I dream I am in an intergalactic battlefield in a far outpost of space, Samael the leading commander of a legion of demon aliens. I’m a spy, with a laser gun and sleek gray uniform, and I show no mercy. My friend is a star-crossed lover with a reptilian alien who is a thinly veiled Lilith, and her skin is poisonous to the touch. She has long silky black hair, green scales, and is part serpent, with yellow slit eyes. She is a leading general and their affair is across enemy lines, he the mad scientist that is trying to bridge the gap between man and beast through proteomics. Zinc oxide forms on a potion he gives me, and the yellow crystals scratch my throat as I drink it, poisoning me only to acclimate my genes to space. The high is crazy, and as my very proteins and genes shift, I feel the rush of interstellar travel slow to a halt.
Battle comes, and the scientist is dead. Lilith weeps, and I go to her distraught side, reaching out to comfort her only to have my hands sizzle. She puts on special gloves so that we can hold hands, watching nuclear bombs decimate a Martian planet, then slips me medicine that will make me able to touch the poison that drips from her skin.
We talk amongst the slain. We wander. Soon, we are in love, my assassin girl and I the scout, writing letters, only for her to leap into the range of attack before me and die in my arms, a final kiss our seal.
I wake in the astral in Samael’s room and tell him of my strange dream. He is reading a paperback mystery. I ask who the demon was. He pulls out an old dusty photo album with a picture of serpentine Lilith and I holding hands on a sunset veranda, drinking wine, in days when bitterness did not run between us and I was angel, not human. I startle at how whole Lilith looks, madness wiped from her face. We are friends in the picture, and it aligns with recent divination on her I received. She is my surrogate mother in a way, as Samael’s twin, a friend above all else, and memories of our times together in Heaven flood my mind. I reel at the sudden influx of sensations – of her soft hands, of silky hair, and I wonder if the slaughter of her children drove her mad, or perhaps eons in Hell, or if she always had seeds of insanity to begin with.
Later that night I am with Michael. We are in the astral in a breathtaking mix of Greece and London, endless coastline and sparkling blue seas crowned with villas, impeccable statues from Classical mythology, all woven into gardens, with a grand bridge that leads to nowhere. We fly above through cirrus, and he tells me it is the end of the world. We get lunch at a French restaurant, just light fare, and my onion soup is perfect. Tired from our flight and the beauties that persist in the otherworld despite time, I ask who carved the statues. He hints at Michelangelo, but I don’t press, as mortal’s lives in the afterlife are often quite private.
Michael goes inside to order more wine and I pull out his phone. For some reason angels and demons are always a few years behind in technology, or perhaps they just like flip phones and clunky computers. His cell phone has the angelic version of Facebook on it, and I laugh at the thought that angels have a social media network. Curious, I pull up my profile, then find the phone has settings that let you see into the future. I go to the year 2020, hesitant, as Michael comes back out, and the page loads:
“Am I happy in the future?” I ask, cautious.
Michael smiles like sunlight on birchwood. “Extremely so.”
I load a photo of an older me, with longer blonde hair, a bit slimmer as I have shed winter weight. It is the height of summer, and I am sitting on the porch with my father, who is ecstatic. I am laughing like a burbling brook, in a flowing blue top and black skirt.
“What’s happening here?” I ask.
Michael eyes the photo, swiping to see the album. “You just told your father you’re getting married.”
My eyes light. “To who?”
Michael laughs, taking back his phone. “I can’t tell you everything, can I? That at least should be a surprise. You always snoop around on my laptop or phone while I’m away. Curiosity will be your downfall, but it is still a virtue, and it will also save you.”
I blush. “Sorry, I can’t help it, angelic tech is so weird. I can’t help but wonder how it works, how you can… see into the future.”
Michael looks down at the tides, which have skipping manta rays and coral sands. “When you remember the future and realize everything is a cycle, that there is no time, then you’ll understand.”
We finish our wine and go walking along the shoreline. The sun sets. Gulls cry. Nymphs and winged Victory cap the moon.
I awake to my alarm, feeling his lips on mine.