Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly
Copyright © 2000 – 2013 CE / 6164 – 6177 SC
Andrew and Jessica
The Birth of Meludiel
The Heart of Eternity
The Walls of Eternity
Sharakondra’s Lost Pennies
Blood Red Moon
Lost in the Dralikon
Ambriel’s Day Off
Life at Golden Fries
Ambriel and the Amazing Fiona MacIntosh
Fiona MacIntosh and the Time of her Life
Talzudiel and the Empty Den
An Expensive Purchase
Othaniel and Queriel
Radrukiel and Penoniel
Gabriel, Zakiel & Saziel
Judael and Toraniel
Remriddel and Judayliel
Mishael and Wendel
Golden Fries and Burgers
Talzudiel and the Empty Den 2
Golden Fries and Burgers 2
Radrukiel and Penoniel 2
Screaming Negative II
The Blazing Bountiful
My Hearts Breaking Even
We are not Gay
Golden Fries and Burgers 3
We are not Gay 2
Radurkiel and Penoniel 3
Christian Rock II
Golden Fries and Burgers 4
Othaniel and Queriel 2
Gabriel, Zakiel and Saziel 2
Judael and Toraniel 2
Golden Fries and Burgers 5
Remriddel and Judayliel 2
Mishael and Wendel 2
Golden Fries and Burgers 6
Othaniel and Queriel 3
Kayella the Beautiful
Taylor the Gorgeous
Katy the Cute
The Buzzard of Spadravax
Shards of an Uncertain Heart
Lucy Smith and the Quest for Greldir's Diamond Ring
Andrew and Jessica
The heart of God searched throughout eternity. It searched, yearning as it travelled – seeking. Seeking a mystery. The mystery of love. And as it searched, it brushed over thousands, if not millions, of souls. Souls saying desperate ‘I love you’s,’ and souls desperate to hear as such. And as the spirit searched, in its heart it already knew who it was searching for. And, coming into one of the many Canberra’s, climbing downwards into a simple flat, it found a heart, a beautiful human heart, a girl named Jessica, and promised her, no matter what fateful choice was made, inevitably, she would find the love of her life. Inevitably.
* * * * *
‘Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye, four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie.’
Andrew watched as Jessica was making their bed, sitting in the easy chair in the corner of her room, humming an old nursery rhyme to herself. ‘You seem to be in a good mood,’ he said.
‘Why wouldn’t I be,’ she responded. ‘I have you.’
‘Yes, you have me,’ he responded.
The last first few weeks of their six months together had been unexpected in many ways for Andrew. Very unexpected. Certainly, he knew Jessica would be devoted, but it had been more than that. She had created a spirit over the flat of warmth and welcoming, of love and devotion, of one as if they were already married, and that was a matter of fact. And in that love he was finding happy consolation. But who would he choose, in the end? Bianca or Jessica?
When Jessica had finished the bed, they came out into the living room and he stared at her. ‘What next, Jess? We have a free weekend? What do you want to do?’
She sat down on the couch, indicated he should sit next to her, and doing so he found her suddenly cosying up next to him, kissing him on the cheek, and just loving him. Shortly she picked up the remote, switched on the movie channel, and said ‘We’ll watch some movies. Tonight we may as well go out for dinner. Let’s have a lazy day today, though. Do nothing.’
‘As you wish,’ he responded, and put his arm around her, snuggling in for a quiet day.
They stayed in most of the morning, watching two movies, but by the afternoon Andrew was restless, and looking for something to do.
‘We could go out, I guess,’ suggested Jessica. ‘See some of the city. There are still so many things in Canberra 37 which we have wanted to get to for a long time.’
‘A good idea as any,’ responded Andrew. ‘I’ll get my wallet.’
Once in the car, outside of Andrew’s flat, Jessica suggested they make there way towards the city centre and just see if anything reached out and grabbed them. A good enough suggestion to Andrew.
As they drove along, silence was in the car. Jessica seemed happy enough to Andrew, but it had been like that the last couple of days. She was no longer speaking a great deal. He was curious about that.
‘Jessica. Is something up? I mean, you have quieted down a lot. Is something on your mind?’
Jessica turned to him, and smiled. ‘I was always told speak when you are spoken to.’
‘Sure, if you are a kid,’ responded Andrew.
Jessica smiled softly at that, but didn’t respond, and returned her gaze forwards.
Andrew puzzled on that for a few moments but let it go. They drove along, through the heart of Canberra 37, gazing at various places which Andrew suggested looked interesting, but Jessica never commented. Eventually they ended up in the city centre, and Andrew found a parking spot in one of the pay parking towers, and they came out into a busy thoroughfare.
‘Well, I guess we’ll just stroll along,’ said Andrew. ‘See if anything catches us.’
Jessica said nothing.
They walked along a row of shops and found a café, ordered lattes, and sat there, enjoying the summer breeze. Jessica looked radiant today. Her long, dark hair had been washed with the finest shampoos that morning, something she did regularly, and paid a lot for. But she wanted to look her best, and maintained that. She had a tan shirt on, in a womanly style, and black slacks, with elegant shoes. A slight blush on her face, and a pink lipstick. Really, she looked as beautiful a maiden as they came.
There lattes arrived and he sipped on it at once, while Jessica simply looked out at the street, looking beautiful.
‘What’s on your mind Jess?’
She turned to him. ‘You,’ she said.
‘You flatter me.’ She smiled at that.
He sipped on her latte, and she finally took a little sip on hers, before frowning on it slightly, and putting it down.
‘Is there something wrong with the drink?’ he asked her.
‘They put sugar in it,’ she responded.
‘Oh, that’s right,’ said Andrew. ‘I forgot. Your diet. I asked them to put sugar in them. Look, I can exchange it.’
‘Don’t worry,’ she responded. ‘It’s fine.’
They were there for half an hour, or so. She didn’t take another sip on her latte, but she didn’t speak at all. Just sat there, looking at him occasionally, remaining silent. Something was up – Andrew knew it. Was she being silent for a reason? Didn’t she have anything to say to him anymore? Had something happened? Finally the silence was too much for him.
‘Look, what gives Jess? What is with all the silent treatment?’
She looked at him and said ‘Like I said. Speak when spoken to.’
‘You’re hardly a child. You’re a grown woman.’
‘But isn’t that what obedient wives are supposed to be like? Submissive to their husbands.’
He looked at her, but decided not to say anything in response straight away. Not straight away.
He sipped on his latte, gazed around and stood. ‘Well, ok. Let’s go.’
She nodded, stood, and as they made there way back to the car, Andrew knew the angle Jessica was using at once. She wanted him to know that she would serve him – that she would be a faithful wife – that she would be the one who would be there for him, in sickness and in health. That much was obvious.
As they made there way back out of the city, driving home, Andrew thought on that issue. Is that what he wanted? A wife who would serve him? A wife who would adore him? Is that what attracted him to Jessica in the first place? Her humility? He didn’t know. He really didn’t know at all.
They stayed in that night, instead of going out, and the silence remained, and somehow Andrew knew it would be like that for the next five and a half months. She would be showing herself faithful. That much seemed to be sure.
* * *
For four solid weeks it was like that. A silent, submissive, subservient Jessica. Apparently everything Andrew was supposed to desire. Supposedly.
At dinners she would always insist on cooking the meals and serving him, and she would always wait until he started his meal before she would begin her own. She would insist on doing all the laundry, and all the housework in general, once saying his job was the bread winner, and her job was the house maiden. She had taken leave without pay from her work, to remain at home to look after the flat and be a perfect partner. More than that, she fussed over him, insisting on washing his feet in a plastic basin when he got home from work, constantly tidying up after him, and doing all that she was supposedly supposed to do to be the perfect faithful wife. Supposedly.
And, of course, she never took the initiative, and remained constantly silent unless spoken to. Always.
Andrew, in reflection over the attitudes he had personally developed in life, admitted that he took a lot of influence from his father Daniel’s relationship with his mother Ariel. Ariel was a strong woman, but seemed to be in a tradition house wife arrangement of sorts with Daniel in many ways. Yet she would certainly speak her mind, do her own thing if she wanted to, and had many freedoms. Daniel did some of the housework, not much admittedly, but he was not adverse to it. Apparently it was meant to be a partnership, and Daniel had once advised his son that if he, as a man, insisted upon pushing around a wife, did he really love and care for her in the end anyway. And that much wisdom had influenced and shaped Andrew.
Which is why, the attitude of Jessica, confronted him. He knew exactly were she was coming from, and why she was doing it. She wanted to be perfect before him – doing everything right – being the faultless partner. But in the end, despite knowing he was supposed to be very impressed, it just became too much. Something was just not right about it.
‘Jessica. Enough, already. I get the point, sweetie. I get the point.’
She stared at him, but said nothing. Eventually she spoke and said softly, ‘What do you mean?’
‘Don’t say you don’t know what I mean.’
She sighed a little, and nodded. ‘Ok. Ok. I will stop with the submissive stuff. Really, I don’t mind for you, but it is not really my way either. But I want you to know this – if that is what it takes to win you, Andrew, I am willing.’
‘It doesn’t ok. It won’t change my mind either way, but I want the old Jessica back.’
She nodded, came over and hugged him, and after that things were back to normal.
* * *
‘Why don’t we spend a month with dad? I have about a year of leave, and I have taken 11 months off, to spend time with you and then Bianca.’
‘Ok. When do you want to leave?’
‘Now,’ he said, showing her the plane tickets.
‘I’ll go pack,’ she said.
‘You should find a suitcase with enough of your stuff already packed. Mum is about your size, so you can wear some of her clothes. Ok.’
As they flew on the long journey towards the centre of the Realm, in the high-powered ultra sonic jetcraft, hurtling at incredible velocity through the air, a flash of light to those down below, Jessica gazed out the window. The scenery came and went in a flash, but that was necessary to get anywhere long distance in the realm of eternity. Distances were not vast – they were literally beyond practical belief. And they would only ever get bigger in time, with the continual and neverending expansion of the realm. But such was the wisdom and desire of God – eternity is what he wanted, so eternity is what he got. Of course, these days, the actual realm went on practically forever anyway, for every nanosecond new discs were created by the power of God’s Disc creating machine, which God had designed to create a neverending variety of new discs for the realm. It was set and forget for God now, with all the initial requests for structuring having been taking into consideration, the discs now went on expanding at an alarming rate, eternally across the heavenlies. They would, of course, never catch up with the rate of disc creation – that was a joke in even assuming – but, supposedly, God could really set the disc at any practical speed he wanted to, so set it to an enormously quick rate and left it at that. And so the discs were all gradually being settled, further and further outwards, and the population went on expanding.
In such an eternal realm there were many factors of interest to various people. Economists marvelled at the incredible rate of growth in wealth, and the alarming value of older shares in established companies which, with the businesses on an almost set-and-forget structure for the establishing of new franchises expanding ever outwards, the older members of the Realm of Eternity had ever increasing dividends for their wise investments. But, what the hell. In time, even though it was already happening, but especially in time when it became too time consuming to travel to the outer rim, or even further out inner ones, the old fashioned thing of inflation would catch up, especially in the inner discs, were prices would be ever the much higher. The actual demand for labour costs would be exceedingly high, to actually get people who had vast wealth to be bothered to work. What the future held, apparently, was the inner discs procreating to create their workforce and this workforce, in the fullness of time, travelling further and further outwards to establish their own homes, as the inner discs had legal population maximums. It was an eternal problem in many ways, thus the legally established limit of 5% permanent population per disc, with a transient 95% of recent children to be intended to be the necessary workforce to enable the luxurious lifestyle everybody wanted. Fortunately, sex never really got boring, so more children were inevitable.
Geographers would be the kind of people taking delight in things like naming new rivers, mountains, and even cities. Of course, linguistically the alphabet contained only so many acceptable name combinations depending on the length of word in letters used. There were some disastrously long names out there, especially amongst the welsh nations who had a particular fondness for such pastimes. And, of course, the adding of numbers to a city name for distinguishing amongst the various cities in a disc who carried the same name was a common thing. Thus, Canberra 37, were Andrew and Jessica lived on the disc of Canbraphora, was by no means a unique phenomenon.
In the end there were so many differing factors in the realm of eternity which made life interesting and satisfying and, for Andrew and Jessica, who knew that in the fullness of eternity there blessing for being, relatively speaking, people of the inner discs, especially in time, would be continually growing, it was a wonderful time to live.
Jessica gazed down at the realm of eternity, and turned to Andrew, kissed him on the cheek, and settled down for a long and hopefully uneventful flight.
* * *
‘So you see, Andrew was a special child. A child of renewed vows and commitments. Neither of us can say if those commitments in this our current marriage really will be eternal or not, but we like to hope so. But I know he will never stop loving Meludiel either.’
Daniel said nothing at Ariel’s words to Jessica, but nodded to himself.
Jessica reached out and put her hand behind Andrews back and said ‘You’re a special child. And you always will be.’ He smiled at her.
They continued that afternoon, having gotten in the previous night, looking through photograph albums, catching up on the time they had been apart, being presumably a family. It was later on, after dinner, in which Daniel had taken Andrew aside and was talking to him carefully about the arrangement.
‘It might bite you in the bum one day, Andy. I mean, when you choose one of the girls, and the other disappears for a while, there is that thing called love, not to mention that thing called lust, which inevitably returns. Trust me – it does so, every bloody time. Especially when you don’t want it to.’
‘I’ll be faithful to my final choice,’ replied Andrew confidently.
‘But how can you?’ asked Daniel. ‘You haven’t even made up your mind yet anyway. You still love both of them.’
Andrew nodded. ‘True, dad. But once I have made up my mind, and I will, it will just be the way it is, you know. From then on the person I choose will become the result of a real trial of the heart. It will just be the way it is.’
‘I see what you are saying, but love is a strange beast Andy. Not even a son of Daniel can get a handle on it.’
‘Very funny,’ he responded.
‘Just mark my words, son. Just mark my words.’
‘Will do, dad.’
The following day Ariel had prepared a picnic, and around lunchtime they had migrated to the picnic grounds not far from were Danielphon was located.
‘Just over there,’ said Ariel pointing, ‘was were Danny suffered a recent humiliation. But I think he learned his lesson.’ Ariel went on to explain the recent events of a contest between Daniel and the angel Ambriel in which Ariel had to choose the most faithful heart to herself, which had resulted in her choosing neither for apparent reasons of their personal pride.
‘I guess you learned your lesson,’ said Andrew to his father.
‘I sure did,’ responded Daniel. ‘Beware the wrath of woman.’
Ariel smiled at that, and signalled to Jessica that they should sit on the other bench to let the boys chat.
The angel Ariel looked at the human girl who had captured her son’s heart, and was ready for some serious questions.
‘So, Jessy. I must ask you, if Andrew chooses you, will you be faithful. Eternally faithful. I am his mother, so I feel I can ask you this question.’
‘I love him. I will always love him, now. I don’t think, even in the end of eternity, that I could ever forget Andrew. Its why I just can’t lose this arrangement. I have been putting my heart and soul into loving him.’
‘But don’t you long for a human? One more of your own kind. Certainly, humans and angels can mate, and in many ways we are the same anyway – made in the image of God. But there can be problems.’
‘Which seem to disappear were we live, Ariel. There are a lot of mixed marriages of our kind in Canberra 37. A lot of humans live there as well, you know.’
‘Yes, I know,’ said Ariel. ‘As long as you are sure, that is. As long as you are sure. It could take quite a commitment from you, if you mean it to last forever.’
‘We’ll manage,’ Jessica replied confidently.
Ariel nodded. She did hope so.
Daniel was speaking with Andrew, about the shit, and that Raguel had made it extra smelly, when he broached the subject again. ‘So if you choose Jessica, you do know she is human, don’t you. Bianca is one of our kind, but Jessica is totally human.’
‘But so are you, dad. Aren’t you?’
‘Yes. I guess so. Look, your mother and I have concerns on that issues – worries – but we won’t ever interfere or deny you your hearts choice. Just make sure it is the right decision, ok. Just make sure of that.’
‘I’ll try to do the right thing by everyone, dad.’
‘Not by us. You have to live with her in the end. Ok. It has to be ultimately right for you. Sure, perhaps you can take your mother and myself into consideration, but it needs to be your heart choice. It’s your future, son. Its your future.’
‘Look, I haven’t even chosen her yet. You never know, I might choose Bianca.’
‘Still, it’s better to be well enough informed. But we will accept whoever you choose. They are both lovely girls.’
‘Thanks dad. That means a lot to me.’
‘Well, I think it is about time we got stuck into that chicken.’ Daniel waved the girls over, and as they began their feast, Andrew had his father’s words on his mind. He would indeed have to make sure he chose the right girl – and for the right reasons.
* * *
They were at a secluded beach in Canbraphora, alongside one of the large inner oceans of the disc, both of them naked at a private area which was walled off, part of a holiday home Andrew had rented for a month. They had been there two weeks so far, and there had been a lot of sex mainly, but today they were on the beach, enjoying a relatively warm day, lying there, drinking pink lemonade, forgetting about everything in life except each other.
‘Its beautiful today, isn’t it Andy. Really beautiful.’
Andrew rolled over on his towel, and smiled at her. ‘I couldn’t ask for more.’
‘You know,’ she responded carefully. ‘We can enjoy this place forever, if you like. Choose me, and we can always come here. Every year if you like. I don’t mind.’
‘Maybe,’ he responded, but said nothing more.
She stood up, came and stood in front of him, totally naked, and said ‘Well, if you do choose me, I will do this for you every year.’
‘What?’ he asked.
She got down on her knees, took his manhood in her hand, and pumped it a few times. And then she took him into her mouth and continued at her work until he erupted. When he had calmed down, she said,‘That. Every time I will do that for you.’
‘Something to definitely think about,’ he responded, and they both started laughing.
They continued lazing the day away, and the week, and suddenly the month was over and, despite Andrew thinking he really could rent out the place for another month, it was agreed that it was time to return home. Most of their six months had elapsed.
* * *
In the last two weeks Jessica, despite Andrew’s earlier comments, returned somewhat to her servile mannerisms. Oh, she talked to him at her own cognition somewhat, but usually she remained silent, did all the work in the house the she supposedly considered woman’s work, and was perfect in just about every way. But Andrew would not comment this time – he knew the motivation for such realities.
Very often, in their lovemaking, she confessed time and time again of her love for him. That he was the centre of her life, and that she would not be complete without him. She made comment after comment on his good looks, his good attitudes on life, and praised in many ways, many of which he was quite sure were unjustified. But she took no heed to his subtle comments that she was pushing it a little, showering him with praises, devotions and attentiveness. Whatever opportunity she had to make his smile, she took it – wether it was with a word of kindness, or an act of servitude – she was constantly there, showing her self faithful, showing her self loving. Something had to give.
It was the final week, and he’d had enough. ‘Ok, already. I get the point. Believe me, I get the point. But how about relaxing in our final week? It would probably count in your favour in the end.’ She smiled at him, and nodded. She understood.
* * *
Andrew was sitting at his PC, typing into a document his assessment of Jessica. He had decided to keep records of a sort, including a checklist of desired traits he was looking for in a partner, ready to rank Jessica versus Bianca. In truth, he had done a mock trial of it already, and the two girls had come out about even, but this time, with there six months schedule, he would keep a very close eye on how he rated each girl, and the final assessment would be a fundamental factor in his choice. He was writing down notes – notes of positives and negatives, and working out if any of these issues should eventually factor into his final judgment – which they had to in the end, if he was to decide. Yes, he loved them both, and would be happy with either in the end, but neither girl wanted that, so what else could he do?
At the moment he was writing a note on Jessica’s recent submissive attitude. He was mainly stating factual thing like ‘Jess is prepared to serve’ and ‘Jess doesn’t mind the traditional wives role’ and the like, but he was yet to write down any critical response to this. And, as yet, he couldn’t. He didn’t really yet know what to say.
Particularly strong in Chasidic Jewish homes that his father Daniel had spoken to him of, was the role of women in traditional partnership of service to their husband. This was very similar to many Muslim and Christian fundamentalist homes as well – they took very traditional roles. But in the mainstream of society, which Daniel generally raised Andrew to be part of, in his own words, things and life was just a little bit more flexible, and woman were generally assumed to have a more equal say in things. That is what they had fought for long ago, and was generally now how the mainstream world functioned. And all the better for it, in the words of his father.
And thus, with these attitudes in mind, Andrew was trying to grasp exactly were Jessica was coming from, and what she perhaps expected that Andrew might like in a wife.
He had figured she had observed such practices somewere along the line in her life, and perhaps had a fixed attitude that deep down men liked that kind of thing. But for Andrew, himself, he was not really sure if he did. In fact, he tended to think otherwise. For Andy, a woman was a child of God, made in his image, with thoughts, feelings, a heart, AND a mind. To expect a way of life of her simply because of her gender seemed a little strange to Andrew’s thinking, something which his father Daniel had spoken of a number of times in his upbringing. Yet he also understood that there was a part of the heart of man which did like to be served, and which sometimes expected it – the traditional way of life from earlier years in the developments of civilization.
In the end, perhaps it really didn’t matter that much, and perhaps Jessica was simply showing her utter devotion to her man. Perhaps that was all it was. But it did make Andrew think.
He sat there, looking at his notes, heard Jessica yell that dinner was ready, and giving the screen one last look, saved the document, flicked off the PC, and went of to his faithful and servile partner of the moment.
* * *
‘I love you,’ she said.
‘I love you,’ he responded.
‘You love me,’ she said.
‘You love me,’ he responded.
‘And you and me is family,’ she said.
He left off. The next line in the song was ‘And with 3 makes family.’ He couldn’t say that, yet. He wasn’t committed to her in that sense yet.
They were at a plush hotel not far from were they lived for their final night, in the spa, naked, splishing and splashing around. Finishing with the spa, they put on their gowns, lay down on the bed, and started enjoying the room service they had ordered.
Andrew was eating through a chicken leg, when Jessica spoke up.
‘Well, this is it then. Our final night together.’
‘Yes,’ he responded.
She said nothing for a few moments before continuing. ‘And it has been good, hasn’t it Andrew. Our time together. Like it was before. Perfect. In every way.’
‘Yes,’ he again responded.
‘I mean, you know. If you wanted to, I mean right now, we could run away. Elope. Get married far, far away. Bianca would never have to know. You could send her an email. We could do that, if you wanted to.’
He turned towards her, but said nothing – the look on his face said it all.
‘Ok, I get the point,’ she finally responded.
‘Mmm,’ she said, putting another strawberry in her mouth. ‘Well, can you tell me something?’
‘What?’ he responded.
‘How have I done? Have you been impressed? Have I wowed you?’
‘Jessica. You are still as perfect as the day you were born.’
‘Right,’ she said, but he said nothing more, continuing to munch on his chicken.
‘You know, I know Bianca loves you,’ she stopped at that.
He turned to her. ‘Yes? What?’
‘But, well. You know. Would she serve you the way I would? Would she be as loyal as I am? I tend to doubt it?’
‘So that is were you are coming from, is it? The faithful wife thing.’
‘And what is wrong with that?’ she demanded of him, suddenly with a very cross look on her face.
‘Nothing, nothing,’ he responded. After a while he continued. ‘It’s just not what I was expecting. Not really sure if it is even what I was looking for.’
‘Then what are you looking for?’ she asked.
‘Just for you to be yourself.’
‘Oh,’ she responded. ‘I see.’
There was silence for a while then.
‘But I don’t mind serving you, you know. Just so you will know that. I love you , you know.’
‘I know, Jess. I know.’
They said nothing more, but continued eating their room service.
Finishing up she looked at him. ‘Does it really matter, then?’
‘What,’ he responded.
‘What I say? What I do? You are going to make up your own mind regardless, aren’t you?’
Andrew considered that, and saw an idea in it. ‘Well, yes. I suppose, what you are naturally like as a person is what will motivate my choice in the end. The same for Bianca. Remember, both of you girls wanted me – there was nothing else I could do. A compromise wasn’t on the cards. So when I make up my mind, it will have to be my own judgement, and I will make this judgement because both of you still want me. So, yes, I will make the choice one day, and it will largely be based on who you are as a person. I know it is very judgemental to decide between one person and another in that sense, but remember you both want me to choose. What else am I supposed to do? I love you both.’
She nodded. She did understand his dilemma.
‘Then let me tell you, tonight, about myself. My values, my beliefs, my goals, my heart. Let me tell you about it all, so you will know me. So you will know the kind of person you might choose.’
‘Sure. Go ahead.’
She came and sat down beside him, put her hand in his, and for the next few hours she talked – she talked her heart out – sharing of the life of Jessica, her dreams, her ambitions, and all that she represented. And when then finally fell asleep that evening, she was more sure of herself, that she had given it her all, and that, in the, whatever would be would be. Whatever would be would be.
Saruviel sat in silence in Kalphon keep. Reflecting on life. Reflecting on love. Krystabel, his heart, was on his mind. His heart – the centre of his morality, in a real sense. But there were other thoughts – other deep and meaningful thoughts - than that of his beloved twin.
For near on a million years, since Judgement Day, Saruviel had been known often by many as the Antichrist – 666 himself, with the scar he wore on his scalp from his human incarnation. But Revelation had failed in the end – Love had prevailed – and Apostle Paul and his Corinthian epistle had been triumphant. At least an interpretation of the passage according to certain biblical texts and certain viewpoints had triumphed, anyway. But did that really matter in the end? Wasn’t love supposed to be supreme in the end, anyway?
Saruviel’s religion, for so long, had been Torah – the Seraphim Torah – since returning to heaven. The old rebellious ways were something of the past, yet in truth some of the theology of those days did remain in his heart, a guiding principle being his objectivity, his independent thinking, his self reliance. He would not abandon that, ever – not matter what protestations were put upon him. But in truth, Father, the God of Glory, never spoke of such ideologies with him anyway. Did he in fact impress his father with his strength? His independence? Perhaps. Perhaps.
Jesus himself was something of a minor concern to Saruviel these days – the Christ of the Cherubim, as he still maintained, the Christ of the Church. Apparently, from what Davriel was saying, the title was self applied – in Jesus own authority as a son of Israel, in his own personal anointing once done in the heavenlies a while back by John the Baptist, who again baptised him with water, and then with oil which had been blessed by a number of popes and, in front of Davriel, he claimed the title of Jesus the Christ –the anointed one. But the arguments from various cardinals and popes, these days, when they filtered down to Saruviel, were that David Rothchild was fully acknowledged as God’s divine messiah, and that Jesus operated only under his own self belief and authority as a member of the people of Israel, who were the son of God according to Exodus 4:22, a passage in the torah. Further down the church, he didn’t care what his flock believed on the issue – but with respect to the Sanhedrin, and the Karaite councils, he had made it known that he was not attempting to rebel against any divine authority of Hashem – that Christianity ultimately operated in a pro-Israelite stance, and that the Torah was fully acknowledged. A lot of this as a reality had come from recent conversations between Jesus and King David, and while they maintained the party line on many fundamental issues for the church as a whole, Jesus was said to have been conversing in various rabbinic circles of the authority of the Torah, and his acceptance of David Rothchild as the Messiah. All for the practical realities and apparent arrangements that his church of glory continued without any real interference from Israel, and that he was attempting to serve God in the sanctification of his bride. But such was life.
Yet, that was Christianity – not Saruviel’s current concerns. Creationism was the current mind of Saruviel– creating matter – creating life – creating in his image. God was silent in current conversations, but seemed to speak to Saruviel’s minds that he was still considering the issue. It was important, Saruviel naturally agreed, and to be given the gift – the power of life – surely that was the ultimate glory of a living. The ultimate glory of being alive?
He sat in his desk in Kalphon keep, pondering on these issues, sipping apple juice, generally content in all other respects, generally content in all other matters, the merry hum and strum of the life of the eternal realm continuing on its pleasant, happy and merry way.
* * *
Life, in general, for Archangel Michael, child of God, Seraphim of Eternity, firstborn of the children of eternal realm, was for the most part, good.
These days, in the time since Gabriel had become overseer of the Realm of Eternity, Michael was in a somewhat retired state. Officially, he was still something of an unofficial overseer for the disc of Zaphora– the very central disc of the realm of eternity – but it had just about come to pass that the official Overseers of each disc of the Realm of Eternity would start with Michael from the central disc of Zaphora, and thus Gabriel, upon retiring from the job of Overseer over the entire realm, would return to duties in Terraphora as Overseer of the disc of Terraphora. And Raphael, presumably for Mitraphora, and so on. Legislation to make this official was currently in the council, being reviewed, and it was considered to be only a matter of time.
But, for the most part, Michael, with his vast wealth, toured around the realm from time to time, seeing this and that old acquaintance, a large part of the time with his wife Elenniel at Pellersphon, a large part of the time doing nothing in particular.
He wondered if, now that he had given the job up, wether or not he would ever get another crack at the main overseer’s job. If consistency was something to go by, and Gabriel handed the job over to Raphael, all the way along down to Davriel, and theoretically even the female Seraphim then, would they then go on to the 1,400,000 Cherubim? And after that, would the new Ketravim be next? And then the Saruvim and the Abraphim and the Noaphim and the Cimbrphim who were also called the Celestyels. There was no official designation for the groups of angels to follow on after the Cimbrphim as of yet, but it was known that the realm was indeed to go on forever. The 11th angel of eternity was Dameriel, and as such the title ‘Damerphim’ was the most popular bandied about for the following group of angels after the Cimbrphim. Of course, the Cimbrphim were to all be Japanese angels, and the Cimbrphim-Ruled discs to largely be modelled on Japanese geography – this presumably being the case for supposed ‘Damerphim’discs, which would apparently have a large ‘Irish’ feel to it, for Dameriel was an ‘Irish’ angel. After the Damerphim were the proposed ‘Valandriphim’ then the ‘Hosannuphim’ and the ‘Loquiphim’ and so on, throughout all the male Seraphim titled angels and then, presumably the female Seraphim, and then the male Cherubim and so on – on and on forever.
