enough. It's like the creator does special things for Zaphora and you live an extraordinary life. Blessing from our ancient service, I suppose.'
'It must be that,' agreed Oshanel.
The revelers soon enough clambered out of the water, and Cosadriel was barking orders for all the children to check themselves for any cuts or scrapes, and he did a head count 3 times to ensure everyone was accounted for. The day had largely drawn to a conclusion, and the parents thanked the Good Fellas for their time and donations, and things finished up for the day. The four of them started packing away all the picnic utensils and things, and Cosadriel deflated the jumping castle. Soon enough everything was packed away into the white Good Fellas van, which had the logo on its side, proud and true, and they were on their way back to the Good Fellas charity store where the Van would be parked, the key dropped back into the office, and off to their hotels before the flight back home.
'Did you have fun?' Kwintakel asked Azrael and Cosadriel.
'It was a riot,' replied Azrael.
'And he only made a fool of himself twice,' said Cosadriel.
Then the two of them fell to arguing, and Kwintakel glanced at Oshanel, who only smiled back knowingly.
I Will Always Love You
Daniel and Taylor were gone to a park. Down on a side street, were it was quiet, and nobody was around. The grass was green, and there were sunflowers around the park. Daniel picked up Taylor, and carried her to the centre of the park, where he had a bouquet of sunflowers as a bed, and he laid her down. Then he kissed her and told her he loved her, and put his hand on her heart. And they lay there, looking up at the twilight. Then the sun set completely and the stars came out after a while, and the moon of Paradision arose, and Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly picked up the sleeping beauty, and brought her back to his son’s place in Chambers Avenue, and put her on the guest bed where he was staying, and kissed her forehead, and whispered into her ear ‘I will always love you.’ Then he went off to the back room, sat down with God and Callodyn and Wormdog, and looked at them. ‘I was busy,’ he said. ‘Had to tell a girl I loved her.’
God shrugged, and the game which had been delayed for five hours continued. The other two just let it slide.
The Angel, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, was in woodlands near Paradision, up west, behind his house, with Taylor. Daniel and Taylor – in the dark of the night, 4 in the morning, up behind his place, in the woodlands. In a circle. A mown circle, with rocks placed around it, painted white. In the centre of the circle was a large lamp – a kerosene lamp – on a rounded rough natural sort of stand. A stand which fitted in nature, made of stone and wood. Daniel was on one side of the lamp, which threw out heat, and Taylor was on the other side, both of them in sleeping bags, in the cold night air. It was the time of year between the hot and the cold – the temperate climate – and they were camping. They were in their sleeping bags, with pillows, in the circle, next to the lamp, and the big bright moon was above them, full moon time. In the distance you could hear wolves howl, as they were part of this local fauna, designed like that since the beginning. There were fencelines further up the forest which the wolves could not cross over, so they were safe. Of course, wolves didn’t really attack humans anyway – that was mostly a thing of urban myth. But they did worry them. They were both awake, having gone to sleep at about 8 the previous evening, and now had just risen, in the early morning moonlight. The property was public property – Daniel had applied to build a temporary feature on the land just behind his house, which he had asked to remain for a few centuries, which did not seem problematic, so was approved of. And Taylor had agreed to camp there one evening with him.
‘I’m a Good Fella,’ said Daniel. ‘Been involved with some charity work. I’m currently working on designing a card set called ‘Night Myths of Paradision’ to use in Good Fellas charity work. It will have eery artwork of the nightscape of our fair city.
Taylor looked up at the towers of Chambers Avenue. ‘Will you have a picture of a wolf in your card deck?’ she asked him.
‘Maybe,’ he replied. ‘I might travel into their domain one evening, in a protected vehicle, and take some photos. Use them as the basis for a card or two.’
‘You’ll have to do Paradision Raven’s’ said Taylor. ‘And the night owl down the street. He hoots every night.’
‘You’ve noticed that,’ said Daniel.
Daniel and Taylor had bought the level 3 levels up on Callodyn’s address in Chambers avenue. They were on Televere for the time being. Life going on as normal. Life trying new things in some way, not really things left of centre, but things which were not commonly done. Other aspects of life, less travelled down. It was a thing wth Daniel at the moment – be a bit less predictable. Taylor didn’t mind.
‘You’re my white wolf. And I’m the proud hunter,’ said Daniel to Taylor. ‘With you I am invincible.’
‘Aroooooowww,’ howled Taylor, and giggled. In response a howl was made up the rise a little, which startled them both.
‘Are you warm?’ Daniel asked Taylor.
‘Warm enough,’ she replied.
‘Are you happy?’ he asked her. ‘Is this working for you?’
‘Probably never been happier. It’s peaceful here,’ she replied. ‘With you I find that – peace and quiet. Don’t think I want to change that Daniel.’
‘No,’ he replied. ‘Of course, you know I love you,’ he said.’
‘I know,’ she replied.
They lay there half an hour. She crawled over to him, and looked at him in the morning light. ‘I love you too,’ she said. She kissed him on the forehead.
The night wind blew, and the morning light from the east grew a little stronger, and they lay there, feeling different, perhaps feeling the way nature meant them to feel, but feeling content enough, and happy enough, and, despite the wolves up the rise in the distance, safe enough.
And alive enough.
'Wrestling dinosaurs, Gabriel?' asked Michael.
'Don't worry. Chandler will hold your hand,' replied Gabriel.
'I don't need my frikking hand held,' replied Michael. 'I can wrestle a frikking dinosaur.'
'Right, off we go then,' replied Gabriel. 'I – I have a special prototype lightweight metal mesh suit. Dinosaur jaws can't penetrate it. Chandler is dressed similarly. Your in jeans and a t-shirt, but that's good. I'm sure you'll be fine.'
'Where is the frikking suit?' asked Michael.
Chandler stepped in and looked over Michael. 'Ok. I've got your size. This way Prince Michael.'
Michael glared at Gabriel and followed Chandler.
Half an hour later they were out in Gabrephion jungle, hunting dinosaurs.
'There's a Rex,' said Chandler.
'Ah. It's pretty big,' said Michael.
'Not chicken are we?' asked Gabriel.
'Nah,' replied Michael slowly. 'It's pretty frikking big though.'
'Aw, we can take it,' replied Chandler.
'Just shitting you,' said Gabriel. 'That one is more our style,' he said, pointing to a far more appropriate triceratops which was not fully grown.
Michael moved in and looked at it head on. It glared at him.
'Grab him by the horns,' said Gabriel, watching. Michael grabbed the triceratops by the horn.
'Hey, put your hand in its mouth. Or up its arse,' said Chandler. Michael glared back.
'What now?' he asked.
'This,' said Gabriel, and flashed a light. All of a sudden the triceratops started going berserk and Michael, still clinging to the horns, went flying. He landed a few feet away, on his butt. Gabriel smiled at his brother, holding his digital camera up. 'This scene will look great. Now come on. Let's land the beast.' He reached into his backpack, and brought out a net, and some long metal pegs. 'Chandler has the sledgehammer, so lets get him pinned.'
Michael, not really understanding, went for the horns again, and this time he wrestled hard. Chandler managed to hold down the tail section, and Gabriel flung the tent over him. 'Now Chandy. We'll hold him down, you plunge the pegs down to hold the net to the ground.' The beast struggled mightily, but after some effor they had him pinned, and stepped back to survey the work.
'What next?' asked Michael.
'Dinosaur steak,' said Chandler.
'Aw. That's a bit cruel,' said Michael.
'We're just kidding,' said Gabriel. He took the camera and started filming the beast in the net, as it wailed around. Soon enough he had enough footage.
'Now undo the pegs, Mikey,' said Gabriel.
'Not bloody likely,' replied the Archangel.
'There's nothing too it,' said Chandler, who used the sledgehammer and knocked the pegs out of the ground. The beast wriggled free, snorted at all 3 assailants, and trampled off.
'Great film,' Gabriel said to Chandler. 'Will look great on the web.' He fished into his backpack, and brought out three brewskis. He handed one to Michael, who opened it, and they say there, drinking beer. 'You did great,' said Gabriel to Michael. 'Already a knack for it. We've done a few a little bigger, but we will need a much bigger team to take on a Rex. Those teeth are sharp, but we have protection of course,' said Gabriel, indicating the mesh they wore.
'This is a thing?' asked Michael.
'Here and there,' said Gabriel. 'We never kill the beasts. The sport is sort of like fishing some times, that you let them go. We respect the beast, have a bit of fun with it, conquer it, then let it go, no harm done. Just plain old dinosaur wrestling.'
'Indeed,' replied Michael, gazing off in the distance at the Tyrannosaurus Rex. No matter the size of the team, that could be one tough ask.
Happy Chaps Tower VII
Angus MacDonald sat in a cafeteria of Happy Chaps Tower in Glimmersphon District, eating spaghetti.
'Hey,' said Shirlie. 'How's it going Angus?'
'Sit down,' he said. 'Talk to me sweetie.'
Shirlie sat, and started eating her noddles. 'Wassup?' she asked him.
'Sexual morality,' he replied.
'You need some, do you?' she asked, eyebrow raised.
'Thinking it over,' he replied. 'Life comes and goes. Has an ebb and flow to it. People come around, and they are in your life, and sometimes they are in your life for a very long time, and you think its forever, and then its over. And you read an obituary report in Zaphon Chronicle a few centuries later, and they've been cremated, and they are in Sheol. And then you go off and check with resurrections, and you look to see if they are on a redemption list, and you see their name from time to time.'
'Yep, you sure do,' replied Shirlie, eating her noodles. 'These are good noodles.'
'And sometimes you don't,' he finished.
'It ain't just the freelovin,' she said. 'Drugs too. And depression. Sin choices, they just don't want to get over a lot of the time. And then down in Sheol, so I read in some religious texts from those in the know, you make decisions. And many wise up. And some times they don't. And they fade, and they fade, and they fade – and they're gone.'
'So I'm reviewing my sexual morality, and getting over it. I have a few ladies upstairs a bit, and a girl down the road a little with a red light in her window, and she does me nice. And I've been reviewing things, and I'm getting old, you know. And while I've led a charmed life, nothing lasts forever.'
'It usually gets you in the end,' sighed Shirlie.
'Ebb and flow. They come in, a new bunch, and some last, and in the flow, some go. Ebb and flow. Lives in – some last – lives out. But they don't come back after a while, some of them. They don't come back.'
'So a Happy Chap, to say happy, learns that,' said Shirle.
'Pretty much,' agreed Angus. 'So I'm learning just that.'
'See you round again some time,' she said, and finished her noodles, as Angus finished his spaghetti, put the plate back on the serving tray and into the trolley, and made his way back to work, another day in Happy Chaps Tower.
Jontel was at Good Fellas organisation headquarters in Zaphona City, in the lobby. Saruviel was seated in one of the waiting chairs also. He looked at Saruviel, who was reading one of the provided magazines, but hadn't really talked to him. He'd nodded to him when he walked in, and Saruviel had acknowledged that, but otherwise kept on reading his magazine. Time passed. A fly blew in from the corridor when a fella left the waiting room, and landed on the magazine table. It sat there, wandering around, before flying around, and then up to the window, were the door opened, someone coming in, and the fly escaping. The new person walked to the receptionist, and got admitted right away, while Saruviel and Jontel remained seated.
'Long day,' said Jontel.
Saruviel said nothing.
'Quiet times, I guess,' said Jontel. 'Not much happening at the moment. Been busy at my disc recently, doing a lot of overseer work. Playing a lot of Katchular and stuff. Thinking about doing a new memoir soon. Done a few of them now. Recap of the last aeon of stuff. I'll keep it concise enough. Should be original enough I hope.'
'Not much left on that these days,' said Saruviel in reply. 'Your words and sentences will likely already have been used. You'll probably have original enough noun usage, but not much else. Just the way it goes with copyright now.'
'Indeed,' replied Jontel. 'But them's the breaks, ain't they.'
'Agreed,' replied Saruviel.
Jontel stood and walked over to the magazine table, picked up a copy of 'Ok' magazine, and sat down. He read an article on Kim Kardashian, who seemed to be in every issue of OK, and after finishing that, let the magazine rest on her lap, and actually just nodded off to a doze. When he was startled awake Saruviel was coming out of the Good Fellas offices, and smiled at him.
'Your turn, probably Jon. See you around brother.'
Jontel waved him, as he left the waiting room, and remained seated. A few moments later the Good Fellas worker came out and ushered him in to his office.
'Jontel,' began the worker. 'Good to see you. Now, we have a lot of opportunities this quarter. Lots of places need solid supply of quality material. What can you offer us this time?'
'I have a cash donation. As usual,' said Jontel. 'And balsa wood dinosaurs. Crafted into pieces and fit together like a 3D jigsaw puzzle. It's detachable, so can be made and pulled apart and remade whenever desired. I've painted them in various appropriate dinsoaur colours. I have about 300 of them ready to go.'
'Great,' said the man. 'Sounds like the ideal gift. Now you often deliver them yourself. Up for that again?'
'I think so,' replied Jontel.
'The personal touch always works well,' said the man. And they chatted about this and that, and details, and Jontel booked in the time he would need, and was given a tea afterwards, with some nice scotch finger biscuits, ones which Good Fellas produced themselves, well known as they were very edible and tasty. Lots of rich butter in them.
When Jontel was finished, he headed back to Senersphon Hotel were he was staying, and came to his room, lying down. He looked up at the ceiling. A voice said to him 'Good work son. Your life is working out well.' Jontel could sense it was the spirit speaking to him, and he was happy with that. Doing something in life worthwhile. Doing something which, in the end, probably made a difference. Doing something which showed he cared. Doing something which showed he was a Good Fella.
'Here's a story, you know so well. A story of the world's worst infidel. He preaches rainbows, arks and things, but in the end he's one nasty thing,' said Jesus to the assembled church.
'Very funny,' said Mary Magdalene. 'Daniel the Seraphim is your elder brother. You can't call him an infidel. That is God's covenant, Lord.'
'There is a new covenant he hasn't yet cottoned on to,' replied Jesus.
'Give it a rest Christ Child,' said the Apostle Peter. 'We're not falling for that one anymore. It's old news, cobblers then, cobblers now, and people know the scriptures far to well to fall for that. Stick with the reformed Gospel's we have going, and get over it.'
'Bah, humbug,' replied Jesus, and picked up the guitar and sang again. 'Michael, Michael, Torah true. We need your love, we all need you. Yet you fall, regularly too, and get us all in the …'
'Don't – finish that,' said Mary. 'I'm sure we get the idea.'
'He's an infidel as well,' said Jesus. 'Hasn't accepted the Christ of God's Greater Glory yet. He'll come around.'
'I think there's a bit missing in his brain,' said Peter. 'You know – the actual John 14:6 part has nestled in, but the ACTUAL truth no longer completely computes. He's missing some synaptic layering or something. Thick as a brick. Can't cope with the truth, so hides in his New Testament, and preaches that to the world regardless of the facts. He's a stubbon son of Israel.'
'Son of God,' corrected Jesus.
'I see your point,' replied Mary Magdalene. 'Probably just pride.'
'Be that as it may, ecclesia, and yes I know I'm not the damn messiah, tradition is as tradition does. So we are having a revival.'
