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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

By mick dawson


Barak perused the book given to him on the story of his charge. The pages written before the coming of men faded from view as he read each one. Nothing escaped his notice from the spider making its web in the opposite corner of the maternity ward to the baby girl now stirring in the cot beside her sleeping mother.

The angel’s right hand darted as a white blur into the wall behind her. A demonic shadow screamed, clutching at its midriff as it fell face forward and dissipated in a mound of orange sparks.

The faces of a dozen more hideous fiends rose from the wall’s surface, but receded again at the sight of Barak’s blade. Satisfied with their retreat, he re-sheathed the supernatural weapon so swiftly, that it looked like it disappeared from his hand.

He looked at the little girl mournfully, regretting that he had caused the gaping little face, which was about to contort into tears.

His head almost brushed the ceiling as he loomed over the cot, standing eight feet tall. The armour clad arm reached through the bars; a possibility for him as he only existed in the spiritual plane, but withdrew it, resisting the urge to touch the child.

The baby girl, Axella, smiled broadly. She waved her tiny limbs with delight and sighed.

The grin broadened on the angel. For him, her every sigh, cough, cry, or giggle were audible words as she spoke to him from her soul.

Axella squealed, making her mother roll in her sleep.

Who are you?

‘I am Barak, my name means Lightning.’

The baby sighed.

Are you my friend?

The edges of the angel’s mouth curled into the warmest of grins.

‘Yes,’ he whispered softly, yet the word spoken carried strength.

His eyes followed hers to the book in his hand.

‘I was reading of the earth’s possible future. It is a book of woe, which speaks of the Third World War, but even the first chapter has been re-written with your birth. Your very name "Axella," means "bringer of peace," for lo, you will do so in the physical realm. Only Jesus of course can save the souls of men, which must be done in the spiritual plane.’

Who’s He? She sneezed, a sound which resembled snorting.

Barak heard her mother’s heartbeat begin to quicken and so he stretched out his hand above her to make her sleep on.

‘I am sure you will come to know Him soon enough. Not that I am permitted to read the book of life, but I assume that your name is written within or else you would not have been chosen for this task.’

The little girl began to pant.

Please tell me about Him.

Barak sighed deeply, even for one of the Heavenly host; it was difficult to put into words the greatness of his God.

‘He is a truly wondrous being, who created you, gave you your name and has thus far protected you.’

But you protect me, sniffed Axella.

‘Yes; I do, but my Lord is much more powerful than I and can obliterate me with a thought. He is everywhere and watches us even now.’

Axella gazed wide eyed around the ward.

‘Put your trust in Him child, for He can protect you better than I. When you feel alone and the powers of darkness seek to overwhelm you, He will be there, but greatest of all is His ability to love.

Seek Him out and He will love you more than me and even many times more than your parents.’

Axella moaned softly.

You love me?

‘Yes Little One, but we will never share the love of a man and woman. My love for you is much purer, as you will come to learn over the course of your life, now sleep,’ he whispered and watched the closing of her eyes.

Barak sensed something emanate from behind like a damp cloud. Without turning his head, his sword blurred above his shoulder and re-sheathed it even before the demonic head rolled to the floor in front of him. He didn’t notice it dissipate in orange sparks as his eyes were already fixed on the words of the current page. Another assassination had been thwarted; his duty for the next seventeen years.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/06/10
This is a very intense and fascinating story. I was drawn right into the nursery.

I'm not sure if it is because I'm so tired, but I found it hard to see the topic here.

However to me, that matters not, as I was enthralled with your story. I'm anxious to read more about the next 17 years of her life.