Angels & Patriots - A Novella
On the eve of the Revolutionary War, American patriots are leaving their homes and families behind to stand firm against the British. What these early Americans do not realize, is that while they prepare themselves for their battles, a war is simultaneously playing out among the soldiers—one that poses a far greater threat to their lives and souls.
Demons that God created to kill a brotherhood of fallen angels are fanning the embers of the Revolutionary War to draw the angels out of hiding. They walk and fight alongside patriots and British soldiers alike.
Archangel, Colm Bohannon, leads his angel brothers to Boston to track down the demon leader and to warn John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, and the Sons of Liberty that the British army is not their only threat. The patriots will need to engage with two enemy forces on the battlefield. As it stands, the band of angels is road weary and struggling with infighting and earthly temptations. Is faith a strong enough shield to fight off demon attacks and protect the patriots?
Charles Town, South Carolina
Sidonie was suffering from a disease that would soon steal her life. She tried to ignore her body’s growing discomfort and weakness even as dread vexed her instincts. The fever began in the early morning hours of Friday, September 29, 1730, 11 days after her thirty-third birthday.
She forced herself to get out of bed and walk across the dark hall to her parents’ bedroom.
“Mother! I need you,” Sidonie said as she knocked on the bedroom door. She shivered and licked her dry lips. “Mother, answer me!”
Lucille Roux opened the door. She held a small candleholder in her left hand. The weak candle flame cast trembling light and shadows on Sidonie’s flushed face and illuminated her tired pale blue eyes. Lucille stepped into the hall and closed the door behind her.
“Sidonie, what is it?”
“I am ailing with fever. I —” Bile rushed into Sidonie’s dry throat, and she vomited on her nightgown and bare feet. It was then that she became aware of the small sores on her tongue. Smallpox was there to satisfy its insatiable appetite for death.
Lucille gathered Sidonie’s long, black hair away from her face. She touched her daughter’s hot cheek with the tip of her fingers. Sidonie trembled uncontrollably while her mother helped her into bed.
“It’s the pox,” Sidonie whispered. Tears brimmed in her eyes.
Lucille set the candleholder on the bedside table. She kissed Sidonie’s damp forehead. A mother knew the symptoms without being told.
When Sidonie finally drifted off to sleep, Lucille got on her hands and knees to clean up the vomit in the hall. She heard the floorboards creak. She sat back on her calves, and wiped a loose lock of graying dark hair from her face. Her husband Charles knelt beside her.
“What has happened?” he asked.
“She has the pox,” Lucille said. Her mouth trembled.
Charles whispered, “No, Lucy.”
He wrapped his arms around his wife. Sidonie was their last surviving child out of eight. No parent should have to bury eight children.
Five days later, pneumonia settled in Sidonie’s lungs and took what smallpox had not consumed. Her physician, Dr. Joshua Tyler, advised her parents to begin burial arrangements.
Her minister, Reverend Abraham Smyth, advised her to make peace with God. Sidonie looked at Reverend Smyth with eyes that were bright with fever and confusion. She coughed uncontrollably. His words came too late for her to comprehend. God was now very far out of reach.
Lucille sat at her daughter’s bedside and held her hand while Sidonie lived the last moments of her life.
Charles hovered in the doorway gathering the courage to face death’s black face. Then, he realized that he did not need that courage—Sidonie did. And she was strong. Perhaps that was why she was the only one of his children who lived to adulthood. He crossed the room and sat on the bed beside her.
Sidonie looked at her father, smiled and said, “Asa! You are home!”
Charles and Lucille exchanged grievous looks from opposite sides of the bed. Asa Denning, Sidonie’s husband, was killed in battle during the War of the Quadruple Alliance, when the Spanish attacked South Carolina in 1719. His body was never recovered.
“Asa is waiting for you, my sweet daughter,” Lucille said. Tears welled in her eyes. She stroked Sidonie’s sweating cheeks and damp black hair. “Angels will take you to him.”
Sidonie sighed, “Yes, angels…”
Ian set out alone from the home he shared with his brotherhood of angels in a bowl-shaped valley on Garden Mountain in western Virginia. He followed deer trails and trekked the desolate country eastward across the Appalachian Mountains. When he smelled the salt air of the Atlantic Ocean, he found that he was entering Charles Town, South Carolina.
Ian often embarked on solitary travels despite the objections of his commanding archangel, Colm Bohannon. Colm disapproved when any of the eight angels ventured out of the valley alone. It left them vulnerable to the demons God created to kill them for their disobedience.
They had been running from the demons since the time of the Flood of Noah. Some of the angels had created what God had forbidden—the Nephilim—children of human women. Three angels copulated. Five angels tried to stop them. In God’s court, they were all found guilty, and they were banished from Heaven.
Ian was one of the three. He had spent the past six hundred years looking for a way to fulfill the human-like lust he learned millenniums ago from the Grigori angels, whom his archangel once shepherded. There had to be a way in which he could fulfill his lust and avoid committing the atrocity again.
As he walked the sparse streets of Charles Town, he came upon a churchyard adjoined to a meeting house. The mere idea of human suffering and death made his angelic spirit ache.
Ian entered the churchyard. He wandered among the graves, and stopped here and there to read the inscriptions on the gravestones.
He heard a feminine voice say, “You appear as a man, but I sense that you are not a man.”
Ian looked around. A young couple with tear-stained cheeks stood beside a small grave. He was certain they had not spoken to him.
“Look down,” the feminine voice said.
He saw that he was standing on a grave. There was a skull with wings carved across the top of the slate gravestone. The epitaph read:
Sidonie Roux Denning
Wife of Asa
Daughter of Lucille and Charles
Died October 7 1730 Aged
33 yrs 16 days
The human body Ian had possessed also died at age thirty-three.
“They laid you to rest only a month ago,” he said.
“If I was at rest would I still be here?”
Where’s her energy? He thought.
“Look at the meeting house.”
Her spiritual energy radiated a hologram of her physical form against the backdrop of the sandstone meeting house wall.
“Are you Sidonie?”
“Yes, and you are an angel of God. Say your human name.”
“You are beautiful.”
“Your spiritual energy should not be on earth,” Ian said. “Why have you not gone to Heaven or Hell?”
“I do not know.”
“Did you hide from your reaper?”
“I saw no reaper.”
“All human souls are reaped,” Ian said. “Unless…an angel didn’t feel the struggle your soul endured as your body died.”
“Can you help me?” Sidonie asked.
Ian’s unseen silver wings rustled in distress. “It’s too late to help you.”
“An angel must guide a soul to its egress when the body dies. Then, we summon a reaper to take the soul to its final destination.”
“How do you decide where a soul goes?”
“God decides. We’re his messengers, but that message is relayed only at the moment of death. If I call your reaper now, I won’t be able to tell it where you should dwell. You may end up in Hell.”
“Do you know God?” she asked.
“Perhaps you can ask him where I should go.”
Ian did not intend to tell this lost soul that he was banished from Heaven, and God would never grant him an audience. He left her to face the fate of an earthbound existence. He had a desire to fulfill, and she was a distraction.