I hurry to kneel by Greenwich trying to calm him. Someone might come to check what’s going on.
“Shush now.” I say and kneel beside the bed grabbing his hand. The soft restraints around his bandaged wrists will keep me safe enough.
“You know.” He sniffs. “You saw it, you know.”
I’m sure I look confused. “What?”
“We will burn. All of us.” He whispers.
I stare into Greenwich’s eyes. Is there something more than the madness? Is there truth?
“The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and the sun scorched them with fire and pain. They burned and cursed… They cursed upon the name of God! He who is the master of these plagues. They refused to repent! They refused to glorify his holy name.” He whispers, terrified.
I stare at him stunned. There’s no way he could know.
“You’ve seen it.” He insists squeezing my hand.
“Yes.” I finally say.
“They told me how to get the wings, that I would need twenty-two pair to get into heaven.”
“Twenty-two children?” I whisper horrified.
“I only needed two more pair. Don’t you see? I was saving them, they wouldn’t burn. The angels never burned, not even the most wicked of them all.”
“But is he not an Angel? Was he not the bringer of Light? He chose man! That was his sin! He chose the flesh and not the spirit! But nothing lasts forever, not even the punishment of God.” Tears fill his eyes.
I would love to spend more time, figuring out what he saw in his vision, it could be a clue! But I don’t have the time, I simply don’t.
“Where are the others? Where are the other wings?” I ask gently.
“Tell me it was true… tell me the wings will get me in.” He begins to get upset again.
“The only thing you’ve ever needed to get into heaven is to accept Jesus. Harold, that’s it, that’s always been the ticket in.” At least, that’s the common belief.
“No, no I’m too dirty, don’t you see? I try to get the sin out, I prayed, I was devout. But I won’t get in.”
“Why not? Why can’t you get in without the wings?”
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
“And which one are you Harold? What crime against God did you commit?”
He licks his lips slowly. “I try not to do it, I try not to.” He whispers low, eyes wide.
“Okay, okay.” I nod. “What did you do?” I noticed murderer wasn’t on his list.
“If a man lies with a man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
“You’ve been with a man before?”
He stares at me, eyes brimming with tears.
“I try not to.” He whispers painfully.
“I know… I know.”
“And one night the world started burning in my dreams and I knew then that we were at our end. They are pure, they can get me in… you can get me in.” He raises his head from the bed, his clammy skin glistening in the sunlight, desperation and madness filling his eyes.
“The sin… it’s still inside of me.” He whispers harshly. “You can make him understand I don’t want it! I didn’t want to… but… but… I couldn’t help it.”
“Is that… is that why you wanted to see me? To get you into heaven?”
“Speak my name to him, tell him of my remorsefulness, beseech him to speak my name to the up high and give me redemption!”
“Who can Harold?! Who?”
“He who caused the fall! He who seeks to rise again! He who will be heard once more.” He squeezes my hand… “Azazel.”
My phone starts to beep, ten minutes is up.
“Tell me where the wings are Harold.” My voice sounds frantic even to my own ears.
“You promise to tell him! Beseech him on my behalf?!”
“I promise.” I don’t know what he’s going on about, I don’t know an angel of God, a fallen one or not. But I need to find the other children so I will give him whatever reassurances he needs. He can sort it out with Jesus later. I am far too comfortable with lying.
“My grandmother’s house… there is an abandoned barn five miles east, I keep the wings there. Hurry they will fly any moment now.” I let go of his hand standing again.
I move quickly to the door.
“You must save her, or you must kill her.”
I turn back to Harold, inhaling sharply. His eyes seem so clear, but there’s no way he could know about my vision. No way.
“Who is she?” I whisper harshly.
“She is the beginning, she is the end, she is the Goddess of the between. She is his perfect daughter. She is the true reflection of all that we are.”
“All of who?”
“Us… she is all of us.”
My phone beeps faster, I turn off the alarm quickly and check the hall. All seems clear and I step out of his room.
No sound of alarm, I hurry to lock the door again. Smith and Anderson step from the interview room as soon as I turn away.
“I will return with the special access form! I cannot believe this!” Smith rages at Anderson. Distracting him so I can take the few steps to seem like I’m coming from the restroom. Smith is good at this spy shit.
“Sir as I’ve explained…”
“I will have your plastic badge for this!”
Smith turns sharply. “Come Thompson.”
I hurry to fall in line, giving Anderson a pitying look.
Anderson leads us back through the hospital to the first area where Smith checked his gun in. I try to keep calm, doing my best not seem agitated as I wait. I need through this gate, I need out now!
Things go off without a hitch and we get back into the SUV. I grab the file on Greenwich immediately.
“A barn somewhere near his grandmother’s house.”
Smith flips on the lights and off we go. I scan through the file looking for the background information of Greenwich’s family.
I find it and give Smith the address, it’s in northern Virginia, thirty minutes away.
Smith pulls his cell phone out.
“You don’t want to check it out before calling in the Calvary?”
He connects the call, “Special Agent Andrew Smith, ID number 5287. I need a full unit, EMTs, send the Squad to…” I give him the address quickly, he repeats it to them.
“Be advised, children suspected on property, status unknown.” He hangs up the phone and puts the pedal to the metal.