In this episode Sam awakens from his flashback startled and confused. Michael is forced to teach Sam a lesson when he loses control of his temper.
The Most Amazing Story Ever is a tale about the birth of a modern God. This action-packed, emotional, whirlwind of a story takes the listener through a dramatic and dark process as Sam seeks out the light and attempts to claim the title of God Almighty. But his path out of the darkness is filled with peril as he confronts his inner demon, Malice. This beast consumes Sam’s soul and takes control of his body in an effort to bring death and destruction to the world.
Don’t miss out on this high powered tale of sorrow, struggle, and redemption. The Most Amazing Story Ever will remind you of what dwells within us all and show you the true power of the human heart.
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Chapter 10: Reality Check
“When I was a child, I talked like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11 –
Michael let go of Sam’s hand as he returned from his very powerful flashback. The weight of what Sam experienced was immediately apparent on his face. The tears began to flow almost instantly as he scrambled backward from Michael.
“That was a hell of a ride. Right?” Michael said with a shit-eating grin strapped across his face.
He seemed quite pleased with himself having just shown Sam a nightmarish recap of the previous evening’s events. Recording the events of the world was a job he was built for. To record and report. Sam settled to his butt with legs out in front and breathed heavily.
“I saw all those people dying…and he was just ripping them apart…so much blood,” sobbed Sam.
“Uhhhh…He…was just ripping them apart?” questioned Michael.
“He just made me watch. That bastard wouldn’t let me close my eyes,” said Sam.
“Yeah….um…you are talking about that murderous rampage that happened downtown with all the soldiers and police? Right?”
Michael raised an eyebrow in a manner suggesting that his curiosity had been piqued. Naturally, he expected a bit of disconnection from the event, but this was interesting.
“Hate to be the bearer of bad news pal, but that was you who was acting like a ravenous fool on a rampage.”
“What?” Sam said, in a lost and rather dazed fashion.
The single word that just escaped his lips laced with such confusion and disbelief that it almost reeked of honesty. Cocking his head a bit to the side, Michael started questioning how Sam was processing this situation. After all, it was a lot to take in. He had just awakened with no memory of the previous evening, covered in blood, and with his senses in overdrive.
On top of all that, a man claiming to be an angel threw him half a city block and showed him a scene that looked like something from a sci-fi horror film that began with him getting shot in the head. Michael could understand how it was a bit much to take in so early in the day. Nevertheless, he knew today was going to be one for the history books and he needed Sam to be somewhat grounded in reality.
“What exactly did you see Sam?” he questioned.
Sam sat motionless with a thousand-yard stare in his eyes. Michael squatted down to his level and peered into those hollow eyes. He reached out and lightly smacked Sam across the cheek.
Sam lost the gaze and looked up at Michael.
“What did you see?” he questioned again.
Sam stood up and pushed past Michael as though he were walking away. Refusing to speak to Michael was a skill that he had developed through many years of ignoring strangers in the city and people he just didn’t like. He wanted to tell him what he saw. He also was desperate for answers, but the last thing he wanted was to talk to a complete stranger claiming to be otherworldly.
“Sam, wait…” said Michael.
Sam made it only a few steps before he came to a complete stop. Pausing for a moment, he began to process the events of the morning. He gazed down at his shirt that was splattered with blood that he knew was his, then down to his hands which were still wrapped in the blood-soaked fabric from his bathroom. As he removed the cloth, he was astonished to see that the wounds on the palms of his hands completely healed. Not even a mark was there. All that remained was the dried and coagulated blood that filled the grooves and creases of his palm prints. Slowly pulling his fingers inward into fists he could see the blood trapped under his fingernails. Zooming into it with his newfound sight, he could see that it didn’t match his own.
Taking in a deep breath, Sam could smell the stench of death on him, and though it was ever so faint it was undeniable. Sewer water and the smell of shit filled his nose as he focused on the odors that were tickling his senses. He knew something was up, but he wasn’t the guy who killed all those people. He knew it with every fiber of his being.
The fact that this stranger was telling him all this bullshit struck a chord deep inside of him. He was appalled and insulted by the crap this guy was trying to shove down his throat. A swell of anger started swirling deep inside his belly. It was anger that was much more powerful than he was used to. That anger took him over faster than he realized. Clenching his jaws lock tight, he spun around and rushed Michael again. This time snatching him up by the collar with one hand and dangling him from the edge of the roof.
