Chapter Eleven

“Happy 600th birthday, dear.”

Noah’s wife handed him a small package wrapped in brown paper.

“I’m sorry it’s so late. I thought with your grandfather’s passing, and trying to complete the ark, well, anyway, here you go.”

“Thank you, dearest.”

The couple held each other in a comfortable embrace and kissed.

Noah’s wife pulled back and looked at him.

“And you don’t look a day over 500.”

Noah threw back his head and laughed.

“I don’t believe you one bit, darling. I didn’t have gray hairs until the boys were born. Now look at me.” He stepped back and spread his hands wide. “Streaked with gray from crown to beard.”

“Oh, hush,” she chided. “You’re still as dashing as the day I married you, and the gray is only starting to show. You are strong, have three wonderful boys who love you and married godly young women, and have been shown great mercy by God, for which I am exceedingly grateful.”

He wrapped his arms around her once more, resting his chin atop her head. She nuzzled her youthful face in his muscular chest.

“I am too, dearest. Exceedingly grateful.” He stiffened. “Wisdom!”

She stepped forward and held out her hands in a calming manner. A smile crept across her face. She so very much enjoyed watching the creatures’ affection for one another.

“Forgive me. I couldn’t find it in myself to interrupt. Shall I come back at another time?”

“Not at all. Please, won’t you sit?” Noah stepped away from his wife and pulled out a masterfully crafted wooden chair. “Break bread with us, perhaps?”

“No, thank you.”

Wisdom smiled kindly at Noah’s wife, who tended to stare at Wisdom with thinly veiled awe and curiosity each time Wisdom came to visit or teach. She had yet to say one coherent word in Wisdom’s presence.

“I can only stay a short time.” She briefly admired the completed vessel. “You have done a fine job, Noah. I’ve come to instruct you in a few things you will need to know after the waters recede. Terra—Earth—will change drastically and you need to be prepared. I’ve also come to say goodbye.”

Dismay flickered across Noah’s face; disappointment over his dear wife’s.

“Must you?”

Wisdom grinned.

“Must I instruct you? Surely my lessons haven’t been all that bad.”

Noah shook his head emphatically, Wisdom’s humor lost on him.

“Must you go? The ark isn’t finished yet.”

Wisdom nodded, sobering for his sake.

“She’s sea-worthy. Add any finishing touches quickly; there’s not much time.”

The couple glanced at each other, eyes wide.

“How are we going to get all the animals on the boat? Where are we even going to find them?” Noah’s wife blurted.

Wisdom smiled kindly at Noah’s wife, who blushed and ducked her head.

“The Maker will be along shortly to help you with that. I am needed elsewhere.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Noah said quietly. “There is still so much to learn.”

Wisdom smiled kindly.

“All you need to know comes from the Maker, and He is never far away. But don’t worry—I will always be here to whisper into your hearts the way of understanding. Listen for my voice. The Lord will send me every time you ask for me, but you must open yourself to His voice in order to hear me. Stay faithful. Be vigilant. Your Enemy will be furious to know you have escaped unscathed. Now, here’s what you need to know.”

 

“I have never been so humiliated in all my days!”

“Really. Getting thrown out of heaven the first time did nothin’ for ya?”

Folly ducked too late. Satan’s fist slammed down on her head, again and again.

She tried to fight him off—tried to stop him—but he was furious. Unstoppable. Needed to vent.

The last blow sent Folly across the room, taking out a row of stalactites as she skittered through the air. Her lungs collapsed as she hit the volcanic rock wall, and she slid to the floor, gasping for breath.

Folly lay crumpled on the floor as her lungs begged for oxygen.

Stupid! How could I have been so stupid?

The familiar jeering and cackling was eerily absent. Folly wondered if he were coming back for more. Her vision grew spotty and unfocused. She fought against it.

“Never again, do you hear me! Never! I will soon be king, master, lord in that wretched god’s place, and he will never humiliate me again! Folly! Come here.”

Folly would have laughed if her lungs allowed her. A stream of air wheezed past her lips, but Folly sucked for more with desperation.

“Bring her to me!”

Clawed fingers gouged the flesh of her arms as they dragged her backward across the rough cavern floor. Jagged rocks tore into Folly’s back and leather clothing. She peeked at the blood and black strips trailing behind her on the floor before letting her head drop, trying to gauge how close she was to Lucifer.

They deposited her roughly, sprawled, at Lucifer’s feet.

He bent down and grasped her cheeks with one hand, forcing her mouth open.

His wild eyes came into focus, inches from her own.

How dare he?

Folly jerked her head away, furious and embarrassed. Her lungs pulled in more blessed oxygen. She felt a praise to the creator rise to her lips as her gaze focused. She stuffed it back down as Lucifer grabbed her head and pulled it back toward him.

Holding her head still, he clutched her face once more.

“What did you see? Tell me exactly.”

“I already told you, you worm.”

Lucifer slapped her, still clutching her hair.

“Tell me!” he roared in her face.

“Water,” she gasped. “Complete and utter destruction.”

“Yes! Yes. What else?”

Lucifer knelt before her, eyes desperate. He cupped her cheek with the hand not holding her hair.

“Everything is destroyed, right? Everyone—gone. I win. Right?”

Folly started to laugh.

“You fool. There is a remnant. There is always a remnant.”

“No! You told me! You told me!”

Lucifer dropped her and backed away.