Peter took out his PC. 'Right, revival number 665, 479, 832, 946, 321. Gosh. We've had a few. One day we might actually be revived.'
'I've been praying that for you Cephas. One day you'll come around,' said Jesus. 'Like I said. Revival. The Noahides have gone soft, lost in their own lives, and lost sight of the mission. To convert the world to serving God Almighty, but I remain as focused since the day John baptised me. The mission goes on, and we have revivial coming. First of all, Peter. You will be applying to Good Fellas to become a patron of the organisation. And contact St Vincent de Paul and Frederick Ozanam. I want them intimately involved with Good Fellas through the St Vincent de Paul society. Good Fellas based a lot of their foundational doctrine, quite deliberately, on the work of the society. They claim to be a universal charity with a universal focus. We'll get involved.'
Peter typed in the notes and nodded. 'Good idea Yeshua. We can run with that.'
'And email the popes. This Christmas I want the notion of genuine charity from the heart emphasized. We still care. Years come and years go, but the message of love and concern does not change from the Christian Church. I don't change you know. The New Testament teaches that, and I wasn't born yesterday. I remain faitful to my vision of a better world, and so does the church. On we go Christian soldiers.'
The gathered ones nodded, and were dismissed from the small assembly, off to their Christian duties for the remainder of the day.
Sharakondra sat in her office, in Danielphon Tower. She looked out over the city, smiled at the lovely, view, and returned to her focus on the model pictures in front of her. Another day, another credit. This was a busy time for the upcoming overseer of Danielphon Keep. She was at work on her modelling agency, and looking to recruit some new talent from the inner discs. She'd placed adverts in various magazines, seeking applications, and was reviewing various portfolios of various ladies and gents who wanted to work with herself. Some had accompanying cover letters which were desperate, some humble, quite delieberately so she was sure, some extremely over the top, and some the genuine sort of professional enough people who appeared to have a good attitude and were grounded in life. They were the ones she was looking at. Most were the attractive sort. But that was natural with modelling. But now and again you came over a face which was not exactly the best of looks, but had other qualities and depths, often the serious look, which she noted and would often use as well. She was not a glitz and glamour model – she was that as well. She made no mistakes about it. But she was a professional also, doing proper work, and not just working with Elle and Vogue and the big names, but things like 'Woolworths' and 'Walmart' and the every day clothing and other products of the regular people in the real world, a very substantial part of her catalogue of clients. She was dedicated to this new agency. She would 100% commit and stick with it, and see to it that it was not a flaky commitment of a few millennia or so, but perpetual reality in the realm of eternity. Maybe one day other realms, but she was in no great rush. Sufficient for now to do the work which came along in her own slice of paradise, and get that done with professionalism and aplomb. She liked her work. She generally always had. She was appreciated for it, she was sure. Her twin, Semyaza, always said 'Great work babe' but that was just him wanting to get lucky she reminded herself. And more than that – the general nature of Semyaza over his long history all things considered. But no, she knew people liked her in the industry. She had countless friends and contacts, who all liked working with her, or so they said. She was cool about things, calm, did her work with not much fuss, and wasn't really a bitch. Not Sharakondra's style in the end. She was tough but she was talented, and she was a kind enough person she reminded herself. She cared about people. It was the high life in a way, the up tempo part of society, which was not always associated with the ideas of soulfulness and things of the spirit. But she did have a soul and she did have a spirit, and she didn't sell out in the work she did. She was not a nudie girl in the end, fading away into the porn scene. Too strict, too well trained – just too damned experienced to know how that lifestyle ended up in the end – and it wasn't pretty. She had standards in the lush life, standards she maintained and knew how to maintain, and she would never fall. In the eternity before her she knew that deep down in her soul – she would never fall. So she would commit to this new endeavour, and stick with it to prosperity and fruition, and continue to enjoy her life, loving God, loving Semyaza, and working steadily towards an overseer of Zaphora status, which was an ever present thing in her thoughts. Danielphon District would do just fine, and when achieved, she would put that on her resume, and hold her head just that little bit higher because of it. Just that little bit higher.
Angels of Hope 17
'Gloryel. You are wise,' said Daniel the Seraphim.
'What are you after?' queried Gloryel.
'You have beautiful eyes. Did I ever tell you that. Really beautiful eyes.'
'Keep it coming. You must want a chocolate from my box,' she said.
'I wouldn't mind snacking on your other box,' said Daniel.
'You are disgusing,' said Gloryel. 'I'm taken, idiot. Christian would have my guts for garters.'
'Just kidding. But you have beautiful eyes. And feet. Very good feet. Solid feet,' said Daniel.
'I'm not sure if a woman really wants her feet called solid. Feminine, yes. Delicate, yes. Solid, no. Sounds like a Hungarian woodswoman's feet. Solid feet. The kind of lady who gets out the axe and chops the wood, and carries home half a tonne of it on her back. Big and tough. Solid feet. She's known for it.'
'You have delicate feet,' said Daniel.
'Better,' said Gloryel. 'So what do you want?'
'I'm out of cash in my account up here. Don't have any actual money for ciggies. You wouldn't lend me some would you?'
'I figured that is what it was. I have a box of cigarettes in the pantry. Beneath the medicine cabinet, in the yellow box. Two boxes actually. You may borrow one, but will have to replace it. They are 'Camel's.'
'They'll do,' said Daniel, and wandered off.
Later on in the day Gloryel was out at the side of the house, were there was a bit of grass, and Daniel was sitting on a chair he'd brought around from the back, against the brick wall of the house, enjoying the warm summer day. He had a large bottle of coca cola with him, was smoking, and reading a book.
'What are you reading?' she asked him, standing in the warm air.
'Time is the Simplest Thing. By Clifford D. Simak. It's a favourite. Science Fiction,' he said.
'Oh,' she replied. 'Never heard of it.'
'I'll pass it on to you if you want something different. Early Sci Fi. You might like.'
'I'll give it a go when you are finished with it,' she replied. She looked at him. He had jeans on, and a t-shirt, with sneakers. He looked casual. He looked cool. 'Will you be around forever?' she asked him. He looked up at her.
'Of course,' he said, momentarily. 'I'll always be your buddy Geri girl.'
'I mean, forever and ever,' she persisted.
'You won't shake me, Glory. I mean, I love you. In some ways still in love with you, but I'm over the passion. Your an eternal bestie. Always liked hanging with you. I won't let you go from my little black book.'
'No, it appears to be that way,' she said, sitting down on the grass with her back agains the brick wall. 'Sort of gives me hope as well. That someone is always going to care for me.'
'I've got your back, sweet cheeks. Don't worry about that. You've got someone to watch over you.'
'I do, don't I,' she replied.
'You do,' said Daniel.
'That's good,' she said. She sat there, looking at Daniel a bit, and enjoying the heat. And the morning passed. And she was in a good mood. A pretty good mood.
‘So, you black bastard, you are now a Good Fella, are you?’ queried Jesus of Nazareth to his Cherubim brother Kenishar, tutelary prince of Angola, 33rd male cherubim of eternity.
‘Listen, Christ Child. Bite me mon,’ replied the dreadlocked, dark-skinned Angolan, the male Cherubim Angel Kenishar.
‘Still the Bob Marley fan I see,’ replied Jesus. ‘And still rejecting your baptism and Christening. You are supposed to acknowledge my Lordship over your life.’
‘You ain’t the messiah,’ replied Kenishar. ‘And you ain’t my Lord. Jehovah Yahweh is my Lord and God, and as far as I am concerned the Church still pushes a bit too much idolatry towards you, no matter what reforms you are gradually making. If I had my way, you’d all be doing 6 months in prison with rehabilitation for your crimes of idolatry.’
Jesus nodded, and picked up his pipe, and continued piping away an old Jewish melody from his time.
‘Good tune,’ said Kenishar.
‘I’ll win you back to the church,’ replied Jesus. ‘No, I’m not God, and probably not really the messiah when it comes down to it. But you are a faithful follower of Jesus of Nazareth, and I don’t intend to let go of my convert. Your father liked me. So did his father, back a number of generations. And their prayers have come up on my list of prayers to get to, so you’ll be coming back to the Catholic faith, and that’s the way it goes, Ken Doll.’
‘You dissing me for my Barbie collection, bro? Lots of dudes have Barbie collections now, bro? I’ve got a streak of the rare black Barbies as well, if you want to talk Barbie shit.’
‘Have you got the Sister Mary Barbie?’ asked Jesus, trilling away.
‘Too expensive mon. Was quite limited, and they’ve only done one other set since then. It’s on my list of things to get, though.’
Jesus put down his pipe. ‘I haven’t completely reformed the church, yet. It will take a long time. But your one of us, Kenishar. You were bought at a price.’
Kenishar just looked at the Lord Jesus. ‘Leave me alone,’ he said, and wandered off. He wasn’t in the mood for religion today.
Rodrigo Delaquenta was the chief organisational officer for Good fellas in Zaphona City. The official headquarters in the realm was in the 7th disc, under Saruviel's watchful eye. But in the central disc, there was Rodrigo, a receptionist, and one other administration worker, Nancy Jones. They took care of affairs in Zaphona City. Work was increasing at the moment, and soon another worker would probably be needed to work as a standard organisational officer alongside Rodrigo, and he had interviews planned in a few weeks. Any suitable candidate would be considered, and it was standard pay. Income for the Good Fellas came from the standard donations, and they received the legally allowed amount for charities for administration purposes from their donations, currently 12% of donations could be donated for the running of the organisation. Nancy, as Administration Officer took care of that work, while Rodrigo handled the clients when they met in person, and liaised with headquarters for work out on the rim usually, but not always.
'You see the match on the weekend?' asked Rodrigo to Nancy. 'Gelphon District really gave it to us.'
'It might be Senersphon's year,' replied Nancy. 'But don't count on it Rodrigo.'
'I might go see a live match this time,' repied Rodrigo. 'The family are starting to like the local softball competition, and my son is thinking about getting involved. He has regular work here, now, and is thinking about finally finding a match for his life. I'll possibly be permanently settling in Zaphora, so he's thinking that it's time.'
'How old is he?' asked Nancy.
'Quite a few million years old now. He's permanently attached to me and his mother. Won't go anywhere. Decided to remain in my family a long time ago. We're family people.'
'Right,' nodded Nancy. 'Only met him a few times. He's single, then, is he?'
Rodrigo looked at Nancy, his eyebrow raised. 'Your single of course, aren't you?'
'Can't find a suitable man in Zaphona City. Been looking forever. Nobody suits me well enough.'
'Right,' said Rodrigo, and sipped on his coffee. 'I see.'
'You have your appointment shortly,' said Nancy.
'Shit,' replied Rodrigo, and finished off his coffee. He looked at Nancy. 'Sebastiano likes football and sports in general, as well as Softball. He likes Spanish cuisine, and flamenco dancing, and indoor climbing, as well as stamp collecting. And he loves his video games.'
'I see,' replied Nancy.
Rodrigo looked at her, smiled to himself, and got off to his work.
And the world turned.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING
The avalanche had been unexpected. Down south in the continent, in the snow region, Daniel was with Claudia on a holiday, she agreeing to take care of his luggage and things, and they had been snowboarding up on Mt Crimson, when Daniel had yelled 'Alleluia' to the mountains, a rumbling had started, and Claudia had said 'Oh O'. The avalanche sent them hurtling down the slope a few hundred metres, and Daniel managed to push himself up through the snow, and after some digging pulled up Claudia as well. They were both bruised a quite bit, but otherwise unharmed.
'You think that was wise?' Claudia asked him.
'I think – perhaps I'd forgotten some ancient knowledge,' replied Daniel. 'Sort of taken life for granted and forgotten some safety protocols.'
'Time for a refresher course, I think,' she replied, as they hobbled their way down the mountain to the ski lodge. When they arrived they notified the manager of the lodge of the avalanche, and requested in summer, when the snow had melted, they find Mr Daly's snowboards. The manager made a note to do just that. Daniel and Claudia applied some bandages, and soon enough found their way to the lodge restaurant for dinner.
'Quite an adventure,' said Daniel.
'Living with you is adventure enough,' replied Claudia.
'Why have you moved out of home?' he asked her. 'Is the Major becoming a handful?'
'Oh, I love him alright. It's teething issues and arguments. We had a huge row, and both of us thought it best to spend some time apart. There's no problem with the marriage, though. Just some adjusting. We agreed to talk it over civilly when we've calmed down a bit.'
'Right,' replied Daniel. 'Ok. Well, the millennia is turning over soon, and I have new plans. It will be the same old housekeeping work for you, but the Daly Foundation is looking for some new execs. People who can manage people, mostly, and enforce the protocols. A few decades of study, though, by an old hand, who is familiar with the Daly Foundation psychology, and they could probably get a job at exec level. If we knew them well.'
Claudia nodded. The waitress showed up after a while, and they ordered Vienna Schnitzel. As Daniel ate he looked at Clauda. 'Yep, it's a great exec package we have.'
'That's good,' replied Claudia.
'Good perks,' said Daniel.
'Are you trying to say something?' asked Claudia.
'Ok. Do you want a frikking exec job with us or not?' he asked.
'No,' she replied. 'I want the housekeeping job permanently, with no raise needed, and to settle with the Major eternally in Paradision where we currently live. I'm settled, and want eternal continuity.'
'Then I offered, and I understand your request, which I agree to.'
He started hooking into his meal. 'I'm going up to the slopes after dinner with a flash camera. Take some pictures of the avalanche and write an entry in my journal chronicling what happened.'
'I'll be in bed,' she replied. 'Sipping hot chocolate.'
'Right,' replied Daniel. 'And Moneypenny. You can keep the job forever if that's what you want.'
Claudia smiled. It was what she wanted. And Daniel closed a chapter of a book, then, in worrying about the future career plans of his housekeeper. She'd found her life, and he was happy enough that she'd chosen to be part of his. Quite happy.
Happy Chaps Tower VIII
'You'll never really repent, though,' said Shirlie Jones.
'I've repented. I think. Sort of. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe just looking at eternal life rather than repenting. Maybe just organising life to make it last forever without necessarily trying to conform to anything,' replied Angus MacDonald.
'Exactly,' replied Shirlie, hooking into her noodles. 'It's not a choice of the heart to do the right thing as a principle. Just trying to get around things, cut corners, and get through the shit without any real commitment to holiness. I mean, it might work eternally. It might. But it might not.'
'Thanks for the word of encouragement,' he replied.
'There are usually lots of issues in life. You've probably worked many of them out by now, but people forget, you know. The slackness creeps up on them, and what they once thought was under control slips back in. Because it was never really repented of. It's the choice to do the right thing and live by the rules which changes the heart. To commit to God, usually, but he doesn't insist on being your centre. He says make lawfulness your centre, and the spirit of righteousness. Then it will work out if you are not into him personally,' said Shirlie.
'God doesn't bother me one way or the other,' replied Angus. 'But I suppose that's the issue. Just trying to amend my way through eternity, rather than doing the drastic business of sorting it all out.'
'Then you want to live forever?' she asked him.
'Probably now,' he said. 'Probably gotten used to it and want the permanence of the living state.'
