Friday, September 9, 2011
Snow had fallen for several days in a row, without breaks in the weather pattern, piling on new layers of fresh powder every hour until it covered the wooden steps leading up to the porch of the old cabin in the woods. This was the first snowfall in over twenty years and weathermen were visually perplexed, even though they continued to power through the forecast as best they could. The reality was that there was no explanation. Even if one presented itself, it would only be localized to the surrounding area. It could not possibly provide a logical enough reason for why the snow event covered the entire country, slowly spreading in every direction as the days pressed on. Outside the cabin, the snow had covered every sign of man made progress, the gravel road leading to the Cabin, the Oldsmobile buried out front, the favored wicker chair encased inside an igloo of snowflakes on the porch. Inside the cabin, however, an old dust laden machine hummed. Once, this machine created life from the tiniest molecule, its mission to breathe life into a lost love, to restore what was right in a world that had wronged its designer. It had failed. It had not lived up to the design its maker had given the better half of his life to. But its efforts did not go unnoticed...
Outside the old Cabin, a few feet from where the porch steps lay buried in snow, a warmth swarmed around the frozen tundra, melting it down, inch by inch, revealing the frozen carcass of a man, dressed in a white smock, whose hand lay over his chest petrified into a fist. Snow had preserved most of the body with only a few signs of decomposition around the face, where hungry wildlife tasted flesh, still salty from tears. The man's eyes were opened, two clear orbs of deep regret stared straight up to the heavens, forever trapped in whatever final thought that crossed his mind the moment of his passing. A warm gentle hand lay against the corpse chest, consoling the trapped soul inside, speaking through the darkness of its demise, reaching out for the lingering life present, but caught between this world and the next. The aura surrounding the being was a vibrant prism of color that appeared to pulsate, which, if looked upon through a telescope, would have been seen as a kaleidoscopic explosion of color and shapes. It was never easy to look upon the grace of an Angel, especially when it did not desire to be seen.
The Angel lifted its free hand to the sky, snowflakes turned to ice chips around its glow, and uttered two words that resonated through the gates of Saint Peter, echoing throughout the embodiment of Lazarus and the whole kingdom of Heaven. The Angel whispered; "Remember me." The chest of the corpse rose and fell as though that final breath, the vessel in which the spirit leaves the body, was finally allowed to exhale; but, instead of leaving the realm of the living, the soul returned to the body and the man was once again alive. The man lifted up from his snowy grave, looked around for a moment, and then faced the Angel kneeling next to him.
"Because, Professor, your purpose has become far greater a need than your death."
"Are you the Angel of Death?"
"No. I am someone who requires your unique approach to an ideal that has long been lost to the rest of the world."
The Professor mulled this over, his attention now on his cabin, partially consumed by the biggest snow he had ever seen or known of. He did not have to ask why or know how this had happened, suspecting a similar event to occur years before, during his first testing of his machine...his machine?
"An ideal lost to the world, you mean HOPE?"
"Yes. Your machine, as well as your brilliant mind, Professor, is of great need to a cause that I can not begin to fully explain its importance and prevalence."
"But, HOPE still needs work. It failed...
"Failure is just another means to succeed the next time round. Now, please, we must go."
"No!" The Professor said, rolling away from the Angel and getting to his feet. "I cannot. I...will not."
The Angel moved swiftly, like a sudden wind gust that discombobulates one's balance momentarily, its glow dispersing the snow around it and shaking the Professor's core with its aggressive grip around his dampened smock.
"Your selfishness has always lead to your failure, Professor. Your life is precious to me, but do not think for a moment that I will not put you back form whence you came and do so far more inhumanly than just laying down to die like a rabid dog!"
If the man was anything, he was fearless. The Angel's anger did not phase him, standing his ground and even trying to push back.
"I was prepared to die before you Angel! Do your worse, but I will not break."
The professor felt his chest cave, his heart struggled to beat as though it were being bound by chains. The Angel had taken hold of his black heart, squeezing it, contemplating crushing it in its hand. It then released the Professor, who fell to his knees at the Angel's feet, struggling to regain his breath.
"No. You will not break, will you. Your efforts with Jocelyn, before and after her death, have left you marred. If I told you that you and your machine could save humanity from a certain hell, you would continue to stand your ground, wouldn't you? Perhaps you need more than words. Perhaps you need tangible means to force your self hate aside for the greater good. Behold, Professor, the truth to your new life."
The Angel placed his hand flat across the Professor's face. The world was now a canvas of hot white nothingness, and then the visions slammed against his consciousness. His knees buckled under him, never feeling the crush of the frozen mud against his kneecaps. He was propelled through a series of places, some filled with demons, lashing out at people, ripping flesh from their bones, consuming them like sheep. Some were empty graveyards, lifeless churches hung in the background like long abandoned pyramids in a desolate wasteland of skulls and bones. The final vision was of a single long grave, far removed from the others in the graveyard, set aside where only those who knew it was there could see. The image expanded closer as his head smashed against the grey and chipped concrete, the words close enough now that even in the dark grey sky were easily seen. The words INRI branded his subconscious mind. When he was once again with the Angel, his eyes flowed freely, bleeding the hurt and pain in the form of black tears that stained the ground at his feet. The emotions passed, helped to his feet by the Angel.
"Now do you see?"
The severity settled and the scientist returned. He nodded and walked towards his cabin, the snow melting around him as subtle improvements to his machine already flooded his mind.
"There is much work to be done." He said opening the door to the cabin.
The Angel turned, looking to the cold grey sky. It had begun to snow again, thick heavy flakes drifted down over him. One snowflake passed through the glow and touched the Angel's face, settling for a moment and melting into oblivion.
TALES FROM A MOTEL
HELL HAS FINALLY FROZE OVER. 9/15/2011
Posted by Atypical Scott at 8:32 AM