Chapter Nine

And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Genesis 6:6

“But, why? Why must You destroy them, Lord? They are Your loves, Your creation—the work of Your hands! I love them as You do. If you could just—”

“Wisdom, surely you have seen the wickedness flooding My Earth?”

“Well, yes, but—but isn’t there something we can do? Something I can do? If You would open their ears to me, let them see me, maybe I can convince them of their wrong! Maybe I can—”

“Wisdom. Come here.”

Wisdom snapped her mouth closed and hurried to her Lord’s side.

“Yes, Love?”

“Look. What do you see?”

Wisdom scanned the globe below her. Emotions flitted across her face. She grimaced and smiled, choked and laughed, clenched her fists and sighed. A tear slipped down her face, replaced by a dazzling smile.

Her roving gaze snagged and remained on a cluster of people below her. Encircling a man’s neck with rope. Stringing him in the treetops. Because his skin was a different color.

“Do you not see why I have to destroy them?”

“But if we—” she whispered.

“Look. Look, Wisdom, look. And see.”

Wisdom studied the teeming life covering the Lord’s planet. There were so many of them. Surely he couldn’t be serious.

A mother bundling her newborn baby, tears in her eyes, caught Wisdom’s attention. Wisdom smiled. Precious little one. Her inspection lingered a few moments before moving on.

Two men argued over a piece of land. One turned his back, gesturing wildly at the half-erected stone fence marking the property boundary line. The other lifted a loaf-sized rock and struck him. The first man crumpled to the ground, lifeless. The second tossed the stone aside and grinned. He surveyed his new land with pride and walked away, leaving the body for the crows. Wisdom gasped in open-mouthed horror.

A father tossed his son in the air, tickling him and making him laugh. His daughter tugged on his clothes, gibbering—begging for attention. He hit her.

“How many times have I told you to leave me alone? Go cling to your mother’s skirts.”

He stalked away, lifting the boy high on his shoulders.

The young girl sobbed in the dirt while the boy watched her with wide eyes, soaking it all in. Learning it. Memorizing it.

Wisdom’s chest ached. Sly movement grabbed her scrutiny.

A stranger led a child into a dark room and bolted the door.

Wisdom snapped her wings wide.

Love stayed her with a touch. He nodded at Vengeance. She barreled toward the earth, sword drawn. Splintering the door with a powerful kick, she drove her sword deep into his belly, tossed the limp body aside, and carried the child out in her arms.

Fallen angels quickly surrounded the man, dragging him—screaming—away.

Wisdom released the breath she had been holding. She tore her gaze away after making sure the child was unharmed. Her heart ached for the soul that would spend eternity apart from his Maker—apart from Life.

A matron stood over a young servant, beating her until welts raised on her arms and blood crested her face. The woman’s daughter stood behind her mother, a smug grin on her face. Enjoying it. Wisdom’s fists clenched.

She glanced away, and her eyes caught and held the new mother she had first seen. What—what was she doing? The bundled infant flew out of her arms—right into the fire burning hot at the base of a hideous false god.

“No!”

Wisdom jumped into the air even as another angel carried the little one to Heaven past jeering fallen angels, who were exulting in the people’s godless worship.

The mother backed away, despair sapping her strength. She lay prostrate on the ground in front of the statue, trying to hold back her sobs, trying to tell herself she did the right thing.

“Do you see? Do you see why I am sorry I ever made them? They cast their infants into the fire, worshipping a god of stone who cannot see or hear them. And all the while, Satan stands next to the debauchery and drinks the blood of my precious little ones whom I so carefully handcrafted in their mother’s wombs. Look. Over there. Another slave is mistreated, bearing the brunt of his master’s uncontrolled fury. I do not condone slavery, but, even then, I gave them guidelines since they took men and women as slaves anyway. Masters are to be just and kind. Does he look just? Fair?”

Wisdom shook her head, aching for the life that could have been. Before Adam and Eve’s disobedience.

