The Great Adventures of Angel Mikel
The word was out: Angel Gabriel had issued an executive order; no Angels were to interfere with anything on Earth, be it demons or humans. No fighting, no killing, no whispering into the humans’ ears and definitely no protecting the humans. None of the Angels knew the reason as to why the order had been issued but one thing they knew for certain was that they couldn’t disobey it. The Angels would remain as inconspicuous as possible.
Far below in the City of Duchene, an Angel blazed through the streets gasping for breath. Behind him were three angry demons, sulfur looking substance oozing from their nostrils. The little Angel went for his sword but suddenly remembered Angel Gabriel’s command and sheathed the weapon. Strength and obedience. He fled blindly, going through walls, digging underground and spinning in the air. But no matter what he did, the demons stayed close and when they got tired, others replaced them.
“Come on little Angel, you can’t run forever!” High pitch laughter.
The little Angel looked back frantically and the only comfort was that the demons’ swords were sheathed. But suddenly he looked farther back and saw a trail of red heading towards him. He had never seen anything move this fast before. It blazed past the three demons like a comet and suddenly the Angel felt a blow on his face. His body tumbled through the air and crashed onto the ground.
When he came to, he found himself staring into the yellow eyes of a demon twice his size. There was no red or yellow gas oozing from this demon’s nostrils, but two eccentric looking red horns protruded from the top of the creature’s head. The eyes prodded in a somehow intelligent way. They were cold too and full of dislike.
“All praise to Flash!” the other demons chanted and bowed their heads when the big demon gazed in their direction. The name suited the speed, the little Angel realized, face full of despair. He searched his surroundings; endless corridors, darkness, no doorways… tunnels!
“Why did Angel Gabriel command you to step down?” Flash asked calmly as he pulled out a long sword and pretended to analyze it. The little Angel’s eyes darted in fear, from the demon’s eyes to the red sword. He said nothing.
Flash snorted, voice revolted. “So young and naïve. Such foolish loyalty little Angel will not get you anywhere.” The sword arced through the air and the little Angel screamed in pain as one wing fell to the ground and evaporated in a cloud of white dust.
Torture before execution; pleasure hidden behind the eyes. Flash watched nonchalantly as the angel writhed in agony. “Let’s try this again little Angel,” the demon continued to pace the room. The Angel started crying.
“Kill the little Angel Flash!” the other demons intoned. Flash hushed them with a cold gaze and continued to circle the Angel. “Why did Gabriel order the Angels to stand down?” His voice was devoid of emotions.
Tears streamed down the Angel’s eyes. He was hurt and the pain was unbearable but still he said nothing. The sword moved again and the second wing was gone. The demon called Flash let loose a cry of utter loathe. The Angel’s head dropped forward and sat lifeless on his chest. He was half dead already.
“Put him with the rest in the dungeons!” Flash ordered. The little angel screamed as he was dragged into the darkness. Strength and obedience.
Prince Flash walked casually to the window, a pensive look and a clenched fist … looked up into the sky. What are you planning Gabriel? I will find out, if I have to kill all the Angels.
It wasn’t just a promise, but also a declaration. A storm was brewing and imminent war was on the verge; earth, a collateral damage.
* * *
All was quiet in heaven as Angel Mikel trudged up the stairs leading to the palace. Angel Gabriel had summoned him and it was a huge deal because no Angel had ever been summoned for centuries. The last Angel to be summoned had been judged and cast into the underground to wonder for eternity. The fallen Angel, they had called him; Lucifer.
When Mikel saw the huge revered Angel sitting on the high throne, he shuddered and his steps faltered. For the first time in his life, he had erred and felt less than perfect.
“Come to me Angel Mikel,” Gabriel commanded in a deep voice. It was the kind of voice that wooed a snake out of a hole before crushing its head. Angel Mikel bowed in front of the throne, too afraid to speak.
“You have been busy, haven’t you little one?” It was a rhetorical question. Two burly guards stood on each side of the throne and Mikel recognized one as Angel Nathan, the legendary warrior who had saved him. Silver and gold gleamed from every piece of furniture in the room; the air was fresh with the scent of sweet unexplainable perfume.
