THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST

It is four a.m. in Manhattan and the city is still dark. Michael is walking North on Fifth Avenue. Michael loves to walk in Manhattan – especially when it is cold and dark. He begins at Washington Square and does not stop. He will walk past The Empire State Building, past Trump Tower until he reaches Central Park Zoo. Michael does not need to walk. Michael can Fly. You see, Michael is an angel. But not just any angel. Michael is an Arch Angel. But, still, Michael prefers to walk. Walking is one of the few human pleasures Michael is allowed.

Michael loves the zoo. He loves the zoo because of the animals it houses. Michael talks to animals. He epically likes talking with the penguins.

Today, Michael will not spend as much time talking to the animals as he usually does. Michael is on business. Michael is on God’s business.

As you recall, I introduced you to God in an earlier post. At that time, God was very unhappy with Donald Trump and intended to make some changes. God does not like sociopaths. God does not like narcissists. God does not like xenophobic sophomores who persecute the poor and minorities. So, as God’s emissary, God’s agent of change, Michael continues his walk. He walks north a short distance to Sixty Fifth Street, turns East and again North until he returns to Fifth Avenue. It is only a few more steps until he arrives at his destination. He stops directly across from the 41-story, “666 Fifth Avenue” tower – the high-rise office building owned by the Kushner family.

Michael does not cross the street because, standing at the entrance, are two dark figures. One, tall, thin and young. The other is older, having a scruffy, unkempt, appearance. Michael knows both men. The younger is Jared Kushner. The older is the man you and I know to be Steven Bannon.

Michael, like all angels, has acutely sensitive hearing. He can hear the intense conversation whispered between the two men. Kushner is confiding to Bannon that his family is about to default on their half the $1.2 billion owed to their partner – Steve Roth’s Vornado Realty Trust. The property has suffered losses for years and the leases are no longer profitable. But, because he has supposedly divested himself of the property, Jared Kushner is powerless to become involved.

“Nothing to worry about” whispered Bannon. “We’ll simply let Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin in on your little secret. His nose is so far up @POTUS’ butt that he can blow it and the entire outstanding balance will fly right out the Treasury vault into Steve Roth’s pocket. Problem solved!”

At that moment, a disgusting object resembling a huge, black snake slithered from beneath Bannon’s pant leg. Instantly, Michael now knew, what he was dealing with. The thing was not a snake. It was the foul tail of a demonic fiend. On seeing this evil visage, Michael started with abject revulsion. His astonished reaction caught Bannon’s eye. Reaching behind his coat to pull the pointed, leathery appendage out of sight, Bannon flashed a sly, evil grin at Michael, flipped him off, turned and melted into the Fifth Avenue crowd.

Michael knows Steve Bannon by another name. Mephistopheles is Lucifer’s liaison with mankind. It is this very serpent with whom Eve bargained away mans hallowed estate. The same demon to whom the scholarly wizard, Dr. Faustus traded his soul to acquire all earthly and heavenly knowledge. Steve Bannon is the business of Michael, whom God has commissioned to confine back into hell.

Jered Kushner, standing at the entry of 666 Fifth Avenue, appeared somewhat perplexed at Bannon’s disappearance. So, Michael crossed the street and placing himself directly in Jered Kushner face snarled “You know he’s telling you to commit treason.” Kushner, unimpressed that his conversation had been overheard by a stranger shrugged. “So? It’s like Ayn Rand told Alan Greenspan: If you’re rich you deserve to be rich. If you’re poor, you deserve to be even poorer. I’m rich so regardless of where the money comes from, it was always mine anyway.”

“So then, if you get caught, you have no objection to taking a swim up the river?”

Kushner hardly able to hold back his laughter chortled: “Hah! In the unlikely event that happens, I’m only one pardon away from freedom. You know who I’m married to, of course?”

Michael, dejectedly heading off in the same direction as Bannon, knew, deep in the inner depths of his angelic soul, that God was laughing at him. God can be cruel.

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