Yes – numbers were boggling, and similar realities were unfolding up above in the Realm of Infinity. But that was life in a universe which never ended, with people who never stopped procreating – it just went on – Forever.
* * *
Andrew reflected on six months. Jessica had been faithful. He loved her. Now for Bianca.
* * *
Bianca and Andrew were, together, a match made in heaven. Really, an ideal pair. Slipping back into a relationship with Bianca seemed far more natural in many ways for Andrew, as she didn’t put on any of the moves Jessica had done – she simply remained herself, and treated him with respect and love. And that was all he was looking for in the end.
He knew, after about 3 months of careful thought, that he had already chosen Bianca. It seemed obvious, now, that she was a far more suitable match for himself. But then, right near the end, he reminded himself that Jessica’s general behaviour had been something of an aberration from her normal stance, and that in all their earlier time together, yes they had gotten along well. Yes – they had gotten along well.
He thought on that as he stood in front of a shop in a local mall, a jewellers, thinking over perhaps buying a ring, thinking over the lady he was ready to give up – forever.
* * *
Bianca smiled. ‘Then you will marry me Andrew?’
‘I will,’ responded Andrew. ‘In the end, I guess you and me are just meant to be. I guess that is just the way it is – in the end.’
‘Thank God for that,’ she finished.
* * *
As Andrew slipped into his wedding suit, he was suddenly caught off guard by a commotion – and there she was, Jessica, in the room with him.
‘Ok, Andy. It’s like this. I Love you. That is all I can say. I Love you.’
He looked at her and nodded. ‘But I love Bianca more.’
‘Then you will have to make up your mind.’
He said nothing. ‘Then I choose Bianca.’
She looked at him, her brow wrinkled. ‘Ok. Mmm. Andrew. I get the point, you know. I tried too hard. I tried to serve you, but you didn’t want that. I understand now. But what is it? What is it that you want from me? I am only trying to show you that I love you. It is all I am trying to do.’
‘But that is probably the reason I am choosing Bianca. She isn’t. She just loves me – naturally.’
‘And you think I don’t?’ she answered with hostility.
‘Your trying too hard,’ he responded.
She softened. He was right.
‘If you go out there, and marry her, it will be the biggest mistake of your life. I am telling you, Andy. Your heart will work that out – it already knows, you know. Deep, deep down, it is why you chose me in the beginning anyway. You had already worked that out – you loved me. I accepted you. For Bianca – she is comfortable with you. You’re a good fit – a good second half. But that is all it is – comfort. It is not devotion, true affection, true commitment. When the going gets tough, she will quit on you in the end. Tell you its not working out. I can save you from all that. She just likes you for what you are, what you represent. Not for you – the real you – the personal you. The one I am in love with. It is why I offered myself to you. Why I was prepared to serve you. Why can’t you see that?’
He looked at her, said nothing, and turned away. He continued putting on his suit, and finally turned back to her.
‘Look, there may be some truth in what you are saying, but Bianca still likes me for me as well. She wouldn’t marry me otherwise.’
‘Yes. Probably. But I love you more. You know that. You can tell that. Deep, deep down inside, you still believe that. Don’t you. Don’t you, Andrew, son of Daniel. Don’t you.’
He silently stared at her, a rush of emotions going through his heart. But finally, fatefully, eternally, he nodded. ‘Yes, Jessica. I do know that.’
‘Exactly,’ she responded with finality.
Later that afternoon, as Andrew and Jessica were flying away, far far away, Bianca sat on the floor of the reception room, as the band played on, sighed once more, and drank another sip of champagne. Her mother smiled. ‘At least he said you can keep the presents.’
‘Oh, wonderful,’ she said.
And that was that.
* * * * *
Andrew looked at the ring. It was the same ring from the first time he was intending to marry Jessica. He had it in a little pouch, and was thinking tonight was the night. But, no. It wasn't. He found his mobile in his coat pocket, slipped out of the hotel room, and found a small alcove in the hallway. He pushed the autodial number.
'Yes,' said a lady after a few rings.
'Bianca. It's Andrew. We're in Hawaii 37. We've been here 3 months now. I have a good excuse to go home for a week – business emergency – and she's agreed to stay here for that time. Can I come and see you?'
There was silence for a moment. 'Cheating?' she said flatly.
'I haven't frikking proposed,' he replied. 'I probably will. Don't get me wrong, B. I probably will propose to her. But, you know. I mean, you know.'
'I know what exactly Andrew Daly?'
'I love you too babe. Always have, always will. That's not going to change, Bianca. And with you women it's always one or the other, blah blah blah, a man should be married to one wife, bullshit like that.'
'Very funny. You are completely faithless. Totally hopeless. I'd be better off with Kermit the Frog as a boyfriend.'
'Cool. I'll be there late tomorrow,' replied Andrew.
Bianca sighed. 'Fine then. Come on over. But if Jessica finds out don't blame me.'
'I won't sweetie,' he replied, and hung up, looking towards his hotel room a little guiltily.
'So. You'll be leaving shortly?' asked Jessica, as Andrew came back in the room.
'Now, I guess,' said Andrew.
Jessica came over to him, and kissed him passionately. 'Don't forget. You only have eyes for me,' she said.
'Sure thing babe,' said Andrew.
'Yes. Babe,' said Jessica. 'I don't know what has gotten into you as of late. It's babe this, babe that. I'm going to be your wife. Don't I deserve more than babe?'
'You sure do babe. Now, gotta go. Uh, seeya,' he said, picked up his suitcase, gave her a wave, and was off.
Jessica looked at the door as it closed behind him. 'Mmm,' she said to herself suspiciously. Something was up.
* * * * *
Andrew looked at his wristwatch as he got off the plane, walked through the terminal, and was heading home. It was 4 in the afternoon. He could make it to Bianca's after a shower and a change by 7. A good time for flirty fun. He paused at the Canberra 37 airport cafeteria, and decided to get a latte. He was a bit thirsty, and hadn't drunk much on the flight over. He sat there, sipping on his latte, and looked around innocently, then he noticed a familiar sort of looking face at the table opposite, who then returned his gaze. The man, walked over, and sat down in the seat opposite him at his table. He had a suit on, with a tie, and had a briefcase with him.
'Saruviel the Seraphim,' said Andrew. 'I haven't met you for quite some time. I remember, when I was young, you used to visit dad and the family, and you would give me Batman comics.'
Saruviel nodded. 'I do recall Andrew. You're all grown up.'
'What brings you to town?' asked Andrew.
'Creation conference. 'The Wisdom of the Creator'. A subject I am studying at the moment,' replied Saruviel.
'Fascinating,' said Andrew and sipped on his latte. 'What wisdom can we learn from creation then?'
'I reflects the mind and order of the creator,' said Saruviel. 'For example, marriage. It's a one flesh relationship between man and woman. A lot of us can be so unfaithful to our chosen partner, but what God joined, no man should really ever tear asunder. It might not always make sense to us, but it's divinely ordained.'
Andrew picked up his latte, thought on sipping it, but put it down. He looked squarely at Saruviel.
'In the Rainbow Torah. In the Rainbow Torah, there is an example of someone having two wives. What do you make of that?'
'Abraham had a wife and a concubine. He managed, but there were problems. Jacob had two wives and two concubines. He seemed to manage ok. David lusted after Bathsheba. There were no end of problems on that issue.'
'It's an infallible law of nature? A women can bear children to more than one man, you know. And a man can sire children to more than one woman,' replied Andrew.
'And a man can also fuck a unicorn up the arse, but what will that do for you?' replied Saruviel.
'Point taken, Alexander,' said Andrew in response. 'Yet, if creation worked in perfect order and harmony, perhaps we'd be a little bit bored. No opportunities to challenge the authority of God then, would there be?'
Saruviel looked at him, smiled, and waved to the waitress.
'You're bright,' said Saruviel. 'Perhaps too bright for a Daly. Give me your address and phone number. I'll come over some time this week, and we'll chat. Talk some issues over. Perhaps we could learn from each other. Daniel's son possibly has much family theology that could be entertaining enough to hear.'
'Yes. Daly theology,' said Andrew grinning.
'Touche,' replied Alexander.
Andrew gave Saruviel his details, and they chatted for a while, and then Andrew got moving again, but he did think a little on what Saruviel had said. About one flesh relationships. Perhaps that was somewhat important. Perhaps that could be something of an issue.
* * * * *
'Concubine?' queried Bianca. 'Do you think she'll accept that in the end?'
'I emailed her on it. I asked her to ring me tonight if she would agree,' replied Andrew.
They sat around Bianca's apartment, and played scrabble, and ate lasagna. Then Jessica rang. Andrew talked for a bit, and then hung up.
'She says your definitely Hagar the Horrible,' Andrew said to Bianca.
'Wonderful,' replied Bianca, in the dryest and most sarcastic of tones she'd ever uttered.
Life went on. The trio worked through the difficulties. And Andrew was happy enough. But the occasional look which could kill haunted him, especially from Jessica, but whatcha gonna do, hey? Whatcha gonna do about that?
* * * * *
14 years passed. Andrew settled in as an angel with a wife and a concubine. And, for the most part, it worked well enough. For the most part.
'Jessica. Where are my red socks?'
'I haven't seen them for weeks,' said Jessica. 'You probably left them at Bianca's place.'
'Yeh. I guess,' said Andrew. 'I'll have to go over and get them. I know its weekdays, and not the weekend, but I need them for my hockey match. I'm getting into a new season again, and I don't want to be out of uniform, even for training.'
'Fine,' replied Jessica, coming into the room with a laundry basket full of just dried laundry. 'I guess you can stay there the night if you want. I'll see you tomorrow evening.'
'Sure,' said Andrew.
As he drove along through the city, twilight coming to a close, he thought on life and how things had worked out so far. Jessica was his wife, and his priority, so had all the weekdays to her. But then he would spend the weekend at Bianca's flat, and do his thing with her. And so far it had been working out well enough for both of them. The girls got along well enough, but separation physically was all that Jessica could tolerate, so she let Bianca have the weekend, and left it at that. He showed up briefly on Friday evenings after work, and then headed for Bianca's, and returned late Sunday evening. In the realm of eternity the weekdays had been adopted for quite a while, working through the 50 days of the months, with seven sets of seven days. The final 50th day had been named 'Eloday' in honour of the Canaanite god 'Elohim'. Technically people wanted to call it after the Canaanite deity, as the tradition with some of the days of the weeks were to in fact name it after the gods of the pantheons, so they would honour God who was called Elohim, but cheated and made it in honour of the Bull God Elohim, from were the ancient Hebrews had taken their name for Yahweh. And it worked well enough.
'You're a nice surprise,' said Bianca. 'I wasn't expecting you mid-week.'
'I need my red socks. Jessica said I may as well stay the night.'
'Oh, goodie,' replied Bianca. 'Well come on in then.'
He had a late supper with his mistress, found his socks, and got to bed.
'Can we have some frisky fun?' asked Bianca.
'Uh, no,' said Andrew. 'Technically this is Jessica's time, so I'll stay her tonight, but no hankie pankie.'
'Fair enough,' replied Bianca.
And he settled down, and slept, but he was a little bit tempted, and he did feel her breasts just the once as she was snoring, but rebuked himself, and reminded himself to remain loyal to his wife. But he was tempted.
* * * * *
'Do you like Metal Baby?' asked Bianca.
Andrew looked at his mistress. 'Somewhat. Iron Maiden are ok.'
Bianca put a CD in the player, and on came an old tune Andrew recognized. 'Dokken. Too high to fly,' he said. 'That's an oldie.'
'But a goodie,' said Bianca, and sat down next to him.
'So,' she said.
'Yep,' he replied.
'So, yes,' she said.
'So yes what?' he asked.
'So, yes, we seem to be working it out. This menage a trois. It seems to be working well enough for the most part. Sure I'd like more of your time, but I think things are ok.'
'I guess. Jessica has gotten used to and doesn't complain as much anymore. She says its not perfect, but because I can't make up my mind she has learned to accept that fact.'
'And will you ever make up your mind?' asked Bianca.
'I already have,' he replied.
'Right,' she said.
They sat in silence a while, listening to the CD, when Bianca spoke again.
'We're not weird, are we. There are lots of relationships and situations like ours.'
'They are not that common, but they do exist. Plenty of men, and women too, marry again. It's common enough.'
'But they usually, if they do, settle with the one they are with. Not string along someone else and try to justify it.'
'49% men, 51% women. There are extra women. Some of us are the lucky ones,' said Andrew.
Bianca thought on that. 'I guess,' she said. 'Maybe theres a purpose in that. The Seraphim and Cherubim, though, have perfectly matched numbers.'
'Yet not all of them have relationships of intimacy with each other,' said Andrew. 'And apparently that idea just doesn't work in any real practical sort of way. People find their own loves in life.'
'I guess so,' replied Bianca.
'What? Are you worried we're a bunch of sinners or something?'
'No, of course not. Don't be silly. But, its just.'
'It's just what?' he asked.
'Well it's not exactly the regular sort of situation society usually expects.'
'Like I said. Some of us are lucky.'
'Some men are lucky,' she said.
'Blame God for that. Just the way it is B.'
'I guess so,' she replied. 'Fine. I'll accept that for now.'
He looked at her. 'What? What, are you thinking of challenging it one day?'
She looked right at him, into his eyes, and looked away. 'I didn't say that.'
Andrew took issue on that. 'I mean, come on babe. This is the permanent situation isn't it?'
'Is it?' she asked. 'It will be like this forever?'
'Well, it will, won't it?'
She looked at him again. 'I guess so then.'
'Right,' he said. He looked at her, hesitatingly, but let it go. What did you expect for Bianca. A girl he still hadn't completely figured out.
* * * * *
'Just a touch of love, Andrew, and it will work fine. Just keep the love coming to both Jessica and Bianca, buy them flowers regularly, say you love them, repent your heart to show that genuine love, because I know you do love them both, and keep them happy with regular restaurants, plays, cinema, ballet and the other things they like. Be devoted. Be tender. Be caring. Be responsible. If you keep that up permanently, they won't really mind in the end,' said Daniel.
'Right,' said Andrew to his father. 'Well that sounds wise enough dad.'
They were at the hockey ground for training, and Andrew had his red socks on. Daniel was sipping on a bottle of water, watching the rest of the team train, talking with his son.
'Personally, the situation you've got going is complicated, but it can be made to work. I think you're doing it well enough. Bianca probably wants to be accepted as normal by society, from what you've said. Concentrate on her reputation, and giving her a good name. Keep that in mind, and it probably won't bother her in the end. If it ever becomes too much, then I guess you will have to choose in the end. But, as you have said you can, if you can make the commitment to both of them, then give them that touch of love, and stay faithful. It will probably all work out in the end. Probably.'
'Thanks dad, said Andrew, and sipped on his water, and ran off back to training.
Daniel watched him. He'd had a lot of relationships now, with children to a lot of different ladies. But he'd never really tried to get two of them going with him at the same time. That was not quite in the protocols of Daniel the Seraphim. Love the one you are with and all that jazz. But if worked for his son, well such was life. He didn't envy him though. A woman could have tremendous scorn, and Jessica and Bianca were both passionate women. But if Andrew could handle the situation, then good luck to him. And he was almost proud of his studly son in that macho kind of way. Almost.
* * * * *
It was game night. Andrew had on his red socks. He looked smart. He looked happening. He looked fit. He was worried. Both girls wanted to see the first game of the season. He'd told them they could both come. He hadn't told them the other girl could. He played his cards carefully. Jessica on one side of the field, Bianca on the other. He'd be careful.
The game got underway, and at halftime his team were behind 3-2. He went to Bianca.
'How do you think I'm doing?'
'Great,' she said. 'You almost scored.'
'Maybe the second half,' he said.
'Who were you talking to. I couldn't quite make out her face.'
'Just a friend,' he said slyly.
'Oh,' she said. 'Long black hair. About 5 and a half foot tall. Slim. I wonder who she could possibly be?'
'Ok, fine. Yes it's Jessica.'
'You don't want us sitting next to each other?' asked Bianca.
'Well? Well, go on then.'
The game got back under way, and Bianca had made her way next to Jessica. Andrew watched on nervously, and almost let a player get passed him. He scored very late in fact, and it was drawn 3 all.
After washing in the showers, and changing, he found the girls. They were chatting animatedly, and he was a little surprised. They seemed to be getting on quite well actually.
'We ready?' he asked them.
As they drove home, Bianca driving, and Jessica in the front seat next to her, Andrew in the back seat, the girls were still nattering.
'Oh, and when he's eaten pizza, he farts all night. Especially on pepperoni,' said Bianca.
'And boy does it pong,' replied Jessica, and the girls continued giggling.
Andrew, in the back seat, was not impressed. 20 minutes of this mockery of himself, and he was now wise as to why fate separated them all. He'd be going through hell otherwise. They dropped off Bianca, and when they got home Andrew looked at his wife.
'You enjoyed that, I suppose?'
'Enjoyed what?' she asked innocently.
'Tearing me down. Both of you. Having the frikking time of your lives paying out on me.'
'Oh,' said Jessica, smiling. 'Just girl talk sweetie,' she said, touching his lip. 'Don't you worry about that.'
'Yeh, right,' said Andrew. 'Girl talk.'
He sat down in front of the TV, and looked at the blank screen. 'As long as that girl talk doesn't become an epidemic,' he said flatly.
'Don't worry sweetie. The situation won't change,' said Jessica, coming down to his feet to take of his shoes and socks.
'I mean, you girls don't really get along, do you?' he asked her.
She looked at him. 'Of course not. Like chalk and cheese, aren't we?'
'Yes. Definitely,' he said, as she removed his socks. 'I mean, it could never work. Us all sharing a house together. It would be hell. You would be arguing constantly. Always at each others throat.'
'Of course,' she said, as she took his shoes and socks to the laundry. She came back into the main room with a can of beer, and handed it to him.
'Yep,' he said. 'The same old situation will prevail. No weird happy families.'
'Naturally,' she replied.
3 days later, with Bianca's final bits of belongings being moved into their abode, the mover getting Andrew to sign off on the slip, Andrew looked at the girls, as they chatted quietly between themselves, and started arranging Bianca's stuff in the house.
'Yeh, this is going to be great,' said Andrew cautiously.
'It will be fine,' said Jessica.
'All that we could possibly really want, isn't it?' said Andrew.
'It's a brand new beginning,' said Bianca.
'I mean, it will be perfect,' said Andrew. 'We'll never argue. There will never be any problems. All one big happy family.'
'One big happy family,' said both the girls, practically in unison.
'Great,' sighed Andrew.
It was his father Daniel who said it perfectly a few days later. 'The wife and the mistress all under one roof? Don't worry son. Hell aint a bad place to be.'
'Hell aint a bad place to be,' repeated Andrew. He was not quite excited over that idea. Not quite excited at all.
Andrew picked up the screwdriver and looked at the billy cart.
'It's looking ok,' said his father Daniel.
'Why must I build a billy cart again?' asked Andrew.
'It's a Daly tradition,' said Daniel. 'Old man Cyril built one for Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly the First, and the tradition has continued on since then. And seeing as both Jessica and Bianca are now pregnant, time to get the ball rolling for your own boys.'
'Two boys, huh? And if I get two girls?'
Daniel looked at Andrew. 'Then they'll be Tom Boys. Now get to it. That axel has to be put on properly, as its on crooked, and the thing will probably fall apart once you get it going.'
'Fine,' said Andrew, and started unscrewing the screws which held the axel braces in place.
It was a bright day, and Daniel was sipping on a bottle of iced tea, sitting on a bench, watching his son. 'This is the life,' said Daniel. 'Work, rest and play. The Daly philosophy.'
'Work, rest and play is the Daly philosophy?' asked Andrew. 'New to me.'
'Don't be an idiot,' said Daniel. 'Our philosophy is 'Rule the World in Supreme Glory for All Eternity and Beyond.' Work, rest and play is just a minor philosophy.'
Andrew chuckled. 'Now you sound like my old man.'
'An attitude you have totally failed to grasp, we have noted. You seem to be the complacent kind. More like old man Cyril. Happy to serve God and be a pleasant old sod.'
'And what is wrong with that?' asked Andrew, taking issue. 'Cyril is a far better example that you, you old fart. He lives a balanced, moderate and civil life. Not given over to fantasies of self vanity and ego unabated.'
'Ego unabated put you through university, and gave you the finest Blue Beetle collection in the universe. Now get those braces on properly you young underling,' said Daniel.
'Yes Sir,' replied Andrew. He continued working for a while, and soon the axels were looking straight, and Daniel surveyed the work.
'Mmm. Adequate, I suppose. You probably should attend a technical trade college. Your tradie skills leave something to be desired,' said Daniel.
'I guess I'm just too complacent,' said Andrew. 'Not yet ready to become Supreme Glory.'
'Watch that tone, young son,' said Daniel. 'Kids these days. I don't know. Give them a start in life, and all they do is say 'I don't know. Should I do this? Should I do that? I can't make up my mind. And then they spend the next fifty years playing Nintendo, going to parties, and mobile phoning half the known universe.'
'Very funny,' said Andrew. 'Anyway, I didn't have a mobile till I was 100.'
'And thank God for that,' said Daniel. 'Now put the cart in the drive way, get in, and I'll give you a push.'
'I suppose it will fit me,' said Andrew. And so they got the cart in the drive way, and even got onto the street, and spent the next two hours, father and son, acting like they were teenagers all over again.
* * * * *
'So are you enjoying fucking the unicorn up the arse?' asked Saruviel.
'Bianca is not a unicorn,' replied Andrew.
Saruviel grinned. 'Ah, come on lad. It was a joke. I am the beast you know.'
'Definitely a devil,' said Andrew. 'I don't think you have yet grasped the fundamental point in our dialogue, though. I love Jessica. Deeply. But I have feelings towards another lady also, and I don't think I should try and hide those feelings.'
'Fellings come, feelings go,' said Saruviel. 'Sometimes I feel like taking off all my clothes, running into the Kalphon cafeteria, and shouting 'All praise the Lord Saruviel'. But I don't always listen to feelings do I?'
'You dream of that, do you?' asked Andrew, a grin on his face.
'Oh, the stuff I think up in my office. Sitting there all day, reading reports on Kalphon and our work. I sit there, and think up evil thoughts on ruling the world and plunging everything into chaos. Once I devised a scheme to immerse Kantriel in honey and bring in a hive of bees to watch the show. Kantriel objected.'
'You're all heart,' said Andrew. 'But I reiterate. I love two women. It's a totally normal thing.'
'But is it wise? Sometimes we need to curb our lusts in order to have a more lawful society. A lesson I've slowly been learning,' replied Saruviel.
'It's not lust,' said Andrew defensively.
'Bianca is an extraordinary good looking lady. Blone. Killer figure. Cute smile. Very sharp. Like sherbet really. I can understand the attraction,' said Saruviel.
'She's more than just a playboy centrefold,' replied Andrew. 'She has a heart and thoughts and feelings of her own. Even bimbos have emotions, you know.'
'And so she's a bimbo to you is she?' asked Saruviel.
'I didn't say that. You are putting words in my mouth. Look, I know she is know genius, and easy on the eyes, but we get along remarkably well. And Jessica has sort of settled with the issue now,' said Andrew.
'I don't dispute situations like this can be made to work. In a pragmatic way. But I question whether it is the ideal. And whether a person should ultimately seek the ideal,' replied Alexander.
'Yes. Yes, that's it, isn't it,' said Andrew. 'Dad commented that to me once. Saruviel was ultimately an idealist. He thought he was right, and was so damned sure he was right, that he rebelled against God and chose freedom because he knew he was damn right. But there was a bigger picture which Saruviel didn't grasp right away. Daniel said that to me.'
'And maybe he was right,' replied Saruviel. 'But do you think you see that bigger picture?'
'If its a vision of a world that ultimately forgave Saruviel after a millennia, then perhaps I do,' replied Andrew.
Saruviel looked at Andrew Daly. 'Ok,' he said at last. 'I'll think that over. We'll talk again.'
They continued chatting, and Andrew ordered another Big Mac from the Zaphona city McDonalds they were eating in, before they called it an afternoon, and arranged another date for a discussion at some latter time.
* * * * *
Bianca looked at the magazine. It was a new one, not part of any Eternya subscription plan, but meant to be disposable. Current news, an article with public domain print knowledge, and nothing to be deemed as noteworthy for collectable purposes. It was now in poor condition, and she had only bought it on the weekend.
'Bitch,' she said under her breath.
Jessica, cutting carrots in the kitchen for dinner, grinned softly to herself. She'd noticed Jessica looking at the magazine in the main living room. She'd read it of course. She read it – passionately. It was for the whole family, so she justified herself, in her treatment of the magazine. Bianca came into the kitchen.
'Carrots,' said Bianca, a slight tartiness in her voice.
'Andrew likes carrots with honey and onion some times,' replied Jessica.
'I know,' responded Bianca. 'That's not the way I do them for him though. He says I do the best carrots in the world.'
'I'm sure you do,' replied Jessica. 'But this is how I do them. Andrew has never complained.'
'Oh, I'm sure he doesn't mind your cooking,' said Bianca. 'He likes everyday food. Common food is quite within his palate he tells me.'
Jessica turned to look at Bianca. 'Common food?' she said, her eyebrow raised.
Bianca took a spoon of the carrots and ate them. 'Yes. Definitely common. He can stomach all sorts of things, he tells me.'
Jessica held her knife up, not in a threatening way, but in a picture of defiance. 'I am sure my common cooking will appease the glory of Andrew Daly's appetite. Little ole kitchen scullion me.'
Bianca smiled back. 'Oh, you are more than a scullion. A kitchen hand at least.'
The grip of Jessica on the knife only tightened and, as Bianca returned to the living room, Jessica mad a soft plunging motion toward her turned back and said 'Bitch' under her breath.
Andrew presented himself then, returned home from work.
'Hey girls,' he said. No reaction. Jessica looked mad, and Bianca had a smarmy look on her face. It had been one of those days be the looks of it.
He sat down next to Bianca. 'How was your day babe?'
'Work was interestng. Busy day. But getting home to see Jessica in the kitchen, well, that made my day.'
'I bet it did,' said Jessica from the kitchen.
Andrew looked at Bianca, smiling, and then at Jessica cutting potatoes now, who was grumbling to herself.
'So you two are getting along them,' he said cautiously.
'She's a saint,' said Jessica, looking at Andrew, with her eyes all lit up like the clown 'It' from the Stephen King novel.
'She's to die for,' replied Bianca. 'Nobody sweeter than Jessica Daly.'
'Good, good,' said Andrew nervously now. 'So no problems then?'
'Living with Bianca is a dream come true,' said Jessica, but the look on her face betrayed her heart.
'Couldn't imagine life any other way,' said Bianca. 'Now how about we order pizza?'
Andrew smiled, then looked at Jessica, knife and potato in her hand, with looks which could kill.
'Uh, I'll pass on the pizza Bi. We'll enjoy Jessica's fine cooking.'
'Yes, common as it is,' said Jessica, returning to her cooking.
'Yeh, good,' said Andrew. 'You know girls, it's great to see you two getting along. I know there will be teething problems, but just give it time babes. It will work out.'
'Can't hardly wait,' said Jessica softly in reply.
'Oh, it should be brill,' responded Bianca.
Andrew knew to leave off the subject then. It could be difficult for a while, he knew that, so best not to provoke anyone. Let them work it out between themselves slowly. Time, he felt. Just time. It would be ok after a while. So he deeply hoped anyway.
* * * * *
Andrew went on with some accounting studies for a while, and started working for an accounting firm in the heart of the city. Bianca changed jobs to a restaurant manager, and Jessica started working for Realmcare, the Realm of Eternity's universal health care coverage scheme. One evening they were attending a local Assembly of the Divine Creator service, part of the Advancing Noah Movement which his fathers had started, and Andrew was feeling convicted. He felt guilty.
'Sure,' continued the preacher. 'We can turn a blind eye at times to wrongs. If God pulled us up for every sin we would be confessing in prayer endlessly, wouldn't we? I know I would. But sometimes a blind eye is not appropriate, especially when it's an issue of law. Realm Law, Torah Law, Civic Law. Whatever you want to call what you live by or acknowledge, and for us it is our own spiritual Torah first and foremost in many ways, but whatever it is, sometimes a spade, in the end, is a spade. And an illegal act should be confessed, and of others, reported. Collusion, corruption, these are things which destroy the foundations of a society, and if we are partakers of the crimes of angel and men, how can we call ourselves servants of the Most High?'
The preacher continued, but Andrew's head was bowed. He was not feeling the best.
They were sitting in Assembly Hall after the service, eating biscuits and drinking tea with the usual crowd they knew well enough, and Bianca noticed the distracted look on Andrew's face.
'What's up hon?' she asked him softly.
Andrew didn't reply, and just shrugged.
'Seriously Andrew. What's up?'
He looked at her. 'This is a dismal city, Bianca. A dismal city.' And he said nothing more.
