Cette publication est également disponible en : Français (French)
Below you’ll find an extract from the first 57 pages of the book in PDF format and as an article to be read online.
Excerpt from the book to read online
In the time of the end of the end of time, in the 100th year of the seventh empire, before the eighth and last empire of the Earth came, the word of the Father began to come to me, saying:
– Son of man, behold, I give you a vision which you must write down and pass on to your peers, your brothers, the living and the dead who are in the Book of Life. Do not be afraid of her, of what you will see and hear, for I am with you. Don’t tremble and be strong. Don’t let your heart be deceived by the things you’re about to witness. For I am with you. I will make your heart like stone and your face like brass, so that you will neither fear nor stumble.
As soon as the voice reached me, I had prostrated myself and no longer felt any spirit of life within me.
When the voice died away, I remained on the ground, frightened, until I managed to get up again.
At that moment, behold, an angel stood before me.
He was similar in appearance to a son of man.
He was clothed in a long garment of fine, pure white linen, reaching to his feet, and girded around his chest with a golden belt. His head and hair were white as wool, like snow, and his eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like glowing copper and his voice was like the sound of tumbling torrents. He held a flaming sword in his right hand and his face shone like the sun at its zenith..
After contemplating him, I fell again as if dead at his feet.
How long did I lose consciousness?
Even today, I don’t know.
One thing’s for sure:
When I woke up, he was still there.
Immediately, managing to gather some strength, I prepared to kneel and prostrate myself at his feet, much as had happened to the prophet of scripture before me, as I uttered these words:
– Angel of the Father, I beg you… But he grabbed me by the hand and stopped me.
– No… don’t do that… I’m just your companion.. Just look at me! What do you see?
– You’re an angel! An angel of the living God!
He then asked me a second time:
– Look at me! What do you see?
– My Lord, you are an angel, an angel of the living God!
Then he asked me a third time:
– Look at me! What do you see?
Surprised, and as he insisted, I told him only what I could see:
– I see a man radiating light.
– You answered well. Always write what you see, not what you think. Know that you have been appointed by my Master to write to the whole Earth. And this story that’s coming, that he wants me to inspire you with, he wants it to be universal and it must remain so.
– Would you like to know my name?
– Yes, of course!” I replied, still standing.
– My name is Gabriel.
Immediately, I thought, the same as in writing!
Reading my thoughts, he asked:
– What did you hear?
– You told me you were Gabriel, the illustrious angel sent by God to…
I didn’t have time to continue when he interrupted me:
– What did you hear?
– You said that… I changed my mind… your name is Gabriel.
-You answered well. Always write what you hear, not what you think.
And you’ve understood, so let it be for all your senses.
You must not, no, let your beliefs alter this divine narrative by your own influence.
Because, if you’ve been chosen by my Master, it’s for what you are and your love of words, not for what you think.
Now stand up and look at me.
I’m asking you to be strong.
I struggled to my feet, still shaking with fright, and looked up again. At once, the spirit of life entered me and a new energy filled my veins. She made me sit up straight and face him. I felt his fiery gaze read my soul like an open book. As he scrutinized me, the full weight of my many faults seemed to surge from my heart, flowing down my knotted throat and violently into my face, already flushed with shame.
Yet he tells me:
– Son of man, you have been judged worthy of bringing the message that follows to mankind, for your soul is pure and your spirit undefiled.
To which I was about to reply in scarlet that I was but one of the most imperfect of men, and that like many, my faults were nameless and numberless… but even as I parted my lips, behold, he had touched them with the point of his sword, and instantly I was made pure. All my past faults were instantly forgiven.
– I know… don’t worry, and don’t oppose it, because since when does clay argue with the potter who shapes it? And what role does it play?
Immediately, he stepped back from in front of me, and pointing with his open hand in the direction of the vision, he said:
– See, and write, yes take note and record all that you see and hear, for behold by the effect of this vision, the hour of the final sanctification of my Master’s name is at hand. The whole world needs to know. Behave, yes, like a scribe of old, a faithful clerk, and don’t be afraid, for he has sent me to you to be with you at all times, to breathe into you the spirit of life you’ll need to carry out your Mission. Have no fear, for if my Master is with you, tell me, who will be able to stand against you?
With that, he handed me a gold stylus and scrolls of parchment set with fine gilding all around and engraved with rich illuminations.
– Here it is These are the tools you need to succeed in your mission. Will you make it?
I can still hear myself saying it in a voice I would have liked so much louder:
– Yes, my Lord.
I then shakily grabbed the stylus and parchment scrolls and placed them beside me, after which, once again, an invigorating spirit ran through my spine.
I closed my eyes and shuddered with joy, excitement and pleasure.
When I opened my eyes again, behold! Gabriel had disappeared.
The whole vision was before me.
I’d been transported by the spirit to a remote island where it was immediately clear to me that, only a short time ago, everything there had been a storm.
(At the time, I fully expected that the vision I was about to see would far exceed my imagination. But what happened far surpassed my wildest expectations).
The scene of desolation that appeared to me, as if straight out of a deformed, ageless world, seemed so startling that at the time, I was again incapable of uttering a single word, of writing down the slightest utterance, so petrified was I of it.
But I recovered quickly, thinking back to Gabriel’s encouraging words.
I kept my eyes open.
I immediately put a hand to my face to block my nostrils.
Because the first thing that grabbed me was the smell.
A pungent, burning, suffocating smell, a smell of fire, sulfur and blood.