'Then drastic business is required,' she said, as she munched on her noodels.
'Drastic business,' he replied.
Later that week Angus was in his flat in Happy Chaps tower, looking at the Rainbow Bible of the Advancing Noah Movement. He was not committed to any particular branch of monotheism, but tacitly accepted Noahide sorts of ideas. This was the main book for many Noahides, so he figured it may as well do. He spent the afternoon, what was left of it, reading through the introductory sermonology, and thought over some of the ideas. It was time, he knew it, that commitment to some sort of idea for life was necessary. Religion usually did this for man and angel – got them focused on living principles which assisted life – so he would go with that idea for now, and may as well commit a little to what he tacitly accepted.
'Hey, Angus,' said Shirlied Jones. 'Wassup?'
'The Rainbow Bibles,' he replied.
'All of them, huh?' she asked.
'I bought the complete set of them,' he replied. 'And have access to the Chronicles of the Children of Destiny and the videos website. May as well look into Daniel's thing. He follows the rainbow covenant faithfully still. It will do for now. But I am thinking of getting a visa to heaven if I can and chase up old Noah himself, to see his thoughts on life. From the horses mouth, if you know what I mean.'
'Sounds good,' replied Shirlie. 'Uh, I'm having a get together in my flat on the weekend with some friends. Want to tag along?'
He looked at Shirlie. She'd never been forthcoming to invite him anywhere. 'Sure,' he replied.
'You know the address, I assume. Friday at 2 in the arvo. Seeya then.'
Angus nodded. A new invite. Take life seriously, and perhaps God took notice. Well only heaven would know on that one. Only heaven would know.
'The strength of an administration PhD is that I know a lot of shit about office procedures. And this does not frikking concord with office procedures,' said Chandler.
'The female dwarves will only be naked for a few minutes,' replied Gabriel.
'While they are covered in oil and wrestling an alligator, albeit with its jaws roped shut, in the office of Gabriel the overseer of Gabrephion,' replied Chandler. 'Nope, never covered that in my training.'
'It's for Dinsoaur Wrestling Quarterly,' said Gabriel, lighting a cigar.
'You should quit. And since when are alligator's dinosaurs?'
'They're only dwarves,' replied Gabriel. 'We considered a velociraptor, but they can be troublesome, and that baby triceratops out there has been through enough trauma for the year.'
'And what exactly will be my responsibilities?' asked Chandler.
'Oh, just see to their needs. Ask them if they want refreshments or something. We have a top team doing the photography, and they'll photograph the dwarves with my aghast look on my face all over the office. Beast vs angel, with the Amazon dwarves rescuing me kind of thing. Dinosaur Wrestling Quarterly has a subsection at the back for dwarf dinosaur wrestling, and they like to get edgy from time to time. Come on Chandie. It'll be sweet. You might meet a nice lady.'
'Who is naked, frolicking around in oil, wrestling a frikking lizard. Not sure if that's the kid of gal I'm after. Know what I mean?' replied Chandler.
'Just say you'll serve them refreshments and keep them entertained,' said Gabriel.
'Fine, fine. But I want a bonus this year. And a good one,' said Chandler.
'You got it buddy. I'll let them know the project is a goer. Glad to have you on board,' said Gabriel.
'I know I'll live to regret this, but what's life if you can't live a little, huh?'
'Exactly,' finished Gabriel. 'Don't worry about it. I mean, what can go wrong?'
'What indeed,' replied the uncertain secretary of the Archangel Gabriel. What indeed.
* * * * *
'My name is Regina,' said a dwarf. She smiled and Chandler did his best to ignore the missing set of upper and lower teeth. He'd coped with the tattoos and the multiple piercings, so the teeth were no surprise. 'You lose em. Wrestling,' said Regina.
'Huh?' replied Chandler.
'The teeth. You lose them wrestling. I've had my face headplanted into the canvas more times than I can count,' said Regina.
'Oh. Must hurt,' said Chandler.
'Pays good. And I've been on seven covers of dinosaur wrestling quarterly so far. Got them all up on my wall in frames. They look amazing.'
'I'm sure they do,' said Chandler. 'If you'll excuse me.' Chandler continued serving the rest of the female 7 dwarves of dinosaur wrestling, but the break soon ended, and they got started again. The alligator was lifted up onto Gabriel's deak by a big burly fella with a bald head and a moustache – the kind you expect as a strongman in a circus – and the photography continued. The dwarves had started in clothing, but proceeded to bikinis and were now naked. Chandler watched as Gabriel had a headshot were he was looking stunned with a ladies crotch directly in front of his face. It was all crude, rude and camp, but some fun. And when the day ended Chandler commented to Gabriel 'My bucket list is complete. I've now seen it all.'
'Very funny,' was Gabriel's reply, as Dinosaur wrestling quarterly wrapped up its shoot, and Chandler was given a calling card by Regina, who put her hands to her head like a telephone and said 'Call me.' Chandler never did seem to remember were he lost that particular card.
'Heart Jubilee wants to chat, Shara,' said her secretary, Madame X. Heart Jubilee was the largest clothing rental store in the Realm of Eternity. Sharakondra provided models for catalogues and in store shows for the company – in fact, it was her current biggest client.
'Put her through,' replied Sharakondra on the intercom.
Buttons were clicked and a voice spoke. 'Sharakondra. Babe. How's it hanging?'
'Ganymede Genidweller. You never cease to surprise me. The cockles are hanging very well. Semyaza assures me of that,' replied Sharakondra.
'Aye, he has the finest cockles of all the Cherubim, from what I hear. Wouldn't mind getting my hand on them, but he's traditionally hetero from all I hear,' said Ganymede.
'Why he doesn't go beyond disc 29 terribly much,' said Sharakondra. 'Doesn't like the gay scene at all. He's a bloke, and a fag's a fag. Know what I mean,' said Sharakondra.
'Pity. One would have hoped the inner disc would be more accepting of our lifestyle. But no matter. Anyway, how's the search going. Different, babe. Sales are good at Heart Jubilee, but we want to grow a little and attract some new clientele. We're looking for different. Good, but different. Oddballs, quite frankly. We've advertised to all regular world people to death, but there are citizens which fit in the little nooks and crannies of society, in their own little niche world, which you avoid in the line at Burger King, but which usually have just as much cash as the rest of us. So keep the models looking interesting, and send us over a portfolio through email soon enough. Remember different. Oddballs.'
'I won't disappoint Ganymede. And how is life in the 1000th disc of the Realm?' asked Sharakondra.
'As it should be. Nice and liberal enough for me. But these days. Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Some of em out there have standards, now. Not always so accepting of diversity anymore. Fundamentalism has reared its ugly head and won over a good chunk of the populace. And my bedroom buddies list has dwindled. Very strange, but so many are, frankly, dead now. Still some old faces, but they don't party as much as they used to. More settled now. Not that that's a bad thing,' said Ganymede.
'Not that that's a bad thing,' echoed Sharakondra.
'Still, to each their own. Send over that list by the end of the month if you can. Want to see what we have on our plate.'
'Will do Ganymede,' replied Sharakondra.
'Seeya sweetie,' and Ganymede hung up.
Sharakondra put down the phone, and brought up a file on her PC with the model pictures she'd put together so far for Heart Jubilee. They were indeed alternative lifestyle sort of people. But all sorts of alternative lifestyles, which filled the cracks of society in weird and wonderful ways. Still, that is what Heart Jubilee wanted at this particular point, and they paid well, so that was her job. She looked over the list, made some mental notes, and closed the file, getting on with the rest of her day in her office in Danielphon tower in Danielphon District in Zaphora in the heart of the realm of eternity.
Angels of Hope 18
'Life works as it does on earth. From your earthly life,' said the Gypsy. 'Not to start with. Not quite yet. As everyone wants to do everything first before they settle down to routine. But when you have completed your pride, you usually settle into the routine established at the Template Foundation phase.'
'Template foundation phase?' Mikey queried the gypsy.
'A basic concept of New Thought,' replied the gypsy. 'Life on earth is what defined your core template for eternity. The routine of your life over the specified calendar timeframe for what centuries you endured is what establishes the foundational template of your soul. The early years in eternity establish the new layers of the templates, and they increase until all your pride is complete, and you know who you are and what you want from life. You have a significant enough life line, and there is much your palm teaches me that you needed and perhaps still do, to satisfy your life mission and your soul urge.'
'Fruitcake,' mocked Mikey.
'Still, this is your 5th visit this year, so you must desire to know my lore,' replied the gypsy. 'I teach it in truth. It has been studied, and while it might be esoteric, it is grounded in the standard scientific approach of observation. We have studied these things – we know their truth,' said the gypsy.
'Then were am I in life?' asked Mikey.
The gypsy took his hand. 'At this stage you should be logically questioning your love life, and I sense from your aura the desires are not yet complete. It hasn't reached its perfection yet. Many still have not who are as old asyou are. You still seek someone to understand and accept you as you are. Someone who loves Mikey, and not just a man who is convenient to love because he has a job and security.'
Mikey looked at the gypsy. It was like she'd read his inner heart's views. Freaky.
'What should I do?' he asked her.
'Seek the woman in life who will accept you for who you are. Someone who inspires you and gives you hope, and loves you just for you. It is the main thing your soul urge is yet trying to compete. You love adventure, and changing occupation will never be an issue to you. But you need completeness on your love.'
'Right,' said Mikey. 'I'll think that over. The gypsy smiled, and she had him lie down to give the complimentary massage he now received from her, as she put on the new age music, and placed crystals beside him. Complete bullshit to him, but it soothed him in a strange way, as he thought on his love life and whether he really was looking for what the gypsy said he was. The music played, and he relaxed, and they gypsy spoke soft words of ASMR ministry, and he was in his own little heaven, enjoying the special treatment, his mind off his struggles, and getting on with his soul journey. Strange, but perhaps true, he was happy enough.
Meludiel sat in the choir room of Zaphon, her husband, Jacob Fink the Cherubim, at the corner of the room, playing around with a bass guitar. She was looking at her old music pieces, and thinking through them. Melladon again, soon, and she was starting to get used to routine. In fact she was starting to get used to the in vogue 'Life Template' ideas, which Gloryel had emailed the Seraphim about, from conversations with her friend Mikey Robinson of Joniquay. Gloryel had written up a 12 page document on practical truths of the life template, illustrating the ideas that life at foundation had worked out mostly, and that it established a 'hard' routine, as life on earth had been very challenging for most. But that hardness dealt strength, and more than that, security in knowing the next step of things, and Meludiel had thought over her early life in the realm of eternity and her human life and written up on a PC her basic 'Life Timetable'. And with a two century basic plan of what to do each day and week and month, year, cycle, decade and century, Meludiel, who admitted that most of her pride had indeed been spent, and she didn't really need to do her own thing anymore, but was happy enough with a holy and lawful life, following patterns and routines God approved of, had started off on the trek of sticking with her life timetable and, whatever else might possibly come along, let that be the thing or style of the season, but, after any new humdrum, to return to the life timetable and, as they say that life went on, get back to the getting on of things in life, run with the routine, and she would always know what the future held, not fearing it, but working through it steadily with every idea of what she was about and what she was doing. She'd catalogued her entire CD, Book, Magazine, DVD and Video Game library, and everything, in a standard routine, was to be worked through and watched or read or played, at the same time as her timetable dicatated, and in the next phase, other things completed, until she'd been through sufficient phases to complete the review of all the works and enjoy them for their own offerings of what the gave you in life – mainly entertainment and education. And her work was organized, perhaps the main thing, from her work in the choir room and her concerts, to other speaking arrangements and things, as well as her spiritual activities, family and other fellowship gatherings, and so on. It was all organized, and she was learning and memorizing the multi-phase timetable and, as said, if something came along of a unique nature, she would run with it, but when complete slip right back into her routine, always guided by that, and always knowing what she was doing and was about. So the new thought wisdom of the gypsy had some valid enough applications, and as Jacob played around on the bass, she was in a good mood, looking at her music, and enjoying her stability and security in life.
Azrael and Cosadriel V
The junkyard was full. Cosadriel was sitting on a rug, around a large pile of junk, with his 3 bottles of juice, enduring. Four years of this shit. Unbelievable. He looked at his watch. 10 to 3. He sipped on his water, dared a cracker, and waited. Time passed, and he looked at the junkpile for the millionth time, and then looked at his watch. Slowly the second hand clicked on and then it wad 3. He rose, stretched, and walked to the front of the junkyard. Tim Matheson, the Junk Lord, was at the front, sitting on his chair with his old wooden school desk, watching his black and white TV.
'You'll be back by 6 of course. Remember, strictly closed at 6. It will take you an hour to town and an hour back, so you have an hour. Don't be ruddy late,' said Tim.
Cosadriel nodded, and began the trek. He passed along the quiet road, past the sparse industrial section, and up the long road into town. The hour passed, and at 3:57 he made it to the park. He sat there, thinking over things. He took out his wallet, and checked his finances. Allowance day was in three days, and he had 73 credits left. Better make it count. He went to the supermarket, bought another bottle of pure water, and 25 apricot bars. Then he made it over to the cafe, ordered a Yummy burger, bought an apple cider, and ate. Soon the hour was up, and at 5:03 he started the trek back. At 5:37 he was about 20 metres behind were he should be in his reckoning, so looked at his watch carefully, and increased his pace for 5 minutes exactly. At 5:58 he made it to the gate of the junkyard, and Tim looked up.
'You are on time. As usual.'
Cosadriel nodded, and came inside, hanging around the desk. 6 clicked over, and Tim got up and closed and locked the gates. Then he went off to his abode in the back of the junk yard, and Cosadriel returned to his rug. He sat there, and looked at the sky. When 6:30 turned over, he picked up his rug, and made it a few metres away, climbing into the old wrecked van, but with doors which still closed. He got into his sleeping blanket, and turned on his kerosene lamp, and started reading 'Moby Dick' for the 14th time. He was on page 56 today, and continued on with his reading. Soon enough he closed his book, settled down, and put the radio on to the classical music channel, and rested. He fell asleep after a while.
In the morning he woke, and fuzzed at his eyes. He got out of the van, and pissed near a junkpile where he pissed a lot. He could shit in the toilet which Tim provided, but he didn't want him going in all the time, so should just piss in the junkyard without being seen. He went over and put his rug down, sat down, got out an apricot bar, and munched it down.
And he sat there, waiting for time to pass by.
Around mid-day Azrael showed up.
'One hour, remember,' said Azrael.
They chatted about this and that, and when the hour was up Azrael took out the notebook and checked off a sqaure in a grid.
'3 months to go, dude,' said Azrael.
Cosadriel nodded. Azrael left, and Cosadriel sat on the rug, and did his time.
The three months passed, and Cosadriel looked up at the cold winter sky, and stretched his leg as Azrael drove in. Cosadriel got his stuff, and wandered over to Tim. They chatted for a bit, and Cosadriel said he'd see him around, and the double dose would come, probably, in a few million years. And then he got in the van with Azrael, they drove, up the highway for an hour, got to the spaceport, and soon enough the flight arrived. And a few days later he was back home, in the Realm of Eternity, getting on with his life. Azrael showed up a few weeks later.
