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Daniel Begins His Journey.
There, unto the region and ridge settled high along the way; where meadows roam as the animals do; in peace and harmony; no strain to the relations. They huddle close; lamb to lion, and lion to lamb. Those streaming meadows are their grasslands, their homes to wander about without reason. But to be led somewhere, anywhere where God so directs. Daniel came from the bush heads; peeking through in marvel and adoration. He smiled and pushed ahead to enter, moved up the long valley way which led to their midst. And there, amongst the earthly predators and preys, he lay with them in that peace; stroking to each and thinking of what Joy Heaven bestows. He looks much like all the rest; at the height of his handsome and grace. The eyes are piercing blue, with hue of gold sparkles which do radiate through from time to time. His hair is blonde and flowing from the vantage point of his crown, dropping to cover his face when he bent low to cuddle such fierce foes. He possesses the face of his mother; sweet, aglow, quaint nose and forgiving expressions; smiles which light up the bounds of Heaven when exposed. A gracious complexion gifted by God when he looked through his gaze. Daniel is welcome here as he is amongst all the bounds of Heaven. He is taller than most and has the athletic gifts much like the angels. There are precious moments when the angels will land to encircle Daniel, play land games with him, spar with him in joyous fashion; much like brothers and sisters would do. Child in heart; innocence never lost; purity born with his rebirth; the spirit never riled to anger, but only to know Joy and Harmony in every fashion. “Daniel,” one angel would speak and flip his large hand over Daniel’s shoulder, “you will fly soon; become bigger – as big as me!” “Barakiel,” Daniel will respond, “I am a land child; nothing more.” “Oh no!” Barakiel refuted, “There was much celebration when you came… Time is soon! You will see…” “Changes will be made…” Daniel implored to speculate sarcastically. “Truth, be known,” he punched Daniel playfully on his shoulder, “This comes… when you will see Gabriel…” “Gabriel?”
“Have you not heard?” Barakiel supposed, “The greatest Seraphim… Gaabbrriieell! At the point of crisis, he was instructed by God to battle Satan, defeat him and throw him into the pit! From there, Satan was cast out of the Heavens!” Daniel seemed most confused by this. Barakiel punched him further to garner Daniel’s fullest attention. “The Gabriel! The one and only Gabriel!” “To see me…” Daniel was suspicious by the angel’s playfulness. “No!” he did react in all seriousness, “You will go to see him…” “Where?” “Where he resides…” “Where is this?” Daniel pursued further still. “Wherever it leads!” he looked at Daniel as if he should know better. “I know not which direction to go…” Daniel remained as he was; most unsure. “Daniel!” A voice called from whence he came; it was his grandmother, “Daniel!” “I must go…” “Not until…” and with this, Barakiel came on Daniel’s rear, pulled his long and superior arms underneath Daniel’s lower armpits, raised him high and lifted him up. The wings did spread long and wide; fluttered to a stretch, extended to a flap, and above they went for short and glorious flight through the long plains of this portion of Heaven. What a view! Daniel could feel the ghost of a wind cross through his expression as he looked and revered what was about. The lands to extend on into infinity; no boundaries or limits remained; the hosts of all creatures seen in the dunes, the forests, the majestic waterfalls, the valleys to drop from their cousin mountaintops; rivers do bend through like a snake in large grasses; suns and moons to rise and fall in variable sequence; stars about and spotting to the skies; colors of every pedigree glow and fade through; sunrises and sunsets all in one precious moment; large trail-ways leading to icy mountain ranges; forests at the breach; ridgelines full with evergreens and herds, vacant spots and outcrops. Angels flew close by, made runs at both Barakiel and Daniel with play; diving from their rears and above; coming to the heads and quickly diverting direction at just the right points. Those long wings when at full extension; bringing them to lift ever higher; the sounds of these propelling winds as they dove and lifted up again; the grace and haven for home. “You will fly soon…”Barakiel softly spoke to Daniel, “Will you see…”
“Your heart does say the same?” Lauren spoke to Ethan. Their looks were unified. “This comes,” he replied in somber, “as it is written…” “The only choice is then for him to be free…” she was more resolute.
“If a heart is to speak the Truth,” Ethan smiled on that thought, “then the Truth is for his freedom to begin… as destiny allows and shows to him the way… God will speed him through.” “A journey to behold…” “An unknown world in the gasps and yawns of Heaven itself; still not to know whence he came; where he is to go…” Ethan seemed to stare out from his inner soul, “He will come to be dismayed… The counsel will then sit with God and from within.” “No chance to direct further,” Lauren proposed, “I pray we taught him to do well…” “As it is written,” Ethan smiled and hugged on her; when as much Daniel was seen lurking at the edge of one waterfall, with rainbows dodging about and crossing from one side of the river bed to the other. He seemed to be in play; attempting to catch them as they darted round; though as elusive comes and goes, he could not trap them within the cupping of his hands; though the more he enjoyed the failures of such defeats. Ethan and Lauren came to him so. “Come, sit with us for a time Daniel,” his grandmother cautioned; yet by that frank equation pressing through some portions within the regions of her eyes, Daniel knew there was a mystery of sorts riddling her wavering stare. She patted the seat beside her. “Shall we delay on this no further,” Ethan began. “There is a time when the heart speaks in glows,” Lauren held his hand, “where embers burn brighter in ones’ emotions; greater still, than in other times.” “And as such, the embers burn brightest now…” Ethan concluded her sentence. “I am disposed of something in error then?” “No child,” Lauren looked to have hardship with her smile when it came forth, “To sit upon the altar of your new destiny is of great and wondrous esteem as it bestows…” “A new destiny??” “Daniel,” Ethan interceded, “Even unto Heaven, there comes a place where journeys do turn and rotate into different places; of moments, even still, where the calling from our Lord sends us through into something new…” “I am displaced then…” Daniel seemed worried on this, “I have provoked the Lord to cast me out? … To send me away; to that of the unknown??” “Shhh,” Lauren pressed her hands deeply onto Daniel’s face; forcing him to seek out her eye to his, to connect everlasting souls with the other; view the pure particles to the heart; prevail to send messages of assurance; loving embraces all encompassed. Love not to venture far, but to transcend; give rest where the weary lay; hold hands with the lonely; give hope in the escape of despair, “There are pardons no more… By Jesus’ grace and mercy, are you everlasting born to this which we speak of...? There is none to abandon this; but greater service is the need here…” “To what end however?” Daniel softly asked.