The smell jumped down my throat with such force that I nearly fell over backwards.
Just as I made a move to turn my head away, fortunately I had the presence of mind to pray to the Father.
Gabriel immediately stood behind me.
He put his right hand in front of my mouth.
A fresh breeze fills my lungs again.
He cupped his left hand behind my head to stop me turning away. His voice echoed in my mind.
– Remember I’m with you. Don’t let yourself be overcome by fear or doubt, because if you turn your heart away from this vision for any wrong reason, it will eventually be taken away from you and given to someone else. So be strong and seize the supreme privilege that is yours. Above all, don’t rely on your own strength. If you need me, yes, pray to my Master. And before you’ve even finished your sentence, I’ll be there, as I am now, to help you.
I immediately thanked him in spirit for his help, pulled myself together and, thanks to him, was able to resume the course of the vision.
That breath of impure atmosphere I breathed then, I never breathed again. But I can assure you, without lying, it will forever be etched in my nostrils, so repulsive was it. Because if it only lasted for the time of an inspiration, of a flash of light, I’m sure it will last forever, but I’ll certainly never find the equivalent.
The second sky caught my attention. More than anything else, it was in perpetual motion. Dark, low black clouds drifted away, chased by particularly violent high-altitude winds. A dark, murky cloud mass surrounded the dome of the volcano dominating the island to my right. Dark wisps of smoke, dotted with myriads of ash particles, poured from its roaring maw. Its outline drew a misshapen mouth with lips red with incandescent lava. Up there, she had the texture of fresh blood, still warm and thick. As the lava descended the mountain foothills, it took on an ever darker, browner color, assuming the characteristic shape of coagulated blood. If you paid attention, you could make out the multiple layers of lava, silent witnesses to the assaults of its successive waves, which no rock could stop in their slow, insatiable descent. This made me think that this volcano must have erupted a lot. In fact, he resembled nothing so much as a wound in the earth, a gaping wound that was always open, never healed. At the edge of the beach below, the lava was now just a black, dried-out crust. The previous eruption must not have been enough to bring its new batch of lava this far. What also struck me was the total absence of any vegetation. For, despite the presence of this soil, this volcanic matter, which is customary on such a fertile Earth, here, strangely enough, nothing grew, not even on the outskirts of the beach. This confirmed my assumption that this volcano must have erupted violently and frequently, leaving no time for anything to grow… a frightening thought assailed me… What if this lava is… it has the same smell, the same color, it looks like… blood… Deeply uneasy, my heart on edge, I decided to put this thought aside and look around me…
What caught my eye then was the sea to my left, a foaming, tortured-looking sea, caught as it was between the violent offshore current, the relentless burning wind coming down from the volcano and the countless reefs around it that tore it apart on all sides. I could hear each wave screaming more and more as it got closer and closer. I had the feeling that the sea must have done everything in its power to wipe this island, this wart from the face of the earth, off the map, as if trying to heal its sister of a purulent wound it had never been able to heal on its own. How many times had she had to assault it from all sides, hoping to erode it little by little and thus gradually lead it down the path to oblivion, as she had so effortlessly succeeded with so many other islands before her. Strangely enough, however, despite all the power she was capable of wielding, she gave me the feeling that she was facing the island in a state of despondency and resignation, not to say fear. How else to explain the fact that each wave seemed to go off to die on this coast, on this beach, howling, cursing the day when the trade winds and the breeze gave birth to it, to come aground right here, on this cursed piece of land? The waves’ ebb was indeed extraordinarily violent, as if they were doing their utmost to get away from it as quickly as possible, even though their sea had ordered them to throw themselves into it. I followed the incessant cycle of the waves, their tortuous path to the beach, praying that the Father would grant them a little rest in this cemetery.
And so, following them sadly with my eyes, my gaze fell on the beach.
It was so dark.
It was only later that I realized that it was entirely covered in black sand. How could it have been otherwise, given that even though he came in from the open sea, white as wool, he was in perpetual contact with an eternally thick layer of ash that never ceased to cover him? In places, the swirling wind that encircled the volcano, then made its way down along its foothills, became, for no apparent reason, even more violent and gusty. This had the effect of lifting the burning mattress of the ash bed here and there to reveal the underlying sand. At that point in the vision, and at the distance I was, I was convinced that all I was dealing with on that beach was dust and ash-covered sand.
But on closer inspection, apart from the surrounding darkness, something else caught my eye: three indistinct shapes seemed to stand out against the black background.
I fixed my attention on them, and as I approached, transported on the wings of Gabriel’s spirit, I saw them more precisely.
Their shapes became more refined.
What I saw then, as my eyes widened, stunned me:
There stood a mermaid-like creature held in her arms by what appeared to me to be an angel…
Even today, as the Father is my witness, never has another scene struck me and moved me more.
A thousand thoughts raced through my mind like lightning bolts, leaving me paralyzed.
So much so that I confess, at that moment, like the apostle, I began to doubt and lost my footing.
Because of my lack of faith, immediately the vision darkened, then ceased.
I opened my eyes again.
I found myself kneeling beside the stone bench overlooking the cliffs of the Hauts de Hurle Vent, where I used to go to gaze at the sea below.
What was I doing here?
I shook my head as if trying to regain my composure.
What had happened to me? In what name had the first angel, this Gabriel as he called himself, appeared to me?
What’s this story, this repulsive island… with on its beach a… mermaid? In the arms of another angel? …
Is it a dream? A nightmare? I’d obviously fallen asleep on the stone bench there. I was now standing in front of him.