'Your discipline factor now then, dude?' asked Azrael.
'A lot better than what it was,' replied Cosadriel. 'That took some patience to manage. I wanted to quit many times, and it was just a matter of getting to a phone and ringing for a cab, but I didn't. I took it. It was cold, but I took it.'
'Then the virtue has increased, and you are a more polished angel of God, fit for stricter duties,' said Azrael.
'Pretty much,' agreed Cosadriel. Steel had come in, in a greater degree. He was stronger the challenge of the trial. He was a more disciplined angel of God.
Jesus was at St Raphael's in Mexico City on Santros 89. Father Miguel was beside him, in the pews, the pastor of the flock of St Raphael's.
'It's a challenging life,' said Father Miguel. 'We are not a big parish, in a city which has a lot of other religions in it, and Catholicism is not respected like it used to be. People are discovering you are not really the Messiah in the end, and moving on to their own thinking or Torah faith. Half my congregation over the many years have stopped becoming because God is not a Trinity or you are not the Messiah and other issues. Some buy a Jewish Bible and follow a basic Torah code they devise for themselves, and other join the Noahide congregations. They do not always adhere when they know the truth. But there is a core, which is still in flux, which remains regardless. It is not what it was, and times are challenging, but the core remains.'
Jesus nodded. He'd heard this time and time again in recent millennia. Church people were moving on to faith in God alone – Jesus of Nazareth was not so crucial to their lives anymore.
'They say they served till their life commitments and honour was complete but that in the end, as you were not what you claimed, their commitments were not as valid as they believed. And so they move on Lord. They move on,' said the priest.
'It will always be this way from now on,' replied Jesus. 'The Church are called out of the world to my own glory. But I am just a preacher teacher of Israel in the end. I know this now – nothing more. I can claim the teaching of the Gospel as my own knowledge and my own life, as it were in modern terminology, the copyright of the knowledge, and this knowledge, this Logos, can garner a community from God which he does allow me. But it is only something small in relation to that of the citizenship of mankind ultimately, and I can not guarantee any soul will stay forever in the church. The gospel, though, is for some of the faithful. In the end some souls will resonate with the teaching of the church, and remain regardless. And for these, father Miguel, I ask you to keep the faith, and minister, and stay true to my commission I entrusted to the apostles. We have a message of love at the heart of the gospel, and we have a decent and good faith and religion. There will be adherents in the end. And for these we keep the faith. One day, in the dim and distant futue, when our numbers have settled, I will not have churches everywhere. I will not keep the flocks separate from each other. We will carefully and sensitively choose stronghold villages, towns and cities, and have communities which are together and united and in strength. This will cease most of the hostilities I anticipate, and we will endure and go on. And life, as you know, goes on. Father in heaven brings new children every day into the world, and for our little ecclesia, in the tiny percentage of the world he gives us in the end, does grow with new life also. So we will grow, and indeed, with strength in places carefully chosen, acceptable to God, we will be strong and remain. The faith will go on Father Miguel. So keep that faith for it will all work out in the end.'
'I shall go on with you Jesus,' said the priest. Jesus touched his shoulder, and the priest was comforted. Things would be ok in the end.
Daniel the Seraphim was in 'Daly Foundation' HQ.
'So, Basil. Are profits steady?' asked Daniel.
'Standard. Very little fluctuation at the moment. No new business endeavours have been launched for quite a while now, boss. Franchising in new discs and planetary bodies proceeds apace with their standard growth, but profit percentages remain approximately the same. Your own particual offspring are still growing at about a standard rate, and the percentage of income they take is the same as always, as is the rest of the profits to other holders in the partnership.'
'Very good,' replied Daniel.
'Are there – any new endeavours planned?' asked Basil Hawke.
'New endeavours are launched infrequently at this point in our plans. We still have many things in the planning stage, and a number of registered trademarks yet to unearth on the world, but these are being studied out for the necessary principle of eternal endurance and stability. The competition is quite understood by ourselves these days, and we are studying apace with knowledge, which has pinnacled. Of this we are quite sure. The time will come for an occasional new project but for now stability and business as usual.'
'Very good,' replied Basil Hawke.
Daniel went over the figures with Basil for a while, before retiring to the Daly office, and siting down on the couch next to the snoozing Melanie C. She woke after a while and looked at him.
'Found out what you needed to?' she asked him.
'Business is good,' he said. 'Things are proceeding as we expect.'
'You humble about that?' she asked.
'I hope so,' he replied. 'Walked with the Lord long enough that pride coming before the fall is a law to me, not just a proverb.'
'Very good,' replied Melanie. 'Wake me in the morning.' Melanie settled her head back down on the couch, and Daniel went off and found a blanket, which he placed over her, before having a nightcap, and settling down in the bedroom upstairs. In the morning he and Melanie toured around the local area a bit, before heading off to the airport, and returning to Danielphon, another objective accomplished.
'Strategy has a lot to offer in life,' said Jontel.
'Agreed,' replied Raguel. 'What does it offer?'
'Clever ways of negotiating obstacles in life, and fascinating ways of making life decisions. You can think through how to sucessfully navigate each day, in a planned out routine, and with a good strategy of life, to offer humor, love and other mysteries, you can bring happiness to the community. An angel of God is instructed by God to bring happiness to the community. Each of us do that in our own way. Each offers something unique for the world. My speciality is a day of strategic planning to bring amusement and a sense of wonder to my fellow citizens of the realm.'
'Agreed,' replied Raguel. 'And I think you do that well enough Jontel.'
'Timetabling with Meludiel has been fun,' said Jontel. 'She comes with me into the library in Zaphon quite a bit, and we play monopoly every weekend in the mornings, and we chat about timetable issues, and she has suggestions for me in what I can do with the month's timetable I plan out. I've been keeping my timetables. Collecting them, and when I have a plethora of them I'll sit down Melladon morning and make a choice for the new month's timetable. And I'll plan out my strategies, old and new, and wander through the month and see what life brings. I like both a predictable response from life and an unpredicabtle – either way I learn, and either way I definitely enjoy myself. And as these changing times come upon us, when the secret to our life is being found beyond the days of pride, and routine is king for the moment, I have it worked out to a reasonably well degree.'
'Wish I could say the same,' replied Raguel. 'Life has lost a bit of its zest. It goes on, and I sigh, but such is life.'
'Then accompany me with Meludiel, and we'll have a threepiece in Monopoly.'
'I shall,' replied Raguel. 'It could do me wonders.'
'Very good,' replied Jontel. 'I'll let Meludiel know.'
Jontel spent the rest of the day, as planned, in the garden of Zaphon, and sat there, smoking his cigarette for the day in the late afternoon, before opening up his current novel, Where the Heart Is by Billy Letts, and enjoying another chapter. The day passed, and he ate in the cafeteria, before heading back to Senersphon Hotel were he was staying at the moment, with some of his ministry work, meeting the guests and keeping them company and looking to their happiness. Soon enough, though, at the end of his current five year stint,' he'd get back to his disc, resume his overseersmanship which he was working with this millennia, and get on with life. And life went on.
Claudia looked at the used condom. It was Daniel's seed. She was pretty sure of that. She felt her head. Ooh, fuck it hear. Hungover as hell. She shoved him, and he woke.
'Uh, what,' he said.
'Brainiac. Did we do anything last night? I just can't remember.'
'Uh, God. I need to piss,' said Daniel, and got up and went to the ski lodge toilet. A few minutes later the shower came on, and Claudia sat there, looking at the used condom, and listening to Daniel sing, albeit badly, in the shower. Soon he was finished, and came out, a towel around his waist.
'Hey babe,' he said.
'Did we use this abomination last night?' she asked, holding up the used condom.
Daniel looked at it. 'You want to order in room service?' he asked her.
'You didn't answer my question,' she replied.
'We'll order room service,' he said. 'Take your mind off things.'
She sat there, frustrated. He wasn't coughing up. 'Fine. Order room service then.'
Daniel ordered them scrambled eggs with toast and orange juice and coffee, and they sat there, watching the morning TV. The breakfast soon arrived, and Daniel gave the lady a tip, and she smiled and left them with the trolley.
'What if we did?' asked Daniel.
'Then I've committed adultery,' sighed Claudia.
'Oh,' said Daniel. 'I suppose technicaly we did then.'
She looked at him, and felt down at her crotch. 'We did, didn't we?'
'Yeh, we had a good time. I was pretty loaded, and you were liking it, and we did the wild turkey. Gosh, it was a rush. You were nice and tight – shit, sorry. Shouldn't say that.'
'Crude, Daniel,' she replied. 'What the hell am I going to say to the major.'
'It's not like we planned it,' replied Daniel. 'This was an innocent enough vacation, ok. It just sort of got – less – innocent. Sorry babe.'
'Sorry babe? I could be knocked up and all you can say is sorry babe? Jesus.'
'Sorry babe. Let's chill and order some toblerone.'
'You know where you can shove your toblerone,' she replied.
'I definitely know where I shoved some last night,' he grinned.
Claudia looked at him, and put her hand, for the second time that morning, down to her crotch. She brought it up and smelled it.
'Chocolate,' she said. 'My crotch smells like frikking chocolate.'
'It was fun eating you out, believe me,' replied Daniel.
'You are unbelieveable,' said Claudia.
'Lighten up. Anyway, you are on the pill, right?'
'No!' she exclaimed.
'Oh. Well don't worry. I'm sure you won't get pregnant. We used a condom.'
She picked it up. 'Look at this,' she said. 'See this hole in the end. Sometimes that happens. If its on too tight then the seed needs to go out somewhere.'
'Oh,' said Daniel. 'I see. Shit. I thought we'd be fine.'
'Brother,' sighed Claudia. 'Well, it will be ok. I'm sure it will be.'
'Yeh. She'll be sweet,' replied Daniel.
A few weeks later, they were back in Paradision, and Claudia had been vomiting. She bought a pregnancy test kit, and it was confirmed. She was pregnant. The problem was she hadn't had sex with the Major in recent times. There was only one person she'd had sex with.
Shit, she thought to herself. What the hell would she do now? Of course, the child might end up a stillborn. The child she'd conceived with the Major had ended that way. It had saddened them both, but they agreed to try again. But now? A child with Daniel? She was an adulteress. What the hell could she do. She would have to think. Abortion was out of the question, totally against her beliefs, which meant she would have to divorce the Major and marry Daniel. There was no other choice. But would the Major agree and would Daniel even consider it? These ideas filled her head, as she got back into her routine, dreading what she could possibly say to the man she had married and committed her heart to.
The Final Day of Glory 2
'It's the end,' said Michael.
'Here we go again,' said Elenniel.
'I'm going to fuck you like a beast, and blow my head off with a bazooka,' said Michael.
'You're being dramatic,' said Elenniel.
'I'm going to go naked around Zionistya and masturbate in front of all mankind,' said Michael.
'I'm sure it will be a rush,' replied Elenniel.
'Babe,' said Michael. He sipped on his coffee. 'In Sheol I learned some of my final repentance. The malaise finally disappeared, as I just let it go and faced up to the eternal trial of life. But I didn't really mind in the end. Deep down I felt God probably liked me enough that he'd keep me round. There was some goodness and lawfulness I'd committed to and meant deep down which got me through. The malaise – I can handle that now. I don't need it anymore. I'm pretty happy with life and its opportunities now. Like going to a cafe with my best girl, and just watching sheep in the pasture. That gives me a thrill, you know. I know many of them are destined for slaughter, and the theophany tells me that they go to another spiritual realm were they have their final rest from slaughter and being used for food. And so that makes me happy, and I watch them, and realize they have their own lives. And they are natural, and just going with the flow, and I think that is probably what I need to be, but I'm made in the image of God, so make choices, as we all do, to intervene upon things. And those choices sometimes cost suffering to get our own way.'
Elenniel looked at Michael, and put down her drink. 'That costs suffering does it? To get our own way?'
'The community as a large will serve your wishes for a bit, but it costs you suffering. You have to be humbled to enjoy your privileges. It costs you. Prayer costs suffering. The way it goes.'
'Right,' thought Elenniel out loud. 'Interesting. I'll have to seek God in prayer on that issue. Very interesting information.'
'Today is the final day of glory for me,' said Michael. 'The final day of glory of the old life. I'm putting the old Michael to rest officially, reborn with a good attitutde and an eternal attitude. Life is good. I know that. Life is good, and I'm happy to live it. And I love you Elenniel, and always want you, babe, in my life.'
'I'll always be happy to be in it,' replied Elenniel.
'Then all is good,' said Michael.
'All is good,' replied Elenniel.
And they sat there, sipping coffee, the day turning in Zionistya, an Archangel of God having resolved some of his long term issues. And a better world it would be because of it.
'I've matched your 'Star Boy and the Future People' collection,' said Michael to Daniel the Seraphim. 'I have the complete 17 issues maxi series of 'Star Girl and the Future Kids'. Extremely limited to 17,000 copies of each issue, and signed by the original writer and penciller.'
'Really. You do?' queried Daniel.
'Pretty much. Number 459 on the list. It's extremely expensive Daniel san. So kiss my Jewish butt,' said Michael.
Daniel fished out his tablet, and clicked on to his private website. 'Right,' he began. 'I have runs 14, 27, 358, 1012 and 13,441 of that saga. The complete 17 issue run of each. Yep. Think I even gave it a cursory glance as well. Should be good reading one millennia.'
Michael looked at Daniel, his competition. 'You sir. You are an asshole,' said Michael resolutely.
'If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen kemosabe,' replied Michael.
'Oh, I can frikking handle the heat, buster. I can frikking handle the heat alright,' said a perturbed Michael the Seraphim.
'The Lord of the Amateurs has shown up. Second rate collecting has reached its zenith. Beware the wrath of checklist boy who always has just those few missing numbers from his collection. Oh, such a shame. Oh, woe is me,' said Daniel.
'Checklist boy?' queried Michael. 'I am superlative in completing collections. Never miss an issue.'
'How many collections, then?' queried Daniel.
'Not all of them. By any means. Wandered through eternity getting this and that, not worrying too much about it. But I complete it if I go for it. Whatever it costs.'
'Ok, checklist boy. I'll make some amendments on my insults towards you. But remember – the biggest dick rules in the end. He who has superlative collection number one gets the bragging rights for eternity.'
'Is that right is it?' asked Michael.
'There are rules of decorum for the bragging. Anything excessively violent or aggravating is not sportsmanlike, and you are not allowed to embarrass people. Just mockery. Understood amateur.'
'Do people sell stuff much?' queried Michael.
'You can find stuff here and there. And the book of life is not yet settled. There are still occasionaly drop outs. People who still haven't worked it out, fall into depression, and end the game. This releases a lot of material after a while, if they don't his resurrection lists. Some times family's sell of stuff from their lost ones. Like letting it go and things. Releases the item. If you can handle the depression or darkness which is sometimes with such an item, and work through its negativity, it can find a permanent home with you. It's not fun. You have to endure mental anguish a lot, but once you pull through, well, you have your glory.'
'Really?' queried Michael. 'It works like that does it?'
'Yes buddy. It works just like that.'
'Oh,' said Michael. 'I'll have to think about that.'