“No, he beats this man, his equal, and thinks he is above his brother. He thinks he can take My place as Master. And over here, a man ravishes a woman who isn’t his to enjoy. You see all I see, Wisdom; need I show you more?”

“No, Creator.”

“They only hold evil and violence continually in their hearts, and they have no regard for Me. They do not love Me. Do you see, Wisdom?”

Wisdom dropped her head. She did see. Every single day.

“But, there are those who still call on Your name. What of them?” she asked.

He looked to the slowly rotating globe, and Wisdom followed His gaze.

Enoch sat with his family in front of a campfire. Methuselah whittled on a piece of wood—a boat forming slowly in his hands—as Enoch spoke to his sons, daughters, and grandchildren about the Lord.

Wisdom listened intently. Love and fervor wove its way through Enoch’s quiet voice, and his audience listened in rapt attention.

Mighty warrior angels stood around the homestead, keeping watch. Several tents dotted the surrounding area since family members had arrived to celebrate Enoch’s birthday. His 365th birthday. Wisdom watched closely, enjoying their camaraderie. He was too young to have his life snuffed out.

Wisdom peeked at her Master. He smiled as He listened to them.

“You can’t destroy them, Lord; you can’t.”

He looked at her, His joyful expression lingering. He nodded at Enoch and his family.

“They would all come live with Me.”

“You promised them a long and full life on Terra, my Love. Don’t do this.”

Wisdom swept her hand wide.

“Think of all the souls that will be condemned.”

“They are already condemned. And, they are turning my sons and daughters away from Me.”

“And Your sons and daughters are turning a few back to You.”

“A few. Wisdom, my Wisdom—why are you fighting so hard for such stiff-necked people? They turn away from Me again and again.”

She turned back to the vibrant planet.

“Because I love them so. They are my greatest delight after You, my Lord.”

A pause.

“I love them, too.”

“I know.”

Her eyes sought His, pleading.

“Let this righteous family live on. Repopulate the earth. They will join You in their time. Your creation is incredible, Maker; don’t destroy it. Not yet. You said Yourself there has to be a chance for Redemption.”

The King nodded, the smile playing about his lips informing Wisdom that the conversation went exactly as He knew it would.

“Very well, dearest Wisdom. I will speak with Enoch.”

He stood and made His way to the edge of the crystal palace.

The King vanished and reappeared at the encampment below. Wisdom smiled and leaned closer, always eager to see how His creatures responded to His presence. The little ones cheered and swarmed the Lord, each vying for His attention.

Methuselah shyly hung back, but drank in every aspect of the Maker with hungry eyes.

Enoch stood and embraced the Creator. They spoke for a moment—the King ruffling the hair of the closest young boy. He puffed out his chest and jabbed his cousin with his elbow. The girl flushed and jabbed him back. The lad stuck out his tongue. The girl rolled her eyes. Wisdom chuckled and shook her head. Children. So wonderful.

The Maker motioned for Enoch to follow Him, and the two walked into the shrubbery surrounding the path. The brood returned to the campfire’s soft glow, each talking louder than the last about the Lord’s visit.

Wisdom pulled the Earth’s blueprints from their resting place in the King’s chamber. She studied them, quickly going over the changes that would take place if the Lord decided to flood the Earth. Terra’s topography would change drastically.

She made a few notes, the light pressure from her finger making ghostly marks she could easily rub away later if necessary.

Wisdom glanced up from her writing.

Enoch stood in the midst of Heaven, gazing at each new color in awe. The Master stood next to him, enjoying his reaction immensely.

Wisdom quickly scanned the earth. Enoch’s body was nowhere in sight. Her gaze bouncing back to Enoch, she studied his form more closely.

A slow smile crept across Wisdom’s face. Love must have taken him to Heaven as he was, for he still wore his worn, dust-covered garment. Wisdom shook her head and returned her attention to her crystal blueprints.

She wasn’t surprised. She had wondered how long until the Master showed Enoch the Heaven they spoke of so often. She’d never seen Him enjoy someone’s company more. She eyed Enoch’s awed expression and grinned. The King loved to astound His guests.

