Yehezkel and the Angels

Yehezkel watched the heavens open while everyone else slept.

He enjoyed the quiet while everyone else dreamed. The Fountain—the object of so much noise and confusion by day, undisturbed by night—seemed lifeless except for the hint of bioluminescence from the light man who cast an otherworldly glow on the surface of the still pool from deep beneath the surface.

The pale green moon cast her glow on the barren desert. Cool winds blew down from the north, buffeting the rocky outcrop where The Counsel held their bloody daylight rituals. It was a night like any other in recent memory. Yehezkel lay down, interlaced his fingers behind his head, and watched the stars creep their slow dance across the expansive dome of sky above. He witnessed another light join that of the moon.

The light started as a speck but grew. Above the usual sounds of the wind howling against the rocks, he could hear another noise. A familiar sound he had almost forgotten.

As it grew closer, Yehezkel could make out the object’s shape: a burning wheel of fire, a gyroscope of ever-changing colors.

The gyroscope descended, and sunk over the horizon. Yehezkel stood and walked in the direction the gyroscope had disappeared. He looked back over his shoulder, and saw no one followed. He was okay with this. It was his vision. If others were meant to see, they would not be asleep.

He waded through the desert, trudging through piles of loose dry earth that came up to his knees. He no longer could smell The Fountain—the comforting metallic scent ever-present on the back of his tongue. He thought to turn back, his tongue dry and swollen. He had never been this far from The Fountain, at least not that he could remember. He knew there must have been a time when the waters were far away, but that time was gone to him now, dissolved in the acidic fogs of time.

He came to a place devoid of soil. Black rock covered the floor in all directions. A strange grid of faded white lines covered the surface, bizarre rectangular designs he was sure once held significance. Some of the cells in the grid were occupied by hulking structures of metal and glass.

On the other side of the windswept and barren black rock, a large tower loomed into the sky. Atop the tower, he saw the gyroscope. A door had opened and glowing figures walked down a ramp. The tower above him began to glow one window at a time—starting top to bottom, left to right.

His curiosity piqued, he ran across the black stone and up a crumbling stairway. He reached a glass door and pushed. It swung in, but just a little. He stepped into the opening, pushing his shoulder into the glass, and grunted as the hinge controlling the door squeaked a rusty protest.

The light of the moon filtered through a wall of glass. The brighter lights of the angels creeping down the stairs reflected against mirrors set in the ceiling. He heard his footsteps echo. He bent down and was amazed by the smoothness of the stone, by the fine lines in the cultured marble floor. He had not known that such luxury still existed.

Those who had exited the gyroscope came towards him. Their feet made no sound; they didn’t touch the ground. The angels wore all white and seemed to have an inner glow like that of the Light Man. However, unlike with the Light Man, their glow was not one Yehezkel found disturbing. This glow lacked malice. It was otherworldly, but from the world above, not the worlds below.

The angels examined Yehezkel.

Yehezkel fell to his knees. He held up his hands, “Take me back with you!”

The creatures regarded him, moving their strange faceless heads from side to side. Strange sounds followed them as they moved. One stepped over the balcony high above, seemed to walk on the air itself, and landed behind Yehezkel without a sound.

He heard a booming voice behind him then, a voice like thunder on the wind. It blew over him to the others. The other angels nodded their faceless visages.

Yehezkel felt a strong grip reach around him, a machine of some sort held him tight. It encircled him like a cage. He was lifted up into the air. The angels seemed to glow stronger now, but in a softer hue.

Upon reaching the roof, he floated towards the gyroscope.

“Oh, thank you!” Yehezkel exclaimed, knowing the angels would take him home, take him back to Heaven where he belonged.

They released him from the cage and placed him in a small white room. The room hissed, and he could feel cold air rushing out of a vent overhead. He sat beside a see-through wall on a bench which was not quite comfortable. It was not made to hold a form of his shape. He looked through the see-through wall, across the barren desert, and could just make out the ridge above The Fountain. Thinking of those waters, his tongue began to swell.

“I’m thirsty!” he shouted, feeling a sudden terror.

The gyroscope lifted into the sky.

“I’m thirsty!” Yehezkel screamed again.

Two angels entered his berth, seeming to adjust their heads on their necks as they entered the room. They brought him a cup full of water. Yehezkel took a sip. The water was plain, without taste, without Life.

He felt himself drying from the inside. His heart became stone. Yehezkel fell to the floor clutching his throat, unable to speak, unable to convey whatever prophesy had been provided.

As consciousness faded, he reached out his arms as if reaching for the revelation just out of his grasp. His hands withered and drifted away before his eyes. Feeling the weight of his years, he returned to dust.

Ω

T.J. McIntyre  T.J. McIntyre's website has seen his short fiction and poetry published in numerous publications including recent appearances in Everyday Weirdness, Ruthless Peoples Magazine, and Scifaikuest. He is a member of various writing organizations, including the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA), and serves as a moderator for the Lobo Luna and Western Writers writing communities on LiveJournal. Until earlier this year, he published Southern Fried Weirdness, an anthology and web zine celebrating speculative fiction and poetry with a Southern perspective. He lives in a busy household in the muggy heart of rural Alabama with his wife, two young sons, an aging Doberman mix, five tiger barbs, and three salt-and-pepper catfish.

Other works by T.J. McIntyre

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