Upon Whom The Bell Tolls
The angel Gabriel had six hundred wings.
He did not fly swiflty upon them. They were so crowded upon each other, many growing out of the backs of others, that they could not hope to bear him aloft. Indeed, he could hardly bear their weight himself. He had six hundred wings, and more were springing up all the time.
He took a flaming sword and sheared off all that he could reach, leaving the smell of burnt feather and flesh in the celestial air. He hacked and he cut and he slashed until his back was a mess of stumps, and from that smoldering mass a dozen more wings swiftly arose.
Sobbing in pain and frustration, Gabriel sank down to his knees in despair and uttered a prayer, his first ever of supplication rather than praise. Would his torments never cease?
Somewhere down far below, at the front desk of a hotel, a four-year-old was being ignored by her parents and the desk clerk while they argued over a service charge. Lacking any other amusement, she slammed her palm down on the desk bell, again and again. She giggled in delight at the noise it made.
Ring, ring, ring.
Six more wings.