An Angel Named Zabar by Bob Miller is a series of ten (10) short stories about a guardian angel named Zabar. This is a spiritual, uplifting, rainy day or bedtime short story book. It's perfect for adults and adolescents alike.
It all started on Ghost Mountain located in the hill country of north Alabama. While it was about the nicest piece of land on Ghost Mountain, none of the locals would get within a mile of the place because they believed, and rightly so, that the place was haunted.
A sampling of A Deer Named Titan - Two men – one short, one burly – stood in the thicket and looked down at the deer. The shorter man had shot the animal and was now admiring its ten-point rack. It was a distraction he needed. The burly man, a bodyguard, made sure the deer was dead and then knelt down and began cutting the head off.
"Might as well gut it, too, Russell," Rudolph Scarpattie said. "I know the man who owns this land will appreciate it. Besides, you’ve already got blood all over your new shirt. A little more won’t hurt, will it?"
"You sure this fella's a meat eater?" Russell, the bodyguard, asked, slitting the animal down the middle. "It wouldn’t do to give a couple hundred pounds of venison to a vegetarian."
They both laughed.
"No, he won't eat the meat, but his dogs will."
Scarpattie picked up the head and began strapping it to the back of an all-terrain vehicle. He thought again about the boy he loved and the many beeping, humming machines that surrounded the boy's bed, keeping him alive. Should I really be here in the woods, Scarpattie asked himself, or by my grandson's side? He tied the last knot and patted the deer head. What good could he do sitting beside a dying child?
An echoing voice rang out from behind them: "What are you going to do with Titan’s head?"
The two men whirled around, Russell reflexively snatching a pistol from his pocket.
"Who are you?" the burly man demanded before he even saw the interloper.
The stranger stood tall and calm. Something about his features was unsettling; there was no alarm at having a gun pointed at him. He wore a light linen shirt and pants, and his sandaled, sockless feet showed well-manicured toenails.
"Who are you?" the bodyguard repeated, aiming his gun and stepping between the short man and the stranger. "Where'd you come from?"
But the stranger ignored him. "Scarpattie," he said to the shorter man, "I'll ask you again: what are you going to do with Titan’s head?"
Russell (bodyguard) demanded again, "I'm asking you for the—"
"Well, Earl, what do you think?" Sam said, taking in the beauty of the mountain.
Earl was a large, easygoing and uncommonly patient man. He studied Sam for a moment, then looked out at the mountain. "Looks like just another snow-capped hill to me, Sam."
Sam jammed his left foot into the stirrup and pulled himself atop the chestnut mare. He smiled at his brother and muttered under his breath, "Let’s go, horse. No need getting all misty-eyed over the wonder of nature with Mr. City Boy here.
"I’m getting long in the tooth," Earl shot back, "but the ears still work just fine. Be careful, you little runt, or I’ll pin those big ears of yours back."
It took effort, but Earl kept from laughing – at least for a moment. When the laughter did come, it was with the realization that despite his six-inch and 110-pound advantage on his brother, he would have little chance of "pinning his ears back." Fighting Sam was like trying to bathe a cat. Sam stood only five-foot-four, but he was all muscle, all heart. He was also all for talking problems out, but it was a grave error to curse him or to use God’s name in vain while discussing your differences with him.
"Gonna be dark in a shake," Earl said. "Think it’s smart to try and get any higher up this hill today?"
"For the record, Earl, land masses that ascend to ten thousand feet are seldom referred to as hills – and that’s the tenth time I have heard you call this mountain a hill."
They continued up the trail for another half hour before stopping. Sam spent some tense effort reining in his mare. Earl watched him win control of the horse, sighed with relief, and hopped off his own horse, anxious to make camp before night closed in. He had learned long ago not to depend on Sam for decisions on when to stop for the night. Sam was totally unconcerned about the creatures of the night.
"Go ahead and pitch the tent," Sam said. "I’ll take care of the horses. I’ll be within shouting distance if any lions or aliens attack.
With the tent up and the horses taken care of, the two men shared a simple meal of beef jerky and dried fruit.