“I want to know what happened,” Angel Gabriel said. “Start from the beginning and omit no detail however trivial.”
Angel Mikel coughed nervously as he rose into a dignified posture. He still couldn’t look Angel Gabriel in the eye and his words shook with fear as he spoke.
“It was a dark night in the city when I was doing my regular routes and trying not to interfere with anything, humans or demons, like you ordered. But then I came across this one house that completely took me by surprise. There was a little girl hiding under a bed, shaking like a leaf, afraid of something. Her name was Diana and she was approximately fifteen years old.”
Angel Mikel looked up and found Gabriel’s eyes sharp on him.
The little Angel continued. “I watched Diana squirming under the bed then heard the front door swing open, simultaneously hitting the wall in the process. The little girl cringed as she listened to the footsteps on the stairs, getting closer. The house was dark and nothing was visible above waist height; all the lights were out, the clock on the end table read midnight. Suddenly, her bedroom door swung open and the silhouette of a man covered the entrance.”
Angel Nathan standing next to Angel Gabriel shifted and Mikel looked at him. The legendary Angel winked and Mikel’s spirits soared. He liked Nathan a lot and the rest of the story was easy to tell.
‘I know you are hiding in here!’ The man’s voice. It was the little girl’s father, drunk as usual. Tears rolled down Diana’s face as she waited for the inevitable. And then it came. A huge hand snaked under the bed, yanked her up and pinned her against the wall.
‘Hi Mary, why isn’t there food on the table?’ Her father asked.
“Hold on a second,” Angel Gabriel interrupted. “Mary? I thought the little girl’s name was Diana?” He looked baffled and Mikel took the liberty to explain. “Mary was the man’s dead wife. Every time he came home drunk, he mistook little Diana for Mary.”
“Oh!” Angel Gabriel said. “Continue.”
Mikel paced the floor, his voice thick with emotion. “I sneaked into the room and hid in the corner. I could see the confusion on the man’s face. A demon of deception was sitting on his head twisting his thoughts. I wanted to help but I couldn’t disobey your orders.”
‘You don’t love me anymore Mary?’ The old man growled.
‘Daddy, it’s me! Your daughter Diana!’ the little girl screamed. Her feet were off the ground, dangling. She swung her fist and hit the old man in the face. He dropped her and the ground rushed to meet her. She was hurt but not out.
‘It’s me Daddy! Your daughter!’ she screamed again as she tried to crawl away from him, sobbing.
Suddenly the doorbell rung and Diana dashed out of the room, ran to the front door and yanked it open. Mrs. Williams the neighbour stood outside with a nightgown. It wasn’t her first time to show up like this. ‘Is everything okay Diana?’ she asked with a look of concern.
The little girl quickly wiped her tears. ‘Everything’s okay Mrs. Williams.’
Mrs. Williams shook her head in dismay and moved forward to touch her face, but Diana impulsively recoiled. Mrs. Williams sighed. ‘I heard screams my child. Let me help you Diana, let me call the cops.’
‘No cops mum, thank you for checking.’ Diana closed the door in her face.
Angel Gabriel looked surprised. “She didn’t want help?”
“No sir,” Mikel replied. “That’s why I couldn’t break away. She loved her father too much. Her father had once been a good man, but after Diana’s mum passed away, he became schizophrenia when drunk and hasn’t recovered since. Diana is clinging onto the hope that he will one day get his father back.”
“Oh, I see.” Angel Gabriel leaned forward ready for the rest of the story. This was getting interesting.
Diana went back into the house and found his dad asleep, snoring on the floor… almost choking on his own spit. Since she couldn’t carry him to bed, she threw a blanket over her old man and kissed him on the forehead. ‘I miss mum too,’ she whispered as she lit candles in the room. And then she raised her hands into the air and closed her eyes. ‘Dear God,’ she prayed. ‘Please help my dad. I can’t afford to loose him. Not now, and not ever.’
A rock on the window startled her and she pulled the curtain open. A bird call; an owl. It was Nate waving up at her. She smiled, closed the curtains and went downstairs.