“I know not to this,” she nearly wept, though no tears do fall in Heaven, “only that a mystery, this is… I wish I had more to give… But in all, it is as Jesus did instruct.” “Jesus?” Daniel seemed profoundly unsure, “I know not when He came on this…” “We have,” Ethan knelt to Daniel, “At the point of your arrival… Jesus spoke to set you free when our hearts did speak the words.” Daniel looked longingly at his grandmother; all in the same disposition; of hope and despair in one eclipse; where the heart leaps from the chest and robs the eyes of its protection; sending thus the purest thought through. Their souls did wrap around one another for one embrace; an enchanting spell of Love and continuance; where Life, even with the everlasting, will endure all. Breaths of wind do blow in ebbs and sways; hearts to conflict, do mend in a stronger weave. There, the soldiers to our affections in glory will bond with no illusions. The sector of this time and place is intimate and of the highest cherish. The family belongs with Hope. “And they do speak the same?” “To be free…” “But to where? My place is here…” “Will you return; greater than by the road you leave on…” “Where will I go?” Daniel stared on his grandfather. “The Lord has cast His long shadow out; there is His desire for you to follow it,” he took to hug Daniel, “The journey starts, of one dispatch. No moments delayed. No place farthest still, will keep you from our hearts to yours’. Our countenance is locked by the promise of our Father’s loving grace. You will see… You will never be the Bedouin you seem as predisposed to believe.” “I feel I am being punished…” “Oh to the contradiction, young Daniel,” Lauren pulled her grandson closest to her still, “You are being graced…” “You are the chosen…” Daniel rose from his seat; his tall presence to tower now from all among them. More like a man than a boy; a child did he own, and will serve him well; God’s grace to the innocence; the purest heart not stolen or misplaced; emptied out to humility; no heirs did he make. The Heavens were his guide. The sights of regal sensations to behold; where shooting stars did lay the handles to his compass; no bearings required; no destination but to where his step did go; the haven stood in each of his steps. The journey moved through the valleys of home, of what he had always known. Regions of the unknown; of places unwent; unfamiliar larks in the morns; pastures of odd flowers and dews; the wafting plains do bend with his wind of travels; the marvels of something new; of stars and moons and suns that dove and rose by some silent commandments; animals never seen in watch of him as he passed; the places conjured not by imagination, but Heaven’s own.
To the mountain realms he stood; the infinite sights of glory, nature’s mansions, long trees and spacious roams; no shadows lay. The Son of God did guide the beauty displayed. Coves of high waters and looping knolls rumbled through the seas. The mammoth clutches to the skies when the forest beds did he go; the seismic canopies above were like umbrellas cast in greens, browns, yellows and blues. The spindle nature of what was made was certainly spun by God’s gracious tailoring. The largest trunks ever conceived stood round like pillars of supreme; they too seemed to hold the sky up; no fallings made; the plays of birds who managed to navigate through. Here, in one delay, Daniel felt the handles of a hawk’s talon to clutch his back; settle here and stare to his stare. The smile did produce the hawk to tilt his head to and fro, gawk and yell, and fly off to some other branch of perch. The grounds were of pine needles and cushioned those floors akin to pillows under his walk. The time spent not realized and correctly measured. Daniel, in all his truest worth, did as he was told; he went. The markings led him by the bay upon a clutch of trees; the pathway already driven into and seemingly used by other travelers before his. He walked in steady pace; finding just beyond this particular cove a settlement of simple abode. The house of no extremes; no mansions it appeared to make; but simple, quaint and kind to the view. Angels were in walk nearby, and cutting towards this home as if in mischief design. Their swords drawn about and free to the clutch, so in finding a bird’s nest grounded next to this place. The birds within cried out by their distress; haunting with as much leverage as they could impose to these youngest of angels. Still, there was no delay in them; only curious banter and frolic stabs round about to intrude without welcome. They raddled the noise to produce more high shrills and cackle laughter that caused the commotion within from this humbled home. “Stand there!” Daniel heard a voice grow from within to without, “Give providence to some peace! Look you here; your disturbance abates me to quarrel… Cast out your action on other plains. Angels are mistaken to perform such disarray!” An elder man came forth; white-haired in all, with graceful countenance and prudent stares. He was not in liking to what so these youngest angels desired to transact. “Be gone, I say,” he spouted, “For one more word makes it a commandment! No truce lies here! Be gone or else your elders will know your shortfalls!” They drew to snickers and quiet laughter once more, though moved about to do the things asked upon them; to disappear over the long hedges. “What say you?!” The statesman looked out over on Daniel, “Are you one of them?!” “I say nothing to the matter,” Daniel denied, “I know nothing to their agency…” “Good then,” he approved, “I know well to that point! But to confide that you knew the same…” There was a strict pause between them. “Well?” “Well…” Daniel felt awkward to speak, “To what purpose?”