Wisdom saw the Master tug Enoch out of his stupor, urging Enoch in Wisdom’s direction.

“Enoch, this is Wisdom. Wisdom, Enoch.”

Wisdom tilted her head.

“How do you do? I’ve enjoyed listening to your talks with the Master. You have done well, teaching your offspring about Him.”

A sad look crossed Enoch’s face.

“If only they all would listen. My son Methuselah and my grandson Lamech seem to be the only ones who thirst for the Lord.”

Wisdom nodded her head.

“I understand. I wish all would listen too.”

Enoch looked between Wisdom and Love questioningly.

“The Lord has told you of His plans—?”

The King nodded.

“Wisdom was informed as well. Anything we spoke of you may freely say to her.”

Enoch relaxed.

“My Lord, I beg of You one thing. I had no desire to live among the wicked any longer, but my son, Methuselah, does not feel the same way. He relishes his life and Your teachings. He is a man of peace who desires peace, and seeks to turn others toward You. Please, please wait to destroy the Earth until after his life is spent. He is a mild-mannered man who, well, a destruction of this magnitude would overwhelm him. I beg You for my son’s well-being.”

The King nodded once, and glanced at Wisdom.

Wisdom stared at the Maker, hoping, urging Him to agree. He smiled at Wisdom, but spoke to Enoch.

“It shall be as you wish it, dearest Enoch. Come. I have much to show you.”

As the two walked away, Wisdom sighed in relief. She quickly rubbed away the notes for a redesigned Earth.

Maybe—just maybe—when Methuselah entered Heaven, her plans wouldn’t be necessary.

Wisdom unfurled her wings and swooped toward the vibrant orb.

Maybe—just maybe—she could get someone to listen.

 

Folly sat on a stone wall; roses the size of her hands side-by-side surrounded her. The thorny vines crept in and out of the stone like overgrown ivy. She sat among them, relishing the silence. The peace.

She eyed the ruins of the once grand castle. It was ancient. Even before its destruction, it had lasted thousands of years. Until Folly.

A family feud had stripped the owner of heirs, leaving the patriarch alone and empty—wondering what foolishness he had fought so hard, so adamantly over.

Then Folly led the giants to him. They ate the livestock right on the spot—Folly shivered. It was beyond grotesque. Then they ran throughout the castle, smashing everything in sight.

The lonely old man took his life before the giants could do it for him.

Folly fingered one of the soft petals. The plant wrenched its petals away from her, hissing.

“Oh, calm down. I won’t touch your wretched maker-made petals.”

The roses unfurled and settled back onto the rock, farther away from her.

It seemed like the plants hadn’t forgotten their maker, unlike the creatures.

A smile pulled up Folly’s lips, but it didn’t reach her eyes. She sagged—defeated, tired.

They were close. So close. Only a handful still called on the lord for help. Trusted him. All the rest followed Folly and the other fallen angels with abandon.

Lucifer could smell victory, and it drove him quite mad. Folly snorted. He had been mad to begin with, but she was too taken to notice. And he pushed Folly harder and harder, not letting her breathe for one moment’s time.

Folly’s thoughts drifted to Lamech.

She barked a short, humorless laugh. Lamech. What a popular name. The first had caved so readily, killing the first man that provoked him. This Lamech, however, was impressive. He had stood strong against women, drink, idol-worship. She was running out of ideas. Lucifer thought she wasn’t trying hard enough.

Her fists clenched. She had gotten nowhere with that cursed Methuselah. God-loving cur. Smiled at whatever came his way and tried to make peace in every situation. Peace! Made her want to scream.

She reached again for the petals. They reminded her of the soft lounge chair Wisdom had crafted for her visits to Wisdom’s lofty study. Her hand stopped, rigid.

Hatred filled her and boiled over.

Falling to her knees, she searched among the leaves near the ground.

