The Silent Angel My name is Daniel Rose. I am writing this book because I truly believe that what I reveal in these pages, should be taken as a warning and spread to as many people as possible. I don’t know how it starts, I can only tell you what will happen once it has started. If these pages come to a reality, then you must be prepared. You must be ready for what might be the end of all human life as it is now. I suppose as a beginning for this book, I should tell you about my beginning. Not where I grew up and about my adolescence, but about how this novel came into being, how this particular ‘story’ came to me. I use the word story here as a broad noun, you’ll see why later. Although you probably found this book in the fiction section of a shop, dismissed as the ramblings of an imaginative or even desperate writer, you should know that I fear this book will one day be filed under history, or perhaps even religion. Of course that’s assuming there are any shops left... Chapter I: Searching Before I started writing this story, I was looking for something – though I didn’t know what. I imagine most people feel like that at one time or another in their lives, as if something is missing or needed, like leaving the house but sure some forgotten thing has been left behind. I could narrow things down a little by saying I was seeking a new idea for my next novel. I’d had moderate success in the past – enough to take a year out to try and duplicate that success with something new – but I was lacking inspiration. I’m not into sequels and when I tried following the same formula from my last successful novel with a few changes in scenarios, I just ended up with something recognisable as my original story, but with different names and places. My muse had moved on and taken all my potential new ideas with her, along with the CD collection and Wrangle, our cat. Guess she didn’t have any faith in me becoming a writer, or at least in me leaving my job to try and be just that. The idea of being the only bread-winner and dipping into savings was never one that appealed to her, I just didn’t know quite how set against it she was, or how much money really meant to her. My own fault. I should have listened outwardly instead of turning inward when things got rough. But I don’t want to get caught up in the past with those details. She’s not part of this story other than to say I was looking for something new to write about, something that didn’t involve a ‘romantic situation, smothered in complication as a would-be couple tried to battle through friends, family and fate to be together’. I found myself alone, without inspiration and with each rare new thought I had wholly lacking in anything original. I’d always thought that she was a distraction, but after she left, I found myself thinking about her even more. I couldn’t concentrate and I found that my train of thought was always quickly derailed by the reality of my own sad situation. The empty days rolled up into weeks and the weeks quickly became fruitless months, spent hunched over a keyboard, staring at a blank screen. I was getting uptight with myself and frustration finally got the better of me. I needed to relax and find myself some mental tranquillity, so I started taking some ‘me time’ and just watching a film or two each day. I started reading books for recreation again rather than just research, and I even got a few graphic novels to see what was going wrong in the comic book worlds. I began to marvel at how other writers had thought of such amazing and fascinating ideas, so full of exciting and dramatic imagination, until I started to forget that I was a writer too, and my writing time transformed into idle laziness. This self-indulgence in entertainment led along a path to further self-indulgence – in eating. I’d lost weight from the break-up and the months of what I now acknowledge as being depressed, but began to add pounds back to my body. One night in particular, I’d treated myself to an extra large pizza and somehow managed to eat the entire thing far later in the night than I should have done – from the hours of about 10:30pm to 2:00am I think it was – and washed down the food with several beers. It was the greediest (and drunkest) I’d been in a long time. Passed out in front of the television, I must have looked like the exact image of what my muse had seen me becoming. Slob would be the word she’d used. A washed-up, would-be writer, too lazy to admit it was time to get back to work, but too stubborn to let go of the dream. I don’t know if it was the late meal, the beer or all the comics and movies embedded in my hazy mind, but something happened that night inside my aching head. The batteries in my mind must have leaked acid into my thoughts, because I had a sleeping experience that night that I still can’t fully describe. To say I had a dream would be like telling someone who had just won a lottery that they’d been lucky. Chapter II: The Dream A sharp wind whispered to