With a rock for a pillow, Jacob took up rest on the ground, studying the night sky above him. Oh, the stars! How brightly they shone. How magnificent heaven must be for it to illuminate even its borders with such beauty. Jacob didn’t think he would ever tire of gazing up there, searching for the shining streak that revealed the journeying of an angel, even though he knew it would not happen. He had seen it once, long ago, so he was certain that it wasn’t for a man to see such wonder twice in one lifetime.
Though he wanted to remain awake, to hold on to possibility, Jacob’s eyelids bested him. As the world around him grew darker, he became warmer. Then warmer still, as though he were sitting by a fire at the peak of its intensity. The heat thickened the damp night air, making every breath he took feel like breathing underwater.
For a terrifying moment, Jacob thought he would drown. He was blinded, unable to move, prone and vulnerable on the ground with nothing but his cloak to shield him from these unnatural elements. Panic was seizing control of his heart but then something changed.
One of the stars he had so admired earlier began to shine brighter. It glowed with a strange light and Jacob understood that this was where the heat was emanating from. Pulsing like the beating of a heart, the star doubled in size, then doubled again and again. Its shape changed from a glimmering orb to something with a tail.
At first, Jacob thought he’d caught witness to another angel traversing the sky and joy swelled in his heart, but then he realised something was different. Instead of trailing behind the ball of white fire the tail was stretching towards the earth. In a rush of speed, he could barely comprehend the shaft of light raced down and, with an almighty quake, it struck the ground.
Arms shielding his face, Jacob cried out. He did not venture to look, for the celestial were not meant for the eyes of men. He held his breath and waited to receive a command, or for the being to smite him where he lay for presuming to search the skies for its kind. But neither command nor death was forthcoming so, in a fit of curiosity, Jacob uncovered his face.
What he saw he knew no other man would believe. It was difficult for even him to believe, he dared not trust his own eyes. For, there in front of him where the star had touched the earth was the beginnings of a stairway. Wide and bright and reaching into the sky and out of sight, illuminated not just from within but by the droves of bodies upon it.
The whit- robed beings were not just descending, they were also ascending. They must have been on earth, all around him, though they could not be seen. Regardless of whether they were coming or going, for the angels did neither with haste. They paused on the steps, some conversing, some embracing.
Jacob sat up, rubbed his eyes and shook his head but when he looked again the odd spectacle remained. Shock loosened his jaw and his mouth gaped wide. Some of the angels at the bottom of the steps were doing more than embracing.
Kissing, caressing, fondling, they seemed oblivious to their companions on the stairs. Jacob felt a stirring, then shame. He should not be seeing this, they should be ending him for this blasphemy. They would if they knew he was here. How did they not know?
The angel on the bottom step turned its head and looked right at him. He stared into that soft jawed yet masculine face, met a glowing gaze with his astonished one. His heart ached to bursting when he was granted a white-toothed, somewhat amused smile. Then the angel knelt before the one he had embraced.
Jacob watched the parting of a white robe, the appearance of a long, slender appendage. He covered his mouth with his hand as the angel on his knees leant forward and kissed the member’s tip. Pink tongue tracing the ridge, the angel fluttered his wings, moved closer, then parted his lips, slowly sheathing the rod with his mouth.
Such an act! Was it natural? Was this how angels greeted one another? Jacob shifted to his knees, desperate for relief from the pressure at the top of his thighs. He almost cried out when the giving angel wrapped his hands around the halo of the taker and pulled his face closer. They moved as one, hips thrusting towards head, fingers clinging to halo, to open robes.
Other angels stopped to watch. They drew closer to one another, began touching one another, lifting or shedding robes, joining mouth to mouth, knee to knee, back to chest. Jacob moaned as breasts became visible moments before mouths engulfed them, he bit his knuckles as he witnessed penises penetrating vaginas, fingers probing anuses.
His hand moved from his thigh to his robe. It had already parted at the knee, so it was no effort at all to slip it beneath the rough fabric. Jacob found himself hard and aching. Would they destroy him if they caught him stroking himself? In that moment he was not certain that he cared.
Eyes on the angel with sucked in cheeks and a glistening rod in his mouth, Jacob shook his wrist. The angels’ light brightened, grew warmer, started to vibrate. The stairs quickly became as bright as the sun, exposing every act of celestial coupling, of Jacob’s lone ministrations at their feet.
A song rose within the vibration, a chorus of angels. It grew louder, sweeter, harsher, ever more painful to the mortal’s ears. At its crescendo, Jacob toppled forward and sobbed as his seed poured onto the earth.
With a cry, Jacob sat up, staring like a wild thing into the darkness that surrounded him. Looking down at his soiled robes, he snatched up his cloak and draped it about himself.
“I had a dream,” he said to no-one.
It was a tale he would tell in time. A tale which would endure. All it needed was a little reworking.