Life went on, and Bianca remembered what Andrew had said. One day she was watching the news, and there were reports of mafia activity in connection with money laundering. And Andrew's firm was mentioned.
'Shit,' she said to herself. She told the news to Jessica when she got in, and they agreed Jess would handle it.
When Andrew got home late the lights were dimmed, and classical music was softly playing. Jessica was sitting there, and Bianca was in her bedroom.
'Hey Jess,' said Andrew. 'Hard day. I need rest.'
'Andrew. Would you sit next to me for a moment.'
Andrew complied, and she confronted him on the issue. But he would only speak sketchily about the details, and said he wasn't directly involved. But she noticed the guilty look on his face. And Bianca noticed it as well over the next few weeks, as a police investigation took place. Andrew talked with authorities he told his women, but nothing more came of it.
Eventually it was at hockey practice that Bianca confronted him.
'Do you need to confess anything?' she asked him.
'I didn't break any laws,' he said. 'But I did know some things were going on which they shouldn't. But I didn't want to lose my job so didn't report anything.'
'Ok,' she said, and didn't pursue the issue any more than that.
Later that week Jessica had gone out for a few hours, leaving Bianca alone with Andrew.
'Nobody is perfect, Andrew Daly. What, do you expect the holiness of God to be perpetually in your heart?'
He just looked at her. He didn't seem to know what to say.
'You'll know better next time,' she said softly, and kissed him. He felt somewhat better. Life went on, as it does, and after time the investigation closed, and the firm was largely exonerated as only a number of workers were directly involved. Lengthy sentences were given, and business continued. But Andrew had changed somewhat. He was reading scripture now more, which Bianca found strange, as while his father was deeply religious at times, Andrew was the every day sort of fellow she liked him for. But his experience had affected him, so she supported him in his studies, and politely asked questions to show support. But the years passed, and gradually the Andrew she knew and loved came back to himself, and she softly breathed a sigh of relief. Good to have her man back.
* * * * *
'Well who the hell is one flesh with you, kemosabe?' asked Jessica, almost violently, as Andrew walked through the door, coming home from work.
'What the? Calm down babe. What the hell is this all about?' replied Andrew Daly.
'She's been in a mood all afternoon,' said Bianca. 'Has been holding the Rainbow Torah in her hands all the time, and pacing around the flat grumbling 'I'll get him' to herself.'
'Oh,' said Andrew. 'I see,' he said, looking at his wife.
'She aint frikking one flesh with you,' said Jessica, pointing aggressively towards Bianca.
'I'm his mistress,' replied Bianca. 'His concubine.'
'Noahides don't have concubines,' retorted Jessica hotly.
'Oh, they do,' said Andrew. 'Plenty of them. It's scriptural. All through the Tanakh.'
'We're NOT frikking jews,' said Jessica hotly. 'God judges us by the Rainbow Torah and the Angels Torah.'
Andrew looked at her, and sighed.
'There are multiple wives in the Rainbow Torah. Look at Lamech. Fact,' said Bianca tartly.
Jessica glared at her, and then looked at Andrew accusingly. 'She's not your frikking wife though.'
Andrew looked at her. 'No, she's not,' he said softly. 'We borrow traditions and ideas from the Tanakh as Karaites in faith. Issues which are not specifically judaism in the Tanakh, but universal enough ideas, we use also. There are case studies in history of various gentiles having more than one wife and also having concubines. It is a thing humans do.'
'But it is not in the Rainbow Torah,' replied Jessica, again a passionate look on her face.
'It is legal in society,' replied Andrew. 'In Civic Law of the Realm it is legal. Realm Law doesn't comment on it, and ANM law doesn't say much on the issue. But it is legal enough a thing to do. If scripture is silent on an issue of morality we can choose to do it if it doesn't contradict the legal structures we are under.'
Jessica continued glaring, than softened. 'Oh, well. Just because it is legal that you can do it. It doesn't make it right, though.'
'Who said anything makes it right. It is just what people do, sweetie,' replied Andrew. 'And I need a drink.'
He went to the kitchen, got a can of cold beer, and came down and sat in front of the TV, flicking on the news. Jessica stood there defiantly.
'Abraham did it. So did Jacob and David and Solomon,' said Bianca. 'Sure, they are under a different covenant, but it is probably acceptable for us to make those choices. You know.'
Jessica stared at her. 'I'm going to my room,' she said, and stormed off.
Andrew watched the TV for a while, and Bianca came and sat next to him.
'We'll have to discuss this. Religiously,' said Bianca.
'Don't I know it,' replied Andrew, realizing the new can of worms he was about to get into.
* * * * *
'It's not like I go around fucking every bitch in the city,' said Andrew, sipping on his beer in the city tavern.
'Of course not,' replied Saruviel.
'I mean, I'm faithful. Of course I am. I always have been. Just to two women, not one,' continued Andrew, taking another sip on his glass. His speech was starting to slur, and Saruviel had noticed, but refrained from commenting.
'I mean, there is NOTHING wrong with that. It is perfectly natural for a man to have more than one mate. I'm a lion, and they are my pride. It's nature.'
'If you say so,' responded Saruviel, sipping on his lemonade.
Andrew looked downwards, and was grumbling. They were against the wall of the tavern, and it was filled with smoke from cigarettes, and AC DC were playing in the background, and men in leather abounded.
'They shouldn't complain,' he said. 'They have no right to complain. It's my choice.'
'Which affects them,' replied Saruviel. 'Women don't necessarily like to share either. Would you?'
'Of course not. But I'm a man,' replied Andrew defiantly.
'There is probably some truth in that,' said Saruviel, sipping on his drink. 'But it doesn't mean everyone thinks like that or agrees with it. It is still a weird idea to most of the populace. A thing for mormons and ancient Israelites. Not to be taken too seriously.'
'Well it is my legal right, so stuff em,' said Andrew, and laid back against the wall, and closed his eyes. Saruviel sat there, sipping, keeping his thoughts to himself, and looked at Andrew. The lad was trying to justify himself to a world which didn't all agree with him at all. Some didn't mind, most didn't care, and some approved even. But some said it just wasn't the way it should be, and he had been relating the flack he had been dealing with because of it.
Andrew opened his eyes. 'What can I say? I'm a fricking sinner or something. Uncontrolled lusts.'
'I don't think your a sinner,' said Saruviel, starting to lift Andrew to his feet. 'Just exuberant. And time to get you home buddy.'
Saruviel helped Andrew to the car, and as he drove his friend home through the city streets he felt a strange compassion for Daniel's kid, who was probably not the kind of person who would deliberately make the choice he did, but a war of love and heart seemed to have left him with little other choice to make. Poor fella. He get him home, and Jessica helped him to bed.
'He's had a bit too much,' said Saruviel. 'And he's be complaining about the situation. Two women, and how it is affecting him.'
'It's what we deal with,' said Jessica. 'Well, thanks for bringing him home.'
Saruviel left, and as he drove back to his hotel he silently thanked God that, while he himself, if he chose to, would not give the slightest damn about having more than one woman, it was some sort of dumb luck or just a rational decision of the heart which gave him loyalty to his twin Krystabel, which he did not stray from, and which was apparently now set in stone. Probably small mercies, he thought to himself. Probably small mercies.
* * * * *
Meludiel and Jesus were chatting with Jessica.
'Of course, Andrew is rather thick isn't he,' said the Christ child.
'A viable observation,' replied Jessica.
'Yes,' said Meludiel, sipping on her tea. 'He is polite enough, but bears those incredibly consistent Daly qualities of stupidity, moronism and thickery.'
'They are excellent at the display of such qualities,' said Jesus.
'You suck Jesus!' yelled Andrew from the back room.
Jesus sipped on his tea, and just smiled contentedly at Jessica.
'Andrew is not thick,' said Jessica softly. 'Just confused. He is at a loss about the situation.'
'We could profile him,' said Jesus. 'A clowns of Noahidism special. Illustrating the religious stupidity of the freethinking sons of Noah.'
Jessica smiled a little.
'He is Daniel's boy,' said Meludiel. 'So in the end, after a crusade of minimal thought, he will say something with the slightest hint of insight, the light of God will dawn upon him, and in his newfound revelation he shall repent the tiniest most miniscule of fractions, and humbly acknowledge the truth.'
'I like to fuck my women, so fuck off you two,' yelled Andrew from the other room.
'He has good hearing,' commented Jesus.
'Yes, excellent,' replied the morbid looking Jessica.
'He will come to his senses in time,' Meludiel assured Jessica, taking her hand. 'Just have patience with him. He may be a dimwit, but I am still somewhat certain that as a member of the Daly clan he will work it out in time. Just be patient dear Jess.'
'Yes,' replied Jessica somberly. 'Patience.'
After the afternoon tea was ended and Jesus and Meludiel had left, Jessica, who was dressed in black that day, came into the kitchen to prepare dinner. Bianca was away at the moment, and Andrew was in bed with the flu. She cut her carrots softly, and there were minor tears in her eyes, so frustrated she had been as of late of both her current reputation in the neighbourhood, and the impossibility of the situation. You couldn't have two of them, only mormons and old jews were that stubborn. Not her dearest Andrew. Yet she knew he loved her, and loved Bianca equally as much, so as she cut her carrots she despaired life's ironies, as Andrew continued to winge, moan and splutter from the other room, occasionally yelling out for chicken soup and other such and sundry remedies to cure his current life malaise.
* * * * *
'Fuck em,' said Andrew to himself, looking at the Christian Magazine special on the errors of Polygamy. 'They can fuck themselves.' He looked at the picture of Jesus talking with the interviewer, and man did he look smarmy. 'Bloody Christ Child,' he said to himself. 'I'll show him. JESSICA! BIANCA! We're going to the show.'
The girls came into the room.
'The show?' asked Bianca.
'The fair in town?' queried Jessica.
'Yep. You bet. And we're spending a small fortune as well. Rides, candy floss, clown heads, dodgems, you name it. We'll have fun. And we'll have a bloody good time as well.'
'Ooh,' said Bianca.
'I'll change,' said Jessica excitedly.
Soon they were driving through the city, Bianca in the front seat and Andrew and Jessica in the back.
'We'll MAKE this work,' said Andrew. 'It will just take some effort. It's our right, so it's kosher, so damn the world. I paid up for a good time with my ladies, and I'll be damned if I don't have one.'
Jessica took his hand, smiling him, and looked out at the passing city.
At the show they indeed did the rides, and ate candy floss, and Andrew had half a dozen dagwood dogs when all was said and done. And they laughed and smiled, and spent ages at the dodgems, teams changing constantly, and Jessica smiled more than once. In fact she was enjoying herself, and then, standing by the dodgem ring, sipping on a drink, watching Andrew and Bianca in a dodgem together, smiling, laughing, right at that very moment in time she believed something else about life. If it makes you happy it can't be that bad in the end. It couldn't be that bad.
They watched the fireworks that night, sitting on the rug they had bought with them, and Andrew had his arms around both girls beside him, and all three of them were in heaven. It had just worked this day and night. It had just worked out. In some ways all the recent suffering had come, but was forgotten, as they'd just endured and held on day by day, and now it was good. Now it was happy. Now it was working. And as Bianca again drove them home late that evening, Jessica sat next to the snoozing Andrew, holding his hand, and again looked out the window at the passing city, and somehow knew that, at this moment in time, everything was right in the world. Everything was good. She'd held on for one more day, and broken free now from the chains which tried to triumph over her, and had seen a ray of light, and all was good. All was well. She looked at Andrew and at Bianca in the front seat, and smiled. Life certainly was ironic, but perhaps it was going her way now. Perhaps, after all the madness, things were now going her way. And for this moment in time, no matter what people said, she didn't mind at all about the situation. She didn't really care. For this moment in time, all was good, and she smiled up to heaven to God, and leaned against the side of the car, watching the city pass by, in the most content and happy of moods. The most happy of moods.
* * * * *
'What do you have for me life, now? Original life? What do you have for me? I have done so much, and there isn't much of a buzz anymore. Sure, I have my routines. Dad goes on about that. Find routines in life which work for you and get you through the night, and learn them, and treasure them, because they are your salvation. I've got a lot of that figured out. But is there something new you want to add in? Is there a new mystery for me to learn and discover? Is there? Is there life? What do you have for me?'
Andrew looked up at the clouds, lied down on the grass at the top of the grassy knoll. Down near the carpark Bianca and Jessica were working on the barbecue, despite the slight rain shower. It was hot today, but rainy in patches as well. Still they thought it a good day for a get out. But they were alone, in what was apparently a popular getaway destination from the city, just out of town a bit. Completely alone, and the river which ran by was strangely free from those who usually wanted an escape from the cruel summer heat. Strange. He looked at the clouds, and pictured one of them as Papa Smurf, perhaps ready for an argument with what appeared to be an approaching Azrael the cat. A very strange shaped cat, admittedly, but who else could it be? Funny thing, imaginations. They thought up all sorts of crazy stuff.
'Loverboy! Get down here,' yelled Bianca. Andrew stared at the clouds, sighed, and as another soft shower started he rose to his feet and descended the small hill.
'Well, the chicken kebabs are done,' said Jessica. 'The ones you like from the supermarket in the city.'
'Ooh, good,' said Andrew.
They sat around their camp, eating lunch, and the rain had stopped again, and it was hot and humid.
'Nobody around,' said Andrew.
'Yep,' said Bianca.
'Nobody at all,' said Jessica.
Andrew grinned at them. 'How about it girls?'
Jessica looked at him suspiciously. 'How about what?'
'A bit of skinny dipping.'
'You are rude, aren't you,' said Bianca, wolfing down a hot dog.
Jessica stood, stripped off, and soon stood there completely naked. Andrew got a bit of a reaction, and soon was naked himself, chasing her down to the river which she had dived into. Bianca just continued on with her lunch.
They found each other near some rocks, and he came up close to her.
'You look hot,' he said.
She reached under the water and grabbed his crotch. 'Can it work underwater?' she asked him.
They soon found out.
When they'd finished their passion, they returned to the banks, and up to Bianca, and got dressed.
'Have fun?' she asked them. They didn't reply, but just looked at each other.
They stopped at a favourite country restaurant for dinner in the late afternoon, and as Andrew lay in his bed that night, looking up at the ceiling, he grinned to himself. 'So that is what you have in store for me then? River sex. Very funny life.'
And then he slept, and dreamed, and a monstrous Bianca, 12 foot high, with green eyes, had him and Jessica cornered, and said to them, 'I am the beast of jealousy. I will devour you Jessica, and have my wicked way with you Andrew Daly.' Andrew gulped in his dream, but then the scene changed, but it stayed in the back of his dreams all night, occasionally Bianca popping up, looking like the most threatening of green eyed monsters. Most jealous indeed.
'Right,' said Saruviel. 'Good idea. But I think I'll risk it.'
'Your funeral,' said Andrew, as Saruviel reached for the 5 wood. He aimed, he stroked, the ball flew through the air, and went through the trees.
'Is a 5 wood even a legal fairway wood?' asked Andrew.
'Technically. It is a very rare wood, and unless you have played the game forever don't bother applying to the Federation for one.'
'Will remember,' smiled Andrew, as they picked up their golf bags and strolled the greens of his local golf course. The day had been fine so far, a great weekend of sorts to play golf, and it took Andrew's mind off his love life. And it was always on that these days. His love life.
'Have you considered a third lady yet?' asked Saruviel, a slight grin on his face.
'Now you are being facetious,' replied Andrew. 'I don't trivialize my conundru, no matter how flippant the Adversary wants to be.'
'Adversary,' replied Saruviel. 'My my. We are the best of friends, young Andrew, and I am no adversary to you, dear child of God.'
'No. I suppose not,' replied Andrew. In fact, that was steadily becoming quite true. He and Saruviel were strange bedfellows, two souls who had come into an unintended friendship, but one which had come along after a bit, and was now, not just mentoring, but an active relationship.
'1, 2, 3 Peter Paul and Mary. Or four, on the floor,' said Saruviel.
'Shut up Britney,' replied Andrew to Saruviel's mocking use of the quote from Britney's hit song about the menage a trois. 'I hardly think that is appropriate.'
'You three don't dilly dally I take it then?' queried Saruviel.
'They're not the sort,' replied Andrew, looking for his ball.
'But you are?' continued Saruviel.
'Stop putting words in my mouth. It's not our thing. Sort of discussed a little, and there might have been an encounter or two, but its not really what it is all about between us. I'm not a stud, or a loverboy, or an amazing patriarch of outstanding progenetic qualities. Just the shit I got into for falling in love with two ladies. It's awkward, I regret it a million different ways, but I wouldn't change it either. Love them both too much.'
'I see,' said Saruviel, and pointed to where Andrew's ball was. Andrew took out a nine iron, as it wasn't far too the green, and swung. It landed just on the green, and they meandered up to it.
Andrew looked. 'Your ball is about a foot from the hole. Sink it you make an eagle. I think you were lucky.'
'Experience,' replied Saruviel.
'Yeh. Sure,' replied Andrew. He took his putter out and aimed, getting the ball very near, and then tapped it in for a birdie. It was a par 5. Saruviel steadied himself, and putted his ball in for an eagle.
'That makes me 15 under, and you 2 under for the 18 holes,' said Saruviel. 'We'll call that a tie, shall we.'
'You flatter me. Good score though. Thought about playing professionally?'
'Competition is tough these days,' replied Alexander. 'The world's best can get 30 under on 18 holes at times. Very challenging. What you saw today is about the best of me. Haven't been going easy on you.'
'That's reassuring,' replied Mr Daly.
'Anyway, good round. Let's hand in our scores, and have a drink.
;They drunk in the club, and there were a few words of congratulations for the score of the decade to Saruviel for that golf course, and Andrew made his way home. Back to life with Bianca and Jessica, though time with Saruviel had been a happy enough getaway.
* * * * *
So Bianca complained, time and again, and Andrew finally agreed that the grass really was greener on the other side. So they moved up to the Realm of Infinity, the disc of Nadrazon, the Silver City, and settled down. It had taken a while for permissions to come through, but Bianca wanted a seachange. To understand why life was different up above.
It took a while to settle in, and they only had 5 million years of permanent stay right. After all, they were angels of eternity – it was not their domain. But they could stay for a while, and learn what life was like on the other side.
'It smells of roses,' said Andrew. 'Why does our toilet smell of roses?'
'The pumping for the water coming in to the toilet comes from a specific source. It is made so that it will hygienically deal with our waste material, but leave a pleasant enough after affect. All the toilets in this city are just the same. It is very different in Infinity – they go into detail in improving things,' replied Bianca.
'I've noticed,' said Andrew. 'Fuss, fuss, fuss. They are damn fussy about everything. The legal codes here are beyond belief. I have 7000 pages of law to get through with my accounting firm. And they just give me this look as if I can handle it. Unbelievable.'
'Well, it has been eye-opening so far,' said Bianca. 'Can we stay the full 5 million years? I want to learn as much as possible about life at this level. Take its expertise back to eternity.' Andrew nodded. He felt, while it was tough, it would be worth it. Learning from the best, apparently. Although those of Infinity said they learned a thing or two when they got access to the children of heaven's realm.
* * * * *
'The soul of darkness needs the light,' said the angel Garanel. 'And it needs the angel of light herself.'
'Fascinating. Yet you bed jezebel's,' commented Andrew. 'Hardly angels of light.'
'Oh, you know. You got to paint it white if its rep is black,' replied Garanel. 'I mean, I'm hardly a sterling role model.'
'You're hardly anything, apparently,' said Andrew. 'You live of shares in blue chip realm companies, from aeons ago, which make you very rich. But you don't do anything except bludge around and fuck prostitutes.'
'And drink beer,' put in Garanel.
'Excuse me. And drink beer,' finished Andrew.
'The best beer. Dutch beer,' said Garanel.
'Only the best,' replied Andrew.
'And the whores? 1000 cred a blow sort of material. You know, the hot kind. Babes from magazines. That sort,' stated Garanel honestly.
'You have refined tastes, then,' said Andrew frankly.
'Only the best bitches for this motherfucker,' replied Garanel. 'Anyway, how are my investments coming along?'
Andrew looked at the screen. 'Very well, Garanel.'
'Why did they choose you kid, by the way? I usually deal with this other bloke. I mean, your Daniel's boy, so I guess they want to put on a good front,' queried Garanel.
'Something like that,' replied Andrew. 'Your shares look set for steady return all this finanical quarter,' commented Andrew. 'As far as I can tell anyway.'
'Not your field of specialty?' asked Garanel.
'They dragged me over from Accounts,' replied Andrew. 'Thought I could be used with people like you I guess.'
'You'll do fine,' replied Garanel. 'Anyway, want to drop around for a drink after work? Here's my address,' he said, handing Andrew his card.
'Archangel Garanel. Love Machine.' was written on the card. Andrew felt that pretty much summed it up.
* * * * *
'So we harden up,' said Andrew.
'I guess so,' replied Jessica. 'I mean, being a canteen lady is not that bad. I've hardened up. Coped with theEXTREMELY challenging work of the Realm of Infinity.'
'Heh heh. It's all they'd give her. The employment office,' smirked Bianca.
'Coming from a Tea Lady, that's rich,' replied Jessica.
'At least it's at a fine gentelman's establishment, and not a uni canteen,' replied Bianca.
'Just what sort of Gentleman's establishment is it, I'd like to know,' said Jessica.
'No fair Andy. She's hitting below the belt,' complained Bianca.
'Where you've been working. Don't think I haven't seen your outfit,' said Jessica.
'I don't have to take off my top,' she persisted. 'I don't work the jobs the other ladies do. They just employed me as a tea lady because I'm attractive. I fit the scene. Besides, they are legal.'
'Don't I know it,' sighed Andrew. 'Garanel was telling me all about the place you work. One of the best, he said.'
'Shaddup,' replied Jessica. 'What do you expect, though? We're Eternity. We haven't earned out stripes here. They put us at the bottome, give the man a semi-decent job, because he's supporting us, and let us learn our place the hard way.'
'I think that is sort of how it is here,' mused Jessica. She looked squarely at Bianca. 'We're not going to quit though, are we sis?'
'No. I'm not going to,' replied Bianca.
'Then I'm not either,' said Jessica.
'5 million years it is,' said Bianca.
They both looked at Andrew. 'Fine. I'll learn the bloody legislation. We have drive as well. We'll work hard and measure up to the standards they require. Show them what Angels of Eternity are made of.'
* * * * *
'So you are taking on the challenge. Good for you,' said Saruviel, at the plush golf course they were at that weekend.
'The girls have their bees in their bonnet,' replied Andrew. 'They take it personally. Won't let Infinity get the better of them.'
'Nor should they,' replied Saruviel. 'A great attitude in them. I'm proud of them.'
Andrew looked at Saruviel. 'You would be. Wouldn't you?'
'It's my job, if you must know. Challenging the angels of eternity to their best. Never really felt like the Realm of Infinity was meant to be competed with. But if you must know, I think you guys are doing an excellent thing. Should be the making of you.'
'I hope we live up to expectations,' replied Andrew dryly.
Saruviel aimed his golf club and swung. Predictably the ball sailed down the centre of the fairway. 'I am sure you will,' said Saruviel.
They played on, and Andrew was trounced as usual. But the club did not make that much of a fuss about Saruviel's admittedly decent score. They were used to decent scores in this part of the universe.
'Remember, pride comes before the fall,' said Saruviel. 'Stay humble, do your work, and pay attention to detail. Don't let rule of law or unknown custom get the better of you. Conformity is a lesson hard learned. I know that better than anyone. So pay attention and you should do fine. I know you reaosnably well now Andrew Daly. Your made of hard stuff.'
'Thanks,' replied Andrew. 'It will have to be hard stuff, though. The legislation is very complex. And very detailed in the subsections and loopholes and so on. Very complex stuff.'
'From Logos and Samael. The spirit of it. The realm was fashioned on law to a large degree. Don't expect them not to be legalistic.'
'Noted,' replied Andrew. 'I guess I'm probably going to have to do that law degree then. And push on at it.'
'Probably for the best,' replied Saruviel. 'And don't disappoint us. Your repping the realm. Show us proud.'
'Will do,' replied Andrew, and took aim and swung. The ball sailed down the fairway, matching Saruviel's efforts.
'That's the spirit lad,' said Saruviel. Andrew felt encouraged.
* * * * *
'I've been told we challenge convention. By Garanel of all people. If he was going to actually get married, while, and I quote, 'I'd fuck em all, but only marry one bitch.' said Andrew soberly.
'Well tell him to go on fuckin em and mind his own fuckin business,' replied Jessica.
Andrew almost smiled, but managed to keep a straight face.
'Where the hell does he get off judging us?' asked Jessica.
'He's up his arse,' said Bianca.
'He's up the lady's arse,' replied Jessica, smiling.
'Enough bawdy talk. I guess we should have known that even in this place we're not completely socially acceptable. I was told to hang with Joobaloobbers if I was into that sort of thing. By a work colleague. I mean, who the hell are the Joobaloobers?' said Andrew.
'It's a deroagatory term about the Jews,' replied Bianca. 'They have strong toleration of multiple marriage partners. Obviously.'
'Oh,' said Andrew. 'I see. Apparently why its legal to many, despite it being part of the Rainbow Torah.'
'A heavily debated thing,' said Jessica. 'Some say its for the lukewarm. Stricltly, its Adam and Eve, and no shenanigans from a lot of people.'
'Pretty much,' sighed Andrew. 'The things we deal with.'
'Oh, we don't have to,' said Jessica. 'I remember who was first to start with.'
'That's a settled issue,' retorted Bianca. 'Don't get any funny ideas. The status quo remains. You're his wife, I'm his mistress. It's a done deal.'
'Apparently,' replied Jessica.
'Enough,' said Andrew. 'We'll just have to work that little bit harder for acceptance. We're always going to go through it, so get used to it.'
Andrew was satisfied with broaching the subject. He wanted the girls under no illusion in this realm also. If anything it was possibly even stricter with ancient convention. But no matter. He was a man with a wife and a mistress. For the forseeable future that was just the way it was.
* * * * *
'To talk with a heathen, you have to become the heathen,' said Garanel.
'I submit. You are the expert on hedonism,' replied Andrew.
'Amen,' said Saruviel.
'Shaddup. Now, this place is full of, like, heathen you see. They don't know the lord. I mean, they do know the lord. But they don't know him, like,' continued Garanel.
'Which is it?' queried Saruviel.
'Bum bandits, witches and charlatans. Our kind of people,' smiled Garanel.
'I'm sure they will be,' replied Andrew.
They entered 'Luke Warm's Tavern'.
'Shit,' said Andrew. 'Should that man have his testicles being fondled on public display. What, is he a sinner or something?'
'I did warn you,' replied Garanel. 'Now keep quiet, and let me do the talking.'
They secured the semi-legit drug 'Funk' and went back to the carpark.
'Glad I'm out of that hellhole,' said Andrew.
'Pass me the funk,' said Saruviel.
'Now remember,' said Garanel. 'This is mostly legal herbs, with a dash of hash, and a pinch of punch. She'll be sweet. Coppers don't object too much if we mind the law.'
And so they sat in the back of Garanel's van, getting high, looking at French pornography. And when they went back to the establishment, each visiting a lady of the night, the following morning Andrew scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and swore 'Never again.'
* * * * *
'That is dreadful, Andy,' said Jessica. 'What kind of VD is Hyperstellucanosis.'
'It's a mild one,' replied Andrew. 'A breed of herpes, but a shot gets rid of it permanently.'
'You strayed,' she said, examining the spots.
'Guilty,' he said softly.
'Was it Garanel?' she asked.
'With Sarviel. We visited some ladies. Questionable ladies. I won't do it again. I swear.'
'You're only an angel,' she said. 'Go get the shot. I'll let Jessica know not to touch you for a few days.'
Andrew got the shot, and after a week the problem was gone. He wanted to swear at Garanel, but he knew what he was doing. But he got a rep for it. People at work were gossiping about him, and big bossman confronted him. He was docked a week's wages and told not to let it happen again. But there would be nothing more of the incident. They still tended to forgive if the repentance was genuine.
Time passed, and Andrew started gradually fitting in to life in the Realm of Infinity. Garanel saw him very regularly, and Saruviel was often present also. They did the pub scene a fair bit, but Andrew would not visit the ladies again. He'd sworn he wouldn't, and he meant it. Time passed, and a few thousand years came and went. He finally finished his law degree, which took forever, simply because it was so challenging. But he got the final exam passed, after 7 resits, and they said he could sit the bar if he wished to. He declined for the time being. It was mainly for work rather than legal practice, to help him with accounting and finance legislation, which was his main focus. But he got it done, and started making better sense of the extreme legalism of the Realm of Infinity. And he started getting along as well. They were, in the end, much the same as people from his own realm, just structured differently is all he felt in the end. They weren't any smarter. Just a different attitude. So he adjusted to that attitude and started developing a lifestyle suited to the place. And he didn't really mind at all. The girls, though, were no further in their careers. It was like they had pinnacled when they showed up. Strange. There didn't seem to be any anti-feminism at work. Just the treatment that life had dished out for them so far. No matter. Time would tell if they were given any greater opportunities.
* * * * *
In time Andrew and Jessica and Bianca resolved most of their issues in the Realm of Infinity. After 100,000 years, having gotten used to life away from the Realm of Eternity, they decided their pride had been served sufficiently, and they returned home. Garanel threw all three of them a major party, and while there were shady ladies present, Andrew swore black and blue he never slept with any of them. Jessica believed him. Bianca was not so sure. Regardless, the event was memorable, and Andrew had developed a good friendhip with Garanel. But back home and, for the most part, life in general. They were not really an oddity Andrew told himself time and time again. But would their bizarre menage a trois endure eternally. Well only time would tell.
