Shamsiel’s large shoulders were not tired, but they would have been, if he had been a human. The bright blue angel had nothing else to do but to watch and think. There was no exertion, no weariness when it came to the beings in his realm. They did not grow fat or slothful in their position. Yet, in spite of the natural patience of his kind, Shamsiel had indeed grown tired. Tired of watching his friends walk to and fro about the earth. Tired and a little jealous perhaps of their freedom, a freedom that he once had himself. He longed to return to his old position… To regain what he had lost.
Azazel had come to him again, as he did quite often. Azazel was in a position where he could walk the earth whenever he pleased. Azazel was a Watcher of Mankind. Not merely a watcher of the second men, but all of the people upon the earth. Those created from the Word, and those created from the Breath. Azazel had many questions for Shamsiel, about the wanderings to and fro of people of the earth, and their dealings with Adam and his family. Many of the other Watchers came and went, always asking, asking, asking, and he always answered.
There were two of them who stood there. He and Metatron, but Metatron never said a word to the visitors, for he reported directly to the Book, and when the visitors left to go wander again, Shamsiel was left alone with his stoic companion, whose face was always set to the east.
Azazel, with his purple glimmering wings, Kokabiel, in his gold cloak, and Semjaza, of the purest white and yellow – would flutter in off of the wind. They would question Shamsiel night and day until he had told all that he knew of all that he saw. What man had been doing, who married who, when the rains would come… Shamsiel did nothing to hold back any truth, for truth was all that he knew. He had been created this way, as had all of them… To always speak what you know.
“Tell us Shamsiel.” Azazel would ask again and again. “What do you see here? What do you know of these days, of these things?” So many questions, so often, so urgently. Azazel was like an empty vessel, always needing to be filled.
What was seen, what had happened… All would know of it eventually. All would tell of it, so what was the matter if Shamsiel told of it first? This was the mind of an obedient guard.
And so, in a full force of evil, when that ‘Dark Day’ came, where the son took up a stone to kill his brother… After that, Azazel brought Semjaza and Kokabiel, and he was forced to tell, again and again, every part of the story. No detail was amiss. Azazel was almost drunk on hearing the tale. He made Shamsiel tell it once more… His eyes, full of lust, of wanton need, watching Shamsiel’s eyes and lips when he talked. To know fully. To know every last detail. He wanted it all. He needed it all.
Shamsiel reminisced. He remembered the times gone by, when he and Hasdiel were chief aids to Uriel. Uriel was one of the twelve guards that served as the voice. Uriel was among the four who held the winds of the earth, who had held the season of summer. Uriel also served as the Apocalypse presiding over Samael, the chief Angel of Death. He held the key to the Pit and was responsible for the entrance to Hades on the last day of days. Shamsiel and Hasdiel had looked up to him, serving in Uriel’s shadow. Shamsiel shone like a jewel in the light of Uriel, and when Shamsiel was chosen to be one of the angels who stood guard at this place, he had thanked Uriel for the assignment. Hasdiel had been handed the lonely post of tending Saturn, while Shamsiel had his sentinel duty next to Metatron. He did not know what he had done to deserve this or if it was any better than being in one of the upper heavens, guarding one of the wandering stars.
When the others came to ask questions, as always, Metatron did not give his opinion. Not of the job, nor of anything else. Metatron was Metatron alone. An enigma in a puzzle in a riddle. Enormous to be sure, the second largest angel in heaven. He was the definition of imposition. People from a distance, if they could see him, always knew that the guards were there. Metatron, glowing with the red fire of the sun, was almost as bright as the face of HIM.
Once, on a day like any other, Metatron and Shamsiel were watching Adam and his sons work in the field with their wives. Shamsiel had noticed that Adam’s grief grew with every day that passed. Adam had not come up today to remember. Adam used to come by Shamsiel daily and stare with longing past him, and remember what he had lost. And though Adam could not actually see inside, for it had been hidden from man, he would steal glances back and think of their last day there. The day when HE had cut open a Capri and laid it out on the ground. The blood covenant that HE cut with Adam had served as both the sacrifice for sin as well as to clothe the man Adam and his wife Issah.
The people of the earth had come to trade, down by their newly built houses. The earth people had brought with them their very few precious belongings. Almost dumb with awe at the sight of Adam, they groveled with their nuts and berries and wild eggs. Adam and his wife would trade grains and milk from their work with the land. Adam was in charge of the farms and the flocks, and also of building the enclosures they had come to dwell in, while she was in charge of maintaining everything inside of the dwellings. Shamsiel saw that the houses they built reflected the houses in the hosts of heaven, and envied Adam and his genius for their building. They were poor reflections, but they had achieved this knowledge from nowhere, simply the residual breath of HIM.
Eve had gained her new name when they had their children… Able and Cain. It was a hideous process to be born the way earth people were born, but this was the process that HE had ordained for them now that they were outside.
Adam had taken her name away when this happened. Issah meant “It is another one like me.” Eve meant “Here is the mother of my children.” She had changed since she had been forced out. She never came near, but once, while she was walking by, she stopped and peered right into Shamsiel’s eyes and wept bitter tears.
