I stroke broad white eagle wings up to the sun, torch in hand, into the Heavenly Throneroom, and steal Holy Fire. The court is empty of angels and demons. My hair is long and curled like a brass candelabra and my gown white and glistening as if dew is a second layer on it.
I come to the waterfall gateway to Earth and jump down into the Deep, away from New Jerusalem, my wings skirting skies of velvet red and violet. Clouds dampen me and the stars stretch out like an elegy.
I come to the humans that amble about Africa without warmth or a way to cook their food. I descend as lightning, and Jophiel’s eponymous torch strikes the brush and lights bushes on fire. The ancestors of modern man marvel, kindle torches, and the fruit of the Tree of Life which I guard is given against God’s will.
I ascend back to Heaven, but as I break the boundary between the physical and the immaterial, I hear the cry of Heaven’s general, the shriek of a red-tailed hawk, a raptor of red and cream brown feathers, and he rises with the moon in the desert and dwarfs me, the size of a roc.
His eyes are not his own. Michael is possessed by Divine Will, whether Sophia or Demiurge, I cannot tell, but the urge to run courses through my limbs and I flash serrated wings and fly on a gale away.
Dart, dodge talons, but soon his beak is around my throat, squeezing the breath from my throat, roc throttling me until a white ring of a collar scars my neck and my torch is dropped far below to the abyss. For I have stolen from Heaven, and God is displeased.
Blood is hot on my breast, and I know in his divine berserk madness, it will take a miracle for Michael to hear me. I scream his name, over and over again, pleading until he breaks and shifts to wings and man, and then he sobs, over and over, clutching my rag doll body and broken wings:
“I’m so sorry Jophiel. The Mother told me to kill you. I wasn’t myself – your screams awoke me. Please, forgive me, forgive me!”
In that moment, Michael questions our Creator – or more properly, Creatrix – for the first time ever, and I clutch his face and kiss him.
“It’s okay, Michael – your madness has quit.”
He rocks me to sleep best he can as he sets to healing me, tears bright in his eyes.
“Why do we always hurt the things we love?”