“Opie!” I shouted to my son as he was supposed to be already dressed and packed for school. Our home in Milton was usually filled with angels, demons, gods, and other Otherworldly beings that Opie often would be distracted just enough not for him to still be in his pajamas when it was ten minutes before the start of class.
But this morning, it seemed, there weren’t the usual characters hanging around.
“Opie! Where are you?”
“I’m listening to my school’s podcast! It might be a snow day!”
“Snow day?” I said as I looked out the window. “It’s barely covered the ground. Now get…”
“Yay!” Opie and his pet demon Dachshund Strahinja cheered as they tumbled down the stairs, “It’s a snow day!”
“It cannot possibly be a snow day,” I said as I used my smart phone to look at any alerts before I frowned and sighed. “It’s a snow day.”
“Whoopie!” cheered Strahinja, “Now I get to spend a whole day with Opie!”
“Ugh, don’t use the word ‘whoopie’ any time soon,” I said, “I just finished auditing a god whose powers were taken away from him.”
“Is that the rubber chicken god that made people pass wind in public?”
“He made a real stink in Heaven,” Opie said flatly, “Those poor kids on live television and everything…”
“Love and Truth did not approve, especially after all those tears,” I said before changing the subject, “Well, if it a snow day, then you two can spend the say drinking hot cocoa and some reading…”
“Aww, come on, Mommy,” said Opie as he made a face, “It’s snowing! I want to go out and play! I want to build a snowman and have snowball fights!”
“Me, too!” said Strahinja.
“Opie, there is hardly enough snow on the ground for that…”
“Poli-ahu can make it snow harder if I ask really nicely.”
“Opie, don’t bother gods, and don’t ask them for favours because then they will expect the kid glove treatment from me…”
Suddenly, the few flakes of snow turned into a heavy downfall.
“Thank You, Poli-ahu!” Opie shouted as Strahinja danced around him barking.
I groaned, but just then, none other than Poli-ahu showed up on front of me.
“Thank goodness, you’re here, Motherlight,” Poli-ahu said warmly, “I have a problem I need you to resolve.”
“Who else? I don’t want my people of Hawaii to suffer.” She smiled at Opie, “While your mommy is away, you and your little friend can run outside in the snow to play.”
I nodded, “All right, I heard rumblings about Pele recently, and, as usual, Pele always ignores those warning letters. Let’s go. Opie, you and Strahinja stay in the backyard: no dangerous stunts, no going away from the house, and if any gods or demons bother you, you stand your ground.”
“Sure, Mommy,” he said brightly as he hopped up to give me a kiss, “I promise.”
“I promise, too!” said Strahinja.
“All right then,” I said as I grabbed my briefcase, “Show me the way, Poli-ahu.”
“Well,” said Strahinja, “Let’s see: we have already had a snowball fight…”
“Which ended really fast because you ate all of my snowballs.”
“I was quite thirsty.”
“And then we built a snow fort, which you ate.”
“It looked delicious.”
“Then we went tobogganing down the hill, and then you ate both the hill and my toboggan!”
“I hope your mother doesn’t mind the big hole in the backyard now.”
“And then we made a snowman, which you ate, too!”
“That hill and toboggan made me thirsty again.”
“Want to catch snowflakes with your tongue?”
“No, thank you, I couldn’t eat or drink another flake.”
“Well, then, what? We can’t let this great snow go to waste!” Opie thought for a second. “Hey, I know! We can make snow angels!”
“Do we need a special kit or permission from Murphy?”
“Nah! You lie on the ground and move your arms and legs in the snow, just like this!”
Opie lay on his back and made a snow angel, carefully getting up to show his handiwork. “Ta da!”
“The angel is very flat.”
“It’s not supposed to be sculpture. Now you try.”
“I doubt my doggie form will produce something quite as elegant as an angel. Perhaps a snow demon.”
“Why don’t you try it?”
“Okay,” Strahinja got on his back and flailed his arms and legs, “Stupid dog form, it’s no good.” He hopped up, looked at his snow angel, and frowned. “It looks like an angel that got run over by a tank.”
“Is that even possible?”
“I’m not sure. Theoretically, at least, it is possible to imagine.”
“It is when you’ve been turned into a human!” shouted a voice that made both Opie and Strahinja turn to see who it was.
It was the angel Amitiel along with a distressed-looking Amriel in human form.
Amitiel pouted teary-eyed as Strahinja whistled. “What happened to you, Ami?”
“I could ask the same of you, Strahinja. I thought you were a demon.”
“I am a family pet. It is a lucrative career choice. Why on earth are you two humans now? Have you flipped your lids? Who wants to be a human? They are rather disgusting creatures…”
“Hey, I’m human!” shouted Opie.
“No, you are an Otherworldly boy. You are, as the comic books would say, super-human.”
“Super-humans are great, oddly enough. I suppose regular humans may not be human enough to avoid being revolting.”
“Anyway,” said Opie to Ami, “What happened to you and Riri?”
