Time: During the Tribulation.
Place: Archangel Michael's
Office, outside of the Warrior-
Training and Fencing-Practice Room.
Characters: Archangel Michael;
(A stern-sounding, impatient voice,
with the clipped tone of a busy supervisor:
overlaid with a very heavy, strange-sounding,
other-worldly, nonEarth-accent: the syllables
in the form of Shakespearean Angel-Speak.)
What IS IT?"
(A hesitant, pleading voice
of a not-so-busy underling:
overlaid with the accent
of a Fourth Level Lower Angelic Neighborhood,
which parallels the heavenly space
over New Jersey, on Earth.)
"Can WE come IN.........
(The reply is in an even more
harsher tone: although in a strangely-
sounding husky whisper.)
What IS it?
(Two angels move hesitantly through the floating doorway. One is much shorter and plumper than the other, and has an odd-looking, badly smelling halo over his mousy-brown curly hair. Neither of the angels speak; they just stare at their supervisor, who is peering at both angels over a pair of reading spectacles.)
(The supervisor is looking particularly impatient,
and preoccupied. Spread over his desk
are several unrolled, very large scrolls
of ancient-looking papyrus: covered with battle-
plan-designs, and ancient script-writing.
In the corner, leaning against an unupholstered chair,
is the supervisor's enormously huge, pure-golden sword.
The supervisor peers at his two visitors again:
reading glasses obviously uncomfortable, and ill-fitting on his long, aqualine nose: his Shakespearean angel-tongue in a
(Neither of the visitors say a word. They just stand there, in bare feet, staring open-mouthed, and appearing clueless. The
shorter, plumper one has a wrinkled piece of paper in his
hand: it looks like some sort of requisition form. The form
is dampened with sweat, and has some food stains on it.)
(The supervisor, whose enormously huge, gold-tipped wings are folded rather uncomfortably behind him in the swivel desk-chair, speaks even more sternly again: his tone is more severe and clipped, rising from a husky whisper to a heavily-
(The taller visitor, who obviously is the less shyer and more courageous of the two, speaks up.)
(The supervisor continues staring at the visitors; the long dark tendrils of his magnificent head of hair are resting against his bare, enormously muscular shoulders. Gently poking out of the top edge of his soft angelic-tunic are thick, curly black chest hairs. The supervisor seems unaware of his beautific visage, or his overpowering presence: the air around him smells strongly of a snapping, crackling campfire on a still summer's night. The heavenly light streaming through his office window doesn't seem to soften the shadows of his high, sculptured cheekbones, or satin-smooth, dark-toned skin. Both of his black eyebrows are squeezed together in a harshly intense invisible line.)
(The taller angel, whose name is Briggund, doesn't speak for a minute. He looks over at his buddy. Then, he stares again at the supervisor, puzzledly, as if he can't figure out what
is so different about him. Then he replies.)
(The shorter, plumper angel speaks up.)
HE'S WEARIN' GLASSES!"
HE'S WEARIN GLASSES,
(The supervisor ignores the loud side-chatter. His huge dark eyes flash with intense impatience, as if he's considering picking up his huge sword, at any minute.)
"WHAT IT IT........
(The two angels look at each other; the shorter plumper one rubs his bare left toe against the cold gold tiles of the office floor: it makes an irritating squeaking sound.)
(The supervisor, who had never sighed until
he had been assigned these two particular warrior-
students, sighs heavily. Then he shouts: his husky
heavily-accented voice sounding quite terrifying.)
(Sylvestor, the shorter plumper
visitor, is still looking down at
the gold-tiled floor. He picks
at a fuzz on the front of his
overly-long gauzy beige gown.)
(His buddy interrupts.)
"SYLVESTOR WANTS A NEW
(His buddy shouts.)
(Sylvestor speaks up, again.)
(Archangel Michael, their supervisor, doesn't even blink. He stares at both angels with a stoically handsome face.)
(As if the angels have already left the room, Michael looks back down at his open scroll: staring intensely at the ancient-figure-drawings of battle designs, and captions. His voice
is a husky murmur of a whisper, once more.)
You're STILL being punished
for losing your OTHER one....
WARRIOR-ANGELS do NOT
lose their halos.....while on
(Briggund reached out and
punched Sylvestor's plump right
shoulder. Then he pleaded.)
(The Archangel stares up again, over his ill-fitting spectacles, at his two visitors.)
"Are you both of you
(Both visitors look at one another, and then at
the Archangel. They nod both their haloe'd heads, energetically.)