He stood outside, a bottle of red wine and two glasses in his hands. Seventeen years old and he looked like a man already. ‘Take my hand,’ he offered and she accepted.
They ran up the hill in the dark night and walked into a ruined castle. The castle stairs were solid and clear of debris; the stone walls stood weak, the aftermath after the invention of canon artillery. Diana and Nate leaned over the walls and stared down the hill at the little town below; the soft glow of light from the houses and street lights.
‘You followed my dad home?’ Diana asked as she accepted a glass of wine.
‘Yes, just like you asked me to.’ He sighed. ‘Why Diana? Why do you tolerate him like so?’
‘He’s my father,’ she said defiantly.
‘He puts his hands on you! He should go to jail for that!’ There was anger on his face and she turned away…ignored it. She knew that he cared for her.
‘You wouldn’t understand Nate. There was a time when the days were warm and laughter filled our home.’ The attachment of a girl to her father; the soft side that a dad only showed to a girl and not a boy.
‘What if something bad happens to you?’ Nate took a bold step forward and looked into her eyes. ‘Run away with me Diana. Let me take you away from this madness and when everything gets better, we will return.’
‘Where will we go?’ Curiosity.
‘As far away from here as possible without falling over the edge of the world.’
She smiled, touched his cheek with a soft palm. ‘It sounds good Nate, but my father needs me now more than ever.’
A full moon pushed silver over the land; silhouettes of trees cast shadows nearby. They talked about it a little longer until he gave up. ‘I love you Diana and I will not let any harm come to you.’
She believed him and felt better; lay her head on his chest. ‘Nate?’
‘Let’s talk about something more cheerful. Let’s talk about places where the sky is blue and the land is full of smiling faces.’
When Diana came home from school the following day, Mrs. Williams the neighbour was waiting for her outside, a worried look on her face.
‘Your dad is in the hospital Diana, he’s not looking too good.’
Shock. ‘I want to see him,’ Diana said.
‘I’ll take you.’
The hospital was a blur of white and green uniforms; a distant smell of disinfectant. Her dad lay quietly on the bed, like a statue. Angel Mikel watched from the corner of the room as the little girl approached. There was a huge demon sitting on top of the old man’s head: the demon of death, claws deep in the old man’s skull, sucking the life out of him. And when Diana approached the bed, the demon screamed at her. ‘Your daddy is going to die! We like drunkards!’ And Diana cried incessantly. ‘What’s wrong with my father?’ she asked the nurse.
‘He overdosed. He’s in a coma. We don’t know whether he’ll make it. You should probably say goodbye.’ The nurse paused. ‘Do you understand what am saying Diana?’
Diana looked at the nurse like she had lost her mind. ‘Say what? Say goodbye? No… nooo. I’m not saying goodbye. My dad will be fine!’ The nurse moved back and hugged the walls. She had seen it all before, denial…the cliché that people called prayers.
Diana leaned on the bed and cried. ‘Daddy, please come back to me. I love you. I miss mum too, but I need you here. Please don’t go! Please don’t go to mummy yet!’
Angel Mikel watched as the demon of death chocked the old man. ‘Die you fool!’ the demon screamed. ‘Dieeeeee!’
Strength and obedience. The hospital was crawling with demons; their rustle audible in every room and basement. Voices moved in the air, muffled laughter; lookouts. Not knowing what was happening, the little Angel blazed across the room, sword glowing. The demon looked up in surprise; bow legged, twitching tail. ‘Little Angel, you are going to interfere? You are going to disobey your master?’ Angel Mikel launched forward and the demon dove out of the way. In the process, it released Diana’s father and Mikel watched with satisfaction as the old man resumed normal breathing. Diana’s dad was going to be just fine.
“Nurse!” Diana screamed. “My dad is waking up!”
A flash of red caught the Angel’s peripheral as the demon of death attacked. Mikel knew that he was no match for the huge demon and so he span and twisted in the air then shot through the roof in a flash of white, the demon hot in pursuit. It was just as Angel Gabriel had taught him. The two crisscrossed the skies for hours. ‘Stop and fight, you coward!’ the demon hissed, sucking at breath in disgust.
