Chapter 3 The Garden
Shimera found herself in a beautiful place, very different from heaven, but still, beautiful. The air smelled of sweet jasmine and she could hear the trickled of water and behind that, the gentle lap of waves against a shoreline far in the distance. Birds sand and the breeze was gentle and refreshing, laden with scents of a myriad of fruits and flowers that made her mouth water.
“My Lord, where is this wonderful place? Is it a place I could stay? It is so beautiful here!” Shimera looked over at Jesus, now in a simple white robe,
“My child, this is your home. This is the Garden of Eden. My creations, Adam and Eve are here. They work the land and enjoy all they wish with the exception of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They must never eat the fruit of that tree.” Jesus told her
“Then I will guard it and make sure they follow Your Will!” Shimera replied fiercely.
Jesus laughed gently and told her, “No My lovely Shimera, all must happen as was foreseen for Satan must be defeated. I want Adam and Eve and their issue in heaven with Me. My love for them is great and I understand their weakness. You must not interfere with what is to come. “ Jesus became pensive, almost sad.
“Lord?” queried the dragon, concerned at what she saw.
“Have no fear, little one. Just remember, as things happen, do not act in anger or upset. Wait and in good time, Our Will will be made known. Anger is Lucifer’s tool, it will cause you to stumble, then you cannot do what is needed of you. Learn patience, long suffering, and persistence in the experiences you will have so you are ready when your time comes.”
“Yes Lord,” gasped Shimera. The Lord will have a job for her? She must be ready, she must not fail! She turned to assure Jesus of her dedication, but he was gone. She had much on which to think, much on which to plan and she began to walk aimlessly, not paying attention to where she went.
The days wore on her thoughts were still on the words of her Lord. As she walked, not paying attention, the ground fell away from her feet and she began to fall. She gave a roar of shock and her wings began to beat. Little by little her fall slowed down until she began to rise higher and higher in the sky. Soon she was above the Garden and could see the beasts of the field, the trees laden with fruit, the oceans and the life that leapt for joy within them. She circled and spiraled and learned to ride the wind. She gloried in this skill, here in this beautiful place. She would stay here forever and protect it, her home from any who would take it away. Again she roared, in the joy of life.
She landed and for the first time, began to mingle with the animals. Shimera was amazed at the variety, some similar to her, others so very different.
The ground stopped shaking from their heavy steps, the pair had come to a halt. They looked at each other and again at her.
As Shimera moved amount the beasts of the field and birds of the air, she heard the deep, rough greeting of her own kind. As she turned, her mouth dropped. Yes, these were her kind, but a kind she had never known could possibly exist. They had might horns and great winds. They walked on two legs and had two small arms. Shimera walked on all four legs, she was considerably small. While their wings, though large enough to carry their great bulk in flight, were plain, like stretched black skin. Her wings were much larger than her body needed and were more graceful in shape. The scales sparkled in the dappled sunlight and there was a light dusting of feathers, as there was on her face and brow. Her smaller, more delicate form was more inviting to behold. These other dragons spoke in short sentences, with a limited amount of words. They were rough and filled with their own importance. She was shocked and afraid, “Where is Michael when a girl really needs him?” she asked herself.
“What are you?” one of the creatures asked in a crude, rough dragon speak.
Shimera glared. “You can see for yourself, I am dragon, as are you!”
“Dragon, huh, well I am Drago!” “Did you not get finished?” queried the larger oafish being.
“Yeah, they need to put you back til you are done?” the small one chimed in, pulling on Shimera’s wing.
“Hey,!“ Shimera snarled, “Stop that!”
“Why? Our new friend told us we do nothing wrong for there is only what we want to do and you look to small to be anything but a play toy, so we play with you.”
“Droga, I don’t think she likes it.” Drago warned. “Remember that Lucifer said to watch out for someone who looked like us, that she would not be our friend.”
Droga snarled. “I remember, she is traitor and needs to leave!”
