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Status Quo

by Sara Genge

I can do this, Marcus thought; I can play him along forever. He sat on the couch with the angel who was in charge of commissioning the stained-glass windows in the Cathedral. The angel called himself Uriel. Whether he really was the angel of Repentance or not, wasn't the issue. This being had the power to keep Marcus alive as long as he needed him to paint.

Marcus would pull a stunt like Penelope, and drag his work throughout his life.

"I know what you're doing," said the angel.

"What?" Marcus was pudgy and did not look particularly intelligent. This trick usually worked.

"Cut it out, I know what you're thinking." The angel spread its wings and Marcus winced at the sight of those dirty feathers on his cream sofa. He would have thought that an angel would use his powers to keep his wings clean, but this one seemed to think the bohemian look suited him. "If you think this can go on forever," Uriel continued, "You're an idiot. Finish the windows and get out of this cesspool. Heaven is much nicer."

Marcus didn't want to go to heaven, not yet. He had been dying a few years back of hereditary kidney failure. Then this being had appeared, claiming to be an angel and offering him the commission to paint the stained-glass windows in the Cathedral, the bishop's new pet project. He'd said yes, and suddenly, there was a kidney for him and he'd been transplanted. Freed from dialysis he'd thrown himself into the job, designing the intricate patterns that would move the faithful to awe, experimenting with lead alloys that made the windows light and airy, as if an angel held them up, as if they weren't made of glass after all, but of breath or air.

When his body started to reject the kidney, he'd devised a plan. Work slow and, if necessary, destroy the panes. It hurt, but if it came down to his art or his life, the choice was made.

"I know what you're doing," repeated the angel.

"Do you know how to stop me?" asked Marcus.

"No," said the angel.

"Then it's settled," said Marcus.

The angel sighed. "Oh well, what are a few years to me?"

"They are everything to me," said Marcus.


I really like this story! Thanks.

Posted by: Valerie | June 29, 2007 5:08 PM

Thank you

Posted by: Sara Genge | June 29, 2007 6:32 PM

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