The Angel of Death whispers most into resolute ears. That mangy-winged skeleton casts off his blackened robes from time to time but only ever to hard-bitten fools at chilly precipices. He knows that the guns in their holsters are loaded. He knows that their aching hearts beat arrhythmically with righteousness. These are men and women on the cusp, the cut lip of some sheer rockface, discerning shapes in the shadows of the valley below.

            He shuffles up beside them, all quiet-like, and rests a bony hand on their quivering shoulder. Then he leans in with his message from God, The Hand pretending to be The Voice. But the Metatron, he ain’t.

            And what of the Almighty himself? He watches on, of course. He lets it happen. Once there may have been a plan but that’s only a story He insists on now. If you ask me, the only ever plan He had was to sit above and watch things transpire.

            The Angel of Death doesn’t disappoint. With one final declaration to ‘Do my will’, he applies just enough pressure to cast them downward. Then again, that’s where all those deserving of revenge reside. Some may climb a little higher but their feet remain in dirt all their lives. So it becomes with the avenger, brought low by the low-lives. But first by the Angel.

            Then again the Angel is naturally higher, even as he sweeps across the Earth with blood on his scythe. Some beings can abase themselves all they like and rise up again. Of course, when the Angel of Death rises, it is to blot out the Sun. It is to darken the moon.

            I say these things not because I long to be smitten but because they are true. I have seen too many cloak themselves in anger and set out for desolation at midnight. I have lost loved ones who brought themselves to the brink then let that sneaky celestial son of a gun see them off. This I will not let happen to you.

            Make no mistake, the wrongs of this world belong solely to humanity. We hurt and hate and rarely learn from either. But if you ever turn your ear heavenward, know that the voice you hear is not there to reassure. It is Azrael the Angel of Death employing another agent of destruction. You will not run on for the long time you deserve. In truth, he will cut you down far sooner than the rest…

The Shuffle of An Angel’s Feet is a piece from Joanna’s Workshop on Inspirational Music 24-06-2020. This story was inspired by the traditional folk song God’s Gonna Cut You Down.

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