“Yeah, yeah, but he told us about how one of those flying soldiers got the drop on him. He told us alright, how that guy didn’t fight fair and got the drop on him?
“Yeah, but he was smart and twisted free. Turn out your “friend is a big coward! I don’t think you can count on him for any help. Not if he has to face us?”
Drago began to advance menacingly on Shimera. “That’s right, he couldn’t handle Lucifer and there are two of us, He will be the biggest loser if he shows his coward’s face today!”
“Y-y-you’re wrong! Lucifer lied to you! You gotta believe me! And then she road in pain as Drago dug his claws under the scale near her heart and tried to pull them off. She turned and twisted and managed to wriggle away from those grasping, killing claws. Tears ran down her face as she gingerly touched the torn area of her chest.
Suddenly the air felt electric. There was a sound like a roaring of wind. The ground shook mightily as something landed heavily. Michael! He had heard and come! Not only had he heard, but he had summoned a legion of his warrior angels!
Shimera signed in relief. Michael quickly glanced in her direction. “Raphael, See to her wound! He ordered. Immediately a warrior stepped out of the ranks and approached Shimera.
“Have no fear, little one, this will not hurt you,” Raphael said gently. His voice reminded her of a gently flowing stream. She relaxed immediately . He placed his hand on her injury and she felt warmth; she lowered her head and … purred. This feeling was wonderful and her reaction was one she could not control.
Michael turned and faced Drago and Droga. “Time you boys picked on someone your own size, Michael warned.
“Oh, so you’re the coward that left Lucifer get away!” Drago chided. “Couldn’t handle him so you figured to bring a bunch of friends so you could beat us, huh? You’re a bigger coward than we thought!”
Michael shook his head. “You misguided beings,” he said, pity in his voice. “Do not allow yourselves to be taken in by the Great Deceiver. He will lead you to great misery. You were made by the Master for much more than Lucifer’s foolish schemes.”
The two brutish dragons looked at each other and snickered.
“Be careful, you two, it is not wise to aggravate an arch-angel.
Both dragons laughed in derision out loud. Droga looked up through crossed eyes and sneered. “Yeah? And what is the big bad angel…oh ARCH angel gonna do about it? Run home and tell his Maker?”
Michael smiled, but there was no warmth, only warning. “I see I need to get your attention. He drew his sword. His first lieutenant put a hand on his shoulder. Michael stopped, sheathed his sword and turned toward the two dragons. He put his arm and in what was to become a famous motion, gestured to the dragon to come and do their worst. Both dragons gave mighty roars and charged Michael. As they did, Michael began to move.
His movements were lightning fast. He seemed to be everywhere at once. Neither dragon received a single injury yet neither one could lay a hand on Michael. When they were to tired to continue, Michael stopped, not even out of breath. “Well boys, this has been fun, but we are needed elsewhere. I warn you, leave Shimera alone. Hurt her and my next visit will not be so friendly.” Michael went over to Shimera and wrapped his arms around her neck after checking Raphael’s healing. “Take care, little one, and stay away from these low lifes.”
“Michael” she whispered desperately, “they are friends with Lucifer! He is planning something terrible, I just know it!”
Michael nodded gravely. Father had said we are to let events occur as they will. “Try to stay out of trouble little one!”
“Not so little anymore,” she laughed back and straitened to her tallest.
“You are growing fast, Shimera, don’t be in too much of a hurry. Much comes with being all grown up. “ said Michael, with a hint of sadness in his voice. “Take your time, princess. Wait on the Father’s wisdom, it will keep you from much pain and trouble.”
“Michael, you worry too much! I am fine and I know not to follow Lucifer, what could possibly go wrong?”
“More than you realize, child, more than you can understand.” Replied Michael gravely. “Promise me as things occur you will wait on our Lord Jesus, to not be quick to act, wait on His Word.”
Shimera was cavorting and enjoying the garden. She looked over her shoulder at Michael. “Sure, Michael, wait on Lord Jesus, got it!” and she wandered off following some beautiful birds and butterflies, curious where these winged creatures would go.