“You have come!” “Only by wayward travels…” Daniel spoke out, “is all…” “A mindless destination,” he laughed abruptly, “To know no purpose! You come for reason to approach…” “I know not for what then,” Daniel seemed agitated by the statesman insistence, “I shall pass much the same; in quiet non-disturbance, and not to make you tardy on your plans…” Daniel began to lead away. “Then come in…” he advised. “I do not dissuade,” Daniel quickly responded, “If I leave, this gives you no formal delays… Act as you wish; I have not the presence to deter.” “But to the disrespect,” he smiled, “By your absence, there becomes great halt in delay… Daniel…” the statesman smiled more broadly. “You are familiar to my name?” “Of certain,” he paused, “The registry is already set. The will instills you to enter… Come; there is great importance to our meetings within… You will see…” And to this point, young Daniel came to enter the statesman’s small frame and residence. The fire was warm and hot; glowing with embers no kindling he prepared; but still to burn without apparent source or firewood to keep it aflame. The radiance was unlike he had seen before; the Heaven’s flint and spec of light grew to omni-presence with peaceful curd. Daniel instinctively went to its side; felt the hearth in heat and glow; the vantage view blazed his eyes to slightly burn; a sensation quite uncommon to the Heaven’s stage. “A sense I have not felt, unlike anything before…” Daniel proposed. “God’s hand,” the statesman proclaimed, “did strike this flame once ago; never to be put out, but stay for all eternity… No wind or water; rain or snow can end its eminence…” “You have seen the Father!” “Felt his presence,” he waived Daniel free, “As instructions go, we delight in His presence, but never to look upon His face.” “Who are you?” Daniel said slowly, while looking deeper into this statesman’s eyes and expressions; the withering tones in his lines showed uncommon age and distinction; as if touched by more sacred grounds than Heaven’s home. There was a trembling pause as the silence grew less complacent. “Tell me,” Daniel came again, “and be the bolder…” “Outcast you are,” he deferred, “In-cast to the greatest purpose, young Daniel…” “How do you know my name?” “As with all things,” the statesman debated, “it is written…” “Better to this then,” Daniel further pursued, “Who am I?”
“You know this well,” the statesman smiled and pointed directly to Daniel’s heart, “IT is so written…” There was a larger pause when he collected to sit about the wooden table in the midst of this single room. “I say again,” Daniel sat opposing him, “If politeness be born not so rigid, but smooth… Who are you? Who am I?” “You will collect the news and abstain for the required measure to hear me out for the sake of your understanding… I am a steward of God; protector, guidance, counsel-man to those of importance. And so to this great direction; I possess the hallowed stands to lift the destined to do our Father’s will throughout all eternity. Am I older than the beginning of time; of earth and universe; the birth of creation just made when to such production, my presence was made. Go to the highest loft of the great counsel… You will see, my name is stricken in the records quite prominently there… By humbled treasures am I sustained to perform on behalf of the Almighty… By His command; I do…” The steward settled back into his stiff chair; though tightly wound by his disposition; his hands did drop and rum over the table’s surface. “And when such word was given,” Daniel insinuated, “How is my decree?” “You have a gift…” “What gift?” “To not know,” he giggled, “is still yet to learn…” “Then, you will not tell me then…” Another pause reigned and held the room’s silence once more. “I see,” Daniel leaned back, quite disturbed; looking low to hide his face, and then by much pronouncement, he lifted his eyes without raising his expression; the eyes steady to be firm and would not cast away again until his frozen stare was not finished. “Come,” the steward broke the quiet away; pulling himself free, in no feeble task, and motioning forward to gather the weight and coil of a large sword nearest him, “You will prepare; wage war with air and space… Try about this sword and see what you think…” Daniel stood and took about him as the task was given. The sword, of bright silver hue and shine settled in Daniel’s strong hand and flow. The grip short; powerful to the touch, but like to be new and never brought into use before; as if it be designed to fit his grip and hold alone. “And to the feel?” the steward asked of Daniel. Daniel pushed the sword through the air; took to flight from left to right; above and below; twisting as such in free flight and full circles until it took to land back within his grip. “Good…” Daniel remained in concentration, “needs more strength and light; not heavy.”