* * * * *
'Back home,' said Daniel. 'Good to see, son of mine.'
'Thanks dad,' replied Andrew Daly to his father Daniel Daly, the Seraphim Daniel. 'Now, Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly is great-grand-father and Callodyn the Cherubim is grand-father. That is the way it is, isn't it?'
Daniel looked at his son, and lit a ciggie. 'That – is a divine mystery. We don't reveal detail on the relationship. Maybe, one day, when it has served its purpose.'
'Aye carumba. Well I've heard the hints, and I'm pretty sure that is the way it is. And Cyril Aloysius Daly is my great-great-grand-father.'
'That might be the case, but I will neither confirm nor deny. He is your pop, one way or the other.'
Andrew sighed. 'Where does Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly's wife live?'
'She's in Cooma. On New Terra,' said Daniel.
'Can I visit her?' he asked.
'She wouldn't see you either,' replied Daniel. 'She's private. There are issues between her and Daniel.'
Andrew sighed. 'Fine. Oh well. Guess I'll have to wait on those mysteries then.'
'You'll have to wait,' replied Daniel. 'So, you have advanced degree knowledge of finanical law of the Realm of Infinity. Could help you here. Consider a law degree. Better yet, consider an ANM law studies course. We could use more members on official boards of doctrinal correction. Doctrinalists are an important part of the functioning of the ANM. They keep the practices of life steady in a personal way with members of the congregations. The pastor traditionally doesn't preach at people. They take the leading from the spirit and preach sermons to the congregation in general. But doctrinalists take an active interest in the spiritual life of the congreation on a personal level. To ensure lives are lived according to doctrine. Congregational members elect to have a doctrinalist involved in their lives if they so choose. There's a lot of work in it, and we need qualified and steady workers in this field. Could it be for you?'
Andrew borrowed a ciggie from Daniel, and lit it. He sat down in the couch of Danielphon, and thought it over.
'Could be interesting. Maybe for a few thousand years or so. Maybe longer if it works for me.'
'Then that is what you do. You can be a doctrinalist. You get supported from the tithes of your congregation, and the higher you rise, the better the pay in time.'
'Sounds good,' said Andrew.
'I'll enrol you myself,' replied his father. 'Good to have you on the team.'
'Aye,' sighed Andrew. Life went on. May as well get involved with Noahidism for a while.
The Birth of Meludiel
God mused. The heart of the Messiah was a complex and difficult thing to fathom, such being his yearning towards love and infinity. Such being his yearning towards God and eternity. Yet, one heart, one love, filled a void in him, which nothing else could fill – his blessed twin, Meludiel.
Ambriel – the Messiah to be – would be twin and heart of Meludiel, as she would be his – and yet, there would be one other to claim her soul as well – charming old Daniel. He was ever so incorrigible.
Meludiel took form in the heart of God for months, if not years, such being the devotion he was placing into her being, the sheer commitment to those she loved, and those she was concerned about. He ministered grace into her innermost being, patience, and virtue. And he would place Jesus in her heart, as her King, for a time period as well. And in those things she would find her completion as an angel of God.
He worked on her, and continued to work on her, birthing her spirit in his heart, and whispering dreams to her mind, and adventures of passion and glory to her soul, and telling her he loved her, and she would forever be in her father’s hands. He whispered songs of melody to her heart, and songs of harmony, and the song of creation, the song of eternity, was implanted into her very soul, the very fibre of her being. And he loved her, dearly. He loved her.
Meludiel sat, those early days, on the pre-school floor, sitting there, looking beautiful, with Ambriel running all over the place, chasing Daniel, and playing games, and watching, occasionally, his twin, to make sure she was ok. And Ariel came inside from time to time, away from hunting the wolf who bothered her, and sat with Meludiel, and they sang songs, and they played games, and they loved each other, and God was happy. Watching them, there, in the nursery of his heart, in the nursery of his soul – in the nursery of Infinity, in the nursery of Eternity.
The Heart of Eternity
God was the heart of Eternity. Ambriel believed this. Ambriel knew this. That would never change.
Ambriel had a philosophy on life. Love God. That was, generally, his main philosophy. God would respond in love to him and direct him, constantly, in the way he needed to go, as long as Ambriel trusted God and showed him love. The heart of eternity – connecting to the heart of eternity – putting the heart of eternity first and foremost. This was Ambriel’s solution on life. It was Ambriel’s focus.
* * * * *
‘Daniel. What is your focus? What do you live for?’ queried Ariel.
Daniel frowned. What was that question supposed to mean. ‘Why, you of course, dear Ariel.’
She smiled, but the look on her face suggested to him he hadn’t answered as he ought.
‘Oh, you know. The general things. The ‘American Dream’ as they put it. Life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Those sorts of things.’
‘But is there a focus. A key, fundamental focus, which underlies everything.’
‘The truth, I suppose.’
‘Yes, you say that, don’t you? The truth. What about God, though. What about him?’
He looked at her. He didn’t really know what he could say on that issue. He had challenged those ideas from time to time himself. What could he really say?
‘Do you love God, Danny? Is he the centre of your life?’
‘No,’ responded the Seraphim resolutely.
‘He is Ambriel’s centre. That much I know to be true.’
‘Yes, you probably would,’ said Daniel under his breath. Ariel said nothing, although she did hear him.
‘Perhaps you need to love God more, Danny. Perhaps he needs to be your focus. Perhaps you need to ground on the most high.’
Daniel defended himself. ‘I get by. I love God enough as any angel. More than a lot I would surmise, honestly. We get along.’
‘And that is good enough? Getting along?’
‘What are you driving at, Ariel?’
She stared at him. ‘Do you ever wonder why God chose Ambriel for glory for the role of Messiah? Why he overlooked you?’
‘I wasn’t Jewish.’
She thought on that. ‘He could still have given you glory.’
‘Tell that to King David, sweetie. Noahides have only so much say with Jehovah. He does love us, I know that to be true, but he is Israel centred. That is not for me. That is not my way.’
‘Why not?’ she asked.
‘Just because. Ok. Just because.’
She went silent. She wouldn’t prod him any further.
* * * * *
God was sitting at home, looking at Metatron. Daniel was on his mind. His Seraphim son Daniel. What could God do to show Daniel that he loved Daniel for just being him, and that didn’t rely on his love for Israel. How could he show him that he cared for Daniel as Daniel. How could he.
* * * * *
Ariel snuggled up to Daniel in bed. She placed her arm on his chest, and started singing a hymn. One of Haven Noahide Fellowship’s love hymns to God. Daniel rested there, looking at the ceiling, drifting away to a quiet and pleasant slumber.
In dream world God was there. And he was giving Daniel an arm wrestle, which Daniel won. And God looked at his son. ‘The world is your’s Danny. Take whatever you want. I love your forever and always.’And Daniel nodded.
Later that year, Daniel had been going through the motions in prayer, and suddenly felt like he needed, really, to get out of a malaise he had been going through for so long.
He sat back down in the prayer room, whispered to the computer to play some classical, and with the sound of Mozart, he started singing from the centre of his heart to God. It was quiet, a song of pure love. And as he sang, years of frustrations and jealousies seemed to disappear and, suddenly, Daniel was at peace with the one who was. And, suddenly, everything was once again right in the world. Innocence restored. And Daniel found an old love re-emerging and peace was once again there.
The days which followed Daniel connected to the heart of eternity. He connected in a way he had never really thought on much before, and finding peace and new meaning he consoled himself to let the past go and walk on into the future. Let the water under the bridge be forgotten and move onwards and forwards into the loving heart of his eternal father.
Gabriel looked at the shopping trolley. Full of junk. Really, his current girlfriend Fiona had no idea. No blinking idea whatsoever. But she didn’t care. Money was to be spent. May as well spend it. Nothing better to do than buy some new shoes and a handbag.
An old acquaintance, Madragor, just happened to walk past in the shopping mall of Terraphon complex, just a short distance from Terraphon itself. Madragor looked at the helpless fool. ‘Shopping, huh bro? I bet you are really having the time of your life.’
‘Yeh. Tell me about it.’
Madragor picked through the contents of the trolley. ‘So who is your current fling? Aquariel still not interested, huh?’
‘No, Aquariel is no longer interested. I am not to her taste, so she informs me. Anyway, she is a Cherubim named Fiona. Comes from a strongly religious cherubim family, but has no such great passions herself.’
‘Yeh. And that suits you?’
‘She is about right for me at the moment. I am reflective, currently. On a hundred year sabbatical from Zaphon to relax for a while. 20,000 years in the job left me in need with a change.’
‘I’ll bet it would. Still, you were doing a first rate job, bro. Everyone likes your style. Similar to Michael’s, traditional and all that, but with your unique perspective.’
‘Yeh, I guess.’
‘Hey, buy a porno. Girls like that.’
‘Very funny, Madragor. Father does not approve of that for the Overseer. Strict protocols to be observed. I have to be practically celibate unless married, and regular fasting is required.’
‘Cripes. Glad it’s not me.’
‘You never know. It could be one day.’
‘Yeh, at the end of eternity.’
‘Perhaps. But that beast called time simply marches on, so best beware my cherubim brother.’
Madragor laughed at that.
‘Well, is this Fiona chick cute.’
‘Oh, she’s alright. Average to above looks I guess. What appealed to me about her was her normality. Nothing special, and doesn’t really pretend to be. But she said she liked me for me, and not my birth rank. I think she is telling me the truth. She’s a good kid. We might be together for a while.’
‘I wish you luck dear brother. Well, gotta go. See you around some time.’
Madragor buzzed off, back to his life, and Gabriel stood there, in front of the trolley, waiting on the return of his current squeeze.
Half an hour later she finally showed, two more plastic bags in her arms.
‘You really do like to shop, don’t you Fiona.’
‘Hey, what’s a girl to do? Besides, your rich, you like me, so I may as well enjoy your hospitality.’
Gabriel smiled. At least she was honest.
‘Can we go now?’
‘Ooh, you have been good Gabby. Ok. Just this once. But let’s get some Pizza.’
‘I’ll order. What do you want?’
‘Pepperoni. And some Sprite.’
Later on they were vegged out in front of the television, watching Home and Away, eating pizza and drinking soft drink. She slept with him that night, giving him a good time. A happy time. A time of life in what he enjoyed most of all anyway.
And things were pretty much good at the moment for Gabriel the Seraphim. Pretty much fine and dandy, all things considered.
The Walls of Eternity
‘The walls of eternity cover us from things that should not be known. That should never be known.’
Saruviel was still barely recovering from the fit he had gone through, and nobody had ever really considered him an epileptic before, but when he uttered those words Daniel and Ambriel, looking at their brother breathe heavily on the bed, Ariel wiping his head with a cool rag, a concerned Krystabel and Meludiel looking on, did not really know what to think.
‘Sure, Saruviel. Whatever you say,’ consoled Ambriel. ‘Whatever you say.’
Daniel looked at Ambriel and looked at the nervous Krystabel, who seemed to have a look on her face as if this had happened before.
Later on, Saruviel asleep, resting, the little group were gathered in the main living room of Danielphon, sharing a meal, discussing their brother. Daniel turned to Krystabel and asked his question. ‘This has happened before? Hasn’t it, Kryssie.’
Krystabel looked at her brother solemnly, perhaps unwilling to speak, but shortly began.
‘Yes. Once, a few years ago. He had a fit and came out of it, and spoke with me a while later, in quiet horror, of what he had seen in brief visions.’
The group said nothing, and Daniel looked at Ambriel who shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘I don’t know what to say.’ He turned back to Krystabel and asked again. ‘What. What kind of things.’
‘Horrible things, Daniel. Horrible things. He spoke of faces of demons, of tortures, of violence and rapes and murders and things unspoken of. Of pure evil.’
‘And why did he see these things?’ asked Meludiel.
The group waited on Krystabel’s words, but she did not speak. A chilling foreboding of horror seemed to come over the group, but suddenly God’s spirit was upon them, consoling them, telling them not to worry, that he had everything in hand.
The weeks passed, and so did the months and, finally, Daniel unable to resist, came to Saruviel and queried him. And the dark lord spoke of his visions.
‘These things, Daniel… These things are what can not and never will be. They are of horrors of life which could be, should God allow them, but he never will. But, through his wisdom, he strengthens us in turn to know of such horror so that we can disavow and resist the temptations of evil, in whatever form they may be known.’
Daniel nodded. He had surmised such an idea himself.
And so, life going on, in its merry and gentle hum and strum, Daniel gave careful thought to the walls of eternity which protected him and his own from the horror of life which could potentially be. And known, and trusting his God, he was grateful for the eternal goodness and love and grace of his holy and infallible eternal father.
Ambriel looked at his watch. He was nervous.
* * * * *
Daniel looked at his watch. He was nervous.
* * * * *
‘It’s a boy, Ambriel. Meludiel has borne you a baby boy. Isn’t he adorable,’ said the nurse. Ambriel gazed at his new boy, and smiled warmly with the golden rays of love. ‘A son. Another son. A joy to the heart.’
* * * * *
‘I’m sorry, Daniel. I am so sorry. The girl is dead. She didn’t survive the birthing. Ariel is ok, though. I am so very sorry.’
Daniel looked at the nurse, his mouth agape. What could he say? What could he think.
* * * * *
The months passed, slowly, and Ariel didn’t say much. Oh, she claimed everything was well, everything was good, everything was sweet. But it wasn’t. And then, when Ambriel and Meludiel came over with their new child, Meludiel tried consoling them, but even his most beloved sister couldn’t change the dark stain on his heart. This child had been special to him and Ariel. A child of love. A child of promise. But now, supposedly, it rested in a limbo – in a Sheol of sorts – beyond their care.
And he shouted at himself in the mirror those days, screaming negatives about life, even about God, the one he loved. He screamed negatives, and Ariel just looked at him, with a blank face, unable to comment. The darkness was there between them, in a way it had never really been before, and new life seemed impossible to find. It seemed that way.
It was later in the year, when Daniel had almost considered getting drugged or getting wasted on grog, when he was watching dark movies in his basement of Danielphon, alone, full of sorrow. It was then, a little angel wandered in, one of God’s special angels he did not speak of, which whispered to Daniel’s heart. ‘Inevitably, Daniel, life still goes on. Through all the tribulations of the heart and trials of the soul, in eternity’s realm such fire is gold. Keep the faith – better days will come.’
And so Daniel, somewhat consoled, roused himself out of his malaise, went upstairs, hugged Ariel, and the two of them lay on their bed, staring out the window at the rustling leaves of the trees, getting over it.
'Fiona. Doesn't your father collect stamps?' shouted out Gabriel.
From the other room Fiona came in. 'He certainly does,' she replied. 'Some old ones he's got.'
Gabriel passed her a letter. 'I was going through some old records. This is from the early days of the realm. It's an expensive one, I already know. Does he have it?'
She took the letter. 'Shit,' she replied. 'He's got one or two, but these are always excellent for the collection. What, can I have it or something?'
Gabriel nodded. She came over, kissed him, and said 'You're a sweetie. Extra nice meal tonight.'
Gabriel was happy to do a good deed. Father stressed that to him from time to time. An angel's life was meant to be full of good deeds. If you had something you really didn't need, give it to someone who would appreciate it. So he gave the envelope to Fiona, and hoped he'd done a good turn.
That week they went shopping as usual. Madragor was around again.
'Hey. Still with her, I see,' said Madragor.
'She's ok. It probably won't last forever, but I like her. She can be my squeeze for now.'
'You think you'll ever win Aquariel's heart?' asked the Cherubim.
'I don't really know what eternity has in store for me,' replied Gabriel. 'It takes forever, after all. Somehow I think, deep down inside, it will end up being Aquariel. But who knows.'
'Right. Hope it works out for you,' replied Madragor, and disappeared.
When he got home he looked at the picture of Aquariel he had in his den. She was pretty – all the angels were pretty in their own way. And while he loved her he was never really sure if he was coming or going with this particular Morning Star. She was always so difficult to read. But Fiona was the love of his life for now. And, as they always said, if you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with. And he would accept that, for Fiona was worth being with, and worth loving also.
Sharakondra’s Lost Pennies
(Warning: Gay Humour)
‘You are an idiot, Semmy. What the hell are you going on about?’
‘Shut up, bitch. I’m busy. Heh, heh, heh.’
But Sharakondra persisted anyway. ‘Semmy,’ she whined. ‘What are you doing? Let me see.’
‘Fuck off. Go hang with your girlfriends.’
She persisted, but no matter how much she bothered him, he wouldn’t let her see what he was typing on the PC. So, taking his advice, she fucked off to her girlfriends, and spent the afternoon drinking booze, smoking dope, and watching gay porn.
‘Heh, heh, heh,’ said Semyaza to himself. ‘This will get the cunt.’
And he clicked ‘SEND’.
4 Hours later Jesus was looking through his new email, and just noticed a new account. It was from email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘What the fuck is this,’ thought the Christ Child to himself.
He opened the email and began reading.
‘Dear lord of the homosexuals. The Father of Glory has duly informed me that you will bang any boy for a buck, so if you are willing, my holy lord and messiah, I would dearly love to go down on you and give you true satisfaction. Please, Lord Jesus Christ, king of evil in bed, be my lover. Your true devoted servant. Ambriel the Seraphim.’
Jesus looked at the email, shocked. ‘Ambriel was gay?’ he queried to himself. Ambriel wanted to suck his cock? Well, mmmm. While he had many gay Catholic priests in his church, he really had not quite yet committed to that lifestyle. But for dear old Ambriel, perhaps he could make an exception.
‘Meet me here at home. The address is,’ and he provided all the details, and was looking forward to his first erotic encounter with the Messiah.
Later on that week, Sharakondra was going through her coin collection, and noticed some pennies missing. She went into the loungeroom to speak with Semyaza. ‘Semmy. Have you borrowed any of my pennies?’
‘Uh, yeh. I sold them. I was short of cash.’
‘What did you buy?’
‘Never mind, Shara. Never mind. Heh heh heh.’
It was two weeks later, and Semyaza was visiting Jesus at his home. With his pennies he had travelled to the outer rims and purchased some gay pornography, which technically was not supposed to be allowed in the inner rims, but Semmy didn’t care.
‘So, do you want this stuff?’ asked Semyaza, looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was looking. ‘I am sure David will appreciate it.’
Jesus nodded, took the said gay material, and after Semyaza left, headed for the bedroom to do his business.
It was a little while later and Semyaza had contacted David to suggest they spend an afternoon with Jesus. ‘Time to catch up, don’t you think, hey Amby.’
Ambriel, full of love, happily obliged.
All that afternoon, Jesus stared at David, who smiled lovingly back, and had a quizzical look on his face. Semyaza just grinned and grinned and grinned.
Later on, when they were leaving, Semyaza whispered in David’s ear. ‘I think he likes you, you know Davy.’
David was confused. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Uh, you know,’ said Semyaza. ‘He REALLY likes you. Could be a good time. You should consider it.’
David suddenly caught on. ‘Oh,’ he responded. ‘I see.’ He looked back at the cottage, were Jesus was at the window, waving to both of them.
When David went to bed that night, Meludiel beside him, he made extra passionate love to her, and kept on telling himself over and over again, ‘I like women. I like women. I like women.’
And, in another section of the Realm of Eternity, a little demon called Semyaza, taking another sip of beer, while watching the cricket, grinned and said to himself ‘Thank God for Sharakondra’s coins.’
Blood Red Moon
‘Jesus. I predict that there shall be a blood red moon tomorrow. And all the world shall fear and turn to God and weep and be at sorrow.’
Jesus, finishing off his sandwich, smiled. ‘Very funny Daniel. I get the point.’
Daniel smiled to himself.
‘Oh. I have another prophecy. Cows shall talk, and sheep shall stand upright, and kittens shall fly in rocket ships.’
Jesus said nothing.
‘And Japanese men will speak English fluently.’
‘Some of them do,’ said Jesus.
‘Ah, So I am a prophet,’ responded Daniel, which made Ariel grin.
‘Oh, wise prophet. Teach us,’ said Jesus, with a grin on his face.
The group of 3 angels, with Jenna still at the counter, ordering her drink and meal, were happy. Little were they to know what the morrow would bring.
* * * * *
Getting up early, Daniel was having breakfast with Ariel, reading the paper, eating his bacon and eggs, when suddenly a whizzing and a crash into the kitchen window by an object. Shortly two young angels appeared at the window, looking nervous. Ariel went outside to see what was happening, but Daniel just continued on with her meal.
When she came back in she had a puzzled look on her face.
‘Who was that?’ asked Daniel, not looking up.
‘The neighbour’s kids. Uh, you might find this ironic.’
‘What,’ he said, still not looking up.
‘They were flying rocket ships they had made. Small model ones. This one which crashed into the window. Well….’
He looked straight at her. ‘Well what?’
‘Well, they looked worried for a reason.’
‘Which was?’ said Daniel, impatiently.
‘Well, the rocket had an occupant. Their pet.’
‘Oh lovely,’ said Daniel. ‘And what was it.’
‘This is the ironic bit. It was a little kitten.’
Daniel stared at her. That was ironic.
* * * * *
Later that afternoon, another quite strange encounter. A professor of some animal science had been working with cows and, now, a breakthrough. Through the implementation of a special speaking device attached to the cow, it was able to decipher the language of the cows and translate the moos into human talk. A particular cow went ‘Moo’ and the device spoke ‘food.’ Daniel and Ariel looked on amazed. Another fulfilled prophecy.
* * * * *
That evening, just before sundown, they had gone out to a farming event to watch a friend of Daniel’s round up some sheep. Ariel had suggested they may as well go with the flow. Daniel stared for half an hour, satisfied that nothing bizarre would happen three times, when the bloke who was with them said ‘I can dance with sheep you know,’ and proceeded to grab a young ewe, lift it up by its front feet and danced with it. And, suddenly letting go, the sheep took a few more steps, walking around upright, before falling back down on all fours. Daniel just shook his head as Ariel tried to console him. He knew someone had prayed about this.
* * * * *
And, suddenly, an announcement over TV that night at 9. God was going to bring a special celebration. A moon was to be made visible, at the special request of a particular son of his, a red moon, to be a special occasion of repentance for past sins.
As Daniel reluctantly watched on Jesus showed up on the screen, pointed the cameraman to the sky and said to the camera ‘And let us fear God and show him due respect for all his miracles. And I do mean everyone. Oh, one last thing. Cimbrel is going to read from an old and ancient tome of English prose on this beautiful happening.’
And, that said, the Japanese Angel Cimbrel, tenth-born of the Seraphim males of Eternity, opened a prose book and read:
‘Blood red moon. Woe to you oh earth, for ye must surely repent. The time of judgement has come, and let us fear our lord. Blood red moon. Sign of the ages. Blood red moon. Sign of Judgement. Blood red moon. Portent of doom. Blood red moon. Blood red moon,’ he finished, in a very polished English accent.
Daniel stared in horror as Jesus again came back on the television. ‘A lovely poem, audience. Read in such fine English style by a true Japanese son.’ And his smile said it all.
* * * * *
At the next little gathering Jesus spoke up. ‘You know. Perhaps I should make a prophecy. You know, Blood Red Moons and the like. Perhaps I fancy myself a prophet. What do you think Daniel?’
The two ladies turned to look at him but all Daniel would say was ‘Shaddup.’
Gabriel sat by the Terravon River. His sabbatical was nearing its end, and he would have to return to Zaphon as overseer again soon. But he could enjoy his final few months of freedom.
He looked out as some angels fished the river, hoping to catch some fish. That was what they were for, supposed Gabriel. Fishes. To be fished. Of course, they had their own lives as well. He wondered to himself what it would be like to be a fish. Swimming around in water all day long. No real cares or worries, except about bigger fishes. And possibly crocodiles. Just getting your food and doing nothing. Sleeping. Eating. Swimming. A simple life.
He decided he would be a fish. He walked over to the river, took off his t-shirt, and dived in. As onlookers watched on he swum around, making a fish face with his mouth, pretending to be a fish. A young angel laughed and said Gabriel was being silly to his mother, who reminded him to respect the Realm’s overseer. If he wanted to be silly that was his own business.
Eventually, sick of being a fish, he climbed out and laid on the beach. Time to be a crocodile. He clambered around on the beach and gaped his jaws at the little angel, who screeched joy at being chased by Gabriel the crocodile. ‘I am going to eat you,’ said Gabriel the crocodile, and the little angel was in heaven, running around from the chasing Gabriel.
After a while, he grabbed his t shirt, smiled at the little angel, and returned to his bench. And sitting there, he took out a bottle of juice, took a sip, and let the day continue to unravel.
Life came and went that day. All sorts of angels visiting the Terravon. Doing their thing. Living their lives. It was a constant source of amusement to Gabriel, the regular humdrum of angelic life. Really, in the end, what was it all about apart from going through all the humdrum of things. Theological highs, romantic escapades, glorious heights of rulership of Zaphon. But even that was humdrum, in its own way. Still that was life. May as well get used to it.
Later on, as the afternoon passed and twilight descended, life seemed to be ebbing away and it was getting cool. He picked up his bag, returned to his car, and began the drive back to Terraphon.
Fiona was in a good mood that night. She cooked him fish cakes and potato fritters. Gabriel smelled the fish, the lovely aroma and had a sarcastic thought. Glad I’m not a fish after all. Otherwise some bloody angel called Gabriel would come and eat me. And he laughed to himself.
It was a pleasant end to his sabbatical and, as he finally made his way back to Zaphon, fully rested, he was starting to find certain thoughts finding a familiar home in his heart. The humdrum of life. The regularity of it all. That was essentially what it was all about. Simple. Basic. Uncomplicated. Peaceful. And, perhaps in such wisdom, he could continue his time as overseer of the Realm of Eternity. Perhaps such wisdom was all that the job really required anyway. He liked to think so as he returned to the life of the highest office in the Realm of God’s eternal angels.
Lost in the Dralikon
‘The Dralikon. An empire, a conglomeration, a unity. A difficult and most challenging diverse array of star systems, bound by blood, bound by secrecy, apparently at odds with the remainder of mankind. Arthur Drake, founder of the blood empire of the Dralik’s, swore, apparently, in his youth amongst the children of the resurrection that he would go his separate way and seek his own destiny. Seek his own empire. Seek his own glory. What has bound mankind together so far has been our common ancestry and linkage to Almighty God and his holy ways. We all know the truth of God, even though some do challenge, and it was generally assumed by those greater powers that mankind would rest in these truths divine, accept God, law and order, and the ways of holiness – and the great blessings in store for them over their heavenly future. But Arthur Drake did not see it that way. He did not see it that way at all. The Dralikon span 787 stellar systems, all interconnected, apparently thriving economically, all serving Arthur Drake who sits as Emporer Supreme on ‘Dralik’, the head planetary body and system of his empire. And, for 99% of them, they are all connected by direct lineage to Arthur Drake himself, through procreation, apart from a few males who had been brought in for DNA diversification purposes.’ The speaker left off speaking and looked at those assembled before her.
‘The Dralikon maintain they are not our enemy. They have maintained that for a very long time. It is their official stance, their official position. They release data to us, occasionally, which they say is on a need to know basis only. But, supposedly, the majority of their way of life we really do not need to know. You 7 angels have been brought here, commissioned by Archangel Gabriel, for a specific purpose. You are to infiltrate the Dralikon Empire, seek positions of authority through your own experiences, and 100 years from now you are to report back and inform us of the ways of the Dralikon and wether, truly, we have anything to fear. Arthur Drake has procreated with several angels in his time, and angelicdom in various forms makes up 20% of the population of the Dralikon. From our own investigations we are sure that our identification material we will provide you with will stand the deepest scrutiny. We are sure of that. But, after that, the rest is up to you. You must investigate this empire, this Dralikon, and report back to us at the appointed time. We are relying upon you. Thank you.’
The female speaker stood down from the lectern, and disappeared through the wooden doors. Samael, sitting next to Aphrayel, finally spoke. ‘This is an interesting assignment you have volunteered us for, Aphy. The Dralikon? Should I really be concerned?’
‘They need our skills. Our experience, Sammy. We are the elders of the community, after all. They need to rely on us. This Arthur Drake is an unpredictable soul. He has his own mind – his own agenda. It is left to us to ensure that he is not planning anything untoward towards the rest of us. Who else are they going to call on anyway?’
‘Perhaps the Ghostbusters,’ said Samael, with a slight smirk on his face.
‘Very funny,’ responded Aphrayel.
And so, 7 angels of God, receiving their century long commission, began the training program to infiltrate the Dralikon to ensure the continued peace and prosperity of the world as they knew it.
Ambriel’s Day Off
Ambriel had lost a wager with Daniel, and was agreeing to work at one of Daniel’s fast food outlets for free for a few years. Of course, Danny came in regularly, said his work, despite Ambriel’s majestic efforts at cleanliness, routine, and procedure, was always substandard and only fit for the devil. And, thus, rebuked Ambriel in front of the whole staff constantly, saying, with a large smirk on his face, whatever you do, staff, don’t end up like this Schmuk. Ambriel took it on the chin.
Ambriel, having worked 17 weeks without a break, had qualified for leave after completing his 15th week, and had applied to the manager for a day off, which his manager, who actually acknowledged Ambriel’s superlative work, agreed to.
