Memoirs Of An Angel

Kevin Kao

© Copyright 1999 by Kevin Kao

Photo of a large spider. (c) 2005 by Richard Loller.

This story was written for an symbolism assignment, and was based on Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris".

I've been watching the spider for several hours already; its eight thin legs, its elegant sable body, and its stillness as it waits atop the labyrinth of what is soon to be the end for its prey. I wonder how it must feel to wait for so long before anything happens, but then I should know. To wait is why I'm here.

It was only yesterday when it last happened. I was there at the end of the world -- at the end of the previous world anyway. I am Malison, the human form of the angel of apocalypse, the chosen one to oversee the endings of the world; to watch the world end, then begin, only to watch it end once more. Over and over again. To start and end the world is what I do. It was the responsibility placed upon me when I was created.

Her name was Sibylline Lovette, but I called her Sibyl. I met her in the previous world in a little bakery she was working at. I still remember vividly how beautiful she looked that day. The long pink apron, the little bow at her neck, and the ribbon tied around her straight brown hair. She laughed when I told her that, because that was the uniform she was supposed to wear, but I wasn't lying. She was gorgeous.

I shyly introduced myself as Malison, a writer still looking to write the Great Novel. She accepted me nicely, and told me her name. We talked for as long as we could, about the weather, about London, about anything we could think of, but she had to get back to work.

It was almost always sunny down there in that part of London. The trees swayed in harmony as the birds sang their melodies. It was a pretty scenery, one that was perfect when Sibyl and I went out together for the first time. There was the clearing that we've visited a lot since. It was a wide area of flat grassy land, surrounded by nothing but the beauty of nature. Patches of colour found themselves embedded in this vast green region -- the lilies made up the orange, the dahlias made up the purple, and the daffodils provided the white, with a small hint of yellow. A few feet from the center of it all, there was a small pond, that was home to little fish and other smaller animals. If you were lucky, you could watch the tadpoles emerge from their eggs. = The clearing was a fantasy land, a place to rest and wonder. It was where we went everyday.

We=92d talk a lot whenever we went to the clearing. We'd share each other's thoughts, and think about things together. All the little things. I remember clearly the time when she asked me if I knew the name of the flowers she saw on her trip to Scotland.

"They had leaves growing at the bottom, and they had pedals around this big," she described, while making a circular shape with her slender fingers, "I saw a blue one, I'm sure, but I think there was a time when I saw one that was orange. Or maybe it was some other flower."

"Irises," I told her, "big flashy pedals. Comes in more colours than you can think of, and it makes sense. Iris is also the goddess of the rainbow."

She giggled, and said, "Okay, flower man, whatever you say."

The fact is, I love flowers. I was always fascinated by how they will always do what they're supposed to do; a list of instructions given to them even before they start to grow, and they follow it until they die. They follow it even if it makes them die. You give them enough water, and they will bloom into the prettiest things. You give them too much, and they will crumple and shrink and die. And they don't complain. They think nothing of revenge. They were doing what they were supposed to do.

Sibyl also talked a lot about her dreams. There was a time when she dreamt about us, living happily together -- with children too. But she was sad. Dreams, she told me, are escapes from reality. Things happen in dreams so they don't have to happen in real life. I didn't believe in that, and I told her that we'd be together for as long as we live, but she was genuinely sad.

It was only a few weeks later when I discovered that what she told me was true. And it was going to be me who would end the relationship, because it was time for me to end the world. The last pedal was about to fall.

One night, it started to rain. The sky had a sense of gloom, and the priests said their prayers. It was then that I chose to visit Heaven for the first time since it last happened. I was going into my original angelic form, something no mortals can see. My wings very slowly expanded, much like a bud into blossom. My eyes were no longer human. I could see everything, even the lost souls who were wandering around hopelessly, looking for a purpose. I assured them all was about to end, but I really wished the end would come later. There was Sibyl, and there were so many things we haven=92t done yet.

I soared into the darkened sky, heading towards Heaven. I passed the clearing, which didn't seem anything like the first time I saw it. The trees were uprooted, laying there, dead. The flowers that were once so full of color turned a brownish gray. I didn't see any birds.

I also passed Sibyl's house, where I stopped for a while. I looked into her window, through the array of raindrops that slowly rolled down onto the sill. She was sleeping. Probably dreaming of something wonderful, with animals, a bright sunny day, and maybe a little girl who would grow to live forever. Things that wouldn't happen in real life.

I thought about the day I first met her. The bakery. The way she laughed when I told her she looked good in what she was wearing. I whispered softly into the emptiness, that I loved her, and that if we never see each other again, I just wanted her to know that she was the reason I became human.

That was the last time I saw her.

Up there in Heaven, there is the Clock. A blood red rose, encased in an inverted glass vase, floating in the air, slowly dying as time passes. When all its pedals fall off, it is my responsibility to end the world, to make room for the new rose that will come.

I sat on what must've been a cloud -- I can't quite remember. My head hung low as I thought about this world. Things that happened. Things that could've happened. And then I watched the Clock. The rose bowed lugubriously towards me. It's last pedal was already dead. It was only hanging, and when it falls, it was all going to end. For the world anyway.

I watched the pedal break loose from the stem. It twirled in the air several times, and then I closed my eyes. I listened closely for Sibyl, for her thoughts. I waited for what seemed like eternity, but what I heard was the very soft sound that the pedal has landed onto the bed of dead flowers; they were all once used in the Clock for the many erstwhile worlds. I opened my eyes, realizing that I had tears, and walked towards the Clock. I touched the glass vase, and the stem disappeared. It was replaced by a new rose immediately afterwards, but this time, it was white.

I descended onto the new world, and I sat down where I'm sitting now. This world seems a lot like the previous one. Only this time, I'm afraid to be human. I'm going to stay in my angelic form, unseen by any eyes. And I'm going to wander hopelessly, watching, listening, but never speaking a word. If you feel a slight breeze, that might be me walking past you, but I won't speak. And you won't see me. And I'll keep doing this, again and again, forever.

I've been watching the spider for several hours already; its eight thin legs, its elegant sable body, and its stillness as it waits atop the labyrinth of what is soon to be the end for its prey. It is still waiting. It must be boring to wait for so long, and do completely nothing, and that is what is ahead of me -- but I admire the creature nonetheless. At least it gets to die.

Kevin Kao is a 16-year-old guy who has discovered that his mortal enemy goes by the name of Writer's Block, and has decided that one of these days, he will swiftly kick him in the groin.

Contact Kevin

(Messages are forwarded by The Preservation Foundation.
So, when you write to an author, please type his/her name
in the subject line of the message.)

Book Case

Home Page