Exposing Myself Over Here
I don't have a title yet; but it keeps bugging at me to write it down. Read away!
The intercom buzzed. Mary put down the contract papers and punched it. “Yes?”
“A Mr. Gabriel to see you, Ms. Parks.”
She sighed. Another one shuffling in for a free consult. “I really need to finish these contracts, Sandra.” She heard a brief murmur through the intercom and her secretary said in a buoyant tone, “He says his business will only take a few minutes.”
Mary mentally counted to ten. They all said that, then proceeded to talk for hours. “Send him in.” She tucked the contract back into its folder and pushed away from the desk.
Before her door opened she gave a quick glance over the office. Bookcase was neat, desk looked organized… a professional, get-to-the-point impression.
“Mr. Gabriel,” her secretary said, ushering the man in.
Mary was taken aback. The man was quite tall and wore a severe black suit, but that wasn’t what had startled her. A mane of brilliant white hair fell past his shoulders, and from his pale face brilliant blue eyes glittered. She went to him, offering her hand.
“Mr. Gabriel. Come in. I’m Mary Parks.”
“Pleased to meet you at last, Mary,” he said. She offered him a chair, ignoring his familiarity for the moment. At last?
“What can I do for you?” she asked him.
He handed her a business card. “I’m not here for legal advice.”
“I beg your pardon?” She looked at it: Archangel Gabriel, Messenger of God was all it said. “What is this?”
“My card.” He stated the obvious. “It is time, Mary. Your time.”
“My time for what?”
“To save the world.”
She looked at him, confused. “Mr. Gabriel, I may be known in legal circles as ‘Saint Mary’, but I’m no savior. I’m just an attorney who believes that helping people shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I think you’ve got the wrong woman.”
“You’re the right woman. God doesn’t make mistakes.”
She huffed. “Seriously, who are you? Who sent you here? Was it Markham and Lynch? They’re always trying to pull something on me.”
“God sent me,” he said, a patient, pitying smile on his face. “I am his messenger. You--”
She stood. “Mr. Gabriel, this has gone far enough. I am not amused. You need to leave, now, or I will have my secretary call the police.”
“Sandra won’t answer,” he said. “She’s been waiting for this all her life. Please sit down, Mary. I’m not here to hurt you. I’m here to bring you wonderful news. You are the chosen one. The child growing within you will save mankind.”
She laughed at him. “Now I know this is a joke. For your information, Mr. Gabriel, I haven’t had sex in six months. And even if I had, I can’t have children. I tried everything and nothing worked. The doctor said there was no hope--”
“It wasn’t yet your time.”
“I’m thirty-eight. It’s almost past my time.”
He dismissed her comment with a wave of his hand. “Do you remember when you were nine years old, lying in the grass on the tenth of June and you saw an angel in the clouds?”
It had been one of the most beautiful days of the summer, not too hot yet and she had been making the passing clouds into shapes in her fanciful young mind. And suddenly she had seen what she thought was an angel with huge white wings.
“I came to look upon you. God told me you were to be the one. You waved at me before you went into the house.”
“And you waved back…” The office tilted slightly and she slumped back in her chair. Her body went hot, then ice cold and she pressed a hand to her head. She had never spoken of that moment to anyone. How did he know? She looked at him again, so pale except for those blue, blue eyes, visible even from the clouds.
He knew because he had been there.
“If—“ she swallowed, “if you’re an angel, prove it. Where are your wings? Where is the glory of God surrounding you?”
“It’s still here. You’ve turned into such a pragmatist over the years that He felt you might respond better to a man in a suit. But I can change if you’d like.”
She nodded, still hanging onto a last shred of disbelief.
Gabriel stood and stepped back from the desk, raised his long arms heavenward and murmured an incantation in an ancient language. A rushing, roaring sound filled her ears, and her office disappeared into blinding white as his suit rippled against his body then melted away to his heavenly raiment. His hair grew even longer, his body lengthened until his head touched where her ceiling had been. His wings pushed from his back, arching and ruffling and sweeping the floor either side of him. Mary hung onto the arms of her chair for dear life, gasping for air. I’ve heard of people dying of fright, she thought. This must be what it feels like.
“Now do you believe what you see?” he asked, his voice echoing.
She managed a yes, nearly hyperventilating.
“Then attend what I say, Mary Parks. I am the Archangel Gabriel, Messenger of God. You are His chosen one. Your child will come nine months hence, and that child will battle the darkness of this world to save mankind from eternal damnation. The time of judgment is coming. The Devil’s minions are closing in. Your unborn child is in peril. You must make ready.”
She heard herself saying “I will make ready” then Gabriel stood again before her in the black suit, smiling that strange, patient smile. He nodded once then left her.
Mary looked around her office. The walls and ceiling still stood. Every book was in place, every magazine just so. Just like a dream, or something.
A faint, gurgling shift deep within drew her attention.
It was the child. Her child, the savior of mankind.
She burst into tears.
...to be continued...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Exposing Myself Over Here