SpecFic Files

Chapter 1: 1,000 Days for Abel

An excerpt from a work in progress

As promised, today I'm back with an excerpt from my work in progress, tentatively titled 1,000 Days for Abel. Here's a summary of the story:

Merkabah, an ophanim created to guard God's throneroom along with twenty-three other elders, has been sent to earth to investigate the murder of Abel. He has 1,000 days to solve the murder or he will remain on earth in human flesh until the day he dies. His opposition, an archangel named Samael, will do anything to stop him, but that's the least of his worries as one of the highest-ranking angels in the heavenlies discovers things he wasn't prepared to find on earth.

I'd be delighted if you let me know what you think of this first chapter:

Chapter 1

In the Timeless Halls of eternity, where the shekinah glory of God breathes life into existence and substance into essence, the wheels of the ophanim turn and keep turning. Merkabah carries out his duty of protecting the throne of God with his whole might. His inner wheel spins, powering the spin of its outer counterpart. The four faces of each wheel display the pleasure derived from performing the task for which he was created. Likewise, the multitude of eyes embedded in the wheels show their delight as only the eyes of an ophanim can. Merkabah is oblivious to anything else, focused solely on being one of the twenty-four.

Then the messenger of Word comes.

Olinith, a Malakim, created only to serve as messenger, swiftly makes her way to Merkabah’s side.

“Dear light!” Olinith’s sonorous voice bounces around in Merkabah’s conscience, revealed by his eyes rotating in their sockets, some clockwise and others counter.  “Merkabah, Merkabah! Word calls. He requires your service immediately.”

Having delivered the message, Olinith darts away, flitting like a divine butterfly into the bosom of the eternal flame on its throne.

Merkabah breaks rank. The twenty-three other ophanim close rank, ensuring an equidistant space between them during Merkabah’s absence. They are guided by the voice of Rikbiel, the prince of the wheels, who commands with no voice. He hears the messenger of Word and responds, just as Merkabah responds, and the ophanim continue their mission unabated without disturbance. Merkabah moves closer to the throne, his wheels sparkling, reflecting the glory of the one who sits on the throne.

He bows. “Word, at your service.” 

Silence fills the heavens for time and half a time. The voice of the Lord cuts through the aether into the ears and consciences of every living thing in the heavens. A welcome voice, a lovely voice. A voice worthy of worship. “You are aware of the physical creation, the pinnacle of my imagination?”

“Yes, Word. I know of it. I see it. It is constantly in my awareness.”

“A situation is forming. I need you to see to some details for me.”

“Anything for you, Word.”

As Word speaks, His glory sends forth a power that can be felt in every corner of the heavens. It fills the Timeless Halls with a glory unmatched. Its light is a fiery flame of eternal love that judges and cuts through the judgment with mercy. No being in all the heavens ignores it, none can be long without awe if without awe at all.

“My servant Abel has disappeared. From life has come death, and it has touched my crowning achievement.” The disappointment in Word’s voice rings in Merkabah’s every fiber. “I need you to step into the physical realm and find out who is responsible for this travesty.”

“You want me to go, my Lord? Me, a mere throne-wheel, whose sole purpose is to guard your throne against the evil ones who surely want to take it for themselves?”

Merkabah is not one to question Word. If Word needs him, then he will go. He would never refuse Word’s request. He did not intend to imply that Word’s choice was a bad choice, that somehow Merkabah is not qualified or dignified enough to carry out Word’s wishes. Rather, he is surprised and honored to be thought of by Word at all.

“If something has happened to one of my creatures, I must know what it is. And I must know who is responsible.”

“Of course, my Lord.”

“You will take on human form,” Word orders. “You will be limited to only two eyes. You will take the shape of a man. You will live as a man, walk as a man, talk as a man. You will use your unique abilities to discover what has happened to Abel and report to me who is responsible.”

“As you request, my Lord.”

“You have one thousand earth days to complete the mission. For every day you linger, your aura will weaken. If you stay beyond one thousand days, your aura will disappear completely, and you’ll never return to my throne room. You will live as a man until your body decays and you die. Do you understand?”

“Fully, my Lord.”

“The usual rules for angels in flesh apply.”

“Of course, my Lord.”


“No, my Lord.”

Upon Word’s command, Merkabah leaves the presence of the flaming throne and appears on Earth. Based on the mist hovering around his feet, he guesses he must be near the garden where God placed a man and a woman, gave them powers over the animals in the garden, and commanded them to multiply. He wonders how much of that they were able to obey.

He had been here twice before, once before the Disobedience and once after, when Cain and Abel were teenage boys. He holds his hands out, turning them around before his face. Limited to three-dimensional vision, he amuses himself with his new appearance.

The wheels are gone, the four faces on each wheel, and the many eyes. He examines his arms, his legs, and his torso. All glow with the golden aura that represents his creator. It denotes his position among the angels and reflects the shekinah glory of Word Himself, though slightly dimmer. The words of Word reverberate in his brain as he takes a deep breath, practicing the use of his new body parts.

Oxygen. It burns going in, escapes the lungs like dry ice. Every time he comes to earth, he must undergo a short period of adjustment. It takes a minute or two to become acclimatized.

To his left, directionally north and east, he takes note of the lush green vegetation along the Tigris River. Which way should I go? he asks himself.

Walking as a man is very different than swooshing around the Timeless Halls in unison with twenty-three other ophanim, exercising their natural synchronized cascade of wheel turning and throne keeping. While it didn’t happen often, he always knew that when Word needed him to step foot in the earthly realm, then it would require limitations. He accepted them. Embraced them. Even welcomed them. Still, welcome or not, the limitations did annoy.

Stopping, he turns and looks around. Where would I go if I was Abel?

He ponders the question. Chuckles. “If I was able,” he says out loud. Amused at the wordplay, he puts it aside momentarily and ponders the question again. A sheepherder by trade, he reasons that Abel might be found tending his sheep. But where would an earthman put his sheep, he asks. Where would this earthman put his sheep?

Ideas begin to fill his head. He sits on a rock in the shade of a tree beside the Tigris and ponders once more. It isn’t long before a notion takes root. Word will be pleased, he thinks. He stands, stretches a leg toward the space between the rivers. Moving away from the Tigris, he says, “I hope.”  

by Author Allen Taylor

Feel free to comment below and tell me what you think. Would you read the rest of this story?

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