Chapter Ten

“You—you mean you won’t destroy all of them?”

The King nodded.

“You mean—you mean, I’ll get to speak to him?”

“Yes.” A grin lifted the corners of the Master’s mouth.

“He’ll actually hear me…see me?”

“Yes, Wisdom.”

Wisdom whooped and danced around the latest blueprints spread in the King’s antechamber.

Coming to stand once more before the Lord, Wisdom folded her wings and hands and tried to school her expression, but a grin kept peeking through.

“And what is my assignment, Creator?”

The Maker shook His head and laughed.

“How I love you so, Wisdom. I want you to design a ship and teach him how to build it.”

She glanced at the rippling blue surrounding the lush green landmass.

“A ship?”

“Yes, a ship.”

He held out His hand, and several ghostly images appeared in his hand. As each ship flashed by, Wisdom assessed their practicality and Noah’s ability to build each one.

She plucked a clear pencil from the air and snatched a glass blueprint floating nearby, quickly etching notes. The tip of the writing instrument seared white light into the sheet of crystal, and the shape of a boat rapidly formed. The ink glimmered a rainbow of colors as it settled into the glass.

“I have specific requirements, of course, but the rest is up to you. It needs to hold two of every animal, seven each of the clean, and Noah and his family.”

Wisdom paused, her hand mid-air. Her eyes flew to the globe, and she made a swift head count. She slowly looked at Him.

“No one else, Master?”

He shook His head, sadness settling into the lines of His face.

Wisdom gave a quick nod and went back to scribbling, intent on getting his requirements down.

“Wisdom.”

Wisdom realized he had spoken a beat after the room settled into silence.

Wisdom started and jerked her gaze to the Maker.

“Sorry, uh—yes?”

His eyes crinkled at the corners, and He bit His cheek.

A blush crept its way up Wisdom’s neck.

“I’ll be speaking to Noah when the sun rises, so I’ll want your plans before then.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

Wisdom bowed and hurried from the King’s chamber. Beating her heavy wings, she soared toward her perch. She glanced down.

Oh no!

She darted behind Aurik’s dwelling, clutching her drawings to her chest. She peeked from behind the brilliant white surface.

Discretion waited for her by the front door.

Wisdom fluttered her wings softly and flew in a wide circle around her home, using other dwellings for cover. Sneaking up the backside of the needle thin base, she crept silently to her chamber. Why in heaven’s name had she made the whole thing clear anyway? Privacy was never an issue—until now. She wasn’t avoiding Discretion exactly—ok, she was. Wisdom sighed. They would just have to talk later. When things had slowed down, and, well, when Wisdom didn’t feel like her heart would burst with every mention of Folly’s name.

Wisdom landed in her study and hurried to her desk, breathing a sigh of relief when Discretion kept staring out the front wall.

Pulling blank glass from her stash, she picked up her favorite pencil. Light shot into the ice-like document with each scratch. Another boat formed.

Setting it aside, she quickly made three more sketches, each different from the last.

Satisfied with the rough drawings, she pulled out much longer panes of glass, hunkering down to make detailed blueprints.

She glanced at her notes. Each vessel would match the Lord’s specifications, but He could choose which He liked best. She paused and erased part of her sketch. That technology was beyond Noah’s time.

Hours passed.

Wisdom finished the last blueprint and sat back, fully satisfied. She scanned them briefly for errors. None.

Gathering the scattered crystal sheets, she rolled them into a scroll and gently eased them into her pocket. She didn’t want them wrinkled before the Master saw them.

Her entire being bubbled with excitement as the Lord chose and refined her prototype. She carefully made the changes He asked of her. She bounced on the balls of her feet as she waited for the King to take her to the sphere’s surface.

“Are you ready, Wisdom?”

“Am I ever!” she nearly shrieked.

She bit her lip and danced in place.

“Can we go now? Can we?”

The King laughed.

“Of course, my love. Lead the way.”

Wisdom barreled for the Earth, crystalline maps and notes and blueprints and sketches clutched haphazardly in her arms.

The Creator was waiting calmly for her on the surface.

