The Old Serpent and the Slacker
By Marsha West
Page 3

Poneros stopped blowing.
"Bromos?"  His eyes almost bugged out of his head when beheld the angel in all its radiant splendor.  "What in the blue blazes are you--?"  He stopped in mid-sentence.  Somehow he managed to pull himself together and look the picture of confidence.  "Mine!" he hissed in a low threatening tone.

The warrior of God gave Brady a nudge and whispered into his mind,
"Wake up!" 

Dead to the world. 

A second nudge. 

Brady's eyes fluttered open and squinted at the clock.  Five forty-five.  He looked around the room.  What woke him?

The old vet knew exactly what his adversary was up to and he would not allow it.  All at once he straightened to his full height, puffed out his chest then he narrowed his eyes on Chara and began spewing vile curses.

The angel let it roll off. 

A poison dart whizzed across the room and pierced the wing covering Brady.  The angel didn't flinch.

Poneros wasn't going to give up on Brady without putting up a fight.  He inserted a flaming arrow into his bow and let it rip!

The angel brought his shield up and caught the arrow. 

Brady was oblivious to the spiritual battle taking place right under his nose.  Yawning, he sat up in bed and stretched, like he didn't have a care in the world.

As the angel extinguished the fire he turned to Poneros and said in a steely voice, "I've come to bring you a message!"  With one quick move his dagger was unsheathed and he roared "YOUR TIME IS UP!" and then he flew full tilt at the enemy of God. 

The stunned demon gave his wings a hard flap and disappeared into space.

Chara stayed put.  His orders were to remain with God's chosen one until help arrived.

The cold air in the room hit Brady like a brick.  "
Must be 20 below in here," he thought to himself.  He stood there for a moment and looked longingly at his bed.   "No way," he said firmly.  His expression turned purposeful.  "I'm spending time with the Lord this morning and that's that." 

A hot shower would take the chill out of his bones.
 

* * *


While the coffee brewed, Brady set about packing his lunch.  Chara stood a few feet away with a serious expression, sword at the ready, watching for any sign of enemy combatants.  He was not surprised when Poneros slithered into the room looking like the cat that swallowed the canary.  Chara placed a wing over Brady and said "Scat." 

The evil spirit settled on the hutch across the room and said with a smug expression, "Scat?  Why should I?  I have permission to tempt him."

Chara didn't budge.

Poneros managed to speak without showing his mounting rage, "Your reason for interfering is…?" 

No response.

The demon cupped his hand over his ear, "I didn't hear yoooou…"

Since angles never converse with demons Chara announced: "Your time is up!"

The evil spirit could not hide his surprised.  "Why?" he queried.

No response.

So he cried out, "No! No! Noooo!" and slithered into a floor vent.

Brady checked his messages. 
Nothing from Dan today.  Good.

Hearing a soft hiss from the vent, Chara rolled his eyes in disgust.  If the hiss was meant to frighten him the vile spirit was clearly wasting his breath.

Poneros gurgled deep within his throat, "Our
ssss…"

Chara said in his mind,
"The battle belongs to the Lord!"   

Poneros snorted, "Foolish angel!" Out of the vent he came…w
hoosh… whoosh…whoosh…he settled on top of the hutch and roared, "OURS!"

The angel grinned. 

Poneros was fit to be tied.  Off the hutch he came and whooshed around the kitchen at light speed, spewing unrepeatable obscenities. 

Chara paid him no mind, his eyes glued on his charge. 

The demon put on the breaks and clung to the chain of a hanging pot rack to catch his breath.  So far his attempts to goad the guardian into a fight had failed.  From a demon's perspective one of the Holy elect angels' shortcomings was that it was impossible for them to lie.  So, what the angel

reported had to be true.  Suddenly he felt the sting of defeat.  But he wasn't going to let on.  He jumped to the sink and gurgled, "Our
sss!"

Chara gazed at Brady and thought to himself,
"Brady McCoy is His."

Poneros wasn't through…not yet.  He had to give it one last try.  Taking aim at Brady's head with a poison dart, he let it fly…….bing!  It hit the shield that blocked Brady's entire body.  Not to be deterred, Poneros kept the darts coming, some sticking, others falling away.  It would be an  understatement to say that the tempter was infuriated.  If only he could get close enough to the angel he'd pluck out his wing feathers one at a time, then he'd rip off that untarnished halo and beat him over the head with it!  When he was finished doing that he'd chop him into tiny pieces! 

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