Brick and Skies Through Hateless Eyes

The two men decided to rest their feet at the side of the road, as the one called Uriel had no shoes; and Gabriel wanted to observe the hustle and bustle around him and to stop and think for a while.

The city streets weren’t as busy as they had seen before, and a single rickety cart, pulled by an unfortunate old man rattled along, and some women were visiting stores across from them. One of the women had a child with her and she was chatting with the apple vender. Some people were shouting at each other farther down the street, and two morticians were driving a carriage to the church that Gabriel and Uriel had passed two blocks away.

Gabriel’s cool blue eyes were fixed on the boy across the street. He knew what he was going to do…not from foreknowledge but by prediction after seeing enough of humanity. He knew, oh yes he knew, but he was ever curious as to the motive.

As the boy’s mother gaily laughed and conversed with the kindly old apple vender, the boy, seeing he was distracted, slipped an apple out of the barrel and into his pocket, hiding behind his mother. Nor the vender or the mother knew anything had happened and continued their conversation, the boy, stood there and held his mother’s hand quite innocently.

Uriel stopped rubbing his foot and looked up at Gabriel, who was observing this and shook his head. “I told you. Man does nothing without selfish motive. Even if they do in fact conduct themselves honestly it is just for their own glory and advancement, or making other people think better of them, thus being selfish in nature.”

The crowd in the street grew a little now and the box on which Uriel began to vibrate slightly with the movement of the masses.

“I doubted you my friend. I see now I was wrong. Perhaps humanity isn’t worth preserving after all.” Said Gabriel (still unconvinced with all of his virtuous, angelic heart).

The breeze picked up and the preoccupied people pulled their collars up to their cheeks and kept going about their business. A sleeping homeless person curled tighter as if they were having a now unpleasant dream, as he slept on the hard cobblestone, leaned up against the weathered brick building. His feet covered with strips of cloth.

“No one will offer this impecunious being a blanket or coat. He is surely going to die this winter, or by starvation before that. But surely he cannot be selfish or wicked, this, poor man with the world against him!”

“He is though Gabriel. He was a businessman who stole from his partner and lost his job. He’s been out of work since, as no one would hire him for fear of losing their own wealth as well.” Uriel said, quite emotionlessly. He knew it all. However, this was not a source of vanity, but rather led him to be cold and not sympathize with humanity enough to tinker in her affairs. For as much as he had seen of it, that as a whole, it was hopelessly evil, all lost, all…loveless. He continued to rub his blistered foot.

“It seems there is no longer any glimmer of hope for them” Gabriel said forlornly, like a child who had recently come to the conclusion that Santa Clause was nonexistent.

As he finished saying this he saw out of the corner of his eye a woman standing in a window. He turned his head and looked right at her, as she paced back and forth in front of her little closed window on the second story of the brick building across the street. He saw as suddenly, her face grew red and she commenced yelling at someone Gabriel could not see who was most likely in the next room.

“Why is she angry?” He asked, still curious. Still hopeful.

Without looking up Uriel answered, “Her son came back home drunk last night and he just now woke up.”

“Why do they shame themselves so?” Gabriel further inquired, rubbing his finger around the perfectly smooth brass mouthpiece of the ornate trumpet that was at his waist under his long black coat. This, heavenly instrument wrought by He who had taught the nightingale to sing her song had made its sweet, sweet music for the ears of the divine, now on earth, the usher of the apocalypse.

“Pleasure.” Was the emotionless reply.

“Perhaps I should end this after all. He made it my decision.”

“I know He did.” Was Uriel’s cold retort.

“He said to end it when there was no longer any glimmer of hope.” Gabriel said, watching the crowd that had now formed, as it was later in the day at this point. He was heartbroken, for he loved humanity. He did not want to see it all disappear. He gazed at their masonry and art that he saw all around him. The effects of true inspiration.

“Gabriel. Don’t you see? They built this all to legitimize themselves. To make themselves proud. Not out of love for creating, or out of charity. “

Gabriel had been staring at the crowd so long he was unaware that someone had walked up behind him and stood to his left and looked with him at the multitude.

“It seems it may be time my friend.” Came the voice of Raphael.


Not shocked at his sudden appearance Gabriel said after his long, intent gaze had ended, “Come. It is time.”

The three of them commenced walking down the side of the street, heading for the large hill that was just outside of the town.

As they walked Gabriel was behind his companions as they talked together in front of him. He took in the scenery, for it would be the last time the likes of it would ever be seen, and it would eventually all be forgotten. “Except by me.” He thought to himself. But he knew, deep down, that he would, in fact, forget. As would everyone else who would live in the new world.

Suddenly there came a small pull on Gabriel’s coat. He stopped walking to turn around and see a small freckled boy shyly looking back at him. Gabriel’s loving, curious eyes looked at the child stand pigeon toed and holding a pair of leather shoes much too big for himself. He handed the angel the shoes and gestured to Uriel (who was still up ahead) bashfully. Gabriel looked into his playful brown eyes and saw that he had cared for this complete stranger that he had seen rubbing his sore, blistered feet. He saw caring and he saw selflessness (for he was surely not benefitting by giving away much for he appeared to be poor, and he was not publicly displaying his act for his own self worth). But most of all what he saw, was love. True, selfless, unassuming love.



Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, and a pure deed, no matter how minute or uncelebrated can change the world





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riverstreambrooke This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm
i really like this story and the way that you present each character and the themes of humanity.. very moving!
 
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