And so Ambriel, happy with his day off, came into work anyway, sat on one of the seats of the fast food franchise, drinking coke and eating fries for most of the morning, very happy when Daniel finally showed up for a regular inspection.
‘Who’s the Schmuk?’ Daniel asked the manager, in reference to Ambriel who was sitting there pleasantly, eating his fries, smiling at everyone.
‘Uh. He’s a customer I guess,’ responded the manager.
‘Right,’ said Daniel.
He came over, sat down on a seat opposite Ambriel and spoke up. ‘We always value good customers, here at ‘Golden Fries and Burgers.’ Have you heard about our loyalty scheme?’
‘Nope,’ said Ambriel, munching on his fries.
‘Well, you are issued with a keycard, and you use it every time you shop with us. There are greater and greater rewards for the more items you purchase. You could even afford a holiday to New Terra –eventually – if you shop with us long enough.’
‘Sounds interesting,’ said Ambriel, continuing with his fries.
‘Mmm.’ Said Daniel. ‘I like the cut of your jib, fella. Tell me, are you employed anywhere? Golden fries and burgers could use a man like you.’
‘I get by,’ responded Ambriel, who was starting to laugh a little.
‘Right. Well, if you ever need some work, remember, ‘Golden Fries and Burger’s’. We are always looking for competent staff like you seem to be capable of being.’
‘I’ll remember that,’ said Ambriel, a big grin on his face.
Later on that day, Daniel having given Ambriel a number of free meals during the day, Ambriel finally made his way home, full, and burping a lot. It had been a good day off.
The following day at work, Daniel showed up unexpectedly, and there was a staff meeting. He looked at Ambriel. ‘There’s the Schmuk,’ he said. ‘Now who on earth would give a fella like you a job? Hey staff.’They all said nothing. ‘I mean, you would have to be a complete idiot to offer this kind of fella a job. I mean, probably makes fowl smelling fries, and the burgers he cooks you would probably puke on.’ All the time Daniel was shaking his head while smiling, looking at Ambriel.
At the end of the day, when his shift was over, Daniel came over to Ambriel and smiled. ‘Good work today, Amby Wamby,’ he said. ‘You really are a fine employee.’
Ambriel finally cracked. ‘You know, Daniel. Your… Your…. Your…’
‘Yes,’ said Daniel, with a big grin on his face.’
‘Your despicable,’ said Ambriel, and Daniel only grinned the more.
The dark lord Saruviel redressed the crowd, with powerful words.
‘No, friends. Michael is not thick. He is not stupid. He is not dumb. No matter how many times my friend Satan suggests as such, I defend my older brother’s honour. Michael is a decent and holy angel.’
The crowd of devil worshippers were smirking – some were laughing – dioesque devil symbols with the hands were being made. Saruviel was in heaven – literally.
‘Of course, he is far from bright, either. I suppose, in truth, of adequate intellect. Perhaps.’
Satan came on, and the clapping was intense as the lord of darkness took centre stage.
Down the back sat Archangel Michael, who had slipped in unobserved to the forum on ‘Michael the Seraphim of Eternity – Is he really an idiot?’ sponsored by the darkest of Lord’s, Satan himself. He had caught most of Saruviel’s sermon, and was now ready for Satan’s exposition of dark wisdom.
Satan glared at the audience, who only clapped the more.
‘Michael, despite my dear brother Saruviel’s obvious affection for his older brother, is an idiot.’
The crowd cheered.
‘He is thick!’ exclaimed Satan.
The crowd cheered more.
‘He is stupid!’ exclaimed Satan once more.
The crowd cheered again.
And for the next 15 minutes Satan let off insult after insult describing the absolute abysmal character of one of God’s dearest children. And then someone in the crowd spotted Michael. Boos were quite horrible, but Michael took it.
Satan glared at him. ‘Dear, dear Michael. Come, let us hear you speak. Defend your honour, oh child of the Most High God.’
The boos were intense.
Michael, unafraid, came forward, and looked at the audience who, after much booing, finally calmed down.
‘I am sure those who love the dark have always opposed those who represent the truth. It is there nature. Yet the truth shines, as does the love and mercy of God. And no force, no matter how dismal, can ultimately prevail against it. Thank you.’
The boos started up again, and Satan took the stand.
‘An, how shall I put it. An ADEQUATE speech, dear Michael. Dear, dear Michael,’ he said with a glare of pure mockery.
Michael disappeared after that, back to Zaphora, far enough away from the mockery of the evil ones.
‘Thanks Saruviel. You are all heart,’ commented Michael sarcastically.
‘Did you notice Kantriel and Daraqel over the other side of the audience. And the usual entourage.’
‘So don’t say we weren’t there to protect you, ok brother. I knew you were coming. The theophany told me. I arranged it with Kantriel and Daraqel and a few others to make sure nothing silly happened.
Michael softened. ‘Really, Saruviel? Really?’
* * * * *
In the throneroom of Zaphon Michael was waiting. He had been there for about an hour and had asked God if Saruviel was really there, at the Assembly of Evil, to watch over himself.
Finally God spoke.
And Michael let some of his agro against Saruviel go from that point onwards.
Samael of heaven, thoughtfully listened to Michael’s objections.
‘You started it Sammy. Your promised repentance is supposed to mean something, isn’t it.’
Samael of heaven, putting the bird seed for his canary down, sat down next to Michael.
‘You misunderstand Satan, dear Michael. You always have done. He is supremely proud and arrogant, but that is all. He will mock you, and deride you, and have a go at you if he has the powerbase. But it is not really, any more, just for the heck of being a bad boy. He just doesn’t like God that much. He never really appreciated his casting away from the Realm of Infinity. But, despite the evil machinations he puts on, there is a heart inside there, there is a truth, which will ultimately relent and acknowledge points of fact –points of truth, that you claim embellish morality as well. If you prove your case, he will slowly listen. But don’t expect miracles.’
‘And you, Sammy? Your motivations.’
‘I was never, really, understood. I did then, and still do, love quite a bit. I have a sarcastic side, one which I do know can get well out of hand, but nothing more. I keep it in check in this sentence of repentance. You need not worry about me for some time – I am a man of honour.’
Michael nodded. That much was proving the case so far.
‘Satan doesn’t intend to destroy you forever, Michael. Who would he oppose – for kicks – in the end. Do you understand? He is just, how shall I put it, still in a youthful rebellious phase. Even he will acknowledge to you, in the end, he will eventually get over it. Eventually.’
Michael looked at Samael of heaven, not really sure if he should believe his words, but thanked him and left. He’d heard enough.
‘So I shouldn’t be patient, son? You have known the mercies of God, haven’t you?’
Michael said nothing.
The theophany looked at him softly, and made a move in the game of chess. They were at home, and Michael felt better.
‘Don’t fear, Michael. Satan can’t conquer you. He is not strong enough. Besides, I grant eternity to those good of heart, regardless. The testing is never more than they can bear, if they continue to choose goodness.’
‘It isn’t?’ exclaimed Michael.
‘No,’ responded God. And that was the end of the matter.
Life at Golden Fries
Ambriel was bored. He had been making fries all morning, and then the rush of lunch hour, and now he was on his 2 hour afternoon break before his final, awkward, half an hour shift. He had asked Daniel nicely if it could have been added on to the early shift. Daniel had just smiled.
Fiona came and sat down opposite him. It was quiet at Golden Fries and Burgers at the moment.
'I bet this isn't how you pictured spending eternity, huh?' asked the redhead.
Ambriel stared at her. A fly buzzed in and landed on Ambriel's nose. Fiona watched her crush, as he sat there, not even brushing the fly away, bored out of his mind.
'You know. We could rent a movie tonight. After work. My bestie is away at the moment, so we would have the flat to ourselves.'
Ambriel smiled at her, but said nothing and looked away. A customer came in, ordered some fries, which Fiona got immediately from the rack, and she returned to the bored Ambriel.
'I don't know,' she continued. 'Maybe we could go out or something. To a restaurant. Maybe a movie. Or something. You know. To liven things up. You still have another 999 years in the bet between you and big boss man. I have been here forever. We could get along.'
Ambriel yawned and put his head on the table. Soon he was snoring.
'Great. Way to win a guy,' thought Fiona to herself.
Later, when Ambriel had finished his shift, he ordered a basic meal, and sat there, 2 solid hours, slowly eating his fries. When the night shift people arrived, Fiona came over to him. 'Are you.....waiting for someone?' she asked hesitantly. Ambriel finished off his fries, stood, and as Fiona made her way to her car, Ambriel stood at the passenger seat door. She looked right at him, he said nothing, so she clicked her door opener, and they both got in, without a word. She drove straight home.
'Pizza?' she asked him, looking intently at the disinterested angel, sitting on the stool at her kitchen bench. He nodded softly.
Yet, as they started eating it when it arrived from Pizza hut, and the comedy on DVD started warming up, Ambriel drew closer to Fiona on the lounge, and eventually put his arm around her.
'Wonderful,' thought Fiona MacIntosh to herself. 'Absolutely wonderful.'
Ambriel and the Amazing Fiona MacIntosh
Fiona looked at herself in the mirror. Was she pretty enough? Certainly, she wasn't exactly a plain Jane, but she was no supermodel. She was formal enough, usually a little shy, and certainly no party goer. Ambriel seemed perfect for her. Of course, he was David. But their custom, those angels who had been on earth, was usually to use their angelic name in the angelic realms, such as the realm of eternity, and to use their human identities in the human planetary worlds. And while she had never been to earth, an ancestor of her's obviously had. She was a MacIntosh after all. It was a few hundred thousand years back, her father had said. A grumpy old bugger. Nathaniel MacIntosh. He dropped round once. He had gotten lucky with an angel. We were born from that union. We got access rights to inner discs more easily, because of it. Fiona thought on her father's words. It was an undeniable part of her. Her human identity. Fiona herself, though, after so many generations since, was mostly angelic. But her wings were latent. Too many human genes in her. They had never shone forth, no matter how much she prayed. But no bother. She was an angel regardless. And she was sure Ambriel wouldn't hold it against her.
'Are you a plain Jane?' she asked her reflection. It just smiled back at her.
Work was slow that day. It was the day after the sabbath, and people were mostly back at work. But Melladon was coming up, and work would be busy as usual that day. But Melladon had always been like that. A busy time. And even Galadon, the following day, was usually pretty hectic at Golden Fries and Burgers. But as the month passed, things gradually got back to normal, and by week 7 things seemed to almost grind to a halt. Pentecost, the last day of the month, was usually a low key affair, and Golden Fries was often closed that day for professional cleaners to do the works in tidying up the place quite a bit more than the regular staff. The fat was changed in the fries those days, and everything looked and smelled a lot cleaner the following Melladon. Daniel's policy, she surmised.
They'd had their last customer at lunch time, and no matter how many times she swept the floor or wiped the counter, following company policy to always be doing something, she was bored. She looked over at Ambriel, snoozing, half an hour till his final half hour shift. She may as well.
She sat down, sipped on her afternoon soft drink she was entitled to, and looked at Ambriel. Shortly he gathered himself and looked at her.
'Ambriel. Do you think I'm pretty? Be honest ok,' she asked him.
Ambriel looked at her, cocked his head momentarily, and she collapsed her head to the table. 'I'm hideous,' she said, moaning away.
Ambriel was beside himself. 'Fiona. You're not hideous, ok. Trust me on that.'
She stopped sobbing somewhat, and looked up at him. 'Then what am I?' she asked him.
'Fiona! You're, you're....' he said.
'Yes?' she asked, anxiously awaiting his answer.
He took her hands. 'You're amazing, sweetie. Trust me. You're amazing.'
'Oh, Ambriel,' she cried out. She came around and hugged him. 'You're wonderful, David, You know. Wonderful.'
Ambriel breathed a little easier.
'Do you want to meet my parent's?' she asked him instantly.
'Uh, sure. Whatever,' said Ambriel, trying his best to shield his reluctance.
'Dad really wants to meet you,' she said.
'Right,' said Ambriel, putting on a brave face.
And as she continued on excitedly, Ambriel knew where the girl was planning to go with their relationship in her mind, but for now he would leave things be. Let the amazing Fiona MacIntosh dream her dreams.
'You're wonderful,' she said again, and babbled away as the afternoon passed, and another day in the life of Golden Fries and Burgers came and went, the larger world none the wiser to the dreams and schemes of Golden Fries and Burgers employee Fiona MacIntosh and the slight concerns of Ambriel the Seraphim. The larger world none the wiser.
Fiona MacIntosh and the Time of her Life
'Come on, sweetie. Let's go.' Ambriel took Fiona's hand as they exited his new corvette, and they came out onto the beach, he put out his rug, and they looked over the waves of the blue ocean.
'It's beautiful,' said Fiona.
'Just like you,' replied Ambriel.
They were on the beach a few hours, enjoying the afternoon sun, and when night rolled around he took her a walk up along to the fair in the nearby town. They sat in the ferris wheel and looked out over the ocean at the special buoy lights which were part of the attraction of this particular town, and Ambriel held her hand all the while.
'I like you a lot, Fiona. And I have something for you when we get back to the hotel.' She smiled and smiled and smiled the rest of the night.
They dined at Fabio's seafood restaurant, and he toasted her good looks, which she blushed at, and they ate fine fare, and she loved him ever more so.
And then, back in the hotel room, he sat down next to her and brought out the ring.
'You are kidding aren't you?' asked Fiona in unbelief. 'You want to marry me?'
And then Ambriel came clean. 'It's a friendship ring, Fiona. Nothing more than that. What I wanted to say to you all along, but couldn't find the time, was that I really like you as a person, and would be happy to have you be part of my eternal friendship list. I keep a careful one, you see. But its nothing more than that, ok. Nothing more than that. I have good friendships - loyal friendships - TRUSTED friendships, with a number of girls, not that many in the end. We marry from time to time and it is an understood pattern of relationships. But I am not looking to add to that list. Ok. It is a complete thing. My heart will only love in that way once or twice extremely seriously, and my heart has finished its choices. I am old, now, you know. So this ring,' he said to the girl, who was teary eyed now, 'is an eternal friendship ring. Here, let me put it on you.' He slid it on her finger.
'It's beautiful.' She looked at him. 'I love you, David. I fell in love with you very quickly. But....if this is what you want.'
'Its just the way it is,' he said, caressing her head.
'I understand,' she said.
And then David stood, smiled at her, and left the hotel room. And while Fiona MacIntosh had had the time of her life, she sobbed for quite some time, before, finally, going out to the balcony, looking out over the ocean, holding her ring carefully in her hand, and said to God. 'The one that got away, huh? Maybe next time, father. Maybe next time.'
And a little spirit said to her heart, 'everything will be ok in the end, Fiona MacIntosh. Everything will be ok in the end.'
And those thoughts comforted her, and she went inside, ordered a massive amount of room service, and gorged on pork ribs and pizza all night, watching Twilight movies, and falling in love with Robert Pattinson one last time.
Talzudiel and the Empty Den
Talzudiel peered into his den. It was empty. No Winoniel in sight. Good. He came in, with his plastic bag, and took out his Sara Lee Chocolate Ice Cream tub. A 1 litre tub. Wasn't he a sinner.
'You know,' said Winoniel from the doorway. The fact that that little round tummy of yours gets 1 inch wider around the waist every century these days, well, it probably should have given you the hint sweetie.'
Talzudiel had almost jumped when she'd spoken, interrupting his fine dining, and he looked at her guiltily.
'A man only has so many pleasures. I'll indulge for a season and a time, and then go on a fasting and prayer crusade. Trust me Winnie.'
'Sure I'll trust you,' replied. 'But pigs will fly from Antarctica to the Arctic before you go on a diet.'
He grinned at her, dug in for another mouthful, and clicked play on Youtube, as frisky Columbian dance girls came on the screen, in a rather daring production from his disc.
'Men,' said Winoniel, and disappeared.
Saruviel watched the dancing girls for a while, and got up, and sat down on his couch, still nursing his ice cream. He looked at the PC screen as it played, but lost interest, and picked up a basketball magazine beside him. He skimmed through it for a while, but lost interest again, and then burped. He looked down at his stomach. It was, actually, getting a little pudgy. Sure, he'd find the discipline to get the weight off when he finally could really be bothered, but he'd decided to let things go for a good long while and enjoy the finer things in life. You only lived once after all. He returned his gaze to the dancing girls, and hooked into his ice cream. It was later that evening, he woke from a slumber he'd fallen into, and the tub of ice cream had all melted, and the video on youtube was a music video in spanish. 'Winoniel!' he yelled out. Soon she appeared, in her nightgown.
'I thought I'd leave you be,' she said. 'You seemed – content.'
'Yep,' he replied. She came, took his ice cream from him, and looked at him. 'Why don't you go for a walk around the block. You could probably use the exercise. And think about when you are finally going to get up some Dutch courage, and bring this comfort zone period to an end. You're a Seraphim. At least act like one.'
Talzudiel nodded, and she went off to the kitchen. He went to the bedroom, changed into some trackies, and got off for a brisk walk around the block they resided on. It was well lit, and there were a few people around, but he didn't say hello. After a while he noticed a slight weight in his back, and realized that he'd let things go perhaps just a bit too long. Time to finally let go of paradise, he reluctantly thought to himself. When he got home, he looked in the pantry. One by one he tossed all his favourite chocolate and sugary treats into the bin, and said 'Ok. Time to get serious,' and went off to the bedroom.
'I've chucked all the treats,' he said to Winoniel, who was reading in bed.
She looked at him. 'Occasionally throughout eternity I will let my dear twin indulge. But not forever. It's not really what Talzudiel is all about. He has a standard, an attitude which we all know, and it's just not him. You're no Daniel the Seraphim my dear brother.'
'Alas, no,' replied Talzudiel, and got into bed next to her. After a while she turned off the lights and tried to get some sleep. But after a few moments she heard this chewing noise.
'Is that you Talzudiel?' she asked.
'Just finishing off the last of the open pack of chokkie bikkies he said. But this is the end of it.'
'Humph,' she said. 'Men. No discipline whatosover.'
'Yes, dear,' he replied. He finished his bikkies, then reached down and grabbed the last tub of Sara Lee.
'Your impossible said Winoniel, looking at him devouring the treat.'
'Don't I know it,' replied Talzudiel the Seraphim. 'Don't I know it.'
An Expensive Purchase
Zashadiel. 69th Male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity. Heavy Metal junkie. Prince of Hungary. A fella full of action. He was in the Woden Bus Interchange in Canberra in Terraphora, looking at a CD behind the counter of the Music store he was in. It was Def Leppard's 'Retroactive'. An original CD First printing. The price was 47 Trillion Realm Credits. Not frikking cheap. But what would you expect for such a glory? Rare as heck the originals these days.
'I'll give you 30 trillion,' said Zashadiel.
'The price stands,' said the blonde lady, with an Iron Maiden T-Shirt on.
'35 trillion,' he said.
She shook her head.
'40 Trillion. My final offer.'
She looked up at the CD. 'I'll let it go for 42 trill. Not a cent less.'
'Deal,' he replied. He handed her his Debit Card.
'Is this gonna work dude?' she queried him. He nodded. She swiped the card, a few moments passed, and it was approved. 'Fine,' she said, and gave him his receipt.
'The CD?' he asked her.
She stared at him. 'It's been our baby forever. Give me a moment.' She reached up, took the CD, and put it into the stereo, and put on 'Miss you in a Heartbeat.' They listened, and her eyes misted over a bit.
'Ok dude,' she said, and put the CD in its case, and put it in a brown bag, and handed it to her.
'Thanks babe,' he replied, and was gone.
He was on the bus, headed for Weston Creek, to Rob's, and had the CD in his Walkman. He was bopping away, when the blonde lady sat down opposite him. The lady from the store. He took off his earphones and looked at her.
'My name is Jill,' she said.
'Zashie,' replied Zashadiel.
'I recognized you. Seraphim.' He nodded. 'I inherited that CD from my great grand-father. He had it forever. Bought it when it first came out. He's got some classic originals.'
'Right,' replied Zashadiel.
'The originals always sound and feel the best. Latter prints never have quite the same vibe.'
'Very true,' replied Zashadiel.
'Are you single?' she asked.
He looked at her. 'Who's asking?'
'Jill. Jill Abercrombie. Canberra's queen of Metal.'
'Well. Nice to meet you Jill,' replied Zashadiel. He looked out the window, buzzed the bus bell, and made to get off, yet Jill followed her off the bus. 'Do you live around here?' he asked her.
'No. Other side of Woden,' she replied.
'What? You can't let go of the CD?' he asked her.
'Do you have a girlfriend?' she asked him. He shook his head. 'I'm available,' she said.
He looked at her. Heavy metal. Tick. Blonde. Tick. Iron Maiden T-Shirt. Tick. Cute. Tick. Breasts???? 5 or 6 ticks, looking at their ample size.
'Sure babe,' he said. 'I'm going to my mate Rob's.'
'Cool,' she said, and followed him walking behind him.
He got to his friend Rob's in Weston, and he introduced his new squeeze, as he put it. They came inside, and Jill asked if she could use the toilet. Rob gave her directions, and she disappeared.
'Shit man, that's an expensive purchase.'
'What? The CD? Yeh, I know.'
'Not the CD dude. The girl.'
Zashadiel looked at her. 'What do you mean? The girl?'
'Gabriel's grand-daughter. Her dad's the PM. Every dude in Canberra has been after her tail for years. She's frikkin hot, and doesn't put out for anyone. Rumor is she is still virginal.'
Jill came back in the room. 'Wassup?' she asked.
Zashadiel looked at her. 'Yeh, whatever,' he said. He took out the CD, put it back into his walkman, and put on the earphones, and gawked at Jill.
'Your an expensive purchase,' he said. 'Apparently very expensive.'
'You better believe it,' she said, and came and sat down on his lap. 'Let me listen to my CD sweetie,' she said. He gave her the earphones.
Later on they were back on the bus, headed for Zashadiel's hotel.
'I'm only in town for a few weeks, babe,' he said.
'That will be enough time with my baby,' she said.
Zashadiel. 'Glad to be your baby,' said Zashadiel.
'Uh, yeh, right,' said Jill. She wasn't exactly talking about Zashadiel, but the cradled walkman with the valuable CD.
'Well, I like your style Jill.'
She smiled back, but just rocked away to the CD.
When he was ready to leave town, she looked at him. 'Great CD dude.'
'Fine. Frikking fine. Keep it,' replied Zashadiel.
She grinned, and kissed him. 'I'll remember you now,' she said. 'You've got a heart.'
'Great,' said Zashadiel, and waved a wave at her, then left her at the interchange, getting on the bus headed to the airport. As he headed off, he though on the girl who'd won a little piece of her heart, and wondered if he would ever see her again. But Quiet Riot suddenly came on the radio on the bus, and he lost his attention on the girl, as Cum on Feel the Noise blasted away, a happy Seraphim headed home, wiser for the experience, if but quite a few trill poorer.
'You know, Saruviel sucks,' said Michael. 'And Satan sucks,' said Michael. 'And the Saruvim of Infinity suck,' said Michael.
'They've pissed you off, haven't they,' replied Gabriel, tinkering away at the PC in the overseer's office of the Realm of Eternity.
'By the black balls of bartimaeus, they have indeed pissed me off,' replied Michael.
'Black – balls – of Bartimaeus,' repeated Gabriel slowly, then shook his head. 'Well, get vengeance on them, oh Holy Angel of the Lord. It's what you do, now, isn't it. Not much else on your plate.'
'Get stuff,' retorted Michael. 'I have plenty to do. '
Gabriel stopped typing and looked at his older brother. 'Like what?'
'Watching over Zaphora. This inner disc,' replied Michael.
'Barely your job. I suppose you might be overseer for it. It's a consideration. I think I own the job, technically, at the moment.'
'No. It's mine,' prided Michael. 'And you better believe I'm going to get the buggers back.'
'Act with numbers,' said Gabriel. 'They wounded you recently because they came out in force. Gather your strength.'
Satan looked at the invitation. To Michael's gallant speech, honouring the Angels of God. One night only. Sure. Why the hell not.
Saruviel looked at the invitation. To Michael's gallant speech, honouring the Angels of God. One night only. Could be amusing, he thought to himself. Michael's comeback.
The crowd hushed. Michael had them in stitches, and they were waiting on the next sledge.
'Of course, Satan has a good reputation, doesn't he. Nobody is as saintly as Satan,' said Michae. The audience chuckled a bit. 'I mean, if there is ever a posterboy for the good works society, it's the devil. Excuse me Mr Devil. How much charity did you give this year? Oh, you robbed pensioners in con schemes, deprived orpans of their orphanages by buying them and selling off the orphanage, and stole all the lolliepops from various kids canteens. My, you are an angel, aren't you?' The audience continued to smile.
Someone down the front yelled 'What do you expect from the Lord of evil?'
'Touche,' replied Michael.
Satan was just nodding his head in the gallery, saying 'Yeh, yeh. Keep it coming punk. Saruviel had already had his treatment, and was looking embarrassed.
'Now, Satan is the master of decent conversation. Hello Satan. How was your day? Go fuck yourself, replied the Lord of Evil.' said Michael.
'Pretty much,' retored Satan, glaring at the speaker.
'Did you have a nice weekend, Satan? What did you do?' said Michael. 'Oh. You closed down a chain of charity stores, and desecrated ancient sacred sites. You have been busy.'
'Do it all the time,' said Satan in the gallery.
'Nobody as chivalrous as you, is there, Lord Satan. What's that? You stole the queen's panties and gave them to a prostitute. My, how noble,' said Michael. And on and on went the sledges for half an hour. They were never too rude or crude, because Michael was saying something in the words he was using. He was saying that Michael would only push it so far, because he WAS an angel of God. And he would set his example in response to the crudity of Satan. He wouldn't descend to that level. But he'd get the adversary back. And when he closed and said, 'We all agree, that old Devil is quite a guy,' and the crowd just sniggered, the Devil knew he'd been paid back. After the show Satan confronted Michael.
'So. You had your revenge. I'm not one to be trifled with, punk.'
'I'll remember that,' smiled Michael, without backing down an inch. The devil glared at him and left. And Michael, now, felt satisfied. Justice had been done.
Othaniel and Queriel
Othaniel and Queriel, respectively the 58th and 59th Male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity, were having an argument.
'Well, obviously the Extreme Kings are the greatest of Rock and Roll bands of all time,' said Queriel.
'The Extreme Kings,' replied Othaniel. 'Are gay.'
'Only the bass player,' retorted Queriel.
'I rest my case,' replied Othaniel.
'Hawkwind?' queried Queriel to Othaniel's T-Shirt. 'They are mediocre on a good day.'
'They are unparrallelled,' said Othaniel. 'Music was redefined by them.'
'From quality to shlovely,' replied Queriel.
Othaniel looked at his cards. 'I have 5 Aces,' he said.
Queriel looked at his brother. 'It's very challenging. In poker. To have FIVE aces. I've heard of 4. I've had 4. Never 5. Not sure what you are smoking, but I tend to doubt. I'll call.'
Othaniel picked up the rule book for 'Divine Joker Poker' and passed it to Queriel. 'Did you read the appendix?'
'I didn't bother,' replied Queriel.
'Read the appendix. The final clause,' said Othaniel.
Queriel read. 'In Divine Joker Poker, if a player has all 4 Aces, the 3 of spades can count as a fifth Ace. This is counted as the highest technical hand in DJP.'
Othaniel laid down his cards. 4 aces, and the 3 of spades. 5 Aces in the rules.
'Hawkwind rule,' said Othaniel. 'And you owe me your porsche.'
'I'll deliver it tomorrow,' sighed Queriel, laying down his sure thing – a straight flush in hearts.
'17 years we've been playing this, and you never read the rules in detail,' said Othaniel.
'I assumed it was mostly the same,' replied the Seraphim. 'Didn't seem to be terribly different from the games you usually devise.'
'A sucker and his money,' said Othaniel. 'I've been waiting for this pay off. Read the rules next time buddy.'
They finished up on the card table, and retired for the evening to the lounge, and put on the TV and drank some beer and ate crisps.
'Living in Terraphora is fun,' said Queriel. 'But I need to go home eventually.'
'Gabriel wants us near Zaphora for a while,' said Othaniel. 'Wants the Seraphim on hand for proper council discussions and things.'
'I know,' said Queriel. 'But I've got a life to live, bro. I'm happy in my own world. I don't bother the other angels much, and I do my own thing. It's always been me, and it's always been how I've liked it.'
'Your as gay as Penoniel,' smirked Othaniel.
'I'm pretty sure he is gay – literally,' said Queriel.
'Funny that. I've noticed things as well,' said Othaniel. 'But he claims he's straight.'
'Time will tell on that,' said Queriel.
'Indeed. Pass the crisps,' replied Othaniel, as they watched TV, chatted, and fell asleep as the night passed, another happy day in Terraphora come to an end in the lives of the content children of destiny.
Radrukiel and Penoniel
Radrukiel was the 46th male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity and Penoniel was the 62nd male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity. And they were in heaven.
'She's pretty hot,' said Radrukiel.
Penoniel looked at the harlot at the front of the bar, dressed in red, with long hair, and large breasts. 'Yeh, whatever,' he replied. 'She doesn't do it for me Raddie.'
'No frikking babe does it for you,' said Radrukiel. 'I introduce you to Miss Yakutsk 45,667 and you call her ordinary. She's one of our finest. Jesus, you really must be gay.'
'No. I'm not gay,' said Penoniel.