me as it stroked cold fingers through my hair. I opened my eyes to slits but the blurry images before me were only faintly recognisable as the familiar surroundings of my home. I felt afraid as I sat up on my sofa and looked at the broken bricks and damp-stained walls around me. Everything was ruined and I could hear water dripping from somewhere into a shallow puddle. I walked slowly through the deterioration of my home, chilled by a continuing draught, until I noticed a calendar hanging in the usual spot of my bedroom. The picture was nothing more than a stain, but I could still make out the month and written next to it, the year; December, 2012. I was over four years into the future from when I had fallen asleep. I had no idea how this had happened, but seeing the calendar somehow made it more real, even if, judging from the deterioration around me, the date shown on the tattered calendar was now long past. I found myself opening the front door and as I looked out, a strange and terrifying world sprang into my vision, made my legs shake and forced me to drop to my knees. The road on which I lived looked as if a desert had tried to claim it. Dirt and filth mixed in with dry, coarse sand had coated everything from the broken buildings to the dead trees. The sky was a steel-shaded metal that looked as cold as the air felt and as rusty as the smell that began to make me choke. When I recovered from coughing, I saw the gaping subsidence in the corner of my home that looked as if a giant had kicked the building, and was obviously the source of the draught I had felt, but aside from the mocking wind I heard nothing. As I stood, intimidated by the silent nightmare world around me, a quiet voice startled me as it called my name. “Daniel,” and after I made no move to respond, again, “Daniel Rose.” I stepped tentatively out into the ruined, almost unrecognisable street seeking my caller and something immediately caught my attention. A shadowy, hidden movement off to my left, ducking behind the wreck of what looked like a car crash that had happened years ago. The dream jumped and found myself reaching a trembling hand out towards the door of the derelict car. Through the window frame I could see a shadow cast by something within, writhing, itself distracted; was it feeding? Suddenly there was an explosion of light and I was flung backwards away from the wreck as it detonated into a ball of brightness. But there was no thunderous explosion sound, no smoke or debris, only light, blasting away all shadow and darkness, and then shattering the silence I heard a roar of pain and terror come from within the car’s shell. Immediately afterwards I felt wrapped in a soft warmth, as something the size of a huge man lifted my from the ground and the voice that had been calling me asked, ”Daniel, are you hurt?” I should have been left speechless, astonished by the figure asking me this simple question, but through my dream-swept perception all was normal, unsurprising and I responded, “No, Michael, I’m okay.” The creature to whom I spoke was Michael, archangel and general of the armies of Heaven. I smiled at his concern as I looked up into his perfect face. Although familiar with him in the dream, I was still aware of my disbelief, almost shock that he was so concerned with my well-being. Michael, archangel, patron saint, and my friend. I glanced back at the car and the creature hidden within to see that all was now serene, the taint upon the former vehicle had been washed away by the light. Michael’s strong hand squeezed my shoulder reassuringly, returning my attention to him, before he turned his head and called, “Forward!” At his command, a great thunder sounded and an army of men and angels rushed forwards towards us from my right. On wings of gold and in armour of bright, shining metals, the angels and men charged to battle. A crash and a thousand hisses, growls, roars and screams came from my left making me jump. Jerking my head to the source of the noise, I saw a cloud of darkness fiercely whipping a storm of soot and filth about, engulfing horrific creatures of both the most deformed monstrosity to inconceivable alluringness. Mixtures of man and animal that could only be defined as demons, flying together with what I recognised to be men in warped armour, ready to meet the angels head on. Panicking, I fled from between the two opposing armies, back towards the ruin of my house, but as I reached the first broken wall, a set of dirty hands yanked me down to the ground and a voice told me, “Be quiet!” I laid beside a man, clothed in rags and at the head of a group of battered people, best described as refugees. Then all of us ducked down lower, as the clash between the two armies came. I flicked my eyes up and saw the light smothered by the darkness, before the darkness began to burst and dissipate in bright sparks. I heard lightning, gunfire, the clang of swords and other metals impacting on one another, while all around us the very