Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Even The Angels In Heaven - The Rapture

In theory the solution should have been simple: move or remove the cars without drivers. At first this was what the angel did, some of the empty ones were easy to get rid of, those surrounded by occupied vehicles proved somewhat more difficult, in frustration she simply incinerated one and sent another in the general direction of the stratosphere, making sure, of course, that it would land in an unoccupied area. Still, for the most part it was simple. The driverless vehicles with occupants required more finesse and attention, but that wouldn't have been overly taxing either.

It quickly came to her attention that there were more out of control cars than there should have been, she briefly wondered if the Rapture had been more inclusive than anyone expected, then realized that the vehicles had drivers, it was simply that the drivers weren't paying attention. They were distracted by the empty spaces where their passengers had been. Apparently there had been a lot of children on the road when it happened and the drivers of those suddenly childless cars weren't paying attention to the road.

The greatest problem was that most drivers seemed to disapprove of her intervention. Throw an empty a car off the road here, levitate an occupied one to safety there, and all of a sudden everyone started swerving. Soon it seemed like the Rapture itself was the least of the road's problems, instead it was people's refusal to react calmly that was putting motorists in the greatest danger.

The exertion pushed her limits, at times her vision clouded, she staggered, she struggled. But in the end every vehicle in her domain was stopped. It wasn't perfect. Midway through she had felt the screeching dissonance of four souls being forced from their bodies in a collision she had been unable to prevent, and she was sure she would never forgive herself for allowing it to happen. Especially knowing that they had been sent to Hell. But even with that failure, traffic had been safely stopped.

The frightened and confused motorists all heard a voice, which spoke with such force it reverberated throughout the metal and glass of their cars, “Speed limits exist for a reason. Always leave enough space between yourself and the car in front of you to react if it does something unexpected. In the event that something goes wrong on the roadway calmly slow down and pull off the side of the road. It's Not Rocket Science People!”

The angel then wearily made her way to the nearest hospital, to see if there was anything more she could do. She had never felt so drained, but she might be needed.


A wheel in good standing passed an airport on his way to deliver a message. He spared some of his eyes look watch the planes. He'd always been fascinated with human attempts to fly, more so since those attempts had started to succeed. Then he noticed something had changed, the cockpit of one of the planes was empty and, based on its sudden change in direction, the autopilot was not engaged.

In a moment he was inside the cockpit, a human form coalesced around him, and he calmly told that tower that the flight crew was missing and he needed them to repeat any important information. Once the plane was safely landed he offered to check up on any flights contact had been lost with.

The controller had been confused, but he managed to convince the controller to tell him about one such flight. When he took control of that flight the controllers became much more willing to tell him where he was needed.

Throughout the day he found himself giving prayers of thanks to engineers for the invention of autopilot, without which there would have been significantly more carnage. By the time he'd landed his last flight he realized that he could never go back. God had left these people to die, he had abandoned his duties to save them. Clearly he and God weren't on the same side any more.


The guardian and his charge made their way out of the diner.

“What do we do?” she asked.

“Whatever you can,” the guardian told her. He looked around to see where they might be needed. The car accident had left no injuries. There didn't seem to be a need for medical attention, there did appear to be a need for comfort. A woman was sobbing on the ground next to an empty stroller, given that she wasn't looking for her lost child, it wasn't hard to imagine what she had just seen.

He knelt down, put his arms around the woman, and told her everything would be alright. In doing so he realized he had more advice to give to his charge, he looked at her and, making sure the woman couldn't see, mouthed the word, “Lie.” At this point, he figured, that was what they could do.


Death let physical location drop away and focused all of her attention at the crossroad between life and the afterlife. It was clear that God had changed things in response to her disobedience, souls were shuffled to Hell faster and more powerfully than ever before.

She worked as hard as she could as fast as she could, yet at the end of the day she had only managed to prevent three souls from moving into the next life. Which meant that all but three had moved on to eternal torment. She knew that, if she succeeded, the 'eternal' would be false, but the torment remained regardless.

The shade had remained safe, that was the only good news of the day. The additional souls weighed her down, and she knew she'd need to pass them off to other angels or risk them all slipping into Hell.

She wasn't sure if that knowledge was a justification for not holding on to souls before. She couldn't keep more than one from its destination for any length of time, which was how she had always justified sending souls to their afterlife without question before. She couldn't stop the process, she could only make it more rocky.

But she questioned whether that was entirely true, if she had been saving souls from Hell, might she have found angels willing to anchor them? She didn't know.

At least now she was standing in opposition to the one who sent them to Hell in the first place.


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