Demon Lu-cedric motioned for his partner, Lu-seth, to come closer. He whispered an order, “Lu-seth, keep the ’el busy. I’ve got some setting up to do.”
Lu-seth didn’t like being ordered around. “Maybe I’ve got some setting up to do too,” he told Lu-cedric.
Lu-cedric growled, “Look, you idiot. Keep the ’el busy. If she follows me she might try to stop me.”
“All right, all right. You don’t have to get snotty,” Lu-seth mumbled.
Lu-seth called Andri-el to distract her attention away from Anna or Lu-cedric, “Hey you ’el. You’re being mighty quiet. Are you asleep?” He laughed to taunt her even more. He knew her arrogance was just a front. He was certain that deep down inside she secretly feared him.
“Anna sleeps,” Andri-el answered. “All is well.”
“You really wish that were true, don’t you? You’re just an overgrown puff of wind, with an over-inflated ego. These poor people you pretend to protect can’t even see you, and if they could, they would tell you to leave them alone.”
Andri-el stayed quiet in the face of his ridicules. This made Lu-seth angry.
“Where’s your sense of humor, you ’el? Lighten up, why don’t you?” Lu-seth laughed at his own joke. “Lighten up. Ha-ha. I should write some of these down. I must have missed my calling as a comedian.”
Andri-el still kept quiet, making Lu-seth even angrier. Apparently she didn’t think his jokes were funny.
He tried a different tactic, throwing a fiery dart at her from behind. She easily deflected the dart with her sword without even appearing to try.
“At least you’re paying attention, I’ll give you that much credit,” Lu-seth told Andri-el. Looking down, he could see the train pulling away from the Mobile train station. He knew it wouldn’t be long now before the dominos that he and Lu-cedric were setting into place started to fall down – just a little while longer.
“Watching over Anna seems to be a little boring tonight, isn’t it?” he taunted the angel. “Besides, what could happen to her while she’s asleep – fall out of her seat and bruise her noggin? Take a break for a few minutes, why don’t you? Go check in with the Big Boss. Maybe He’s got something more important for you to do while she’s sleeping. Maybe you can write some songs, or polish some gold streets, or something.”
Just the thought of this lofty ’el doing menial tasks made him laugh again. Still she ignored his taunts.
“See if this gets your attention,” he threatened, throwing a fiery dart at the train engine. With deadly intent and accuracy, it streaked through the night sky toward the lead diesel engine.
Andri-el leaped into action, deflected the dart, and smacked Lu-seth with her sword, all in one smooth motion.
“Thou shalt not harm my Anna,” Andri-el commanded with power and authority.
His arm burned where her sword struck it, although there appeared to be no real wound. He cowered with fear behind a tree. “OK, OK. What did you do that for? I was just testing you. I wasn’t really going to let it get all the way to the train,” he lied. “Besides, you heard what the Big Boss told my boss – ‘Have you considered my daughter Anna?’ If I can’t get close how can I consider her?”
Andri-el answered, “You lie. He commanded you ‘Do not consider my daughter Anna.’ You have no right to get close to her. Be gone, you creature of darkness.”
“Look around, sister,” Lu-seth sneered with murder in his voice. “It is dark.”
With sudden courage and bravery that surprised even himself, he flew straight toward Andri-el and yanked her sword out of its holder. The handle burned his hands but he didn’t let go. The sword was heavy. He started to wonder how she wielded it so easily. He had never held an ’el’s sword before. He could feel the power and majesty that dwelt in it. He stood and pointed it at Andri-el, considering what his next move should be.
Strange thoughts began entering his mind – thoughts that had never been there before. He started to consider the error of his ways. He saw evil as dark and unwholesome. He saw the way of goodness as something to be desired. Suddenly God was not to be avoided, but rather obeyed.
For some reason that he couldn’t quite figure out, Andri-el simply stood still and let him continue holding the sword, showing absolutely no fear. She started to smile, and then to laugh.
“It was not what you thought it would be, is it little fellow?” she asked. “In the darkness was seen a great light.”
Lu-cedric reappeared on the scene and immediately kicked the ‘el’s sword out of Lu-seth’s hands, sending it plummeting toward the train. “You idiot, what were you doing with that? Don’t you know its poison for a Lu’ to hold the sword of an ’el? Look at your hands.”
Andri-el easily caught the sword and stored it back in the holder on her belt.
Lu-seth was quiet, almost in a daze, as conflicting thoughts of evil and good waged war for control of his mind. With the sword no longer in his hands, he chose the evil thoughts to win. “She tricked me,” he lied. “She threw that sword at me, trying to kill me. I had to catch it out of self defense.”
“Yeah, right, you liar,” Lu-cedric laughed in unbelief.
“I was just about to use it against her, to kill her with her own sword,” he boasted. “I would have, too, if you hadn’t kicked it out of my hands.”
“Get a grip on yourself, stupid. If I hadn’t kicked it out of your hands you would already be dead,” Lu-cedric informed him. “I saved your miserable life, you useless piece of filth.”
“I’ll have you know, I had everything under control before you came along,” Lu-seth told him. “You interfered and ruined my chance to destroy that ’el.”
“That’s why the ’el was laughing at you, I suppose,” Lu-cedric sneered.
Lu-seth tried to change the subject. “Is everything in place?”
“Shut up, stupid. Do you want the ’el to hear you?”
“Well, is it?”
“Like clockwork, of course. All of the pieces are falling into place.”
“Let’s go watch.”
They both left Andri-el and the train, and went to watch the barge unknowingly lumber up the wrong channel in the fog.