“What the FUCK did you do to me?” he barked.
“I didn’t do anything to you,” said Michael.
Looking down at the concrete, several stories below, he reached up and scratched his face in a very nonchalant manner. “But if you are going to drop me…”
Without a second of hesitation, Sam let go of Michael’s collar and left his fate to gravity. There was no flailing from the falling angel. He simply looked down and accepted what was happening. Shoving his head backward and arching his back, Michael performed a laid-out backflip that would have left Olympic divers envious. Finishing the flip and landing gently on the concrete in a very heroic fashion, the only sound that could be heard was the rustling of his clothes.
Looking up at Sam and standing there on the edge was a frustrating sight. The fall was nothing for him. Michael was sure Sam thought he would go splat. Not only that, but he didn’t give it a second thought. He just dropped him mid-sentence. Sam was certainly not following the same path of those before him. These sudden bursts of aggression were not supposed to be happening. In fact, he should have been getting calmer by the second. At least, that is what happened to Rah and Ismael, he thought. Something funny was going on. One thing was for sure after the thousands of years he had spent on this earth, Humans never ceased to amaze him.
Michael leaped from the ground with the same grace and elegance with which he had landed. Effortlessly, he flew up to the rooftop and landed just behind Sam. Just as his feet made contact with the ground, Sam spun again quickly. This time, he took a swing at Michael. With all of his might, Sam rocketed a punch directly at Michael’s nose. It was a fruitless effort. The angel simply raised his hand and caught the punch. There was a thunderous connection between the palm of his hand and Sam’s fist. It created a loud clap and a slight burst of air. Sam’s eyes, billowing with anger, gazed at Michael from beneath his brow. With an expressionless look in his eyes, Michael squeezed down on the fist that was in his hand. There was a slight cracking sound. He could tell that he had already broken a few bones in Sam’s hand, yet there was no sign of pain on his face. Whatever was causing him to be so aggressive had a strong hold on him.
As much as he wanted their first encounter to be a pleasant and easy one, it seemed it was going to be just the opposite. Sam was definitely in a state of denial and wasn’t willing to have any discussion at all. Given his heightened state, reasoning with him was out of the question. The unfortunate part of it all was that Michael had so many incredibly important things to tell him. Like where his power was coming from and what to expect. But all that would have to wait for the moment. Sam needed a reality check, and fast. He was very strong in his new state of being. Perhaps stronger than he knew, but Michael was an angel, and at the moment his abilities were far superior to Sam’s.
An all-out brawl was out of the question as he could not risk aggravating the monster that he saw last night. He needed to let the air out of Sam’s tires without any more collateral damage. Michael had the perfect solution. It was time for an elevation change.
Gripping him by the wrist, Michael rocketed into the air with Sam in tow. He wasn’t about to fight with this human. He couldn’t reason with him. So, he decided to suffocate him. Just a bit. It truly seemed like the only option. The pair plowed through the clouds above at blistering speeds. Onward and upward Sam looked down at the world below him became increasingly smaller with every second. His natural instinct was to fight, but logic told him that a fall from this high was certain death. The air was freezing and grew colder with every moment that past. All of this was so surreal. Only a few minutes ago he was waking up, and now he was being rocketed into the sky by a very well-dressed stranger.
His anger began to give way to fear. The pain in his hand started to set in alongside a rather ferocious case of the shivers. He could feel the ironclad grip of Michael’s hand wrapped around his wrist. When would this guy stop, he thought. He tried to shout at Michael to stop, but the roar of the air rushing by them as they climbed higher and higher was drowning out the sounds coming from his frozen mouth.
He was so cold that he could barely pronounce any words as his tongue lay in his mouth like an icy slab of meat behind his already numb lips. And then it hit. He saw a slight sparkle in his vision, and then another. There was a wave of bliss that came over him as those sparkles multiplied and filled his vision. Without him even noticing, he slipped into unconsciousness.
