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Uriel, secrets. November 28, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Writing.
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I am sitting here this afternoon, fully conscious of the fact that this blog has become little more than a conduit for others to see my writing progress. For now, I am okay with that. Here is another excerpt from my novel, The Arca Malum. Penned fresh this afternoon.

A shell landed just on the lip of the trench. Dirt exploded all around and shrapnel whizzed through the atmosphere, just over his head, just out of his reach. Uriel was thrown against the trench wall, landing on the muddy floor with a dull thud as rats scurried for cover from the artillery that penetrated the night. He sat up slightly, propping himself on his left hand, and brushed the dirt and mud from around his face. Still alive, he thought, still kickin’. Uriel wasn’t sure what hope or information that fourth platoon could lend his quest to find the Arca and the American boy who held it. He just knew that everything that was once the Pollock Marauders was now gone, everyone he had come up through basic training with, now dead. Damned demon. It was Dantalion and the Arca, Uriel knew this, knew of the dark powers harnessed within His most secret creation. He knew that every single thing that the Arca touched would fall to ashes, or worse. The ashes had already started to pile all around. The Marauders knew, the MPs in the woods knew, Janokowski knew. It had already begun. God probably knew who was pulling the strings, Uriel really didn’t. If He wants me to know, He will tell me.

Perhaps he would have to find out on his own. Regardless, Uriel knew that God was guiding him, as he always had, to his purpose. Moving through the muddied trench, a horrible existence by anyone’s standards, Uriel thought back on this lifetime. He thought back on times before he knew who he was, or what his purpose was. To times when he only felt that he was much more important than everyone else around him, almost as if a whisper from God himself, right in his ear. The times when he thought he was simply George Wilson, of North Augusta, South Carolina.

Another shell exploded, a little bit further away, but Uriel was able to stay on his feet.

He could remember those times as if yesterday. When he finally found out what God’s purpose for George Wilson of North Augusta really was.

Who am I, really? George had always asked himself that question. It was answered on a pale July afternoon in 1908, he was ten. He could remember being outside, standing behind his dad’s old shed, gray skies, everything overcast and bathed in the weird light that sometimes occurs before epic thunderstorms. Except there was no thunderstorm, a hot, dry July that later turned into a blazing and arid August. At age ten, he had thought little on the ambience of the odd light, or the pale gray afternoon, had paid it little mind at all in fact. But when he looked up he had noticed a being, a person. George had looked up toward the person, he could barely make out its face. But he did remember its subtle, feminine beauty. He remembered that the being was a woman. And he had the distinct feeling that this woman was in no way human. A rattle outside of his head drew his attention to reality once more.

The barrage of German artillery outside of his mind’s eye was now a deafening roar as shells, 420, 100, 150 millimeters, burst all around him, shaking the ground as if a final, apocalyptic earthquake had finally been unleashed by God. All His anger and might exploding in one fell swoop. Uriel kept moving toward fourth platoon’s area of the lines, lost in thought. Lost in memory.

“You want to know who you are, don’t you?” She had asked him, her voice soft and soothing, reassuring.

He could only nod in agreement, almost comatose in her presence. He realized all at once with whom he was speaking, in whose presence he was. He had dropped to his knee as if by instinct. He felt her hand on his shoulder, beckoning him to rise.

“Do not bow before me, Uriel.”

Confused. “Uriel?” The only word George could manage.

“George, your body is the vessel for the spirit of an archangel called Uriel, you are he and he is you.” George nodded.

“And yes, to confirm your suspicions, I am Him. You are an angel of presence, there are others too, but you are the angel of repentance who stands guard at the Gates of Eden, it was you who warned Noah of my wrath and mighty anger. You are the one who watches over thunder and terror and destruction. A soul capable of great compassion or horrid indifference toward your fellow man.” God paused and George had nodded once more, in nearly full understanding of what he was being told, he face betrayed no surprise. For George, news that he was an archangel had only confirmed his thoughts that something was just not quite right in his world. “You are Uriel.”

George was almost speechless. He nodded again. He remembered thinking that this couldn’t possibly be real.

“It is,” God had read his thoughts, “and you, Uriel, have a purpose on Earth. There is a power on this planet that I created, a power able to cause the destruction of all humanity. Even now, as we speak, events are aligning which will eventually change the globe and human events for many millennia to come. If these events are allowed to play out as I have foreseen, humanity will not survive. In the past, Uriel, you have been called upon to reap vengeance, to warn others or to protect the Earth. Now it is your time to stop this evil power from destroying everything that we love.”

“Where is this power, how do I find it?” George was a bit more comfortable in His presence.

“You will know when the time comes, about a decade from now all questions will be fully answered. You will see.”

He had seen. The trenches called him and he knew immediately that it was the trenches that answered his questions. That this raging battle across the ocean in Europe was his calling, God’s purpose for him.

It had never been difficult for Uriel to hide his true identity, to masquerade as “George Wilson, North Augusta, South Carolina, so pleased to make your acquaintance sir or ma’am. I am not an angel or devil, don’t mind me in the corner eying the humans with a sardonic smile and nod. I know what you don’t, don’t mind me at all.” He had tried, once, to tell someone, when he was young. The pastor of his local church. After he had finished telling him the wild tale of God and the fact that he, George Wilson was, after all, an angel, the pastor had glared at him and then went into an angry tirade. He screamed about heresy and evil for over and hour, beat the young George viciously and then tossed him out onto the church lawn, calling him “a minion of Lucifer” and forbidding him to return to the “hallowed grounds of God’s glorious house.”

While the beating hurt, the banishment didn’t. Could have been worse, he thought at the time. No one ever believed religious lunatics anyway, why would the pastor of the local Methodist church be any different? He never spoke a word to another human about his encounter with God behind his dad’s old shed on a pale July afternoon in 1908.

German artillery continued its hail storm upon the American lines. He was getting closer to the portion of the lines occupied by fourth platoon. Not long now. The orange on the horizon was now distinct flames in the tree line behind the American trench. The whole forest was practically engulfed in flames, the product of errantly directed German artillery, by morning nothing would remain of the wooded meadow. The German counter assault was nearing, Uriel knew it just as well as all the other Americans in this trench. The time to kill or be killed was close and Uriel would be forced to fight like all the others. He knew he would survive, with the grace of God, of course, and live on to seek the power that could destroy the world. If he didn’t live, humanity was doomed to destruction, invariably by its own hand, the Arca had only to set things in motion. Judging from the carnage of the current war, that had already been done.

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