Peer Review by Aarushikrishnan (United States)

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Angel Express#firstraycontest

By: Silver Pen


    Ben the angel gripped the shaft of light tightly as he half walked, half skidded down a quiet street.  His real name was Benaniah, but everyone called him Ben for short.  The light was a present he had been specially commissioned to deliver, and it seemed to be in a hurry to get to its destination.
    "Steady on!" he yelled as the ray squirrelled around a corner.  A ten-year deployment in England had added some interesting expressions to his vocabulary.
    Why exactly was I needed to get this where it needs to go?  Someone remind me, he thought.  Of course, it was usually useless and foolish to question the rhetoric of an omniscient Being Who had created the universe with His wise words and raw power.  You'd find out eventually what you were doing if you did it long enough.
    The beam turned another corner and stopped so hard that he ran right into it.  It darted around his waist like a belt and stayed put.  When Ben looked up, he saw the reason why.
    A whole battalion of demons had hunkered down behind a wall of fear that had been reared around that section of the city.  They were right in the way, and from the looks of things, it seemed like they were out to stop him.  Just one of those shafts of light could snowball into a movement that could topple the demonic tyranny in an entire city, maybe even a county.  That, of course, depended on how the humans reacted to the situation.
    Ben took a deep breath.  While his courage never faltered, being a finite being, he was at a loss to see how he was going to accomplish his crucial mission.
    A commotion broke out on the eastern flank, where the wall joined the houses.  Ben guessed that a Christian was walking along the pavement, headed towards him.  He wondered hopefully if the Lord of hosts had sent reinforcements.
    A group of teens walked out of the wall.  Being physical beings as well as spiritual, it didn't offer the same sort of resistance to them that it did to Ben.  Also, only one of them was a Christian, and he was seemingly engrossed in his conversation with his friends.  However, Ben could sense the Holy Spirit trying to get his attention, trying to move him to help.
    A slight, twisted demon swooped down and perched on the young man's shoulder.  Immediately he began to whisper lies into the Christian's mind and to cloud his thoughts.
    Ben was enraged.  In a flash he had nocked an arrow and taken aim.  But it was no use.  The teen was listening now, taking counsel of the fiend, believing the lies, and turning into another street.
    Fiery darts began to skip on the concrete around him.  Ben swiftly erected his shield of faith and hunkered down behind it.  It wasn't over.  Not by a long shot.  God was the Master General; if anyone could fix this, it was Him.
    Footsteps echoed hard and fast off the towering walls of the city.  Ben turned his gaze and spotted the teen.  He was coming back!
    A detachment of the demons took flight and swooped down to engage.  Ben grinned.  They were assaulting a fellow soldier now, which made them anybody's game.  Fast as thought his heavenly shafts were flying to intercept the hateful spirits.  The barrage of arrows on Ben's position renewed, but he didn't care.
    Winning was fun!
    The young man stopped at the curb and said aloud to the empty street, "Get out of the way, in Jesus' name."
    The demons couldn't stand that!  They screeched and whined, cowering behind their wall.
    "Get out of the way, in Jesus' name."
    Ben grinned as their foes began to slink away, humiliated.  He could feel God laughing at their discomfort.
    Good thing I decided to stick with Him.  It could have been me over there!  Ben realiized.  He darted over the wall.  The beam of light straightened and resumed its eager flight.  Ben raced behind it.
    A dilapidated school bus ground to a halt some fifteen yards away.  A thin girl with crutches was struggling to climb aboard.  Ben knew that this girl was the one had had come for.
    The light zipped out of his grip and streaked straight for the child.  Ben sprinted to catch up and --

    Diamond O'Hara was mounting the tricky steps of the school bus for the umpteenth time.  It was always a difficult business because she had to get her book bag in their as well as the rest of her, including her crippled leg.  But she never asked for help, and the bus driver was always patient.
    A massive jolt of warm, electric power surged through her frail body.  She gasped, her soft brown eyes wide, like a hart's after it's been shot.
    "Are you -- Di, your leg!" the driver exclaimed.
    Diamond glanced down at her crippled leg.  It was completely normal.
    Ben watched the overjoyed little girl as the danced, jumped, and ran for the first time in four years.  He turned and began the flight back to heaven.
    Mission accomplished.

Message to Readers

This is a perspective that I've never written from before. How well did I do?

Peer Review

I liked how you used religion in your piece in a fresh and original way, I found the "battle" element to it really interesting!

If I could amend anything, I would add more of a "first ray" theme to your writing. I get that the light bolts represent rays, but with a bit of tweaking you can bring out the message even more smoothly :)

Reviewer Comments

Thank you for taking part in my contest, and for writing this!