A guy walked past their table just then, and Penoniel casually glanced at his butt.
'Yeh, right,' said Radrukiel. 'Gay as hell I think.'
'I was just studying his anatomy. I AM a doctor, you know.'
'Yep. Certainly no gynecologist by the looks of it.'
'I've studied that,' said Penoniel. 'It doesn't interest me much.'
'No kidding,' replied the Russian angel. 'Anyway, shall we hit the pokies? It's why we came to Vegas after all.'
'Sure,' said Penoniel. The two of them were in Las Vegas in Terraphora, having a holiday. Gabriel wanted the Seraphim close by for the time being, so they'd joined up as a tag team of sorts, and were enjoying the good life for a while.
Radrukiel got a beer, and brought a lemon and lime bitters for Penoniel. All he would usually drink. And they sat side by side at some machines, and whiled away the evening. At midnight Radrukiel was way behind, but Penoniel had been lucky, and was up a few hundred credits.
'You've always had that lucky streak,' said Radrukiel.
'One of my blessings, I guess,' replied Penoniel.
They cashed in, and returned to the main lounge area. An NFL game was on television, and they sat watching for a while.
'Tough sport. Yankie football,' said Radrukiel.
'Not my style,' said Penoniel.
'No. You're not exactly an action man, are ya.'
Penoniel looked at Radrukiel. 'I prefer the indoor lifestyle. Like father Israel. Not wild Edom.'
'Yep,' said Radrukiel. 'Penoniel the Precise. Extremely geeky, nerdy, and probably as gay as hell. Likes calculators and geometry sets and all things to do with academia.'
'What can I say,' replied Penoniel. 'You know me well.'
Radrukiel smiled. 'It's why your my stockbroker. Very reliable business investments. You main thing. Financial times. They call you one of the wisest.'
'I've studied long and hard on those things,' said Penoniel. 'Daniel is a very good investment. He and Valandriel's companies are excellent for growth. They manage them very efficiently.'
'Yeh, the diehards,' said Radrukiel. 'Life is a glory mission. They can't let it go, no. Everything to be number one.'
'Gives their egos something to do I guess,' replied Penoniel.
'Well does your ego fancy that chick?' asked Radrukiel, pointing to a blonde lady walking past.
'Not my type,' replied Penoniel predictably.
'They never are,' said Radrukiel.
The two chatted on, and then retired for the evening back to their hotel rooms, and Radrukiel puzzled a bit on his brother, and concluded he might not be gay technically, but he sure as hell qualified in Radrukiel's book. And then he fell asleep, and dreamed of Penoniel riding a giant calculator, and saying 'Buy Shares in DanVal. It's a sure thing.' And Radrukiel laughed.
Gabriel, Zakiel& Saziel
Gabriel was the 2nd of the Seraphim males of Eternity, Zakiel was the 61st and Saziel was the 63rd. And they were in the Overseer's office of Zaphon, having a discussion on Penoniel the Seraphim.
'Penoniel, is not gay,' said Zakiel. 'Take my word for it. He likes pussy.'
'Yes I'm sure he does,' replied Gabriel.
'Likes pussy my butt. He's as gay as the King of Pop,' said Saziel.
Gabriel grinned. 'I don't think we have concrete proof of any homosexual behaviour in Penoniel's activities. Mostly it's just rumours from what I've heard.'
'Bullshit,' said Saziel. 'He's as gay as a Queen lead singer.'
'Yes, that is gay,' replied Gabriel.
'Do you have an official position on a gay Seraphim?' asked Zakiel.
'Sexual orientation – is – a – politically correct – theology,' said Gabriel very slowy. So there you have it,' he said, and grinned.
'Which means what exactly?' asked Zakiel. 'I do recall Israel's lovely Torah theology on the subject. Sodom was definitely treated with diligent hospitality by God.'
'Yes, that again,' said Gabriel. 'I vaguely recall the day. Michael and Raphael are amused by that encounter as well.'
'He's a bum bandit abomination,' said Saziel. 'And he takes it up the arse, because nobody gives a fuck anymore. Hell, it's practically crept into some areas of the inner discs these days. They know the frikking rules. No gay fantasies in the Seraphim discs. Leave that to Cherubim fascinations. Penoniel has crossed the frikking line. Demote the bastard.'
'That I shan't do,' said Gabriel. 'We'll take it diplomatically I think. I suppose he has his rights. I suppose.'
'Set's a bad precedent. We honour the old codes,' said Saziel. 'I mean, sure. Live and let live and all that jazz. And no, I guess it doesn't bother me terribly much were he wants to shag his schlong.'
'Very vivid language,' said Gabriel sarcastically.
'But rules are rules overseer. Look into it. The damn Seraphim has responsibilities. We can't afford that level of faith flexibility amongst the Seraphim. There is an ultimate standard to set.'
'I'll look into it,' said Gabriel. 'But go easy on the bugger. Nothing has been proven as of yet.'
'So you say,' said Zakiel.
When the two Seraphim had left, Gabriel sat there pondering. A gay Penoniel. No, there was no proof on that as of yet, and Penoniel maintained his innocence. Could they be pro-gay-tolerant, as it was said? Could they amend the rules to make exceptions? It would require council approval, and he was not even sure if it would get it. And perhaps it really shouldn't. But he'd look into that issue soon enough, and resolve things, one way or the other. One way or the other.
Judael and Toraniel
Judael and Toraniel were respectively the 28th and 39th Male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity. And they were both Israelites. Judael was the Son of Israel, Judah, after whom Judaism tooks it name, and Toraniel was a Levite, a Cohen, and a Karaite Hakham.
'So then,' said Judah. 'Is there 24 books or 39 books of the Tanakh.'
'39. Obviously,' said Toraniel.
'The Christian numbering,' said Judael.
'Yet, I agree anyway. I know the tradition is largely for the 24, but they are books combined. It doesn't wash that well with me in the end, Judael. My own thinking has developed from discussions with Cherubim Jesus over many years, and I hate to say it, but I see it his way now regardless. He is no Christ to me, and I follow the ordering of the books in the Hebrew Bible, but, alack alas, yes. 39 of them.'
'And thou art the 39th of the Seraphim males,' said Judah.
'I'm pretty sure that is coincidence. I don't think that has shaped my views on the issue. I remain of good conscience in regards to that.'
'Fair enough,' replied Judah, and put the video cassette into the player.
As they watched Batman 99 for the millionth time, Judah looked at his meal. Pizza with fried bacon bits on it.
'You are sure this is kosher bacon?' asked Judah.
'The animals are all clean that were used for this pizza. They were not scungy, dirty or diseased in any ways.'
'Moral bacon,' said Judah sarcastically. 'Well, if its good enough for old Moses, then fine.' And he tucked in.
They sat there, watching Batman, and Judah farted.
'That stench,' said Toraniel.
'It's the frikking bacon,' said Judael. 'It always does that to me.'
'You've tried it before then I see?'
Judael looked at Toraniel. 'I am perfectly complicit with the Torah of Moses in every detail. I have never sinned against God, and remain a faithful sabbatarian.'
'You work every other Saturday on your business at the moment,' said Toraniel. 'And your wife is known for cleaning the house on the weekend constantly.'
'I am perfectly complicit with the Torah of Moses in every detail,' said Judael. 'And poo you.'
Toraniel chuckled. 'Excuses.'
They watched the show, and later they retired for the evening. Toraniel laid on his bed, looking up at the ceiling. Technically Judah was not at Sinai. He existed pre-sinai. He was never given the kosher rules. He was under the Abrahamic covenant, it seemed. Technically he was complicit with Torah, or his requirements, he supposed. Technically. And thinking that he drifted off to sleep, and was none the wiser when Judah snuck into the kitchen to finish off the 'Kosher' bacon pizza. None the wiser.
Remriddel and Judayliel
'So what do you think of Faggotry?' Judayliel, the 56th male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity asked Remriddel, the 38th male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity.
'It's interesting,' replied the Maori warrior. 'Not my cup of tea exactly, and I think I agree with the Lord that its probably not for the best in the end. It doesn't bother me personally if the motherfucka down the road wants to go up his neighbours butt, as long as it's not me. They can face whatever nature's consequences impose upon them. I won't lose sleep either way.'
'Right,' said Judayliel, sipping on a glass of orange juice at the Canterbury football club in New Zealand. Judayliel looked up as the All Blacks took on Australia. 'There's been a few poofs in Rugby,' said Judayliel.
'It's a man's sport, and the gays sometimes get quite butch. They are not always the quiet type.'
'The givers,' said Judayliel.
'The ones who do the fucking up the arse,' replied Remriddel.
'And the receivers,' said Judayliel.
'The bitch who gets the fucking,' said Remriddel.
'And I suppose there are givers and receivers,' said Judayliel.
'Well praise the Lord for that,' replied Remriddel sarcastically, making a funny face.
'You think our brother Penoniel is on the Gay Team?' asked Judayliel.
'Don't know,' said Remriddel. 'He might be. Signs seem to indicate that as possible. But there's been no conclusive evidence as of yet.'
'Zakiel wants to expose him,' said Judayliel.
'He might like being exposed by Zakiel,' replied Remriddel grinning. They both laughed on that joke.
'I think a judgement is coming. From council. Regarding this issue and the inner discs. I've heard rumours that Jerahmeel is not terribly interested in allowing it, but Devuel will tolerate it somewhat in the 30th disc. His twin has been riding him a bit on the issue.'
'She kissed a girl and she liked it,' said Remriddel jokingly.
'Indeed,' replied Judayliel. 'I guess we'll have to tolerate it then somewhat if they make that judgement.'
'We do get to vote,' said Remriddel.
'For or against?' asked Judayliel.
'I'll stick with the word for my official position for myself, but I won't argue that everyone in Remriddephora has to agree with that judgement. I'll probably allow it in the end.'
'Ok,' said Judayliel. 'I thought I'd run that by you. I'll accept that as my own position now.'
'Then up the bum,' said Remriddel, lifting his glass, and making a joke.
'Up the bum,' replied Judayliel, and they drank, and watched footie, and a position was established.
Mishael and Wendel
Mishael was the 52nd male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity and Wendel was the 53rd male Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity. And they both liked Rugby League.
'Obviously Australia is the greatest Rugby League Nation of them all,' said Wendel.
Mishael nodded. 'Except for PNG, of course. Oh, and the Brits. The Kiwis as well. France, South Africa, Japan, Russia, Mongolia, China, Afghanistan. They're all better. But, yep. Those Aussies are great. Maybe as high as the bottom 3 or 4 percent of ranked nations. Yep, that is where they probably fit. Yep. Not bad at all,' said Mishael.
'Right,' said Wendel, giving him one of those looks Wendel gave often.
'Tiddley winks. I hear Australia is number one at Tiddley winks,' said Mishael. 'Well done Aussie.'
Wendel smiled, lifted his beer and said 'Here's to the great Aussie Winker.'
'Here's to the great Aussie winker,' replied Mishael, lifting his beer also.
They looked up at the screen. Brisbane Broncos were playing Bulldogs. Bulldogs were leading 12 – 8.
'Hosannuel is playing,' said Mishael. 'It could prove the difference.'
'Class wins in the end,' said Wendel.
'Yep. Of course, the Brisbane team are bereft of class, but you know. They'll do well anyway, I am sure.'
Wendel eyed Mishael.
'I know this other sport Aussies are good at,' said Mishael.
'And what is that exactly?' asked Wendel, putting down his beer.
'Bullshitting,' said Mishael. 'Nobody bullshits quite as well as an Aussie. Rumour has it they invented the word. Like dickhead. No bigger dickhead than an Aussie, mate.'
'You're all charm,' said Wendel.
'Yep, the great Aussie bullshitter. Practically an occupation in the outback.'
'We call them dole bludgers,' said Wendel.
'Or politicians,' replied Mishael, grinning.
'Right,' said Wendel. He looked directly at Mishael. 'What do you think of our prostitutes?'
Mishael looked at Wendel. 'Well, actually. God's honest truth. Fair babylon has a solid reputation with many on that score, but your girls? They kick ass,' said Mishael. 'Of your sluts you can be rightly proud.'
'Amen to that then,' said Wendel.
'Amen to that,' said Mishael.
They chatted on, and the game finished in a draw, and Wendel smiled as he drove the drunk Mishael back to his place. They'd become friends in Terraphora of recent times, hanging around, as many of the male Seraphim had a tag team partner for Gabriel's current concerns of keeping the male Seraphim close. Mishael was fun. He liked to mock, but never took it too seriously. It was fun times, and he was enjoying himself. What the party had in future weeks ahead, who knows. But he was enjoying himself for the time being, and he couldn't really complain about that. Could he?
Golden Fries and Burgers
Fiona Macintosh looked at the burger. 'You call that cooked?' she asked Ambriel.
Ambriel sighed. 'Ok. I'll try again.'
'I think a pretty boy like you probably should go back to counter service,' sighed Ambriel. 'You ARE so handsome.'
'I'd rather go back to fries I think. Counter service was so demanding. Everyone had a joke. Do you work here? Do you know how many frikking times I was asked do I work here? Like half the frikking community have conspired to piss us off by asking the same damn question. Do you work here? No, I'm frikking doing a cas study on the effects of fast food. What do you think I'm doing?'
Fiona, who was doing some basic management training, smiled. 'Very funny. The big bossman gives us a timer. We are supposed to use it,' she said.
'I like freestyle,' replied Ambriel. 'I'm that kind of guy, sweetie.'
She cozied up to him. 'I like freestyle,' she said.
'Ahem,' coughed Meludiel, sitting in the store, obviously watching them.
Fiona, quickly, said 'That will do. Carry on,' and returned to her duties. Ambriel looked at Meludiel, grinned defensively, and got on with his work. It was one of those days.
Around 4:30 in the afternoon a fly had gotten into the store and was making that annoying noise as it buzzed around the front of the restaurant.
'See to it,' said Fiona. 'Waft it out the front door.'
'Can't we use fly spray?' asked Ambriel.
'It offends some peole,' she replied. 'People claim to be allergic, and animal rights people often winge at us and put protests out the front, even for fly spray, which they say is murder. We don't want to lose customers who at least eat our fries occasionally. We apologize for the meat, and they say they understand, but flyspray we can apparently refrain from without problems, so big bossman doesn't allow us to use the stuff.'
'Fine,' said Ambriel. He entered the den. The main section where the customers ordered and ate. Meludiel smiled at him, but returned to reading her book. He opened the door, and put in a wedge to keep it open, and started shooing the fly towards the front door. There were a couple of customers who looked at him, and smiled a bit.
'Woosh, woosh,' Ambriel started saying. 'Woosh woosh, fly. Woosh woosh.'
Daniel was suddenly at the front door, looking at Ambriel waving his arms frantically in the air, saying woosh woosh. Ambriel looked at Daniel. He put his arms downs. He went back to the main cooking area. He didn't look up again.
'Leave them alone for 5 minutes,' said Daniel under his breath, shaking his head, as he came into the store.
'Listen up, team,' said Daniel, out the back, having called a short staff meeting, with Fiona serving all the customers alone, but it was very late, and there was only 2 of them. 'I am introducing new policies soon. Keep an eye on the bulletin board.' He looked at Ambriel. 'You know where the bulletin board is, don't you?'
'In the managers office,' said Ambriel.
'Good, ' replied Daniel. 'They are basic changes. Policies primarily to improve customer relations.' He looked soberly at Ambriel. 'And we obviously need them.' Ambriel didn't speak.
Later, it was getting towards the end of his shift. Fiona came over to him as he flipped a burger. 'Woosh, woosh,' she said.
'Shut up,' he replied.
'Seraphim tactics to get rid of annoying flys. Woosh woosh.'
'Shut up. Don't remind me.'
She smiled, and touched his arm. But as she walked away he heard one last, 'Woosh woosh'.
It had not been a good day.
Talzudiel and the Empty Den 2
Talzudiel walked into Golden Fries and Burgers. He was on holiday in Forrestfield with Winoniel. Daniel had plugged his takeaway to Tallie, who decided to check out the one where Ambriel was working.
‘Mmm. Appetizing menu,’ Talzudiel said to Winoniel.
‘I am sure you will make the wise decision and eat within reason like you promised me, Tallie,’ replied Winoniel, but was looking at the menu herself. The food looked good.
‘We use animal fats,’ said the redheaded lady serving them. ‘Or you can specify the food is cooked in vegetable fat if you wish. We have a cooker specifically for vegetarian or ethicist customers.’
‘Animal fat sounds great,’ replied Talzudiel. ‘The whole 9 yards, huh?’
‘We compete with Fatty Burgers. They know who to lavish it on,’ replied the lady.
‘Thank you, Fiona,’ said Talzudiel, looking at the lady’s name badge.
Ambriel walked past just then, with a rag, going to clean the tables.
‘Hey,’ said Talzudiel.
Ambriel nodded, then looked at them. ‘Oh. Talzudiel. What you doing here?’
‘We’re on holiday,’ replied Talzudiel. ‘Come to check out Perth.’
‘Right,’ said Ambriel. ‘You like this place do you? Daniel’s brother lives up around the corner in a house, and he visits this place often because of it. But there are Golden Fries and Burgers all over the place now.’
‘So he tells me,’ replied Talzudiel, looking at the menu. ‘I’ll have the Works Burger with Coke for the drink, and extra large fries,’ said Talzudiel.
Fiona keyed in the details, and business went on.
‘Wanna come over for the evening,’ Ambriel asked, before Talzudiel and Winoniel were about to leave.
‘Where do you live?’ asked Talzudiel.
‘We own a house, me, Michael, Meludiel and Elenniel, just down that street there,’ he said, pointing out the front door. ‘Number 51. You can’t miss it.’
‘Ok,’ said Talzudiel, looking down the street. ‘We’ll see you there about 7, then?’
‘Sound’s good,’ replied Ambriel.
Talzudiel and Winoniel continued on with their day, and came around to the place later that afternoon.
‘I’m stuffed,’ said Winoniel. ‘I’d want to go back to the hotel room, but I suppose we promised.’
‘You can rest there,’ said Talzudiel. ‘This is the place,’ he said, and they pulled up in their car rental out the front of the house. Soon they knocked on the door and Ambriel let them in.
‘Hey, its nice,’ said Talzudiel. ‘Very decorative.’
‘The girls have a lot of experience with that, especially Elenniel as you could imagine,’ replied Ambriel. ‘I think that is one of the thing we, as Seraphim, are still meant to bring to the world. Our ancient talent and experience. To impress people, yes. But to motivate them towards something better.’
‘If you could only motivate Talzudiel towards some discipline with his diet,’ replied Winoniel. ‘He has been slacking off a lot in recent times.’
‘Don’t embarrass me,’ replied Talzudiel to Winoniel.
‘He can hardly not notice,’ said Winoniel.
‘Talzudiel,’ said Ambriel. ‘You can only do the best you can. Sometimes we have had enough, and need some comfort for a while. We’re not perfect.’
‘No. Of course,’ replied Talzudiel. But in his thoughts he was rebuked, and reprimanded himself a bit. He knew, in the end, he indeed was an angel. And he was indeed supposed to set standards. Standards of excellence.
Meludiel came in the room just then, and ushered Winoniel out the back with her, leaving Talzudiel following Ambriel to the Den. The mancave the boys escaped too.
‘Want a beer?’ Ambriel asked Talzudiel. The Seraphim nodded.
‘It’s like that, I know. Working for Daniel I have learned humility more than anything else, but he does remind me, in the way he manages Golden Fries and Burgers, to practice excellence and professionalism. He does this job, well. Of all I’ve seen him do, he runs a fast food join very well.’
‘A strength perhaps,’ replied Talzudiel.
‘Yep,’ replied Ambriel. And he chatted on, but Talzudiel wasn’t listening. He was looking at the den, imagining it when Ambriel wasn’t here, and at work. He looked at it and realized that it would look neat and perfect, well organized and kept perfectly clean and in good order. Just like Ambriel and Michael. And thinking about a perfect den, which a realtor could present to the world, he thought on his own life. Was he up the standard he needed to be at the moment? Hey, he could chill, and relax, and do what he wanted to do. He’d earned it. But should he have that attitude? Wasn’t it a bit slack? Shouldn’t he expect more of himself.
And so they chatted, and the girls did there thing, and they had a light meal, and as they were driving back to the hotel, Winoniel snoozing, Talzudiel was developing within himself a new attitude. An attitude of the den of Ambriel’s, when it was empty, and Ambriel would not be there to defend it. It would stand anyway. Presentable and up to scratch. So he would make himself like that. Up to scratch, with no need to defend himself. And as they pulled up to the hotel, he picked up his twin, carrying her to the room, happy in his heart he had made a change. Happy in his heart he had made a commitment to a better quality of Talzudiel, not just he, but everyone needed. Happy and determined to make a change to the man in the mirror. Very determined.
Golden Fries and Burgers 2
'Ok,' said Daniel. 'Your work is average. It is good enough to be average.'
'Aw, come on,' said Ambriel. 'I work my arse off.'
'I have tapes. You can't fool me. And a redhead who easily confesses.'
'Bitch,' said Ambriel, under his breath.
'I'm docking you an hours pay for insulting a staff member,' replied Daniel, and made a note in his book.
'Shit,' said Ambriel.
'I'm docking you another hours pay for profanity on work grounds.'
'We're in the fricking car park and its after hours,' replied Ambriel.
Daniel made a note. 'Drive,' he said. 'The show starts at 10, and you've been good,' said I don't want to miss out.
'I've been good, have I,' said Ambriel, 5 minutes later, as they were driving towards the 'Show' promised.
'Don't take that literally. But if you want the honest truth I've graded you like a comic. I mean a good comic is good. It's ok, mate.'
'But there's better, I take it,' replied Ambriel, who had ever idea about the grades of comics.
'Yep. You're hardly a fine. VG+ at your very best I think,' replied Daniel. 'Turn here.'
Ambriel turned the corner, and kept driving.
'Could I ever reach Mint status?' asked Ambriel, smiling.
'In the halls of eternity it is speculated whether pigs will one day grow wings and fly from Arctica to Antarctica. I give you the chance of making Mint level about the same odds as that.'
'Is Arctica, even a place?' asked Ambriel.
'There,' said Daniel, pointing. 'It's out the back, though. Just park in front, and don't be too obvious. The place is sort of not quite sort of legal sort of.'
Ambriel gave Daniel a look, but parked, and followed him. They came around the back of a innocuous looking store, descended some steps, and Daniel knocked. Soon they were ushered into a seedy looking place, and there were obviously drug users and prostitutes and other lowlives around.
'The show begins shortly,' said Daniel, taking a beer from the topless waitress. 'And it took HER losing a bet, and finally agreeing if she could keep her panties on, to swindle this.'
'Who?' asked Ambriel.
The music changed, and the topless dancers started dancing, and shortly Meludiel was among them, topless. And the dance lasted about 10 mintues, and she was mildly erotic, and she looked guiltily at Ambriel, but he decided he would enjoy the show, and then it was over.
'You have an erection then?' asked Daniel. 'I sure as hell do.'
'You know, Daniel. You really are despicable, aren't you?' queried Ambriel.
'She's a woman of honour. I told her you'd leave her alone tonight, and not come on to her.'
They picked up Meludiel later, and she was fully clothed, looking every inch the baptist christian of her traditional faith.
'How was it?' asked Daniel.
Meludiel was in the back, next to Ambriel, hand in his hand. Then they started snogging, and Daniel turned away. Quite obviously she had been turned on with the liberty she had been given for a change. Quite obviously.
Radrukiel and Penoniel 2
God was alive to Penoniel. But not much more than that. He wasn’t jaded, exactly. He was different. Ok, he was gay. He knew it. The others knew it. He’d hung around Daniel’s ‘Rainbow Parade’ movement, the gay Noahide movement for a while, and it felt ok. His style. The other angels had noted his new bedfellows, and while they weren’t that literally yet, he did have that idea on his mind. He’d reconciled that if he was lawful enough, God wouldn’t care. Then God showed up.
‘It’s still a sin,’ said Wolfgang. ‘But its your live, and you are sovereign over much of your decisions, and will be allowed to dwell in a world which is in harmony with your choices.’
‘And what kind of world is that?’ asked Penoniel.
‘A different world. Your associates will change. Radrukiel will be around a lot, because he knows you are gay, but really doesn’t care. But your world clientele of people you associate with will change, and there will be many new faces. But old faces will disappear, some of them. People who don’t relate to your own choices for your body. They won’t accept that, and they will have their world protected from it according to their prayers of faith. Expect stores to change, where you will shop, and other things as well. Life will sort of point you in the direction you need to go to adapt. It will sort of just happen.’
‘Right,’ nodded Penoniel. ‘Well, thanks I guess.’
‘Think nothing of it, Penny,’ replied God. And they chatted, and played darts, and God left.
Radrukiel showed up that afternoon, after Penoniel had gotten back from work in Zaphon tower were he was working with some execs on a project.
‘You’ve come out then,’ said Radrukiel. ‘You will have to be careful in the inner discs. They don’t like it so much till you get further out.’
‘I know,’ replied Penoniel.
‘Well, these are the choices we make, bro. I won’t abandon you. We remain buddies.’
‘Cool,’ said Penoniel.
And as the days and weeks passed Penoniel noted God’s words were true. People from the Rainbow Parade filled his life, and pointed him in the way he was to go, and life went on. And then he met Bob Andrews. And the bloke seemed familiar. Like he had known him long ago. And Bob had put his hand on Penoniel’s shoulder and said to Dario, which was Penoniel’s human name, ‘I know you mate. From life some time ago, I know you. We were friends or something. It’s dim, but I know you.’
And Bob Andrews moved in with Dario Radlic, and Penoniel had a human lover. A male human lover. Would life ever be quite the same again?
Screaming Negative II
Seasons of life. They come, they go. And sometimes they come around again, in the most unexpected ways from the heart of mercy.
‘His name is Wolfgang. I named him after me,’ said Wolfgang.
‘You had a kid,’ said Daniel. ‘He looks like you a bit.’
Wolfgang smiled. ‘He’s working now. Nah, not really mine. But I raised him. Drew him out of Sheol. He was a lost soul from a couple who had gone through things and the time wasn’t right for the child.’
‘Oh,’ said Daniel. ‘Right.’
Ariel was around at Danielphon that evening. ‘The child. How old is he?’ she asked Wolfgang, looking at the man who was raised by Wolfgang, chatting with Daniel.
‘Why?’ asked Wolfgang.
Ariel looked at God. ‘Whose child is he?’
‘Can’t remember his parent’s name. Daniel or something. And Ariel or something. Some sort of angels, who went through hell,’ said Wolfgang. And he looked at Ariel’s face, and looked at Daniel, who had obviously heard, and left the room, heading out the back to practice his golf putting.
‘Yeh,’ said Wolfgang Daly. ‘I’m your kid. God didn’t want to say right away. The one you guys lost. God raised me. He’s had me many years, in a nursery, a place I can’t talk about.’
‘Oh,’ said Ariel, and sat down on the couch, looking at her son.
‘I’ll get your grand father and great grand father over soon enough,’ said Daniel. ‘They look a lot like me.’
‘Sounds great,’ replied Wolfgang.
Wolfgang hung around with Ariel and Daniel for a few years, but he soon enough left, and returned to his regular life. He wasn’t actually connected to Daniel and Ariel in any major way. There was something – a reluctancy – to get to know them. Neither parent could explain. God showed up. Said there were issues in the heart of Wolfgang which would take a while to resolve. ‘He has difficulty with love and relationships. The soul had a hard time trying to come into life. It would have run away from home that many times, and caused that much heartache to both of you if he had come at the first instance. And other issues as well. Legal issues and things. He needed very careful parenting.’
Ariel and Daniel took that in their strides, and God let them both know their son would be their son one day. But not for a very long time, when he had learned how to live in many ways. And it was left at that, but a dark spirit had left the companionship of Ariel and her twin, and a vacuum was now filled. God worked in mysterious ways, and Daniel could not begin to fathom God’s knowledge, but he trusted it now. He trusted it now.
The Blazing Bountiful
'Time trickles on,' said the scholar. 'And sometimes it trickles fast. And sometimes it trickles slow. But the blazing bountiful reward for time served is experience. And at Terraphon Keep we stress that experience in teaching knowledge gives better results. For you deliver it with greater style, with greater panache, with greater – accuracy. The more experience you have gained.'
Gabriel wrote down those notes in his lecture at Terraphon Keep. Naturally, the King of Scholars had to stay abreast with studies, and he was back in school, and had committed to keeping up with the studies the rest of his time as overseer at Zaphon. Not just at Terraphon, though. But he would study at Mitraphon as well. And maybe one of the other schools also.
After the lecture he got back home. Fiona was back with him again. She had left for a while, but now she was back in the kitchen, preparing meals, and he had a stamp collection in front of him. He was collecting. He had chatted with Fiona's father about stamps, and taken a mild interest, and was now looking to make some eternal investments into his collection. Boaz on Televon had some classic stamps, and he and Callodyn had visited Boaz and chatted philately. Fascinating stuff, in reality. Not dry and boring, but he didn't really mind those qualities in life anyway. He was an academic after all.
Fiona came in the room. 'Hey. Gab. Are you going to move me into the apartment at Zaphon for the overseer with you. It would be lovely if you did?'
'Not sure. Don't want to provoke Aquariel's jealousy,' he replied.
'Oh. Well if you don't love me,' she said, with a face.