“Then take this to a try,” the steward switched a heavier blade; more majestic and of higher rank. The flow was more to maneuver with; yet strong and most piercing to the point; sustains the greatest of foes to yield if in battle. “What do you think?” The steward was more curious this occasion. “Not like the first,” Daniel performed similar tricks, though he engaged the weaponry with more assurance than the last, “more to weight; pronounced; striking to the need; better…I do say…” “But not to the liking…” “Go further,” Daniel saw the steward move to gather up another sword; this, of mighty gold and mirth; striking to its look and fine workmanship; the handle fit alike to be his personal hand-measured glove; the blade long and dense with weight twice the previous sword; a galactic piece that, when placed into Daniel’s hand, glowed in embers and brilliance that too, lit the room into a rage and fire. Daniel’s face turned into a stoned pleasantry; alike a warrior who found his match for the trade; his mate, of finest quality could prevail into any battle; hand to grip, and grip to hand; the ballad of a soldier’s bravery was soon to be set and settled upon the stage. Daniel had found his piece in saddle and sheath. “Ahhh…better to the fit; no other compares…” the steward smiled. “Indeed,” Daniel played about in swings and thrusts, “none to compare…” “The first; of steel, and earthly sword… The second of pure silver’ of trays and gauntlets melted from the foe’s dinner tables… Alas, the third of twenty-four measured gold; it has heart in its substance; forged by God himself… for your hand, Daniel.” “Forged by God?” Daniel looked stunned at this proclamation, “Touched by His hand; forged to His making? God would have for my benefit…” “There are seven in all; of none other… Two guard the gates of Eden. Four guard the four corners of the Heavens… and this… the last of its kind; the hand held by man and spirit…” Daniel stalled in that silence; unearthed glory to become; the talents not known, but soon to be exposed; the valiance begun; Heaven waits no longer; hearts do mend; the warrior found; the materials and vessel brought together, at last, within unity. “And by what order does this commence?” Daniel strained to say, “By what measure; by what edict will declare, a poor pauper boy, of one day unearthed and reearthed to bury the same, should possess such a throne sword as this?” “Cast by the fire Daniel,” the steward led Daniel to the edge of this hearth; his hands in tremble, though guided by the ancient throngs of this one so close to God, “Touch the flame; let the union behold… You will see…” And with this ardent request; the tip to sword was sent down and did grasp the tip of this Holy fire. In an instant the sword grew into a full flame, down to the very edge and grip Daniel held and possessed. This was to startle; Daniel letting loose; the sword falls and remains in burn and frightful glow, though nothing burned in surround of it, nor was it put
out. Yet burned like a heart which would never die; the spirit which would spark always with eternal life. “It does not burn,” Daniel looked back at the steward, “But does…burn!” “And shall always,” the steward came close, lowered Daniel’s hand to retrieve the sword, yet it burned all the while, yet it did not burn to the righteous; the pure, “ever more… God’s light to never extinguish; the breath of His flame sits here, upon the sword forged by God…for you, Daniel…” “But why?” Daniel was nearly struck by all he was to see. “The First shall become the last,” the steward spoke, “and the last shall become the First.” Daniel felt the steward place his ancient hand over Daniel’s shoulder. “You will cup it with its sheath and scabbard,” he spoke to instruct Daniel to do as such, “but never to put it out… Oh yes, it will burn; always…but it is hidden… Only by your hands Daniel, will this sword have any usefulness; none other. The handle will not grip, nor allow another hand to enter into its fold… This sword, and you…are bound together for all eternity…” “What am I to make of all this?” Daniel thought to himself, though he spoke as much in a frail whisper and soft speech. “Daniel,” the steward brought back Daniel’s attention; full and direct, “Will I teach you how to use this mighty weapon. Shall you become the archangel you are destined to become… It is written… without fail…By God’s mighty edict, you are born to be one of the mantles to his sword… To become the thirteenth warrior…” “So much to learn; can it be so?” “You must measure discernment; understand the difference between those that are demons and those that are warriors. A place to the heart is pure and sustains; let this grow to embody all that you are… Empty out all that should not be; let God and Jesus fill in what remains…This, shall be your greatest trial and test; when pressures mount, and temptations perform antics to persuade…” He paused and cupped his elder hand to Daniel’s heart. “Keep to your heart,” he paused; their eyes met in that silence, “the benevolence of your Father; the Holy Spirit reigns, in you…and nothing more can penetrate…” “And when this is all done, I will be ready?” “It is written…” the steward firmly promised. The following periods were of Daniel and this steward spilling out on his training and pursuance; discipline arose, first unforeseen; skills beset and rendered; talents honed and brought precise; his weaponry becoming merely the equal extension of his hands; he grew in lengths and height; ever still with strength to hold up the columns of worlds. The more he performed, the more he displayed; Heaven knows and knew more to the prediction – this was his destiny. The heart of a lion reared to new heights; the guardianship coming to be elite; the spirit to evolve and grow complete; not as he was, but what he is meant to be; the
surpassing strengths and powers on many dominions; the lore to hold true, as truth bestows. The handles of a master; with keen eyes engross; to pick out weakness and replace it with opposing grace. Four to five seasoned warrior angels could not sustain, or to counteract the talents such a gift did Daniel own. He was fearless; relentless thru the motions; the fiery sword cut wind with a storm; fire from Heaven and all, to consume that which stood in his way. “Will I ever learn to fly?” Daniel was persistent. “Patience,” the steward spoke, “is always a weapon…” “How can I use it as a weapon,” Daniel replied, “if I don’t know how to use it?” “In all stages,” he debated, “things will be formed; matters will develop.” “Will I fly?” “Daniel!” the steward had had enough, “Attend!” The training continued, in all. There are no days to nights in Heaven; no elapsed to time; all things happen and nothing at all to occur; nothing to sequence or patterns to flow; all else will be, and it is as it is. But to such matters a moment can behold an hour; an eternity in a fraction of earthly seconds; though to the purpose it is not as a seam in time, but an occurrence of all things in motion within the state and occasion of harmony. Destiny reigns. Daniel had grown to past ten feet in height; his hands of enormous mass and vice; arms of chiseled pose; legs in power to leap rivers and jump over the arch of many rainbows. He could climb the steepest mountain with the strongest steed; his agility the formula of supreme grace and poetry; now built with a breastplate of pure gold; forearm braces of shimmering blonde leather and thatched gold; a shield that would tremor all of earth in quakes if thrust to its floor; his eyes of tender blue and speckled green with the chiseled face of all handsome angels; blonde, flowing hair which moved with the blows to every wind and current; a capital helmet to mark his regiment and class as an archangel. But to this, of remarkable make and creation, he possessed the scabbard which therein possessed the mightiest of swords – a flaming sword forged by the hand of God. “You are ready Daniel…” the steward stated with gallant pride. “You will go with me…” “My work is done,” he smiled in loud fashion, “the rest, is your journey alone…” “To where?” “To where God leads…” the steward looked out over the horizon, “yonder there; look for it…” There stood a pause between them further. “Look for what?” “Look for him…” the steward felt to be a little short on this. “Who?” “Gabriel…” he stalled, “your destiny is there.” “Is he myth,” Daniel bent down to look upon him, “or most, of legend?”