‘You would throw away your life for a human?’ The demon yelled. ‘The girl means nothing! Her old man was nothing but a liability!’
Both demon and Angel were tired and it was audible in their voices and visible in their moves. Mikel knew that he had to do something before the exhaustion took over and he collapsed. As he fled, his eyes searched for a way out and the epiphany only came when he saw an array of caves below. The Angel dove for them and the huge demon followed blindly.
“Your God has forsaken you little angel! I’m your God now!” Blasphemy.
As the caves rushed to meet them, Mikel slowed and pretended to be tired. The little Angel staggered into the caves and the demon, a light of malevolence in its eyes accelerated to catch up. Absolute darkness in the cave. Just as the demon of death rushed through the cave entrance, Mikel span around and drove his white blade through the creature’s guts. A killing blow. Their faces were close; hard breathing and gasping. Angel Mikel looked into the yellow eyes as he drove the knife deeper. The demon’s eyes were dilated in shock. ‘You… y-o-u tricked me!’ Body spasm, open mouth. The demon screamed in disbelief, then vaporized in a flame of red.
‘My God will never forsake me!’ Mikel yelled in rage.
With the demon gone, the cloud of haze suddenly melted from Angel Mikel’s eyes and reality came like dawn. A gasp escaped his throat; a noise between a sob and shock. He had disobeyed Angel Gabriel’s command! For the life of a human, he had sacrificed his own. A part of him was unable to grasp what had happened but the chill of fear in his body was real. ‘I pray Diana that you make a good life and that you live to help others and love God.’ The prayer was impulsive, the smile at the corner of the Angel’s mouth complacent. The sacrifice had been worth it; the thrill of watching another being happy.
Angel Gabriel leaned back in his golden throne. “Is that the whole story?”
“Yes general,” Mikel replied as he dropped on one knee. It was judgment time and his story had fallen short of an excuse. Damnation.
Angel Gabriel stood up and suddenly Mikel was scared. A tremor ran through his body and he tried in vain to hide his fear.
“Angel Mikel,” Gabriel said in a booming voice. “I gave orders that the circle of life should not be interfered with. The only time we are to intercede is when I give the command.” Pause. “Angel Mikel, you have been found guilty of disobeying my command and for this … for this act of…” And here Angel Gabriel sighed and sat down. “I can’t do this…I can’t…” He turned to the legendary warrior, “Nathan? Take him, he’s all yours.”
Angel Nathan bowed before his commander. “Yes sir.” He walked down the stairs and took Mikel’s hand. “Let’s go!”
The two Angels flew out of the palace and Angel Mikel was too afraid to ask where they were going. He was also too young to realize how close he had come to joining Lucifer and being banished from heaven. They flew for hours across the ocean; over Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and Mikel watched kids, women and men killing each other like flies. He wanted to go down and help but there were too many of them and he didn’t know where to start. They flew to the dark corners of Africa and here Mikel watched as people and animals groaned in pain and hunger; poverty and diseases were rampage in so many places. The little Angel wanted to be sick. They flew to Haiti and Japan and watched in horror the aftermath destruction of the earthquakes; children trapped under debris, slowly dying as the world watched from the comfort of their living rooms.
“Stop!” Angel Mikel finally yelled. “I can’t take it any more! Please make it stop Angel Nathan!”
The two Angels flew to the top of Mt.Everest and took a break, staring down at the world below. Finally, beauty; a world of extraordinary sights… a relief.
“Do you know what free will is Angel Mikel?” Nathan asked as he polished his sword.
“The ability of humans to forge their own destinies?”
“Close enough.” Angel Nathan said.
“Are you saying that we should not help the humans?”
“That’s not what am saying Mikel. Be patient; listen to everything and everyone around you and you will know what is expected of you.”
Angel Nathan suddenly spread his mighty wings and begun glowing. Mikel stumbled backward and shielded his eyes from the light.
“Pull out your sword little Angel and kneel on the ground!” A confused Mikel did as he was told. “Repeat after me,” Nathan said. Pause.” From today onwards, I promise to obey my commander and do all duties assigned to me without letting emotions control my judgment!” Mikel’s voice shook as he repeated the words.
