Sunday, 4:03 am . . .
I sit up suddenly, with that nervous feeling that somebody is watching me. I see a black form in front of me. And it’s not a shadow.
He glances around, “Do you know any other Angels?”
Sarcasm, I say. I thought that was a human thing.
“We need to talk, Jack.”
I don’t want to wake-up Angela, I say.
“Who?” he says, looking around the twisted bedroom.
I glance to my left, “Oh. We’re there.”
He nods, “Come on,” and turns, walking towards the living room.
I follow like the lemming I’ve become. We get in, and he’s standing at the corner, where a couch would normally be, staring out past the balcony. I see a few flying monsters out near the edge of the horizon, and it bothers me. It means this boundary place that I’m in isn’t just me and the angel chewing the fat.
There’s others here.
Dangerous things I can’t predict.
Without turning to look at me, he says, “You have to go to South America.”
I know. We’re already making plans. We’ve been tapping the Vatican. We’ll probably be leaving tomorrow or Monday.
He’s quiet for a moment, his hands clasped behind his back, “This is a very dangerous undertaking.”
I’m thinking, that’s the understatement of the century.
“Yeah,” I tell him. “I’m going to be real careful.”
“Careful might not be enough. You must use every weapon at your disposal. You must kill them, Jack.”
“I will,” I tell him, still unsure about the actual killing part of the equation. “So, after I kill them, that’s that . . . right?”
“No,” he says as he turns to face me. “That’s not the end of it, at all.”
What is it, then? Some kind of ritual I’ve got to perform?
He nods slowly, and then he proceeds to explain to me the way in which I am to take the Evils back to the Land of Sorrows. The whole time, he’s pretty much talking, and I’m pretty much holding my chin from falling out onto the cold grey floor. He goes on and on, until he’s quite certain I get it.
Oh, I get it. I can’t possibly do it, but I get it.
Don’t you have shadowy monsters bred and trained for just this type of thing?
“It’s got to be you, Jack. Only you. And you must do it quickly . . . when you have your chance.”
Look, I tell this large angelic form . . . I don’t know if you remember or not, but I’m the sucker that screwed up the universal order. It’s me, the braniac that got chumped into freeing evil upon the earth. That’s me.
Certainly there have to be more capable beings than me. More qualified staff. Really, if you think about it . . . I’m like the ginormous ignoramus of all time. So, what you have to ask yourself is, do you really want a half-tard like me tasked with something this important?
He looks down on me, this Angel of Darkness and cold and flying beasts, and his face becomes stern, “It has to be you.”
I do something between a disgusted sigh and a frustrated hiss. I was tricked into being a savior, then they tell me I’m not anything like a savior, and to get my salvation I have to become a savior again. How ridiculous is this?
“You are not the person you don’t remember being,” he says.
Oh, that’s lucid.
Then he gets this sideways kind of grin, his head tilting back as he folds his arms across the front of his black cloak. “Those detective novels you read . . . what’s the hero’s name, again?”
One, I don’t like the idea of you spying on me. Two, his name is Detective Todd Steele. And D, I don’t like the idea of you spying on me.
He laughs quietly to himself.
“Seriously, dude, you can’t be watching me like that. I need my privacy. I give you guys enough of my life, already.” And the whole time all I’m really thinking is, I hope he doesn’t know about my aromatherapy soaps. The last thing I need is the entire underworld crowd snickering behind my back, making gay jokes and other feminine sounding jabs.
“Todd Steele,” he says, raising his voice above my protestations, “ . . . he never complains about the predicaments he finds himself in. He doesn’t whine about the odds . . . ”
That’s not fair. You’re comparing me to some fictional character. A super detective.
“ . . . Todd Steele doesn’t complain that maybe he’s not the right guy for the job.”
This angel, I think he reads Todd Steele novels when he’s not keeping the forces of evil at bay, or badgering me. He’s a closet fan.
“ . . . and he never wants others to clean up his mistakes. He takes responsibility for his actions. If he brakes something he fixes it.”
I am not Todd Steele!
“No, you’re not,” Uriel says as he steps closer to me. “He’s a fictional character that lives in mass market paperbacks. You are Jack Pagan. And you will rise to this occasion.”
This Uriel, he’s good.
“Fine!” I snap. “But stay out of my bathroom. That’s me time, alright.” And then I turn and walk back to my bedroom so that I can wake-up next to the most beautiful creature on earth.