“Tell me about it. We are getting more and more of these lately.”
“There’s another one.”
The pile of tarnished Halos, their normal gold shine replaced by a dull looking tarnished bronze color, was growing larger. Each one landing with a boring clunk, instead of the bright tiny “Clink” of a healthy Halo.
Herald took yet another Halo, gave it a quick wipe with the Soul Duster to remove any left over Human Emotion on it, and threw it on the pile.
When Gabe heard the familiar “Clink”, well it used to be the more familiar “Clink”; a sound now replaced by the much more common “Clunk”, his wings fluttered a bit with joy. Almost a ripple of feathers that looked much like an Earth Parrot grooming its wings. That one, once it is wiped with the Soul Duster, can be polished, reset, and put right back to work on Earth.
Herald winked over at Gabe.
“That one is for you.”
Gabe left Herald to his constant sorting of Halos and headed off with his shiny gold Halo in hand.
“I will not have to do much work on this one. It must have been worn by a Mother, or a loving person of some sort. I mean to be this pretty, shiny, and hardly a dent, nick, or imperfection to be seen anywhere after a lifetime on Earth….”
Gabe shook his head. He slid his practiced fingers around the inside rim searching the spots where often an unkindness, harsh word, or ugly thought lay hidden still tarnishing the Halo. None. Gabe Beamed.
“I can put this right back into circulation as soon as I polish it.”
Gabe dipped the almost new in a bucket of beginning Time. (Shaking his head again- what a remarkable person this person must have been. To come through an entire Human Lifetime looking like this…he had seen maybe six or seven like this in his two centuries of working on Broken Halos.
It made him wish it was okay to look up their Soul now…and just say “Hello.” Of course that was against regulations. Maybe on Earth you could fiddle with, ignore, or take lightly the Regulations. (Why they call them: “Commandments”, is beyond me. Commandments take away Choice, or Free Will- Commandments are Regulations and you can break them if you want, even ignore them. At your peril. Many a Halo has been bent out of shape, even broken, by folks who thought the Regulations didn’t apply to them.
Up here…well, let’s just say we know how important Regulations are.
Gabe polished the freshly dipped Halo with Possibility. He added a bit of his own particular mixture of: Insight, Empathy, Forgiveness, and Understanding. It was a very potent brew and many of the other folks working on Broken Halos would ask if they could use some. Gave always let them.
“Take as much as you want. I can always make more!”
Oftentimes, whomever had come to use some of Gabe's Mixture, would polish the Halo they were carrying with it, then like Humans do when offering a toast on Earth, Clink their Halo against the one Gabe was working on. By that time in the process, both Halos would shine with possibility, glow with promise, untarnished by any form of ill will, bad thoughts, poor decisions, or regret. Their Golden Circles would last in the air to meet with that satisfying “Clink” that meant they were ready for use.
Gabe went back to work on his Halo. Marveling at its almost pristine condition. For the hundredth time since he started working on it, he wished he could have seen the Life of the person that wore it before. He sighed.
That made Gabe laugh. He didn’t even realize he had spoken out loud. The echo of laughter coming back from all the open bays in the Broken Halo Division - made his wings sprout a red glow. Then he laughed too.
Finally the Halo was ready. Gave held it up to the Light of Truth. Yep. Just as he thought. Not a blemish anywhere. Hope, Curiosity, Intelligence, along with Sharing, Caring, and Compassion, were equally distributed along the ridges that rose gently from the solid core of Love. It was ready to wear.
Gabe hummed as he took it to the Master Crafter.
She looked up as Gabe came over to her desk.
“My. My. My. That didn’t take you long Gabe." (Gabe blushed, it wasn’t really his excellent repair of the Broken Halo that made it ready so soon, but the person who had it in Life’s excellent care of it that made his job so easy)
“To be Honest, Gaia, I didn’t have to do much. Whoever wore this in Life must have been a remarkable person.”
Gaia raised one of her eyebrows, a truly dramatic gesture as it arched up in an impressive parabola.
“Oh, Yes. I don’t think I have seen one in better condition when I got it, since I started working here.”
Gaia slid her even more practiced and sensitive hands than Gabe’s around the inner circle of the Halo. She had much more experience (and skill) than anyone working in the Broken Halo department- so her hands wrung out a bit of the past user as she slid the Halo around in a looping movement.
“I can see why. This is remarkable. Makes you wish there was a loophole in the Regulations. “
Well, you could have knocked anyone in the Broken Halo Division over with a feather, from any of their wings, when Gaia made that comment- out loud. SHE wished to know the previous owner of the Halo too? I mean if anyone had the power to bend regulations, it as Gaia. But nobody, and I mean nobody, thought she would ever even suggest that, let alone say it out loud.
Gaia smiled a gentle chuckle at the reaction to her words.
“Hey, I am as curious as you all are. (and they all could hear her, since she was using Angel Speech and not her speaking voice) We don’t see one in this shape often. But Regulations are Regulations. (Sighs from everywhere).
You could literally hear wings bundling up to lean into hear what Gaia would say next- it was an impressive sound, like a well trained Choir warming up.
“There is no Regulation preventing us from choosing who we give it to next!”
Wings flew out (no pun intended) to their full span. That would have made a Mortal weep, for fully expanded Angel wings look like Rainbows filled with sunsets, lovers wide eyes, and the faces of sleeping first borns. It is a stunning sight. Every single Angel from Herald, to Gabe and most of the Heavenly Host gathered around.
“Who should we give it to?”
Gaia leaned back, twirling the halo around and around on one long slender finger. Her face lost in thought. Nobody breathed. (Well they didn’t have to anyway, they are Angels- but the feeling is exactly the same)
She leaned forward.
“Gabe. You Choose.”
Gabe was flabbergasted. What an Honor. It only took him a second to race through the batch of Souls destined to be delivered today. He found one. Yes!
That Soul didn’t have a name yet. It wouldn’t until it reached Earth. It looked like any other Soul: fresh, sweet, that “new car smell” of not having any miles of Life on it yet at all. But even the most casual of glances could tell you that there was something special about this Soul.
It was already leaking kindness- and that was unusual since it hadn’t even had a body to leak from yet. Gabe was certain that Soul was the right Choice.
Well, if you think Angle Wings at Full Span are an impressive sight (and you would be right) then prepare to pass by impressive to incredible. For the sound of flapping Angel wings (which is how they “clap”) is a thunderous wall of sound unmatched by any Orchestra on Earth, no matter how gifted.
Gaia settled them all down with a few left over flutters, and the occasional displaced feather settled back into position.
“What will you call her?”
Gabe thought for a second. Getting to choose the Mortal Name when you place their Halo on their Soul- is not a choice you make in a hurry.