'Good luck at Zaph-Con next year. You'll need it,' said Daniel. And he left Michael, smarting over his boast, but thinking about what Daniel had said. Interesting information. Very interesting information.
The Fabulous Misadventures of the Famous 17 Kaleidoscope Collectors V
Porcentula Gemini was the 5th on the list of famous Kaleidoscope collectors. She was avid. She was fascinated by them. It was her life.
'Husband, bring me X49, please,' said Porcentula. Roderick Gemini, knowing the drill, opened the pull down ladder to the attic, escalated himself upwards, and went to bookcase X. He picked up number 49 and climbed down the ladder, descended the stairs, and came promptly to his dearest.
'X49 Porcentula. As you requested,' said Roderick.
'And tea, Roderick. We have a guest coming at 11 sharp,' said Porcentula.
'Yes dear,' replied Roderick, and proceeded to the kitchen to begin the making of the tea. When he had chosen rich tea biscuits, he placed them on the floral serving tray, and entered the lounge room, were Jacinth Brisby was seated, Porcentula's best friend.
'Your tea, dears,' said Roderick.
'Hurry up,' said Porcentula.
Roderick served them, and took his tea, sitting down on the couch.
'Now,' continued Porcentula. 'Bishop Aldridge is all a fuss about this recent hoo hah of strongholds. Christendom was not built on strongholds. It was built on brave souls who took the faith to the masses.'
'Times are changing, Porcentula,' responded Jacinth. 'The Church no longer has the strength it once had. People have finally let go of Jesus. He's not Christ nor God and it seems pointless to push a tradition which, in the end, was founded on that being so.'
'Nonsense,' replied Porcentula, then sat there. After a while she spoke again. 'No, he's not really Messiah, is he. I've looked at that issue over the long years, and I've aruged in his favour many a time, but not really. Not in the end. He didn't really do anything any sort of biblical messiah was supposed to. That Zerubbabel fellow, if anyone was to be taken seriously on the issue, fulfils the prophecies of messiah well enough. The Lord Jesus just really preached a gospel in the end.'
'Do you like the gospel?' asked Roderick. 'God only allows those who genuinely like the Gospel to call themselves followers of Jesus of Nazareth these days. He's laying down the law it seems now.'
'Oh, I like the gospel,' replied Porcentula. 'It's a traditional part of English life. I've always read it and found value in it. I suppose, in the end, whether he is messiah or not, he is probably dear Lord Jesus to me. I don't think I object being in his church regardless.'
'What I figured,' said Roderick.
'I've decided to stay Anglican as well,' said Jacinth. 'I'm fond of Jesus. His message resounds with me. Can't change my tradition in the end. Even if core foundation stones of faith were not right, there are still many other tent pegs which work well enough.'
'That they do,' agreed Porcentula. 'Anyway, enough religion. My hobby. Here is X49. Oh, it has an official name. Can't actually remember. Bought it about 3 centuries ago, and I've always wanted you to see it. Isn't the artwork fine and dandy.'
Porcentula passed the kaleidoscope to Jacinth, who looked through it, and spent a few minutes examining the artwork.
'It's one of your finer pieces,' she said to Porcentula.
'I do believe so,' replied Porcentula.
And so they chatted, kaleidoscopes and religion, and the day passed in old England on the planet of 'London', a famous kaleidoscope collector enjoying the sharing of her hobby.
Kenishar was at Zaph-Con. The main comic industry related conference for Zaphora. He was busy looking at Barbie comics.
'Hey, you know,' said Kokabiel. 'While Barbie comics are pretty cool, you might want to try '7 Million Dollar Man' comics. I think they might be just that bit more your scene.'
Kenishar looked at the comics Kokabiel was holding up. 'I like Barbie's positive attitude on life,' replied Kenishar.
'The 7 million dollar man is pretty positive,' replied Kokabiel.
'Never read his comics,' said Kenishar. 'But I'll buy that set for 4 million credits. Not too much. It's old enough.'
'You got the cashola?' asked Kokabiel.
'It's not a problem,' replied Kenishar, giving the dealer his card. The dealer swiped it.
'Declined, sorry,' he said to Kenishar.
'Look's like Ken Doll is broke,' said Kokabiel.
'Here, try this card,' said Kenishar. The dealer swiped the second card. 'It's fine,' said the dealer. 'It's gone through.'
Kenishar looked at his first card, scratching his head. 'Oh, that's right. Family payment last week. Must be low on credit. I'll look into it.'
'The 7 million dollar man is ultra cool,' said Kokabiel. 'I've got a heap of his comics. Collecting them a long time.'
'Barbie usually does it for me mon,' replied Kenishar. 'I have the adults only comic from her as well. Explicit stuff indeed.'
'Adults only?' queried Kokabiel.
'It's R rated, dude,' replied Kenishar. 'Explicit, but not too explicit. And there is no swearing in it. She's still Barbie, and sort of innocent, just her mature adventures with Ken and her friends. They don't pretend she doesn't have sex in them. A normal tween girl doing her thing. The comic has awards for its mature theme stories. Barbie deals with a lot of stuff in them.'
'Fascinating,' replied Kokabiel. 'I'll have to look into it.'
'You do that,' replied Kenishar. 'Anyway, I'm also looking for Daniello comics. The 7th Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle solo stuff. He's hot property at the moment with the cartoon series doing well.'
'Let's go hunting,' said Kokabiel, and they wandered around Zaph-Con the rest of the afternoon, quizzing dealers whether they had any rare Barbie and Daniello comics, and Kenishar and Kokabiel were in the best of moods the remainder of the day.
Old Enemies II
'Why you wanna bring Kay down?' Callodyn asked Satan in Satan's office in 666 Paramount tower. Samaen and Saruvien stood there, glaring at the intruder.
'The bitch had it coming to her,' said Satan. 'Nobody messes with the devil.'
'You certainly should be free from persecution,' said Callodyn. 'I'll talk with Kayella. Ask her to apologize for her attitude towards you.'
'You do that,' said Satan, lighting a ciggie. 'And tell her she's a bitch. Right from me.'
'I won't tell her that. And you should reprimand your attitude towards her in this respect. I'll see she gives you proper respect as an angel of Infinity. Her attitude will cease. She will leave you be so that you can enjoy your life without any strife from Kayella the Callophim.'
'Cool banans,' replied Satan.
'Good day Sir,' said Callodyn, and turned and walked out.
Samaen looked at Satan when Callodyn had left. 'Is that it? Is that all you are going to say? Fuck man, he was there for the plucking.'
'He's gonna deal with the bitch. If she leaves us be, what's the problem then? In the end we just want to do our shit in peace. Left alone by the holy rollers.'
'That's still the case. They leave us be, we leave them be,' said Saruvien.
'Exactly,' replied the devil. 'So if Kayella acts all saintly like and gives the devil his dues, we can have peace. Not necessarily against that shit, long as I can party the way I like with my own.'
'Fine,' said Samaen. 'But we had him for the taking.'
'Let it drop,' said Satan. 'Callodyn doesn't give a shit about grudges and stuff. Happy to leave people alone. We don't really need problems with that kind of person in society.'
So Callodyn left the devil's abode, and spoke at length over the next month with Kayella, who, after a series of reprimands, agreed to mind her own business on the comings and goings of the dark lord. Live and let live? Fine, she agreed. If you say so Callodyn. And that was that.
The Ex-Serviceman's Club 2
The Major sat in the corner of the Ex-Serviceman's club, drowning his sorrows. Callodyn sat opposite him.
'Look, Major. She's going to have the baby. Abortion is not even legal on Televere, or most places actually. There are a few planetary bodies where she could have it done, but she wouldn't anyway. Just too much against her. She's been spouting all month that she has to divorce you and marry me. It's the only honorable thing to do.'
'I love her,' said the Major, looking up through bleary eyes.
'I'll have to marry her,' said Callodyn. 'It's a shit situation, but I won't have her blame me forever. It's just that it comes down to you. What, would you raise the kid in your household? I don't mind. If he or she knows I'm their father it's all I really ask. But you can raise it as your own, and have more children with her.'
'The bitch should be stoned,' said the Major. 'Oh, fuck. I don't mean that. It's a kick in the guts.'
'I was pissed, you know. Not myself. I feel like the biggest jerk in the universe, and I know I am, sir. But you don't even care.'
'Men fuck women when they are drunk and when they are not, and make stupid decisions regardless. I've been around a while. I know you and her go way back, so I couldn't find it in my heart to really complain. She's loved you a long time.'
'You'll divorce her?' asked Callodyn.
'I've already signed the papers,' replied the Major. 'I'm moving. Selling up and going to live on London 668. Family there. It was great knowing you.'
The Major left town a few weeks later, leaving the address to Claudia, and their divorce was finalised. Then she moved in with Callodyn and looked at him expectantly. 'You'l propose this week?' she asked him.
'Sure I will,' he replied.
A few weeks later. 'You'll propose this week?' she asked again.
'You bet,' he said.
A week before she gave birth. 'I don't want a bastard child, Callodyn?'
Callodyn sighed. Daniel the Seraphim showed up on the planned date he'd arranged when the major agreed to divorce her, and they wed under him as the priest in charge of the service. Very quiet, just the three of them, with Ruth and Boaz as witnesses.
'What was always meant to be,' said Ruth to Boaz.
Boaz didn't find it in his heart to disagree.
Good Fellas 2
Rodrigo Delaquenta examined the document. 'We'll have to order an extra jumping castle,' he said to Nancy. 'There are 27 of them this time.'
'That's not policy,' said Nancy. '15 kids at most at any Good Fellas organised party.'
'It's an exception. It's in the policy documents for areas of low population density. They are coming from all over the sticks to get there. We have to allow that many I'm afraid.'
'Ok,' said Nancy. 'I'll see to it. Who is sponsoring this outing?'
'Azrael and Cosadriel again. With Saruviel. The traditional trio of main supporters. Nothing new.'
'Right,' said Nancy. 'Well, it should be a good turn out. I'm sure they'll have fun.'
'Saruviel has invited us along. All three of us. Said it was time for us to go out into the field.'
'Gosh. Travelling to the rim. And I don't fly that well,' replied Nancy.
'There's a first time for everything,' replied Rodrigo. 'Even if it's not your first time. How many times have you flown?'
'Less than a hundred. I get nervous in the skies. Oh, I know, they never crash these days. But it still turns my gut being up there. Only fools and angels were meant to fly. Nothing more.'
'Then be a fool for the kids,' replied Rodrigo. 'And I think I'll invite Sebastiano with us.'
'Oh,' said Nancy. 'Ok.'
Rodrigo looked at her. 'And what does that mean exactly?'
'Well, I've got work to do,' said Nancy, changing the subject. She picked up her mug, just emptied of chicken noodle soup, and put it in the dishwasher. 'Busy day boss.'
'Yeh. Busy,' he replied, but let the issue drop and returned to his office. He picked up the next piece in his inbox, and got on with his day. Nancy wafted into his mind late afternoon, and the hint that she might have a thing in her mind towards Sebastiano his own, but he dismissed it. It was probably nothing. But she was single, and attractive enough, and had no deigns on being single. Who knew what mysteries lurked in the heart of Nancy Jones. Those thoughts flittered through his mind, as he finished off work for the day, turned off his PC, and left the office, waving to the receptionist who would lock up, and headed for the car and home, another busy day for Good Fella Rodrigo Delaquenta complete.
Spanner in the Works 2
Saruviel was examining some of the geologic material of the new expansion of Zaphora.
'It's just as old as the original material. I'm pretty sure of that,' he said to Kantriel.
'How can you tell?' asked Kantriel.
'Same aspects of the rock cycle,' replied Saruviel. 'The realm has a rock cycle, actually. In the Kalros ranges there is a dormant volcano, which was active for a few centuries a long time ago. You've probably forgotten. There are similar things in the other ranges, which haven't had volcanoes yet, but the potential is there. The water which goes under the realm and rises again through geysers and things also affects the rock cycle. The structure, from what I can tell, of the new land is that which has gone through the rock cycle just as long as the original material. I don't understand what he's doing. It's like it has been planned since the beginning or something.'
'A clever deity at work,' replied Kantriel.
'Obviously,' agreed Saruviel at the new spanner in the works. A clever deity indeed.
Daniel marched down the corridor. Claudetta followed. It was another adventure for Major Death.
'I am Major Death,' said Daniel.
'You are Major Death,' said the 5 year old girl.
'I visit death upon all who oppose me,' said Daniel.
'You visit death on all who oppose you,' said Claudetta.
'I have the biggest testicles in the universe,' said Daniel.
'What are testicles, daddy?' asked Claudetta.
Suddenly Claudia, the concerned mother, was in the corridor. 'I am very sure, dear Claudetta, that in the fulness of time, you may indeed find out what testicles are. But, while you are young, there are mysteries best left just as that,' said Claudia, her stern eye fixed rebukingly and firmly on her husband Daniel.
'And your mother has nice tits,' said Daniel.
Claudetta spent the next 5 minutes giggling. She knew what tits were.
As Claudia and Claudetta sat in the games room, playing snakes and ladders, Daniel watched them from out the back, sipping beer with Boaz.
'She's a little darling,' said Boaz. 'One of the most delightful personalities I've ever met. She's strict and formal, but full of so much liveliness. Bright and fierce and vibrant. A very extraordinary little girl.'
'She's the best of me,' replied Callodyn. 'The best of her mother too. Every day she's just a joy to be around. I haven't done any work at all in 5 years with her being here. Just don't want to miss a minute of her childhood. Not one minute.'
'The Lord has blessed you,' said Boaz.
'More than I could possibly have dreamed of,' replied Callodyn.
They watched as Claudia and Claudetta played Snakes and Ladders, and later that day, when Claudia informed Daniel that Claudetta had won fair and square, he just knew he had a good one. He just knew.
I Will Always Love You 2
'You know, Taylor. When I say I will Always Love You, I have to qualify that statement. For example....' began Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'Here we go,' said Taylor.
'For example. When I am on the toilet, and I have the shits, and my belly is really frikking rumbling. Then. Then I don't love you so much.'
'Understandable,' replied Taylor.
'Ok. Good. We have that covered. Now, when the Bulldogs have lost 7 in a row, and we're bottom of the ladder, and life sucks. Then I don't love you so much,' said Daniel.
'That I can forgive you for,' said Taylor.
'Ok. I can check that one off. Finally, when I'm shagging a prostitute, and committing adultery for the seventh millionth time..........' he trailed off. Her eyebrow was raised.
'Well two out of three ain't bad,' said Daniel.
The look Taylor gave him when she served up dinner that evening summed up the day. But he still loved her anyway.
4 O'Clock 21
It was 4 O'Clock. Too late for clubbing, and he was tired. God fell asleep. He woke the following morning at 11. He looked at the clock. '11, huh,' he said to himself. 'Probably too early for clubbing.' He went into the games room and into the kitchen. There was a plate of cookies with 'Don't Eat' on a label on them. God took the plate, put the label in the bin, and sat down at the table eating them with milk. Memra walked in.
'The cookies!' she screeched.
'Uh, what?' asked God.
'You're eating the freaking cookies. Can you not read? The label said Don't Eat on it. The label was attached to the cookies.'