atmosphere changed, becoming charged with something foreign to me. I can only assume it was the energy from so many souls, the aura of spirits being made free of their physical forms and forced into the next life, whatever that may be. Turning my head back around I glanced at each of the other people with me, watching as their eyes remained fixed on the two armies. The man that had first caught me turned his head to look back at me and I saw a deep rooted fear in his eyes. “Don’t worry,” I heard myself saying, ”I’m sure with Michael and the others here, this battle is already decided, and once it is over, I can lead you away from this place.” But the looks in their eyes told me that they had no faith in my words, and I felt compelled to bolster that faith. Something exploded and again my dream jumped. The battle was over and once more I stood before the immaculate angel, Michael. He did not look as though he had just fought in a battle, in fact he seemed as perfect as any imagined image of him would show, save for the sadness in his eyes. He let his disappointment and sadness show through a sigh, “I am sorry, Daniel, that you could not save them. But there are others that still need you. Never give up hope and never relinquish your faith.” I did not respond to Michael, for I could not. The sadness in my own heart leaked from my eyes in tears of regret, as somehow I knew mankind had fallen. I was one of the few selected by the angels to attempt to redeem man, by demonstration of the more noble qualities of our species. The angels had given me something, (though during the dream I was unable to remember what is was. All I knew was the demons had learned of my gift and planned to take it from me, rendering me useless in the angels attempts to save mankind.) The warmth and comfort exuded from the mere presence of the angels did little to comfort me on this occasion, subdued by the coldness of loss, the disappointment of my failure. “It seems that the danger to you is becoming more severe, so although I must go from here, I will not leave you alone. The warrior angels, Brace and D’Mar will remain with you as your personal protectors in our quest to save the survivors of your race, though I hope you will not need them, that the dark armies will remain more focused on me. Stay strong in your faith, Daniel, and in so doing nurture the faith in others, for we shall find the weakness in the fallen and ultimately a way to free them from their turmoil. “I shall miss you, Daniel, but know that I shall always be near. Always hold your faith aloft.” I remember then the blast of air as Michael left and turning to see the fierce angels now at my side. Unlike Michael, these two looked battle-worn, like veteran soldiers that had been through hell – literally. Even with Michael gone, I felt safe in their presence. I believed in the angels by my side, as I believed in Michael’s optimistic words. We would find a way to end this. As my faith warmed me, I could feel the power of my angelic talisman, tingling in my hand. I hung my head and lifted my palm to examine it... Chapter III: Back To Reality I opened my eyes to find my living room cast in shadow, lit only by the glare from my television screen, but was immediately aware of the burning sensation in my hand. I jerked my hand up, half expecting and entirely hoping to see some mystical object, the thing that had been so important in my vivid dream. But, of course, my hand was empty. Can you relate to me? Have you ever had a dream that was so real, so utterly perfect in its every detail, that when it ended, you were left feeling like you needed to go back, to finish something very important? Almost as if the dream were somehow continuing without you. Some people have experienced this, others haven’t. Some people confuse dreams for omens, while others believe that dreams are visions; hints of the future or glimpses into alternate realities, sometimes even regressions into a previous life. Families and people that have lost loved ones claim to have been visited in their dreams by the person they lost. A special message delivered, reassurances that they’re not gone, or even saying good bye for the final time. I suppose the million dollar question is; why do we dream? I can’t possibly claim to know the answer, but here’s what I believe; When a person dreams, their mind can be opened to forces and beings that are not limited to the physical need to sleep in order to dream. An open mind can be entered by these forces, and although not manipulated, a person can be interacted with inside their dream, using only their mind to look and listen. Unrestricted by the need to use eyes to see and ears to hear and skin to touch, a person can experience anything – including interacting with entirely spiritual beings. I also think that when dreaming, an open mind can pick up on stray thoughts and images being transmitted by ethereal creatures. In conclusion, I think that’s what happened to me. Somehow, I picked up on