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  • Writer's pictureBelinda Lane

Story: TALES OF THE F.B.I. (Faith Based Investigations)

September 10, 2021


Written by: J. Anthony Spencer

As the sun has set on the tiny town of Manarola, Italy, leaving in its passing a beautiful light show of purple and orange on the horizon of the Ligurian Sea. On a balcony, high over the small harbor, sit two men in muted silence. Observers who may have paid attention have noticed that only a few words have passed between the two in the long hours they have sat there. But what are hours to beings that have watched centuries pass? A carafe of wine and two partially drained glasses sit on a small table between them. As the last sliver of light disappears below the horizon, the bearded one asks his companion. “Hungry?” The other answers, “I can eat.” And they both rise.

Gabriel, now dressed in a shirt of a beige light fabric, cargo shorts of the same color and sandals, looks like a Greek god. His only other accouterment is a gold chain around his neck. They exit the building and walk down the often steep or sloping streets until they come to Trattoria dal Billy. Trattoria dal Billy specializes in Italian and seafood and the pair were seated immediately, as they considered Gabriel a regular. After putting in their order, they conversed while waiting for the meal. They talk freely in the language of Angels with no fear of being heard or understood. Gabriel begins, “So what has brought you to my doorstep, Firstborn? Our paths haven’t crossed since 1349 during the height of the Black plague. And it looks like we are on the cusp of another pandemic.” Michael leans back in his chair and sighs. “Yes, I know. I hear this one may have its origins in China. And it looks like the American president is denying that it has reached its shores.” “Yes, I heard.” Says Gabriel. “A concern to be sure, but I’m sensing that this is not the reason you are here.” But as Michael speaks, a server brings an antipasto of Salted Anchovies which both angels help themselves to.

After a couple of minutes, Michael continues. “We both know scripture, referring to the text and not the agent. We know prophecy will be fulfilled, but it seems our adversaries are pushing the agenda. There has always been tension and differences, but somehow things seen more destructive. Again, knowing what is ordained is one thing. But I thought…… I don’t know, that the world would get better. Countries possess the power that, with one push of the button, could kill untold amounts of people without regard to who they are. Though not based in America, I have seen a people who should be bonded through pride of the country use that same so-called pride as a reason for hate. We have seen civilizations rise and fall, civil wars, world wars and still what’s going on currently seems to be ahead of prophecy. We know of what will take before and after The Rapture, but I must admit it’s hard to observe. Maybe I’ve gotten sensitive to the plight of man these many centuries.” He sighs and shifts the conversation.

As they say, Good Friends and good food. They discuss a variety of things. The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons movies, the series of books concerning those left behind and shows like Evil and Lucifer. But before long, the conversation moves back to what is on Michael’s mind. “I recently intervened with a disruption at the U. S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. cause by Miss Information or Misinformation, take your pick. It is bad enough that the humans exerting free will is causing damage enough on their own, but something else is going on with the other side. They are choosing certain people, certain situations, and events. And though even I am not privy to the thoughts of our Lord, he has taken steps for our intervention. I think that to most people think we sit waiting for the Second Coming, that is far from the truth. Despite the way the world looks, there is a balance. Or at least there was.” At this last statement, Gabriel looks at Michael questioningly. “Was?”

Michael explains. “During that same misadventure at the U.S. Capitol I saw Blind Justice?” “Blind Justice?” Gabriel asks. “Yes. Though I can’t explain it. To my knowledge, no such being exists. But I saw it plain as I am looking at you. The only thing I can figure; it was a manifestation of justice. But the thing that bothered me is that the scales were not even. And in that, I knew it did not tip in our favor. Sounds crazy?” Gabriel smiles “No crazier than two angels sitting down to dinner in an Italian restaurant.” At this, Michael also smiles. “But you are right. I crave a simpler time. Not one, as you say where the push of a button can destroy the world.” They continue their meal, order two orders of Capri Cake to go, pay the bill with a hefty tip, and make their way from the restaurant.