"Well, how come you
are not PRAYING,
or...PRACTICING your FENCING?
Or, studying and memorizing
(Sylvestor reaches up, trying to right his flopping-over halo: its flashing red-and-green lights barely eclipsed by the accompanying plastic dancing camels, and hanging silver tinsel. The halo, a temporary one found at the bottom of a Christmas Angelic-Play Props-Box, smells oddly of old cheese.)
We THOUGHT that WE.."
(The Archangel speaks without barely looking up. He reaches over to pick up a big, peacock-feathered-tipped pen*; his long tapered fingers don't look at the moment as if they are more used to weilding a giant sword, against the unholy creatures of the Greater Demonic Realm.)
"Now, go back to WORK.
Throne-Room DUTY must
be MET...with the most
and STRICT obedience."
(He stopped speaking in his clipped tones for a moment, to scribble something on one of the battle-designs on the unrolled scroll in front of him. Then, he went on murmuring, and glaring intensely down at the demon-battle-maps: his own halo so large that its fierce light was heating up the faces of his two visitors.)
"Your BREAK must be almost
OVER, by now."
(Briggund was leaning forward: peering down at the maps, and ancient-scroll-paper, on his supervisor's desk. He blurted out.)
"The FATHER SAID
WE COULD GO TO THE ZOO,
(Archangel Michael looked up; his reading glasses didn't budge on his aqualine nose: his dark silky eyelashes were magnified by the small lenses; his black eyebrows still together in a sternly arched expression. His strangely-enunciated, heavily
accented speech became even more pronounced.)
"Well, naturally both of
such a GRACIOUS....
(Briggund and Sylvestor's eyes turned to one another: their tousled heads not moving, at all; Briggund's hair was
blond, long, and very frizzy; Sylvestor's mousy-brown hair was matted, and had taken on the scent of his temporary-halo. Sylvestor's plump fingers were still busy knotting and re-knotting two edges of his long gauzy gown. Briggund shifted one of his freckled beige wings, and his mouth opened.)
(Michael frowned for a moment: a bit absentmindedly; right now
he was thinking of going to battle in a particularly troubled
demonic zone over Syria, Earth. But at the moment, he had
paperwork to do, and he would never falter on his duties to
his Lord and King. Michael realized his two protoges were still
standing there; he pointed to the left side corner of his cluttered office: not the side where his magnificent sword was resting, but the other side: away from the big, bright window.)
You can USE your free time
(He pointed again toward the
corner. There were piles and
piles of unrolled, dusty scrolls: they looked as though it had been EONS.. since they had been filed.)
"You BOTH can SIT over
(Michael cleared his throat,
and then went back to scribbling something, in strangely shaped encrypted letters, on one of the opened scrolls on his desk.)
"...go through them...
(Sylvestor reached up to
touch his bizarre-looking halo,
again. He bit his plump lower
lip, and turned to stare at his
(Archangel Michael looked up again, through the magnification of his reading lenses. His dark silky eyelashes didn't move.)
"I thought you both said you
had the AFTERNOON.... off?"
(Briggund nodded, a bit woefully, and then glanced out the big sunny window on the right side of his supervisor's office. Outside, birds were flitting about, chirping; and the sound of cool running waterfalls could be heard, splashing over moss-covered rocks. Far off, from the direction of the North End Safari-Zoo, came the sound of a loud, busy, happy macaw.)
(Michael frowned sternly; his chest was rising and falling, under the rough gauzy texture of his nonbattling-gown tunic, with each heavenly-breath. His tone was clipped, and heavily accented.)
"Well, then you better
get BUSY; the next GUARD-
SHIFT at the THRONE-ROOM
begins in sixteen Heaven-HOURS."
(Michael went back to studying
"And while you're FILING.....
I want to HEAR you PRACTICING.......your ANCIENT Hebrew."
(Two angelic voices replied:
one sounded more woeful,
and pitiful, than the other.)
(Sylvestor was sitting down in the middle of the cold floor. He looked around for any pillows in the office, and saw none. Then he frowned, and scooted over to the corner, by the tall pile of dusty, open scrolls.)
"BUT WE DON'T HAVE ANY
of our HEBREW...WORKBOOKS....
(A long moment of silence
(Archangel Michael opened the drawer of his cluttered desk, and pulled out a heavy, dark blue, hardback covered book, and tossed it at the corner of his big desk. It slipped off, and landed in Sylvestor's lap. Michael picked up his big peacock-feather pen, and went on scribbling.)
(Sylvestor's unmelodious voice