a combination of some of these things. A glimpse of the future, the voice of an angel... But then again I cannot deny; it could just have been a meaningless dream. After it happened, I didn’t move from my couch for a few minutes. I was still so enthralled by my dream, and because of the tingling that was still tickling my hand and the memory-like images still flooding my mind, all I could do was lie staring at the light from the television screen without registering what it showed. If this had been a moment in TV show, then it would have been accompanied by some soft, yet profound musical score to suit the thoughts in my mind, until at last the date, December 2012, would bring the score to a dramatic end. After a while I realised how chilly I was. I’d been sweating heavily during the dream, it seemed, and now my clothes felt cold and damp. It was still night and as I changed and got ready for bed, my thoughts continued to loop around the dream, although I think that perhaps calling it an experience would be more accurate. I didn’t sleep for another hour at least, my mind rushing through parts of the experience, almost at random. I would think of the scene of battle and then remember the refugees. My mind would repeat Michael’s voice and then the roar of the demons’ attack would follow in a fading echo. The following morning I woke to find that the dream was still fresh in my mind, still clear and vivid, and sharper in my mind’s eye than most of my memoires from the previous months. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed that maybe during that dream I had perhaps been awake, and that the rest of the time I was sleeping, dreaming of an irrelevant life that mattered to no one. I felt confused though I wasn’t sure why, as I wondered through the next few days in a dream-like state. It may have been a week, I’m not sure – can’t recall now. I just remember finding myself staring at my calendar, not aware of having walked to it. There was over four years between now and the date the calendar in my dream had shown, yet I could feel a small sense of urgency being born within me. Conscious of my own absent-mindedness, I assumed that my feelings of confusion and then anxiety were just side effects of the trouble I had been having sleeping now as a result of the dream dominating my mind and driving my thoughts. I attempted to write a story built around the event, something that could be a masterpiece of fiction, but when I tried to write anything more than the exact events of the dream, I ran into a wall of writers block again and again, and nothing would translate from my imagination through the keyboard and out onto the page. I wrote several accounts of the dream in attempts to interpret it, and to perhaps evolve them into a novel, but all remained so similar in likeness, I could not honestly claim to have more than one draft of something I had begun to think of as a nightmare. Thoughts of impending doom and worries born from the images of the dream, visions in my mind that did not fade but instead sprouted imaginings where I saw myself swallowed by the cloud of darkness, which in my fretting had become as dense as mud. In my feeling of lost frustration, I began to walk, to think on the move. At first at nights when I could not sleep, but then mornings and afternoons too. I discovered twilight was my favourite part of the day, the time between the darkness and the light, when everything had a shadow to hide in. My new urge to walk seemed like further proof there was more to my ‘dream’ than I realised when I finally registered the name of the church I’d passed many times before; ‘St. Michael’s’ the plaque read. Within, I discovered a dedication to the church’s names-sake; a statue of Michael that I was able to recognise. Michael, the archangel from my dream. The patron saint of the warrior and the leader of the armies of Heaven, just as he had been in my dream. I was not a religious man. I had never read the bible and my knowledge of Christianity came only from the loose translations in the films I had seen. As I neared the statue a mystery approached my thoughts; how could I have known these things to have dreamt about them so accurately? Words beneath the statue read simply, “Holy Warrior” while the statue itself rested on a pedestal as tall as my waist, and showed Michael, wings spread and holding the hilt of his sword aloft, while the blade pointed downwards as if he meant to strike at something. As my eyes followed down the length of Michael’s blade, I imagined the creatures from my dream as his intended targets, surrounding him as he prepared to strike, and as I saw this my hand pulsed with heat. Again I felt as if the talisman from my dream was already in my grasp. I looked up into the statue’s dark eyes which were level with my own, though the cold gaze did not meet mine. “Is it real? I whispered desperately. “I need to know,” but the statue held no answers for me. I let out a heavy sigh and hung my head. Frustrated and tired, I left the church and went home. Chapter IV: Awakened Faith Evening brought a premature end to the day in these the winter months. A cold sky was home to stone-coloured clouds as silent and unmoving as the statue I had returned to, and I again gazed into its hard eyes. “Why did you show me these things?” I asked. “Why me?” “Can I help you?” asked a voice that startled me. I turned to see a priest, about my own age and smiling kindly at me. “I have seen you here at various times over the past week, stood before our statue of Michael. I have seen you preying to Michael, or perhaps asking for his help, but you do not attend mass.” There was no accusation in the concerned eyes, only observation and perhaps curiosity. