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Prayers Floating Downstream
by Julie Michaelson
01/16/12
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The Lord
reigns;
let the
people
tremble;
He sits
between
the cherubims;
let the
earth
be
moved.
[Psalm 99:1]
*****************
Place: The Heavenly Throne Room.
Characters: The Father [Gruff
Voice]; The Son [Gentle Voice];
Sylvestor (Suspended-Warrior
-Angel on Throne Room Duty);
Angel Gabriel, the famous
one from the Bible;
Zorba, a pot-belly pig;
sundry assortment of mice,
and squirrels.
____________________
"SHALOM!"

[GRUFF SIGH.]
"You may come in,
Angel Sylvestor."

An angel, who had been poking his big plump face
in the Throne Room Doorway: enters. He's wearing one
light blue, fluffy bedroom slipper (with a bunny nose and
long bunny ears at the toe), and the other foot is big and bare. His halo (a temporary one borrowed from the Drama Props Room), is green and red bulb-lit (going on and off), with little brown plastic camels dancing around its rim and sprinkled here and there with silver tinsel; the halo oddly smells like old cheese. Due to the unusually smelling halo, several mice and squirrels have followed the angel into the Throne Room. Behind the smaller critters is one pink, black and white spotted pot-belly pig.

[GRUFF VOICE.]
"Angel Sylvestor,
you do not have to
keep saying........
[SIGH.]
"......'SHALOM'."

Sylvestor is carrying, rather awkwardly in both
outstretched hands, a huge heavy solid gold platter piled high
with small slips of folded paper. Several of the slips have fallen off onto the gold tile floor, and are being sniffed here
and there by the tiny gray mice, and brown squirrels. The pink pig, whose name is Zorba, doesn't appear interested in the papers, at all; she continues trotting, clippity-clipping
her sharp hooves on the golden tile, and stops right in front of the Flowing River of Life.....and slurps loudly. The angel, who is trying desperately to keep the huge Gold Prayer-Slips Platter balanced in his arms, replies.
"It's the ONLY ANCIENT-
HEBREW that I KNOW,
Your LORD! And, WE WERE
TOLD about the ONLY-ANCIENT-HEBREW RULE
in the THRONE ROOM,
LORD, SIR!"

[GENTLE VOICE.]
"We understand,
Angel Sylvestor.
[GENTLE NOD.]
But, you may dispense
with that."

Sylvestor blows a big sigh of obvious relief, rolls his big brown eyes, sets the huge platter, rather abruptly and noisily, down on the slippery gold tiles, and runs back over to the Throne Room Door: the blue bunny slipper falling off. Sylvestor opens the Door a crack, and put his curly head out, yelling.
"HEY, BRIGGUND*! WE CAN
JUST SPEAK REGULAR!
THE LORD SAYS SO!"

A muffled voice, muffled more so by some chewing, can be heard from the Guard Spot, at the end of the Throne Room Hallway.
"OH!
OKAY!"

Sylvestor still has his curly brown head poking through
the Door; the green and red lit halo tilts over, some.
One of Sylvestor's wings, newly scrubbed and too-hastily
dried, has several sticks of beige matted feathers
poking out. Sylvestor's voice lowers to a whisper of camaraderie.
"Whatch'a......GOT?"

(A muffled voice responds.)

Sylvestor whispers.
"HEY, CAN I HAVE SOME?"

(The sound of a bag of small
candies can be heard being tossed down the Huge Hallway)

Sylvestor grabs something in both hands, and whispers, back.
"THANKS!"
He stuffs it into the deep pocket of his newly-washed, too-
long gauzy gown, and readusting his lopsided halo, closes the Throne Room Door. He turns back and stops a moment to grab the blue slipper which he stuffs in the other pocket; the blue bunny ears stick out of the floppy gauze pocket. Sylvestor pads bare foot, over to the Huge Gold Platter and picks it back
up: balancing it in both small plump hands.

Then........he drops it.