A laugh bubbled out, then another, until hysteria took over and she couldn’t stop laughing.

“Did you really think you would win against the one who created you? Look at your army! It’s pathetic. You can’t even meet him in battle.”

Folly’s laugh was cut short by a boot slamming into her stomach.

The kicks and punches came so fast she couldn’t protect her head or curl her legs into her stomach.

She vomited blood. The stream gushed over Lucifer’s feet. He cursed and jumped back.

Her lungs collapsed with the next impact.

Her world faded to complete darkness.

 

Folly raised her head. Dropped it back down.

Blasted cell.

As awareness slowly took over, she realized she was staring at the floor. Far below her.

Folly rolled her head from side to side. Chains. Clamping her arms to the wall. She fought back fury. What kind of chains could hold her? It was unthinkable! She tugged weakly against them, hoping they would allow her freedom.

She slowly realized she could only see out of one eye.

“Must be swollen shut,” she grumbled to herself.

The distorted words didn’t match her thoughts. She licked her lips, the many cuts stinging.

“Good. You’re awake.”

Folly forced her head up, eyes blazing.

“Get. Out.”

Lucifer shook his head and strolled around the room, arms folded behind his back. He looked composed, calm—completely unruffled. His clothing was once again impeccable.

“All that hatred. All that fury. It is incredible you have that much spunk after your unfortunate beating.”

Unfortunate? Folly writhed more vigorously against the chains.

“You mean the beating that you gave me?” she asked, her garbled voice dripping syrupy sweetness.

He sighed.

“Dearest Folly, I did not want to, but you forced my hand. Can you imagine the revolt that would ensue if all of my followers thought they could treat me as you do? I admire your pluck—I really do—but we must keep it to ourselves, darling, not let the others know how it is between us.”

Folly’s heart skipped a beat.

Folly opened then closed her mouth. She frowned.

“How is it between us, exactly?” she asked carefully, intrigued in spite of herself.

He gave her a pitying look.

“After all this time, you still doubt how important you are to me? I cannot do this without you, you know. After our…disagreement…I thought I would ask again. Nicely. Now, tell me, my dear; what did you see of the creatures’ end? Leave nothing out, I warn you.”

Folly barked a short laugh.

“And what’s in it for me? Chains? Imprisonment? Another beating, perhaps?”

Lucifer flicked a wrist, and the chains dropped from her hands.

“Oomph.”

Folly sprawled on the stony sand, mouth full of grime and dry as paper. She spit out what she could and sat up, too sore to do anything more than sag against the wall.

Lucifer nodded to the hole above their heads—the only way in or out.

“Death waits for you with his healing ministrations. You are very fortunate, you know. I do not allow many the use of his black arts.”

Folly cringed. Death—formerly the angel Healing—had never been as powerful as Raphael, the Seraphim in charge of the healing arts. But now, it was nothing like before. Death’s potions were as torturous as they were revolting. His healing touch sent fire and intense pain shooting through her for only the slightest results. His powers were weakening; his skill, lessening. He now feasted on decay, corruption, and the dead bodies of the maker’s creatures.

And anytime a whiff of his potions reached her nose, she would double over and heave until there was nothing left. Well past that, even.

Lucifer shrugged.

“Perhaps after you see him, you can join my table. It’s not manna, but it’s better than the slop the rest of you get.”

Folly eyed him suspiciously even as her mouth watered at the mention of manna. How she longed for heavenly food!

She grabbed her head and hunched forward.

She had to stop thinking of her old life before she drove herself mad! Folly forced herself to concentrate on their conversation.

Manna. Slop. Right.

She already knew she ate better than the others, and she secretly wondered if Lucifer had anything to do with it. Another reason she was picked on. As if they needed a reason.

“You mean, eat with you once? Or from here on out?”

Lucifer picked at his nails, feigning nonchalance. Folly could feel the desperation radiate from him.

“That depends on you, my dear.”

Folly straightened. A grin tugged at the corner of her mouth. It was now or never.

“I want to eat with you from here on out. I want the recognition I deserve. Especially if you are going to use my insights to help you.”

Lucifer stared at her, face blank. Folly took a deep breath and pushed on. Why not?

“And one more thing. I want Lust gone. Put her on assignment somewhere, move her, get rid of her, chain her—I don’t care what. She is nothing more than a lowly messenger angel. She doesn’t deserve your attention, and she doesn’t deserve to be at your side.”

Lucifer grinned at her.

“Jealous?”

She raised her chin defiantly.

“Those are my terms. Or you’ll figure out your future on your own.”

Lucifer’s smug expression slipped.

“Oh, I’m sorry, was I to think you only wanted to know about the creatures’ end?” She grinned, enjoying his discomfort. “Don’t you want to know more about the master’s words to you in the Garden?”

“Hate, Religion!” he snapped, his focus flying to the prison’s exit. “Remove her from this place!”

The two angels dropped into the cell and jerked her to her feet.

“Gently, you fools!”

His cruel smile twisted his face.

“Death awaits, my dear.”

 

Wisdom and Folly: Sisters by Michele Israel Harper, Chapter Eleven © 2014

Dark Archangel by DaniaArts on deviantART.com  http://daniaarts.deviantart.com/art/Dark-Archangel-438247001

Used with permission.

2 Thoughts on “Chapter Eleven

  1. Dania on August 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm said:

    Really great!

  2. Thank you so much! :)

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