i.

"Well what's the problem?"

"Problem?"

"You're here talking to me, talking about nothing. We've been sitting here for... for fifteen minutes, just sitting here, and you haven't said a single meaningful thing. You've just been talking and talking. If you wanted to confess, you would have confessed. You would have confessed something by now, you wouldn't just be sitting here and prattling on about how I'm the only 'man of God' you trust. That's not like you."

"Is something wrong?"

"With you, not me. There's nothing wrong with me."

"There's something wrong with you."

"Nothing is wrong with me.

"You're a shitty liar, Timothy. I'm not going to say anything. You need to talk to me. To me. I'm not a gossip, you're not a liar."

"You won't believe me."

"Then it doesn't matter, does it? If I'm not going to believe you."

"You just won't believe me."

"Then just tell me. Tim. Timmy—"

"He came to me. In a dream. In a— a vision."

"He? Like, God?"

"Not God, but an Angel. He called himself Michael. He came to me and said


ii.

that salvation rests in his return to Earth, but he has no corporeal figure. He cannot walk on soil, and his true form is terrible, searing. It can peel the skin off of a man with a single look, but in the dream, he revealed himself as a dragon—

A dragon?

I said you wouldn't believe me.

No, no. Keep going. I'm sorry, that just seems... sacrilegious.

I don't know. He came to me like that. Like a dragon. Horrifying, and his voice split my ears. When I was dreaming, I could feel it rattling in my chest. I could feel his voice inside of me, I could feel myself, that I was sleeping, but I felt separate from myself, from my body. I can't explain it. Like my soul was shaking.

That's crazy.

Just let me talk. If you're going to listen, please?

All right. Just... did you take medication or something? Cough medicine even.

It was a dream. I know it was just a dream, but he kept saying to me that he needed me. That he needed to occupy me, and in exchange, he would give me a glimpse of Heaven and Grace. He said that Revelations were approaching, and that I... he needed me. Me.

I know you're a preacher, but


iii.

i don't get it. i just don't get it. why would it be you? did he say why?

he just said he needed me, and he would come back for me, and he would give me anything i wanted. which doesn't sound very... i thought i was possessed, but then i woke, and i felt so strange.

strange?

warm. like i had been sleeping beside someone. like someone had been in bed with me, but i live alone.

i know you live alone, but that doesn't seem... you were just dreaming, right? it just sounds like a weird dream, and i mean, this is what you think about all day. it's bound to get in your dreams, just—

yeah. yeah it is bound to, isn't it? listen, i have to


iv.

get home and i'm sure you need to get home i'll see you okay

i'll see you too don't get too worked up all right it's not worth that much trouble i can tell you that much it isn't worth that much trouble if it's just a dream just a dream timothy

okay i'll see you i do have to go i have to write for tomorrow and tomorrow keeps coming faster every night seems just a little shorter or who knows maybe i am losing it

maybe tell me if you have anymore dreams okay

okay goodbye i'll see you tomorrow have a good night


v.

timothy
michael
have you thought about my offer
i have thought about it but i dont know what to think of it you frighten me i dont know what you are or if i can believe you or if there is something to believe it doesnt seem like an angel to offer pleasure in exchange for obedience
pleasure is not sinful that is a human notion
but im just not sure im not going to be sure michael im sorry i cant i cant because i dont know and i dont know what you are and you look like
i am sorry i am frightening
please find someone else please find someone else please i dont know i dont know
you are going to harm yourself your heart is beating at an alarming rate i am not here to cause you injury and you must rest you must rest you are the one timothy whether you like it or not you are the one and i must find a way to make you agree i am sorry it has to be you
why
because you are pious


vi.

because you have been loyal faithful you have been everything and you have been everything and you must must it is okay you must not speak it is okay you will feel all right when you wake again it is like a beautiful dream timothy like a very beautiful dream that is what humans have described heaven as a dream beautiful dream and you will return and you will feel more whole than you have ever felt you will feel the entirety of thrumming of the the green works the his work his you his grandeur and you have been he has seen timothy seen he has seen—


vii.

"Timothy?"

"Yes?"

"Are you okay? You seemed pretty freaked out, yesterday. Did you sleep okay?"

"I am all right. I must return home now, but we will converse another time."

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"Absolutely, my child."