The Prayer Platter makes a huge banging, clanging sound
on the Golden Tile. The mice and squirrels skiddadle: running
and spreading out everywhere; some of them skitter and hide under the Golden Train of Pure Gold Threads that is Flowing from Both the Thrones. The pig, who is still slurping from the Flowing River of Life, picks up her pink, black-and-white spotted head, and begins to squeal. Little white slips of folded paper are everywhere; some have fallen, or floated into the Flowing River and are flowing downstream.

[GENTLE SIGH.]

[SILENCE.]

[GRUFF VOICE CALLS OUT.]
"ANGEL GABRIEL....!"

Immediately, in what appears to be a nano-second, an enormously huge, beautifully stunning blond-haired angel appears in the Door Way. The angel, who looks like he was in midflight somewhere, and whose massive egg-shell-white wings are still open, immediately drops to his gauze-covered knees. Gabriel's voice is lovely, and breathless, and his Ancient-Hebrew is perfectly clear: softening the gutturally harsh syllables
to a beautiful song of endless love.
"YES,
MY LORD!"

[GRUFF NOD AT THE
GOLD TILED FLOOR.]

"YES,
MY LORD!"
The angel, whose massive
wings are beginning to fold
in a little, walks barefoot
over to the Huge Prayer Platter
and lifts it without a murmur
or strain. Then he gets
back down on his knees, beside
Sylvestor, and very gracefully
begins picking up all the Prayer-
Slips.

Sylvestor is reaching out,
clumsily, and grabbing each
little white piece of paper
and stuffing them into the deep
pockets of his overly-long gauzy
gown.

Gabriel stops for a moment, and looks down at the smaller
angel; one of the plastic brown camels from Sylvestor's halo has slipped off and is now sticking to the front of his
too-long, uneven, washed-but-not-ironed, wrinkled gown.

Sylvestor stops for a minute and looks up. Gabriel stares wordlessly and stoically back: the red and green bulbs of Sylvestor's borrowed halo lighting up Gabriel's beautifully high cheekbones and swanlike neck. Sylvestor, who only gets to stand on bare tiptoes, plump fingers pulling onto the edges of his buddies' wings for support, and with little neck stretching, to squint over at the famous Messenger Gabriel, once a year at the Christmas Day Caroling Program: turns a deeper shade of beet red.

Gabriel looks back down at
the Gold Floor and continues
to pick up the little slips of
paper.

Neither angel says a word.
Sylvestor scoots over on his
knees and begins emptying
his big gauzy pockets onto
the Platter which Gabriel
is effortlessly holding. The
little plastic bag of candy,
which was at the bottom of
Sylvestor's right pocket,
falls out too.

Gabriel looks down at the bag, which has 'M&Ms' written
across it in bright red, blue, green and yellow; Gabriel effortlessly shifts the huge Platter to one hand, and then uses the other long slender pale hand to pick up the bag..... holds
it out to Sylvestor.....without saying a word.

Sylvestor looks back at Gabriel and without his big brown eyes
budging from the beautiful shining face and huge long-lashed blue eyes, slowly puts out two plump fingers, around the bag and stuffs it back into his right gauzy pocket.

Gabriel calmly bends over, one slender hand effortlessly
still holding out the Huge Platter, and continues to pick
up the little Prayer-Slips.

Sylvestor leans over, on the
Golden Floor, and whispers,
rather timidly and haltingly,
something to the beautiful
shining angel: pointing one
plump finger toward the Flowing
River of Life.

Gabriel calmly and wordlessly looks over at the
River of Life; little pieces of paper are floating about here
and there like tiny white sailboats. Without hestitation,
and still holding the Huge Gold Platter in one long slender hand, Gabriel sets one bare foot and then another, into the water and gracefully retrieves each bit of paper. Gabriel's
silky wings dip forward just a bit, and make a gentle caressing
sound in the cool, undulating Water.

Sylvestor, still kneeling, scoots over to the River's edge, and waits: biting on his left thumbnail, and whispering 'SHOO!', 'SHOO!' to the squealing and snorting Zorba; suddenly he looks down and sees the plastic camel sticking to his gauze-covered chest. He pulls at it, but the one of the camel's plastic legs and hooves is embedded into the gauzy material. He grabs at it again; this time the camel is freed, though its hoof pulls a big runner in the gauzy material. Sylvestor presses his other plump palm down over the front of his ripped gown, and sticks the camel back on top of his brown curls. He closes his big brown eyes and blows out a big relieved sigh.

