The Angelic Prophecy
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by Robert L. Hecker
Category: Suspense/Thriller/Science Fiction
Description: Michael Modesto, a hard-living rock star, in a vision is given extraordinary healing powers and is told: "I am the Word and you are My messenger." But he is not told the message, only to "Beware the Antichrist." Torn by doubt because he is not worthy of being God's messenger, and plagued by guilt because he does not want the responsibility, but knowing that the only way he can return to his old decadent life is to discover and deliver the "message," Michael reluctantly takes on the role of healer and evangelist. His quest is complicated when he falls in love, and even more so when the Antichrist sets out to destroy him before he can deliver his prophetic message. Still fighting doubts--and fear--Michael's quest leads him to a showdown with the Antichrist and a surprising fulfillment of his Angelic Prophecy.
eBook Publisher: Mundania Press LLC/Mundania Press LLC, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: March 2006
7 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [435 KB]
Reading time: 302-423 min.
"Terrific Story! I had a hard time keeping my mind on corrections while reading."--Verda Mackay, editor/reviewer
Ambassador Anthony Stonz knew it wasn't the storm that had yanked him awake.
Prophetically, the storm that lashed Washington, D.C. with hurricane wind and driving rain had seemed to come out of nowhere. The low-flying squall, sweeping up from the Gulf of Mexico, had battered itself to near-death on the spine of the Appalachians. Then, inexplicably, the storm's tendrils had managed to pull themselves together like spilled mercury, allowing it to vent its fury on the nation's capital. When Stonz awoke at 2:00 A.M., the storm's voice of thunder was threatening every building in Washington with hurricane-force wind and thick chains of lightening that even the heavy rain could not conceal.
Instinct told Stonz that the storm was merely a causa proxima, and the real reason for his apprehension was something else, something far more ominous. Although the sensation of alarm was so vague as to be undefined, he had learned long ago not to discount these warnings, especially when he had been experiencing a niggling malaise for several weeks. Something was amiss and it would be well that he discover what it was before, like the storm, it grew into the apocalyptic Armageddon.
But where to start?
He switched on the bedside lamp and got out of bed. As he put on his slippers, a random thought made him smile. Why did he need slippers? The wall-to-wall carpet in the luxurious town house was thick enough to protect his feet even if it had covered a sheet of ice. The answer came to him when he walked to the sliding-glass door that opened onto a second-floor balcony and stood looking at the pouring rain and the wind-tossed branches of the big cypress trees that lined the street below. It was too early in the fall for the leaves to fall, and although they had changed color, they clung to the whipping branches with the desperation of life.
Stonz could sympathize with the leaves; if they lost their grip, they were dead. Could his dysphoria be caused by a sense that something, somewhere was threatening his grip?
He had to get out into the storm, to feel its fury, to allow it to tell him its portentous message. He unfastened the security bolt on the door and slid it back. Instantly the wind whipped into the room, sending the brocade ceiling-to-floor drapes flapping. He left the door open as he stepped outside.
He moved to the front of the balcony, letting the mist-laden wind lash his exposed skin like the stinging tentacles of a jellyfish. He gazed into the darkness of the lowering clouds, but there were no answers in their black eternity.
He knew that the ugly portention was not caused by anything earthly. He had firm control of all his programs and all were going well. No. Instinct told him that this--this adumbration--had its roots in prophesy. But which one? The only thing of which he could be certain was that the event was going to be bad and would take all his abilities to forestall. There was one other thing of which he could be certain: He would defeat this intrusion as he had all the others, and he would survive as he always survived.
And yet, there was something about this apprehension that was--
He did not turn. Had a similar premonition awakened Selene? Not likely. Although she had a remarkable prescience that often bordered on the divine, she had not experienced the disturbing forebodings that seemed to be plaguing his life lately. More likely, she had heard him open the sliding-glass door or had been awakened by a burst of cold wind that had penetrated the space below the door that separated their apartments.