Finding the plant’s thick base, she grabbed it and yanked the woody stems from the soil, tearing handful after handful of roots from the dirt. Huge thorns like daggers cut into Folly’s hands as the rose vines struggled and fought. She didn’t care. The pain from her shredded hands pushed her. The last root snapped free. The plant screamed then shriveled, lying still.

Tossing the plant from her, Folly stalked angrily away, blood dripping from her hands.

She was going to force this ridiculous depression away from her and take out the last two people who truly cared what the maker thought. Methuselah and Lamech.

 

Lucifer stared after Folly’s retreating back.

“Imagine that. Lucifer, the great and mighty, scared of a little thing like that.”

Lucifer spun around. Death gaped at him in his endless grin, and Fear hovered to his left. Through the thick fog, Lucifer could see Fear’s crossed arms.

“Why, you!”

Lucifer lunged for Death’s throat, only to be crippled by sudden terror. He dropped mid-lunge, grabbing his head. His ending flashed in his mind, many different versions of what could happen when the lord’s promised defeat occurred.

Lucifer panted, tore at his hair, and gnashed his teeth. He felt the crackle of bone as his teeth fought against collapse.

The horror lessened. Straightening, Lucifer smoothed his tattered cloak and pretended a calm he didn’t feel.

“I am not afraid of her,” he growled.

“Yes, you are. You’re afraid. Very afraid. You’re afraid of losing her. Afraid she’ll use her gift and see your end—turn against you. You’re scared she might repent.”

Lucifer growled low in his throat, but didn’t answer.

Death continued.

“She is the only one who can help you outwit the maker, and you know it.”

Death and Fear turned to leave.

“Don’t let her know how valuable she is to you, Satan.”

Lucifer vowed revenge deep in his heart. Revenge against both Death and Fear for making him cower. And Folly, if she failed him.

“Lucifer,” he snapped.

“You are Satan now. Maker’s orders. Get used to it.”

Oh, yes. Revenge of the blackest kind.

Lucifer watched them leave, glad to be rid of them. But a cruel question tugged at him. One they could answer.

“What if she fails?” he called. “What if she cannot turn the last of the righteous away from their maker?”

His entire body trembled at the thought.

Death took his time drifting back toward Lucifer, eyes on Folly.

“Then your defeat is complete. Never again will there be a chance to turn the entire earth away from the creator, according to Folly.”

Lucifer snarled and lunged at Death, pulling himself up short from actually attacking him.

“You stay away from her, you hear? She is mine—mine. If you want to know anything she sees, you will hear it from me, understand?”

Death turned his sightless, murky white eyes from Folly’s torn back and rested their chilling depths on Lucifer.

“I understand. Sir.”

The tone was mocking, false, but Lucifer would take it. He would deal with Death later, once he found Death’s weakness. It was unfortunate Death had found and utilized his first. Death would soon see who was master. As would Fear.

“Remember, don’t let her know, or you’ll never be able to use her again. You know how much is at stake.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t,” growled Lucifer to an empty castle hallway.

If Lucifer had the slightest chance of defeating the creator, he needed Folly at his side, serving him.

 

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

Black Wing by Brumae on deviantART.  http://brumae-art.deviantart.com/art/Black-Wing-384061833

Used with permission.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.  Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

2 Thoughts on “Chapter Nine

  1. Amy Frye on July 19, 2014 at 12:25 am said:

    Michele, great job again! You’ve held my attention, challenge me to read up in the history of your characters in the Word, and left me wanting more:)
    Not sure if the following sentences have a typo- if so, someone more intelligent and better at proof reading has probably already mentioned it.

    “Love stayed her with a touch. He nodded at Vengeance. ” (is it suppose to say, ” Love steadied her with a touch…”)?

    And
    “Enoch stood and embraced the Creator. The spoke for a moment…”
    (They)?

    Much excitement,
    Amy

    • Thank you so much, Amy! I did mean the first one (stayed as in stopped her, held her back) but I will change the second immediately! Thank you for your kind words and for reading it so closely. Means the world to me! :) Have a wonderful day!

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