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Gabriel tuned his 12-string, taking particular care with it. He smiled for a moment before breaking into a classic blues riff. It was fairly toe-tapping, but had a particularly poignant bridge and she (for gender and angels is a tricksy subject) milked it, hamming pieces of it with an almost sadistic glee. It attracted the attention of some tourists, but the regulars were unaffected.

The second song needed a Spanish guitar, maybe a horn. Unfortunately, this little Angel blue had had Bad Things Happen when he played the horn, and had given it up for this lovely Ovation. Hey, archangels like mother-of-pearl fret inlays just as much as the next ethereal being. Gabriel knew for certain that Lucifer had a rosewood mandocello picked up at the same little "Going Out of Business" sale. (They'd asked about angels they knew in common, caught up on The Divine Plan, and then went their separate ways.)

The rain had driven some of the potential audience in doors. This was just a stop on his way out again; Gabriel had hoped to hitch a ride with some girl in a Cadillac, but she had been diverted. The angel shrugged, thinking of Eris and other hallmarks of various Chaos. From the void to the void, transient mortality and passing souls; the only Order was that which was decreed. On the Word.

"In the beginning...oh, there were so many beginnings and so many stories. How did they germinate? The seeds of worlds, of peoples, of cities, sowed with a generous hand, and tended with benevolent neglect. So One, He planted a Garden, suggesting a place that was kept up, lines made, rules, and Order. In that Garden did grow many things, in fact, `every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food." 'Fig trees, olive trees, apples, and, well, of course, strawberries, the tree of life, and, yeah, the tree of knowledge. The tree of life, which `bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.'

"How do a few greens bring peace? Eat your vegetables and find out. This song," she said, suddenly, in a voice that drifted from gender to gender, "I wrote myself." Against the rules, of course. Free will and creativity were signs of those who had turned away from Duty. Still, time could be felt, and time needed to be filled, especially here in this form. The loose white poet's shirt and white jeans with a hint of hips, a hint of the so-called Adam's Apple, the carefully kept nails, all of them formed the illusion. Shoulder-length black hair, and eyes like fire completed the look. "It goes a little something like this."

Oh ---
mad gods kill for art in the bathrooms
a spirit of fire burns hot in the back
grilling burgers and slaves
unsure who he saves
for he's small potatoes in this plan of attack

We're Midway, Midway, Midway prone
distressed deities, they do as they please
We're Midway, Midway, 'tween Eden and Mag Mell
rolling back and forth as on the high seas

Eve's daughters serve apples for the dead (and for knowledge!)
Coyote laughs and waters the Tree
lifting a leg to mark his place in Heaven,
reborn, unborn, stillborn and shriven
souls and future in a huge potpourri

We're Midway, Midway, Midway prone
160 grand acres of impossibility
We're Midway, Midway, 'tween Gehenna and Purgatory
insane, incensed and full of civility!

We've unicorns, imps, angels, and werewolves
and a plethora of gods, more than could fill a sky!
but nothing can beat
the tangy and sweet
of Mrs. Navarro's hot cherry pie!

We're Midway, Midway, Midway prone
We're Midway, Midway, Midway there
We're Midway, Midway, 'tween Heaven and Unhappy
So savour the fruits of your labour and care!

So savor the fruits of your labour and care.

"It's a little rough. It could use some sweetening," he admits. There's no audience at this point. She's played for an empty street, but for what it's worth, she seems satisfied. "Time for some pie."

"You presume too much," the woman in the amethyst dress says. She thought she had been talking to Mc Intyre.

"Rather than presume too little," said the Storyteller.

"Such as? I am not Athena to play your puzzles, Tattletale."

"You presume that innocence can be murdered, and that it is thus finished. You do not go on to ask the next question. Innocence can only be given. It is not soured by blood or the grunting of procreation. It can be a gift, or it can be flung away."

"And what of the Fates? What of the guilty? If they cannot destroy innocence, can they steal it? Or what is their crime?"

"Now that is telling, isn't it?" The Storyteller leaned back. "They call it the fall from innocence, and yet, all it took was the bite of an apple. Hi Gabriel."

The angel nodded a greeting. She sat down in a booth, placing the guitar case across from her. He did not order for the guitar, but it was a piece of hot cherry pie within which the angel was planning on drowning some sorrows.

The Storyteller continued. "If ignorance is bliss, is knowledge the opposite of innocence?"

"Did you guess what we wanted of Athena?"

"A hunger for knowledge, yes, they would call it that, wouldn't they? A loss of innocence. Pricking the cherry of the Midway, eh?"

"Vulgarity does not suit you."

"You haven't spent too much time in the company of saints yourself, sweetheart."

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Page last modified on May 02, 2006, at 05:41 PM by MeeraBarry

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