She grinned and took her place behind Him, waiting for the moment the Maker would reveal her to his beloved. Noah. Her grin stretched wider. How she had yearned for a moment like this!

Wisdom knew the instant Noah saw the Lord. His entire face lit up, and he ran toward Him.

She bit back a yelp when Noah came within inches of her.

“Now, Lord; now?”

“Patience, dearest Wisdom.”

She nodded and waited not-so-patiently while the Maker explained to Noah that he had found grace in His sight, all life on Earth would be destroyed, but Noah and his family would escape on a craft.

“But, Lord, forgive me…gopherwood? I don’t even know how to build a boat! I will do anything You ask, You know I will, but, how do I proceed? What do I do?”

The Creator dropped his arm around Wisdom’s shoulders and tugged her forward.

“This is my master craftsman, Wisdom. She is here to instruct you in every aspect of shipbuilding.”

Wisdom watched Noah’s eyes widen as comprehension dawned.

Wisdom grinned. The blinders melted away, and he gaped at her.

“Hi. I’m Wisdom.”

Noah threw himself on the ground before her.

“No! No! Get up! You mustn’t worship me, only the Maker! Only ever the Maker.”

She knelt, scattering off-white paper everywhere as she tugged him to his feet.

He stared at her with wide eyes and open mouth.

“I am a servant, like you. Now,” she smiled. “Would you like to see the blueprints?”

 

Folly sagged against the wall.

969 years and nothing. Nada. Not one blasted sin that Methuselah hadn’t repented and been forgiven for. Nothing she did turned the peace-loving fool away from his maker.

Folly raked her fingers through her greasy hair, trying to ignore their trembling.

Only one left. Noah.

Folly stared at her quaking hands a moment before dropping them to her side.

Lucifer hounded her, never giving her a moment’s peace, never letting up. And now—now the creature that had consumed her day and night had died. A purely natural death—peaceful, easy. Smiled, closed his eyes, opened his real ones, stood, and calmly went with his escorts to the king’s palace. To top it all off, he lived the longest of any of the maker’s creatures. Outlived his son, Lamech, and almost outlived his grandson, Noah.

Lucifer was furious. So Folly hid.

She cringed against the wails of the souls in despair.

She avoided this section—hated it with everything within her. But she was a tad on the desperate side.

A beating? Or the maker’s compassion that welled within her at each despairing cry?

It was torment either way, and she couldn’t decide which was worse.

She sighed.

Maybe now that Noah was the only one left, Lucifer would take it easier on her.

She laughed a mirthless laugh. Not likely. The tantalizing scent of victory was driving Lucifer mad.

His efforts grew more frantic, more daring. The horde focused all of their efforts on Noah and his wife. People ridiculed them, laughed at them, asked to hear about their god only to laugh when they tried to explain his mercies.

Folly snorted. Mercies. The “mercies” Wisdom spoke of were a load of tripe. What kind of god allowed such suffering, such violence in his world? The unmerciful kind.

Satan would have his victory. Mankind would be destroyed. But then there was Noah.

Folly frowned.

How did Noah play into all of this?

A hint of Noah’s path flashed before her. Folly trembled.

Lucifer knew his time was running short. He didn’t need to know what she saw.

Victory stood just outside of reach of his grasping fingers, and Folly already bore the brunt of his frustration.

No need to make it worse.

 

Wisdom landed lightly at the entrance to the palace. Her feet had barely brushed the glistening clear-gold pavement before she hurried down the hallway that by-passed the Throne Room. Noah and his family worked endlessly on the “ark,” as he called it. It was nearing completion, but the Maker had asked her to join Him instead of building with Noah today.

Wisdom fairly sizzled with anticipation. She couldn’t wait to see what the Maker wanted.

She had spent nearly a hundred years assisting Noah—an audience with the King was most welcome.

Wisdom knocked on the seldom closed door to the Creator’s antechamber and waited.

She frowned.

The Master had told her to meet Him here. Where was He?

“Wisdom.”

Wisdom glanced over her shoulder. Gabriel hurried in her direction.

“Come quickly. Satan has an audience with the Maker. The King wants you to join Him right away.”