The legendary warrior touched his shoulder with the blade. “I declare thee, Angel Mikel, a Knight amongst Angels!” The voice was thick with pride.
It was a moment that Mikel would never forget; a happiness beyond words. He jumped up and hugged the legendary warrior. “Wooo there,” Nathan said with an easy laugh. “Knights don’t hug. We are not done yet.”
“We are not?” An innocent voice.
They flew down the mountain at a cruising pace and this time Angel Mikel tried to perceive things differently, with a strong heart; an incipient hero. They arrived in a rich neighbourhood and sat on the rooftop of one of the houses. The weather was perfect in the town and a setting sun threw rainbow beams in the horizon. And then above all noises Angel Mikel heard something that brought a surprised expression on his face. He quickly looked into the house and saw a family of five praying at the dinner table and right in the middle in one of the chairs was little Diana.
“She will stay here until her father recovers,” Angel Nathan said.
Mikel smiled and warmth washed through his body. Sanctuary; a warm bed and a soft mattress. “I thought that people weren’t praying?”
“Not as much as they used to. Now we have pockets of remnants praying. It’s not enough. Evil is always lurking, looking for opportunities. More than often good is overwhelmed. Come,” Nathan said. “One more stop.”
“Where to?” Angel Mikel finally had the courage to ask.
Angel Nathan flapped his wings and shot through the air at a full speed. “Can you keep up?” The big Angel laughed.
Mikel laughed and dove after him. Bliss. He really liked Angel Nathan. Nathan was every thing that he wanted to be when he grew up: strong, charismatic, funny…
“Your detail,” Nathan said. “Angel Gabriel has an assignment for you. It’s your first real test as a Knight.”
Alarmed silence. “What?” Mikel stopped flapping and Nathan yelled at him to follow. He caught up with the huge Angel a little later gasping for breath. “I know what you said, but me? I have an assignment?”
Nathan smiled as he recalled his own first assignment. He slowed down and the two soared through the air at a cruising speed. “Angels are missing,” he said pensively.
“Missing from where?”
“Are they dead?”
“No. Angel Gabriel thinks that they may be alive, being held somewhere. Your assignment is to find out where and why.”
Mikel gasped at the enormity of the task. “Why me? Why not scramble an army to comb every inch of Earth?”
Angel Nathan smiled. “That was the same question I asked.” Pause. “Angel Gabriel thinks that there is more to it than meets the eye. Something stirs in the air. That’s why he’s sending you in.”
Angel Mikel felt anxiety for the first time. “Me?” A small voice.
Nathan shrugged. “You are small and not a threat. You showed a strong will when you disobeyed an executive order at the risk of your own life. But you are also smart and brave and the commander believes in you and that counts for something.”
The little Angel was speechless for one who talked a lot.
Nathan continued. “You can’t return to Heaven until you are done. There will be no one to protect you this time, so watch your back.”
“So where are we going now?” Mikel asked as he slowly began to accept his mission.
Nathan pointed at the infinite blue of the Atlantic Ocean. “To America!”
“To America? Why America and what do I have to do?”
Nathan paused for effect. “There’s an African lad there, his name is Nwanku. You need to find him and stay with him.”
Mikel looked confused. “Why him? What’s so special about him?”
Nathan’s eyes glazed over; distant. “There’s something different about him. He’s changing.”
“You mean like transforming?”
“Yes. He’s changing into a lion.”
Mikel gasped. “A lion in America?”
Nathan nodded. “You are to stay with him through his journey. But remember Mikel, do not interfere; don’t protect or advise him. Something stirs in the mountains and Angel Gabriel wants to find out what it is. The African lad is the key.” The big Angel suddenly rose and stood over Mikel. It was time to say goodbye. “Strength and obedience!” he roared.
“Strength and obedience,” Mikel replied in a shaky voice. He did not want to see Nathan go. He did not want to be left alone on earth.
Off to AFRICA
My book A Whisper in the Jungle has been picked by a publishing company and approved by the board. It has been scheduled for release soon.
The music is all around you, all you have to do is listen
Without God, what are we? What do we have? What is life...