Centriel had ended a meeting with the ‘other side’, as he called them. He detested meetings with these guys in closed rooms. No matter what he did, it always took far too long to get rid of the stench.
Also, he felt the need to have something pure, innocent, and unique around him, and spontaneously decided to visit the afternoon show in a Swiss circus, touring the country at that time. He had met the animals there several times before, and they were always happy to see him.
Centriel had picked this particular circus for his visits. It wasn’t the biggest in the country, but the staff and crew treated the animals with respect and true care – mostly. Until this afternoon…
Centriel watched the show, giggled with the dog trainers, and enjoyed the artists flying through the dome. Then he went outside, and said hello to the three lions, the puma and the tiger, before he headed to the horses.
One of them showed him a swollen knee joint, which Centriel softy and slowly healed… The horse was grateful and nudged him a few times. The Archangel laughed. “You’re welcome.” He said. Unfortunately, one of the stable guys walked in just that moment and stood there, frozen in surprise. “Ho, ho! What are you doing in here? These tents and stables aren’t open to the public, man.”
Centriel smiled. “Calm down, boy. All is well. I’m not ‘the public’, and these horses and I are old friends.” The young man visibly calmed down hearing Centriel’s voice and feeling his open friendly behavior. Here was someone who treated him with respect, not like others, who considered stable guys generally dumb and useless. The young man introduced himself as ‘David’ and chatted happily with Centriel, without knowing who he was talking to.
“I’m a bit worried about Brutus’ knee.” David entrusted Centriel with his fears. “The poor boy has been limping for weeks, but our new stable master isn’t doing a thing about it. He doesn’t get the horse the vet care he needs. Even if he didn’t know what to do, he should have called a vet. But Hannes is a brutal giant, only interested that everything and everybody dances to his tune. He doesn’t shy away from using the whip on the horses, the pike on the big cats, and even the chain on the elephants. He claims to ‘know everything about animal training’ and behavior, and he can cure ‘minor injuries’, but seriously? I doubt he even knows where the horse’s knee is, let alone recognize it as unusually swollen…”
Centriel smiled. “Show me.” He asked the boy. David carefully approached Brutus, and talked to him in a calm and soothing manner, before bending down and looking at the leg. After touching it and making sure, he wasn’t hallucinating, David stood back up and turned to Centriel, his eyes were big.
“I saw you standing next to Brutus when I entered. Are you a vet?” Centriel smiled. “Sometimes.” He answered. David grinned. “Thank you, Sir. Thank you very much! Is there anything I have to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again, Doc?” Centriel hid a giggle but replied politely: “I see you know what you’re talking about and doing. You should bandage the knee for a few more days over some mashed potatoes from the fridge to keep the joint cool, and Brutus should be fine. It seemed to me he just exhausted his knee. Make sure he’ll take it easy for a while.”
A deep and oddly screechy voice replied from the entrance: “What’s that nonsense about a knee bandage? That horse is fine. He’s just lazy! But the whip will ‘cure’ him alright.” The man entered and swung his arm up. Centriel stepped forward and caught the man’s arm. “I strongly recommend you’ll retire that whip, man,” Centriel said. The man grinned stupidly and bared his brownish, brittle teeth. “Who wants to tell me what to do? You’re not giving me orders!” Centriel smiled widely. “Oh, yes, I do.” His grin showed the man, what the regular consumption of vegetables, a healthy lifestyle, and the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste twice a day can do.” Centriel softly explained: “I’ll slow it down for you since you’re obviously not the brightest bulb in the chandelier… I told you to retire that whip, which means, don’t you dare ever using it again, neither on the horses, nor on any other animal, here, or anywhere else. I have neither problems nor bad feelings about breaking your arm right here and now if that’s what is needed for you to follow my directions. Do you understand me now?”
The man nodded, suddenly pale. “Y… yes… I get it.” He swallowed. “I really do… you can let me go now.”
There must have been something in Centriel’s looks that scared the living daylights out of the man, but Centriel still hesitated to let go. He felt there would be consequences to what he just did… and he was right.
The man rubbed his wrist, and with heavy steps hasted out of the horse stables. David was as pale as a ghost when he carefully came out of the shadows. “Wow, Doc…. you really told him off. I hope very much that your speech will help the poor animals.” The two men smiled and talked about the other horses for a while when they suddenly heard noise from outside.
The sound of screaming, trampling, the panicking calls of men, the high-pitched trumpets of elephants, and the smell of danger made Centriel jump up and run outside, right into the path of a really angry ‘pachyderm’. The elephant’s trunk was high in the air, the chain and iron stake, to where she was tied were still hanging from her ankle, and she had literally walked over the brutal stable man, who still held on to a barbed iron staff.
Centriel stood as still as a wall, lowered his head, and unseen by the surrounding humans, he quickly unfolded his wings… The elephant stopped in her tracks. She still rocketed from the two front legs to the back ones and forward again, she was obviously in pain, and when she lowered her trunk, Centriel could see the blood dripping from a nasty wound.
He carefully stepped closer and softly talked to the elephant in a long-forgotten language… softly formed tones escaped his lips and seemed to soothe the animal. She permitted him to come closer. “I promise, my beauty, I’m not going to hurt you. I’ll make it better.” He promised.
It took a while, but slowly the bleeding stopped and the wound closed. It looked now as if it was treated days ago, rather than an open wound. The elephant was almost completely calm now. “I know, my girl,” Centriel told her. “You did a great job here, defending yourself and the family. Well done.”
He turned to the horribly injured man on the ground. “Didn’t I warn you?” The guy snorted. “… not a whip.” He gasped. Then he died. Behind Centriel another Archangel landed, unseen by the public. He chuckled. “Really, should I ever die, make sure my last words aren’t that dumb,” Gabriel said. Centriel shrugged. “Dumb brain, dumb last words.”
And then, calm and without regret, they watched the ‘Collectors’ from the other side, picking up the dark man’s graying soul to take it down, where it belonged.
Centriel sighed. “Really, I’m only glad he was the only one dead here today. It could have been worse.” Then he looked over to David. “That one will be a wonderful caretaker for these animals. And later on, might serve just as well for our side.” Gabriel smiled. “I think, you’re right. What a great, compassionate soul he has.”
Centriel briefly waved to David, walked around the elephant, and dissolved…
2 thoughts on “A Divine Intervention 1981 (Centriel’s Past)”
Excellent. I’m enjoying these little glimpses into the lives of these characters. Short stories prove that a little can go a long way. Kudos!
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Thank you so much, Allan. I really appreciate you telling me you like them. I’m not always sure people do.
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