Shamsiel watched the world grow and flourish around him, one microsecond out of phase with the rest of creation. There, around him sprung the settlement, village, town and eventually the fortified metropolis of Eridu, the first town of the second men. The sons and daughters of the earth men and the second men had bred. Adam’s third son, Seth had married one of the more beautiful daughters of the chiefs of the towns around Eridu. “The sons and daughters born to them were almost like pure second men, but not quite. Adam’s line continued to have children, an enormous amount of children even, and the new sons: Enos, Kenan, Mahal, and Jared were the rulers of them all. They spread out, and the entirety of the world became their vast empire.
And Shamsiel heard tales of other men. Not the first men, nor the second men of Seth, but of the cursed second men: The man they called Cain. Of tall structures, buildings, ziggurats, and great wonders… of tools, instruments, weapons, and even things that he wished he had not have heard, but he had.
Azazel came again. He had brought Semjaza with him, and for three days he told Shamsiel stories of life outside Eridu. Then they began to question him. Questions of allegiance, obedience, and temptation. Shamsiel questioned them as well. Of their dealings with the first and second men, of the buildings they are constructing, and of the gods they were creating. Semjaza said that they too were creating their own men. Not of the Adam, but of the Hadam, the people of the earth that were built by HIM on the sixth day.
They were built to have dominion over the earth, and Semjaza said that the Angels were built to have dominion over them. So then, if the Watchers were built to have dominion over the men, then how can they do that in their given role? We should shake off the role and strive to become more like HIM. Wasn’t that the point of HIS creation? To grow, learn, adapt, and to evolve? Semjaza and Azazel wore him down with their false friendship and lengthy discourse. Though it seemed it would be sensible to disagree with them, Shamsiel’s heart was faint within him, and he found himself agreeing with them on some small matters, and even larger matters as they persisted. Such things sounded true, yet the fiery face of Metatron said otherwise.
Metatron looked at him. His eyes betrayed his mouth. He was in contact with HIM and he told HIM everything. Everything Shamsiel had done there, Metatron knew, and when he knew, then HE knew, for there were no secrets in HIS presence.
In the midst of the discourse, in mid-sentence, a boom from the sky made them all shudder and turn. There, a black and red flame cloud tore across the heavens like a comet, but a thousand times faster. A long tail was arching across the sky, blackening all the blue around it, and the wake of the falling object was black soot and death. Faster and closer it ripped through the sky, visible only to the creatures who lived in the spirit. With a forceful slam on the ground, directly in front of them, the black figure landed. Like a cloud into the ground around him, the ash fell off him and landed in a soft rain covering everything around. Suddenly Azazel pulled out his whip with a cracking sound and Semjaza drew his immense swords, thinking that this was something else. An ambush. But the dark creature did not turn to face them. His enormous black wings, beat once, shuttered and then folded. With one finger, he pulled up the mask he used for carrying out his tasks and exposed his face. He wasn’t here to kill, but to deliver a message.
Samael the Destroyer, The Angel of Death stood before Shamsiel, his black eyes like the cosmos. Diamond sword in the left hand, and trumpet in the right. He lifted the trumpet and blew three times into the sky. The earth shook with the resonation and birds fled the trees. Although the men of the city below us had not heard it with their ears, their hearts melted like wax inside of their chests. Whatever anyone was doing in the world, they stopped. Somehow all things knew that a profound change was occurring. Not understanding what any of it could mean, they continued on, bent in their daily tasks. The world went on for them.
But not for Shamsiel. For the destroying angel, Samael, had come to banish him. Shamsiel had chosen, in one brief second, to question and doubt HIM, and for that, there was no forgiveness. With an unearthly scream, Shamsiel’s wings caught fire, twisted themselves and fell off, one by one, shriveling and drying up as they went. The bluish-green feathers that once adorned them, now turned brown and faded into the dust. His blue tone took on a darker hue and his brilliant sword now seemed to suck up the light around it, instead of giving off its own. His eyes, surprised and shamed, looked deep into Samael’s. Shamsiel had been banished forever. The Death Angel said nothing, merely holstered his trumpet, and pointed his long arm away, towards the city, and away from the gates of the Garden of Eden.
“Or so the story goes,” Azrael said, as he stirred the embers of the dying fire in front of him.
“What happened to Shamsiel, daddy?” the little boy asked. He had been lying in his lap, playing with a bird his father had made him.
“I met your mother,” Azrael, as he was now called, said smiling. He scooped up the boy and they headed home. The bird flew from his hands, off into the night.
Pauly Hart is a public speaker, actor, painter, singer, poet, and story-teller. His main focus today is writing. His latest works have involved novellas in the vein of “Classical Horror” from the Christ-centered world-view. The Horror story is the story where the character has to survive until the end. What better chance for survival than in Christ? Pauly writes not for the churchy types, but for those who would pick up a Stephen King book, giving them an alternative to the spirits. Pauly writes so that the Holy Spirit will have room made for him in modern day literature. He runs several websites all bent on leaving the mind of the atheist awash with the glory of heaven. You can find him at PaulyHart.com