They brushed away the fog of dreams with their wings to clear the space between us, then backed away and bowed slightly to emphasize their presence here was not to threaten me. They are the first angel other than Wit that I have been face to face to since the fear of them was removed from me. Another time, I would have either already started running (in futility) or braced for assault (and probably started to as well).
But as my vision soaked in their appearance, I considered displaying a show of force just the same as I recognized the facade they wore. Even though I had never seen the movie “Hellboy 2”, I have seen enough clips and stills from it to recognize the movie’s character of “The Angel of Death“. (Though I had to look it up to fully identify the character for this post. And now that I have, I’m chuckling.)
They bowed. “If you were to see me as I am, you will not recognize me. I wear this covering that is prevalent in your culture that you might know what I am and that I mean no harm towards you.” They spoke in a whisper so soft that I had to strain to hear it. Even still, the force contained in that whisper revealed that if they spoke in what others would consider a normal tone, that I would be overcome by it.
“Is it too cliché to declare ‘Be Not Afraid’ now? You wear the image of an angel, but I do not completely know the context of that angel in the story that features it. So I do not know if you are merely an angelus, a commander, an opponent, or all three.” As they started to bow in acknowledgement of my words, I added, “Or someone hoping that I accept your claim of being an angel at literal face value. My adventures may have calmed down this past year, but the lessons that were beaten into my body and soul still remain.”
They stopped bowing. “Then I will abandon this form and note it as untrustworthy.”
I did not realize I was seeing in color until all color left their image. All color had left their image because they had started glowing from every inch of their surface. The face obscuring boneplate of the mask became a glowing disc that continued to obscure their face. The black stunted wings of the costume became brilliant wings of fire and light that extended to the side for as far as I was able to see. The dragging robes of the costume inflamed and were consumed leaving thin hangings of light that did not reach the ground and were themselves caught up as their body started to spin.
When the transformation ended, they had the appearance of three concentric spinning rings of fire and light supported by a pair of infinite wings. In the innermost ring was the light disc that obscured everything but their gently smiling mouth. Radiating from them was a sense of presence that I have no words to describe but recognized completely.
“Okay. Now, I’ll accept you’re an angel. And I’ll accept that you’re still holding back. I may not have the fear of your kind as I once did, but I know there are limits to what the human mind can process. Even in this dream state, it’s a little uncomfortable to watch your non-Euclidean body spin amid four separate axes.”
Their mirth at my declaration placed me at ease. “That you are aware of possibilities beyond your comprehension is good and that what you call physical actions can have consequences in hidden places, secret places, and deep places. Actions echo in sounds you cannot hear, caverns you cannot enter, and reflections you cannot see. And yet, you will be affected by them all the same.”
The angel kept their gentle smile. My mirth ceased. I bowed to the angel. “I hear the warning in between your words. How then, may I be able to foresee these consequences and either protect myself from them or prevent them if possible?”
The disc over the angel’s face brightened and I had to look away. “You have already begun those processes. See them to their completion. Listen! When the foundation shakes, the plates rattle! Secure the foundation and let what is replacable be replaced.”
The light from their face became a physical sensation that forced me to my knees from the unrelenting pressure. I shielded my face from the glare. A bright burst enveloped me that withdrew as fast as it came. The sudden lessening in pressure made my ears pop. I was aware I was now kneeling on a smooth surface.
I stood and looked around me. I was now within something like a castle, something like a cathedral, something like a throne room. The walls, buttresses, and floor were made of something like great blocks of marble that had been assembled without mortar. The blocks were glowing so brightly, no other light source was visible.
A large assembly was behind me, but they were obscured from my sight by a veil of light. Before me was a raised platform and on that platform was a throne. The gold of the throne was glowing and each jewel embedded within it was like a point of colored flame. But no one was seated upon the throne.
I reached with my senses and noted that I could still feel the angel nearby. In fact, it was as if the angel was directly in front of me. But that would mean…
“Forgive me, Angel, I do not know the hierarchy of your kind. I see the symbol but I am ignorant of what it means. What I would personally call a throne, a more learned person may call something else, and I’d rather not have my ignorance abused against me again. So unless you make it so clear that even my dumbass can comprehend it, I remain a merchant of hyperbole.”
From the jewels of the throne came a collection of lights that whirred and spun over the seat of the throne. The lights assembled themselves into a disc of light that rose slightly. From the disc came a pouring of light that spilled over the seat of the throne.
I watched the angel create a hologram of a humanoid figure dressed in luminous robes for me to easily interact with. The disc again obscured the face, leaving only a gentle mouth to express silent communications of emotion.
“You will be taught.”
Hopefully I kept my internal expression of shit from appearing on my face, but to be honest, I’m quite sure the angel already heard it in my thoughts and was enjoying the show.
“We will speak again. But until then, I give you this that you may know me by…”
I heard the following phrases emanating from the throne under the figure, all superimposed on each other but each clearly heard and understood: “You may know me by…” “I give you this name to call me…” “This name shall be the beginning of your instruction…” “Call me by this…” “These letters are the beginning…” “This is how you will begin to know me…”
The angel spoke a name and from the holographic mouth came four letters of fire that burned in the air between us. The sound that came with the letters did not initially match the fire scribed marks until I realized that not only did the name come with a spelling, but with a font. The style of the letters were the key to understanding their pronounciation.
I repeated the name and traced the floating letters to scribe them into my memory.
“As you learn more, you will be given more. Should you continue, you will learn my entire name and be able to bear it. But for now…”
The figure pronounced a word of which I only understood the first four letters as being the name fragment I had just been given. The angel called all of themselves into this place by speaking their name, and their might was so powerful and overwhelming, I was thrown to the floor by the pressure of their presence.
My thoughts ceased as the white-out overtook me.
I woke trembling and panicky as if I had just escaped a life-threatening danger.
I did not want to record this for the public eye, but here we are, again. I will say that the name fragment I was given is also a word fragment, a prefix, in the language suggested by the font of the letters. The words suggested by that prefix are directly relevant to certain shenanigans that are currently unpublished and will most likely remain unpublished due to the secretive nature of that work and my duties to the others involved.