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. If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.
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.
(In mod. use this sense istransf. from 3.)
a. A small round ball.
b. A small nugget.
c. In pl. (slang). Beans or peas.
†2. A cannon-ball (of metal or stone); sometimes cannon-bullet. Obs. exc. hist.
a.A ball of lead or other metal, used in firearms of small calibre; now often conical. Formerly also collective (cf. balln.15b).
a. Formerly: the missile from a sling; also attrib.
b. The angler’s plumb or sinker.
c. A high-speed type of aeroplane, e.g. the small Bristol scout.
5. pl. Sc. The game of bowls. [Compare Old French bouletein same sense.]
6. U.S. An ace in the game of brag or poker; esp in two bullets and a bragger (see bragger n. 2): a winning hand; also fig.
Today’s Story Segment:
Uriel stretched his wings and flapped them slowly. They didn’t have that stinging ache to them anymore, so he thought he’d rested them enough. It was hard to keep up with the limitations of a corporeal body when he first arrived. He had to remember what the various sensations meant. In his heavenly form he wasn’t affected by such things as hunger or fatigue.
Taking to the air once more, Uriel soared over the sprawling city. It was a far greater thing than Rome had been. There were large amphitheaters and even larger enclosed buildings. There were even metal objects flying through the sky above him. He wondered if they were similar to the odd conveyances he’d seen the humans in earlier on the strange black surface.
Uriel flew across the city until he reached the edge. This was a coastal city, but the ships that sailed in the waters were like nothing he had ever seen before. He began to wonder if he should have asked Michael to share what he knew of human history since Uriel’s last trip. It was probably too late for such a thing. His corporeal form wouldn’t survive such a transfer of energy, but he wished he knew more about this strange place the humans had built. This towering city of glass and metal.
Now that he had reached the far edge of the city, Uriel could turn back, and take another pass. He would be able to see the entire city if he continued flying back and forth over new portions of it. If he didn’t find what he needed, he could return to this place and flow over the city in the other direction.
With a plan in mind, Uriel turned, flying perpendicular to his pervious path until he could barely see the buildings ha had already flown over. He then turned again and flew opposite his original direction. He would examine the entire city from the air. Surely he would be able to locate this bright blue building Michael had sent him to find.
The sun was sinking low on the horizon when Uriel landed on another building. The ache in his wings was stronger than it had been at midday. He was not used to flying for so long even in his incorporeal heavenly form. It was far more taxing than he had remembered flying to be. Perhaps it was all the dodging of buildings he was having to do.
Uriel faced west, watching as the sun slowly sank behind the other buildings and the sky darkened. He could continue his search in the dark. It mattered little to him. His corporeal body might look human, but he still had the senses and abilities of an angel.
There was an odd pang in his midsection. Uriel frowned. He didn’t remember what that one meant. It had been so long since he’d been corporeal. He sat down, feeling something press against his thigh. He fiddled with the flaps on the side of his lower garment and came up with a folded piece of leather. Inside was a strange type of paper with a picture of a dark skinned man with a bald head. The man’s skin was the same color as Uriel’s. There were also other, more usually textured papers. They were all the same size, and had images on them in some sort of green ink. He wasn’t at all sure what any of it was.
Shrugging, Uriel put the thing back in the pouch on the side of his garment. He would have to ask Michael to tell him more about the world after he found Rosario. There would surely be some amount of information Michael could impart in a way that wouldn’t harm his corporeal form.
Uriel heard a faint growling noise that accompanied another pang in his midsection.
Hunger. That’s what that sensation meant. He’d been on this plane for almost a day and had yet to find any source of nourishment. He patted the rest of his clothes, looking for a coin purse or something similar. He had nothing but the folded leather with the papers inside it. Michael had said he would be sent with appropriate currencies. Had Uriel dropped the coin purse somewhere?
Uriel decided he would just have to suffer through his hunger until he found Rosario. Michael would contact him then and he could ask about the currency.
Ruffling his wings as he stood, Uriel judged them to be sufficiently rested and took to the air once more. The light continued to fade from the sky, but not from the streets below him. The humans had some sort of light source. It wasn’t flame based, for it did not waver or flicker, but the streets did not become dark places as they would have when last Uriel walked the earth.
It made it easier to spot the bright blue building. Uriel circled twice in the air to make sure he had the right place before flying down. He was just settling on the steps when he heard a door open behind him. There were four men in the street in front of him, all with dark hair and dusky skin. They looked more like the humans he remembered from Rome, except for the strange clothing they wore.
“Hey, Rosario!” the man in the front of the group called loudly.
Uriel glanced over his shoulders as a man stepped out of the door and down the first two steps toward the street. The man behind Uriel had the same dusky skin typical of the Romans as well. His dark brown hair was wavy, and lay back along his head to brush against his neck and tuck behind his hears. He had deep brown eyes that quickly moved over the group of men before him, the muscles around them tightening. Uriel recognized the sign of tension and glanced over the rest of Rosario’s slim form as Rosario shifted and tensed into a posture that spoke of caution and wariness.
“What do you want, Angelo?” the man said calmly as he began descending the steps again.
Uriel was still in a slower time than the other two men. He would need to move soon. He turned back to the man who had called out to Rosario. Angelo raised an odd blocky metal object toward Uriel. He held the object at by one end and the other end protruded past his hand in a straight line. It had a rounded opening that was now pointed toward Uriel.
Angelo had one finger threaded through the object, and when he pulled it back there was a bright flash and a loud noise sounded, like a crack of thunder or the landing of a stone thrown from a siege weapon. Something flew from the strange metal item, but it was moving so quickly that even in his slowed state, Uriel couldn’t determine what it was.
There was a searing pain in Uriel’s shoulder. He looked down to find a wound not unlike that left by an arrow, but no projectile to be seen. Blood began to drip from the wound, and Uriel could feel the moment the humans were able to see him.