Horace of the Horizon-Part 8
Face to Face
I sat in numb silence as Matt Clark shoveled apple pie into his grizzled mouth.
“I’ll drive you to see your dad,” he said through a full mouth.
He kept eating pie as he stood up, pausing briefly to pull a wad of fives and tens from his coat pocket and throw them on the table.
“That should cover you two as well I think”
He then proceeded to drain his cup of coffee and we were out the door.
Surinder’s face was ashen with worry, and for myself I felt worried as well, but I was also filled with an anger that twisted my gut into knots.
We piled into Matt Clark’s car, a pale blue 1980s vintage Buick littered with scraps of paper and fast food containers. The interior of the car held the same deportment as its driver as if years of being owned by him had transformed it as if by some sort of nicotine stained osmosis. A smell not dissimilar to wet dog lingered in the upholstery.
The engine coughed and hacked in noisy protest before finally turning over and settling into a low gas guzzling rumble and we were off for the hospital.
We came to a stop at a traffic light and I noticed a black car pull up beside us. My heart leapt into my mouth as I knew even without looking that it was the Dodge Viper that I had seen before. I said nothing and in my head I told myself to keep looking forward, but I knew I was being watched and it made the hairs on my neck stand on end.
Almost against my own volition I turned my head. The face that looked back at me was gaunt and blacker than if he had been roasted and scorched in a raging fire. His pale yellow eyes were wide and pale and watery and betrayed not a single shred of humanity. Only a slight flicker of recognition and the slow upward curl of a heartless smile and then the light turned green and the Dodge Viper sped ahead of us.
The Waiting Room
When we reached the hospital we were met by Surinder’s brother Ram and I was met by heartbreaking worry and disappointment. I nodded blankly and barely registered as a doctor explained that it was still touch and go with my father and that I would not be able to see him until his condition was more stable.
We all made our way to a waiting room where we also found Mary Sycamore, who worked with my father.
She looked at me her eyes filled to brimming with lack of sleep and worry. “Horace,” She said, and then said nothing more, as she sat wringing her hands.
We all sat down around her forming a rough circle, turning in our chairs to face one another.
I looked at Ram and I so much wanted to thank him for finding my dad in the water and pulling him out, for saving his life, but somehow I just couldn’t bring sound to my lips.
We sat in uncomfortable worried silence for a good two hours. Finally Matt Clark pulled himself out of his chair and made his way to the vending machine which he started feeding change. He pulled out a cellophane wrapped egg salad sandwich and made his way back to his seat.
Mary Sycamore stood up. “I must go I have so much work to do. “And then shot me a look that was written with worry and lack of sleep. “I am so sorry Horace,” and then made her way out the door.
We all sat in silence, as there was nothing comfortable or helpful that could be said. There was just the lonely hum of the vending machine and the sound of Matt Clark eating his sandwich.
Then Ram leaned forward in his seat, his elbows resting on his knees and squinted as if straining to hear a distant sound.
After a few seconds I nodded “Yeah, I hear it too, what the hell is that, a radio maybe?”
Surinder shook his head “What are you talking about?”
“Listen,” I said raising my hand “It’s like some sort of music, no more like lots of voices singing”
Matt Clark bolted up and abruptly threw the cello wrap from his sandwich in the waste bin.
“It’s being projected right into our brains” he announced in a voice that sounded more agitated than alarmed.
Surinder’s eyes widened with surprise “Shit, yeah now I can hear it, “
I stood up and walked out of the waiting room, down the hall and out on to the street. The others followed close behind.
My Eyes Have Seen the Glory
When we reached outside everyone else looked around bewildered and confused and I stood there, jaw agape in complete awe of what I saw before me.
Hovering in the air were two gigantic sinew muscled black men, each of whom were an easy fifty feet tall. One was garbed in bright green and yellow robes, the other in blue and white, both with their hair in tight braids cascading over their powerful shoulders. A glow emanated from them both, and there was no doubt they were the source of the music that now filled my very being to the point of being overwhelming. The street below was oblivious to their presence and Ram and Surinder rushed to me as I dropped to my knees.
“Horace Rostau!” The green robed giant addressed me, his voice ripe with indignation. “Your antics have caught the attention of the almighty!”
“He is irate!!” interjected the one clad in blue.
“Yes Irate! He is hotter that fire from these shenanigans! Hotter than fire!”
I shook my head in confusion “I didn’t do anything, I don’t understand…who are you?”
Ram held me by my shoulders and he was saying something in my ear but I did not hear him.
The two giant men both opened their arms in unison and spoke as one “We are the righteous messengers of the almighty cosmic father,”
Then the one in green continued “Do you not recognize Raziel child?”
“Or Zaphekiel?” announced the one in blue.
“Child!” Raziel scolded me “Child!”
Zaphekiel wagged a gigantic finger in my face. “Yes, the almighty is good and hot over your nonsense getting all involved with nastiness that is forbidden to mankind! We have seen the creatures you have been cavorting with and the dire evil that your father has allied himself with and the trouble his sorcerer friend is intent on setting in motion”
My mouth flapped open and closed like a fish as I struggled to collect myself to offer up some defense.
“No!” I shouted, unaware that I was seen by everyone as shouting loudly to no one. “We are trying to stop him! You need to help us!!”
Zaphekiel crossed his arms and frowned at me. “You should hold that impetuous tongue child, it is not our place or our role to act on this matter, only to inform you of the consequences if you do not put an end to this nonsense”
Raziel swept his hand in a wide arc “Everything here is becoming much too mystical and you must stop it and good and soon or things will get biblical I tell you straight, the almighty will purge this world before it is too late!”
“No!” I screamed my voice cracked with rage and sorrow. “That isn’t fair!! You can't do this! You can't put it on me! I Just fill the fucking paper boxes! Please don’t do this!”
Zaphekiel sighed. “The almighty is lord over all creation and the evil in this world is allowed to flourish it would threaten a billion more! It must be stopped, and harshly if need be”
Raziel reached out and touched finger to my lips “But the almighty is also merciful, the most merciful ever and he would not be so cruel as to give you a burden you could not carry.”
I nodded slowly, feeling both broken and honoured. “Does this mean that God is real?”
Raziel threw his head back and let out a sharp laugh and gave his long braids a shake “I know the will of the almighty and know that I must act. I have seen the light of a billion stars but have never seen the light of his face”
Zaphekiel grinned broadly “But then brother, how can you believe if you can not see! Are you an old woman?”
Raziel shrugged “I do not see with my eyes, but the will of the almighty is written in my heart and Horace here has the will to believe or not believe, and I have only known myself as having been created to believe created to serve,”
Then they spread their arms and began to rotate above my head in a slow circle. They spoke once again as one voice. “Do not let him open the master gate! You can not imagine the evil he will bring! “
Then they turned to shimmering beams of light and shot up into the sky.
(Continued Next Episode)