Michael shook his head. “I fear for her,
“It seems much of this new creation will need to learn in a painful way, he replied. We will do what we can to guide her, but there are limits, Michael, you must remember that, there are limits.
She thought to find her Lord’s finest creations, Adam and Eve. She could learn much from them if they talked with Lord Jesus every night. It was said that they looked like her Lord. She hoped she would not get confused if they both looked like the Christ! This could get confusing!” she thought to herself. She came to a break in the trees and saw them in the distance.
Shimera caught her breath. They did, indeed look like the Son, but they were different. They were of two types, male and female. They seemed more like her, learning and understanding their surroundings.
She drew closer and heard the man, Adam say, “Eve, Our Maker will be here soon. We must finish up and be ready for Him. You know how I look forward to this time of the day, so do you!”
“Yes, Adam, I do. He is so kind and it is so comforting to be with Him. I never want us to miss a single moment of His company. You can just feel the love from Him. It is a wonderful feeling, I don’t know, it is almost like I can touch the love, it is so strong. Am I making sense?”
Adam laughed, “Yes, woman, you actually do and I understand what you mean. Yesterday, however, you seemed quite overcome, your eyes fluttered, your skin got red, I have never seen you act that way.”
“Eve flushed with color, “Yes my love, I did. I do not understand what happened. I looked into His eyes and what I saw there, in His eyes, the depth, the sorrow, the … I don’t know. I felt my heart try to stop, I….I….forgive me, Adam I do not understand what happened.”
“It is time, Eve, let us meet Him. I want to tell him of a strange being I saw today, one I never saw to name. The sight of this creature filled me with a bad feeling. I want to talk to Him.”
Shimera had been holding her breathe while the two humans were talking. The Holy One? With the lights around Him and the thunder and lightning? Surely not! How could one with such presence, such power, come here and not kill everything that beheld it. She followed at a distance to see how the All Powerful and Almighty God she had met would be with the humans. Would they drop dead when they drew near? But, they had met Him before, according to their words. It was enough to make her head hurt. So much to take in, to understand. In the midst of all this she would have to make choices, like a test? She didn’t know the questions much less the answers. How could she pass such a test? But all thought stopped because when she looked up she saw Him, God Himself, dressed in a white robe, looking almost like Adam, walking in the garden. He even stopped and picked some grapes from a vine. Shimera saw Eve point to tree, heavily laden with a fruit that she had never seen. It looked so tempting. She knew it would be so, so good. Yahweh’s words broke through her reverie.
“No, you must never eat of that tree. Never! Do you understand me? If you eat of that fruit you shall die. I have given you this entire garden and all that grows within it to enjoy. This one tree you must avoid. You must obey my Word in this. Do you understand Adam? You are not permitted to eat of that tree.”
Adam nodded his head gravely. “I hear you, Father. We shall not go near that tree, we shall not eat of it. We will obey your wishes.”
“See that you do, for your own sake. Be sure Eve understands. She must not eat of the fruit of the tree.”
“She will not, Father, I will see to it that she obeys.”
The Father took a long, almost sad look at both of the humans. Shimera saw the love as it washed over Him, saw how Adam and Eve glowed in that love.
“Eve was right,” she thought, “His love is almost a force. But why does He look so sad, as if He will never see them again.” And a feeling of fear and dread came over her. It was so strong she lost her footing and stumbled. She lay in a heap and groaned in fear. She had felt the icy presence of the evil one. Then she knew. The evil one, the one who had tried to claim her, the one who was more ugly in his soul than even she could believe, was going to do something to Adam and Eve! Oh, she had to protect them! But the ice reached out again, she realized not only were Adam and Eve in danger, but so was this entire Garden of Eden. Lucifer, Satan, the Evil One intended to destroy it. His hatred of God was so overwhelming he was determined to either destroy or pervert everything God had made.