“We have no idea,” said Amriel, “One second we’re angels getting ready for choir practice in Heaven; and the next, we’re humans on earth.”
“We tried to fly over, but we don’t have wings,” sighed Ami. `
“There aren’t too many people on Earth who could help us. Luckily, we landed in Etobicoke, and we hitched a ride here to Milton.”
Strahinja gasped. “You two hitched a ride. Even I never did that, though now I must because you two did it; so it must be okay.”
“It was dangerous!” said Opie.
“To whom?” asked Strahinja. “Not to me because I am a reformed demon and I can bite any human on the backside very hard.”
“Mommy said it’s dangerous; so, no one do it.”
“Well, she may ground us, which isn’t dangerous, but it is very inconvenient. The last time she did that, I missed the Serbian food festival in Mississauga, and I was aside myself with misery because I couldn’t taste all the great food or dance the kolo.”
“I never knew you were Serbian,” said Riri.
“I was from Pančevo back in the day, though my mother was Bulgarian and my father was a Serb. I mean, my name is very old-school Serbian, and I when I was kicked back to Earth the first time, I accidentally ended up a mule there, but still, I always think of myself as Strahinja.”
“Can we get back to the problem?” asked Opie.
Strahinja pouted, “Phooey, I never get to talk about my colourful history, and now that I do, it has to be cut short on the account of angels becoming gross humans.”
Ami sighed. “We didn’t even get to jam with the other angels when this happened. We lost our powers, and we were hoping Motherlight could help us straighten this frightful mess.”
“Too bad this didn’t happen during the Serbian food festival,” said Riri, “At least we could have sampled some fine Serbian cuisine and danced the kolo as we figured this mess out.”
Opie frowned. “Mommy is with Poli-ahu in Hawaii right now, but Strahinja and I can figure this out. It’s a snow day; so I don’t have to worry about missing school.”
“You think you can?” asked a hopeful Riri.
“You bet! We got all this snow because I asked Poli-ahu very nicely. Come inside for some hot cocoa with marshmallows and we’ll get you both back to heaven.”
Strahinja and Opie watched as Ami and Riri giggled at marshmallows after they oohed and awed over the murals Opie and Cinnamon painted together. They squeezed them with awe and wonder, and even stuffed as many as they could in their mouths.
“We should do that more often,” sighed Strahinja.
“We should help our friends first,” said Opie as he turned to the former angels. “Okay, why don’t you two tell me exactly what happened before you became human?”
Ami swallowed the mouthful of marshmallows and then nodded. “Well, Riri and I were talking about how we always wanted to hear a story from Belle Eve because Mick gets to hear them all because they're besties.”
“Belle Eve is the original Eve from Eden,” said Riri, “She took off when she saw Adam, and then the understudy took over and Lulu had a meltdown. And Mick is the archangel Michael…”
Strahinja looked indignant. “Do we look like amateurs to you? Of course we know who Belle Eve is – that groovy war detective.”
Ami continued. “Anyway, we were chatting about how it was a pity that Adam wasn’t replaced so that Evie could stay because she really good at telling stories, and then, suddenly, just as we were about to start singing, we somehow ended up in Etobicoke at the racetrack...”
“And we almost got run over by the horses.”
Opie’s eyes widened. “You two landed on the racetrack in Etobicoke?”
“That’s just weird,” said Strahinja.
“At first, we were terrified because we saw four horses, and we were certain that the Apocalypse was upon us, but then we jumped out of the way and saw all the people in the bleachers, and we figured out the rest.”
“Hmmm,” said Opie, “This is a tough case, but maybe we should talk to Belle Eve since it was talking about her that came before the trouble.”
“Can you get in touch with her?” asked Riri?
“If I ask, she’ll come.”
“I always wanted to meet Belle Eve,” blushed Strahinja, “She is so dreamy.”
“Well, now’s your chance,” said Opie.
Ami and Riri gasped when none other than the original Eve from Eden waltzed through the front door. “Hello there, Peaches!” she said to Opie who ran to her with open arms for hugs and kisses.
“Evie! You came!”
“Of course, sweetie, you said it was an emergency. What’s the emergency?”
“Ami and Riri were turned to humans and they can’t get back home, and it happened right after they were talking about how you tell great stories.”
Belle Eve gasped before looking vexed and placing her hand on her hip. “Well, that’s not groovy.”
“No, it certainly isn’t,” said Riri.
“We want to be angels and come home to sing and hear stories,” cried Ami, “It’s not fair.”
“They didn’t wish to become humans,” said Strahinja, “And they didn’t do anything naughty.”
“You didn’t have this little chat before choir practice, did you?” asked Belle Eve.
“Was that wrong?” asked Riri.
“Not wrong, but you wished to see me when all the angels congregate at the centre of Heaven.”
“Yes?” asked Ami.
“That whole area looks like an infinity sign, and you two must have been in the very centre.”
“So?” asked Strahinja.
“That’s the place where I was just before I was supposed to make my grand debut before going back to Eden to live, but when I saw Adam, I just knew he was trouble, and I got out through the Loopholes.”