Sam came to in a very peaceful manner. He could feel the wind on his face and the air was nice and clean. He was a bit cold, but the summer sun was shining directly on him, and its rays felt warm and soothing after his very cold adventure. He began to open his eyes and noticed that he wasn’t standing on the ground. With his arms dangling above his head and the blood that was putting pressure on his face, he felt as though he was still hanging in the air. The iron-clad grip that was previously around his wrist was now around his ankle.
He was indeed still in the air, only now he was upside down with an up close and personal view of a very expensive pair of shoes. His eyes darted around in a frenzied attempt to get a grip on his whereabouts. Not much had changed from before his slip into the dark abyss of unconsciousness. He was still incredibly far from the ground though now it appeared only to be a thousand feet or so, but at that height, who can tell. As he looked up, or down as his orientation would have it, he saw Michael’s face smiling back at him.
“Let’s make a deal. You stop acting like a raging freak, and I won’t drop you. Sound like a plan?”
It didn’t take much thought. Sam couldn’t fly, and he didn’t feel like dying. Michael’s offer seemed pretty solid to him. Sam looked down at the ground once more and then shot his attention back up to Michael’s face.
“I’m cool with that. But can you, at least, turn me around? This is kind of a scary way to have a conversation,” said Sam.
Michael reached down and grabbed Sam by the arm. With minimal effort, he spun him around until they were face to face.
“You can fly,” Sam said, “This is so trippy.”
“What did you expect? I am an Angel.”
“Yeah, but you don’t have any wings,” Sam was quick to point out.
“I do. You just can’t see them yet.” Michael responded.
“Yet?” Sam questioned.
“You have to give your abilities time to mature. Before you went all aggro, I was about to tell you what was happening to you. Instead, you decided to throw me off a building.”
“No apologies needed. You are not the first person who has tried to kill me. Listen…would you mind if we had this conversation on something a bit closer to the ground?” asked Michael.
“I would prefer it,” said Sam
The ground has never felt so good, thought Sam as they touched down. Where they were standing wasn’t exactly the ground, though. Michael had set them down on top of the tallest building in the city. This building stood only blocks from Sam’s rampage the night before, and he could clearly see the aftermath of the carnage from the previous night. They were standing on top of the Cain building. A marvel of modern architecture. It was pretty basic on the outside, but the inside was a technophile’s dream.
The city was elated when The Cain Corporation decided to set up its global headquarters in the heart of their meager little downtown area. The mayor practically held a parade. Since then, the city had prospered financially, and many of the businesses in the downtown area owed their very existence to The Cain Corporation, including the restaurant that Sam worked at…until last night.
Even in the middle of summer, the air was still brisk at twenty-three stories above the city. The cool breeze that shot across the rooftop did wonders for Sam’s state of mind. He had always been a fan of the wind and the fresh air. It helped keep him calm and relaxed his mind. He did not know why. It just did. Strategically speaking, Michael figured this would still give him a tactical advantage if Sam lost his cool again. A fall from this height would certainly kill him. Plus, there was nothing of any real value to damage up here and no press or random people to whip out a cell phone and start shooting video. No, this was a safe place for this all-important discussion to take place.
“Sam, we have a lot to talk about. I really need you to listen. I can help you make sense of what’s going on with you and why you saw whatever it was that you saw in the vision I gave you. But… if you don’t stay calm, I am going to throw you off this building. Plain and simple.”
Sam’s eyes snapped over to Michael in a very “say what?” fashion. He turned and walked over to the edge and cautiously leaned out to get a good sense of how far it was down to the ground. The feeling of fear began to swell in him. It took root in his lower abdomen and shot a falling sensation up his spine then forced him to clench his jaw.
“You would throw me off this roof?” he asked.
“Yes, if it will save me time,” he answered.
“You keep saying you don’t have a lot of time, are you gonna be late for something?”
“Nope, I am never late for anything. I am very much an Alpha kind of person.”
“But you are an angel, not a person, right?” questioned Sam
“I am not here to discuss me. We are here to talk about you. Now come away from the edge and let’s talk.”
Michael motioned Sam to come closer to him. Taking one last peek over the edge, he craned his neck out as far as it would go and peered down the edge of the building. Just then, a blast of wind blew across the top of the building and caused Sam to lose his balance ever so slightly. He stumbled a bit and quickly scurried back to safer ground. Eyes wide open, he took in a very deep breath and sighed relief on the exhale.