“Neither,” the steward gazed upward, “The podium of what awaits you is much higher than you can firstly imagine young Daniel… Go to it…This comes, and awaits you…” “Will I see you again?” “There are no ‘goodbyes’ in Heaven,” he lifted up to hug Daniel one final moment, “but grand eternities for all God’s creatures…” The steward was gone.
Daniel stepped to his appointed travel. The gate was longer than before; pace heightened as if something to anticipate; the roads not of pastures, valleys, and meadows much as before, but of desolate, rocky mountains to grabble into and beyond. The peaks led to another, and still to another; the heights of which touched the very tips of stars; the winds cold and bristle; of ancient winds drawn cold and viced with frozen airs; no greenery enclosed; brown, rockish boulders to trip him about as he went. Did he tumble and fall through his climb; the stamina challenged; the determination confused; perhaps to turn back; nowhere to turn. To think and question if this is the right way; another is easier, more convenient. He stopped to see the boulders rise still further, and become even steeper to the climb. He thought there must be a better way. Slowly, he began to descend. “Where are you going?” He heard a voice call out. “There is snow and steep climbs above; I can’t go there…” he professed. “And why can’t you?” It came again. “Because…” he had nothing further to relate. “Because,” it was stern, “is no reason… Again, where are you going?” “To find a better way…” Daniel was quickly finding this to be a fruitless venture. “And you think it is where you came from? I should suppose you knew that way already…” The voice asked on, “There is not a better way; this, is the only way…” “I will fall…” “Then, get back up…”he heard the hooves of something inching closer from behind the realm of three massive boulder fronts. “It still doesn’t get me there…” “Determination will…” the hooves came closer with the voice, “and God’s speed, the same…” And from this lowly, brown brush came forward an enormous ram, with horns as big as rounded gates; impressive eyes, with a stout, thrusting chest to hammer a heavy rock into rubble. “I am Daniel…” he stood and brushed himself free from the debris. “And so you are…” the ram stood firm, “Am I to be impressed?” “My sword will cut you for a meal!” Daniel wasn’t pleased. “That’s not to its purpose…”
“How would you know of this?” Daniel seemed prepared to draw. “Ah… ahh… ahhhh…” the ram warned, “Be cautious in how you proceed; great weapons are to be utilized wisely… Because you bear the arc, means no occasion to abuse it.” “You’re a smart one for an animal…” “I’ll take that to be a compliment…” the ram snorted out rather profusely. “And who are you?” Daniel asked. “A smart animal…” the ram seemed to smile. “Either one for confusion,” he dusted himself further, “or one for humor; I know not which…” “I’ll take that to be a secondary compliment…” “Yes,” Daniel stepped a little closer, “rather you should.” “Well…” the ram stood his ground. “And to this?” “Get going…” the ram took a step towards Daniel. “I’m not afraid of you…” Daniel appeared to object. “Nor I, of you…” the ram took a step closer, “Now, get going…” Daniel took steps to descend further. “Wrong way,” the ram stepped to the side, nearly blocking Daniel’s retreat, “You could have asked before I allow you to pass.” “A bit of predicament we are in, it seems....” “Looks that way,” the ram now had Daniel blocked from retreating further; his only steps were upward, or battle this ram to some relevant victory or rousing defeat; “You aren’t too intelligent, are you?” “I’d rather not take that as a compliment…” “Nor, would I,” the ram stalled in that silence, “your move…” “You would challenge an archangel with a sword…” “You don’t know much about rams, do you?” The animal, with those pressing, vacant eyes, strong bit, and a chewing, persistent action, looked to be eyeing Daniel over; through and through, “Pity…” “You don’t know much about archangels…” “Seems I know more about archangels, than you do about rams,” he paused, “Seems even more-so, I know more about archangels than you do… And you’re not one…” “I am, as I am,” Daniel appeared to be indisposed by his own confusion. The ram took to thrust out his tongue on Daniel, which all but placed Daniel in rile, and caused him to nearly pull from his scabbard that flaming sword. “It won’t work,” the ram further cautioned, “If misused; it won’t work…” “How do you know?” “Trust me,” the ram laughed, “it won’t…” “Care to try it out?”
