So, it was the Passover in Jerusalem and the Transcendent Boss, looking on, wore a ponderous frown.
“Hey, Boss, what’s up?” asked Gabriel, swiftest of the pneuma-messengers.
The Boss slowly harrumphed; he liked to sound sombre. “I’m considering an extension of reach.”
Gabriel turned aside before he tutted, not to offend the main-man. “I thought you’d abandoned that plan after your failure in Egypt.”
“It was a tactical withdrawal. I do not fail; I am the Boss. Transcendent.”
“So, Boss, you’re thinking of going back there, then?” Gabriel so hoped he would not. All those floods, and that sand: it played havoc with his smartly preened wings.
“I was pondering Rome,” said the Boss, and diverted his eyes across the sea.
“Nah, Boss. Hardly worth it. Two-bit outfit, newly arrived. They won’t last even as long as the Greeks, I’d stake my harp on it. Anyroad, how‘d you think you’d do it?”
The question seemed to confuse the Boss.
“I mean,” Gabriel elucidated, “those Romans aren’t exactly renowned for their respect and admiration of your chosen people. I don’t see them as keen importers of Near Eastern religions.”
Though that wasn’t quite true, it seemed to work, the Boss thereafter silent for several decades. Gabriel metaphorically gleefully rubbed his hands. Another madcap design he had thwarted. At least, he hoped that he had. He could see what would happen; it would be Egypt all over again.
“I’ve been watching the Greeks,” the Boss finally said.
Gabriel again turned—before sneering his opinion of them. “Nah, Boss, you’re not thinking of extending to them?” Though secretly Gabriel would prefer the oil-slicked Greeks to the shield-bashing Romans. “Nah, the Greeks are history, they’re gone, they’re old hat.”
“Hmm,” said the Boss. “I know that. But that Zeus chap—though not rated as a rival, yet I like the way he puts it about.”
Gabriel stared at the Boss. Could the Boss really mean what he seemed to mean? But the Boss was a hard-line misogynist, a well known fact amongst the angels. Their locker-room jokes depended upon it.
“What are you planning?” Gabriel asked, alarm bells ringing.
“See that young virgin down there?”
Gabriel nodded, his guts gone cold, his wings curled tight in preparatory dread. He was certain he knew what the Boss intended.
“What’d you reckon? She was yesterday promised to that Josey-fella. Just watch her walk. Shapely, hah? What’d you say to that sexy sway?”
Gabriel licked his lips, though not in arousal. Although androgynous, he preferred not to play.
The sun in the sky shone that little bit brighter as the Boss continued to watch the young maiden. She certainly had curvaceous hips. And if Zeus could do it . . . He beckoned Gabriel to come a bit closer.
“I’ve a mission for you.”
Gabriel tried his utmost not to groan. “Yes, Boss. What’s that, Boss?”
“I want you to whisper into her ear . . .” and he quoted the message though silently said.
Gabriel turned before he cast a sigh. It wasn’t that long since his message to Elizabeth, and she’d been delighted. But he’d a shivery feeling he was about to totally screw young Mary’s day.
And a Happy Solstice to all my readers. (CP)