God nodded. 'Right. Yeh, your probably right. It probably was.'
'Did you read the label?' asked Memra.
'What label?' asked God.
'The Label on the cookies,' said Memra.
'What cookies?' asked God.
'Those cookies. The ones you are eating,' said Memra.
'There's no label on these cookies,' said God.
Memra screeched again. Logos walked in.
'What's the issue?' he asked Memra.
'God is eating the cookies!' she exclaimed.
'Oh good, cookies,' said Logos, sitting down, and taking a cookie.
'The cookies are for something special,' said Memra.
'I've always thought every day was special in its own way,' said God. 'And I can't see any label on these cookies.'
'The label is probably in the bin,' said Memra. She looked in the bin. 'Yes, here is the label,' she said.
'So the cookies are in the bin,' said God.
'No, they are on the plate,' said Logos.
'The special cookies are in the bin,' said God.
'I thought the day was special,' said Logos.
Metatron walked in. He spied the cookies. 'Great. Cookies.'
'He can eat the cookies. They were made for him,' said Memra.
'Great,' said Metatron,' taking the plate of cookies. 'Special cookies for Metatron.'
God stood, and glared at Metatron, and started looking in the bin.
'What are you looking for?' asked Memra.
'The special cookies,' said God.
The look on Memra's face summed up the rest of the day.
Ruth and Boaz 3
'What is that church?' Claudia asked Ruth. They were in Paradision, near where they lived, down on the road which ran south of Paradision, not the main one which went to the coast, but one which went more directly south, a very little used road, which ran down to farming regions. At the edge of Paradision along this road was an old church.
'An Anglican one I believe,' replied Ruth. 'It's never used though. At least I've never seen it used.'
'Oh,' said Claudia. 'Let's take a look.'
'Oh, we shouldn't pry,' replied Ruth. 'We don't snoop into other religions activities.'
'Come on. Don't be a scaredy cat,' said Claudia.
Ruth sighed, and followed Claudia off the main road down the loose track to the gate of the church, and looked up at the sign.
'They have an Easter Service,' said Claudia. 'Once a year at 3 in the afternoon. The only service.'
'Oh,' said Ruth. 'That is passover for us so we are always busy. Would never have known.'
'Let's look around,' said Claudia.
'If you must,' said Ruth. They walked around the church, looking at it's old bricwork, and found a cemetery out the back.
'Gosh,' said Claudia. 'They bothered with a cemetery once.'
'Must have,' replied Ruth. 'Perhaps when things were new they thought it a good idea.'
Claudia looked at a grave. 'Richard Smith. Died from lung cancer. May he rest in peace.'
'Interesting,' said Ruth. 'Come on. Let's not disturb the dead.'
Claudia nodded, but looked at a few more graves, before following Ruth back up to the road. They trooped along, then hiked westward a bit, before getting back to their place.
'I'll see you tomorrow,' said Claudia. Ruth waved her goodbye and went inside her home.
That evening Ruth was chatting with Boaz about the Anglican church.
'A cemetery?' queried Boaz. 'Why would you bother? The dead go on a long time, potentially, and we'd run out of room.'
'Not something they took into account to start with, obviously,' replied Ruth. 'They might have still expected regular resurrection.'
'And we know it doesn't work like that,' said Boaz. 'Some come back. Many don't anymore.'
'Indeed,' said Ruth. 'Many don't.'
That night she was looking through a family album. There were children in it. More than half a dozen, who were no longer alive. Person's she'd put her heart and soul into, which had faded away, into sin. Often drug addiction. She thought on that cemetery, and the idea of perhaps now making a rememberance thing for them. Apart from photos. But she knew she wouldn't. They would fade away, in the end, from her memories. And one day she would let the photos go she had of them. One day she would let the past rest in peace. It was eternal life for many but, as hard as it was to stomach, not for all. And that reminded her each day to keep faith with God, and keep faith with his Torah, and to walk in devotion. For she loved her life, and wished it eternal, and just would not have it any other way. Not any other way.
She visited that church again on her own a few days later, and looked at the graves, and prayed a silent prayer for those souls, if they were yet in sheol, to rest in peace. And she let it be, and returned home, and got on with the rest of her life.
Service to the Most High II
'We serve God,' said Cosadriel.
'Why?' asked Azrael.
'We just do,' replied Cosadriel. 'Mainly because his moral infrastructure in his makeup is focused on decent eternity principles. The life works out if we follow his advice. Our lives have a lot of potential fun in them, but the balance just aint going to be perfect over the long haul in our decisions. God's balance will correct us and keep us on the eternity pathway.'
'Probably right,' agreed Azrael. 'Come on then.'
They went on up the steps of Zaphon Keep and entered the throne room. They sat there.
'What do you want then?' Azrael asked God.
The Theophany walked in. He looked at the pair of them. 'There's a house, in the 453rd disc of the realm, on the northern side of the city 'Kalakar'. It's the only Kalakar in the 453rd disc. The house is on Kalvar street, number 82. It's run down. A man was murdered in it. Spiritually, it's unclean. Nobody wants to deal with the spiritual uncleanness. Go off, read the book of Genesis in there out loud about a dozen times over a month, and I will consider that plenty of service for the millennia.'
Azrael looked at God. Cosadriel looked at God.
'Get to it,' said the Theophany, and left the throne room.
'Which city?' asked Azrael to Cosadriel.
'Kalarak, I think. Or Kalakar. The 453rd disc. I remember that exactly. And it was Kalvar street I think. Number 82,' replied Cosadriel.
'Let's go to the overseer's office and write down the details,' said Azrael.
Nimorel gave them a pen and a postit note, and they wrote down the address.
'We'll go this evening,' said Cosadriel. 'I need to make some calls.'
The rest of the afternoon they made phone calls, telling various people they would be away a bit, then they booked the flight, and got out to the 453rd disc. They looked up the address, and asked the neighbours about it. A realtor was renting it, but no takers. They found them the next day, and asked for a six month lease, which they paid up full in advance for. Then they bought some stuff to keep them going, and moved in. They took turns in the reading of the book, and when the work was done at the end of the month Azrael read the book of Exodus chapter one, out the front the morning they left, and they looked at the place. They'd felt a bit of depression when they were there, but it lightened up by the end of the month, and both assumed they had done something towards the redemption of the address. Then they returned home, and Azrael commented they could party it up now for a thousand years. Try as he might Cosadriel couldn't find it in his heart to disagree.
Alive Enough 2
They were down at Magic Mountain. Daniel was playing 'Ladybug' in the games parlour. Taylor was eating an ice cream. She came and sat down, watching Daniel play. She watched him, and really felt he was putting in an average effort. In fact she decided to say so.
'I'm an expert at this,' she said to Daniel. 'You look terribly average. You hardly get anywhere in the game. I can go way beyond that.'
'It's all in the way you play,' replied Daniel. 'Finishing it is not the objective.'
'Says the loser,' said Taylor. 'Play me double,'
'Fine,' said Daniel, killing off his current game. They started playing and Daniel finished the first level, then died. Taylor's game started. She spent quite a while completing the whole game on her first life.
'Kicked your arse,' said Taylor.
'Right,' replied Daniel. 'That's a challenge I suppose. Here is my second life.'
Taylor watched Daniel work through the game, till he got to the seventh level. Then he did something weird with his ladybug, and a sublevel suddenly showed up on the screen, and the game changed to a Donkey Kong variant. Taylor watched for 40 minutes as Daniel's points got unbelievably high, before returning to the regular game. Then he continued on, finishing it, still on the second life. In the end he shattered her points record which she had boasted about.
'He who laughs the last, laughs the hardesr. Har har har, amateur. Kicked your skinny butt,' he said to her.
'How the frikkin hell did you know about that screen?' she asked. 'I've never seen that ever.'
'Old hand at Ladybug,' replied Daniel. 'Besides, note the company who delivered it.'
Taylor looked. 'Xadonemmetry games,' she said. 'That's a Daly Foundation company.'
'It's my own version of Ladybug,' said Daniel. 'I always get the highest score, sweet cheeks.'
'Oh!' exclaimed Taylor. 'You cheat. You dirty rotten cheat. That is cheating. I'm telling mom.'
'Har har har,' said Daniel. He felt satisfied, and very alive, alive enough to mock his dearest, but then he grabbed her, and kissed her on the lips and said, 'I can show you some extra special moves tonight, if you are interested.'
She was. He did. Ladybug would have been proud.
Shards of a Crazy Heart
'Jonathon Kolby. You are an idiot,' said Kirstie Kolby. 'You never stick to anything. And then, after apple cider, you go off to be supercop. And then you ring me up after being Captain Columbo for centuries, and you say you are going back to Apple Cider. And I called it a joke, but here you are. Third biggest distributor of Apple Cider in all the New Terran planetary bodies. You are crazy.'
'Hey, Kirst. I was just working out what I wanted in life,' he replied, watching the cricket, with a can of KB in his hand.
'What you wanted?' she asked. 'And you've found that?'
'Well you're here,' he replied. 'So I figured I've worked most of it out.'
'We're not together, Jon boy,' she said.
'Yet you're not with anyone else, and you visit every weekend now,' he said.
She looked at him, and went into the kitchen. 'I'll start on dinner,' she yelled to him.
Jonathon continued watching the cricket as the Aussies took on Sri Lanka in a one day game, and started critiquing what he called a very average batting display effort from the Aussies. Kirstie was in the kitchen, making the dinner. When it was all in the oven and on the stove she came back out into the living room, and sat down, vaguely watching the cricket.
'Babe,' said Jonathon. 'The small box on the coffee table.'
She looked at it, and picked it up and opened it. 'Our wedding ring,' she said.
'Put it on babe,' said Jonathon.
'You're crazy,' she replied.
'Put it on, ok,' he persisted.
She put it on.
'Ok, we're back together now. Officially. You'll move in during the week,' he said.
'I will, will I?' she asked.
'Yes, you will,' he said.
'You're crazy,' she said. That week she moved in. She laughed at life's ironies.
'Baby, baby, baby. I love you so baby. Baby, baby, baby. I want you so baby. So you'll be mine, your love, its divine. I'll love you foreves, say you'll choose me,' sang Jonathon.
'I guess so, idiot,' said Kirstie. They were in the back of his flat, in Canberra, on New Terra, enjoying the sunshine.
'Life is like this, isn't it?' asked Kirstie.
'Here we go. Deep and philosophical. You've worked most of it out now, though, haven't you. It goes on with similar routines. The way God made the natural order of things. You should be used to that now. You have the correct mate for friendship and lovemaking purposes, so you should be able to cope with things.'
She looked at him. 'Correct mate?'
'I think so,' he replied. 'We are compatible at multiple levels. Very good match for each other. Enduring friendship, shared history, genuine respect and love for each other, similar taste in things, and a general willingness to get along when all is said and done. But the love is a good and pure love, a bit crazy, but it lasts. You like me and I like you,' said Jonathon.
'That may be true,' she replied.
'But?' he asked.
She looked at him. 'No but. No actual but. I would respond, though, that if you take me too much for granted, well........Well I won't leave you, but I would be disappointed. I like flowers, but not the flower. I like the concern. And regularly enough. I don't expect impossible Jonathon Kolby, but every few years a kind and thoughtful enough gesture of genuine concern. That's not too much to ask, is it?'
'No. It's not,' he said. He stood, and walked over to his desk, and pulled out an old journal from a long time ago.
'What are you doing?' she asked him. 'You don't write in that anymore.'
'I'm making a note of what you said. It feels like its something significant to you, and what you need. I'll write it down. I won't forget it because of it, because this treasure is my thoughts and ideas on many things – my life manual in many ways – and if that is what you need from me. Well, I'll do that for you Kirst.'
She smiled. 'Can I read that?'
'I'd rather you didn't,' he said. 'But I'll put it on the coffee table. Remember, I'd rather you didn't read it. But I won't say you can't.'
'Fine,' she said, as Jonathon put the journal on the coffee table.
All that day she looked at it. She was tempted. When it was dinner, and as they ate, she stood, as Jonathon watched her, and picked up the journal. He looked at her. She looked at him. Then she took the journal, went to his desk, and put it back where it was housed. And she returned, and started eating her dinner again. Jonathon looked at her a moment, and then returned to his dinner. Nothing more was said on the subject.
Jonathon was at work at his apple cider company, in the CEO office, looking at the PC, going over sales figures and locations for future plants. Kirstie had come in and was at his desk, reading a magazine.
'Is your work satisfactory?' she asked him, looking up.
'I wouldn't do it if it wasn't babe,' replied Jonathon. 'I get a buzz from business, and the continued expanding of the company. Something to do to focus on and build the industry,' replied Jonathon.
'The industry?' she queried.
'I'm a proud patron of the Cider Industry. Committed to cider,' he replied.
'Oh,' she said. 'Why?'
'Just something I put my passion into. I guess there's no particular reason in the end, apart from a general fondness of cider and the view that it's a decent enough product for the shelves. Something people usually enjoy drinking and is a healthy enough option. Sure, it's grog, but cider usually has a decent enough reputation with people. I think its a good enough contribution to the world, and in working professionally and producing a quality product I do my own part for the world. I take that seriously, as well as our employment policies. I don't sack people. General policy. We work through employee problems and issues, and do our very best to retrain if necessary and educate on areas of weakness. We have awards for being good employers.'
'Right,' she replied, and continued looking at her magazine. She looked up after a while. 'Do you have good OH&S policies. That's a fundamental part of an organisations success.'
'We meet regulations,' replied Jonathon, not looking up.
'I could work as an OH&S worker for your company. I have a PhD in OH&S and its an area I've been thinking about getting into.'
Jonathon looked at her. 'I can't promise you the top job, but I can probably get a new position here in the Canberra branch for you. You can liaise for upcoming new plants in the new planetary bodies. Give you a streak of 100 planets or so to manage. Would that be cool?'
'Sounds great,' replied Kirstie. 'I would accept the job and work hard if you gave it to me.'
'We'll go through a formal interview, but consider the job yours.'
'Thanks Jonathon,' replied Kirstie.
Jonathon grinned at her, as Kirstie returned to reading the magazine. And another day passed.
'Doc. It's a life I don't understand,' said Jonathon.
Dr Stern nodded. 'How so?'
'My heart has gone crazy. Aeons she's been hanging around and the other day I talk a little tough and tell her to put on the old wedding ring so she does and I tell her we are now married again and she just accepts. Forever she's refused, but now she's a faithful wife. What gives?'
'I would say she is satisfied,' replied the psychiatrist.
'With life?' queried Jonathon.
'With you,' replied Dr Stern. 'She's been testing you for a very long time, and satisfied you have lost your wandering feet. You will stay with her now, in her opinion. She's been waiting till she was sure of that.'
'Oh,' said Jonathon. 'I guess so.'
'Do you love her?' asked the doctor.
'Completely,' replied Jonathon.
'Then what is the problem?' asked the doctor.
'Just getting used to it again. She's officially mine, now, and I'm officially married again, like it was to start with. My heart is going crazy because of it. All sorts of weird emotions and feelings. Stuff from ancient days, when I was young. Stuff I'd forgotten I'd felt,' said Jonathon.
