“Hello Adam. Hello, Sidney.” He looked for all the world like something out of a Hemingway novel, all white linen suit and Panama hat. The sunglasses were there, of course, the sunglasses were always there.
“What are you doing here, Lucky? And isn’t Michael going to have some objection to your being here?” I asked, looking around to see if the archangel had clued in that his eternal adversary had joined our little pool party.
“I’m here to meet young Sidney, of course. And I could care less what that self-important ass objects to. Hello, Sidney. Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m…” I was probably going to fall into the pool and drown myself laughing if he said anything about wealth and taste, but that was the moment that Michael took note of our new addition.
“LUCYPHER!!!!” He bellowed, rising straight out of the pool like a missile from a submarine. His benign human guise vanished in a thought, and what we got was a whole lot of pissed off archangel, charging across the top of the water at Lucky swinging a six-foot long flaming sword. I shoved Junior into the pool and dove in after him, swimming as fast as we could to get away from the coming scuffle.
If you’re never seen an angel in their natural form, then it’s a little hard to explain. But since I’m pretty sure you haven’t seen one, I’ll give it my best shot. Think a glowing blue-white Shaq, only bigger. A lot bigger. Like seven and a half or eight feet tall. Bald, a little like the blue guy from the Watchmen movie, only bigger, and without genitalia. Leave me alone, it’s the kinda thing you’re gonna
notice. There are wings, and they are huge. Humans can stretch out their arms and the distance from fingertip to fingertip equals their height, within an inch or so. When angels stretch out their wings, the distance from wingtip to wingtip is more like ten or twelve feet. So now picture a glowing eight foot tall Shaq with a 12’ wingspan running across the surface of a swimming pool swinging a sword that would give Braveheart a little twinge in his kilt, if you get my drift. I think you can see why we dove for cover, literally.
To his credit, if Lucky had veins, there was ice water in them, because he didn’t flinch in the face of the Angelic Express about to run him down. He just stood there patiently, and when Michael got close, he did some kind of judo/ninja thing and suddenly Michael was flying across the parking lot. The wings helped him control his descent, and he made the turn before he crashed through anything important, like our car, the front of the hotel, a random fence or two, anything like that. As Michael wheeled around and flew back at Lucky for another shot, Lucky unfurled wings of his own and took to the sky.
“Is this the place, then?” He asked, stopping Michael cold in midair with one sentence.
“Why are you here?” replied a very pissed off angel.
“I wish to speak with the Chosen. Do you then change the terms of our meeting?” Lucky persisted.
“You must leave.” Said Michael.
“We agreed that I could speak with the Chosen as often as I desire until the Choice is made. Do you break the terms of our agreement? Shall we finish this now?” I wasn’t sure what Lucky was talking about, but the formality in his tone led me to believe that this was a pretty big deal.
“I do not. Our agreement stands.” Michael said through clenched teeth.
“Then leave me to talk with the Chosen. As is my right.” With that, Lucky proved that he was either incredibly brave or had a lot of faith in Michael’s word, because he turned his back on the sword-wielding giant glowing guy and glided down to where Junior and I were pulling ourselves out of the pool. Michael let out a low growl of frustration and flew straight up until he vanished from sight. I was pretty sure there were going to be some cell phone calls to the National Enquirer around Nashville that evening. I stepped between Lucky and the kid, who was trying to look brave but only managing to look like a very wet, very scared skinny kid with a face full of hardware and expensive ink on his arms.
“Lucky, what do you want with the kid? I’m not gonna let you hurt him.” I wasn’t feeling too secure in my own ability to stop him, but I figured it was worth a shot. It worked about as well as expected. Lucky laughed as he landed on the edge of the pool and came over to us. He reached into the bag of beer, popped the top on a PBR, and tossed one to me as he sat down on one of the pool loungers.
“Sit down, Adam. We both know you can’t hurt me, and if I wanted to hurt you, I’d find much more interesting ways of doing it than just kicking your ass all over the parking lot. I want to talk to Sidney here, and you might as well hear this as well.” I sat. He was right, and I knew it. And he knew I knew it, so there wasn’t a whole lot of point in trying to act all tough against the First of the Fallen.
“What was all that about?” I asked, waving my hand in the general direction of the pool.
“That? Oh. Well, Michael and I have had a disagreement for a long time, and before too long, we’re going to find out which one of us was right. And he gets to be the one to set the place for our final duel. I just asked him if he wanted it to be here. He decided against it.” Just as I was about to demand more details, I saw a shadow move across the water, and I looked up.
“Eve, No!” I got the words out, but not in time as Eve came up behind Lucky with a sawed-off shotgun and shot him square in the back. The sound was enormous, and I shut my eyes against the muzzle flash and any Lucky-bits that happened to spray on my face.