“You have grown into a beautiful woman, under all that soot.”
said Duke back at his home while he starred at Angel as she was getting ready for her bath back in the old house. She had to leave Virgil behind fearful of what Duke would do to him if she refused to come back with him. She remembered Rab and Johnny.
“Michael, oh, Michael!” He had fought for her in Pair-a-Dice but he wouldn’t be here to fight for her his time.
Michael woke up in a cold sweat. Angel had called to him. He had seen her in his dream, a fire and a dark figure walking through the fire to her. He couldn’t shake this feeling. He prayed. Then he prayed again fervently. He was full of fear for his wife.
Where was she? How was she surviving? Was she hungry? Did she have shelter? How was she making her way alone? Why didn’t she come back to him?
He trusted God to protect and guide him. Why couldn’t he trust that the Lord would o the same for her? Because he knew she didn’t believe.
That’s how we feel I think when our loved ones aren’t believers yet. We trust God for our lives but what about those out there gambling with their lives?
“Michael, show me what to do.” Angel couldn’t think. She knew Duke would be back and knew he was very angry with her. What would he do to her?
“Trust in the Lord.” She could see him sitting before a fire, the Bible in his lap. Trust in the Lord.” he said again.
It had been three years since she escaped Duke’s grasp on her when she ran away with Johnny. Duke took care of Johnny but she had gotten away. Now here she sat, bathed and dressed in fine silk, eating and drinking milk once again in Duke’s grasp.
“Oh, Michael, I’m weak. I’m so weak! I was right to leave you. Look at me! Stuffing myself on Duke’s food. I’m selling my soul for a steak and a slice of chocolate cake when I swore I’d starve before I went back to my old ways. I don’t know how to be good! I could only manage it when I was with you.”
“What happened to my fine moral strength I possessed while I was with you, Michael? It’s gone again. I’m right back to being Angel. All the space of a few short hours and one tray of supper.”
She closed her eyes. God, if you are there, strike me dead. Kill me so I won’t give in completely. I haven’t the strength to fight this devil. I haven’t any strength at all.
“By the way, Angel. If your Michael comes for you, I will kill him the same way I killed Johnny.” and “I’m going to make you watch this time.”
The nightmares, came one right after another, Johnny, the smell of ship, the docks and garbage, her mother. Michael and Miriam in the field. Michael turning away from Miriam and running towards Angel.
“No, Michael, go back! Don’t come near me.” She knew if he touched her, the foulness covering her would cover him as well. He came ahead.
“Oh, God let me die. Let me die for him.” NO! came the soft voice. Michael ran to her. A small flame burned where his hear was. NO, beloved! Michael’s mouth wasn’t moving. Then the flames grew larger and brighter, spreading until his entire body was radiant with it. The light separated from Michael and came the last few feet towards her. It was a man, glorious and magnificent, light streaming from him in all directions.
“Who are you? Angel cried out……Who are you?”
Yahweh, El Shaddai, Jehovah-mekoddishken, El Elyon, El Olam, Elohim….
The man touched her and she felt warmth and love all throughout her body. Fear dissolving away. She looked down at herself and found she was clean and clothed in white.
“Am I dead?”
That you might live. I am the way Sarah. Follow me.
As she awoke she hear Dukes seductive words in the next room and a child crying.