“My pleasure,” and with this, by lightening speed and drastic division, the ram thrust high with its front legs, pushed about by its rear ones, lowered the angle on his long, rolling horns, and pushed fast into Daniel’s belly; which, by all accounts, pushed Daniel’s long frame into reverse some twenty feet or more. He landed, back-first, up against these three enormous boulders the ram first appeared out from. “You see,” the ram circled; now to appear more as the predator than prey, “There is something to be said for experience in such matters… All that it is, that I wish to do, is to assist you…You are a contrary sort of beast; aren’t you?” “Some would say otherwise…” “Perhaps,” the ram chagrinned, “Those ‘some’ are not here…and ‘this’ is all I have to work with and can evaluate on…” “So what do you suggest?” “Simple… Get going…” “And if I don’t?” “Well then,” the ram pursued, “we still have a problem which persists…” “I don’t see any other alternate…” Daniel was slowly gathering himself to a stand; all in soreness and apparent pain to the suffering. “Nor, do I…” the ram circled for another blow, if the need arose. “You wish to help…” “I already have…” his tongue looked to protrude out a second time. “There’s no debating with you…” “There is no need…” the ram dug a hole in the ground with his front hooves. “I wish no further festering,” Daniel pleaded his case; and as much, deferred to the Ram’s unaltered persistence, “I’ll go up…” “Good…” the ram stood his ground. “Why are you so disagreeable?” Daniel spoke before he turned. “It is best we depart from one another, with such an outcome…” “You win…” Daniel had his back to the ram and proceeded forward. “No, you do…” and a forward rush came from the ram, as he playfully bounced his horns up and back, up and back, up and back into Daniel’s backside, “ Now… get going… get going…” The folly urged Daniel to hasten his pace, and he did as much in order to leave the ram’s territory and rigid domain. He looked back on occasion; the ram still in staunch guard to his unrivaled territory. The echoes of gusts and blows reigned down on Daniel as he ascended; fog rolling through and employed its own weapon to disorient him; the handles of every reach was cold and biting, cut to his fingers to make them stiff and seem worn; the foundries of snow tumbled from skyward ranges. The howl of some animal seemed to protrude down; it was only the wind. The landscape ruff; unwholesome, unlike Heaven would appear; of rubble; no life aboard; the meadows long ago lost down below; the flower scents did not make it so high.
But still, in that heartless region within Heaven, there staged pockets of flatlands to settle and rest on. Daniel found a lowly pasture of hard rock and pebbles to sit about; though mist crawled round to blind him. The distance between hand and face was all he could see. Though by these lurking shadows and rolling drifts of cold-spell smoke, something unseen lurked hideous about. Daniel felt the presence of this untold; unmentioned but in earthly lore and rare observance; the lands do drift with the sea of mist and fog; but shadows do form by their own consequence. Still, to the curse and point of it, this presence yet came; stalking, leaning with its cagey eyes to observe; soft pedals in its stance and pace; the quiet realm only camouflaged it further. In this dawn of nightfall and sunrise intermixed; something, or someone was in watch of him. “Who goes there!” Daniel commanded, though no formal sound was to be made. He thought to unsheathe his Holy sword to bring light upon the stage. “There is no need…” a sly voice crept low to the ground and resonated at his feet. “Of what?” he held hard on his sword’s handle. “To draw; to fight; to kill…” the voice was closer yet, “is all…” “How would you know what is best for me?” “If you knew my intent,” the voice was nearly upon the souls of his feet, ‘no harm; no claim; I see, but can not be seen, unless I let it be so…” “Then do me the honor,” Daniel made attempts to pierce the density with his shotdrenched eyes and expression, “and show yourself free…are you alone?” “I am…” “Then do me the pardon…” Nothing came; the presence seemed to stall in its own footsteps. “I do wait for an answer,” he pulled his face from side to side. “I have none to give…” The winds blinded to howl and beastly throw a shade of currents there. “Your fellow patron down below wished me to pass; do you, the same?” “In these ancient lands, there is no hunger or thirst for food; though otherwise I would have hunted you clean, and cut your throat through by now…” “Then what is to halt you presently?” “I am not hungry…” “Then why not show yourself?” “To my choosing,” the male voice was mostly of a whisper, yet there was indecent command as his voice penetrated to expel words about, “We are most solitary…and delight little with company; especially that, not of our own kind…” “And what is your kind?” And through the shifting yards of fog and escaping clouds, mist, and rolling sprays, outcropped the swagger of a white mountain leopard; of cream white entails and fur, with spots in black and rimmish gold sparsed throughout; a tail as long as his full length, with
heavy fur as twice to thickness as the rest of him; his whiskers long and branch-like, which moved to bend when he spoke; the eyes of yellow and gold bursts that fought with his presence to conceal his whereabouts. His four paws were massive and in razor-sharp prose; the back crawling; baiting Daniel with his fear. “The killing kind…” he smiled on this clever response, “The instinct is much; even in this realm, but the gracious Father requires of me to pause. To let you pass by His will… And so I shall as He so instructs… But don’t dally, or my mind might change and carve you out of delight!” The large leopard maneuvered to one of Daniel’s sides. “Should I fear you?” “Caution,” the leopard slinked, “is more to the word… Fear; protects, yet in all, it can enhance the pleasure to the kill…” “What is above here?” “Don’t you know?” The leopard slinked to his other side. “That is why I travel higher still…” “A stallion trapped is all,” he snickered to seemingly enjoy this, “of wings, though he dare not fly; the highest point is his perch. He waits for the one to ride him off the mountaintop… Of pure white gold; the most treasured stallion in all of Heaven.” “Then why don’t you go up further then?” “I can’t,” the leopard looked to be disturbed by this, “He holds to the highest ground; the very cliff of all Heaven…No vantage for the kill; for I can not dive from what is not above…” “What does he want?” “To find the only one who can ride him…” “Which, this would be…” “The one who can ride him off the mountaintop…” “Have others tried?” “None others have dared…” High above they could hear the high shrill of this horse resounding throughout the mountain range. The haunt of his powerful gait; the echoes of his grunts; the stammers; the illusive and mellow ghosts of his spirit ride; the harrowing riles when he seemed to stomp and bring thunder down below and nearly create an avalanche by his hooves. “No where to run; no where to hide; no passage to escape; no jumps to other mountains can he make… Trapped, all alone; for as long as time began; wild and untamed; the spirit of a thousand horses sits in his belly… But if to ride, and perhaps you shall; there is a gift which awaits the victor that can propel…a gift of amazing fortune…” “And what is this??” Daniel was near to leave this place. “His Holy wings…” the leopard’s eyes ranged wide and froze as if in a mesmerizing state; the whiskers pulled deep, backward into that greedy gaze; his ears reared in retreat and bent low to hide upon his crown, “that is the gift to the rider of his destination; if strength be yours, and stamina your own… He will rise and fight to near the
