Authors: J. B. Simmons
From his presence earth and sky fled away
Book Three of the Omega Trilogy
For the only perfect man,
the one who teaches
how to live in the present
with an eye to eternity
2015 by J.B. Simmons
All rights reserved.
This is fiction, not prophecy.
Names, characters, and incidents in this book are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Resemblance to actual events, locations, or persons is coincidental, unless time proves otherwise.
Cover by Kerry Ellis
My name is Elijah Goldsmith. This is my story, and it’s the honest-to-god truth. I heard Him. I believe now. But that doesn’t make it any easier, because I still can’t see the ending. Oh, you and I know what people say about the ending, but no one really knows. No one can predict the last day. No one can tell me what’s going to happen to Naomi and the baby. My visions grow stronger, though. And the things I see fill me with fear wrapped thick around a tiny core of hope. What will remain if everything burns?
I STOOD BEFORE a man on a throne. I couldn’t see his face or much of anything else, because something bright blazed before me. I felt like I was staring at a supernova.
I tried turning away, but as I spun, the man and the light stayed fixed in front of me. I twisted to the left, then to the right. I stepped backwards. None of it helped. The man, the throne, and the light were squarely before me no matter where I looked, no matter how fast I turned. Everything on the fringes of my vision was pure white.
I tried closing my eyes, pressing my hands over them. The light still blazed into me. There was no escape.
I stopped resisting. I let the light wash over me like a warm shower.
I stepped toward it.
Then the next. Brighter. Warmer.
With each step through the vastness, the light burned less. Moving closer to the source of the light made it seem farther away.
I could see the throne and the man better now. The throne was pearly smooth. Its surface faded into the sea of white around me. The man might have had a beard. He might have worn a robe and a crown. I forgot about all those things when our eyes connected. “Eyes” wasn’t quite right. They were where a person’s eyes would be on a face, but they were like universes of galaxies and stars concentrated into marble spheres.
I realized I’d stopped walking. I couldn’t bring myself to take another step. Now that I could see those eyes, I felt exposed. I felt guilty.
I also felt fear. Deep, paralyzing fear.
“Elijah,” said another man, stepping in front of me. He blocked the universe eyes from seeing me. “We’ve been waiting for you.”
His words made me gasp, like a burning man doused in cold water.
The man clasped my shoulder. He smiled. The whiteness around me rippled. The man’s face faded.
“Elijah.” Someone was shaking me, waking me. Someone with wings. Michael.
I sprang to my feet, feeling excitement and residual wonder. The two of us were in a little cave-like room in the order’s hideout. Michael had sent Naomi and me to get some rest after the others in the order fled. He’d told us we had to remain until reinforcements came. He’d prayed over us, and sleep had come easily. “What time is it? Where’s Naomi?”
“It’s after dawn,” Michael said. “She’s having breakfast in the main room.” He paused, studying me. “What did you dream?”
I stretched my arms and yawned. Something about the angel—an odd uncertainty—made me hesitate. “What happened to the rest of the order?”
“Gone. Ronaldo was the last to leave—a few hours ago.”
“Oh.” That wasn’t like the Brazilian.
“He was needed elsewhere.”
“So it’s just the three of us … with Naomi ready to have her baby any time.”
Michael’s face was blank, statuesque.
“Shouldn’t we be leaving?” I asked. “You said Don would know where we are.”
“He does. We leave soon.”
He’d said something similar the night before, as the order had left. He didn’t give away much. I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t intimidated by his black eyes with blazing fire in their centers. I pressed him, like an ant pressing a giant. “But why are we still here?”
“You’ll understand in time.”
“Great. Thanks.” I tried to think of some way to pry. Naomi was better at this. “Can’t you give me at least a
more than that?”
“I tell you the words I am given to tell you.” The intensity of his stare made me look away. “Come, Naomi is waiting,” he said. “Tell me about the dream as we walk.”
He led me out of the room and we headed up a long, dimly lit tunnel. As we passed doors open to abandoned rooms, I told Michael about the throne and the universe eyes and the man who had stepped in front of the light. He nodded along. “When did this happen?”
“I don’t know. There didn’t seem to be time … if that makes sense. It seemed far away.”
“It won’t be for long.” He sighed. “It’s the gateway between this world and the one to come.”
“The throne of judgment.”
“As in, some people make it past, and others don’t?”
“Then what?” The feelings of guilt and fear gripped me again, as if I were back in the dream.
“That’s not my decision. My task is to get people like you to that place.”
“But what happens if we don’t make it through?” I couldn’t shake the vision of those eyes like a universe, judging me. Suddenly nothing else seemed important. “I think I’d rather die now than get turned away.”
“Dying won’t save you.”
“The man who stood between you and God’s wrath.”
I trembled at the way he said
. Or maybe it was just a cold draft in the hall. I swallowed, hard. “Was the man Jesus?”
“I suspect it was.”
“Don’t you know?”
He stopped and turned to me. Something like sympathy crossed his face. “I know much of your dreams, but not all.”
“If it was him, will he protect me from that…wrath?”
The angel studied me. “Only God knows that. It will be revealed.”
“That’s not much help right now. What am I supposed to do?”
“Do exactly what he told you. He said he chose you, right?”
I nodded, remembering Jesus’s words from the day before, touching my mind in the little cave. One of his instructions still puzzled me.
Let your enemies give you quarter. In the moment when the world listens, tell the world I am coming.
I met Michael’s gaze and repeated the words. Saying them filled me with energy, but also uncertainty. “I’m not sure what it means.”
“You will in time. Be ready to obey. He chooses all humans for some purpose. Some refuse him, and he lets them go. You should follow what is written:
be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure
“Let’s start with a good breakfast.” He walked ahead, the light of his wings brushing against me. I reached out for them, but my hand passed through. He glanced back with an amused look. “Come on. Naomi is waiting.”