That morning, Richard had prepared a large breakfast of eggs, pancakes, bacon, cheese, bread, and milk. They stayed seated at the table until the last piece of food was eaten. Marc offered himself and Joel, to Meribah’s astonishment and pleasure, to do the dishes.
Meribah, Lily, and Petal went into the front yard. They planned to clean it up and see what else they might be able to do to help its appearances. Richard went around to the back to get a rake and wheelbarrow.
Lily looked around the yard and her eyes stopped on the unhealthy pine. She took the Father Tree Necklace from around her neck, and walked to the pine. She extended the necklace through the needleless limbs until it touched the tree’s trunk. The tree seemed to shiver, and the brown colour of the dead branches turned yellow and then green. Needles and cones grew in seconds, as the tree became more full. When Lily pulled the necklace away, the tree had grown a foot and had no resemblance to its meagre self only moments before.
Meribah and Petal clapped their hands. “Bravo! Now let me try,” said Meribah. She took her maple tool, and on each side of path she planted an apposing tree. She backed up and lifted Petal to her arms as the ground started to tremble beneath her feet. First two young saplings pushed out of the ground, then the saplings sprung straight up. They thickened and the bark turned a greyish brown. Branches and leaves grew on the thick poles. When the trees stopped growing, they had formed a beautiful arch over the path.
Joel and Marc came outside and saw what Lily and Meribah had achieved. Neither could believe that they were in the same yard. Marc walked over to the two maples, and started to climb one. “You did this Meribah?” He swung up onto a higher limb. “Not bad. I used to climb trees all the time back home.”
“You two really do have green thumbs.” Joel looked up at the pine tree. “Its too bad that…” his sword raised out of its scabbard and floated in front of his face. The tip of the blade pointed up at the sky. “…the grass…” The sword started to rotate until the handle now pointed at the sky and the tip to the ground. Joel took the handle in both hands. The sword plunged its entire shaft into the earth. The grass turned green and the debris disintegrated into the ground around the sword, and the green carpet grew from the sword and worked its way into the neighbours’ yards. “…isn’t green.”
Richard came back pushing his wheelbarrow with a rake sitting inside. “Holy fertilising faeces! What the hell happened? I’m living in the garden of Eden!”
“We’re not really sure how it happened,” said Meribah. “Or were not really sure how most of it happened.”
“Hey, Joel take that sword out of there,” officer Wall commanded as he walked into the yard, with officer Zanibi walking behind him. “I really wish you guys hadn’t done anything like this until you left the city. I’m going to have to take you in.”
“What for?” Richard asked.
“You of all people should know, Richard. I can’t believe a founder let this go on.” Zanibi tried to pull the sword from the ground but could not. “Okay Joel, take this sword out now.”
Joel smiled meekly, pulled the sword from the ground, and placed it back into his scabbard.
“Hey you, get down from the tree and join your friends,” Wall hollered, bringing his radio to his mouth. “This is Josh Wall, 58743, we need a wagon at Richard’s Open House. We’ve got some magic wielders. You’d better wake up the high judge.”
“I’m sorry Richard, but we have to take you too,” Zanibi said.
They sat in the court room with their public defendant. It was early evening. The judge had been late, and he was not in a good mood. After everyone was sworn in, the two officers read their accountings of the last two days from their note pads. The charges, as their defendant explained, were serious. They would probably be sentenced to two weeks hard labour.
“…bringing the total affected area to about three blocks,” finished Zanibi.
“Your witness,” smiled the prosecutor.
“Your honour, we have no questions.” The defence lawyer swallowed loudly. “And if I might make a suggestion, we can shorten these proceedings.”
“How so?” The judge raised his eyebrows.
“Your honour, my clients plead ignorance of the law and would like to throw themselves on the mercy of the court.” She stood and waited patiently for a response.
The judge picked up his glass of water and drank. “So say you all?”
After several seconds of silence, Meribah stood up and said, “Yes, your honour.”
“Then by the powers invested in me, by the city of New Earth, I hereby…” the judge looked over to the evidence table where Joel’s sword was floating with its tip to the ceiling.
The observers in the court room started murmuring, and a few yelled “Witches”, and still a few other left the court nervously.
“Order!” The judge swung his gavel. “Whose sword is that?”
Joel stood up. “Mine, your honour. Or at least, I have guardianship over it.”
“Can you please get it under control?” asked the judge.
“I wish I knew how, your honour. This is only the second time that it has occurred,” Joel explained nervously.
“Well go over to it, and take it in your hands,” ordered the judge.
“Yes, your honour.” As Joel walked over to the sword the tip rotated until it was pointing at the floor. Joel took a deep breath and grabbed its handle. Again the sword plunged, but this time into the floor of the courtroom. Joel struggled with it, trying to remove it from the hard wood floor.
“Bailiff,” the judge pointed to Joel, “Can you help the young man?”
The bailiff and Joel tugged at the sword.
The two large doors at the back of the courtroom swung open. Through them came a large Sorom with curly dark hair. His blue eyes examined the scene quickly.
The crowd grew excited again. “Order!” The judge slammed the gavel. “Sorom, identify yourself and explain.”
“Michael, Sword of God. I heard my sword call me this morning.” The bailiff and Joel both went back to their earlier positions. “I am outraged at what you’ve allowed this city to become. The sword has been trying to cure the land since its been here.” Michael walked to the sword, took it in his hand, and closed his eyes.
“Michael, you are interfering in the affairs of Dorom. You had best take your sword and leave.” The judge stood and pointed toward the doors.
Michael looked up at the judge, and pulled his sword from the floor. “What the Dorom in the leather has started cannot be undone. I have just now pushed it farther along. You will not make a total monstrosity of this part of heaven. And, as agreed upon with the founders of this city, Sorom can interfere in any injustice that we find.”
“That is only in extreme cases.” The judge leaned over his bench. “Where our rulings would unravel the thread of heaven.”
“That is exactly so.” Michael looked at Joel, who had the scabbard in his hands and was offering it to him. “Thank you, Joel. You’ve done a fine job.” Michael walked to the judge’s bench. “I will send these angels out of your city, so that they can continue with their quest. And what they started here, you will finish. You have one year’s time to clean this city. And Solomon,” Michael leaned over the bench, “let’s stop this talk about Dorom dying and being reborn in heaven.”
Meribah, Lily, Marc, Petal and Joel found themselves outside the city of New Earth. Behind them there was a green sign, similar to the one they had passed yesterday. All of their belongings, minus Joel’s sword, waited at their feet.
They decided to put some distance between them and the city before going to sleep. Everyone had returned to their young bodies, and Petal could talk once more, and she did talk. And Meribah, Lily, Marc, and Joel saw that this was not so good.