Wisdom rushed toward the Throne Room.

“Why wasn’t I informed?”

“I came as soon as I could.”

Wisdom nodded at Gabriel’s curt reply and lightly touched his shoulder. She hadn’t meant to snap at him.

He darted a quick glance at her, the tension in his face easing slightly.

Gabriel opened the heavy doors for Wisdom as she barreled through.

Fiendish laughter and jeers met hers ears before the doors were fully open.

Satan bowed before the Throne, a few towering former Seraphim flanking him. Leathery wings rose far above the giant angels, and their posturing did not intimidate the King of kings one bit, Wisdom noted.

Indignation quickly replaced satisfaction.

Wisdom’s nostrils flared. How dare they enter the Throne Room!

Gabriel gently shoved Wisdom in the Master’s direction, and she marched to His side, respectfully taking her place near Him. His Son stood nearby, arms crossed, brows furrowed. Wisdom felt a subtle acknowledgment from the Creator, although His eyes never left Satan’s face.

“What do you want, Satan, deceiver of nations?”

Satan bowed deeply, his small hoard of followers cackling at his exaggerated face-plant.

“I bring you news, oh great one. Methuselah, your “faithful” servant—is dead.”

Satan paused, looking up at the King expectantly.

Wisdom glanced at the Maker too, surprised. She hadn’t known.

His stony stare was Satan’s only reply.

Satan swallowed hard and cleared his throat.

“You tell him, Lucifer,” hissed one of his twisted followers in a hushed cheer.

Satan blanched and glanced quickly behind him then at the King.

“Satan, you fool! How many times have I told you to call me Satan?”

The gnarly fallen angel looked dumbfounded.

“Anyway,” Satan continued, once more to the King. “If you are truly the righteous king you claim to be, you cannot allow this wickedness to continue. Fulfill your promise at the garden, holy one. They ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You promised death. Now fulfill it.”

Satan’s smug grin slipped as the silence from the King’s side of the room stretched on.

Wisdom gritted her teeth.

Destroy him. Destroy him now, Maker, and be done with it.

All things are right in their time. Remember that, daughter.

Wisdom dropped her head in respect.

Yes, Maker.

Satan lifted his chin, jaw clenched.

“You promised.”

“And what is it to you what I do with my creatures?”

Satan’s face flashed red as he opened then snapped his mouth closed. After a visible struggle, he kept his tone civil.

“I wouldn’t want you to go back on your word, that’s all. The earth is my kingdom, after all, and I demand justice.”

Wisdom’s gasp echoed in the roomy chamber.

Satan speared her with a hateful look.

“Your king gave the world to those weak beings; they, in turn, serve me; and voilá. The earth belongs to me.”

He turned his attention back to the Lord.

“Anyway, not one of them serve you any longer, and—since they are mine—I want them destroyed.”

“What of my servant, Noah?”

Satan waved his hand in dismissal.

“Oh, he doesn’t count. He’s one man out of millions. Once his life is snuffed out, you won’t have a reason to deny me what’s mine any longer. So, again, I ask you—where is the death you promised me?”

The Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth and all that live above and below stood slowly, His eyes flashing fire.

Angels immediately kneeled, including Wisdom, and Satan’s two bodyguards flew back, limp. His entourage cowed and inched away, unable to look at Him. Satan fell to his knees but fought for his position, struggling to raise his eyes to the Master’s face.

“You will have your death. Get out.”

The fallen angels shrieked and fled, dragging the unconscious seraphim behind them.

“Allow Me to die for them now.”

Wisdom’s head jerked up at the hushed words between Father and Son.

“No. The time is not right.” The King’s voice boomed across the chamber. “Michael. Gabriel. Raphael.”

The three Seraphim snapped to attention.

“Go break the fountains of the deep. Go slowly—take your time. Give them every opportunity to hear Noah and repent.”

The rushing sound of mighty wings covered Wisdom’s gasp.

It was happening then. It was really, truly happening.

 

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

Tears of an Angel by MirellaSantana on deviantART.com.  http://mirellasantana.deviantart.com/art/Tears-of-an-Angel-254994540

Used with permission.

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