The Pain of One

Isaiah looked out for most of the day from the balcony of Elizabeth’s penthouse, his wings safely placed into his back. He stared curiously at the cars, buses and bikes in the streets below. All moving at a steady pace in organised lines. They all seemed to be conducted by three lights placed on a large black post on the pavement. When the red light flared the cars stopped, when it changed to green they all began to move again. “Fascinating.”  

  “What’s fascinating?” Elizabeth asked as she appeared next to him.

  “Humans are fascinating, unbelievably pointless, but fascinating.”

  “Wow, the whole of human existence on this planet just described as pointless by a messenger from god. Call the Vatican immediately.” She said derisively.

  “I know how you....”

  “Why do you have six wings?” cut in Elizabeth. Isaiah looked at her and smiled.

  “I am a Seraphim angel my lady, me and my family have six wings, while all angels below us only have two.” Isaiah explained. He had assumed that many humans wouldn’t recognise his species of angels. It was true he had six wings that extended from the length of his spine.

  “Don’t call me that.” Said Elizabeth frowning. “Call me Ellie, everyone else does.”

  “Ellie,”

  “You look confused.”

          “Confused?” Isaiah said looking at her, she raised an eyebrow at him and laughed slightly.

  “Yeh, like you don’t understand something.” She said slowly.

  “Oh,”

  “You’re not that bright are you?” Observed Elizabeth smiling. “And you haven’t thanked me.”

  “Thanked you for what?”

  “For not giving the police your description.” She said moving and sitting in the living room.

  “You did give the police my description.” Isaiah said following her.

  “Yeh, defiantly not that bright.” She said under her breath. “I said you were blonde and five nine, you’re a brunette around six one.”

  “I am?”

  “You don’t even know what you look like.” Elizabeth said looking sceptical. Isaiah shook his head.

  “The lord lets us know what we need to know, nothing more.”

  “That must suck.” She said resting her head on her elbow. “Always being told what you need to know when you need to know it.”

  “I know no other way, and I never will.”

          “Tell me something, how do you know what you told me about my mother and father?” She said looking at him thoughtfully.

  “We angels always have a connection to the Kingdom; we can see it when we close our eyes,” Isaiah said shutting his eyelids gently. The huge golden light shone down on the colossal city that sat on the gentle white clouds. “I can hear the prayers of people, people down on earth, prayers to god, and prayers... to relatives.”

  “Ah,” Elizabeth said biting her lip. Isaiah opened his eyes and looked at her. “Is the Kingdom what you call Heaven?”

  “Yes.”

  “And my parents are there.”

  “Yes.” Said Isaiah plainly. Elizabeth exhaled deeply and wiped her eye with her cuff. “So how can you lift everything in the room?”

  “I don’t know myself, Seraphim angels have slight control over things in the Kingdom. We can manipulate it slightly to do our bidding. But here,” he said pointing at a small velvet box on the coffee table. It floated into the air and then broke apart into its component parts. A golden necklace hovered between the pieces of velvet and the small screws. “All I have to do is imagine something, and it happens.”

          “It’s like the force.” Said Elizabeth smiling. Isaiah looked at her feeling confused. “The force,” she emphasised. “It’s off of a film called Star Wars. People can move and influence stuff with their mind.”

  “The force,” he said raising his eyebrows. “The force.” Elizabeth laughed loudly. “What’s amusing?”

  “You’re like a child,” she said smiling.

  “How so?”

  “You find everything to do with us mesmerizing; you don’t understand how we live on this planet. That’s strange; I thought you would know quite well. You’re always looking down at us from heaven.”

  “Humans and angels may have the almighty’s body, aside from our wings, but there our similarities end. Angels and humans cannot be any more different.”

  “I don’t think so.” Said Elizabeth.

  “You seem to have forgiven me for killing the sinner.”

  “What that guy that attacked me,” she said. “No I haven’t, you still shouldn’t have killed him,”

  “I had no choice in the matter,” said Isaiah.

          “Don’t give me that! You made a choice to kill, you chose to impale him on that sword you carry with you. You chose to commit a sin.” Spat Elizabeth.

  “I had no choice in the matter,” Isaiah repeated. “It was god’s will.”

  “Do not justify yourself by saying it was god’s will, do you know how many people have died in the name of god angel?” she demanded.