What was this sweet madness that had gripped my mind?
I wondered, but couldn’t understand. Why had I come here, to the edge of this cliff in the first place? Why did I once again let the wings of chance carry me to this very spot? The wings of chance? No. I had to stop lying to myself. It wasn’t chance. It had never been chance. All the time, over and over again, I felt like an inhabitant of nowhere, a citizen of nothing, an eternal fugitive in my native land, an outcast from the city, from the plains to the high mountains. So I came here every time. Because I only felt good here. It was the only place, yes, where I was at my ease, when I went for a stroll along the edge of this cliff, this stretch of stone beaten by proud winds and by waves even prouder than their howling sea below.
Once again, I was overlooking a raging sea that everyone – plains, hills, mountains and even the cities – described as a sinister spectacle. Once again, undoubtedly driven away by the noise of the city, I didn’t care and went for a walk, transported by my ideal, me and my two companions, what serves as my strange bundle and faithful stick, both devoted, alone, to supporting me in my perpetual quest for supreme happiness.
I stopped for a moment.
What if it was having my stick with me that, when I saw the sea in front of me, made me think I was a prophet, a “Moiiiiise”?
No, if I’d split it open at the heart, it wouldn’t have been for anything other than for it to swallow me up and for me to emerge, coughing and triumphant, but… all alone and inevitably ridiculous, for I was indeed the only madman on this abandoned strip of land.
Yes. No need to turn around.
There wasn’t a whole crowd of people praying and shouting behind me.
Is this what I really wanted?
To be a prophet to be worshipped by the crowd?
No, I knew deep down I didn’t care.
Then what? Where did this scene come from?
I finally remembered that I hadn’t been the only crazy one.
When I had let my eyes wander to the rhythm of my thoughts, they had come to rest on a pair of lovers, sitting on a rock, embracing and kissing as they watched the storm in the distance.
Yes, I remembered. I couldn’t help but smile, finding the scene both beautiful and silly, as endearing as it was quaint.
For how could we still love each other, when we were all here on earth in the face of chaos, yes, how could we still go off and make love to each other?
It never ceases to amaze me that there are still so many people who manage to remain perfectly indifferent to the fate of the world.
Deep down I certainly envied them, I envied their carefreeness, because as for me, my thoughts were constantly gnawing at me.
I resented them because, probably, there was a part of me that wanted me to be like them, to see myself not knowing anything or just being able to… forget everything.
I too would have liked to embody indifference, just for a moment, just for a moment…
That’s why I liked to go to this cliff overlooking the sea.
I had to get there, hoping to be knocked unconscious by the elements.
No matter how hard I tried, it was impossible not to come here, because the sea acted like a magnet on my heart, and it was the only one, of all the elements, I had the feeling, that really loved me, in the Father’s way, viscerally.
She was the only one who could soothe me without ever saying a word when I lost my gaze between her waves; between her arms she calmed me, rocking me gently, making me forget every painful thought. Like that, spirited, she gave me the energy to leave the paths of the mind I wanted to abandon, and lead me back onto a calmer, happier path.
From time to time, I needed to be able to empty my mind, to use all the elements to put pressure on my skull so that, like a valve, all my oppressive thoughts could escape. In fact, in my own way, as best I can, like these two, I manage to stop thinking about anything except the simple pleasure of being alive.
But there! No matter how hard I tried, the sea had obviously not succeeded.
What thoughts were bubbling up inside me that I couldn’t find a more dignified way out?
How long had my heart been suffocating them, keeping them prisoner?
For them to gush out of me so madly, to make me see unreasonable visions…
Surely, I thought, my heart is too heavy. It must have fallen like an overripe fruit from a diseased branch of the tree of my soul, battered by all these winds, these currents of thought blown by the master spirits of this moribund world on this earth, which the Father has, it seems, completely abandoned…
It was undoubtedly inspired by the love fever of these solitary lovers that I dreamed up this story.
I told myself that to reassure myself.
But deep down, I knew something else had happened.
I decided to let myself go, to let myself go, without resistance, to the elements.
As I did so, I remembered that this was exactly what I had done before the angel appeared to me.
I breathed deeply, filled my lungs with the sea air and closed my eyes, trying to clear my mind.
It was then that I saw myself praying again, for the first time in a long time.
It was there that, little by little, an inner peace had finally come over me that floods, a peace, Father! so profound that I could not even think about it.
I had felt and sensed that once again the heavens had opened for me, that my Creator and Father was once again ready to listen to my prayers.
I had seen in my mind’s eye the many dark clouds that obscured my relationship with him.
Immediately, not wanting to pass up this opportunity to speak to him heart to heart, I called on him to forgive me for all my mistakes and to help me come back to him so that I could feel the love of his arms again, no longer having to feel my heart leap inside me like a goat because he wasn’t there, no longer there, close to me.
A radiant, nascent sensation of love and peace had come over me.
I recognized this as the opening sign of divine forgiveness, of divine grace, and I shuddered in spirit, a thrill of pleasure running down my spine.
Just when I least expected it, when I was overwhelmed by everything around me, I caught a glimpse of my Father’s favor again.
I had thanked him with all my heart, and just as I was about to open my eyes again, I fell victim to this apparition.
This was the moment Gabriel had chosen to appear to me.
