Stemil Meets St. Michael
John A. Ward

Stemil was enveloped in radiance. It was emanating from a being sitting on a futon with a half-coconut in his hand. There was a paper umbrella poking out of the crushed ice in the hemisphere husk.

Stemil shielded his eyes. “I’m Stemil. Who are you?”

The big angel in the white gown smiled. “I’m Michael. Would you like a Mai Tai?”

“No thank you. Is this your place?”

“It is for this creation. It alternates with each Big Bang. Lucifer gets the odd creations.”

“I thought you won the battle in heaven.”

“I did, but it’s all fixed. Lucifer wins the next one. It’s like professional wrestling. Would you like to see my Championship belt?”

“If you want to show it to me.”

Michael stood and pulled up his gown. He was wearing pantyhose. Around his waist was a wide leather belt with big silver plated images of angels wrestling. “Isn’t it pretty? I just hate to give it  up.”

“Why don’t you wrestle Lucifer for real? Win it in a fair fight.”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that. We’re just here for the amusement of the deities. They make the rules.”

“Deities? I thought there was only one true God.”

“Well, there is now, but all that changes.”

“I thought he always was and always will be.”

Michael set down his Mai Tai and pinched Stemil’s cheek. “You’re a cute little gargoyle, but you’re so naïve. The way it works is, there’s nothing but physics until intelligent life evolves. Then, in trying to figure out where they came from, the beings invent deity. At first, it’s polytheistic and anthropomorphic. As they become more intelligent and self-centered, it becomes monotheistic and patriarchal or matriarchal depending on their leanings. Then they become empirical and impersonal and everything is physics again. Then the sun starts expanding and frying brains and the cosmos collapses and it starts all over again. That’s it in a nutshell.”

“Very interesting, I have one other question.”


“Why are you wearing those things on your legs?”

Michael looked down and realized his gown was still hiked up. He let it drop, sat down, and sipped his Mai Tai. “They’re support hose. I have a slow heart rate. If I stand up too fast, I get dizzy.”

“Maybe you have a weak heart.”

“No, I have a strong heart. It’s so strong it doesn’t have to beat as fast as other angels’ tickers. I’m in good shape. Do you want to wrestle?”

“No, I’m sure you’d beat me.”

Michael sighed, “That’s the trouble being me. I intimidate others. Nobody wants to wrestle with me.”

First published: November 2018
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