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to trouble you. I’m lost and I think the statue can help me find my way.” I was surprised at myself for revealing so much so directly. I suppose it was the lack of anyone to talk to, the weight of the dream on my mind with no one to confide in, and then the kindly interest from the priest that invited me to share my trepidation with him. “I see,” nodded the priest and he held out his hand, “my name is Matthew, and if you would like to discuss your trouble, I have some free time at the moment.” “Thank you. I’m Daniel.” His shake was warm and firm and I found myself immediately willing to trust him and take his offer to talk. I described my dream in the implicit detail I had invented for my various drafts of a novel, and all the while he listened, occasionally stroking his chin or scratching behind his ear, contemplating what I was telling him. When I had finished he remained silent for a moment and then announced, “Interesting. Are you aware of any other significance for that date – December 2012?” I shook my head. “Depending on different sources and your own personal beliefs in them, it is said to be a significant year for a change in humanity, some even think it will be the year of the apocalypse.” His eyes flicked to the statue and then back to me. “The alleged bible code, which is a supposedly hidden cipher within the Old Testament, believes that something like a meteor will collide with the Earth in 2012, while the in the ancient Mayan calendar, something called the Long Count was calculated thousands of years ago, to end in the year 2012, specifically in December and even to a precise day, December 21st. The Mayan’s believed there were five ages of civilisation, each stage ending in disaster. According to their calendar, we are in the fifth age now which ends, December 2012.” I was astonished and stood, stunned by these shocking revelations. The weight of my dream increased in my mind and made my heart sink into the depths of my shaken soul. Something burned in my hand and, unconsciously I raised my palm, rubbing my fingers against it. “How do you know all this?” I asked. “When I hear of these things I always like to know more. I find such things fascinating. Your dream in particular amazes me, and now I must confess something to you.” I had no idea what was coming, but I felt my heart quicken at the thought of anything further Matthew had to tell me. He must have seen the worried look in my eyes, because he smiled warmly and said, “Oh, don’t worry. This isn’t anywhere near as frightening a thing as the end of the world. I just wanted to tell you the reason I became a priest, that is if you want to hear.” “Oh,” I nodded, “okay.” “Well when I was a younger man, like you, I once had a dream, only in my dream I saw myself as a priest. There was a man, a friend I could not recognise, standing with me showing me what my life could be like, if I joined the clergy. It was the most vivid dream I’ve ever had and I was so sure it was something more, I’d say it was because of that dream that I’m where I am today. “People don’t always trust their dreams, don’t follow them to fruition. I trusted mine and I’m glad I did, because I’ve led a happy and fulfilling life as a priest.” “But my dream...” I shook my head, “happy and fulfilling are not words I would associate with it.” We both laughed, “No I suppose not!” he admitted. “But perhaps you should consider this; if the dream was some sort of message, a vision of the future, then you can do little but prepare for it. Don’t try to fight or understand, just be patient and let fate unfold for you.” He placed a hand atop the statue’s arm, “Our silent angel need not speak to convey one message to you – one that he has already shared in your dream – you must have faith. “If something is to come that will bring an end to mankind, then your dream gives me faith, that we will not be abandoned, but rather God will aid us, and His angels will come to our protection.” Matthew was right. In my dream the world as it was now had ended, but Michael himself had come to me and other angels had fought to protect mankind. The angels Brace and D’Mar had been assigned to protect me personally and remembering this thought