Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Wednesday Briefs - The Adored One 2


"Ha! Of course. God, please make me wake up from this nightmare!"

"God has other plans for you," Philip said with a wide smile.

My heart skipped. It took a moment for my mouth to obey my mind. "P-pardon?" I stuttered.

Michael stood up and explained. "You died before your time, Trace. It was an accident."

"God doesn't make mistakes," I shot back with a sneer.

"Exactly," Philip said. "He planned this so that he might give you a wonderful opportunity. A quest of sorts."

I stood up and paced around the room. "Wait a minute. You're telling me that a teenager got drunk and plowed into my bike just so the almighty can give me a job? I liked the job I had, thank you very much! I slaved my ass—"

"Language, please," Philip reminded me.

I scowled and continued, "I slaved my backside off to earn that job and now you're telling me that all of that work was for nothing?"

"Of course it wasn't for nothing," Michael said sharply. "Your life has touched hundreds of people in ways you'll never know."

"Exactly. I'll never know 'cause I'm dead." I ran out of energy and fell down into my chair. When I bounced on a soft cushion, I gasped. My hard, wooden office chair had become a plush sofa.

Philip motioned for me to lay down. "Relax," he said calmly. I rolled my eyes but did as he asked. I stretched out on the soft fabric and looked at the angel. He took my hand and said, "You are truly special, Trace. God doesn't grant everyone this chance at becoming one of The Adored."

"I thought he adores everyone," I said.

Michael chuckled and said, "You're right. He loves everyone, but there are a group of his flock which are referred to as The Adored Ones."

"You mean angels?" I asked incredulously. "God wants me to be an angel?"

"That is his plan, yes," Michael answered. "But you must first do what he asks of you."

I raised an eyebrow. "And what does he ask?"

Philip produced a folder out of thin air and removed a photo. He handed it to me and asked, "Do you know this child?"

It was a school portrait of a young man. The features were familiar: deep blue eyes a little too close together, mousy brown hair, acne. Thin lips attempted to cover teeth held tight by braces, but failed and gave the youth a forlorn appearance. I went back to the eyes and thought for a moment before I said, "Oh, yeah! Max. This is Max Holton."

"Holbrook," Philip corrected. "That was his seventh grade yearbook photo."

"Wow. I haven't seen him since high school. I wonder what became of him."

Michael took the picture from me and said, "In three weeks' time, Max is going to commit suicide. It's your job to save him."

"Save him?" I cried. "How do you suggest I do that? Am I supposed to talk him down off a bridge? I'm afraid of heights."

Michael sighed. "You misunderstand us. You're not going back to your life to save Max three weeks from now."

"Then what's the plan? 'Cause you've lost me."

Philip smiled and asked, "How would you like to go back to high school?"

It took a moment for the words to filter through my foggy mind. When I understood that the Almighty meant to send me twenty-eight years back in time to change the trajectory of Max's life, I hit the roof. "No way!" I yelled, hopping up from the couch. "I'm not doing it! I survived the whole high school thing once, and that was one too many times. If you expect me to go back to doing homework and picking up my room—"

"We don't expect anything," Philip said. "He does. God would not ask this of you if he didn't know you could do it."

"Besides," Michael said. "There are benefits. You can do all of your homework with the knowledge of a forty-six year old mind. You've studied mathematics and economics, languages. You've already learned how to write proper college essays. Think of the advantages!"

I had to smile. "So God's going to let me cheat?"

"That's not the word I'd use, no," Philip replied with a frown. "It's simply a way to make it easier for you to carry out your task without having to worry about spending all of your time studying. You just have to make sure not to give any hints about the future."

"You make it sound easy," I mumbled, flopping back down onto the sofa. I began thinking about my eighteen year old self and my life since high school. One event stood out, and I hopped up from my seat again. "My dad!" I shouted. "The year I graduated from college, my father died from skin cancer. If he'd been tested sooner…"

Neither angel said anything; they glanced at each other, and then placidly back at me. My heart ached as I asked, "If I can get him to have a test, will I be able to save him? Please! Answer me!"

Philip swallowed and said, "I-I don't know."

"You don't know? Too bad! I'm doing it. If there's a way to save Dad, I'm taking it. Maybe I'll try and fix a lot of things I've done."

Philip grabbed my arm. "Listen, Trace. God is charging you only with saving Max. When and where that happens is unknown even to us."

"What does that mean?"

Michael straightened his coat and explained, "It means that any of your actions may be the catalyst for changing Max's life; it is known only to God. We do not know how long it will take. You may say something tomorrow that will inspire him to change, or it could be some interaction years down the road."

"Why does that scare me more than being dead?"


Don't forget to visit the other flashers!

Avery Dawes
Carol Pedroso
Cia Nordwell
Chris T. Kat
Julie Lynn Hayes
Nephy Hart

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