Cherub of Jean
The Two songs resonated and the spark became aware. The One energetic song spoke of questions, of disappointment, and the waste of time. The other song spoke of patience, of hope and destiny. Wings spread and were filled by the waves made between the two songs. Sensing of the Symphony the spark took shape, and the shape looked upon the two songs Jean and Yves. Jean spoke with arcing electricity, “What industry is there? None. If anything, it trembles with the dissonance of war. If anyone else suggested that this out of the way Orthodox Church needed my Cherubim, I would dismiss them with a ‘go talk to Michael’ and leave.” The gentle elder song floated smoothly through the Ether, “Ah Jean You smell the here, you taste the now. Few others can touch destiny. I have names for those who are blind to it. Pardon me, I feel I digress. I suppose I could talk to Eli.” Terrible lightning raced across the sky. The face of Jean grew enormous in front of the spark. The spark’s reflection was shown in Jean’s raging eye. It was a formless spark arcing from point to point. Then the song boomed, “You will be Masulaef, one of my Cherubim. Guard this Church of St Peter and Paul until I can find something more practical for you. Do not fail me.” And the spark took the shape of a winged dog, a great Molosser with white wings streaked with blue and gold. Jean stood and pointed. Masulaef looked down and saw a tiny building. Flying toward the small church Jean voice bolted from behind sweeping the Cherub up in a tornado, “Two vessels await you. Guard and protect the Church. Stay out of trouble.” The whirlwind tossed Masulaef to Earth. While falling the gentle voice of Yves spoke, “Be merciful to your charges, murder not lest you yourself fall. But here take my vessel for a while, as well as Jean’s gifts. You will know when to give it back.” And Masulaef softly landed on the steeple with the wings of a Dove.
July 10, 1856 Smiljan, Croatian Military Frontier
Milojica the Šarplaninac slept at the door, paw on a bone. Father Milutin Tesla opened the door, wiping the sleep from his eyes. He almost tripped over the large dog, [serbian translation] “Blessed beast, could you not guard sheep?” he bent down and tried to pick up the bone. The paw did not budge and the bone was only freed after some effort. The hollow sound of the bone striking the dog’s head was the first time the mountain dog even opened an eye. The large maw opened and tongue rolled out in a casual yawn. The priest’s eyes softened and he handed the bone back to the dog. “Milojica! I am blessed this day with another son!”, he finished by scratching the dog’s furry face. The dog set the bone down and licked the man’s hand. The dog’s attention immediately was drawn to several people approaching the Priest. Father Mandić stood to greet them all with his joyous news. The Šarplaninac set his head down but watched the others suspiciously.
Milojica smiled to himself. He was actually wearing a ‘vessel’ he had worn for almost 90 years. He was a Cherub, an angelic guardian, and the vessel, a mountain herding dog, felt best to protect the church. He spent some time being a dove to fly a wide circle around the area.
He rarely took the form of a Rus fur trader, that wandered into the small village and did odd jobs for the people here. His job was to guard. But it was in his nature to improve, to solve problems, and help those that supported the little church.
Archangel Jean did not strictly forbid him to interfere in mortal matters, being more concerned with creating things to remove the burden of desire from man. Masulaef being here guarding a tiny church sent a note of waste from Jean through the symphony. The note was never big, but on the rare occasions Jean spoke to his servitor, the note was always there. Today there was a chime in the symphony, the music of hope and destiny.
Standing and stretching his canine frame, he wandered into the tiny house. Duka Tesla, Milutin’s wife, lay under a blanket with a new born baby wrapped beside her. She was reciting one of the epic poems to the child. Masulaef had the fleeting notion that this child was the source of the new note in the symphony. Duka Tesla was the daughter of Father Mandić, the prior priest of the church, and a very pious man. If any child could have a destiny here in the frontier, this child could.
The child slept but his mother continued with grand tales of Prince Marko, a Serbian King from several hundred years ago. A friendly Mercurian of Yves, Tabbris was his name, once said he had met King Marko and that he was a good man, but the epic tales were ‘fanciful’ depictions of him. There were very few Celestials in this area of the world that Masulaef knew of. In almost 100 years, Masulaef had only been visited by his Archangel Jean once. Jean was known for overseeing all his angels personally, but Masulaef must not have been a priority.
Masulaef sat and mindlessly scratched and then walked over to the mother and child. “Milojica, this is Nikola. Treat him well so he may have his own poem,” Duka said in a caring tone. Masulaef touched the child with his nose and a small charge touched him. The charge had a feeling, almost a taste.
Masulaef felt a song around the child, it spoke of destiny. This was certainly a nod to Yves, the Archangel of Destiny. But music, silent to human ears, sprang around the child not only of Yves, but of his master Jean, electricity and innovation. Also a subtle note of Eli, the Archangel of Creation, drifted in the background. The child intrigued Masulaef and he felt the mother was more than correct.
A rush of children, the sisters and brother of the baby, broke into the room and made for mother and child. Masulaef turned to face the children and gave them a stern look. The oldest boy Danilo and sister Angelina stopped at the Molosser’s gaze. The youngest, Milka did not have the control and collided with the dog. Masulaef remained unmoved then nosed the little girl back to her feet. She giggled grabbing a handful of the vessels cheeks.
Georgina Duka Tesla quieted the lot and gave a small motion for them all to sit. Even Masulaef obeyed. She continued her telling of Prince Marko, and Vuk the Fire Dragon. Masulaef loved to hear the stories, Duka’s voice the closest to the Angelic symphony on earth. He didn’t mind that both Marko and Vuk lived in different times, that was the way with epic tales, a certain poetic licence, Masulaef enjoyed hearing of Vuk since he was credited with the building of Grgeteg Monastery.
Grgeteg Monastery was the only other place Masulaef had ever been. Tabbris had asked for help with a Habbalah that had been tormenting the Monastery. The Mercurian had encouraged him to travel, to see the world. Masulaef reluctantly went. Leaving the Church, his charge, his duty, can only be described as painful to a Cherub. He was made to protect his charge, and Cherubim are very patient. He helped remove the demon, but quickly returned, surprising Tabbris. Masulaef had all he needed here.
Mother rolled on her side, being careful with her newborn, and spoke. Sitting at full attention, he listened to her stories. Duka Tesla had a lyrical voice that enchanted Masulaef. He only moved to nudge the little girl as she tried to climb the fur of his neck. A storm started outside, thunder rumbled, and some small flashes of lightning lit in the distance. The wind loudly banged a shutter that startled everyone. Masulaef turned quickly with a growl; Milka swung around barely holding onto the dog’s neck.
One more flash of lightning, and with it came a sweet sound. No one else could hear, Masulaef knew at once it was the Archangel Jean. Even his walking near caused a chime in the Celestial Symphony. “Yes, my Cherub, he is a human of some important destiny. Watch over him, that is a good job for you,” the Archangel’s voice spoke only to Masulaef. Another flash of lightning, Masulaef saw the ethereal image of Jean looking in the window. His gaze was expressionless and it turned away and disappeared into the night. With his departure the lightning receded as well.
Masulaef lay down beside the still sleeping Nikola Tesla, still carrying the little girl who was burying herself in his fur to hide from the storm. He let out a heavy sigh that caused his jowls to flap and he closed his eyes. He was not sure where this new focus would take him but he felt it was destined to be very interesting.