end; but succumb, he will, to the one who entreats the wisdom Christ-born; sits in the belly of his thoughts; pumps the blood into his heart,” the leopard stalled to look clear on Daniel, “Ride him if you will; ride him if you can; for in the end to all, it seems to be the Father’s ultimate plan…” “I beseech you,” Daniel came to a stand and looked low towards the Leopard and his low-muddling growls, “If you were to know more; tell it now…” “I have nothing further to give; messenger it is, that I am all to be… The Father attests,” and with this the leopard shrunk deep into the shadows and fogs of this mingling day and night. He disappeared without even a trace. One last violent grumble was all, to echo through the mountains and all to this region’s home. “God do speed triumph so…” Daniel whispered as he arched higher still. The bellows of these lands; the wintery brew concocted from some mettle and mixture unknown. There seemed to be no land by mist and fog; no feeling to where the mountain ends and the mountain begins; phantoms unmeasured and leaking through the roaming and icy dews; the barren fields did roll underneath Daniel as he went. He tripped where he walked; stumbled, retrieved himself once more, then moved in inches to the higher elevations. The strips were more narrow now; the hoof beats above most pronounced; the grunts; the long blows of air and breath came to Daniel’s ear. He heard soundly the weapons this masterful horse did possess; the powers in its breast; the long, angled steps it took; the wretched shrills and high density snorts; the landings of its hooves as it rose and fell with defiant romps; The cold blew with contagion now; heartless, unenvied blasts that cut and sliced at every turn-gust. Winds more contrary that could rise and fall with the eye’s blink and pause; the highest tip of Heaven; more shadows born and to die in an instant; the horizon’s not breeched, phantoms of their own though the identity’s not to meet. At last he found the level plain; the very top of this portion to Heaven. A snowy field that seemed no larger than twenty yards by twenty yards; still to be as level as the long meadows far below. Now the shadows did consume Daniel’s every essence; nothing seen; nothing preserved; the indulgence of Heaven’s nature enwrapping him into an evermotioning tomb. The quiet stills; the haunting sounds of nothing; silence born and dominating here; the winds; the blows; carried about a symbiotic tune; no light be born; only the fading and mist-consecrated grays lived about. Daniel did turn in some direction his instinctive ways told him to rotate to; the air silent from the previous stallion’s call. Slowly; with reverence, he heard the soft and gentle crush of long-standing snow compress under the weight of something massive; the stallion to approach. The mist finally did give way; the haunting and ghostly appearance moved with something to sparkle a golden hue; large and engrossing, the front shoulders high and towering with length; thus the snout, the breath of something alive and angry; the deep16
pocket face and expression; those coal-burnt eyes; golden hair twisting by wind and matter; the lock of something majestical and unbridled; by no manner has it been tamed – alas, the Golden Horse. “Aureus Equus!” Daniel did speak in wonder. The golden horse rose in thunder, with front hooves pressed high to intimidate and make his stand affront. His shrill brought a quake, and threw the silence into an uproar; the plateau to shake and vibrate; the legs kicked higher still; then land in a rumble which shook Daniel whole. The wings spread gallantly wide; as large as any angels, with thick and harsh feathers’ fold; striking to shimmer in pure gold arrays, the flapping of which nearly blew Daniel from his stand. Though to this the stallion did not fly, but remained to keep his ground and not wane. The pause; a motion in silence; their eyes to lock and penetrate the souls of the other; a bonding with alliance and mayhem that was near to unfold; the battle of waging war near and at hand. Daniel’s shield, propped to his back and rear, shimmered what glimmer in light that could find this region and invade with. This but riled the golden horse further; the shouts of his forceful grunts; the rise of his hooves; the twisting violently of his enormous girth; the agency of power this stallion did possess. It could crush an earthly man with one turn. Dare not ride such a beast; the Heaven’s do watch; the test of angelhood; the matter to the eternal soul; the heart does wrench; the battle power to angel and valiant animal will commence… “Daniel…” a voice is heard in the distance, up close, all round; with softest touch, but to have the tone to halt all of existence, “It is by my power you are here…” Daniel knew the breath of this voice. God had spoken. He stood to the ready; haltered his sheathe and brought forth the flaming sword; which did light as if to light the world; raised high and arched now to be the very tip of Heaven; hands affirmed; the fullest power now bestowed; looked skyward above and the sight of trailing fire from his blade all round the mist; shadows, fog, grayish hue did it all consume. “I come in the name of the Lord!!” And with this pronouncement Daniel vaulted down the sword with a ravaging thrust; two hands abreast and driving the sword with all his might and strength to the very belly of this land. The lands did motion and move in violent sunder; all presence lost; gravity and force seemed to collide; the winds burst into a rapid twine and swirl; Heaven gulped and nature shuttered; the mist and shadows did part and fail away; sky, moons, and stars; galaxies of lights in every spectrum surrounded this tiny patch of Heaven’s tiptop land. All opened up and gave way to pasture greens just underneath their feet and hooves; ice and snow melted and evaporated from this place; the sword still in blaze; its radiance warm alone; the handle neigh singed; to burn but not to burn.
