From Angelarium: Remph, Angel of Time

It is difficult for me to tell the story of our heroes in modern times to a reader who is not familiar with my body of work. Yet, I think it will be easier to acquaint my audience with my own unique circumstances than my vast poetic historical repartee.
In another age, one before cars and planes, one before clocks and even calendars, an age before history itself, the world was a simple place. There was still work and wars, but at home, those soldiers were cobblers and farriers, farmers, and field hands. It was an age when people had pride for their city, or community. Everyone believed that the place they lived was the only place in the world. The men were strong, the women were beautiful, and the children were above average. As a testament to that type of community pride, people didn’t even have last names. They simply used the name of their city, for example, Socrates of Athens or Joseph of Arimathea.There wasn’t a Joseph Cooper or a Socrates Kowalski – that wouldn’t have proclaimed to the world where they belonged. The idea that their own city was the greatest was made apparent in the idea of banishment. For heinous crimes a person could be put to death, but for an especially despicable crime they were banished. Even Socrates chose to die rather than leave his city.
Well, in an age of unrivaled city pride, when everyone had a city, I had none. I was born only called Homero. Homer for short.
Now, in a time when it is common knowledge that the Earth revolves around the sun and antibiotics kill infection, it’s hard to believe that at one time people believed an illness was a curse from the gods. So when a child was born with a deformity or birth defect, they were killed. People didn’t do this out of evil, but out of ignorance and fear. They believed that to permit the child to live would anger the gods.
My own mother screamed and begged and fought, but my father could not be moved. He carried my young newborn, healthy, yet blind, white-eyed self into the winter wilderness. That should have been the end of me. I will never know what stayed my father’s hand, perhaps the music. He heard the sounds of lute and song coming from further down the river where he had intended to drown me in the frigid waters. There he saw a troop of traveling giants. He heard their songs and as it lightened his heart, a woman, a giantess gypsy crone, asked, “Is that your child?”
He answered, “No, I found him in the bullrushes.”
“Oh my.” She took the child and said, “He is beautiful!”
“He is blind,” my father answered.
“Well, you’re fat, your nose is bulbous, and you eyes are too close together, but the gods found a use for you.”
At the sound of her stern voice, the music stopped and a man with a high mellifluous voice, the man I would forever call my father, set down the lute and rose to a massive figure, more mountain than man. “Has this man upset you, Grandmama?”
She held out one solitary old crone finger and the entire party was silenced. She whispered to my biological father, more a command than a question, “What is his name?”
My biological father eyed the giant and the old gypsy witch, who never for one second believed the bullrushes story, and replied in a shaky voice, “Homero.”
She addressed her Grandson, “No Skrymir. But a celebration is in order for the gods have moved this man to offer us his only child to prove to the world that men have not forgotten their debt to EA and the gods who have beget them.” She snarled at the man who named me Homero, “The gods are through with you. Begone from here before the star of the morning, who detests infanticide, should pass here and unmake you!”
My biological father, in shock, didn’t move until Skrymir shouted, “MOVE!” with a thundering boom that freed the snow covered aspen branches of their burdens and rumbled the Earth. My biological father ran for his life.
Instead of being treated like a burden, I was treated like a gift. Even more, I was the only son of Skrymir the Giant King. I grew strong and smart. My Great-Grandmama taught me how to see with sounds. By the time I was a boy, I could run, hide, sing, and play any instrument that had a note. And stories, oh how the Giants loved stories! Stories of heroes and villains, or love and chivalry, wondrous stories!
One day while traveling, we met some people on a road and Skrymir begged me to tell them a tale. I told it with such fervor and vigor that my Grandmama told me it was like the first time she ever heard it. The people even applauded. They loved me. They called me the world’s shortest Giant. The gods really did have a use for a blind midget Giant. I had found my place in the world. I realized there was nothing like telling tales to someone who has never heard them before, and since the giants all knew my stories, I traveled through the world of men.
I needed no riches, no gold, my treasures were the smiles as I told of Loki the trickster, or the gasps when I came to the fearsome Tiamat. That is how I lived my mortal life; living on laughs, cheers, some charitable bread or spiced wine. Oh, what a life I had!
Then one cold September night around 900BC my time was up. My old body that had walked hundreds of thousands of miles couldn’t go on. I sheltered in a lone cave and waited for the death I had cheated 80 years earlier when I met my Great-Grandmama. There I waited for the Angel of Death, so long denied his prize.
I heard the flutter of his massive coal black raven wings as he folded them to enter the cave. His footsteps didn’t sound as ominous and foreboding as I had imagined a reaper’s would. Instead of a thudding armored boot, he had a soft smooth heel to toe step that sounded warm in my ears. “You’re a hard man to catch, Mr. Homero.”
“Oh, I doubt that. Achilles was a demigod and you caught him.”
Even on my deathbed I retained my Great-Grandmama’s sardonic wit.
The angel laughed, “You are every but as sharp as I heard you were. But I am not the reaper.”
“So I’m not gonna die?”
“Oh, you are gonna die, Santa Muerta is right behind me.”
“Then why tarry any longer?”
“Because I tried to catch your stories at the court of the great Minos, but I missed you because you were telling stories to stonemasons. Again I waited in the great palace of the Pharaoh and again you chose to tell stories of Giants to a wheat field of tiny children.”
“When a millworker grinds wheat all day and night, he doesn’t think of wheat or flour. His mind is somewhere else, bashing heads with Thor or fighting Titans with Gilgamesh. The King may own his subjects, but the simple daydreamer owns the gods, because I gave them those stories.”
The cave air seemed to change from the chill of autumn to a warm spring. I heard the angel spread his wings and he said, “I have an offer. My name is Ziracalt. I am the angelic governor of 9920 ministers of the spirits of the 29th part of motion. We are the timeless movers. Homero, open your eyes.”
When I opened my eyes the colors of this world penetrated my brain like an arrow. Before me stood the most finely groomed man any human had ever seen. His mustache was pencil thin and coal black. The rest of his perfect face was baby smooth, pale milk-white skin. His hair was as black as the world I had just escaped from. He wore a perfectly tailored, almost form fitting tunic with jet black stockings. He pointed to the world outside the cave where huge snowflakes obscured my view of a world my eyes had never seen. The angel flicked his wrist and time froze. Time was his. He grabbed my hand and the snowflakes went backwards. Fall became summer and returned to Spring. Then he stopped the world again.
“You see, we are all the timeless movers.”
Overwhelmed and confused I asked, “What do you want with me?”
“Stories.”
“Stories?”
“Yes, stories. Like you, we have been banished. We fall under the command of the archangel Asmodel. She had been banished here to bear witness. We are to testify that that which is on Earth is like that which is in Heaven. But we are scorpions. We are warriors.”
For the first time, the man showed his other profile, turning his head to reveal a tattoo of a scorpion on his neck. “We bear witness, but we need a poet to testify.”
“So I get to be an angel?”
The angel laughed, “You could never be an angel any more than you could be a Giant. It’s a wing thing.
“You will know the power of Time, but you will never age. You will be the perfect narrator who sees all and knows all thoughts. You can be anywhere and everywhere at once; from the gates of Celedon in Heaven to the Underworld, to the gates of Thebes, all simultaneously.”
That is how I became Homero the Poet. That is also why I started the boys’ story towards the end. Because even though I took all of the gifts of the Timeless Movers, I could not move into the future. But like all good histories, I could see where they were going and who our knights truly were: Heroes.
With that being said, I would like to return to the jailhouse timeline once more.