Turning towards Michael, he got a very focused look in his eyes. He had no intention of getting thrown from this roof. Even more important than the threat of an angel hurling him from the top of a twenty-three-story building was a more pressing question. Why on earth was an angel stalking him and what did it have to do with these dramatic changes that had happened to him?
“What is happening to me?” Sam questioned.
“You are evolving.”
“Evolving into what? Tell me I am not turning into a lizard.”
“Hardly,” said Michael “You are turning into a God.
“Bullshit,” said Sam. “God isn’t real. I don’t believe in God. No such thing.”
“Well, you are right and wrong all at the same time. God, as all these silly religions have him made out to be, is a load of crap. But the real GOD,” said Michael as he made the quotation signs with his fingers “does exist. He is VERY real.”
“I think you’re full of it,” said Sam. “Prove it.”
“Really? You were just hoisted in the sky by an angel. You are only alive because of a flower, you killed a crapload of people who were shooting thousands of rounds of ammunition at you and lived to see another day. I would say the concept of God is open for discussion at this point…wouldn’t you?”
“A flower? What flower?” asked Sam.
“You don’t remember the flower from last night do you?”
“Pppppfftt. I told you, all I remember is being forced to watch that thing kill all those people. It was such a crazy nightmare. To be honest, I feel like I’m still dreaming.”
“I think we are going about this the wrong way. Why don’t we start with you telling me about this dream you had last night?” Michael questioned.
“Sure. Ever since I was a kid, I have had dreams like this. They are all slightly different, but the same. They stopped right when I became a teenager, but last night was the first one I have had in a while. It was way more intense than I have ever had.
It was crazy, Frank and I were in this cave-like place. Lots of water. Then we used some dynamite to blow open this door. It was more like a big rock, though. Next thing I know there were all these soldiers and they shot Frank. That part felt real. Almost like it actually happened, you know? Then all of a sudden, I’m in the pit. It is like this place I would always start the dreams in. It’s full of this thick, black, sludgy crap and its super hard to get out of, and it sticks to you like glue. Once I get out of the pit, there is this thing there.”
“Most times he tries to speak to me, but I can’t understand anything he is saying. When he talks, it’s like my gut hurts and I feel sad and angry. This time, it was a bit different, though. When I got out of the pit, I was in the same place, but it was all on fire and burnt. Even the water was on fire. All I could smell was sulfur and ash.”
Sam continued, “Then I noticed that I was standing on the ceiling looking down at everything. All the soldiers were there, and Frank was dead on the ground. But that thing was standing where I was standing. He looked up at me and laughed. These black slimy ropes flew out of the pit and grabbed me so tight I couldn’t move,” Sam’s mental attitude became excited.
“Then that thing started killing everybody. Very scary and very real! Every time I would try to close my eyes and not watch, but more of those oily black ropes would come and hold them open. It truly felt like this was happening. Then, we were in the middle of the city, and he was throwing cars at people.” Sam explained.
“You mean…,like right over there?” Michael pointed to the destroyed area that was sectioned off a couple of blocks away.
“Sort of. But it didn’t look like that. Once that thing showed up, everything caught on fire or was burnt and crumbling. Everything was destroyed. It was like being inside a furnace or in Hell or something like that. It just all seemed so real. I wanted him to stop killing all those people but… I couldn’t do anything to stop him. It was a pretty fucked up dream.” Sam paused for a moment.
“So, tell me more about this God thing,” he petitioned Michael.
“Sam, what you saw was you going berserk.”
“Riiiiiiiiiiiight,” Sam said in a sarcastic fashion.
“Your friend Frank is dead, and you killed all those people.”
“You know, for a brief second, I thought we were gonna talk about what was going on with me. Now I see this is still a dream. There is no way this is real. You’re an angel, with no wings I might add. You swear that I killed all those people from the first part of my dream. You are telling me that I am evolving into a God and that my best friend is dead. What about this doesn’t seem like a dream to you?”
“Good point,” agreed Michael.
He could see that Sam was rationalizing this experience. And he was doing quite a good job at it. From the average man’s viewpoint, none of the things Sam had gone through in the past twenty-four hours would fall into the category of real. And because he didn’t have a first-hand account of what happened last night, it gave him an even greater ability to distance himself from everything and made it easier to come to the natural conclusion that this was all a dream. But unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Every bit of this was real. Michael just needed to convince him of it.