'Emotions put on hold, quite possibly,' said the God. 'Repressed emotions which can now be validated. You have decided to trust this new situation somewhat and express deep parts of your heart and emotions towards Kirstie. It is perfectly normal what you are going through.'
'If you say so, doc,' replied Jonathon.
'If you love her, let her know,' said Doctor Stern.
'Let her know. I say it all the time, but I think I know what you mean. Make it special.'
'Make it honest,' replied the doctor. 'She'll know your crazy heart if it is honest.'
'I hear you,' replied Jonathon, and lay there, on the couch, looking at the ceiling. 'Make it real,' he thought to himself. Make it real.
They were at Ashton's circus in Cootamundra.
'Gosh,' said Kirstie. 'Shell frikking kill herself if she jumps to the other high wire. It's 5 frikking metres.. The crowd hushed as 'Isabella' steadied herself, and launched into the air with the grace of a ballerina, landing perfectly on the other highwire which ran parallel to the first one, in the upper region of the ten. Then she bowed and everyone in the crowd clapped, Kirstie breathing a sigh of relief.
'Aeons of training and practice,' saif Jonathon. 'Skills improve with time. She's obviously ancient at her craft.'
'And without a net. She was frikking crazy,' smiled Kirstie, looking at Jonathon.
'I'm frikking crazy as well,' said Jonathon.
'That I know,' said Kirstie, returning her gaze to the trapeze artists.
'Kirstie, I just wanted to say something,' began Jonathon, but Kirstie had gasped at what was going on up above, so Jonathon let it slide for the moment. He would get his opportunity soon enough.
After the circus had ended, they were out in the fields near the circus, in the evening light, looking up at the full moon.
'So we're together again,' said Jonathon.
'I guess love does last forever in the end,' replied Kirstie. She looked at him. 'So does it then? Last forever?'
'We've got this far,' he said. 'And I'll love you forever, and I love you deeply. This you must know comes from my heart.'
She smiled, and nodded, and they walked on. After a while they came to a small hollow, and she went down into it, and indicated for him to follow. Then she started undressing.
'What are you doing?' he asked her.
'Make love to me Jonathon. Naturally. In nature.'
And he undressed, and they were passionate, and when the kookaburras started laughing, just when he came inside her, he almost laughed. But he collapsed down onto her, his love spent, and she held his shoulders and said 'Well done brave soldier.'
They found a stream when Jonathon had rested a bit, and they washed themselves, and put back on their clothing, walking back to the car which was parked in the fields adjacent to the tent.
'Things must be perfect, then,' said Jonathon.
'They're pretty good,' replied Kirstie. 'But let's let time make them perfect.'
Jonathon looked at her. 'Then we'll give it time.' Kirstie smiled, and they walked on, and Jonathon reached out, took her hand, and clasped it. And the two lovers returned to their vehicle, and as they drove back to Canberra, they were both willing to do just that. Give it time. For love had been born anew, and nothing could possibly come between it. Could it?
There was a knock at the door. 'Would you get that Jonathon,' yelled Kirstie. Jonathon went to the front door, and opened it. An old familiar face stood there.
'Jenny Jones,' said Jonathon.
'Jonathon,' replied Jenny.
'Who is it?' asked Kirstie, coming to look. She looked at Jenny Jones. 'Great,' she said, sarcastically. 'Just wonderful.'
'Hello Kirstie,' said Jonathon.
Kirstie came to the door, and closed it in Jenny's face. She turned to Jonathon. 'Get rid of the bitch. As quickly as possible.'
'But it's Jenny,' said Jonathon. 'I haven't seen her in years.'
'Don't argue,' replied Kirstie. 'Just get rid of her.'
Jonathon opened the door, to a confused looking Jenny, while Kirstie had gone to the other room.
'Jonathon. What was that about?' asked Jenny.
Jonathon looked towards the other room where Kirstie was, and looked at Jenny. 'Nothing. You got a car with you?'
'Let's drive,' he said. 'Babe!' he yelled to Kirstie. 'I'll be back for dinner.' And then he ducked out with a confused looking Jenny Jones, and they got in Jenny's car, and were soon driving away. From the window of the other room, through the blinds, Kirstie was watching. She didn't come out and make a fool of herself. She just let him go. Time to see if their love was real.
'So, how's it hanging?' asked Jenny.
'Pretty much the same as usual,' replied Jonathon.
'I'll come straight to the point. We've lost a few soldiers in the last few centuries. So many cops have bitten the dust, and not just on the job. A few to suicide, some drug overdoses, and other stuff. We need some workers. Experienced workers. We need you.'
'Right,' said Jonathon. 'Interesting. In demand for my police work.'
'You were competent. At your best a fine officer,' replied Jenny. 'We could use you again. If only part-time.'
'I'll think it over,' he said.
'I could use an answer,' said Jenny. 'If you have already decided.'
'Ok,' said Jonathon. 'And I'll take it full time. I'll put my second in charge in charge of my apple cider company. I could use a change of scenery.'
'Great,' said Jenny. 'Exactly what I wanted to hear. Anyway, you and Kirstie. On again, is it?'
Jonathon looked at Jenny. 'When do I start?' he asked her.
'What I wanted to hear,' replied Jenny, as they turned the corner, heading for the station.
They were in the patrol car, on patrol. Jonathon was back in his old job, 3 weeks in, doing what he loved.
'Do you love me?' Jenny asked, eyes straight forward as she drove.
'Yeh babe,' replied Jonathon.
'Second question. Are you in love with me?' asked Jenny.
Jonathon turned and looked at Jenny. Jenny looked at him briefly, then returned her focus to the road. 'No. No I'm not in love with you,' he said after a moment.
'No. I didn't think so,' she replied.
'Do you love me?' he asked her.
'Very much,' she replied.
'Ok. Second question. Are you in love with me?' asked Jonathon.
She drove for a while, and turned the corner. Then she pulled up to the side of the road, and looked at him. She looked at his face, and at his chest, and legs, and then his face again. 'No. No, probably not. No, it's a no. I'm not in love with you. I love you dearly, and want our cop partnership to last forever. But in the end I don't think I want more than that. To be your wife or anything like that. I want a faithful cop husband, if you know what I mean. An eternally loyal partner, but not a sexual or romantic one. I don't want marriage with you Jonathon Kolby.'
'Ok,' said Jonathon. Jenny started the car, and they continued driving. 'Then that's settled said Jonathon.'
'Like I said. I need a faithful cop partner. It's what I need in life. In terms of romance there's a bloke up in Brisbane who likes me for me. We're defacto technically. One day we'll get married to get a certain pastor off our back. But neither of us look elsewhere. He's a cop also, but an out of town one. He doesn't ned me around all the time, and I don't need that with my man.'
'Then we're understood,' said Jonathon.
'We're understood,' said Jenny.
Jonathon looked at the house. It was old style, and sitting there on the rise, at the edge of Royalla, vacant, run down, decrepit.
'The kids all say its haunted,' said Jenny.
'What kids?' asked Jonathon. 'New Terra doesn't have kids anymore?'
'There's a small congregation down the road. Catholics. They've moved into Royalla recently, purchasing 7 houses in the southern side. They're sponsored by the church to build the Catholic community of Royalla. I heard its called a 'stronghold' for the church, or something like that.
'Right,' said Jonathon.
'They're a new family. From New Terra 889,' said Jenny. 'Still things settling there somewhat. Like I said, they were sponsored, and have claimed Royalla as their home. There is about a dozen kids, and they wander around the village. Apparently they saw ghosts and creepy things happening here.'
'Looks normal enough,' said Jonathon.
'Let's investigate,' said Jenny. They scouted around the house, looking at the back yard lawn which, like the front, had wild grass up to the waist.
'Nothing surprising,' said Jonathon.
'It's owned by Sydney Armstrong,' said Jenny. 'He lives up in Sydney. The house has some of his items in store, but is otherwise unoccupied.'
'Right,' said Jonathon. 'Let's look inside.'
They came to the front door, and Jenny spent a few minutes opening the lock with her lockbreaking toolkit. They came inside. Jenny tried the lights, but the power was off. She turned on her torch, and they started looking. The room was full of boxes, and nothing out of the ordinary, but the kitchen had cans of food which were open, but empty, and some of the foodstuff still in them.
'The back door isn't locked,' said Jenny, opening it.
'Squatters?' queried Jonathon.
'Likely,' said Jenny. They went upstairs, and in the master bedroom there were signs of recent activity, with a kerosene lamp, some paperbacks by the bed, and the bed recently used.
'What now?' asked Jenny.
'We wait,' said Jonathon.
'We wait,' echoed Jenny.
Around 6 in the evening they heard the back door open, and they stood, as a man with a beard came into the room.
'Fuck!' he said. 'Who are you?'
'Canberra police,' said Jonathon. 'We were assigned this case by Queanbeyan. There short staffed.'
'Fuck!' he swore again. 'Sorry. Sorry for the swearing. Look, God's honest truth, I ain't hurting anyone. Just kipping in the bedroom.'
'Homeless?' asked Jenny.
'No!' he said defiantly. 'Just – between things. Sort of difficult to explain. In a few months I'll have a place to live again, and I just need to get by till then. It's complicated.'
'Well you can't stay here,' said Jonathon. 'Technically its trespassing.'
'Aw, give a fella a break,' said the man.
'Sorry. You'll have to clean up and vacate the premises.'
'Fuck. Shit, sorry about the swear.'
They helped the man clean up his mess, and put the rubbish in rubbish bags, leaving them in the outside bins, before escorting him to the street.
'How long before you have a place?' asked Jenny.
'3 months. I have had legal issues with a divorce, and I have another place all lined up on rental. But I'm completely out of cash till next dividend, and family disowned me years ago. Can't afford a hotel or anything. It's only temporary. I'll be fine, and budgeted, soon enough.'
'If you give me a name and let me run a police check I'll see what I can do,' said Jenny.
'William Folkes,' replied the man.
Jenny contacted ACT Policing, and soon she had the details. Everything checked out on him.
'I'll give you a place to stay for 3 months,' said Jenny. 'Call it community service.'
'Geeze, thanks copper,' said William. 'Really appreciate it.'
Jonathon took Jenny aside. 'You sure?' he asked her.
'He checks out. Just hard times. He'll be on his feet soon enough.'
'If you're sure,' said Jonathon.
'It'll be fine,' replied Jenny.
As they drove back to Canberra Jonathon looked at William in the back seat. He wasn't sure about him, but he seemed harmless enough. After they'd done the report, Jenny left with William, and Jonathon watched them go. Heart of gold, he thought then of Jenny Jones. Heart of gold.
'Well, if I really had to, I could stay with my grand-mother up in Queensland in Townsville,' said William Folkes. 'She hasn't disowned me. But after things hit hard, and I paid for rental storage for all my stuff for 12 months in advance, and sat in the hotel room, it sort of suddenly occurred to me I was low in cash in my bank account, and my next dividend was still 10 months away. Then a few days later I'd run out of cash completely, paid up my hotel room, and walked out onto the pavement and realized I hadn't, technically, a cent to my name. Sure, I could sell some of my stuff, and while I have a few friends in Canberra, none are terribly close. Up in Queensland I have friends, but not a cent to my name to get there. And, after a bit of thinking, I decided to not even bother. I fished out my coin collection of old coins, and had a few hundred dollars in them. I decided to head down to quiet Royalla down south a little, and camp in the hills, and just get by till my next dividend and sort myself out then. I had already 6 months paid up for renting a place, which I'd taken care of immediately after the divorce, but that is still a little away. Just sort of short of cash, really. Nothing major. The shares are blue chip and well performing, so I just decided to rough it till it was sorted out. Jenny has been a lifesaver because of it.'
'Interesting story,' said Kirstie Kolby. 'Do you want onions with your sausage roll?'
William nodded, and Kirstie heaped on some fried onions onto William's next bread roll with a fried sausage already on it. She passed it to him on a plate, and he put on some barbecue sauce, and returned to his seat, eating his roll.
'Great day,' said Jonathon.
'The best,' replied Jenny.
Kirstie looked at the two of them, getting along like a house on fire. Jonathon had spoken to her about a heart to heart he and Jenny had had, and she now understood. What she thought was God's timing anyway. Jonathon and her had finally settled with each other, so it was now time that Jenny could have her permanent cop partner back, the issue resolved. Seemed straightforward enough wisdom of the holy spirit at work.
'You want another kebab, Jenny?' asked Kirstie.
Jenny lifted up her plate, and Kirstie came over with another chicken kebab in her tongs and put it on Jenny's plate. And so the afternoon passed, a regular barbecue for the Kolby's out the back of Jonathon's flat, another day in paradise.
They were on a case.
'The dagger is probably in that watering hole,' said Jonathon.
'Righty O,' said Jenny, taking off her clothes.
'What are you doing?' asked Jonathon.
'Gong in to the damn pond to search for a dagger,' replied Jenny, now in her bra and knickers. 'Gonna join me,' she said smiling.
'Whatever,' replied Jonathon, stripping down to his boxers and wading into the pond after her. Jenny felt around with her feet and so did Jonathon and they spent the next ten minutes surveying a pond in the underwear looking for a crime weapon. After a while they were next to each other.
'Oh,' said Jonathon.
'What's up?' asked Jenny.
Jonathon looked down at his crotch, and looked at Jenny. 'Mr Johnson is aroused.'
Jenny looked at him. 'We're not going to have this conversation, are we?'
'Your an attractive woman, Jenny Jones.'
She looked at him, and reached down and felt his crotch. It was indeed erect. She took her hand off it and looked at him.
'Look, this is possibly a situation which might happen again every aeon or so. We should probably be professional about it. In the end we're partners, and are obvioiusly going to go through a lot of personal shit with each other. So, you have an erection. Big deal. Beat off when you get home to a porn movie. We have work to do.'
'You're right. Of course,' replied Jonathon.
'Beside,' she said, looking at him. 'I've found the weapon.' She reached down, and produced the dagger that they were looking for. 'Come on,' she said. They waded up to the shore of the pond, and spent a few mintues letting their bodies dry, before putting their clothing on. She looked at him.
'You should be able to tell Kirstie about this. You should be able to tell her everything we get up to. You know.'
'Yeh, naturally,' he replied. And that lesson learned, they placed the dagger in a plastic bag, returned to their vehicle and headed back to the station.
There was a knock at the door. 'I'll get it,' yelled Kirstie. She opened the door. An emo chick stood there. 'Is Jonathon home?' she asked.
'Jonathon,' said Kirstie cautiously. 'There's this emo lady wanting to speak with you.' Kirstie smiled at the lady and Jonathon came into view.
'Fuck! Swore Jonathon. 'But you're dead.'
'Who's dead?' asked Kirstie.
'Jenny. Jenny Taylor,' said Jonathon.
'Oh,' said Kirstie. 'Jenny. Always a frikking Jenny.'
'Can I come in,' said Jenny Taylor.
'Sure babe,' replied Jonathon. Jenny came in, and sat down on a couch, and Jonathon looked at her. 'How come you're not dead?'
'Why would I be dead?' she asked him.
'I looked for you everywhere. Nobody ever had any records. Legally it was all private, all your information. I went through that many Jenny Taylor's all over the place.'