At the time, taken by surprise, I was forced to accept it with joy and a great deal of fear, but now… on second thought, what I saw was too unreal… frankly… a mermaid in the arms of an angel? In fact, there was nothing biblical about it. It wasn’t even very Catholic either, rather mythological… so it couldn’t have been an angel of the Father who had appeared to me… who else then but one… one…. of its opponents?
My blood ran cold.
It was one of them, for sure, that made my blood pour out of my heart like an inkwell.
Who else could wish for the sap of my life to be used to put such implausible words on a manuscript, with a trembling hand, from a body so tetanized that I could already imagine it being sawn into planks to bury my heart, now purple, emptied, violated?
It’s not only the Father who can make me remember words that are too bold, too big for me and my too-narrow soul.
Who else could stretch my skin, my flesh, my every nerve, to the four winds, to make parchment where I could write in my own blood, in my own hand, whatever I wished?
The time of prophets is over! I know, because I’ve read it!
Who the hell do I think I am?
A new modern-day prophet??!
No, I know it myself, I’m just another rascal.
Why is an old demon now tormenting me?
Overcome by doubt, I hadn’t even felt her presence. Immediately, and without my seeing him, Gabriel reappeared beside me. He placed his hand gently but firmly on my shoulder.
He spoke to me again in a soothing voice:
– Be strong, come on, and don’t murmur against me, or against what’s happening to you. Stop doubting. Remember the scripture: “the man who doubts is like a ship without a rudder, tossed to and fro by the waves”..
Do you want to be like all the ships that came here to smash on these breakers?
He must have been referring to the hurle-vent breakers below the cliff where I was standing, where many a drunken ship had run aground to die in the languor of slumped ropes and sails.
– I’ll be honest, and even if you already know this, my soul has been a sinking ship for a long time now. If, so far, he hasn’t yet encountered the perfect pitfall to pass from life to death, it’s hardly more than a matter of time. For the time being, she’s just been lucky enough to set off from further away than the others, from the very center of the ocean.
But it’s been a long time since she broke her drift.
It is well on the way to becoming as fragile as the frailest skiff abandoned on the ocean.
I want to be sure that I’m not fighting against the Father, I want to be sure that it is he who is sending you to me, because look at me! I’ve become almost as moribund as this soulless world.
So I want at least to keep mine, as my last glimmer, however faint, because it’s my last and only treasure.
I want to keep my only remaining possession alive in my home.
I don’t want to find myself fighting against my Father, my creator, my only savior, the very one who, when I expire, when my flame goes out, will be the only one to protect it, to keep it close to him until he blows on my embers to revive me for less troubled days.
Then just give me some proof, please, that he sent you.
At that moment, he resolved to pass on some of his glory to me.
I felt like every cell in my body was going to burst.
The light generated by its brilliance was so violent that I thought for a moment it was the end of me. Just when I thought my soul was completely decomposed, he appeared.
I caught myself breathing again.
– Can light generate darkness and darkness generate light? he tells me.
I replied in an almost inaudible voice, catching my breath:
– I’ve read in scripture that the Father’s adversary himself is able to pass himself off as an angel of light, but… all things considered, I believe that light like this can only come from the Father.
– Look, I have to be honest with you. This show of force isn’t worth much, but it costs me little to reassure your heart that you’re on the right track and to take you along. But as you well know, others are perfectly capable of reproducing the same things. I can’t give you any proof of who I really am or where I come from.
Besides, even if I could, I’ve been expressly instructed by my master not to be dogmatic. He demands that this message be delivered without bias, to allow each soul to choose freely.
So, my friend, you’re going to have to take all the risks, throw yourself into this adventure with me, without being able to be sure of my nature.
You’re going to have to throw yourself naked, without a net, with your whole body, and have faith in me, whatever happens, until you finish this mission and get your reward like your brothers before you.
The only thing that matters is the vision I have to give you. You have to tell it.
So don’t be surprised by what you’ll see, because even if it’s amazing or frightening, it’s above all breathtaking.
Time is running out.
What counts is that you bring it back, at any cost, even at the risk of your life, to all humans as a witness for your brothers and sisters in the flesh, friend or foe, so that all may choose between the three paths open to them, so that the state of hearts may be frozen, sealed, and that at last the name of my Master may forever be magnified and glorified.
Go and write down everything I tell you, everything you hear and see, for past, present and future generations. Your pen must never be lazy. It must never cease to fill page after page in the book of the vision of truth I give you. You will lend me, yes! the stylus of your hand, the crucible of your heart, the parchment of your flesh, so that this divine tale can be made known to the world of yours.
You won’t understand everything until later, like why I’m here.
Let the words come to you.
Invigorated by this dazzling proof of the veracity of what was happening to me, and strengthened by his words, I understood that the Father could not confirm that I was behind this mission.
I knew that, in the face of his immense plan, I was nobody on this Earth.
I was going to have to go it alone, and only take the risk, with no guarantee that he’d given me a mandate.
I don’t know why, or how, but at that precise moment, I had faith that this particular, enigmatic, unorthodox mission had an essential raison d’être. Even without a legal mandate, I had to carry it out, throwing myself into it body and soul, heart and soul, if only I could manage, by this visionary path outside any approved channel, beaten path, marked path, to carry it out as Gabriel had asked me to.
I don’t know why, but I believed in him, in Gabriel, I believed he wasn’t cheating on me, even though, it’s true, I didn’t even know him.
I felt filled, animated by this deep conviction that his Master, our Father, had chosen me, here on earth, another eternal nobody, to fulfill his very strange purpose.