“You seem to be pretty up to speed on what dreams are and how they work, right?” Michael questioned.
“Ten years of court-ordered therapy made me somewhat of a dream enthusiast,” Sam replied.
“How do dreams work then?”
“Basically, the subconscious mind regurgitates information you have gathered and arranges it into a sequence of images. Some people think it’s the brain’s way of passing important info back to the conscience. Others say it is just garbage,” Sam sputtered this info out to Michael as he had to so many others.
It made for a great conversational piece and would often get his foot in the door with any ladies that happened to be a part of the conversation. While he did know quite a bit about dreams, he managed to filter most of it into a cleverly arranged series of questions and answers that were custom designed to get him into an unsuspecting pair of panties.
“So, what do you think? Is this dream a message or a bunch of garbage?” Michael asked.
“I haven’t decided yet. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.”
Maybe convincing Sam he wasn’t dreaming was not the smartest way to handle the problem, Michael thought to himself. If he believes he is dreaming, he is much more likely to accept the information that is being given to him. Couldn’t hurt to try. At least for now.
“Well, if this is a dream, it’s about to get a lot crazier. Let me bring you up to speed on the past few days,” Michael paused for a brief moment.
His eyes darted upward and started shifting left and right as he raised his brow. There was some slight gesturing and mumbling as though he were trying to explain something to himself.
“Don’t tell me you went to all this trouble and had no idea what to say,” Sam took a sarcastic stab at the angel.
“No. No. I know what to say. I am just one petal behind, and I am trying to take out all the pageantry and what not.”
“One petal behind?” the young man questioned.
“Right. I guess that’s as good a place as any to start.” Michael cleared his throat. “Last night you and your friend stole a flower from a place that only a few people even knew existed. While you think it was only a dream, it was quite real.”
“Nope. That was just a dream. I have had dreams like that before,” protested Sam.
“Then how do you explain all that blood on your shirt?”
“Nosebleed. I get them all the time.”
“What about all the blood on the back of your shirt?”
Sam began to crank his head around to look at his back. He even pulled his shirt over his shoulder towards the front to get a better view. Michael was right. There was more blood on the back of his shirt than on the front.
He spun his head back around to look at Michael with a confused and inquisitive look that said, “You’ve got my attention.”
“But come to think of it, you didn’t steal the flower because it was yours to start with. Kind of a destiny thing you could say. Ismael wanted you to have it…”
“Who’s Ismael?” asked Sam.
“We’ll get to that in a few minutes. Back to the flower. The flower bonded with you right about the same time that bullet pushed your brains out onto the floor.”
“Wait, what do you mean? You mean I got shot? In the head? Riiiiiiight!!!!” Sam stated quite sarcastically.
“Well, you don’t have to believe it to make it real. However, the truth of the matter is, you were shot in the head. Your blood-bonded with the flower.” Michael confidently stated.
Looking back down at his crusty blood-soaked shirt, Sam pinched it and pulled it away from his chest just a bit. It was slightly crunchy and didn’t snap back the way a fresh, clean one would. He let out a small sound of wonderment.
“Hmph. So, if I got shot, why am I still here having this conversation? And why don’t I remember it?”
“The flower resurrected you. It is called an ascension. As for why you don’t remember, not sure on that one,” Michael scratched the stubble on his face.
“The flower is like a free life in one of your video games. Every time you die, it will bring you back to life. When it does, you come back twice what you could have been before.”
“You mean what I was?” interjected Sam.
“No. I quite literally mean what you could have been. Each one of you clever little monkeys is uniquely different. Even when there are over seven billion of you on this rock, you are all slightly set apart from one another. However, you all have similar traits in common. You can only run so fast, lift so much, smell things that are a certain distance away,” explained Michael.
“So, you mean physical limitations?” Sam chimed in.
“It’s more than that. You are only capable of becoming so smart or having a finite understanding of any given situation. Your mental and even your emotional state is limited by the human condition. However, when the flower brings you back, it allows you to max out that human state of being, and then double it.”
“You are saying I am twice as fast and twice as smart as I was yesterday?”
