Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.
This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole. I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing, or your guesses about what thread links the posts together.
Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:
The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer). Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.
I. a. A ministering spirit or divine messenger; one of an order of spiritual beings superior to man in power and intelligence, who, according to the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and other theologies, are the attendants and messengers of the Deity.
b. One of the fallen or rebellious spirits, said to have been formerly angels of God.
c. A guardian or attendant spirit: lit. in sense 1; but also rhet. without implying any belief in their reality, as ‘her good angel,’ ‘my evil angel triumphed,’ ‘angel of innocence, repentance’.
d. fig. A person who resembles an angel either in attributes or actions; (a) a lovely, bright, innocent, or gracious being; (b) a minister of loving offices.
from the literal sense of Greekἄγγελος.
2. Any messenger of God, as a prophet, or preacher. [A Hellenism of the Bible and theological writers; sometimes an affected literalism of translation.]
3. Title of the pastor or minister of a church, in the apocalypse, ecclesiastical history, and in some modern sects, as the Catholic Apostolics.
4. poet. A messenger generally; fig. in angel of death, formerly used literally in sense 1.
5. A conventional representation of the celestial ministers, figured with wings.
6. An old English gold coin, called more fully at first the angel-noble n., being originally a new issue of the Noble, having as its device the archangel Michael standing upon, and piercing the dragon.
Today’s Story Segment:
Uriel stretched his arms high over his head and then out to the sides, spreading his wings as he did. It had been a long time since he’d been sent to the earthly plane. He looked around, finding himself in a lightly wooded area. He could hear a strange whooshing noise that seemed to come from just over the rise to his left.
Uriel took the time to take stock of his earthly body. His skin was a rich ebony this time, and his hands, arms, and legs were thick with muscles. He wondered if he had been sent as a warrior this time. Last time he had been an observer only, and he’d been sent down in a body that resembled an undernourished teenager.
The clothes he found himself in were also very different from what he had worn when last he walked the earth. He’d been in Rome then, wearing the simple robes of a commoner. Now he had some sort of split skirt that only went down to his knees in a light brown color with patches and flaps on the side. The tunic he wore was quite short, barely reaching past his waist.
Uriel shrugged and folded his wings tight along his back. He closed his eyes and concentrated, weaving his divine strength around his wings and hiding them from human awareness. He’d been told that he should not allow his wings to be seen during this particular visit. The humans were far less frightened now, and might not take favorably to an angel, so he was to remain unknown. He was to be just another human among many.
Walking toward the rise, Uriel decided it would be best to discover what the whooshing noise was caused by before he got down to looking for the man he was tasked with locating. Michael had told him that once he’d located Rosario, Michael himself would provide additional instructions. It was very odd for Uriel not to have been giving his full instructions prior to arriving on the earthly plane. Usually his orders were simple. Deliver a message or protect a human. Finding someone wasn’t usually something an angel needed to do. The Lord usually sent them exactly where they needed to be and marked the person they were to find. Uriel wondered why it was different this time.
Cresting the rise, Uriel came to a stop while he was still in the shade of the trees.
There was a swath of ground covered in some kind of black substance that seemed to be sprinkled with glittering objects. Large hulking things rushed by him in both directions upon the dark surface. There was a hot breeze at their passing.
Uriel blinked. He had never seen such contraptions before. They weren’t animals, but there was still the sense of something living passing him as they zoomed by.
Taking a deep breath, Uriel let it out slowly, stilling himself in time so that he could observe the objects before they could rush away.
As the objects slowed to a crawl, Uriel was able to see the humans inside them. The contraptions were made of brightly colored materials, and ran on black wheels. Uriel would have to take the time to figure out what they were later. Right now he needed to find Rosario. And to do that, he needed to fly. If he kept time slowed, no one would be able to see him and he could search more effectively. It would mean he would actually need to sleep while he was in his corporeal form, but he thought it would be worth it to find the man he sought quickly.
Uriel stretched his wings again and flapped them experimentally as he stepped closer to the hulking things that the humans sped past in. He wouldn’t have had enough space to take off if he hadn’t slowed them to a snail’s pace. Flapping hard, Uriel jumped into the hair, struggling against his own weight as he lifted himself higher above the humans and their strange conveyances.
Once he was high enough, he caught a current of air and made his way toward the city he could see in the distance. He was supposed to go to the nearest city, and find the bright blue building Michael had shown him. He would find Rosario there and then Michael would explain why he had been sent to earth once more.
It took almost no time at all for him to glide to the city. But then he realized just how large a place it was. Cities were not this big. Its buildings spread out far into the distance, and Uriel was certain that this city was far larger than Rome had been in it’s heyday.
Scanning the buildings as he flew over, Uriel searched for the bright blue color Michael had shown him. It had been a tall building, or so he had thought. He had counted sixteen windows and had been unable to see the roof. However, there were buildings here that reached far into the sky, forcing him to fly past them rather than over them.
When the sun reached its highest point in the sky, Uriel landed on a nearby roof to rest. He was beside the tallest building he had seen so far. To pass the time, and make sure he took enough time to rest his wings, he counted the windows. Twenty. Forty. Uriel kept counting and counting. Sixty. Ninety. The building had 102 levels of windows.
Humans had been punished with diverging languages the last time they tried to build so high.