Filled with insignificant fear, I bent my spine, bowed my bones, erected with the temple of my body as a sign of fidelity, on this cliff, an altar. I was ready to collect the blood from my heart in a cup, to dip my fingers in it, to write on the earth in fierce red letters everything he wished me to emanate from his mouth.
I was ready to give it to the nations, to all mankind, to drink of this pressed fruit that would spurt from my veins, of this juice of divine judgment, as well as to give them my flesh to eat, in these new parchments that I was going to write.
Even if this sacred text becomes my last testament for a martyr’s death, without remorse, regret or the sacrament of man.
Gabriel then held out both his hands and told me to stand up.
Which I did.
I don’t need all that.
I know who you are and I know you’re for real. Believe me, that’s enough.
I’ll simply take you by the hand and lead you out of the second dimension you’re in.
I’m going to take you with me – it’s an exceptional privilege – into the sixth dimension, from where you’ll be able, like an observatory, to observe everything that’s happening in the dimensions beyond, without being seen, known or heard.
I wanted to tell him that I didn’t know much about dimensions or how to structure them.
He seemed to read my mind, for he immediately took care to advise me.
– Yes, don’t worry. I’ll explain that too. For now, all you need to understand is that anyone in a previous dimension can see and hear everything that happens and is said in subsequent dimensions.
So I’ll reveal to you what I’ve seen and heard, from this quasi-supreme sixth dimension where I live.
Hang on tight, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride,” he said.
With a mixture of haste, fear and curiosity, I nodded.
Seeing me full of renewed conviction, he raised his powerful hands and took my head in his hands. He entered my mind, and so the vision came alive again at the very moment when my lack of faith had caused me to abandon it.
So I closed my eyes and let myself be transported by the burning, divine breath of the imagination to another beach in a faraway land. I could no longer feel the wind lashing my face with all its force.
I had definitely left my body and the howling-wind breakers.
Thus bolstered with confidence, I plunged back into Gabriel’s vision, just as my last doubt had interrupted me.
I moved closer to the three shapes on the ground, among which I had made out what appeared to be an angel with a mermaid in its wing.
As for the third form, it was indistinct, as it was a little more distant and blurred.
I approached and saw them both much better at first.
I realized I’d made no mistake about what had jumped out at me so violently and made me lose my footing.
It was an angel, all right.
He was kneeling on the sand, his head bowed.
And between her wings – yes, I wasn’t mistaken either – was a mermaid.
The mermaid stood with her head back as if unconscious, her long black hair whipping the sand in the wind.
I looked quickly into the distance at the third shape, which I hadn’t been able to make out at the time, and which was some fifty metres away.
It was a horse.
A huge horse.
He was collapsed on his left flank, his belly toward me.
A wing that seemed to emanate from the base of his neck was folded brokenly over his chest, masking that part of his body.
He looked lifeless.
Her body was riddled with wounds, and the deep furrows in her blood stained her dress, which must have been white.
All I could make out were her entrails, which spilled out onto the sand from her open belly.
It was clear to me that he had been the plaything of waves and reefs, and that his agony must have been slow.
From the presence of his wings, I concluded that he must have been the angel’s companion.
Driven by a boundless curiosity, I didn’t linger on him and my eyes went back to the angel and his strange companion.
The angel seemed very much alive, exhausted by the battle he’d undoubtedly just waged against the raging waves of an angry sea.
Still carried on the wings of the spirit, I got close enough to him to make out his ragged breath, as he tried to recover his senses from his breathing.
What I could discern of her panting face buried in her blond hair was little more than a livid mask.
His breathing was labored, alternating between wheezes and longer complaints.
What had happened to make him so exhausted?
Yet he was not made of earth or clay, but of pure azure.
But his weakness was palpable. It’s as if he’d come among us, washed up on this earth and become a mere mortal.
Perhaps because of his suffering, his face looked as if it had been carved out of rock. His hands, on the other hand, appeared to be made of bronze, with protruding ribs, visibly under the constant pressure of his heart, which I could see leaping in his chest, for he was still shuddering from the excessively violent effort he’d just had to make.
If I hadn’t known it came from the sky by the sight of its wings, by the sight of this stranger, I’d have judged it to have come from a distant planet, but from where, no, I couldn’t have said where.
As for his body, it seemed to be made of transparent copper, but the color of his skin turned pale in places, for he was lacerated on all sides with furrows of varying depths from which, between the shreds of flesh, his blood escaped in long, soft trickles.
And yet, despite his tiredness, the sun was constantly playing the game of tangling its still-bouncing rays in his ruddy hair to form – what a marvel! on his evanescent body, a halo that made him divine.
I couldn’t see his entire right flank clearly, as it was partly obscured by his right wing.
He used it as a support on which to sit.
Like her left wing, she was broken in the middle, except that her tip floated sadly on the sand, tossed by the wind and subject to its will.
No doubt the angel would have liked to have been able to use it to cover the entire body of the mermaid he was holding against him, but, broken and posed in this way, his right wing proved partially useless.
Nor could she hide the wounds bruising her right flank and legs.
In fact, I imagined that his whole body must have been nothing but a bruise, a wound, crushed as it must have been by the murderous waves.
The spirit’s wings then carried me behind him, then to his right side, and finally kept me in front of him, some fifteen metres above the waves.