Gabriel steps out of the water: gem-sparkling drops clinging to his beautiful hair and wings. He looks at Sylvestor and quietly and calmly holds out the little dripping slips of paper. Sylvestor leans over and blows on them, making loud bursting sounds with his lips.

Zorba, who has been trotting up and down the water's edge, begins sniffing at Gabriel's gently dripping gown, and making snorting, whiny noises at the massive angel.

Gabriel doesn't say a word;
he waits calmly while Sylvestor
finishes picking up the rest
of the Prayer Slips and putting
them back onto the Big Platter.
Sylvestor leans over again,
and whispers: pointing to the
wet slips and then to the
big velvet pillows in front of
the Thrones.

Gabriel looks up at the Throne.

[THE LORD NODS.]

Gabriel bows his beautiful blond head and gives a long
graceful nod: his silky blond hair sticking like sweet
cotton candy to his sparkly wings. A soft whisper, roughly
sensual, and in perfectly enunciated Ancient-Hebrew can be heard. Then he turns back to Sylvestor, and nods wordlessly: holding out the one palm full of Prayer-Slips.

Sylvestor slowly, and one by
one, takes each wet piece and
still kneeling, spreads them
out on the big velvet pillows:
blowing loudly, and slowly on each one.

Gabriel bows low and gracefully
sets the Gold Platter over
by the Thrones. He bows low
once more, and without saying
a word silently backs out of
the Room. He opens the Huge
Gold Throne Room Door, and
without saying a word, takes
flight: his massive egg-shell-
white wings spreading out like
an eagle's.

A lovely SWOOSH.
And, then Gabriel is gone.

Sylvestor, who's now sitting cross-legged on the tiled floor,
turns around, awkwardly, to watch as the great angel's wings break forth in the cool morning air. Sylvestor's lips make a silent 'W....O....W!', and his big brown eyes squint really hard. He stares open-mouthed.

[GENTLE CLEARING OF
THE THROAT.]

Sylvestor scoots quickly around, and crawls back over to the
the purple and red velvet pillows: picking up each paper,
and waving it noisily in the air: blowing loudly on each one. Then he shoos at a curious gray mouse, and chattering brown squirrel away from the pillows, yelling in really loud
Lower-Quadrant-Angel-Speak.
"NO! NO!
BAD MICKY!
BAD SAMMY!
NO! NO!"

[GENTLE SIGH.]

Sylvestor looks up. He shouts.
"SHALOM,
LORD SIR!"

[GRUFF SIGH.]

Sylvestor shouts, one more time: his Lower-Quadrant-Angelic
Neighborhood-accent perfectly clear.
"SHALOM!"
And, then... crawls back over to the Big Gold Platter: pulling
over another pillow, this one a big green velvet one, sits
cross-legged on it and begins the task of taking each Prayer-
Slip, slowly unfolding it, kneeding it laboriously between
each of his plump palms like thick bread doe, and then really carefully, and slowly sticking it into one of the Big Gold Bowls set out in front of Both The Thrones.

[GENTLE, PATIENT SIGH.]


And humans wonder why it
takes so long for their prayers
to get answered.

______________________
Epilogue:
A year later, at the Christmas Day Caroling Program,
Sylvestor was back on his tiptoes, straining to
see Gabriel, among the millions of angels present,
there. Suddenly, he looked up, and there was the
famous Messenger Angel of Christmas Advent: crouching
down to little Sylvestor's height: smiling happily....
with a bag of Christmas M&M's in his shining palm. Then,
Gabriel kissed the top of Sylvestor's brown curly head
and whispered "Merry Christmas, Sylvestor!"
***********************
Hear
my prayer,
O Lord,
and
let my
cry
come unto
Thee!
[Psalm 102:1]
********************

*The angel-buddy of Sylvestor:
also on Warrior-Suspension.

Copyright 2012.











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