Chapter 4

Seraphim and Cherubim

People think it's some kind of myth or fairytale that angels live up in the clouds, but it's not really that far off.  The clouds are like floating continents of land that the weightless angels retreat to when the pains of the world overwhelm them.  They don't feel the wind, the cold, or the sun.  They bask in the radiant warmth of the big guy.  They come up here for a reason.  See, when you die and become an angel, it's like you can see for the first time.  You have perfect knowledge.  You know how much agony and anguish people really have to deal with.  Even your worst enemies' lives become clear to you.  You understand the things that have twisted them and made them hate.  You can't help but pity them and you yearn to help them, but you can't.  Everyone has to find their own way while they're alive.  The new angels, the cheribum, are brought up here to give them some distance from the living for a while, to gain some perspective.  They stay and learn from the older angels, the seraphim, about the rules, about free will, and about Fravashi and his kind. When they understand, the cherubim become seraphim themselves, and begin their work. 

Fravashi was walking among a large gathering of angels on the western edge of an alto-cumulus cloud formation over central Africa.  Larger populations of angels tended to gather at the cloud edges since the view was so spectacular.  Listening to the seraphim and cherubim around him discuss life and truth reminded him of his early days as an angel.  Back then, everything was simple and elegant and beautiful.  That was before he had become involved in Heavenly politics and been given this job.

As Fravashi was looking down at the Earth's surface, a lower level cloud formation began to approach from the southwest.  He could barely see the multitude of angels on it, going about their business.  Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions on that one cloud bank alone.  On the Earth, there was roughly an equal number of angels to living things, but up here, there were many, many times more.  There aren't too many ways an angel can go away.  The most common is voluntary.  If they wish, they can attach their life force to a new living thing.  Fravashi had heard rumors that the seraphim that had guided him, and taught him for many years had returned to Earth and given life to a sycamore tree.  Some return fairly quickly by angel standards.  Hindus and a few others are driven very strongly to return.  Reincarnation they call it.  When you've been an angel long enough, the tiny fraction of your existence that you spend alive in the world becomes a faint memory.  Very few angels can even remember what their name was. 

The only other way an angel can leave, Fravashi knew only too well.  They could break the rules, upset the natural order.  It broke his heart every time he had to send an angel to Hell.  Hell is one of the few things that most angels don't know much about, even Fravashi, but he knew more than most.  Hell is ignorance, fear, hate, and hopelessness.  In the world, people get a good taste of these kinds of things, but in Hell they're pure, and they're eternal, and there's nothing else.

The End

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