The silence was deafening.
People glanced at their phones and gazed at their fitbits. Eyes became glued to the stalled hands on clocks in the windows of jewellers. Feet stopped. Nobody moved.
Hundreds of shop goers breaths lay heavy in the still air.
Gloria stared at the people. Moving with silence, she arched her head over shoulders, and around arms. Despite the movement of time, every timepiece registered 10:17.
Gloria was careful not to disturb the unwound toys, for it seemed as if peoples mechanisms had wound down. Strange to think that it was the motion of the numbers and not the passage of time that dictated to the masses, their movements.
Nary a current of air wavered as Gloria wound her way through the frozen populace. Attempting to grasp the time, Gloria began to count in allotments of 10. It didn't matter the actual time, what her mind needed was an anchor of time passing for her mind to grip.
Spurred by a streak of mischievousness, Gloria whispered "Boo!" in an older persons ear. The only reaction was a sharp intake of breath.
A young woman stood immobile before a local jeweller staring at an exquisite clock. Gloria waved her hand between the woman and the glass. The woman delivered a sharp slap, grunting, "Don't". The eyes did not waver.
A tug on Gloria's shoulder drew her attention away from the surreal scene. Turning around she noticed a being, not quite human, yet somewhat related. It was tall, bright, humanoid and luminous. It was the brightest white, with purple streaks as its life fluid. For all intents and purposes, it was nude. The gender was impossible to tell. A relief considering its clothing.
It moved away from her, away from the people, motioning for her to come. Gloria followed. They gravitated towards a hazy spot in the centre of the mall. It was like reality was struggling to keep hold. Entering the energy field, the world fuzzed and warped. Solid boundaries and walls disappeared. Gloria stared through where her feet were and saw through the Earth to the other side of the globe.
Glancing at the being, she arched an eyebrow, a silent query passed from her mind. "Yes," whispered the answer into her mind, "This is real. In fact, it is reality."
With a sharp look, she glanced around at the area of the energy field containing the shopping centre. Gloria noticed peoples bodies becoming transparent. Strands of electrical fire moving through them. This time, she formulated the words in her mind, "What do you mean?"
The creature replied, gracing her with a gentle view, "The reality is everything is energy."
As she observed the bodies dissipated in totality. The only evidence of living beings in the area were now grey shells with sparks lighting them up. The highest level of activity was where their heads and torsos should be.
The shopping centre also faded from her vision. Walls and other solid inanimate objects sported a greyish-white outline. For those that were mechanical in nature, the movement of their energy left a mist in the energy.
Glancing at herself, to see her own energy moving, she noticed that she was a different colour from the others. Instead of grey, she had a deep, Egyptian blue, filling her energetic body. A colour synonymous with the pigments used in the pharaonic face masks seen in the museums. Instead of a gentle spark here and there, white lightning was flowing through her. It was as if it was the blood in her veins.
"Why am I different to their colour?" Gloria queried, raptured by the vision of her energetic self.
"Because you are of an evolved species. The next several levels up from the majority."
"People will be like this one day?"
"No. The beginning spiritual species was different. The species were very similar, to begin with, but the souls at the death went to different places. Where you spend the afterlife colours the energy field in the next one. It is difficult once a field has picked up a percentage of grey for any colour to become embedded."
Gloria scoped the being. "Why are you white, with purple?"
"I'm what you would call an angel. I have never been incarnate. I have never lived or died. In simplicity: I exist."
Gloria wandered from the Angel to investigate the person closest to her. Moving with caution, she pooled her finger into their energy field. All the light within them became magnetised, attracted to her finger. Withdrawing it, the person's energy field disappeared.
Gloria panicked. "What happened?"
"Your energy absorbed its energy. Without that, there was nothing to sustain its consciousness in reality."
"It ceased to exist. It is as if it never existed."
"It has to do with their numeric obsession. Their physical focus on the material does not allow for spiritual growth. Spiritual growth can only come from within. It destroys their inner spark. It is why, lifetime after lifetime, people become greyer."
Gloria pondered. "The obsession with numbers. It isn't natural. The world runs by them."
"Yes. The physical beings ruling the world, you would see them as Demons. They are fully black, with sparks of grey running through them. They receive the grey life force when a life no longer has white sparks running through them. The obsession with the material, with numbers, is deliberate. It is how they feed to stay alive."
"Ah. Where does that put me?" Gloria sought clarity, wondering about her blue and whiteness.
"A nutritious soul rather than the stale popcorn of the masses."
"Say what?" Gloria exclaimed.
"Why do you think the demonic Elite have targeted you their entire life? For not only do they seek to feed off of you, they fear you. When the purple flows through your energy, you will have achieved a part angelic state."
"You will not have the power to destroy them outright, but with the ability to put souls to peace, you will starve them."
A thought about the numbers bothered her. 10:17 kept flashing in her mind. "Those numbers, my birthday. Why?"
"Today is the day. Observe." The Angel delivered every answer with patience.
A single, solo filament of purple, stretched from an infinitesimal point above her head through her entire body.
The energy fields dissipated with a silent boom. Reality became physical. The clocks registered 10:18. People were moving again.
Gloria found herself standing on a piece of floor in the centre. There was unusual grey dust covering the surface. A drop of purple blood welled on the end of her finger. It was the finger she had used to dissipate the energy field.
With subtlety, she licked it, frightened of what people would say if they witnessed it. It tasted marvellous.
Looking to where the Angel should be standing, all she noticed was a ghost of an image waving a hand. Reality warped closed. It was as if the puncture had never existed.
Never The End