Really poor timing
Getting to know the deceased
As they’re eulogised.
saw the vastness of landscape
and rendered it knowable.
to elevations, angles,
contour line etchings
and watercourse filigree.
used his raptor vision
to view conflict as landscape,
charting paths through
over bureaucratic dunes
to the ocean of truth.
now guided not guiding,
his acute compass
dizzied by Alzheimer’s.
Piercing the fog,
he cedes, all pauses and sighs,
“I’ve lost the path”.
The angels arrived like stealth bombers, sweeping each suburb, each street, each home.
#Rapture trended immediately on Twitter, as fundamentalists claimed their moment of triumph had arrived.
All Theo knew for sure was that these angels had nothing in common with those he’d learned about in Sunday School. He heard the screams, saw flames flare and knew there’d be no inner calm, no glow of divine love accompanying visitation.
A practical man, he didn’t see any point cowering beneath a blanket or bracing himself in a doorway. This wasn’t an earthquake or wildfire. It was an Act of God no insurance company ever envisaged.
So he strolled, barefoot, out into the summer night. Stepped off the gutter and onto the warm bitumen. Wriggled his toes on the rough surface. Watched and waited.
In the instant his angel swooped, he understood. They weren’t messengers. They were auditors, celestial census collectors. And pest controllers.
The angel scanned his soul and it was like immersion in an arctic sea. He was aware his ledger, his personal balance of good versus evil, was under assessment.
Then he was kneeling on the road, not in praise but simple gratitude. He stood, slowly. Inhaled and savored the air entering his lungs. His skin tingled. He wondered who else had survived.
He knew the angels would be back in a few hundred years. And that no one would remember they’d been before.