was almost as comforting as Matthews words. “Religion is built on faith, Daniel, but faith can play a role in many other aspects of our lives. Without faith, without beliefs a person can become lost. Life can treat them badly and they will develop a pessimistic view. But a different person, one whose faith is strong can go through the same misfortunes and their faith can help them to see the light.” The phrase that Father Matthew used, saying that faith could help a person see the light struck a chord within me, and when he invited me to stay for the evening mass, I did. I stayed and I prayed with the others. For the first time in too long, I forgot my dream and when I laid my head down to sleep that night, it was in peace, restful and comforted my Matthew’s outlook, strengthened by his faith to begin to develop my own. It seemed that the end of the world had been predicted long before my dream ever came to me, and if there was to be an end, if my dream was to come to pass, then there was nothing I could do to prevent it. All I could do was have faith that the positive side of my dream, the arrival of Michael and the other angels to save mankind would also come true. I closed my tired eyes and fell to a deep sleep, but unfortunately my rest was not peaceful. Chapter V: The Future The church smelt of incense, mingled with the damp air as the cold winter light of the setting sun filtered through the clouds and in through the open doorway, failing to reach past only the back- most pews. I felt no warmth in the church, but the cold in me had little to do with the weather. A chill had accosted me, stretching icy tentacles around me and made me uneasy as I waited beside the statue for Father Matthew. He came jogging from the back for the church and stopped beside the statue of Michael, his panting breathe cloudy in the air. “It’s too late, it’s here,” he said referring to the vision of my dream, his words escaping on his quick breaths. “When did they come?” I asked of the demons. “I don’t know,” he answered, doubling over with exertion. “There’s so many of them, too many for us to hope against.” “No Father!” I cried, “We must have faith! The dream showed me that ruin would come, but that Michael would lead the angels in our defence!” “The dream was wrong! I see no angels,” he looked past me to the entrance of the church, “only doom.” The doorway to the church darkened and I turned to stand between Matthew and the statue of Michael. Something dark was silhouetted within the arch of the church’s double-doors; a creature that appeared to be made of a watery reflection, yet with a texture like stone. It hissed as its cloudy, formless shadow slipped out before it, into the church and down the aisle towards us. Its breathing became heavier, the hissing transformed into growls, growing louder as it cast its shadow nearer to us until suddenly the two-dimensional shade leapt up and pounced towards us. I flicked my eyes up at the creature still silhouetted in the doorway, for only its shadow of dark liquid had entered the church and in slow motion I saw the shadow move into my vision and grow into a dark weapon, solid and spiteful, lunging towards me with hateful intent, and then it was obscured from my sight, blocked by Matthew’s body as he flung himself into its path. Before him, the priest held out a crucifix that he wore about his neck. The shadow struck his body, penetrating it and violating it but upon its contact with the sign of Christ, there was a deep tremor in the ground, followed by a rush of air that ended in a shattering explosion of tide on rock that reverberated through the church, echoing off the walls and destroying the two massive windows on the back wall. The pews splintered and stone pillars cracked, as the shadow was thrown from the church and the figure silhouetted in the doorway vanished. I had been knocked from my feet and now crawled to Matthew. Gently I lifted his prone head into my lap. His body was broken and his spirit had fled, but I could not bring myself to abandon his corpse so soon. I sat, trembling at the sudden loss of my friend, the man that had given me hope when I had been so lost, those few years ago. I was so consumed by grief that I did not at once notice as a second shadow entered the church. It crept slowly closer until it darkened the area at the base of the angelic statue, beside the thick pedestal that I was slumped against. I realised what was going on only when the statue began to shudder atop its column, as if the touch of the shadow offended and tainted it. I rested Matthew’s head down and stood, my back still to the source of the shadow. Then swiftly, defiantly, I turned to face the creature that cast its darkness upon me and I was horrified to see that unlike that one before it, this one stood within the church, only a few steps away from me. It had not sent its shadow out before it, but stood towering over me and casting me in darkness. I glared up at the beast, several feet taller