I'm a Writer, Musician, Husband and Father. I've worked in the real world and pursued music relentlessly for many years, before finally deciding to complete an idea I had many years ago. The result is self published E-Book, The Marie Celeste Dinner & Dance Club.
The Marie Celeste Dinner & Dance Club
This is a little story that links with Iago's Drive. I found the idea of the supporting characters of Angels and there interactions with the world and humanity interesting. All the descriptions of Angels are of a bunch of very powerful immortals, who are far from perfect (the fall of Lucifer/Satan for instance). There are also legends/myths/stories of the angels taking wives of "Man" and begetting children, who were the Nephilim. So, it made me wonder about this inhuman bunch of very powerful beings, who have been ordered to interact with humanity by God. Who's to say that they like what they do? Or enjoy the tasks laid upon them for eternity. From there, it was a small leap to want to explore the ideas about just what they do.
This has Moderate Language and no sex or violence.
I consider for a moment, reaching for my coffee, just how much I hate you all. I take a sip from my drink, watching the world hurry on by. You all just keep on walking past. Intent on your pointless, going nowhere lives. Focussed on deals that mean absolutely nothing, jobs that create nothing, acquiring possessions that are a waste of resources and energy. If only you knew. Almost everything that you think important. Everything that you aspire to achieve. None of it matters. Almost everything that you do is a complete waste, of the tiny amount of precious time that you have.
If only you knew. Just a small part of it. You'd maybe pay a little more attention to me. The average looking, nondescript gentlemen of indeterminate age, who walks amongst you every single day. I sit here, a tall Americano, no milk, no sugar, set on the table before me. Sat out front of a café, table for two but I sit alone; sun shade above to protect me from rain or sun. The café is very like myself. In almost every town, in every country all around the world, you will find at least one of these Cafés. They all sell coffee, tea and many other variations on a theme. Oh so many that you never new existed but your lunch time will never be complete with out. Frappucino any one? The only real difference that these million plus cafés have, the only meaningful difference as far as I can see, is that I'm sat at this one and not at any of the others. At least, for today.
I replace the large, off-white ceramic mug on the smoked glass table and reach for my cigarettes. White packet with red chevron across the top. A striking design. The meisterwerke of Frank's career. A shame it was a waste of time. I find it amazing how much effort humans put into selling ephemera to each other. The more useless the end result the more effort applied. You don't find highly paid teams of experts brainstorming ideas until they solve the problem of getting sanitation to all areas of the globe. Forgoing lunches and working weekends until every man, woman and child can crap safely. Now, if it means selling poison to people, telling them that it will kill them and still getting them to desire the product, then that is a completely different matter. I extract a king sized, filter tip cigarette from the meisterwerke and ignite it. With another masterful design. I marvel at the aroma of benzene that wafts to my nostrils and the satisfying click of metal as I close the lid, extinguishing the flame. Inhaling the smoke, I savour the taste and let my brain analyse the effects of the nicotine, as my body extracts it from the smoke that fills what would be my lungs. If I had any.
Frank. What a genius. I encountered Frank early in my work. As far as my work is concerned, he is a success as a human being. I've lost count of the number of humans I've assessed. I've lost track of how many days, weeks, months and years I've spent; sat watching and checking and challenging. It's only the last century or so that it's become more interesting. Also, with the advent of cigarettes and pavement cafés, the job has become less of a chore. Admittedly, if you cared to pop into Rouen, May 30th 1431, you'll find me loitering in the crowd, unnoticed, filter tip cigarette in hand. I may even have a take out Americano Tall. Just remember to recycle. If the weather is inclement, it has not been unknown for me to remove a silver plate hip flask, containing a nip of Jasper's, Lynchburg born, finest.
OK, I cheat. I like all the things that are bad for you. I drink. I smoke. In the past, or the future; I sometimes struggle with the human perception of time. In the past I have even been known to sample, any number of the many, mind altering substances that Humans have created, in order to alter how they see the world. I've never been quite sure what effect it is, that you all think you are achieving with these substances. Some of you believe that you are escaping reality. Others, that you are stripping away the barriers that prevent you from seeing reality. If only you knew.
I confess it. I do enjoy the little luxuries that you humans have managed to create for yourselves. I'm also superficial enough to be swayed by the wonders of design that you have concocted. I like the clean and bold lines, the red against the white. Minimalist. Sharp. At the moment anyway. My moods change. What doesn't change though is the simple pleasure I get from the little human comforts that I partake of. Why not? After all, try being on an extended field assignment, over a thousand years the last time I tried to work it out, without getting bored. Besides, I think I deserve a little treat every so often. Can you conceive of the tedium that accumulates over a millennia, spent day in and day out, studying a lesser life form?
