Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)
TITLE: The Guardian of Time
By mick dawson
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Barak tilted his head, scanning further along the blade. Numbers showed near the hilt as if etched in acid; 7:08. They were precious to him. Only seven minutes and eight seconds remained to protect his “charge.” At first, he used the time allotted to him with less discretion; twenty four hours in all. No other angel could use the few minutes he had left to any great effect, but in his hands, seven minutes could literally last for the duration of Axella’s lifetime.
He trudged behind her. In comparison she seemed like a ten year old escorted by her father. He wished that she would not walk the streets alone at night. Seventeen year olds seemed oblivious to any dangers befalling them. Her cheerful demeanour, along with her long, raven locks and near olive hued skin made her attractive to many. He feared that she also gained the admiration of boys who would mistreat her. A smile spread on his lips. At least God blessed her in that respect. She met a good Christian boy, who seemed to emanate a kind and sincere nature. He sat with them overhearing their pointless banter. Over six millennia on earth had taught him that they were engaged in a teenaged form of courtship.
I can only stay a few more minutes she kept saying. The “few more minutes” turned into two hours. Now the streets were dark and quiet. Her face sprayed with a few freckles wore the faint residue of the smile she displayed for the latest love in her life. She began to cross the street as a car headed toward her. On any other occasion she would have hurried herself across to avoid the vehicle. Her pace never quickened, nor did her gaze fall to the blue sedan.
“Axella, where is your mind girl!”
His warning went unheeded. Any number of things could have happened to avoid the accident. He could have swept her aside, or he could have speed to the car and turned the wheel, but he would not interfere unless by permission. Sometimes God allowed accidents to happen. He watched the car close with her, hoping God would say to intervene. At the final second, he closed his eyes, immediately hearing the “thump.” In the blackness of his denial, he heard a car door open and running feet, but then he felt it; a warmth descending on him. The Holiness of God covered him like the rays of the sun on naked flesh. He felt more than heard the permission of the only true, living God.
A blur of motion moved to his sword and stabbed it into the road. The palms of his hands clapped around the hilt and rubbed. On withdrawing them, the sword spun unassisted, faster than any man made dynamo. The clouds shifted, the car went backward, allowing Axella to get up. Even as the sword spun, Barak could see the numbers on the blade, 708, 706, 705…
He snatched up the sword and stabbed it into the scabbard as the car bore down on Axella again. His fist pounded into the grille, lifting the front end of the vehicle two feet from the road and stopping it completely. The front bowed in noticeably, but at least his charge would live another day.
Axella stared frozen in shock as the driver left his car to ask her about her well being. A glance at her unmarked body informed him that he had not struck her.
“What’d I hit? How am I going to explain this to insurance?”
Their discourse faded from Barak’s mind as he extracted a foot of the blade from the scabbard again. Only seven minutes remained. Plenty of time, for Barak in the elder Hebrew tongue meant “the lightning” and God had accordingly allotted him the speed of his name’s sake.
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