“The Loopholes?” everyone asked in unison.
“Yes, one of the Loopholes takes you to Eden from Heaven, and the other one takes you to Earth from Heaven. I went back to Eden to grab my kitbag, and then went back to Heaven to get out to Earth.”
“But how does that explain how we ended up as humans?” asked Riri.
“Easy, you wished to see me, and you were at the place where one strong wish pushes you from the centre into the Loophole for Earth.”
“And we landed close enough to Milton to find the Goditor to find you!” said Riri.
“Cool,” said Ami.
“But how do they get back?” asked Opie.
“Well Peaches,” said Belle Eve, “I better tell them a few stories so they are happy enough with their wish coming true so they can flutter back through the Loophole. Usually, angels can come to Earth in their regular form, but that’s another channel. The Loopholes are the places that do more than just transport you from one realm to another – they do it in a way that you wish to happen.”
“I get it,” said Opie, “They wanted to be just like you when they heard the stories.”
Belle Eve nodded. “They didn’t want to offend the Big Guy hearing my stories; so they won’t hear them as angels, but as people. Their hearts want to experience what I experience.”
“That’s very weird, but so very touching,” cried Strahinja who suddenly took on a human form, “I want to experience your stories in gross human form, too!”
Belle Eve clapped her hands together, “Okay, sweeties, who wants to hear a story?”
“I do!” everyone cheered as they sat on the floor all around Belle Eve who began to tell stories of why people wage war – and how good hearts could turn over the rules to end those needless wars with love, bravery, equality, transformation, and the truth.
When I came back from giving a stern warning to Pele, I was surprised to see several empty bags of marshmallows strewn all around the living room while Opie and Strahinja were lying on the sofa.
“I leave you unattended for a couple of hours and you two gorged on sugar?”
“Not us,” said Strahinja, "Amitiel and Amriel crashed our pad in human form and ate all of our marshmallows at once.”
“Why did they come here?”
“Because they wished to hear Belle Eve tell them stories and then they fell to Earth at the racetrack in Etobicoke, and then hitched a ride to our house,” said Opie.
“They hitchhiked here?”
“I told them it was dangerous, Mommy.”
“So Belle Eve came?”
“Yeah,” said a dreamy Strahinja. “She is a total hip and happening babe. She told lots of great stories, and then they were so happy, they managed to turn back into angels and return to Heaven.”
“And that’s it?”
Strahinja furrowed his brow. “What sort of adventures are a small boy and a pet dog expected to have? Especially on a snow day? Fighting demons for the survival of the universe? Without parental supervision? What kind of a sick idea is that?”
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. “I am making dinner and forgetting you just said what you said.”
“Good, because I have no idea what I just said,” replied Strahinja as Opie giggled.
I smiled that all was well in my world as I walked to the kitchen with my two favourite helpers running behind me as we lived as a family with a single heart and infinite adventures to guide us.
From the Case Files of the Goditor:
Mr. Whoopsie Whoopie
Deity Name: Mr. Whoopsie Whoopie.
Status: Removed from Deific Power, though he expressed his displeasure by causing one more epic spree of flatulence at a destination wedding.
Origin: Came to be a deity after the little boy whose toy he was began first seeing him as an amulet of good fortune, then a god.
Initial Cause for Audit: Mr. Whoopsie Whoopie was a rubber chicken with a “whoopie cushion” stapled to it and then given as a novelty “toy” to one Ralph Fergus of Sandusky, Ohio by his novelty salesman father and frustrated inventor in the 1950s. While Mr. Whoopsie Whoopie never caught on with other children, Ralph used it repeatedly to humiliate his bullying classmates, and began to see it as a good luck charm. When an adult Ralph managed to disgrace a romantic rival at a county fair to win the love of his future bride Rebecca Foehrkolb, he began to believe Mr. Whoopie was a deity, and when he passed away, his wife buried her husband with his toy.
However, as soon as Mr. Whoopie became a deity free of his sole worshipper who was classified as JNE and sent to Hell for his repeated misuse of his toy, the deity immediately began to consolidate his power by encouraging people to pray for their enemies and rivals to have flatulent episodes during public events. When a Best Actress winner had such an incident on the prayers of her four rivals, the Goditor sent repeated warnings to Mr. Whoopie who replied with flatulence.
Facts of the Case: Mr. Whoopie began to lose all self-control and began to indiscriminately cause severe and prolonged flatulence to multiple innocents at graduation ceremonies, sermons, televised talent competitions, political protests, piano recitals, and presidential debates, causing anarchy in one nation where all the candidates had an attack at the same time. It was after this last event where the Goditor had taken her severest action.
Respondent’s Account: Mr. Whoopie replied with not only his own flatulence, but then caused great shame to an entire class of fifth graders who were chosen to perform a song in front of their country’s leader on live television. He offered no other explanation for his actions.
Results: Removed from both the deific power and his ability to cause flatulence during public events.