When I went behind his back, my hunch was confirmed…
It was striated, lacerated and swollen, as if he’d used it to absorb all the shocks of the reefs and, no doubt, to protect the mermaid he must have carried between his wings with the rampart of his body. How else to explain why he allowed himself to be inflicted with such wounds?
What’s more, the wounds were too irregular to have been made by conventional weapon blades. These were not the kind of wounds that would have been caused by a sword or spear in battle.
It seemed clear to me that the angel and his horse must have risked their lives to rush into the sea and pull out the mermaid. It was the waves, yes, but those of the sea, which must have sent him crashing endlessly against the rocks and breakers of this murderous land.
The angel seemed to gradually come to his senses. He embraced her in his wings and tried to revive her, but to no avail. He then pushed aside the left wing she was in and arranged it so that it could serve as a place for her to lie down and rest. With his other wing, he prepared to cover her to protect her.
In the meantime, I approached the woman who had been the victim of so much attention, and found to my surprise that she was perfectly unharmed. No matter how hard I looked at her, even though she was dressed in fine linen, she appeared to me without a scratch on her. Her garment was obviously made in one piece, with her top pulled down over her hips, her bottom pulled up over her thighs.
However, she seemed to be sleeping peacefully, but no doubt she too had been the victim of a shock.
When the angel placed her on his wing, I must confess that I too came very close to fainting, for now that I was standing next to her, as the Father can testify, it was rarely given to a man to see such a beautiful woman. The first thing I noticed about her was her long black hair. At the time, I was astonished. Aren’t all mermaids blond? But I didn’t stop to think about it, because the whole vision seemed so surreal.
As I knelt beside her, her long, ebony-black hair waved and fluttered in the wind, all over her body, her curves and her breasts.
They espoused its slightest curvature like jealous lovers, ready for anything, even an eternal alliance between them to preserve their shared secret, a secret, in truth, oh so uncommon, that of the pleasure of the senses of which this woman, this siren, this goddess seemed to be the divine essence.
Behind their feigned prudishness, they moved with the wind, in silence, trying as best they could not to discover by mistake or negligence their perfect knowledge of the mystery, the sacred place of desire, in the bewilderment of a single moment of their absence.
In this way, they masked, divinely well, the secret, hidden, divine place where the first orgasm must have been born, where desire is born, where pleasure takes its source, in a fountain of pure water with the perfume of youth.
I could no longer reason with him, my heart raced, furiously churning my blood towards my burning brain to such an extent that one would have mistaken the two of them for two cursed galley-mates, two slaves of misfortune.
One beat to the increasingly jerky rhythm of a frantic drum… the other rowed with all its might to keep going in spite of everything, in spite of all the desire this goddess had unleashed in me, yes! never would I have imagined finding myself in such a damned mess, having to serve my Father while only being able to brush with my mind’s eye the most beautiful woman the living world has ever been given.
However much I turned against my two galley slaves, however much I whipped them with all the strength of my mind, with all the strength of my soul, my heart and brain united and screamed at me unceasingly:
– Leave us, I beg you, free us from our chains, break your skull, open your chest, let us escape, go towards it, or else we’ll mutiny, we’ll extricate ourselves, foaming from every pore of your body’s cage.
They had gone completely mad, and I felt for them, as for myself, an unspeakable sorrow.
I thought myself incapable of pursuing the mission Gabriel had entrusted to me, to be so torn between the desires of my heart, my flesh and the One I love. Yes… I’m pouring my heart out to you today, I’m thinking back to that moment that was both forbidden and blessed, and if Gabriel hadn’t come to my rescue once again, I’d certainly have sunk into the purest and sweetest madness.
Gabriel had the intelligence to veil it slightly from my view so that I could regain my composure.
I thanked him and told him:
– I beg you… if you want me to complete the mission you’ve entrusted me with, let me know when the vision turns out to be like this, because see, what do you think? I’m nothing but human! Do you think I’m as wise as you? So I beg you… don’t let her expose herself any more.
– This is part of your mission, and also your own challenge. I can only veil it from your view, but in no way mask it, for you must be able to describe it to others as it is, or as it was.
I resigned myself, even though I was filled with boundless frustration. I took up my stylus and my secretary’s seal again and diligently wrote and described everything I saw, trying to completely erase my feelings and passions as a tormented man.
Not without difficulty, of course.
Just then, as if on cue, as I returned to the vision, the mermaid began to twitch in the angel’s wings. She was awakening, it seemed. He immediately leaned over her. She stiffened once, then again, and suddenly opened her eyes.
Gabriel, by the power of the spirit, brought me closer.
Then I couldn’t meet her eyes. There I was, suspended, forbidden, beside her, sheltered behind that spiritual veil. But when she opened her eyes, she seemed to be kissing the sky for the first time, with her emerald eyes, great heavens! So brilliant! It was as if all the intensity of the stars had gathered there. They mirrored into as if in a blaze of sparks. I could only see its sublime opals through the veil, but I, the scribe, alone and without the words to describe them, found myself unconsciously, through hasty movements, frantically writing and rewriting this text on my parchment in all capital letters, without even lowering my eyes, as if to compensate through the size of the letters, my unspeakable lack of superlatives.
As she looked up, I saw a smile on her lips, and wondered what she could see in it. I turned back to the sky above, expecting to find, you know, those fluttering, laughing birds that like to shout at the top of their lungs about their heavenly happiness, those ironic, insolent seagulls that are always playing with the elements, perfectly carefree in the swell and thunder, perpetually believing themselves to be at the fête communale, the Foire de Saint Jean, always having fun in all weathers, in all winds, with whoever can flash the broadest smile, braving the storm, foiling all the raging elements with the grace of their spread wings.
