You go back to the bar and Mercedes is waiting for you. Not usual. Usual is the other way around. But she is there, green eyes shining in the early evening neon.
More not usual, she takes your hand and asks you to walk a while, she wants to talk and not fight the competing crowd noises nor share her message with eavesdroppers.
Walking the loop on this late autumn evening, breeze chilling off, no clouds but few stars able to penetrate the city’s glow, her copper blonde hair wafts, fewer and fewer people needing to be navigated through. Should be romantic. Isn’t.
She talks about things that seem at first to not register with you. Words come in, no thoughts bubble up. Stunned? Maybe. She talks stunning ideas. But, you find it is more like you are settling into the night, finally where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there. Right moment. Right circumstance. Everything fitting, the puzzle solved.
Comes the moment when she stops, turns, gathers every bit of your attention, “do you see it?” she asks.
When you answer it is as if you are watching yourself answer. You say “yes, I see!” and note the smile that blossoms in her eyes, the grin that supports the smile, the joy that forms the grin. “An ally is what you need and I am your man.”
Her smile broadens till there is no further room for expansion. “I know you are.”
“The other sides are not going to be happy about this.”
“No, they are not.” Now the two of you become imps, mischievous, self-satisfied. You mimic a reel, hands joined above head, hands on waists, spinning in dance. People watch, think they are watching young love, and they smile. A night for smiles.
“Little time to prepare,” she sings across the dance.
“A time for every season,” you reply, relishing the sound of the words,, the meter, the feel, how the source never anticipated their use in this context.
“And Clarke’s Law,” you add and now you are laughing. This is going to be fun.
Dangerous, of course, but this will place you in the middle of ‘why’ and what more can you ask?
August 31st, 2003, 02:34 PM
I listen to his denial and smile “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passions. Sure you won’t have a drink on me, for you are one of the three. I see it. Plain. Doomed like me to raise hell, sorry to stop the rising of hell, but can you it comes in the air. By just my touching you cogs are turning. Horsemen are readying their steeds and the night will get colder..
But he no longer hears or sees me and time slips on, the days grow shorter, time grows shorter. Pale horseman you are thundering now. I need a drink and to see through others eyes. I return to the bar, enter and sink onto a stool my eyes hollow pits, reflecting hell’s coming.
September 1st, 2003, 04:24 AM
I stumble on, time has lost meaning and the stain is growing. Where did I go wrong, this was not part of the plan, I was to watch, nothing more. But now they have the key and I have indicted myself on charges against the Host, they will come and I will die the death of forever. I have no wish to die but to stand and fight will mean I am truly lost.
Spurts of cold air shoot out in front of my face, slowly I breathe, focusing the ragged movement of my diaphragm. Concentration eludes me as the first moments of sunshine adorn my body releasing a pleasurable shiver, in that moment I take in my surroundings. Michigan Avenue. Swarms of people walk around me, I am invisible, as invisible as their impending doom, I must warn them.
"Run you fools, hide, the end is coming."
People stare, feet shuffle faster, I hear laughter - a deep voice chuckles.
"Sure whatever you say ......... Elvis." The swarm laughs and moves on.
An inexplicable sadness descends on me, realisation strikes like a scythe, truly am I Fallen.
September 1st, 2003, 09:38 AM
You sit in your apartment with Mercedes, all your books in all the rooms propping you up. Mercedes recruited you to stand at the final moment and slowly the implications sink into your muddled mind. She recruited you to stand at the final moment. Not to stand with her. No to “be her man”. She recruited you to stand at the final moment, to resist the power of heaven and hell, to not allow the world to end.
Yes, you want to know why things happen but did you want to be why things happen?
Mercedes sits the floor of your apartment, legs crossed, right arm laying on right leg with palm up, left arm lifted in admonition, index finger and thumb touching, reminding you of a sculpture dimly remembered. Given time to sort the memories, you might find the image of the yidam Tara now sits before you but she gives you no time. She instructs.
“It is a simple idea, so simple it is washed aside in the passion of good and evil. Concentrating on the relative effects of good and evil divert one’s attention. Good works miracles; evil works calamities. An orientation. Reverse your observation point and now it is evil working miracles and good working calamities. If good and evil are orientations, then what remains?
“You remain. With a capacity for doing good and a capacity for doing evil. Yet, you remain.
“Such a simple idea.”
You argue inside and out. All the books through all the centuries that point to the final confrontation between good and evil, can so many people through so much time be so very wrong? Where is the logic in that?
Mercedes appears bemused. There is a lilt in her voice as if humor supports her words but maybe that is your interpretation. Maybe what supports her is far more sinister. “Wrong?” she asks. “Did I say they were wrong? My thought was that good exists; evil exists. My thought ascribed no rightness or wrongness to their existence. My thought is that acceptance of their existence implies more than their existence.”