'It's not that, Fiona. You know that. But Aquariel is a tricky customer. Piss her off and I face her wrath for a millennium,' replied Gabriel. 'And the Blazing Bountiful won't save me from that either.'
'Huh?' queried Fiona.
'Nothing. No, sorry. Can't do. Not any time soon. Give me a while. I'll think about it and maybe broach the subject with Aqua. If she really doesn't mind, I guess so.'
'You do that,' said Fiona, pointing a spatula at Gabriel.
Aquariel, in fact, didn't mind. She let it be known that Gabriel was his own person with his own life. But Gab knew, from the look of Aqauriel's face, she wasn't pleased. Still, he let Fiona live with him in the Overseers apartment and, despite the conerns about Aquariel, he would ride it out and see what came of it.
'Petra – suck!' said the Fletch.
'Aw, fuck. They rock,' said Danno.
'You don't sear, Danno. You are not cool enough to swear. You're too – sqaure -to swear like an Aussie,' replied Peter Fletcher.
Callodyn the Cherubim, who's human name was Daniel Daly, ignored the statement. But after a while he responded.
'I went through Potters House too, you know. Got my time up with the Potsmokers. And I dig Christian Rock as well,' replied Callodyn.
'Christian Rock is a contradiction,' said the Fletch. 'Christians are peace-loving pussies. Nothing more than that.'
'King's X are no pussies. And Bon Jovi are faithful Catholics. Well at least most of them,' replied Callodyn.
'For fuck's sake. And they still put 'Livin' on a Prayer' on Radio Rhema to this day. 'It is a joke, mate.'
'Bon Jovi rock. And Petra rock. And DC Talk rock. And Rebecca St James Rocks,' said Callodyn.
'Admittedly, Meludiel has spunk. She should have always gone mainstream,' put in the Fletch.
'She charts from time to time,' replied Callodyn. 'And the future is unwritten. Christian Rock is yet to see its best,' replied Callodyn.
'Maybe one day,' said the Fletch doubtfully. 'Not sure if Jesus died for rock & roll, but maybe one day.'
'I'm sure he digs Amy Grant and co,' replied Callodyn.
'She's more pop than anything,' said Peter.
'She has a number one single. She's mainstream. And I'm mainstream, so stuff you Peter.'
'Hey, cool down Cally. I know your mainstream. Noahides always have been. It's what they represent. The actual covenant apparently.'
'I think so,' said Callodyn. 'The cross doesn't appear in the sky – the rainbow does. Jesus has his gospel, and I like it well enough. But, regardless, people don't give the Christian music scene enough credit. They have some fine artits. I've always liked their stuff.'
'Christian rock, then,' said Peter. 'To each their own I guess.'
'To each their own,' agreed Callodyn the Cherubim.
'You do not like the Spice Girls,' said Jacinta to her brother, the Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly.
'I've liked them forever' replied Daniel.
'I think that might be true, but give me a break, Danny. You're hard rock. Spice Girls just isn't your scene.'
'I think I like them all as well,' said Cherubim. 'Gloryel. She is the best. Geri Horner forever, babe.'
'Babe!' said Jacinta. 'Are you taking your meds?'
'I'm taking my meds,' he replied. 'Once every century the doctor gives me a jab. Says I won't need them forever.'
'Keep on going on about the Spice Girls I think he might be wrong,' replied Jacinta. 'Geez. Put on AC DC. Please.'
Daniel did as requested, putting on Back in Black, but later that day he had 'Passion' by Geri Halliwell playing. He liked thealbum. Some of her best passion, in reality. Schizophonic was a champion album, and Man on the Mountain was sheer brilliance. But Passion had the other feel to it, Daniel felt. Something which signalled a change from the pop princess the Spice Girl had been to a more mature outlook on life. He liked the band more and more these days for the growth he felt they had all gradually achieved on their music. He listened to the Spice Girls the rest of the day but, true to form, put on Bon Jovi late that night, and rocked out to 'These Days' which was the music for the moment. He'd be analzying it, thinking it through, trying to understand the lyrical messages. But tomorrow he'd have Spice back on the CD player, and work through his growing interest in this dynamic style of music.
My Hearts Breaking Even
'You know, its when the shit it bad, that you fight, lad,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly to Cherubim Callodyn.
'No shit, Dan,' replied Callodyn. 'We've been through fights for our Noahide faith. Let's keep the faith. In the end, if we Keep the Faith, we will prove true, and we will triumph. Noahides work hard, keep the faith, and solider on. And we fix past mistake,' he said.
'Yep, we fix past mistakes. Now sit at the table. We are planning.'
So they sat, the Daly Conference, and they planned.
'The fellowship is gaining ground these days,' said Daniel. 'We are a major and significant part of world religion. Since ancient days the covenant has been invoked, but the likes of Moses and Jesus have always had upper hands. Now we dedicate, stay serious, and let Daniel the Seraphim play his cards.'
'The girls like him,' replied Callodyn. 'He has all the smooth moves.'
'Probably Seraphim giftings,' replied Daniel. 'But that is his strength. When a heart breaks even it realizes that others matter also, and that we are part of a bigger team also. We play our own part, seek our own glory, but never let the team down.'
'Understood Daniel,' replied Callodyn. 'Any major changes planned in our agenda.'
'Nothing at the moment. Just revision. You don't end up ruling the world if you chop and change all the time. Sometimes amendments need to be made, when obvioius improvements can be realized. But a lot of the time it is about sticking to your guns and riding things out. Some things come good after a while. Trust me on that. Some things come good in time.'
'I think so,' replied Callodyn. 'Well, if you will excuse me, the A Team is on.'
So they sat, watching the A Team, and some things had come good, which were in no disarray anyway. A family united, and serving God. The way things ought to be.
We are not Gay
Potters House were handing out flyers. They read 'WE ARE NOT GAY' with the Potter's House logo. The Fletch was amused when Tammy Saunders-Makkinga mailed him a copy. He showed it to Phanuel – Aaron Goodsell. Aaron photocopied and sent it to Seraphim Daniel. Daniel took his copy, blanked out 'NOT' and wrote in 'SO'. The new pamphlet read 'WE ARE SO GAY.' He proceeded to have printed off 5 trillion copies, and had them mailed to half of Zaphona City. The court case against Haven Noahide Fellowship proceded immediately. Daniel's chief defense was 'You know. They are pretty gay when it comes right down to it.' The judge did not see it Daniel's way. The damages were severe. Daniel didn't object. Sofya said it was funny. Phillip East was not amused.
Golden Fries and Burgers 3
Ambriel flicked at the patty, according to the clock this time, and sat there. And he sighed. Back on patties. He had improved again.
'What's up kemosabe?' asked Daniel, coming into the kitchen.
'You here again?' queried Ambriel. 'Isn't there like a gazillion franchises of this restaurant for you to manage. Why the special treatment?'
'My brother Greg lives around the corner a lot of the time,' replied Daniel. 'And it was one of our first stores. It's oen of my main ones for trying out new things.'
'I have an idea. The shitburger. Coz what we serve is mostly shit anyway,' said Ambriel dejectedly.
'Cheer up kemosabe. I could always give you a reference for Fatty Burgers. Paul Vautin's standards aren't exactly high,' replied Daniel.
'At least we get to play in a franchise footie match every weekend with Fatty Burgers. You don't have much for the staff to get involved with.'
Daniel looked at Ambriel, and the lightbulb went on in his head. Three weeks later they had a staff survey to fill in.
'What will you select?' asked Fiona. '3 choices, prioritizing 1 to 3 in numbered priority, 1 most important, 3 least important.'
'Stamp club, library studies and pottery,' replied Ambriel. 'How about that?'
'Get serious. That will never get through. Choose something cool, like cricket or footie,' replied Fiona.
'Ok. Well, I will put Stamp Club as third, because I do actually like talking stamps, and I know Daniel does as well,' said Ambriel.
'Its for the nerds, and a lot of them work with us,' replied Fiona. 'You put it down, so will I.'
'I'll put footie and cricket as 1 and 2, and stamps as 3,' he said.
'I'll do the same,' replied Fiona.
A few months later, when the official extra-work activitives were announced, Football,Cricket and Stamp Club had been selected by Daniel as the 3 choices for Golden Fries and Burgers employees to get involved with.
'Fancy that,' replied Fiona. 'Our exact choices.'
'Yes,' said Ambriel. 'I smell a rat.' He confronted Daniel with it.
'Footie and Cricket came out way in the lead, but Stamp Club was a solid third,' replied Daniel to Ambriel's inquisition. 'People went for the idea. Lots of stamp collectors we have.'
'Oh,' replied Ambriel. 'Fancy that, huh.'
And so the clubs formed, and soon Ambriel was involved with the Stamp Club with Fiona. Ironically Daniel came along from time to time, and chatted stamps, and enjoyed the coffee and cake. It was all free to employees.
'Don't worry,' said Daniel. 'It comes out of your bonus for the year.'
'Typical,' replied Ambriel, but that year the bonus was the same as always. Mr Daly had put on a freebie. Very surprising.
We are not Gay 2
Potters house ran its campaign again. This time Philip East sent Daniel the Seraphim a letter querying his sexual orientation. Daniel replied affirming he was heterosexual and he agreed 100% with the prosecuting party that Potters House was straight. In fact, he affirmed that from the pulpit of Haven Noahide Fellowship, stating a joke was a joke, and not to make too much more of his response thant that. So Potters House Christian Fellowship Ministries pursued their campaign, with varying degrees of success. Daniel, finally, in response started his own campaign. Attaching the ANM logo, he put out the flyer 'WE HAVE GAY MEMBERS, BUT WE ARE NEARLY ALL STRAIGHT'. He advertised it quite widely. Philip East sent a letter querying this. Daniel maintained that ANM was nearly all straight, but had a denomination called 'The Rainbow Parade' which was centred on Godliness and Decency, aimed for those of alternative sexual orientation. Phil queried whether he was pandering to the fags. Daniel replied that he was. Phil asked why. Daniel said 'Theres bucks in those motherfuckers.' Philip did not query again.
Radrukiel and Penoniel 3
'So how about 'Blokes Bazaar'' suggested Radrukiel.
'Actually, that might be ok,' replied Penoniel. They were looking through the newspaper for a suitable weekend outing to do together. Nothing seemed to be fitting, but the new suggestion seemed ok. They got out into the van, and took off. Soon, about half an hour later, they pulled into the car park of the large conference centre, and paid for two tickets, and started touring around the Blokes Fashion exhibit.
'Hey. A lot of stuff which is suitable for all sorts of guys,' said Radrukiel.
'Mmm,' nodded Penoniel. 'Very suitable stuff. Quality jackets for outdoor wear. Good brands. Good colour co-ordination as well.'
'Indeed,' replied Radrukiel. They toured around the Bazaar for about 2 hours, before stopping for lunch at a cafe in the place.
'Right. We'll eat those salad and chicken wraps,' said Radrukiel. 'They are appropriate enough for both of us.' Penoniel didn't disagree. They ate their lunch and sipped on their cold drinks, and watched the blokes pass by, many with wives, but some with blokes.
'Sort of a free for all,' suggested Radrukiel.
'It takes all sorts,' agreed Penoniel.
The lunch passed, and they finished off for the day. Radrukiel had bought some boots, while Penoniel had bought a bright orange shirt with a black tie.
'I think we got what we came for,' said Radrukiel. 'Let's do this place again in a few years when we catch up. Could prove a useful place for both of our tastes.'
Penoniel smiled. The day had been a blessing. And he thanked God in prayer that evening. An outing where he was himself – plain old Penoniel.
Christian Rock II
Callodyn was listening to PFR. He called the Christian Rock, which was essentially what they were. He was sure PFR stood for Pray For Rain, the name of the first album, but had not yet heard anything proving that conclusively. No matter. They rocked anyway. He went through his Christian Rock collection. PFR. DC Talk. Carman. Heaps of 20th and 21st century stuff. Also 'The Cross and the Crowd', a 23rdcentury rock trio, who were pretty cool also. Heavy enough, like hard rock at times, but still soulful and Christian. They rocked the way he liked, and payed homage to a lot of their predecessors. He was going through a lot of Christian music at the moment, as well as some Noahide artists. Music was a big thing in Callodyn's life, like Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly and Seraphim Daniel. Each of them had their own musical catalogue of works, but it was not the main thing they preoccupied themselves with. Callodyn's own life was a hurlyburly of Kayella his twin, Noahide things, and comics amongst other stuff. And business, of course. They ran companies, and Daniel the Seraphim was adroit with his Golden Fries and Burgers franchise, which bought in a lot of money for their endeavours. It was about building the Daly fortunes, as well as making an impact on the world for Almighty God's messages of lawfulness and peace. They sort of went hand in hand. Like Christian rock bands built on Jesus, and promoted the church, to bring life to the world, so did Noahides. It was the Kingdom of God still, as far as Callodyn was concerned, and that never really changed. If he ever really got sidetracked from that truth, then what would the point be? His own vanity? He didn't need it. And trying to make it eternal without God was something he had concluded he couldn't do a long time ago, even if he'd had the idea quite clearly communicated to him. Like Christian rock, if he was to endure, it was by the power of Almighty God. And it just really couldn't be any other way.
Gabriel was at Dalnaphon Keep. It was surrounded by many built up properties, but no matter. He and Fiona were at the keep, staying with sariel.
'So. How is the top job, Joe?' asked Sariel.
'Joe is doing the top job, fine,' replied Gabriel to Sariel's query. 'I find it relaxing here. The Sellawon always does that for me.'
'Part of its beauty,' replied Sariel. 'I say, do you think this really will become a tradition, as some suggest. You will be choosing Raphael when your millions years is also up?'
'Who is asking?' asked Gabriel.
'I've run a few important things in my time,' replied Sariel. 'Honest to heaven, running the realm of eternity would be a real thrill. I'm hoping you guys set a precedent, as I would certainly welcome a millions years of my own say in how things are run.'
'If we ever get to the year 8 million worry about it then. We might have had half a dozen judgment days by then. Keep your fingers crossed,' replied Gabriel. Fiona laughed on that comment.
'I shall,' replied Sariel. 'I was hoping for a visit from Jerahmeel today. He's never too far away.'
'I'm sure he's busy with his own concerns,' said Gabriel. 'You'll have to make do with us.'
'Not a problem. You are fine company. The finest in the realm, really,' replied Sariel. 'And what of old Michael. Still scritching and scratching around. Not really sure what to make of himself.'
'He gets by,' replied Gabriel. 'You never know. He might have the job one day again.'
'May that not be for an eternity and then some,' replied Sariel.
'I'm sure hed appreciate the rest,' said Gabriel. 'It's days like these, after some hard times at work, that I know the kind of things he dealt with. Not easy at all. You should think twice before craving such responsibility.'
'Oh, I'm up for it. Got to pull one out for the boys if you get a crack at the wheel,' replied Sariel.
'Indeed,' finsihed Gabriel.
They played scrabble that afternoon, as Sariel was fond at always thinking with words, and they ate a quiet meal. Gabriel liked the end of the day the most, though. Sitting in the twilight, watching the lights of Zaphona City, and just being quiet Gabriel the Seraphim. The simple life. Like he liked best a lot of the time.
Golden Fries and Burgers 4
Fiona looked out the window. There they were. Real people. Living lives. Living happy lives she supposed. Here she was. Stuck with David Rothchild, her heartthrob, admittedly. But stuck in Golden Fries and Burgers. Probably the most mind numbingly boring job in the uinverse. But like Daniel said, it's a dirty job but someone's got to do it. She sighed, and wiped the window with the windex, and got on with her day.
'Do you want fries with that?' asked Ambriel.
'Yeh. Sure. Supersize me,' said the rather large man. 'And make it an extra cheeseburger as well. I'm hungry come to think of it.'
'Certainly,' replied Ambriel, and typed in the order to the register. The day passed. He was on front counter again. Trusted enough, apparently, to do the job. He knew it was because he was polite. His specialty. Daniel was taking advantage of Ambriel the Seraphim working for him. Oh, the general fuss in the community about it being Ambriel working there had died down a while ago, but he was still a bit of a drawcard. But most of the customers now just ignored all that and wanted their fries and burgers. Such was life.
Daniel sighed. Figures were low this week. He'd have words.
'...and that is why a Golden Fries and Burgers employee puts on a shiny face, come what may,' said Daniel.
Ambriel was ignoring him.
'We treat every customer as a treasured asset. There is no telling how many millions – nay, trillions – may come into us from each one of them over the long haul of eternity. So be at your best people.'
Ambriel continued ignoring him.
'You, sir. Have an attitude problem,' said Daniel to Ambriel. Ambriel blew a bubble gum bubble outwards, and it popped.
'That has got to be against store protocols. I'll have to check that,' said Daniel, and disappeared off to the managers office. Ambriel sighed and got back to work.
'Would you like fries with that?' asked Ambriel. It was the same fat bloke again.
'Yeh, why not,' he said. 'And give me an extra cheeseburger. I'm...'
'Yeh, I know. You're hungry,' said Ambriel. The fat guy gave him a look, but nodded agreement.
Ambriel typed in the details into the register, and waited for the meal. He served it, and the bloke sat in peace, eating his meal. One of their best customers. Ambriel wondered how many trillions would be pumped in to Golden Fries and Burgers by that dude+ before he had a heart attack or something. Probably gazillions.
Fiona looked at the people going by. 'They probably have real jobs,' she said to herself. 'Like perfumists. I could be one of those. Nah, who am I kidding. Probably end up doing Avon.' She scrubbed the window clean, after a fat guy had puked on it, and got on with her day. And another afternoon passed at Golden Fries and Burgers.
Othaniel and Queriel 2
Othaniel was at Zaphon, in the overseer's office. His tag team buddy, Queriel, was downstairs in the cafeteria.
'Corsica has a rich and vibrant culture,' said Gabriel. 'And I need that culture represented in the Pageant of Nations.'
'And what is the Pageant of Nations?' asked Othaniel.
'One of the main marks of my time as overseer,' replied Gabriel 'I will be arranging for all the Princes of the Nations to be doing their bit to represent their culture throughout the time of the pageant. It will start very soon, and run the remainder of my time as Overseer. A lot of expense is going into it, so you will have to be at your very best. This is a time for a Seraphim angel to be just that – a Seraphim angel.'
'Gotcha,' rpelied Othaniel.
'Ok, here is the officiel Seraphim folder. Every male and female Seraphim will be given a copy of this folder. There are a few hundred documents in there. Large, I know. But it charts out the basic premise of the pageant, expectations of the Seraphim, and so on. Read it. Learn it. Live it. Ok.'
'Will do,' said Othaniel, looking over some of the documents, which actually appeared quite interesting.
'And send up Queriel. I'll have words with him next,' finished Gabriel.
Later, after Queriel had his interview with Gabriel, they were sitting in the cafeteria, relaxing.
'Busy day. New work. Seraphim having to live up to our fame,' said Othaniel.
'I noticed the Divine Joker Poker tournaments. How the heck did you squeeze that?' asked Queriel.
'No idea. I mentioned the game a few times to Gabriel recently. He must have felt it a decent enough contribution from Corsican culture.'
'Hmm,' replied Queriel. 'Well, you'll probably be heavily involved with that work. I'm not sure about my own work, though. The Blues of Albania. With special focus on the Blues Brothers.'
'Why them?' asked Othaniel.
'They are Albanian in origina. Belushi anyway,' replied Queriel.
'The things you learn,' replied Othaniel. 'Let's get a drink.'
So they disappeared to a drinking establishment they both visited on occasion and life went on.
Gabriel, Zakiel and Saziel 2
'So, Zakiel. Serbian culture. Cindradel and the team have done a bit of research, and we have this proposal. Wine, women and song. The primary focus for Serbia in the Pageant of Nations. Your finest wines, women of notoriety and the best music Serbia has produced. How does that rate with you?' asked Gabriel.
'Should be fine,' replied Zakiel. 'Just don't make it a Yugoslavian fiasco with Saziel being my tag-team buddy. We are Serbians. We are in many ways, older ways, Yugoslavian. That is true. But we fought wars for independence. No obvious cross-cultural connections please.'
'I will keep that in mind. Co-ordinate your concerns with Cindradel and the team. We'll make sure your concerns are noted. Now you will be in charge, like the Seraphim in general, of being hosts and speakers and the givers of official speeches and opening ceremonies and the like. Time for the disc overseer's to show us all the human touch, if you know what I mean,' said Gabriel.
'I understand,' replied Zakiel.
'And give it your best. This is a good time for Serbia to shine,' finished Gabriel. 'Now send in Saziel.'
Saziel sat there, twiddling his thumbs. Gabriel finally handed him the folder.
'Zakiel has made it quite clear, Saziel, that Serbia is to represent Serbia. They are not looking for a balkans celebration. Do you understand?'
'I understand. We're not princes of Yugoslavia. We may be best of buddies these days, but we are each unique in our own right. Why we have a nation,' replied Saziel.
'I have chosen the main theme for Croatia myself. Sporting accomplishments of your best and finest. That is the main ticket, apart from various other cultural items. Does that do it for you? I expect, generally, basketball and football to be a focus.'
'Should be fine,' replied Saziel. 'And when does this Pageant start?'
'Soon enough, brother. The official date has not yet been selected, but when we get the ball rolling it will run to the end of my overseersmanship.'
'And that will end?' queried Saziel with interest.
'I'll likely run a million years, if you must know. And choose Raphael. It's a tradition idea I'm thinking of,' replied Gabriel.
'Sounds good. Well, you can count on my Gabriel. I'll ensure we, no, I, perform at my best. Looking forward to the events already.'
'Good for you,' finished Gabriel.
Saziel and Zakiel spent the rest of the afternoon chatting over the upcoming pageant, and that night had pizza at a fine Zaphona City restaurant. High times in the Realm of Eternity.
'Ok, Sariel. England. It's the Cyberdaleks for you,' stated Gabriel promptly.
'What the hell are the Cyberdaleks? Sounds like a bastard breed of Dalkes and Cybermen from Dr Who,' replied Sariel.
'Exactly. It is a very popular fanfiction creation, and has been running at Dr Who conferences in recent times. We decided to be original and NOT do Dr Who as per se, but rather a Dr Who subculture. And the Cyberdaleks community is our choice. Here is a picture of one.' Gabriel handed Sariel a picture of a Cyberman with a Dalek sort of moulding around him. If that wasn't bad enough it was the big laser thing - the toilet plunger, as Sariel called them – coming from its head. The thing looked ridiculous.
'This will be England's grand and great contributon to the Pageant of Nations?' asked Sariel. 'Are you serious.'
'It'll be cool,' replied Gabriel. 'We have dances set up which the Cyberdaleks dance. And jokes. There are a lot of Cyberdalek jokes, you know. Readings from the Dr Who Canon, and all sorts of revelry. It will be great.'
Sariel looked with despair at the honour of Great Britain – a Cyberdalek. 'Please, say it isn't so.'
'Notice the artist,' said Gabriel. Sariel looked. Daniel the Seraphim was signed at the bottom of the work. And then 'The Joker' was written underneath that. 'Gotcha, Sars,' said Gabriel.
'Humph,' replied Sariel the Seraphim. 'Very funny.'
'Suffice to say there will be a celebration of all things British SF. That is a major focus. And there will indeed by Dr Who culture, amongst things like Blakes Seven, Outland and Red Dwarf. Quite a cavalcade of speculative culture, my brother.'
'Fine. That should be fine. Just make sure there are no Cyberdaleks. They look – horrendous,' stated Sariel firmly.
'I'll make sure,' replied Gabriel, a smile on his face.
'For heaven's sake,' said Sariel, leaving the office, looking at the picture. 'Cyberdaleks.'
Gabriel had a good laugh about the joke the rest of the afternoon.
Judael and Toraniel 2
'Michael can go blow,' said Judael. 'He is nothing but the ego of Israel. Hardly fit to be its prince. He's led us astray that many times. We need a new prince.'
'I will do the best I can,' replied Toraniel.
'Oh, you wish,' replied Judael. 'Now the man we are looking for is astute and business-like. He has a good reputation, is forthright and honest, and of a decent family.'
'Again, I can start next Melladon,' replied Toraniel.
'He must have savvy. Above all, to deal with the cretins of angelkind, he must have savvy. Some are definitely not what they seem, and Michael is too gullible to know the hidden secrets at the heart of many a Seraphim and Cherubim.'
'Where should I set up shop?' queried Toraniel.
'And the man we are looking for – is me!' exclaimed Judael.
'Here we go,' replied Toraniel.
'My vision for Israel is one of brilliance and majesty. We shall forever ride on the crest of glory,' continued Judael.
'Oh yes, glorious one,' replied Toraniel. 'The world lies at your feet.'
'Indeed,' replied Judael. 'I shall be having an election and we shall seek father Abraham's permisson to choose a new leader. I am 100% sure I am the man for the moment.'
'Sure,' finished Toraniel.
Father Abraham was consulted.
'Yes. What did he say?' asked Toraniel, when they resumed their conversation a few months later.
'Joseph was a better choice. I was too proud. And not trustworthy. Said Reuben was displaying a better attitude on humility these days as well, quite obviously.'
'You need to wait for the glory,' replied Toraniel. 'All things happen in the time they are supposed to. Eternity is a long time to claim the glory. Be satisfied with your disc of overseersmanship. You are responsible for an awfullly large amount of citizenship, Judah. Don't neglect what God has already entrusted to you.'
'You are correct, of course,' replied Jacob's son. That evening he praised the Lord and looked at ways to improve his leadership and responsibility. He already had work. Sarcasm aside, it was time to renew his commitments and endure. Eternity was funny – you never knew which way the cookie crumbled in the end.
Golden Fries and Burgers 5
David was in a good mood. Fiona was in a bikini. It was Golden Fries and Burgers Summer Special Promo.
'You sure about this, Fi?' asked Ambriel. 'Working in your bikini for the day?'
'It's frikking hot outside,' she replied. 'When I had to do the garbage detail I melted. Don't bother me. I don't mind this.'
Ambriel sighed, shaking his head. Way to demeaning. He would confront Daniel.
'I took a survey,' replied the Seraphim. 'Asked if female employees who felt comfortable would wear bikinis in beach locations once or twice in a summer occasionally. A summer promo special. They are allowed a transparent skirt around their bikini bottoms, so don't complain.'
'It's – not appropriate,' complained Ambriel.
'Nobody has to do it. There is a bonus if they want to act on it,' replied Daniel.
'This is hardly a beach location,' argued Ambriel.
'Half an hour down the road, voila. Beach. So stop your winging,' said Daniel. 'Oh, wait. You are the lord of the prudes. I must remember that.'
Ambriel sulked all that afternoon. Finally Fiona confronted him. 'I could use the cash. I do have a savings plan, you know. And it is meant for girls who like to lighten up a bit. It was clearly spelt out in the manifesto. Nobody was under pressure to dress like this. Only girls who felt comfortable in their own skin.'
'Fine,' agreed Ambriel, but he was not convinced.
It was a few weeks later, when business had built up a bit, and comments that they found the bikini girls amusing, that Ambriel gave up. Daniel had pointed out that the female body was a thing of beauty and that this was not the holy land of Israel. So live and let live dude. He had a business to run. Besides, sales were good, and those ladies were preserving their jobs. Jobs which, in the light of eternity, might not always be there if the business ran under.
'We have a clear business plan. Besides, go down to the beach. A lot of surf chicks dress like this in stores on the beachfront. It's common enough down there. And Forrestfield is a regular enough suburb. They are a little bit liberal here, and don't mind this sort of thing. It's not a thing I promote apart from where appropriate. It's called getting along. Believe me a lot of the ladies didn't mind at all.'
So Ambriel conceded, and wrote down some notes in his journal that evening on conservative versus liberal attitudes. He would think things over on this issue. Think about what he really felt about it.
Remriddel and Judayliel 2
Remriddel was at 'Vanishing Point'. It was a place in Terraphora, on a section which disappeared into a large lake, the vanishing point, where water met land. He was meditating, thinking thoughts of the great spirit, and being one with the universe.
'Why the hell do you want to be one with the universe?' asked Judayliel.
'The grand creator has life. And that life has good and, admittedly bad. And every shade of reason in between. And there is colour and variety, and all things passionate, and all things depressing. And in this fiery truth of life, I find my way. Accepting it all and meditating on all that is right and all that is wrong, and working with the truth of it all to chart my existence,' replied Remriddel.
Judayliel looked squarely at his Seraphim brother. 'Profound. Let's get a drink.'
They sat there, at Vanishing Point, in a place in New Zealand in Terraphora, drinking beer, and looking out at the big blue of the lake.
'I like nature,' said Remriddel calmly. 'It is my kind of passion. I think I am almost a naturlist in some ways, but not deliberately. Just how I relate to life. I live in both the creation of man and the creation of God. And it is a duality which is the perplexity of modern life.'
'True,' replied Judayliel. 'But I tend to think God is the driving force behind much of the creation of man. What the Torah drives at a lot of the time. Develop civilization. Improve things. Cultivate Eden.'
'You are, of course, right,' agreed Remriddel, and sipped on his beer.
They played a bit of Rugby tip for a while, and ran around the land, and Remriddel pointed out some of his favourite landmarks. He knew the place well.
'It's quiet,' said Judayliel.
'Naturally. I own the land,' said Remriddel.
'Ah, that explains it,' replied Judayliel.
They sat in silence.
'So, the Pageant of nations,' said Judyaliel. 'Any grand plans for New Zealand.'
'We'll see what comes,' replied Remriddel. 'It should be – a blast.'
