This is the first of two chapters that I will be releasing online ahead of the release of Killing Angels on July 22nd. Check back next Monday for the next chapter or pre-order the e-book over on Amazon.
The prophecy was written on cardboard. It was a rectangular piece ripped from an old refrigerator box. The box had been assembled in Delaware by people who knew nothing of its future significance. They put a fridge inside it and put it on a truck bound for New York. There it was bought by the Espinosa family who disposed of the box by illegally dumping it on the side of the street. The box became home to vagrant Gunther Peterson who slept in it for seven days and seven nights. On the seventh night, God spoke. He told Gunther of all the things to come and informed Gunther of his duty to tell the world. Gunther ripped a rectangular piece from his cardboard home and wrote in giant, legible letters,
THE END IS NIGH!
He picked a street corner and stood atop an overturned shopping cart with his message prominently displayed for all to see. For the first time in his life, he felt a great sense of purpose, but that sense of purpose quickly turned to frustration as Gunther faced the reality of the New York streets. People saw him standing there, but no one actually took the time to look. They had no concern for Gunther or the words that God had commanded for him to share. He could see that he was merely a phantom on their periphery. A man to be threat assessed, but not seen by the active mind. Their active minds were too busy engaging with the devices they held in their hands. The pale, glowing screens sucked away their very souls and brought them closer to Satan as Gunther failed to draw them closer to God.
Gunther was confused by it all. The Lord had told him what to do, but the message just wasn’t resonating with the people like he thought it would. In desperation, Gunther started to shout at the passers-by, hoping to startle them into listening to what he had to say. The only thing he accomplished by shouting was to make people walk faster, and draw the attention of the police. The police would come and move him along with unsympathetic nods as he told his tale. Even the keepers of the peace had no patience for the sacred prophecy and its messenger.
Gunther picked a new corner every day and repeated the process over, but it was clear to him that the people were deaf to God, and by extension, deaf to Gunther. He had failed as a messenger, and the failure brought him great sadness. Gunther went back to the box that he called his home, and he prayed for help. He sought the means to make people see the error of their ways. God listened to his humble servant, and God answered. It was a day that no one would ever forget. It was the day that people finally started believing Gunther Peterson. It was the day that the angels came.
It was a beautiful night in San Francisco. Ava Williams stood on the Golden Gate Bridge and looked out towards Alcatraz. If ever there was a night to do it then this was the night. She climbed over the protective railing and felt her heart beat faster in her chest as she looked down at the drop below. The water called to her. A black expanse in the dark of night leading to oblivion. She closed her eyes and steeled herself. Just one more step into nothing and it would all be over.
When she opened her eyes again, she saw a flash of white against the black. It was a feather. It danced in front of her face and dropped into the abyss. Then came another one, and another. Ava turned back towards the bridge. Every car had come to a complete stop. One by one, people were getting out of their cars and looking up towards a sky that was now awash with snowing feathers. Above the feathers came the sound of fluttering wings. The wings were attached to creatures that looked like us on our best day. They soared overhead in flowing, white robes and descended down towards the bridge with great smiles on their faces. They landed amongst the cars and brought a message for every man, woman, and child.
Ava could hear one coming from above. She looked up as it descended and watched it effortlessly land on the narrow ledge beside her. It was the most handsome man she had ever seen – if it could be called a man. He smiled at her warmly and tenderly touched her cheek, though she felt nothing of his caress. He spoke his message to her, and the message was a single word.
So, she did. The wind rushed around her as she fell. She looked up, and the sky was filled with wings. The angels had come, and for a brief moment, she shared their sky. She hit the water and never resurfaced.
Paul Brock straightened his tie while he practiced his diction in front of the camera.
“Round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.”
Paul was a man who liked a good massacre. The higher the death toll, the more eyeballs on him. He was always the man on the scene, and this scene was a gruesome one. He stood as close to it as the police barricades would allow. A Muslim extremist had stormed into the offices of the video streaming website, Viewbox and cut down 12 of their employees with an AK-47 assault rifle. The extremist had uploaded a video onto the Viewbox website prior to the shooting. In the video, he said he was going to kill them all for their refusal to remove a video profaning the Prophet Muhammad or some such nonsense. Paul didn’t care as long as it brought viewers. People were always gripped by a good terrorist story.
“Larry sent the latter a letter later.”
The cameraman cued him in, and it was time to get into the appropriate emotional zone. He had practiced his sombre face in the mirror countless times for moments such as this. In his earpiece, he could hear the studio in New York directing the broadcast towards his location outside the Viewbox offices. So many eyeballs and they were all for him. Paul could feel himself get hard at the thought of it.
“Yes, Catherine. I have been speaking to my sources here at the scene, and I can tell you that the situation is still ongoing. He is surrounded, but the authorities are proceeding with caution as it is believed that he is wearing an explosive, suicide vest.”
To the many sets of eyeballs watching the broadcast, it appeared as if Paul Brock sprouted a set of long, white feathered wings as he spoke of the situation. Paul continued on oblivious until he spotted the awe-struck face of the cameraman and heard Catherine’s shocked gasp in his earpiece. He turned and saw the angel that stood behind him. Paul dropped his microphone in the dirt and backed out of the camera’s view. The only thing left in the frame was a handsome, curly-haired angel locking eyes with the entire nation. Its message was clear and well enunciated.
“You’re all going to die. The men. The women. The children. You will all die. You have two years to prepare your souls for judgement. Then we come for you.”
New chapter coming next Monday, or go ahead and pre-order on Amazon to get the full thing on July 22nd.