"You're going to catch pneumonia out there."
He turned and saw that she had captured the flapping drapes with her arms. The study of mythology had always fascinated him, and seeing her standing with the wind molding her satin nightgown to her perfect body and tossing her cloud of black hair, staring at him with eyes as dark and turbulent as the storm clouds, took his breath away.
Still, her remark almost made him smile. She knew he never got sick, but to please her, he came back into the apartment and closed the door. Experiencing the storm had been unproductive anyway. The moment of concentration had given him no clue about the cause of his mounting concern.
"Look at you." Selene felt the side of his pajama shirt. "You're all wet. What on earth were you doing out there?"
"Thinking." He went into the bathroom stripping off his damp pajamas as he did so. She followed him, and unfolding a bath towel embroidered with his initials, began to dry him. There was no sexuality in the procedure. She knew that while he admired her beauty, he had no interest in physical sex. He was only fifty-five and consciences exercise and genetics had given him a strong muscular body. But his mind controlled his body with an iron discipline. To him, his body was a necessary vehicle he would gladly have abandoned if he could somehow do his work with mentality alone. Although he took great pleasure in Selene's incredibly beauty, it was as an artist would admire a remarkable painting, certainly not something that he could allow to interfere with his agenda.
Her beauty also had a practical side. Coupled with a sensual innocence, her exotic beauty gave her an allure that was devastating to men and was one of the primary reasons he had sought her in the first place. Men who probably would not give him the time of day were glad to take a lunch if they knew he would bring his personal secretary.
"What is it?" she asked. "Is something wrong?"
"I'm not sure. Probably not. More likely it's just the storm."
She was silent as she blotted his thick, graying hair. She, of course, knew he was lying. She always knew. But she also knew that if he thought she could be of help, he would have told her.
"I know," she said. "It woke me too. At least, I think it was the storm."
There was an implied question in her statement. She was telling him that she had sensed his fear, for that, he admitted, was what it really was--fear. But fear of what? Splinters of thought seemed to swirl through his brain as though driven by a tornado, and he couldn't seen to hold any one of them long enough to form a concrete hypothesis. He felt as though, like Sisyphus, his mind was struggling to roll a boulder up a mountain. But just as he reached the top, the boulder escaped his grasp and he was forced to start again.
With Selene's soft breath on his shoulder, it occurred to him that perhaps she could help. Articulating his thoughts would demand that he bring out details that subconsciously he might be subverting. He had used the technique before, but never with Selene. But she was the only one he could trust with this problem. "Something is going on," he said. "I can feel it."
When he paused, she immediately began probing as though she knew what was expected of her. "Is it imminent?"
"No. It's inchoate. But ... ominous."
"Here. In Washington?"
He hesitated, letting the ghosts form into thoughts. "I don't think so. Not here. Not yet."
"Not yet? But in the future?"
"It threatens everything. But it's out of reach."
"Then, if it isn't imminent, perhaps you should let it make its appearance."
He made a low growl as he captured one of the swirling thoughts. Whatever it was, having it come to him was one of the things he feared.
At the sound, Selene looked up. "You have faced such problems many times. You'll know what to do when the time comes."
He smiled, and the concern in her eyes cleared. "You're right. Let it grow. When it takes on substance--if, indeed, it does--then I'll know."
"But not too much," she admonished gently. "Don't let it get out of hand."
Her words struck him with a sudden chill. There it was: the thing he had been avoiding. The sheer magnitude of the threat. It was coming, and this time, it would take all his talent, all his energy to prevent the destruction of all he believed.
With the force of will that was his trademark, he banished the thought. Selene was right. Let the danger gather, take form. When it became tangible, he would deal with it as he had always dealt with trouble: eradicate it.
"Go back to bed," he told her. "There's nothing to fear."
She smiled and said, "I know."
Stonz watched her walk back to her apartment. It was there in the set of her shoulders, the strides of her long legs, the tenseness in her arms. She knew. * * * *