The four angels perched in a row on a parapet of the roof the next day, watching the guests leave for their rented cars. The storm had moved out the night before, and now the sky was cloudless.

"At least Benito has a new family to stay with," Monica said. "For now." She beamed. "They have already promised Silvo's father that they will take no more drugs. Giuseppe is very happy with their decision, and with the action they took last night, in flushing the marijuana and crack down the toilet."

Tess nodded agreement. "Yes, he is, and yes, Benito does. Even though he's grieving for his uncle, he's very happy to be returning to Rome. And you did well to tell him that God will see him through the hard times that lie ahead, Angel Girl, because they're coming sooner than he realizes." She clasped her hands together as she spoke, her eyes darkening.

Monica nodded agreement, then sighed. She propped her fingers together in her lap. "It's too bad he doesn't have a Bible, Tess."

The supervisor angel chuckled. "Miss Wings, have you forgotten that with God, all things are possible?"

Gloria tilted her head, staring at Tess. She brushed her hair out of her eyes, then wiped a beat of sweat off her forehead. "You mean—"

"Yes, Gloria, I do. When I packed Benito's things this morning, I slipped in a pocket-sized Bible, along with a note exhorting him to read it and memorize it." Tess smiled. "In fact, I slipped in two, so he could give one to his friend when he has the opportunity. It will be his job to lead his friend Silvo to the Lord. And when the time is right, God is going to send angels to Silvo's father."

"Whom will He send? Us?" Andrew craned his head to peer at Tess.

Tess shrugged. "Maybe us, maybe other angels. God hasn't told me, Angel Boy. Nor has He told me when."

For a long moment, the four angels sat silently, watching the humans below. The sun blazed overhead. At last, Gloria frowned. "The two witnesses are going to be murdered next, aren't they?" She fingered her glasses as she spoke.

"Yes, and God has assigned Adam and me to take them Home." Andrew sighed. "But three-and-a-half days later, He will resurrect them, and they will return to Heaven."

Monica nodded, her earrings swinging sideways. "In full view of everyone. And then, there will be an earthquake." She reached up to wipe her sweaty face. "Iraq has got to be one of the hottest nations there is! I don't wonder the boy didn't want to live here."

Andrew smiled wryly. "Antonio Puccini is going to turn up the heat for everyone, especially believers. Hot temperatures will be the least of their worries when God begins to send the rest of the judgments down on the earth."

"Yes." Gloria frowned at the two boys, now climbing into Giuseppe's car. Staff members had already loaded Benito's trunks and suitcases in another automobile. "They're going to be forced into hiding very soon, when Antonio suffers that mortal head wound."

Andrew nodded agreement. He lightly rested his left hand on the burning stone beneath him. "Yes, they will. When Antonio has his miraculous recovery—his apparent resurrection—he's going to be indwelt by Satan from then till Jesus comes back. And his first act will be to commit the abomination of desolation in the temple."

Monica sighed. "Then he and Dayan will start requiring people to take the mark. To worship the image Dayan is going to order built. The boys will have to go into hiding before then. And at some point during that time, war will be declared in the Middle East."

"Yes, it will. And some old friends of ours will be forced into hiding, too." Tess looked from one angel to another, her brooch sparkling in the sunlight. "Some people whom God sent us to minister to at the very beginning of the Tribulation will be in need of our help again."

"The Dalys and the Whittakers?" Gloria gazed at her, tilting her head again. Tess nodded. "Is God sending us back to them?" A broad smile spread across Gloria's face; Monica and Andrew beamed.

Tess nodded. "Yes, He is. Very soon." She gazed up at the blazing sun overhead. "So let's go back to the Throne Room; the Father has more orders for us there."

The angels disappeared from sight. Overhead, a dove cooed.


©2004, by KathyG.