You wonder now if semantics is the issue? Do the two of you bandy words, each attempting to conjure meanings based on personal definitions? Is this conversation a cryptogram masking the issue at hand?
“Faith, my friend,” Mercedes says, gazing as if eye contact alone is all that is required for her mind to fill your mind with the fuel of faith.
You’re there again, where you always seem to be, confronted by the enigma of faith. Your parents had it; your sister had it; billions of people seem to have it; now this one demands that you have it. A lifetime’s agony surrounds your answer, two simple words expressing the torment of years, your ceaseless quest: “In what?” you ask, not even beginning to hope an answer exists, certainly not expecting any conceivable answer to be carried in a two word reply, as if question and answer constitute a balanced equation.
“In you,” she answers.
September 2nd, 2003, 06:53 AM
This is how it will be: I shall come like a thief.
It begins to rain, heavy almost like it has purpose and worse, venom. I do not move, moving is pointless for where should I be but here, where is there but here, and now.
Michigan Avenue, the splendour of new Chicago, buildings that reach ever upwards, a built-in human desire to be closer to .... to .... something. Something had they any sense they would build away from, but it is too late, the Host had been swelling rapidly even as I was expelled, I cannot begin to imagine their numbers now. Oh my brothers and sisters what is it that we must do, is a time of reckoning truly necessary. I start at the painful memory as my fully awakened mind drifts back over the millenia, back to the meeting of the Host Captains.
"His army grows even as we speak, we must act!!!" Sol ever the forceful one.
"Calm, Sol, Hell has nothing to do but build, we must not rush into this......" I always was the patient one.
"Rush? RUSH!!!!! Can you not see Asmodel they mean to break the balance."
"But you have both forgotten something," Cassiel, she was the best of us all. "Abaddon must break free before this can occur and he cannot while the agreement is biding of both our realms."
"But he does not belong in the bottomless pit, he will break the agreement to come here and unite us, can you not see that the forever death is infinitely more acceptable than that."
"Have you not thought that maybe we can reach a new agreement my friends." Of all of us only Uriel could call his six fellow captains 'friend'.
"That option has been removed, he has closed the channel." Gabriel, the first amongst us.
"When? When did this occur, why were we not informed?"
"You are here brother Sol, are you not? It has come my brothers and sisters, the Destroyer has decided his army is almost ready, he has six of his seven captains, he needs but one human off the soul plain and he will test the lock."
"This is madness, Michael you must stop this." I should have known from his look that the one person I held above all the Host was powerless even as I emplored him with body and soul to prevent it. Anael stepped forward, I had not even realised she was in the room, so strong was the hunter in her.
"The time has come my kin, the final battle is at hand."
I remember what happened next with a clarity that not even death itself could dispell, she unclasped the trumpet from her belt and placed it too her lips. In that moment my world had gone, I lashed at her seeking to stop that sickening note. She absorbed the blow and as Sol restrained me, Anael blew the doom of three realms with the sweetest note ever heard. The agony that comes from expulsion, the punishment for my actions, I do not want to begin to remember.
The rain has become a deluge, but too my shame it will not sweep me away.
September 6th, 2003, 10:20 AM
Mercedes asks you to picture the final confrontation. How does it happen? Do six billion people stand in awe of two magnificent hordes charging across the sky? Do the flat earthers have their moment of triumph as the earth is pancaked to allow all the six billion to observe the spectacle or does the final moment happen as a serial watched for few moments and then lost as the world spins you away from the vision? You spin back a few hours later to catch the show in progress? Do six billion consciences watch the last world championship estimating and praying, cowering in fear, placing book on the outcome. Or does one consciousness spread over six billion receiver/transmitters, none truly alone, all captivated at the spectacle playing out before them? Or do six billion belief systems bind their owner’s into predictable reaction paths, ultimately choosing sides and winning or losing with the last faith standing declared triumphant?
Or is it not a spectator sport? Does the end of the world involve the gruesome deaths of all living persons? What about the already dead? Aren’t they supposed to be there as well? How does that happen, is it just the souls that attend, the corporeal bodies all destroyed? If the souls are separated from the bodies, do they still feel the pain of that demolishment? Or is it like watching the cinema, involved only to the point you wish to be involved, you can always turn your head or close your eyes?
Or does one mind, alone, watch the game, appreciating the strategy, the disciplines, the maneuvers, the tricks of the trade, but unmoved by the outcome? Does the one mind remain true to self, increased by some tactics, diminished by others, but never threatened, never threatened because good and evil are judgment calls. Judgment calls require a mind to make the judgments.
All Mercedes asks you to do is to be yourself. To stand amidst the conflagration, neither cheering or jeering, simply observing. If you do your part, your world survives. Fascinating, isn’t it? Your world is the world. You save your world - you save the world.
