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  Mechanicus of Carbinius - Short Story


    Mechanicus looked down from his heavenly villa to the earth below. The world had evolved since he had last walked the stone roads of the Roman Empire in search of chariots in need of repair. In fact, Mechanicus had spent almost all his time in the Heavenly Kingdom learning of the inventions of the New World below. He had become especially enamored with the gas-powered vehicles that the populace used for transportation. His spirit would glow when he read of the speed that these vehicles could attain. Oh! And the designs of the various automobiles were enough to send his spirit gliding through space powered by sheer happiness. 

    Mechanicus remembered his excitement when Caesar commissioned a four-person chariot, but these automobiles made that pale in comparison. If only he could go to earth and look under the hoods of those magnificent machines or perhaps, just maybe, be allowed to get behind the wheel and drive one! He tried to imagine what it would be like to navigate one especially on the wonderfully smooth highways that crisscrossed the earth below.

    Mechanicus sensed that he was no longer alone in his imaginings. He felt another presence close by.

    "Mechanicus, I have extremely good news for you today!" exclaimed Michael the Archangel in a most dramatic fashion. Mechanicus turned to face the gregarious Archangel dressed in his most brilliant armor.

    "Greetings and salutations, Michael! Tell me of this news. It must indeed be good if the Supreme One has sent his highest officer to this humble Roman soldier!" Mechanicus replied.

    "You flatter me, Mechanicus," Michael said. "The Supreme One has sent me to tell you that the Christians on earth have declared you to be a saint!" 

    Mechanicus found himself speechless. He had been a simple Roman soldier assigned to repair Caesar's fleet of chariots and various vehicles of war. Why would the Christians want to declare him one of their revered saints? What made him different from all the other souls that walked the earth back in his time on earth?

    "Well," replied Michael to Mechanicus' unasked query, " It seems that while researching the life of another Roman, they discovered your act of courage that in fact ended your bodily life on earth! Have you already forgotten, dear Mechanicus?"

    "I repaired a broken wheel and axle on a cart for a man on the night that I died," replied Mechanicus. "It was a simple act that was misunderstood by my cohorts!"

    "By fixing his cart, you prevented his capture. You saved the life of a man who was to spread the Word throughout Greece!" Michael stated. 

    "So how does this change things for me here?" Mechanicus asked.

    "You have been named the patron saint of all things mechanical. The world is filled with many such things. You already know about them. From this day forward, you will intercept prayers from earth concerning such devices and machines. You will inspire people to find solutions that they can't find on their own. You will assist by inspiring them how to repair these things when they are at a loss," Michael instructed him. 

    Mechanicus was stunned. 

    "Will I be able to go to earth to assist?" he asked hopefully, thinking of the sleek vehicles that abounded there.

    "Well, my good friend, you will do whatever it takes and if that means going to earth, so be it!" Michael replied. "Now, St. Mechanicus, any other questions before I leave you?"

    Mechanicus was overwhelmed, but excited. 

    "How do I intercept prayers?" he asked.

    "Don't worry about that. It's all been arranged. As soon as I head back to the Supreme One, you'll see how it works!" Michael said and smiled. "I've got to get going. You'll do just fine with this!" Michael extended his great wings and was gone in an instant, leaving Mechanicus to think about all that had happened. His peaceful thinking was soon interrupted.

    "Jimbob, I just cain't fix this dang carburetor! God help me!"

    "Oh, god, please don't let this car be dead! I can't afford a new one!"

    "What do you mean the washer won't work?"

    Mechanicus was in his glory. The calls for help were coming in so fast that his mind was racing as fast as the Indy 500! Some of the prayers only required an idea whispered into the wind. The pleas that Mechanicus enjoyed the most were the ones involving racecars. He would stand unseen, supervising the work using a mental suggestion here or inspiration there. He was often an unseen passenger in many a race car in Monte Carlo, or the Glen or the Indy 500. Though he never did get to drive, he loved the sounds, sights and smells of the racing circuit. 

    Mechanicus was never bored with his new position whether it was helping someone get the toaster to work right or to rebuild an engine. In fact, Mechanicus finally understood why Heaven was referred to as Paradise, for truly, this simple soldier had finally found his!

Copyright ©2002 Mary Ellen