I remember myself… I used to get excited by such an unreal spectacle, never tired of seeing so much indifference in so many debacles, so much quiet strength, in so much debauchery of power. Surely, that’s what she had to smile about, astonished to see that above the surface of the waters, other creatures could play with the air currents, just as she herself must have loved playing in the sea with its currents and waves. In the end, they were playing the same games with the same revolutionary bravery, the same mad love of life, the same almost suicidal freedom… These thoughts crossed my mind when I saw yes on those lips that hint of a smile, when his gaze was lost in the sky, but….
Not so… when I looked up, he too was here, untouched by life… like the dry land we were on, a most inhospitable surface. Apart from the stars that pierced the surrounding darkness, the sky resembled at best a leaden blanket where no bird, not even the proudest, could flap its wing without being immediately crushed by its oppressive air.
I turned back to her and began to write down, without understanding why, the existence of that sweet, mysterious smile when she woke up.
I only had time to discharge my duties like a conscientious scribe before she whispered:
– Where am I? I no longer feel the oppression of the abyssal water around me.
No sooner had these words escaped her lips than she immediately perceived the angel’s presence at her side.
From the moment she had opened her eyes, he had turned towards her more, and his breath, which was still ragged and short, could not fail to attract her attention.
She turned her head towards him, while they were only centimeters apart, for the angel was still lying on her side, keeping her safe from the contact of the burning sand within her left wing.
– Who are you? Where am I?
Her hands had felt the surface and smelled the down of the angel’s wing feathers. It has to be said that, in addition to the angel’s noisy breathing, which could not fail to frighten her, she could also smell the acrid odor of the air laden with ash and I don’t know what other substances emanating from the volcano, the same odor that had almost literally suffocated me on my arrival. In an instinctive movement, she suddenly straightened up, lifted herself up and stretched out her arm as if to rest her left hand outside the protective span of the angel’s wing, no doubt to draw the rest of her body out.
But no sooner had she taken hold of the sand than she instantly withdrew her hand, screaming as the sand was hot and steaming.
The angel then spoke and said to him:
– Please don’t do this. Rest assured, I mean you no harm. On the contrary, you’re safe in my wing, even if it’s broken, because it can’t burn, at least not yet, in contact with these places ablaze with divine wrath.
Even though the angel was still out of breath, he had spoken to her in a voice so calm and yet so deep that she calmed down, reassured herself, thinking:
– No, the being who speaks like that can’t really mean me any harm.
She asked him again:
– Who are you? And where have you taken me?
When she said this, she was back where she belonged, in her wing, but still upright, seated. She stretched out her arms in front of her, as if trying to perceive through the palms of her hands the environment in which she might well be.
That’s when I realized she couldn’t see. Her opal, emerald eyes, so big, so wonderful, were of no use to her, because for some unknown and mysterious reason, she was blind.
She brought her hands up to her face, ran a hand through her hair, raising and spreading her arms and elbows as if to bind them.
In the space of that fleeting moment, in that oh-so-feminine pose, I couldn’t help but notice once again just how utterly beautiful she was, almost piercing the veil that Gabriel had so kindly doubled over me like a double protection.
With her head bent, she ran her hand through her hair and let it flow, as if to mask the dew of tears she was sowing, and as if they were trying to console her, they caressed her seawater-printed skin.
No doubt they cherished the fickle hope of removing his sadness from my sight, of being able to hide from me what he believed to be their only secret. I felt sorry for them and for her too, because they were fooling themselves. They couldn’t do it. I saw with the eyes of the spirit through them. They wanted to sacrifice themselves on all sides, throwing themselves from the nape of her neck, onto her shining shoulders, her bronze back, her breasts, her long, slender arms, the edges of her hips all around her sweet face. They might have let themselves die in the final embrace of her hands, but they weren’t hiding anything from me.
I saw that she was crying with both sadness and joy, and I couldn’t have said why either.
It was there that the swirling winds raged down upon her, as if to engulf her in their insidious torment, but instead she soothed the furious winds by composing with them on the harp of her hands, with her hair thus caught in her fingers, a sweet melody, imbued with a strange melancholy. Caught alive, in her fairy fingers, yes, from odious that they were, they intertwined again, themselves surprised to have emerged vibrating with such melodious air. I’m convinced that my veins could undoubtedly have been sliced clean through this melancholy harmony, this pure music, if Gabriel hadn’t always been at my side.
The few scorching rays of sunlight that managed to pierce the clouds in a vain attempt to burn her further, also ended up catching on her prismatically pearly skin and projecting mirific rainbows up to the heavens.
The sky, too, seemed to want to join the curse, to chase her away from this land with all kinds of surrounding darkness and shadows, and yet despite everything, she managed without difficulty to remain there in intoxicating beauty, like a diamond set in an aura, a jewel box, of shimmering, variegated colors.
All the forces of nature, yes, seemed to oppose him, here and there adjoining each other, giving the impression of taking turns as if to try to keep him away from this beach. But she remained impassive in the face of all this ambient rage. All the more proudly did she display her two breasts, erect toward the sea, both arms outstretched, like the petals of a rose braving the adversity of the sky. She left them whipped by the spray, flogged by the salt-water blades, all the tears poured in her face by her angry mother, whipped again and again by the rage of her bitter waves. She reared up rebelliously like a cheeky mare. She had sprung up somehow on this tell, this mound of sand, and seemed to be wondering why, why the sea, her mother, the sky, the earth, all the elements, were so angry with her?