'I've been out on New Terra 17 for years,' replied Jenny.
'I didn't get that far in my research,' replied Jonathon. 'The lists just went on and on.'
'Well. Now you know,' replied Jenny, smiling at Jonathon. 'How you been, babe?'
'You single?' he asked her.
'Was married forever. He killed himself. Finally had enough. Been alone a few centuries. Decided to look you up.'
'Oh,' said Jonathon.
Kirstie looked at Jonathon. 'What are you going to do about that Jonathon?'
Jonathon looked at Kirstie and looked at Jenny, and his heart exploded with emotion for his former love. 'I don't know,' he said after a while. 'I just don't know.'
Kirstie looked at Jenny, and stood, took off her ring, and gave it to Jonathon. 'He're, crazy dude. You deserve a chance to see if this is an issue for you. It might be, and you knew her first. I'll be with my mother till you have resolved things.'
'Uh, yeh,' replied Jonathon, staring at Jenny. Kirstie grabbed her handbag, and keys, and gave Jonathon a long look. Then she was out the door, into her car, and off to her mother, leaving a very perplexed Jonathon Kolby looking at a woman he presumed long dead. A very perplexed Jonathon Kolby.
They were at their nightclub. Jenny was in her skimpy black skirt, with an 'Evanescence' T-Shirt on, and a streak of green in her raven hair. She had ear-rings on, a solitary nose ring, and an eyebrow piercing as well. She had no permanent tattoos, but a temporary tattoo of a loveheart on her right hand, on the back of it.
'I get it done pretty regularly,' said Jenny. 'Every few years or so. Same design. Can't have a permanent. They often degrage the skin after a while if you leave them. But every now and again I get the love heart done.'
'Right,' said Jonathon, sipping on his cocktail. 'You still into the emo thing?'
'More dark metal,' she replied. 'Nightwish, Within Temptation, Sirenia, Evanescence. Stuff like that. Classical metal if you like. The symphonic sort of stuff.'
'You're a lady of the night, still,' he said.
'Always of the night,' she replied, and smiled at him. 'Kirstie still a thing for you. I looked you up a long time ago. Found out she was the squeeze. Didn't let people know who I was, but when it was new at the resurrection I showed up, and then found my way to New Terra 17 in the end. Met a lawyer, and we hit it off, and had a couple of kids. Was with him forever. Then it had all been building up, depression for a long time, and his drug use never ended, then he topped himself. Left me a note saying he'd had enough of it all. It just wasn't working.'
'Oh,' said Jonathon. 'Sorry about that.'
'I loved him. Taken the last few centuries to get over him, really. But he isn't on any resurrection list that I'm aware of, and he's gone. Forever it would seem.'
'Them's the breaks,' said Jonathon. 'Not everyone wants eternal life in the end.'
'No,' she replied. 'You and Kirstie? Married I guess, or not? She left in an awful hurry when I showed up.'
'We'd just finally got back together again. Just recently. Been after her forever.'
'Oh,' said Jenny. 'Shit timing then.'
'You'd never be shit timing Jenny. Never.'
She smiled at him, and played with her cocktail umbrella. 'So. You and me. We can be friends again, I guess? I've come this far. Would be a shame if we can't reconnect in some way or another.'
'We can be friends,' replied Jonathon. 'Still getting over the shock of seeing your face, though. Getting used to you actually being alive. It's been forever.'
'Yeh,' said Jenny. 'It has.' She looked at him, and smiled, and he noticed she was hot. And in all this intensity, he never gave a thought to his apparent wife, Kirstie. Not even once.
'Does I love you Jonathon Kolby count for anything? She's been staying with you 3 months now, so what gives? Is this the love of your life?'
'Don't be silly,' replied Jonathon. 'We're just – friends.' He said the last word friends, but without any real meaning. He was smitten or something, or just in a daze, felt Kirstie. An explosion of his heart, his crazy heart, had occurred, and he was possibly just going with the flow for the time being. Deep down she felt he would not really want to change from herself, but this was not a new love. Not this time. This was an older love, who might technically be a little higher up in the pecking order in the affairs of Jonathon Kolby's crazy heart. She would have to be careful.
'I love you babe,' said Jonathon. 'Jenny. Jenny has come back into my life. And I can never say what the future holds, who can. But she is apparently going to be part of that future now, so I don't know what to say. Just the way it goes for the time being babe.'
'Just the way it goes?' asked Kirstie. 'You've wanted me forever, and now its just the way it goes.'
'You're being sarcastic,' he said.
'Your fucking right I'm being fucking sarcastic. What do you expect? Sheesh.'
'Look, don't worry about it babe. Give her some time, and give me some time. We'll sort out where we stand with each other after a while. But for now, God. Jenny Taylor. Fuck. That does not happen every day. This crazy heart needs time to digest that truth. But it will, ok. We'll talk soon enough. Seeya,' and he hung up on her. Kirstie looked at the phone, wanted to swear at it, but put it back in its place, and sat there. What was she going to do? Life had been understood. Jonathon Kolby usually pined away in love for her, and she always said he would not commit, and that was the understood thing. He'd work his apple cider company, and they'd meet up for a lunch date every now and again, and he'd swear his devotion, and she'd just nod and say 'Yeh Right' and that was that. Eventually, though, she knew. He meant it. And she drew a little closer one day, and touched him personally a bit, and then he got serious with the ring, and the issue was resolved. She was Kirstie Kolby, and that was that. And then, just when she had achieved her triumph in comes Jenny Jones, and that shit was far from being resolved, and then a double shot to the head, Jenny frikking Taylor. The oldest of his flames. If this was a trial of her love and commitment, of their love and commitment, it was being shot through the heart before it could even begin. But, if their love was sure, and if their love was to last, she'd have to endure it. She'd just have to. So she looked at the phone, and sighed, and walked off to the kitchen to chat with her mother, and got on with the rest of her day.
'I've known you forever doctor Stern. Since Earth days way back. And it's not been like this before. My crazy heart. It's all over the place with emotions for Jenny Taylor,' said a perplexed Jonathon Kolby.
'But that's only natural,' said the doctor. 'How long has she been out of your life?'
'Since the very beginning of the first world,' said Jonathon. 'Forever, if you know what I mean. But I'd searched for her extensively, and just couldn't find her. She'd disappeared without a trace.'
'Obviously she wanted a fresh start. But part of her heart is old, and hasn't let you go,' said the doctor.
'And my crazy heart felt like it was only yesterday when she died. And when she walked in it exploded with emotion and I just couldn't control myself much. I wanted to touch her and tell her I loved her and all these sorts of feeling rushing all over me. And all the time I gave no thought to the one I'd committed to. All the time I gave no thought to Kirstie.'
The doctor was silent, seemingly thinking that over. 'And what about now?' doctor Stern finally asked. 'Now that you've had time to think about Kirstie, what about now? Has the heart started sorting the issue out yet? Has the crazy heart of Jonathon Kolby worked out who its deepest love and yearning really is for?'
'That's the thing doc. A short time ago I was without any doubts whatsoever. Then Jenny Jones came back in, and it was a bit of a rush, but she mainly just wanted a permanent cop partner, which suited me well enough, and in the last week that has mostly settled down. We're good friends, but she's not the love of my life. Everything is cool there. But I'm not sure I can say the same with Jenny Taylor.'
'Obviously you can't. And equally as obviously is that both Jenny and Kirstie are going to need something solid from you in what you are thinking and planning.'
'Pretty much doctor. But it will need time. If Jenny Taylor has decided to stay in my life, it will just take time,' said Jonathon.
'Then give it time. And don't rush things,' replied the doctor. 'And speaking of time, our time is up.'
Jonathon thanked doctor Stern, and left the offices, returning to his car, and driving steadily over to his apple cider company were there was some minor things to address. As he drove he thought on his current love life, and made a decision. He would give him and Jenny a good few weeks, even months, of personal and close attention. In that time he would love her, be loyal to her, and give her all his attention. But, in the end, unless something out of the ordinary occurred, he would let it be a 'Well thank God your not dead and good to see you' encounter and, when all is said and done, leave it at that. Kirstie was ultimately his woman. Just the way it really was.
'It's like this. You're still an idiot. A crazy idiot,' said Kirstie.
'I know. It's the shards of my heart. One of them is crazy,' replied Jonathon.
'Jenny. It's crazy that you still want her in your life. I've gotten to know her. Crazy emo chick. Listens to death metal. Insane, Jon.'
'She doesn't listen to death metal. The bands she is into are not the thrashy hard core stuff. The symphonic metal stuff,' replied Jonathon.
'Exactly. Death metal. And I bet she does drugs, you know,' said Kirstie, mockingly as well.
'She does. She admits is. A joint once or twice a year. Not much else.'
'There you go,' said Kirstie. 'Druggo. Metal head. She won't go the distance.'
'She's gone pretty far,' said Jonathon. 'Besides, a couple of joints a year doesn't exactly make you a druggo.'
'Possibly not,' said Kirstie. 'But it's not a good sign.'
'And the metal she has, I have a couple of CDs. Two of the Evanescence albums,' said Jonathon, defending his love.
'It's all beside the point. What is it? Do you love her? Is she the woman of your heart? That crazy heart?'
'She has a piece of my heart,' said Jonathon, and went out the back. Kirstie tidied up the kitchen, and sat down in the living room, watching TV for a few hours. Finally she got up and went out the back were Jonathon was seated, sipping the last of his sixpack of beer.
'You drunk?' she asked him.
'Probably not drunk,' he said. 'A bit tipsy, but probably not drunk. 6 doesn't usually get me there.'
'No,' she said. 'Knowing you probably not. How big a piece of your heart does she have?'
'One piece. And it's not the true love piece. Just a piece. I always want her in there. Like Jenny Jones. She's got a piece as well. Pretty sure you own the true love piece. Don't think that will change in the end.'
'Right,' said Kirstie. 'That won't change?'
'Probably not. I've worked over my thinking on Ms Taylor. I love her. Passion is there. And........' he trailed off.
'And what?' asked Kirstie.
'She's really hot. Sex could be great. But it doesn't matter. There are lots of hot girls out there who could be great at sex. It doesn't mean I want to spend eternity married to them.'
'And who do you want to spend eternity married to?' asked Kirstie.
'There's a ring. It's on the main bookcase in its box. Put it on,' said Jonathon.
Kirstie glared at him, almost incredulously. And then she went back inside, put on the ring, and got to dinner. The issue – it seemed – resolved. For now anyway.
'So it's you and Kirstie Smith forever then, is it?' asked Jenny Jones, sipping on a beer, watching the sunset at the top of Red Hill with Jonathon.
'Looks like it,' replied Jonathon.
'She's a friend. A crazy friend, full of beans. I love her heaps. But remember, I'm not in love with you either, am I?'
Jenny looked at Jonathon, and looked at the sunset. 'Could be a good year still,' said Jenny. 'Hopefully lots of interesting cases, and busy time for Jones & Kolby.'
'Isn't that Kolby & Jones?'
'Jones & Kolby. What everyone calls us. Set in stone, Jonno.'
'I'll take your word for it,' replied Jonathon. 'Yep, it could be an interesting year.'
And so they sat, drinking beer at the top of Red Hill, looking out at the sun set in the west, another day passing in Canberra in New Terra. Jonathon had found his love, and it was what he had and who he had wanted all along. Old flames had risen up suddenly, like the phoenix, reborn from the ashes. But he had combated them, and encountered both their hearts, and resolved things. And while it had been crazy love, and a love almost too much for his heart to cope with at times, he had gotten through, and found his true love had been who he had chased and asked for for so long anyway. So, for now, the shards of Jonathon Kolby's crazy heart where in place, in the jigsaw of emotion that heart was, and everytyhing, for the time being, was under control. For the time being. But what the future held? Well God only knew. God only knew.
The Times They Are a Changing
Kenishar looked at the comic. The 7 Million Dollar Man Versus the Oblivion Trail. The Oblivion trail wandered through northern africa, and ended at Timbuktu, starting at the Sphinx. All along the way the 7 million dollar man fought Islamic Jihadis, and the occasional guerilla army looking to oust leaderships here and there. They put him through hell in all 7 issues of the mini-series from Dark Horse comics. Times were changing for Kenishar. He had a new obsession. Barbie had retreated in his heart, gone off to storage, and a long rest. He was now into action, and the 6 million dollar man was reminding him who ruled the roost. He'd go with the flow, and let the river take him were it wanted to go. You never knew what you were going to get that way.
Sharakondra looked at the pictures of the dwarve female dinosaur wrestlers. A hell of a lot of a demand for this magazine, and Ganymede had rung her up asking for the Regina girl. She was exactly the oddball they were looking for. Sharakondra had rung her up in Zionistya, requested her send through some photos, and she was looking them over. The crazy stuff people were into these days, she thought to herself. But, heck. Society had done it all. It needed new flavours, and to move onto an alternative for a while. And in this rebirth period, which she sensed was nearing a completion, new things would come. New life, new dreams, new hopes, new possibilities. And as Process 2 got stuck into its work Sharakondra puzzled on what dreams may come.
Meludiel sat with Ambriel in Ambrephion. 'You are very unique to say that,' said Ambriel. 'But that is only tradition speaking. And tradition is not what the future always holds. Sometimes things – change.'
'Ambriel believes in love and peace. He always has, and always will,' replied Meludiel.
'I'm also a man of adventure,' replied Ambriel.
Meludiel smiled, then giggled. 'Bunny rabbits sometimes have adventures, I admit. But usually a chocolate drop is the peak of excitement for their day.'
'Go blow your Jaffas up your Jiffle, Mel. I'm a diehard for soloman. I'll wrestle a dinosaur soon enough. You mark my words.'
'Yes, geckos qualify as dinosaurs. But watch it. A five inch lizard could take a bit to pin down.'
'Oh, hah hah hah,' replied Ambriel to the grinning Meludiel. 'You wait and see.'
'I'm sure I will,' said Meludiel, continuing to giggle at the irate Ambriel, who was posing in musclebound position. The times they were indeed a changing.
'Well, kemosabe. It looks as if they have all lost their focus, and gone soft,' said Daniel. 'Jeebie Beebus is in consolidation mode, and has spent all his confidence. The covenant shall triumph with no real further opposition. Buddha is mostly in retirement mode, and Mohammed has his turf and could not give a damn about winning any more territories. The glory for ValDan has no real competition.'
'There is many a slip between cup and lip, young Seraphim,' replied Valandriel. 'I am sure, just when you least expect it, the bee will sting, and you'll have your hands full of work which might become just that too much for you after a while.'
'Perhaps,' replied Daniel. 'I don't sense anything coming, as they are all in a daze. A hazy daze of contenment, so I will keep my wits about me and see what dreams may come in these crazy changing times.'
'Indeed,' agreed Valandriel.
And so the children of destiny, the children of fate, embraced the changing times, and adventures were still to come forth, new life, new love, new mysteries, but for now the story rests, another adventure complete, another tale told. And as he did at the beginning, and continued doing in regular and consistent patterns, God planned, new life, new beginnings, and new dreams for his children, the men and angels of God.
THE END OF ANTHOLOGY V