Manarola at night is a sight of unparalleled beauty. All at once it seems like a mythical city carved out of a Cliffside overlooking a beautiful sea that is lit by multicolored lights. The two beings seem to glide more than walk, striding like benevolent giants. “You chose a beautiful place to settle, if settle is the proper description.” Says Michael. “I fell in love with it immediately. Despite the tourists, it is a small, warm, welcoming place, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. But I venture out now and then.” Michael looks at Gabriel questioning. “Before you ask, I hide my Angelic Aura. It’s not that I am hiding from you. And apparently since you are here, if I hid, it wasn’t good enough to fool you. But my job is yet to come whenever that time will be. I will stand with you. I will stand with him. He made us in his image. My loyalty and faith have never wavered.” Michael responds. “Of that, I am certain. I have seen the good and evil that is man. He granted them free will and while he may know everything, sometime I feel the Adversary is trying to change the rules. I know nothing takes place without the Godhead knowing it. But the Adversary once was a part of Heaven. He, too, knows what the outcome will be. But in knowing that, wouldn’t you make the best of the time that you have? Meaning the Adversary.” Gabriel nods as if pondering the words of his “brother.”

Gabriel clears his throat and asks, “So I have been meaning to ask, how did you find me?” Michael smiles and answers. “You mentioned us not seeing each other since the Black Death. Our meeting was pure happenstance. As you know, I suspected that there was a dark origin to the plague. When our paths crossed, the first thing I noticed was that your aura was barely detectable. Had I not been within yards of you, I would have missed you all together. If you did this, then you must have your reasons. I respected it then, and I respect it now. It’s only that I think what’s going on is much deeper than what is obvious. I needed another opinion, and as you know, I respect your opinion and views above all others. Excusing the Lord.” They both smile. “It is good to share with someone of common experience what you feel when you don’t know exactly what you feel yourself. Well, this appearance of Blind Justice has some meaning. I also think that while that being and appearance are not nefarious, it is not of the Divine.” Says Gabriel.

They make a left turn onto a well-lighted avenue with a scattering of people as soft music permeates the air from some unknown location. “So tell me about these mortals that they have assigned you to watch over.” Says Gabriel. Young kids run up the street and excuse themselves as they run between the two angels. “At first glance, there does not appear to be anything special about them. Male, female, multiple races, multiple ages. There doesn’t seem to be a connective thread between them.” Answers Michael. “I can only glean that their continued well-being is of a yet unknown importance. I have very competent agents. They are a surgeon’s scalpel in contrast to leading The Host, which is more like a hammer. A very large hammer.” Again, both “men,” break into an easy laugh. “But this feeling is going to haunt me unless I can come up with some answers.” Sighs Michael.

Gabriel seems to consider the word of Michael, then says, “I admit you have me intrigued, but I am not ready to get the band back together. But what I will do is keep my eyes and ears open on this side of the world and if something comes up, you can always come back here or another location of your choosing and we will meet up.” They reach Gabriel’s building and, after a few moments, are back on the balcony overlooking the lights of the city. “So I have a question,” says Michael. “Besides our meeting during the Black Death, what have you been up to?” Gabriel smiles and says, “It’s a long story, and one for another time. Have you researched the Archives to see if this is the first report of anyone seeing Blind Justice?” Michael sits up in his chair. “Up to now, no one has ever spoken of it. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t noted it in the records. Gabriel, you are a genius. I am going to get right on this. Having spent this little time with your after eons, I have to say that I will miss you.” Gabriel replies, “And I you. But you know how to reach out to me. So until you need me, I bid you farewell. And if that day comes sooner than later, I will be with you again. We will both play an important part.” Gabriel reaches into his shirt and grabs the gold chain, bringing in out in plain view. On that chain hangs a golden horn. Michael looks at the horn and smiles. “Till we meet again.” Michael fades from sight. Gabriel looks at the small table that was between them and sees the two bags of dessert. “Ah, now I have two desserts.” But as he reaches for the bag, it too fades from view. Gabriel laughs heartily. - Manarola, Liguria Italy - Trattoria Dal Billy

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