than myself, its body a dirty grey and glistening with a liquid that did not run and drip from its flesh, but stained its appearance. “I will not fear you!” I screamed. “You may take this place, but you will never take me!” Abruptly the darkness receded, the beast grew lighter and its body began to shimmer with a light shinning from behind me, reflected upon its glistening skin. The light flared and the beast staggered backwards and I, despite my brave words, retreated into the light, which I saw was emanating from the statue. Still completely intact and now beginning to burn brightly, but without flames, only light shining and flickering and growing as a trickle from a dam might burst into a roaring waterfall. There was a second explosion, but this time there was no shockwave, no noise, only light all-consuming, totally blinding and utterly engulfing the church leaving me dazzled despite my eyes being squeezed shut against the brightness. The only sound I heard was a gentle rush, as if an ocean wave had brushed the floor of the church. When the light dimmed I saw all that remained of the beast was tiny particles of soot, falling as if someone had shaken the filth encrusted branches of a tree within the church at the point where the demon had stood. I reached a shaking hand out to the statue and felt that the stone-carved breastplate was warm beneath my fingers. I then watched in awe, as the light from the statue glowed once more and began to pulse in rhythm with my heartbeat. I lifted my hand away and the light from the statue came with it, glowing in my palm, pulsing in time with the throb of my heart. I balled my fist around the light and felt it harden and then suddenly a searing pain stabbed into my hand bringing with it such agony, that I awoke. Chapter VI: The Voice I found myself stood before the stone image of Michael once more. The pain in my hand had ceased as soon as I had woken up, but unlike the pain the images of my latest dream had not faded from my mind. Instead, those images joined with the story told in my first dream to form one complete vision of a terrifying future, of an unknown fate that may or may not come to pass. I stared at the statue, praying for answers to the many questions I had and remembering what Matthew had told me about having faith. Faith. The thing that had saved me in the second dream, coming to rest in my hand and by taking on a physical form, searing itself into my flesh, marking my palm as a talisman of faith for all mankind. I understood that now, though I had not seen the mark on my hand in the dream, the knowledge of what was happening had become clear to me in the split second before I had awoke. A split second in reality had seemed like forever in the dream, as the light from the statue of Michael burned itself into my hand. I waited for my answers, knowing that the angel before me would remain silent and in truth hoping that those answers would never come, that this was all the work of an over-active imagination and some strange and menacing dreams. I was afraid of my questions, scared of what might come to pass if my dreams had given me even the tiniest glimpse of the future. I closed my eyes and shut out the muffled traffic in the street, the occasional person’s footsteps as they moved about the church. I blocked my senses from giving me any information, and concentrated on the voice I knew I would only be able to hear in my mind, when I was not distracted by noises I could hear through my ears or things I could see with my eyes. I needed to dream awake. I focused every part of my mind on the second dream, on the statue of Michael I knew was in front of me not an arm’s length away. The strain I placed on myself began to tire me and I started to tremble with fierce concentration. The hand marked in the dream tingled and grew warm until suddenly I heard someone whisper my name. As I look back now to those memories and try to translate them onto this page, I don’t know if I heard a delicate whisper of my name or if I only imagined it. In the months since all this happened, I have gained no answers inside the church, the image of the angel has remained silent. Of course; it’s only a statue, carved from stone and made by a man, an artist, perhaps like myself. Perhaps even inspired and then driven to carve that statue from a dream. There’s been no more dreams about the end of the world, angels, talismans or anything else even remotely connected to those two which still remain as clear to me now as at the moment I awoke from them, clearer than the memory I have just described. I have nothing else to tell you, except that upon checking, what Matthew told me about the predictions for 2012 was all true. I suppose the only thing to do now is wait, to pray that this book hasn’t become the warning I’m afraid it could be, and in a little over four years, hope that this story has become just another piece of fiction. The End... I pray.
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