I take another sip from my coffee. Savouring the bitterness, the dark tones that play over my tongue, that work so incredibly well with the taste of the cigarette. I'm not sure what God had in mind when he created the tobacco plant and the coffee bean but what you humans have managed to do with them is just miraculous. Hmmm, wash my mouth out.
A young human male hurries past, glancing in my direction. Taking me in, perhaps. Dismissive of what he sees. A nondescript, ordinary looking man. Well dressed in an unremarkable way. Smart suit, obviously tailored. I wear it well. I should do, as it doesn't actually exist. A construct. Something I created out of my essence. I've often heard humans say that a garment fitted like a second skin. In my case, it is my skin. Or as close to what passes for skin, in my case. If he only knew what I really look like. He would not be so quick to dismiss me. Thinking for a moment, I have to concentrate myself, to remember what my native form is. Over the millennia, I've taken on so many forms that I've lost count. I've been young, old, male and female. I've been black and white and all shades and shapes in between. In reality though, I'm tall. Very tall in human terms. In fact, as far as I'm aware, there has never been a human born, who grew to be as tall as I. My height, though, would not be the main talking point if I ever manifested myself. The big give away, which at this time and place is absolutely unthinkable, although it has been a useful thing in the past, are the wings.
They are magnificent. No false modesty. They are. I'm not unique, all the angels have them and they are, uniformly magnificent. I have been known to stand and laugh at the street preachers, stood in all weathers on their portable pulpits. “They Walk Amongst Us!” I have heard them call out. Yes, we do. Many of us. The Grigori. The Watchers. We walk amongst you and watch. As he walks on by, I watch the young man as he watches me. If he knew who I was and what I do, I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't look. He walks on and as he does so, I see his life as he lived it. Will live it. I see him as babe in arms, the young man who glanced so dismissively at me, an old man, face skeletal with decay and frame bent with the weight of age. I see his son, the life he will lead also. I see all that they will have done, all they will have touched. My fist clenches. I can feel time coalesce around me. The power, the energy. We stand on the edge of a perfect moment. I relax and the moment passes, as does the youth.
He was lucky. His son will get into a fight with another man. The other man will be taken to hospital and in the aftermath of the treatment, a relationship will be started that results in the birth of a very special child. Oh, not the Christ child but a child who grows up to be a journalist. Writes an article that saves a thousand lives. This youth walking past, his sole reason to exist is to father a boy who gets into a fight. That's my job. God is happy to provide you humans with free will and there is no predestination, as such. However, to those of us who exist outside of time, we can know the future. All possible futures. God is happy for people to be masters of their own destinies but he isn't happy with letting them sit around the place, wasting the precious few resources he gave to you. It wasn't always the case but as you progressed on your merry way through time, the amount of waste you left became apparent and something had to be done. Now. You may think of me as a judge. Assessing you for good and evil. That is not my job. I am not Lucifer. Oh, no. My job is merely to ensure that there is something for Lucifer to assess. Actually, Lucifer comes later. It's Me, then Azrael and then Lucifer.
For instance, Frank, the designer of the remarkable red and white cigarette logo. I dread to think of how many people have suffered and died as a result of his little bit of design work. It must be into the millions. Shocking really, but as an example of life that has influenced the wider world, a resounding success. It is not for me to judge what happens later. A priest walks by, a man of God. Apparently. He is unmarried, no children. I see his whole life. His line ends with him when he gets to the age of fifty six and suffered a massive heart attack. A side effect, coincidentally, of diseases he contracted after a life time of smoking cigarettes sold in a little red and white package. I see his sermons. All of them. I see the work he has tried to do for charity. He is, in my opinion, a good man. A good man who will live a wasted life. Nothing he will touch, nothing that he will do or say will have any effect on anyone else. He is a completely dead, space in time. I focus, just for a moment, time gathering around me once more. I reach out and like smoke, the man becomes slightly transparent and then dissipates gently with the breeze. He is not just gone, he never was. No one will miss him as he never existed.
I finish my coffee and stub out the remnants of my cigarette. The café fades and the street and all it's traffic are gone. I raise my right hand in a summoning gesture and a waiter appears with a very pleasant 2009 Haut Bailly Bordeaux. He fills the glass in front of me, like he believes he has done for the last hour. I remove a cigarette from the blue packet on the table. The one with the silhouette of a dancer and he produces a lighter from nowhere. “Merci Garçon.” I return my attention to the boulevard and all who pass.
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