  “All were sinners,” he began.

  “NO!” she yelled. “Not all were sinners! Many were innocent men, women and children murdered because they did not believe in your god!” Elizabeth’s eyes were burning with rage. “If it is god’s will then why do so many children in third world countries die every day! A church roof once fell on the group of people praying inside, was that god’s will!”

  “Everything in this world is controlled; nothing happens by chance, everything is his will.”

  “So if I run, now, and jump out of that window and kill myself. Is that god’s will?”

  “Yes.”

  “No! That is my will! I chose which direction I go in my life, I choose whether I live or die. Not god.”

          Elizabeth finally stopped yelling and lounged back into her seat. In her fury she had thrown herself from her chair and stood looking down at him. Isaiah stared at the teenage girl that he was sent to help and protect. A new feeling raised its ugly head in his body; he wished so much to be like her. To choose ones decisions for himself, to decide what he does from day to day. He wanted to be like her, wanted to be her. Pushing down the emotion he coughed and stood. “You can deny gods powers all you like, but he is always with you my la...Ellie.” Isaiah walked to the balcony and looked back at Elizabeth. “I will return later tonight, my name is Isaiah not angel.”

  “Angels have names now?” said Elizabeth softly.

  “Of course, Gabriel wasn’t his nick name.” Said Isaiah. Elizabeth chuckled for a reason that escaped Isaiah. He cracked open his wings and flew to the roof of the Savoy.

          There he sat, cross legged on a cold air conditioning machine. He closed his eyes and he felt his consciousness glide upwards towards the heavens. “Hello brother,” Isaiah snapped open his eyes and saw his six brothers and sisters. They were each sat in a part of a huge circle, all cross legged. Isaiah found this mental palace uncontrollably uncomfortable, there was no wind, no air, just a mass of swirling colour.

  “Brothers, sisters.” Isaiah said nodding his head in a greeting.

  “Have you found a person to protect yet brother Isaiah?” Asked Tien.

  “Yes, a young girl called Elizabeth Barb. I found her two days ago.” He replied smiling.

  “Trust the youngster to protect a child,” Said Raphael.

          “The orders said nothing about the gender or age of the human Brother Raphael, Ellie is in as much need as anyone else.” Said Isaiah shifting in his seat.

  “Ellie?” they all chanted. Tien looked at him dead in the eyes.

  “Do not become attached to this human Brother Isaiah,”

  “You know we cannot form attachments Sister Tien,” Angelle defended.

  “I do not mean emotional attachments,” Tien said staring stone faced at Isaiah.  “Do not let this human get fully dependent on you Brother.”

  “There is no worry about that; she has a far too strong personality for that.” Said Isaiah defensively. What little form of expression Tien had before, dropped from her face.

  “Brothers, sisters, leave us.” She said sternly.

  “Yes sister Tien.” Each of them chanted. They all suddenly disintegrated into the mass of swirling colour that surrounded them. For several long minutes the two angels just looked at each other, judging the other silently.

  “They follow your orders now sister Tien?” Isaiah finally asked.

  “I am second in command here brother.” Answered Tien quickly.

          “I fear about you brother,” she said leaning forward. “I do not want you to get too close to humans.”

  “Are you forgetting sister that I am the leader of this mission?” Isaiah asked sharply.

  “I am questioning whether you are mature enough to lead us, little brother.” Said Tien standing. Isaiah jumped from his seat and walked towards her.

  “What is it you are questioning, my mind or my competence?”

  “Both. Brothers sisters please return.” The five angels appeared from the colour all stood around them in a circle. “The lord has informed me that you need to be relieved of your duties and will be taken up to the Kingdom immediately. Are we together on this point angels?”

  “Yes sister Tien,” they all chanted.

  “You are to leave this girl and return to the ascension point in Africa immediately. I will take control of this mission.” Tien said coldly.

  “Is this how you all feel brothers and sisters?” Isaiah asked looking at each of his siblings. Their divine faces were hard and cold, nothing like Elizabeth’s which was warm, soft and full of feeling. Angelle and Ariel avoided his gaze, but the others just stared back at him.

          “This is for your own safety brother Isaiah,” said Angelina loudly. Isaiah felt a devastating feeling hit him in the stomach. One he didn’t recognise, like so many others, and like the others this one he didn’t like. “Angels cannot get involved to deeply with humans, you know why.”

