It was another slow day in the annexes of the bureaucracy when Ithuriel got the call. Excited, he grabbed his spear, the power that had fueled his ascension in the angelic ranks. When touched by the spear, each thing had to reveal its true self. Too often the spear lay unused on the shelf, the need in those precincts not so great. He had tried it on his friends, a truth or dare kind of thing, but the results were ambiguous.
The assignment was straightforward. If Raphael hadn’t made it sound like some kind of emergency, he would have lingered in some ferny dell in that rather lovely somewhat English garden. But he was ambitious, and knew that to get ahead you had to toe the line. He’d seen what happened to those who didn’t. Also, he had a strong intuition that Earth would be just the place where he’d have plenty of work.
Finding the toad in all that greenery was the hard part. The spear wasn’t worth a damn in giving directions, unlike Othaniel’s spear.
Green green green, all but the woman, and if she hadn’t been there…but she was, an object of great fascination. For a moment Ithuriel forgot about the toad and stared impolitely. But then, right at her earlobe something moved, whiplike, a tongue, vivid as a laser.
The toad went off like a car bomb, and there was Lucifer looking like he got caught with his pants down, which he had.
Of course, Satan (they tried changing his name) had the last laugh. Perhaps for that reason, Ithuriel’s career stalled, but that was a blessing in disguise. He enjoys his semi-retirement, who wouldn’t?, in the Marin hills.