“No. I am saying you are twice as fast as the fastest human being ever to walk this planet. You are twice as smart as the smartest human that has ever lived,” emphasized Michael.
“Uhhhhhhh…I don’t feel smarter, or faster…I still feel the same….”
Sam suddenly began to experience an “AH-HA” moment. He thought about what happened a few moments ago when he slammed Michael into the wall, and earlier when he destroyed the bathroom sink. He looked down at his hands. They had completely healed after having been ripped open only a few minutes ago by the shattered porcelain. Michael’s words carried an immense amount of logic suddenly. Michael could see it dawning on Sam’s face. The truth was hitting him like a ton of bricks.
“Freaky, isn’t it?” said Michael. “Currently, it’s all new to you, so it won’t work unless you make it work. At first, you won’t just walk around having epiphanies with your coffee in the morning. It will take a bit of time before you can use all your power without thinking about it. But a few things will come naturally as they did earlier when you tried to knock my head off.”
“Sorry about that. You caught me off guard,” apologized Sam.
“You should have seen what Ismael did the first time he got angry. It was pretty impressive for a monkey.”
“So basically, what you’re saying is I just became fucking AWESOME!!!!”
“Yes…sort of. But there is a lot more to it than that,” Michael stated.
“How many languages can I speak?” Sam interrupted again.
“I don’t know. How many could you speak yesterday?”
“Then that’s how many you can speak today,” answered Michael.
A puzzled look streaked across the face of the new genius, “Wait, what? I thought I was all super smart now. I don’t get it.”
“It doesn’t work like that Sam. Your brain is not the freaking Library of Congress all of a sudden. There is a difference between learned knowledge and reasoned knowledge. There is also common sense or experienced knowledge. A human brain is a problem-solving tool. When it comes to figuring things out, you will excel without any effort. However, things like statistics, pointless facts, languages and anything else that involves learning or memorizing, you have to learn it. Your intelligence is not measured by what you currently know, but by what you are capable of figuring out.” Michael explained.
“All that having been said, you could learn ten languages today if you had a chance to study them. Physical actions will come easily to you at this stage in your ascension. Your body can do amazing things because it already did them before, just not at the level you are currently at. As time goes on, you will begin to notice dramatic changes in your mind and body. It just takes time.”
“Well, that’s cool and kinda crappy at the same time. I am super smart and don’t know a damn thing. Go fucking figure,” Sam complained.
“Not true. There are things you are highly knowledgeable at right now. Math will be very easy for you. You will not need to study or learn this. It will come naturally. Math is the common language of the universe. It’s hardwired into your brain from birth. One plus one equals two no matter where you are.”
“Great!!! Now I can go back to school and get that degree I have wanted for so long,” said Sam.
Michael could cut Sam’s sarcasm with a chainsaw. It was very apparent that he was not at all impressed with the new strengths that he had acquired. All the better Michael thought. Anything to keep him from losing it like he did the night before. Michael was not joking when he said that Ismael’s first angry spat was impressive, but it paled in comparison to the rampage that Sam went on. He was only on the first petal, and he had no clue what would happen next time. Michael was faced with a very serious issue. He needed to figure things out before Sam could spread his wings again. It was clear that this young man had some serious hidden anger issues buried deep inside.
Ismael didn’t mention anything like this to him beforehand. However, he knew that everything Ismael did had a spider web of reasons behind it. He just hoped he could get it all figured out before Sam encountered any repercussions from last night. Michael knew that if he freaked out again, it would end poorly.
Now was not the right time to fill Sam in on absolutely everything there was to know. He was a bit too snarky at the moment and needed some time to get a grip on some of his new abilities. Besides, it was not his job to protect Sam from anyone or vice versa. He was simply there to record and guide. The only reason he was telling Sam what he had was because Ismael told him to. He would rather be at the bar. In fact, there was a bottle of bourbon calling his name right now.
Michael could only handle so much of someone being more sarcastic than him, “Sam, let’s stop for the day. I need a drink.”
“An angel that drinks. Now I know I am dreaming. Fine. I am going to enjoy the rest of this dream. How do we get down?”
“Take the stairs,” Michael said as he began to float away.
“Take the stairs he says, this dream is fucking stupid.”