She had frozen like a sculpture.
His proud, clear gaze was, even for seawater, a real bite.
Nature had become mad and thunderous, and then, after having roared so much, here the sea ends at a given moment of this long night, which one? I can’t tell, by moaning and fainting, lying defeated, mouth still gaping, on its tongue of dangling earth.
When the elements subsided and calm returned, her eyes still misty with tears, she turned back to the angel:
– Please tell me, who are you? And what is all this? You brought me on earth, didn’t you? Because that’s what it is… we’re on Earth and you’re the one who brought me here? I understand that she’s in a sad state, but why does everything down here seem to want my demise?
Why is the sea so angry with me? As far as I know, I didn’t do anything to her.
The angel replied:
– Why do you feel so oppressed? You’re right where you wanted to be, because you’re nowhere else but on dry land. Wasn’t it you who, night and day, prayed to the Father: “God, if you exist, if you are listening to me, deliver me, I beg you, from this prison, this bottomless, nameless abyss?
The mermaid raised her eyebrows in astonishment and turned back to the angel:
– How?! How do you know what I could have said to God from the bottom of the ocean? Is it you whom God has sent to deliver me and answer my prayer…?
– The truth is, you said it yourself. I’ve come to deliver you. In fact, if you’d allow me to point it out, if you could look around you’d realize that here, apart from you and me, there’s nobody else. In this dark and cursed place, we certainly won’t waste time listing all the survivors.
But at last! Don’t you remember anything?
– What do I have to remember? As far back as I can remember, there was nothing around me but the darkness of the watery walls of my prison, and if it hadn’t been for the inner light that God awakened in my heart, you would have found me lying there dead.
– So you don’t even remember your deliverance?
– If, after all the time I’ve spent praying, how could I forget? But I can’t remember why I stayed in this cursed prison for so long… but I do remember my deliverance… even if everything still clashes in my head…! I was all huddled up as usual, trying to fight off the frightening pressure of the surrounding waters, when my hearing, which I’d thought was turned off, picked up an increasingly distinct sound.
– It was me, riding my faithful companion, as we flapped our wings towards your abyssal prison. You must have sensed the water we were pushing together as our wings moved.
– Yes, it was a noise that only swelled to become absolutely deafening, though not enough to cover the jingling of the keys opening the door to my gaol. I felt an animal rush in, which must have been enormous given the mass of water it displaced as it approached me. But I couldn’t see anything. As you may have noticed, my eyes are dark and everything is black for me. I only heard the door collapse, this monster rushing in, making all the surrounding walls crumble under his blows, and then, as I trembled in panic, he came closer, sniffed me, and from above him I heard a voice of great waters, a voice of waters of deep gorges, calling me, urging me to grasp his hand.
They and I stood still for a moment. I don’t think I hesitated long, but that moment must have seemed like an eternity to my savior. I grasped the hand he held out to me, which I had felt. It occurred to me fleetingly that, apart from my eyesight, I hadn’t really lost any of my other senses, for, in the waters that are my element, this being barely moved an ounce, and I perceived it. It’s not like here where, I confess, I feel completely lost.
After which, I remember that the being stood still for a moment and enveloped me, not just with his voice, but grasped me firmly, carrying me in his powerful arms. No sooner had he grabbed me than I felt us being pulled upwards.
The being held me firmly against him for protection, sheltered in the cavity of one of his wings, as we both carried skyward this, I don’t know… this beast, from the sound of its moans, which must have been immense and super-powerful to propel us at such a brisk pace, despite the contrary currents of the raging sea. His effort was so intense to fight the roaring waves that I could say without lying that they managed to drown out my most shrill cries.
In just a few moments, he had to take us through all the marine species of the vast ocean.
As we climbed, I felt the pressure of the water lessen, and a kind of warmth begin to flood my skin, which must have been, now that I think of it, the gentle warmth of water, when it’s lucky enough to experience the caress of light.
The pressure was always less until it became infinitesimal and finally, the ultimate moment! Blessed for our souls! We pierced the film of the water’s surface with a deafening crash, as if the whole mouth of the sea had gathered there to cry out to the world of the living and the dead its despair at seeing us leave it victorious.
After that, I remember catching my breath, a bowl of air I thought was pure, but apparently it wasn’t. After that moment, it’s true that I don’t remember anything. That’s probably where I lost consciousness.
This being who took me in his wings is really you, isn’t it?
– Yes, sweet mermaid, it’s me,” replied the angel.
And that’s exactly what happened. The air on this island is so foul that you couldn’t stand it, exhausted.
When we crossed the water, I immediately felt you lose your composure. Your spirit had abandoned you.
Do you want to see what really happened?
– How could I? But if you know a way other than having to relive those moments, certainly.
– I know one. Please, give me your hand again.
– Why? She replied
– Give me back your hand, please. Then you’ll be able to look through my eyes.
With a slight hesitation, the mermaid touched the angel’s hand, then held it and did as he said.
She recognized the same hand that had seized her in the waters of her prison, which reassured her even more. She then let the angel into her mind and looked into his eyes. She flinched as she threw her head back: the exact vision of what happened next, in all its detail, leapt into her face.
END OF EXCERPT
 Daniel 12:5-19; Revelation 1:13-17
 Apocalypse 19 : 10
 James 1:6
 2 Corinthians 11:4