“If it’s so easy,” you ask, “where is the catch?” For there must be a catch, mustn’t there? The world can’t be saved because one mind is bored. Makes no sense at all.
Temptation! You will be tempted to choose, good or evil, plus or minus, black or white, order or chaos, whatever you opt to name it. The temptations will be as real as the outcomes. How you perceive it to happen will be how you choose to perceive it to happen. The one conceit she warns you against is to never underestimate temptation. You cannot afford to be every man; you cannot afford to have a price.
You must be content with who you are, not who you wish to be, or who you would like to experiment with being, or who you believe others believe you to be.
Faith in yourself. Not so difficult, is it?
September 7th, 2003, 08:05 AM
I sit watching the dawn, blood red spilling across this world like the horsemen now riding. The radio in the car parked in the street recites the events, slowly building but I see them for what they are and grin.
Fallen. Demons. Angels. humanity all caught in the dance, the jig that now begins so slowly, but soon the fiddler will increase the pace. Feet will flash, arm will be raised, but not to bless or hold, but to strike down.
Temptation of man, the offering of what he desires. evil can offer good and likewise good can seem so evil.
"Who shall we tempt today"
Man or fallen angel, yes I know there is at least one, he I offered a drink to. Where are you.... what do you see? Do tyou see the temptation or are you part of it like me.
September 7th, 2003, 09:41 AM
I awoke early, not realising sleep had slipped through the miasma of despair. A group of early risers had accosted a papers and magazines vender and it seemed more than the usual necessity to be first to make the supposedly witty social commentary. My smell was enough to earn me a space within the suits, the vender more than happy to do quick business with me:
The earthquake hit at 6.18am UTC/GMT + 3hrs at 31,47' North by 35,13' East. Jerusalem.
I didn't read anymore, the media would have covered all the prophetic angle's, the strange occurences, the unexpected eclipse and the multiple 'shooting stars'. Jerusalem, a site of expectation. It would be but the first.
September 7th, 2003, 03:19 PM
“Not yet,” she says. “Do not worry at these signs and tribulations. They can destroy neither this world nor any other. But, the players must first learn their limitations. They must first understand their scriptures. The final conflagration is not between good and evil people, but between good and evil. There are no good nor evil people, just people, people with potential for receiving good into themselves, for receiving evil. Rather than name it the end of days, name it the final temptation. Both good and evil must tempt, each in its fashion.
“You will stand at the cusp with myriad upon myriad of choices, but you will see only three: good, evil, and yourself. You will choose.”
Then, Mercedes leaves, in the ordinary fashion, opening the door and walking out, her perfume following as if the trail of a formal gown. The door closes behind her.
An earthquake in Jerusalem is enough to make you question, is it not? Mercedes had answers before you had questions but now the questions begin. Who are you? Why should you be the one? Better to let someone else, someone more capable to handle this. Too much rides on the outcome. You would be content to just know the outcome; then you could understand why.
Who the hell is Mercedes? How could she know anything other than what too many people believe?
Too many people? Half a world and handful of billions do not believe this battle must come. Are they so wrong? Are they so right? How do you determine?
Doubt is a subtle temptation, not at all what you expected, is it?
Find yourself, friend. Find out who you are before the choices arrive.
September 8th, 2003, 07:54 AM
The pall over the city was tangible, sentient it spoke in verse that but a few in all the world could understand, none human. Seven thousand people dead, they are the lucky ones now that the soul plain is closed. No more new recruits, no 'fresh meat', the cards are all played out. Jerusalem. Is there such thing as an ending, an event of such finality nothing comes after? I do not know and that worries me. Independence worries me aswell, in a story characters have defined roles, specific attributes that allow them only a finite number of possible actions, choice, its all about choice. Am I free? Or have I been following this invisible path since the changing, my birth within the cloisters of the Host. Again I do not know, but this is a situation that I can do something about.
I look up and signal.
They are there, always had been there, he knew but didn't care, things have changed. As they drop from the sky, his guardians, his watchers begin to reveal details. Both are the warrior caste, it should have gone without saying. Faces of exquisite beauty, terrifying beauty, faces he had avoided in mirror and glass but revealed the truth, his truth.
"I am here."
"You are where you should be."
"We are not here to provide you with answers."
"But you have them."
"We have not seen beyond this meeting."
"So how does it end?"
"You have always known that was up to you."
"Are we ready?"
"We are ready."
"The seventh lieutenant?"
"Has been identified."
"Just full of conversation aren't you. Nevermind, how big?"
"The size that was estimated."
"A sense of humour, now?"
"We were trying for conversation."
"I'm thinking its a little late for that."
"You are correct and this is the end. We await your choice."
No eye saw their departure just as none had seen their coming, my belt weighed more than the world at that moment.