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The Angel Battalion

God lowered his head, painfully.

“Peter, shall we call it a day?”

“No, God, the souls from Kyiv Oblast haven’t stood before the Judgment yet.”

“Those from Bucha and Irpin? Take them all here. It’s simple here: everyone enters Paradise.”

“Without the Judgment?”

“Yes. Each and every one to Paradise.”

“Alright, but we have a problem: they don’t want to enter Paradise.”

“They don’t want to enter Paradise, do they? It has never happened since I created Earth. Call them out here.”

The souls entered. Worn-out souls with a grey undertone — the signs of a martyr’s death.

“So, you do not want to enter Paradise?” God frowned.

“Of course we do, dear God, we’d love to. But not now, later. You see, now they need us back there, on Earth. We must help them. There’s a war raging on our land, our beloved ones, our people are there. How can we enter Paradise and rejoice there, when the occupant is treading upon our land?”

“But I can’t raise you from the dead,” God shrugged his shoulders.

“And you don’t need to,” an angular 8-year-old girl stepped forward, “We’ll go as it is. I’m going to fly to Europe. I’ll be wandering around their cities and looking them straight into the eyes — to let them know that their gas bills are higher now for the sake of those like me. I’ll be cradling their children and singing a lullaby that my mother taught me, it’s about Ukraine, about peace, about good deeds. So that no one would ever have even the slightest doubt about the value of their help.”

“And I will go to the European politicians,” a young woman said, “I’ll be coming to them at night and telling them about the pain I was bearing. About the fear I was experiencing. How painful and fearful it was. And then the fear evaporated somewhere. And I spit that bastard of a man right into his face. He was driving his tank over my body. And I was so desperate to spit at him for the second time, but couldn’t — my soul was flying high into the skies. I’ll be telling them why their weaponry is important to us. For my own sake. For the sake of those like me.”

“And I will go to the European military authorities and tell them how I was driving to get some bread,” a man with greying temples said. “How a bullet ripped through my heart. Through my back. I will be calling upon their sense of honour and dignity, their humanness. I’ll bring back to their memory the laws of war. And I’ll show them what is going on in Ukraine now.”

“Me too, me too,” the voices rose up in chorus.

“We will all go. All of us. They need us there. Our loved ones. Our people. Our land. And after the Victory — take us anywhere you want, dear God. There’s Your will to everything.”

“Off you fly. Go and be the Angel Battalion of Europe.”

God waved his hand and turned away. St. Peter saw him wipe off a tear with His hand, a tear about to drop down his lash.

“You see now, Peter, why do they deserve to enter Paradise, go there without the Judgment?”

“I see, God. Because they arrived here as angels. The guardian angels of Ukraine.”

April 5 at 12:27 p.m.

Ukrainian Text by Svitlana Mryha, translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team — Apr 7, 2022

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