86 - Rome
PRESENT DAY Despite threatening me with that particular bit of information about my immortal soul, he otherwise remained surprisingly close lipped on the subject. It did sound like a threat thought, the way that he said it, although I did doubt that was his original intention. To someone like him, it was probably no more than stating the way things were.
The most maddening part was that he didn’t tell me which sin in particular it was that was causing the most trouble. I had a feeling it was one of the three big ones that I’d confessed to Father Antonio. That’s why he’d sent me to Rome after all–or at least somewhat related to the why.
But why would he care about divinations? I wasn’t even sure that Mrs. Claire’s tarot card reading really should have counted. It still could just have been blind luck. And even if it hadn’t, that had been the first time that I’d met Michael. So it couldn’t be all that evil… could it?
The next possibility was ending a life. I wasn’t entirely sure how well that counted either. I hadn’t really set out to be a murderer, so the conscious decision part of the mortal sin was a little vague. Perhaps I could get out of it based on that technicality? But no, I doubted that would go over well. One wasn’t judged on the letter of the law in any case, it was the true Holy Spirit of the law that I was concerned with.
And that left breaking the seal of confession. That was a big one, everyone agreed. Or at least everyone to whom it applied agreed. The common person likely neither new nor cared about the details, so long as they knew they a priest wouldn’t spread their secrets behind their back. I knew that I’d been doing somewhat worse about that than I likely should have, but I was having second thoughts about classifying exactly what I’d done as a mortal sin any longer.
So when Michael had come right out and said that my mortal soul was in danger… Well, I believed him. An angel seemed the sort that just might have access to that sort of information. But a little detail would be nice.
I was about to ask him yet again–I knew I was verging on or perhaps even long past that point where incessant questions become annoying. But I was saved having to worry about that as he spoke up just as I was preparing to question him. “We need to keep moving.”
I blinked. “Keep moving? What are we running from? Lazarus?”
I’d meant it as a semi-joking question. After all, I was w\with the very angel who was in charge of the army of God. What then did I have to fear from my fellow man? Admittedly though, this fellow man was many, many times my age with a Greek legend come to life for a sidekick. Still a man though.
Despite that intent though, Michael answered my question directly. “Yes.” I think that single word scared me more than anything, particularly with the grim tone it came with.\
Another thing was bothering me though. “So we’re on the run. For some indeterminate amount of time we’re going to have to keep moving. So why stop here? What’s so special about this church?”
He paused for a moment before answering. I couldn’t tell if he were hesitating or trying to carefully choose his words. Finally, “I was praying for guidance.”
“Guidance?” That certainly didn’t help my calm.
“About what to do with you. With Lazarus. With the Cup. I was asking God to show me the way.”
“Neat.” And it was. I’d never really considered praying, but that part at least was making more and more sense. And who better to pray than those that have been directly in God’s presence. Certainly their prayers carry a bit of weight around Heaven. “So what did he say?”
His reply chilled me to the bone.