  “No, because they are not too different to us.” Said Isaiah quoting Elizabeth.

  “We are two completely different beings, we have nothing in common with these people.” Said Malak forcefully.

  “I feel sorry for you Malak, we could learn something from these people, we really could.” Isaiah said looking back at Tien.

  “How can we learn from these people?” Raphael tore. “They are violent, aggressive, barbaric, un-logical.”

  “Were we so different?” what tension was in the area suddenly grew, his siblings seemed to freeze in place. Living statues.

  “You are too young to remember the war boy. This is the problem with the new generations they expect us to remember the past.” Said Angelina quietly, judgingly.

  “I do not wish you to remember it; I merely wish you would acknowledge it.”

          “Leave now brother Isaiah,” ordered Tien. No, he thought to himself, but the idea was immediately dismissed. He felt himself sink through the floor and he snapped his eyes open. A freezing nights wind hit his cheek like a brick. The skin tingled and he looked on, confused, as his hairs stuck themselves on end. Confusion. Isaiah liked this emotion. To name a feeling when he didn’t understand something, everything. So many unknown feelings and emotions ere swimming around inside him, it was hard to tell one from another. He sighed and looked at the moon and the stars above the streets of London. Only a day had passed with Elizabeth, and yet she had made such a huge impact on him, it felt wrong to leave her so soon.  I could go back and tell them I will let Tien lead, as long as I could stay. But that thought was soon rammed from his head, No it is god’s will for me to leave. So I must. He jumped from the air conditioner and inhaled a deep breath of cool midnight air. More small cracks lined the tile around his feet as he jumped from the top of the building onto the balcony.

  “You’re going to have to fix that.” Her voice said as it drifted through the open door. Isaiah looked into the living room and saw Elizabeth curled up on the sofa watching the large television screen.      

            Isaiah walked into the living room as the tiles began to fix themselves under his feet. “I need to go,” he said quickly.

  “Go then.” She said looking at him as if he had just said something stupid.

  “I’m not coming back.”

  “Breaking news!” the television blurted. “New video evidence of the seven comets seen flying over Italy.” The scarlet haired news reporter that Isaiah had first seen appeared on the screen again. “Good evening, it’s eleven o’clock and I’m Fiona Bruce. An expert in video and camera analysis has taken the video from the first sighting of the seven comets and has analysed it to great extent, we now join Phil Johnson who is stood with this analyst, doctor Richard Gaunt, outside the natural history museum in London.” A picture of a young man with spiky hair holding an umbrella appeared on the screen.

  “Good evening, the heavens have opened over us here in London and not a more appropriate weather as the views from this video are certainly chilling.

          “I am joined here by a retired criminal video analysis doctor Richard Gaunt, doctor,” said the young reporter turning to an old wrinkled man with silver locks of curly hair. “How did you find this video?”

  “I discovered that before the video was handed to the press the young men in question had uploaded the video onto YouTube where it got nearly one million hits in the first week.” Said doctor Gaunt in a deep voice.

  “And am I too understand you used to work on video surveillance for the Metropolitan police service.” Asked Phil.

  “That is true so I am used to working with very low quality videos.”

  “Ok please talk us through this video.” The video of the young drunk Italians appeared on the screen, but this time the video was far crisper and much more clear.

  “Here is the first moment when you see the objects,” the doctors voice said over the video. “And here,” he said pausing the video just as it saw seven large white objects above them. “This is the moment when the seven objects passed over their heads the closest they get. Now if we zoom in,” the image zoomed in onto Isaiah’s light. “And darken.”

          The frozen picture darkened and a clear shape of a human body with six dark wings was clearly visible in the mass of white light. “An image appears, we do not yet know what this is. Each object has the same bodily shape and the same so called ‘wings’ above them.”

  “Could these objects be what we think they could be?”

  “It will take further examination of the videos, but many religious people have started to call these objects the Septimus Angels.” Elizabeth gasped and looked to where Isaiah was standing, but all she saw were three white glowing feathers floating lightly to the floor. A loud boom over head and Isaiah had left. He could see her in his mind running out onto the balcony looking for him. Isaiah treasured the picture of her face, so pure, so...angelic.

The End

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