Feathers

✧ In the House of Cosmos, the Cherubim - one of the High Orders of Angels in the heavenly hierarchy - are training newborn Angels to take over the posts that were left open when God threw the traitors from Heaven. But can the eternally adolescent divines ever live up to the great expectations? Will any of them be suited to fill out the posts of the High Orders, or will the Cherubim have to throw them all down to earth as Guardians? And what happens if one of them is playing with the same thoughts that once led Lucifer to his rebellion? ✧

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3. Shekinah


"Fellow divines, I know you're all as excited for today's lecture as I am, but please simmer down" Shekinah said, her voice booming from the end of the classroom and all the way to the back, causing the hundred angels to still and silence. Evangeline watched her with awe. Shekinah never seized to impress her. She was one of the Cherubim, the second highest position in the Divine Hierarchy only given to the most erudite angels of Heaven.

"She's incredible!" she whispered to Charmaine who sat by the golden desk to her right. Charmaine nodded, but didn't seem to share her enthusiasm. Evangeline shot a glance to her left where Leilah was sitting, but judging by her indifferent facial expression, Evangeline decided that it was still too early to expect agreement from her. 

"Today I will teach you about names in angelic and human culture" Shekinah continued. Evangeline could hear Gabriel grunt lazily behind her, but she knew it was all just an act. Gabriel was probably just as excited as she was. 

"Iofiel, please stand up" Shekinah ordered, and a pretty redhead a few rows in front of Evangeline stood up.

"Do you know what your name means?" Shekinah asked the girl.

"Yes, I do" Iofiel replied happily. "My name means beauty of God"

"Correct. Urim, what about yours?"

A feeble-looking blond boy stood and answered. "Urim means illumination, I think"

Shekinah nodded in approvement. She kept on asking angels about the meaning of their names. Most knew the answer, but some didn't. Evangeline felt herself sink lower in her chair. She new what her name meant and it had only caused her worries. 

"Evangeline" Shekinah said expectably. 

"It means good little angel" she replied. Good. Little. Words that dreaded Evangeline. Not their literal meaning, but the condescension that came along with it when spoken by her teachers. She was often told that she needed to be stronger. Tougher. That she needed to be more than just a "divine child". Their words hurt Evangeline, because though she was amongst the most obedient of angels, she had not been granted strength.

"Do you know why I ask you about this?" Shekinah asked the crowd. Silence. "I do because your names tell a story. They hold part of your identity. When you were granted divinity, God himself decided your names. He knows you better than you do yourself, and in your names, in that gift, you can discover the truths about yourselves if you must. But it's different in human culture. When a human child is born, his or her parents choose the name freely..."

Shekinah kept lecturing about names and Evangeline took notes, hoping to forget the puniness that came along with her name among them.

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