'Let's hope so,' replied Judayliel. So they sat, and drank beer, and were one with nature.
Mishael and Wendel 2
Mishael had a scarf on. Of the Hull City Tigers. Wendel had a scarf on. Of Middlesborouh. They were at a match in Terraphora, stying in the innermost inner discs as per Gabriel's request, for he needed them around. It was quite clear that the upcoming 'Pageant of Nations' was the main fuss for Gabriel at the moment, and he wanted the Seraphim close by to discuss this. Apparently, according to Cindradel's words to some of the Seraphim, he also wanted to build unity in and amongst the Seraphim, one of the traditional things they, as Overseers of the Realm, should be focused on anyway. Gabriel, like Michael, did his own job in bringing law, order and stability to the Realm of Eternity, and these things were some of the ways that objective was realized.
'Ok. Hull Tigers will win 5 nil,' said Mishael.
'Nope. Middlesborough all the way,' replied Wendel.
'Middlesborough are good for kicking around a footie after school – with 5 year olds – but not serious football,' said Mishael.
'Hull players retire to netball because footie proves too tough for them in the end,' retorted Wendel.
'Right. Middlesborough players all have a favourite lady – their mum,' said Mishael.
'Middelsborough players have a favourite lady. Hull wankers hang around at gay bars after the matches.'
'Ooh, low blow,' said Mishael. 'Ok. I've got one. Middlesborough players invest in life after football. A cemetery plot.'
'Hull players are already there,' replied Wendel.
'My money is on Hull. 20 creds,' said Mishael.
'Wendel handed over 20 cred to Mishael's 20, and they placed it in a little bag that Mishael had bought a pie in. They sat it in front of them on the ground, waiting for the end of the match.
The match was played and ended in a draw.
'You didnt' win, so you can't have your money,' said Mishael.
'Well, you didn't win either,' said Wendel.
'Then we donate it to charity,' said Mishael.
'Got the perfect one. Hull City Retirement homes,' replied Wendel.
'Oh, hah hah hargh,' finished Mishael, and took the money. He bought them beer after the match, and Wendel didn't complain.
'To Hull City retirement homes,' he said, raising his glass. They were mildly intoxicated before nights end.
Gabriel was in a good mood. The Pageant of Nations starting date would soon be announced. Cindradel had the official document in an envelope, and at an announcment very shortly the startdate and initial roster of events would be announced. He, Cindradel, and the overseers office team had worked for this steadily. To make an impact with Gabriel's time, and to make an impact into the life and culture of the Realm of Eternity in a positive and uplifting way. Good times.
The tag-teams of the Seraphim had worked, in general, quite well. He had given the idea a little thought and felt it was one of the best ways to establish unity amongst the overseers. Who knows, maybe over the long haul of eternity such friendships might endure. Or they might just be a temporary thing. Only time would tell. He'd heard a few tales from various sources about some of the antics that the fellas had been up to, the bawdy talk and lively activities, and he'd smiled more than once. Looked like they were getting along well and taking to the idea. Daniel and Valandriel had been an obvious partnership which worked extremely well, but Othaniel and Queriel were making a name for themselves as well. Azrael and Cosadriel seemed happy enough to tag team together and, in general, the idea had worked well enough. Good work overseer.
Life with Fiona was proceeding alright, but he was convinced, now, that it wouldn't last forever. He could not really accept not having Aqauriel as his running partner one day – but she didn't want to know him. Was she playing hard to get? Was she proud? Or just stubborn? Or was it that mysterious thing she hinted at that she required his eternal devotion before she'd ultimately accept him. He really didn't know for sure. No matter.
Today he had his standard jobs, and Cindradel organized his appointments with this or that business head or leader of an official institution of the realm and life, for Gabriel, secondborn Seraphim of the Realm of Eternity, went on.
Golden Fries and Burgers 6
'This is Jean. He is on exchange from France. Please make him feel welcome. He will be on a program to learn about Golden Fries and Burgers internationally for the next decade or so, and he is here in Australia for a few months. So please welcome him to the team,' said Daniel.
'Will do,' said Ambriel.
'Gotcha boss,' replied Fiona.
The other workers all said hello to Jean, and the management assistant surveyed work all that day. During the twilight hours, after an extra shift, Ambriel thought he'd have a bit of fun.
'We don't shit on the burgers much in Australia. Only for the worst of customers. Is that your habit in France as well?' Ambriel said to Jean, who had a clipboard, and was watching the team, making notes.
Jean gave him a cautious look, but otherwise ignored the statement. Ambriel kept at it with the burger flipping.
'Of course, the swingers night is this thursday. We all get together after work and choose partners. Then it's a total fuck frenzy. I asume you will be up for it,' said Ambriel cheekily.
Jean eyed him that time, and made a note. Ambriel got on with his work. Half an hour passed.
'After work we get drunk as usual. We might be in trouble with the cops again. Usually they don't hassle us for the wheelies we do out front, but they come down hard on the drug dealing we are involved with. Standard stuff for Aussie GF&B workers. Daniel hardly pays as enough, after all. But you would know that, wouldn't you?' said Ambriel.
Jean, finally, spoke.
'I have put in a report card for you. Needs retraining in civility. Very bady manners,' he said in a definite French accent. Ambriel grinned in response.
Afterward Jean was speaking with Daniel at the back of the store, and he was pointing to Ambriel a lot. Daniel finally came down to confront the troublesome Seraphim.
'I'm docking you 1 days pay. That is hardly a way to introduce our new worker. He's a guest from France. Very bad attitude. I see why Wolfgang has you working here a lot now. Troublemaker at heart.'
Ambriel mouthed off mimmicking Daniel, but Daniel ignored him and just shook his head. Later on Fiona came up to Ambriel, when the shift was finished.
'You are that bored, aren't you?' she asked him.
'No. Not really. Just having a bit of fun. Calls me a prude? Well he's a stiff neck. And he can go blow,' replied Ambriel.
'Oh. I see,' replied Fiona. 'Let's go out tonight. Buy me a drink. Share your frustrations.'
And Ambriel, looking at the back of the store towards the managers office wanted to give the finger towards it, but then thought on Fiona's words and looked at her. Fiona MacIntosh? Why not. 'Sure, Fi. I'll be better behaved, I promise.'
'I know you will,' she replied. 'I'll get changed, and we can make like a tree and leave, huh?'
'Cool bananas,' replied Ambriel.
He had a good night that evening, and he took her back to his place, and made out with her for a while. No sexual behaviour happened, but he knew she had a crush, and didn't object to some heavy petting with a girl who liked him and he knew well enough.
The following day Jean had his clipboard out again. Ambriel was in an amorous mood, but Fiona gave him a look. So he curbed his behaviour, and did his standard job. They went out again that night, and he pashed her quite a bit that evening. She was very eager, so he had fun with her breasts, but went no further. He was not looking for a real girlfriend at the moment, but he didn't mind a bit of friendliness with Fiona. And she certainly liked the attention.
And another week passed at Golden Fries.
Othaniel and Queriel 3
'A blue river. It must be the Sellawon,' said Othaniel.
'It's a lovely blue. I notice in the heart of Zaphona City its a bit murkier. But here is nice and crisp,' replied Quariel. Zaphona City was the name for the built up area around Zaphon. It was now quite large a city, which lay in the heart of the central disc of the realm, Zaphora. But Othaniel and Queriel were on a camping ground, as part of a getaway brigade, in northern Terraphora. The Getaway Brigade were the 'Scouts of Eternity', strongly affiliated with the Boy Scouts, but technically a separate organisation, primarily intended for angelic folk and their families of the Realm of Eternity. This was one of their summer camps and Othaniel and Queriel had both been involved with the Scouts of Eternity for some time now. It was something, since tagging up together, they had agreed to take an active interest in.
'How long do you think you can hold your breath under water?' Queriel asked Othaniel.
'Not my thing. I value oxygen too highly,' replied Othaniel. Othaniel was a stable sort of conservative angel, but he did have sense of humour. Queriel was more outgoing, but definitely angelic. Both of them enjoyed each other's company, and in some ways they were a toned down Daniel and Valandriel.
'What? Are you an angel or a mouse?' asked Queriel.
'I am an angel,' replied Othaniel. 'But I would rather be called Othaniel the trustworthy than Othaniel the foolhardy.'
'Fair enough point,' said Queriel. 'Still, that is a lovely deep water hole right there, and it would be interesting to see how far down you could go. Can you make it to the bottom? I did once, a few years ago.'
Othaniel looked at the waterhole. 'I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I'll give it a go.' He took off his t-shirt, and dived in. Taking a few breaths he disappeared under the water 40 seconds passed, and his head finally emerged. 'Did it!' he yelled, spluttering for air. Queriel clapped him as he clambered out of the blue water. 'Well done Othie. It's deep as well. Not easy.'
'Pressure was hard on the ears, but I could sense the bottom, and I wasn't going to quit going down as far as I did,' said Othaniel.
'Challenge passed,' said Queriel. 'Challenge me to something if you must.'
'Don't worry about it,' said Othaniel, putting up his hands.
Later they were having their beer by the barbecue, and Othaniel had finished the last iced beer.
'I have a challenge for you now,' said Othaniel to Queriel.
'Accepted. What is it?' asked Queriel.
'You wouldn't zip over to the ute and grab the other carton of beer, would you?' replied Othaniel.
Queriel just gave him one of those looks, but didn't grumble verbally as he stood and began the 100 meter walkt down to the ute, through the bushy territory, to get the beer. When he got back Othaniel clapped him. 'Amazing strength,' he said. 'And poise.'
Queriel opened the carton, and opened a new bottle of beer. 'Well, we get blotto, and tomorrow you climb Mt Gaderra up there,' he said pointing. 'And we'll call it even.'
Othaniel looked up at the mountain. 'Fine.'
They drank the night away, and it was a bleary eyed Othaniel awake the following morning.
'I've a bloody headache,' said Othaniel.
'Not wussing out on the challenge, are you?' asked Queriel, who seemed surprisingly well. Othaniel glared at him in response.
It was late in the afternoon, when finally returning from the trek, and coming into the camp, Othaniel, exhausted, collapsed down.
'How do I know you made it to the top?' asked Queriel.
'To quote the sign at the top, No Littering,' said Othaniel.
Queriel smiled. 'It's been a good one. We'll have to come back next year.'
Othaniel nodded. It had been a good getaway. But time to get back to the real world soon enough, and the busy life of Othaniel the Seraphim.
Kayella the Beautiful
'You know, Kayella. In your own way, you, you are beautiful. In your own, special, original, way,' said Callodyn, every word carefully enunciated.
Kelly Clarkson lost her focus on the TV for a moment, and looked at her twin. 'Thanks. You're all charm,' and she returned her focus to the TV.
'Like the Baboon and the Orangutan, you too are special to God. Very,' continued Callodyn.
'Noted,' replied Kelly.
'The sloth has its charm, and the skunk is a very underestimated beast. They, too, are specal. Just like you K. So, so special,' said Callodyn.
'The punchline, dick. Give me the punchline,' said Kelly, not taking her eyes off the TV.
'Indeed, the punchline,' continued Callodyn. 'Life has its punchlines. When we go into the bathrooms every night, and look at the scales, too scared to stand on them, for fear of us going over the limit, and having to lie about it for weeks. That is an interesting punchline some pop singers might have to endure. Wicked old gravity and such.'
'Your point?' asked Kelly, looking a little agitated.
'No point. Just that, in your own way, you truly are beautiful,' said Callodyn, and went quiet. Kelly was relieved, and watched TV in peace. But, sitting there, it built up. And after a while, quite frankly, she was pissed off.
'You know, butts smell at times. But that's life. It's how God designed the system,' said Kelly.
'True,' replied Callodyn.
'And I won't say you don't smell, so go figure,' she replied, with just the slightest veil of hostility.
Callodyn smarted a little, but endured.
The afternoon passed.
'You know, Kayella. You are beautiful in your own way,' he said that evening, as she was making dinner.'
'Are you going anywhere with that?' asked Kayella, now less bothered, more amused than anything.
'All creatures great and small are beautiful in their own way,' he said.
'Probably true to parents,' agreed Kelly.
'Very much so,' agreed Callodyn. 'But I mean it Kelly. Your a good looking lass. Not every man thinks you are a divine maiden, but many are quite taken with you. Beautiful in your own way.'
She looked at him, hesitated for a moment, and then said, 'Uh, thanks. I guess you are probably right.'
She went to bed that night looking up at the ceiling. Bastard, she finally said out loud around midnight. The bastard is judging me.
The following day Kelly had her strategy worked out.
'You know Calloyn. I suppose you have talent which is original. Everyone has talent which is original. Everyone,' said Kelly.
'Yes. Of course I do,' said Callodyn, who had moved on from the prior days triumphs.
'I think of all the great artists over the centuries, and you appear in their lists. You know. As one of those,minor, talents of note. Worth a comment, perhaps. At the end of a paragraph at the back of a semi-popular art magazine.'
'I think I know where this is going,' sighed Callodyn.
'And of course, not to speak of your writing talent, but the criticisms of 90% of serious literary critics must surely be ignored in beholding the absolute, special mind you, beauty of the works of Callodyn the Cherubim.'
'Indeed,' replied Callodyn. 'Truly special.'
And so on it went.
But, at the end of the week.
'Ok, lets call the week a draw,' said Callodyn.
'Your buying the pizza though,' said Kelly. Callodyn agreed. So they ate their pizza, and Callodyn called Kelly special all night, and for that evening, anyway, she really didn't mind.
Taylor the Gorgeous
'You know, that Taylor Cherubim is pretty gorgeous,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew Daly, the 347th male cherubim angel of the Realm of Eternity.
'You have a crush do you Danny?' asked his sister Jacinta.
'Her twin, Steve, doesn't even talk to her anymore. Settled down into a marriage, and doesn't worry about Taylor.'
'You think you have a chance do you?' asked Jacinta. 'Thought you were too steady. Go back to the wife. Or don't you know where she lives.'
'She's in Cooma. She doesn't want to know me,' replied Daniel. 'It's over for a very, very long time. It will take forever before we speak again.'
'So you fantasize about Taylor Swift. I'm not sure if she's your style. Your too plain for her. Your stability she's excessivity. It's just not your think, Dan. Try Lourdes, your twin, if you want a celebrity crush. At least she thinks you have value. Taylor doesn't have much time for you.'
Daniel continued staring at the TV screen. 'She is gorgeous.'
'Brother,' replied Jacinta. Danny was lost in fantasy.
Katy the Cute
'And that Katy Perry is cute as well,' said Cherubim Daniel Thomas Andrew the following day in the front lounge room of 29 Merriman Crescent, Macarthur, Canberra in Australia on New Terra.
'Duh,' replied Jacinta. 'But you only like her because of her tits.'
'Doesn't everyone,' said Daniel in reply.
'What? No denial? Your honest,' said Jacinta.
'Physical assets are a motivating factor in every relationship. We'd be lying and hypocritical if we denied that. Katy has lovely assets, and I am attracted to her because of it. I also like her music and her personality. She's a great gal – my type.'
'Any girl who is cute if your type' replied Jacinta. 'Men. They are all the same. As long as she's hot they'll do em.'
'True,' said Daniel. 'But I have refined tastes. I have to like her for her, as Avril Lavigne sings. Got to have that. Otherwise it would be a fake relationship which wouldn't last. And I think I like Katy for her well enough.'
'Are you sure?' asked Jacinta.
Daniel continued watching the ET program, and sighed. He was not the most popular of Cherubim with the common man. He was respected enough as the founder of the Advancing Noah Movement, but not in the mainstream. Religion was his thing, and obvioiusly he had his own zealot to which he was married. It is just that he didn't. And he needed someone to love.
'Yep, Katy is a classic,' said Daniel.
Jacinta sighed. Her brother had his head in the clouds.
The Buzzard of Spadravax
When mankind settled the Milky Way Galaxy Spadravax was forgotten the moment it was settled. On the rim – then out a bit further – it was a small world, with not much hospitability. The Buzzard – self appointed judge of Coltingfark lowlives, the capital city of a minor nation, wore robes like Noah might, and preached the Rainbow Torah at the lowlives. Then he would go home, read porn, and watch the Coltingfark parliamentary tv channel and fall asleep. And this was his habit. He had a girlfriend, who thought he was weird, and would not be seen with him in public. But she did come to his house, and she did have affection for him, and said she wouldn't leave him. She never did, in fact. He would tease the gang the Arachnids, and say they needed to improve their performance to maintain their place in human society. The heavenly afterworld only took the best, the Buzzard would tell them. Not all the Arachnids believed him, but some did. And they were somewhat careful on their behaviours because of it. The Buzzard kept them in check in this respect. The buzzard liked having his long hair washed regularly by his girlfriend, leaning his head back over the bathroom sink, were she would wash it with shampoo and conditioner, and it was quite spectacular, long, sandy coloured, and flowing. His best feature, although he was handsome enough. He read the Rainbow Torah every day, and his job was as a video clerk at a Video Rental Store of the latest Spadravax movie classics. DVD was all the store stocked, and that had not changed in human society in a very long while, mainly for financial constraints from the big movie producers, but also out of sentiment. The Buzzard was a big fan of the show 'Rimwalker' which chronicled the adventures of the head of the United Galaxy, Jan Kolby, in his younger years. Jan had done extensive memoirs, and the Buzzard felt like he was a Rimwalker in his own way, living way out on the rim, with his own stylings of adventures. He would sometimes eat at the park nearby, and throw bread at the ducks in the pond, and, for the most part, kept himself busy ready SF books, watching TV and just getting by. And then their was his self-appointed preaching, which he enjoyed, and felt like he was serving the Kingdom of God in doing. He was a happy enough chap. The Buzzard did not know he was angelic – the Cherubim Angel Bludriel, 142nd male Cherubim of the Realm of Eternity, nor that his girlfirend was his twin angel sister, the Cherubim Melantriel. But that would be a revelation in some ways, one day, and would bring out the best of him.
Shards of an Uncertain Heart
It had been a long hot summer. And a Canberra police detective was on the scene for the latest crime. Jonathon Kolby, Canberra copper, examined the weapon. It was a GHT559x. He didn't like this weapon. It took a head off at 3 miles, when it hit. A rather nasty rifle. The assassin had wiped it clean of any distunguishing marks, and it was just sitting there, only one bullet of the 9 used, proudly almost. As if the marksman was mocking him. This would be a tricky case. The gun was found about 300 metres from the body of the dead official. The official, a member of Australian Parliament on New Terra, was doing his shopping in a Deakin supermarket, and had just come outside when he met an unfortunate end from a bullet to the head. They found the rifle up the street from the supermarket a few hundred metres, but with no sign of the gunman, and there were absolutely no clues. The surveillance cameras were all fuzzy from the initial tapes they had quickly checked. There had been a magnetic pulse which had interfered with the filming. The assassin wasn't an idiot. And he may not have been working alone. Still, they would continue with tapes from further out than the crime scene, and triangulate with times and probable locations vehicles were headed in. It would be a lot of bullshit work, but it had to be done – they had no other clues.
'The gun is available from a lot of sources, and a lot of black market sources,' said Jenny Jones, Jonathon's partner. 'Not sure if we'll find many answers that way.'
'It lies with the pollie,' said Jonathon. 'There is always a reason, a motivation for a murder, and we'll look into his background. Sometihing will come up,' he said to Jenny. 'Stay positive.'
'What you doing tonight? Wanna come over again?' she asked him.
He looked at her. 'Not sure. Hoping to call Kirstie sometime this week. She might speak to me. You never know.'
'Always in love with Kirstie,' said Jenny. 'She's too free a spirit for you. Likes her love with too many men. Practically a floozie really.'
'There are less than a dozen squeezes,' said Jonathon. 'And she only sees them occasionally.'
'An occasional harlot. Amazing,' replied Jenny sarcastically.
'Let's hit the Civic Legislative Assembly. Time to start asking questions about our man. Then we tackle his wife. She might hold the answers.'
'Right o, bossman,' replied Jenny and popped another hard bolied lolly into her mouth. She had quit smoking a decade ago, and was still needing something to suck on to keep her mind off the ciggies. Lollies sufficed.
'So what exactly is the association for the enlightened?' asked Jenny Jones.
The minister for ACT education looked down. 'It's Australian Illuminati. A very close equivalent to it. Joe Hobbs was a devout member. They are affluent, and pull a lot of strings. They have a secret meeting place down beneath Bligh house. The basement were the Masonic lodge is located in the upper section.'
'They are Freemasons, then?' queried Jonathon.
'No. Not really. They have mason members, but they are not affiliated. But they definitely run in the same circles. Joe had – dealings -with a lot of the enlightened ones. And he had – enemies. He was involved, on the side, with a lot of private deals. You might call it black market shenanigans.'
'And this was not brought to attention?' asked Jenny.
'Officially denied by Joe. But everyone knew. Nothing was provable, but people knew.'
'What sort of black market goods?' asked Jonathon. 'Drugs?'
'Not exactly the junkie stuff. More of military grade steroids. Ones used by the hyper-core. The ultra secret defense workers.'
'Heard about hyper-core,' said Jonathon. 'Apparently they get pumped right up when on missions.'
'Joe had clients – private citizens – who used the drugs. Down in whoop whoop. For, how shall we put it, recreational activities. Technically the Association for the Enlghtened ones is just a secret society, not involved with illegal activity. They're monitored. There are a few ASIO workers who kept tabs on Joe, but he's hard to nail. Nobody says much to any coppers.'
'Corruption?' asked Jenny.
'No. The MLA is not involved in anything shady. The chief minister wanted an official inquest into the extra-occupational activities of Mr Hobbs, and passed a motion once, but it didn't get up. We had no concrete proof. Mainly rumour. If you want anything more I suggest you try contacting the Association itself. Let them know I passed on the details, and they will probably talk to you.'
'And how do we contact them?' asked Jonathon.
'They meet Thursday evenings. At 8:30. At Bligh House.'
'Thank you, minister,' replied Jonathon. 'We'll look into it.'
After they had left the Civic Legislative Assembly, Jenny queried Jonathon. 'We wait for Thursday, or chat with his wife?'
'We'll give her time to cope with her husband's death,' replied Jonathon. 'We have a lead to follow. We'll look into it first.'
'No probs,' replied Jenny, and popped another lolly into her gob.
'So you will come visit?' queried Jonathon.
'Dunno,' replied Kirstie on the phone. 'Why should I? You hardly love me.'
'I've always loved you,' replied Jonathon.
'You don't show it. You wander off to this or that new job every decade or so, and say I'm busy Kirst all the time, and you don't give me any attention, and then you've forgotten me. And you know what the real frikkin problem is? You don't even ask me to cook for you. And I'm a good cook. You eat takeaway all the time, and hang around your mates. And then when you finally do talk to me, it's just about sports. And not much else, fella.'
'Not true,' disputed Jonathon.
'Too true. What are you doing now? Still in apple cider I hope.'
'I work for ACT Police,' replied Jonathon.
'Exactly my point Get a life. Get some stability. And get rid of the other girlfriends all over town. Do that and I might eventually give a fuck about your surname which I keep. For the life of me I don't know why I keep it, but I do.'
'Come over. This weekend. You know the place. We can chat. Maybe resolve some things.'
'And you've been saying that forever,' she replied. 'But nothing ever gets resolved. I'll bet you wanna talk crime. I can see it now. Hey Kirst. How you going. Did you see the cricket the other day. Oh, I'm onto this new case. A bartender got shot in the balls by an angry customer. It's hot shit babe. I mean, I can really picture it now.'
'Come over, babe,' persisted Jonathon.
'Dream on,' replied Kirstie. 'I have a life.' And she hung up.
Jonathon swore, sighed, and turned on the TV. The cricket, ironically, was on. 'Shit,' he said to himself. Then he ordered pizza, and got lost in the match, and issues with a broken heart were, for the moment, forgotten.
'The meteorite is our symbol. The fallen star, crashed to earth. We, of the Association, are those fallen stars. We are lightbringers of the universe who are not just meteors who shine bright, but burn up. We are meteorites who shine bright, but eventually fall to earth. But of our substance there is remnant, rare and valuable minerals, which can be used in extraordinary ways. We truly are the light of the world,' said the Association member to Jonathon.
'Fascinating. Can you tell me about a former member. Joe Hobbs,' replied Jonathon.
'Ah, Joe. Such a shame the way he was taken out. I know who it is. It's those devil's down south. He had – enemies. People he supplied stuff too. Secret combat games, and some of them hated him. Warring parties. Pumped up on steroids, and pumped up on vengeance and vendettas. Try south west of Cooma. Farming area. They are down there. You go down, you'll get the buzz. I don't know, do your job officer, but there are communities down there of freaky folk. But you'll find out.'
'Dalgety region?' queried Jonathon.
'More eastwards than that. And south a bit. Not quite as far as the border, but all around there. Wards and Lancasters. Families feuding and engaged in combats of honour. They lose one or two every generation. Just blown away. Joe supplied the Lancasters, and the Wards hated him because of it.'
'And they would want him dead because of it, you think?'
'It probably runs deeper. Don't know.'
'Thanks for your help Chaplain,' replied Jonathon.
Jonathon and Jenny had learned about the functioning of the Association of the Enlightened ones and, while appearing a bit freaky, they seemed harmless enough.
'Next stop Cooma. Then Berridale and Dalgety. We'll scout around. Ask questions,' said Jonathon.
'They are well established farming families down there,' said Jenny. 'People might not like to blab so easily.'
'Then we be real subtle like,' replied Jonathon.
'Real subtle like,' mimicked Jenny, as they got in their car and headed off.
'Jenny Gilmore, isn't it?' asked Jonathon to the Dalgety woman in the Dalgety pub.
'Uh, yeh,' replied Jenny. 'Do I know you?'
'Jonathon Kolby. Married to Kirstie. Friend of Daniel Daly. I've met you,' said Jonathon.
'Right,' she smiled in reply. 'Danny is a good buddy,' she said. 'He cheers me up a lot of the time when nobody else comes around.'
'Gotcha,' said Jonathon, sipping on his beer. Jenny was over by the bar, looking casual, with an akubra on to look the part.
'You know Jen, you know the Lancasters around here? They are apparently into some activities. Bush fun.'
'If you call it that,' replied Jenny. 'The freaks killed a Ward boy last year. Cops investigated it, but couldn't prove anything. And nobody would talk on either side. That feud is as old as Dalgety practically.'
'Curious about what they get up to? War games or something.'
'Yeh, something like that,' replied Jenny, and sipped on her beer. She looked at Jonathon. 'I remember you now. It's been a long time.'
'Been busy with life,' replied Jonathon. 'Was in apple cider for a while recently. Paid the bills, but life moves on.'
'Whatcha doin now?' she asked.
'This and that,' replied Jonathon. 'You know, if I wanted to take part in a War Game, which Lancaster member might I approach?'
'Heh. Old Cassius still goes out on the hunt. Tells everyone about it when he's in the pub. They don't really try and kill Ward's. Just shit happens occasionally. More of a thing they do for kicks, than any genuine feuding.'
'Right. Cassius Lancaster. Lives around here I take it?'
'Down the road a little,' smiled Jenny.
'Thanks Jen,' smiled Jonathon. 'And it's been great to catch up.'
'Yeh, great,' sighed Jenny, as Jonathon got up and left.
'Cassius Lancaster. I'll check online for his address,' said Jonathon to Jenny. 'Quickest way.'
Soon they were headed east, down a road south of Dalgety, headed for one of the Lancaster properties. The sun shone bright, and Jonathon was hopeful they would soon get some answers.
'You know, Kirstie is only human,' said Jenny, as the drove down the dusty road.
'Your point,' replied Jonathon.
'She is nog a dragon on a pedestal. She might be a dragon, but there is no need to put her on a pedestal. How about setting your heart on another lady.'
'Not sure if I want to do that,' said Jonathon. 'I mean, Kirstie is the love of my life.'
'Yet you have girlfriends all over the place. How about making one of them permanent,' replied Jenny.
'What? Are you serious then?' he asked her.
'No,' she said. 'But I wouldn't mind being the object of a little bit of affection. You are so – distant – at times. Always your mind on this and that. You never seem to come down to earth. Like you are planning out your next venture, or something already.'
'Same complaint as Kirstie. I never stick to anything,' sighed Jonathon. 'Anyway, I don't want to talk about it. We have a case at hand.'
'How are we presenting? Is this strictly undercover?'
'For now,' replied Jonathon. 'I've been authorised to do it if necessary. We make out as if we want to join these combat games. See what Casius Lancaster has to say to that.'
'They're pretty tight-knit. They might not admit a thing.'
'Then we be real subtle-like,' replied Jonathon.
'Real subtle-like,' mimicced Jenny. 'Here we go again.'
Jonathon ignored her as he continued driving down the dirt road. Shortly they were at the place, and pulled into the long driveway up to the homestead.
'Remember, no real names. You are Jessica Chastain. I'm Jonny Brubaker. Don't forget,' said Jonathon.
'Understood. Mr Brubaker,' replied Jenny, and smiled at Jonathon a wry grin.
They parked near the home, and got out of the car. Jonathon looked around. 'Regular country place. Wouldn't suspect a thing, would you?'
'Many criminals look regular enough,' replied Jenny. 'Some saints are killers hidden in disguise. Comes with the job we have, knowing that.'
'True,' replied Jonathon. 'If we don't get the information we need, we go back to Canberra. Next time we try the Wards if we have to. I'll try Jenny Gilmore again if I have to for info.'