Tuesday, June 14, 2005

VIGNETTE: MANUEL
His first encounter with them was while he was sitting on the toilet.

His jeans were clumped around his ankles like denim blue pets that sought for their master's attentions. His black boxer briefs was much higher, the elastic waistband giving enough tesion to cling on to the place just past his bent knees. He was shirtless; though he did enter the cubicle with a collared polo and a white tee. It was in his habit to remove all upper garments completely before stripping his pants down. He preferred feeling as completely naked as possible whenever he visited the ivory throne.

His mind danced with fanciful images of ex-lovers and violence purpetrated upon those whom made his work-life more stressful than it should be. His hands absent-mindedly scratched the dry skin of his inner thigh. Any moment, he was planning to reach down for the bag he brought with him and bring out the main reason he really went to the toilet in the first place. He was lost in a world of his own thoughts with his body busy doing the routine deed when they gave the first since of their presence in his midst.

And in no way was it a subtle one.

White light that blinded him erupted impossibly from the ceiling above the cubicle he was in. There was no heat. No sense of fear or danger coming to life inside of his heart as the white intensity filled the cubicle and eliminated any possible shadow inside its scope.

"Manuel, rise for you have been Chosen."

Manuel raised his right arm to block the light that blinded his eyes and tried to perceive where it was all coming from. He saw a hint of silk. Of golden threads. Of feathers.

"Rise for God has chosen you to partake in one of the Almighty's Mysteries."

Manuel stared blankly at the beautiful winged form that seemed to hover above the cubicle. The ceiling, it seemed, had vanished. Instead, the great white light streamed from am immensely vast city that remained nested amongst the clouds above. The clear blue sky was achingly wide and calm. And approaching from the City's open gates were seventeen choirs of angels who held in their hands the crystalline harps and golden trumpets. They sang with a melodious symphony of notes and fluttered closer with neither effort nor exhaustion.

"I am the Angel whom you have deemed to call Jibrael. And the Almighty Father has asked me to deliver to you this message. You are the one Chosen to deliver to the world Our Father's latest Message. The Rapture shall come forth after the seventh full Moon has shown its face. Those who wish to be deemed worthy must disconnect all electronic devices and machines in their homes and wait in their rooms naked and sleeping. All earthly treasures and wants must be left behind. And those who do so shall be given due notice on whether or not they shall be worthy of accompanying the Father and embracing the Rapture to follow. This is the message of God, our Father Almighty. Blessed are you, Manuel, to have been Chosen by God for this task."

Manuel nodded slowly and watched as the lights all faded away. The harmonious song faded as the last hints of the miracle faded from view the same moment the ceiling of the restroom returned to where it should be.

He flushed the toilet. Slowly wiped himself clean, more out of unconsious habit once again considering he never moved his bowels, and flushed the crumpled tissue down the toilet as well.

Finally, sheepishly, he reached down for his bag, looked into the darkned interior and wiped a sweat bead off his forehead as he closed the bag and slid it back to the floor. He got dressed quickly and picked up the bag before running out of the cubicle even as his trembling knees continued their struggle to hold his weight.

There was one thought, one thought alone that remained in Manuel's head the whole time:

Had the angels and the whole display of Heaven come a few seconds later... they would have caught him wanking off.


Nikki Alfar
Tobie Abad
Gabby Lee
Andre Mischa Cleofe
Cathy delos Santos

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