Books & Pictures

Lolanial in the Temple of the Son

“I’m curious about many things,” she said. “Like this!” 

Lolanial stepped off the edge of the stone dome and fell through the oculus. 

“Lolanial!” Jarial squeaked. She took one quick step toward the edge then caught herself. Carefully she scooted forward until she could look over into the empty space below. 

Lolanial hovered in the air about two body lengths below the opening. As Jarial watched, she spun around in a complete revolution, then ascended back toward the roof. When she reached the edge of the opening again, she stepped gracefully back in the stone. 

from: Jarial’s Last Chance

The Adoration of Lucifer

“Please!” Jarial screamed, but at that moment the crowd roared and hands pointed as a figure rose up into the air not very far away. 

Lucifer literally shone. Soft white light streamed off his silken shirt as if he had been bathed in spotlights from all directions. Every thread of his clothing gleamed. Even the soles of his shoes glowed. 

He hung in the air and rotated in place as if look around the entire plaza. Finally, he raised his hands to call for silence. 

Jarial stared at the radiant figure for a moment. But as he raised his arms, the spell was broken. With a last glance at Lolanial, she turned and pressed between bodies, heading for the edge of the crowd and freedom. She no longer held her focus and had to squeeze between tightly packed angels. 

This is too slow, she thought frantically. I’ll never make it out. 

Stopping, she closed her eyes as the crowd slowly quieted. Focus eluded her. 

“Draw close, my beloved,” Lucifer’s voice boomed over her head, effortlessly filling the entire plaza. 

Around her, feet shuffled and angels pressed closer, trapping her. She couldn’t move her arms, let alone take a step. Panicked she started to breathe rapidly. 

I’ve got to get out of here! The words screamed in her head. 

from: Jarial’s Last Chance

Considering the Garden

He could remember when the Garden had been beautiful and well-tended. Graceful paths wound between neat groves of trees bearing every fruit possible. Today, the paths were nearly indistinguishable from the press of undergrowth and bushes. 

He’d been there since sunrise. In the predawn darkness, he had crossed the river and walked from camp to watch the sunrise and see the Garden again. As he walked, he watched the sky turn colors in the east and reached the rock just as the first rays of sunlight that pierced the gloom to bring light to the day.

Once, this had been his regular practice.  Now, the Garden only reminded him of what had been lost.  It cried out for a caretaker, but his task was to ensure that no human ever set foot inside the walls again.  

Geleriel sighed heavily and glanced up at the sun. It had risen well above the hills on the other side of the valley. Soon he would need to head back down. He thought he ought to head back to headquarters in the Heavenly Realm before noon.  But he didn’t want to leave. 

from: The Garden

The sound of swords clashing

Eventually, the sound of the birds bubbled up to his awareness.  Not because he understood them, but something seemed out of place.  For a moment he listened to their singing, searching for the part that made his neck itch.  A discordant sound wove through their chatter. A shrill ringing, the sound of swords clashing, floated on the wind. 

Geleriel grew very still, concentrating on the sound. As he listened he could hear more, shouting voices amid the sounds of weapons.  For a moment, he sat frozen, mesmerized by the faint cacophony of battle.

With a jerk he swung his head around, looking for enemies nearby.  His hand reached over his shoulder for his sword, fingers closing on air.  Then he remembered leaning the sheath against his bunk, next to his armor back at the camp. 

“Fool!” he muttered, clenching his fist.

In a single movement, he uncoiled from his crouch and sprang into the air. The ground fell away as he lifted into the air and began to soar down the hill. He’d walked up when he wanted to enjoy the trip. Now he needed to get back quickly. 

from: The Garden