Daniel pulled it free and leveled the sword back to its scabbard; his eyes never to vacate the gaze upon his friend and adversary. The stallion stood; no move he made; the mane brushed from head top to shoulder blade; the rear tail flapping in agitation as if the flies had consumed him. Still Daniel moved to proceed. The golden horse made motion to revert; steady to retreat; its fear registering for Daniel to observe. Something untamed but warm to the spirit; adverse only to what was not known. Daniel, being the villain, foe, or alley – the stallion knew not which. The two came closer still; the horse moved to retreat. Daniel’s hand rose as a gift of friendship; the horse yet took a second pace backwards; greater fear now the proclamation. Another step forth. Another hoof beat in retreat. Daniel lept in all diligence to wrap his arms around the stallion’s trunk-like neck; the horse blew high with a deafening shrill; front hooves unabated; stern and strong; kick to the throat and breast; to this, still Daniel held on his ground and motions. Such hanging from the horse’s neck and mare, it galloped in full steed from one edge to the other; trying in desperation to free himself from Daniel’s aggression; the wings grew in spread and height; whipped about Daniel in fierce consultation; bantering him at every binge; the flapping rapid and harsh; the winds to kick and strike Daniel wherever it may; the handle slipping. Still he held to his force and sustained grip. The horse limped and shifted; rose and twisted; hopped to its rear and flung his wings upon every angle like a weapon of its own; the force of which caused Daniel to cradle him even closer yet. The battle raged for an eclipse; a breath of time even Heaven does not register. Yet, the war of angel and beast ensued round this freshly, green meadow patch. The dust did rise and fall at their inevitable dance and collapse; Daniel hanging by the side as the great golden horse stumbled finally to its side; the energy to subside; the breath and girth enlarged in hopes to catch its breath. Daniel’s eyes were in hold; firm expression; steeled by what he must do; lasso the stallion by his arms and strength. One more sudden kick, and the battle was won; the great golden stallion horse had succumbed. “Now...” Daniel was in command, “to come from this mountain as you were born to do!” The stallion returned to his stance with Daniel in bareback saddle; no handles to hold; no bridle he bore; no stirrups or reigns to control; only a mane to navigate with. There, in the frosty regions high above Heaven’s realm, they together in unison moved to start and gait forth in one herculean push. Oh the view from Heaven’s Everest-like plantation! The soar of an eagle be not their envy; the regal flight and ride of ages unlike any. The travel of clouds below, as if they rode above all the suns and moons; moonrises and moonsets; sunrises and sunsets; the marvel of beauty; the sparkles and hues; the sunburst oranges and clear day blues; the red blossoms and the aurora’s greens and violets wrinkles
in the skies. And as Heaven’s plains and vast meadows; forests and streams came into distant view, the Holiest of all creations showed out Heaven’s wondrous range. Daniel brought the stallion in guide and landing to another mountain rock outcropping; the view akin to being atop one of the four pillars of Heaven. They sat up in range and bastion glow; the painted skies to illuminate; the long-distant views of waterfalls in tumble from mountain crests to valleys below; spilling into rivers, canals and lakes; the masterpiece of worlds do all culminate in no greater paradise than what Daniel observed; the serene tapestry woven into Heaven’s grand quilt. “And to all things, I did create…” the voice from above and all about, conveyed another royal message to behold, “This is a perfect sanctuary for all of man and woman who follows me; of animals to Eden. My son is the bridge; to follow Him to all ends…” “Father,” Daniel turned and whispered into that royal air, “Do hear me… Shall I remain? Where is my destiny to go?” “Faith is to be your guide… My child,” the voice spoke freely again. “And what of my earthly parents… Where are they now? Are they safe? Are they happy after my life was gone?” “Eternal grace is though My pardon to all who truly believe and follow Me,” the voice calmly spoke, “I sent My son for this union and embrace… Wicked, do men rise and fall…their destiny the same; inhabitants, not, of this place and realm… But to My children; thy eyes do not deceive…this is the gift for all who seek Me… My spirit… My son…” “I do believe…”Daniel replied, “as I have always… my spirit knows this…” “Then you know your purpose; the reasons why you are here…” the voice returned and requested, “Upon this Holy ground, do remove thy sandals afoot…” Daniel quickly removed them so and cast them gently to one side. “But my troubles do not escape me; for in not knowing the earthly family I do belong to… and their fate… what is to happen to them? I had no chance to give them more of the life which was so brief…” “Precious child…” the wind blew in a blistering pace to enwrap itself around Daniel; his hair and locks flying into and out of these gails; still he was yet to move, but stand and remain to hear the words so spoken to him , “The articles of all existence do rest within My creation… I am the master to all things; and to all things do I behold… Amongst which, lies your destiny… and that of the family you seek… I am in control; for all of eternity…” “Father,” Daniel did speak in his most reverent tone yet, “Is it a fault for me to wish; to want to know of such things…But to let it be by Faith alone?” “Live by Faith Daniel…” “There are hardships which abate me; I wish never to falter in your command…” “Does your Father know the course; for you, it is to live by Faith…” “Will I stumble?” Daniel’s expression appeared distressed, “Will I fail you?”
“All have come short of salvation…” “Then why am I here?” “My son is the fruit of salvation… live in Him… and He is to live in you…” “I have been emptied out…” Daniel falters to kneel; his hands in tremble; his heart in rupture for that which is his desire, but unknown to him, “If I could know; only a little bit!” “Peace child,” the voice pressed him further; though kind to the core, “and rest; to sleep; to dream; to be refreshed when you awake… all things will be new…” Daniel fell into this sleep. All was gone until he would awake.
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