Leaning back on a rock, Earl said, "You think Sis has the cotton planted by now?"
"If she’s gonna have a crop, she’d better. What makes you think of her, anyway? Getting a little homesick?"
"Sixteen years isn’t exactly going to the store for bread," Earl said. Sam didn’t answer that one, so Earl added, "We could at least write to let her know we’re still breathing."
"Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that, too. I guess it couldn’t hurt to.."
"To what?" Earl said.
"To try and get in touch when we get back to civilization."
The lodge was only a two hours away by horse, but for Sam, camping among the wildflowers and Pacific Silver and Noble firs was a full-blown Lewis and Clark expedition. He dozed off within minutes of climbing into his sleeping bag.
Earl admired his brother’s calmness. He lay frozen in his own bag, afraid to move lest he disturb the spiders in his own bag (he’d forgotten to check for creepy-crawlies before climbing in). He gazed out at the night with too-wide eyes, certain that the night shadows showed a silhouette of a large bear snooping around the campsite. The minutes crawled like hours, and sleep was out of the question even though he felt beyond tired. Relief washed over him when he finally heard Sam’s voice:
"Time to get up and go, Bro." He sounded well rested.
Pam held herself against the cold. The driving rain stung her face, and the wind knifed mercilessly through her cheap windbreaker. The sign to her left read "Tony’s Place." This dump – any dump – would do. She pushed open the door.
Inside, all six tables were full, four to a table. There was only one empty space at the bar. She paused to take in the lettering on the second "Tony’s Place" sign.
This one looked like a three-year-old’s first attempt at scrawling the alphabet. Over the bar was an odd inscription reading, Something for nothing is never worth what you pay for it.
Pam snorted. What was that supposed to mean? She no longer cared whether the light at the end of the tunnel was sunshine or a train.
At least the bar was clean. A stocky man under the something-for-nothing sign stood lazily toweling highball glasses. Tony the owner, she presumed. Ran a nice place. If only he would shell out for a proper sign...
She needed the restroom that was at the back of the bar. In her hurry to cross the floor, she bumped into a drunk who was weaving toward the front door.
The drunk lurched and grabbed for her, but caught only air. She laughed at his ineptness, watched him reach for her again, grab, lunge – and eventually stumble forward onto a table occupied by four ladies who would have been outside working the streets if not for the rain. The largest of the four ladies looked toward Tony, and Tony looked back and nodded, so the woman picked the drunk off the floor and tugged him outside.
Pam stopped short of entering the restroom, watched the hooker and the drunk through the bar’s long, low front window. The hooker shoved him faced-down between two illegally parked cars at the curb, the rain bouncing off his back.
"Way to go, Sally!" one of the girls said at the window, and Pam assumed Sally had placed him there so at least one of the cars would run over him.
Sally stepped back inside to a chorus of congratulations. Back at her table, she gulped a free beer that Tony had sent over, then wrapped an arm around the woman next to her – a woman sporting a garish orange hairdo – and gave her a long, searching kiss.
The excitement waned, but still Pam stopped short of entering the restroom. She spotted a good-looking guy sitting alone at the bar. With her luck, either the guy’s girlfriend was in the can or he was a fag.
Who could blame him if he was a fag? she thought, scanning the faces of the women present. Finally, she pushed open the restroom door.
Like the bar, the restroom was uncharacteristically clean for this part of town. "No graffiti," she mumbled to herself, sitting down, "no paper towels on the floor, not even any stains on the seat. Cleaner than home."
Re-entering the bar, she saw that the man from the bar was now sitting at a table. The three chairs around him were the only empty ones in the whole place.
Won’t get a better prospect than this, Pam told herself. Might as well see if he’s looking for a date.
The white Rolls pulled under the vine-covered archway and screeched its tires. A burly bodyguard climbed out of the passenger seat and opened the rear door. Mr. Molino stepped out, as did the driver, and the trio stalked toward the country club’s entrance.
An effeminate parking attendant sashayed out of the valet office and smiled widely. "Good morning, Mr. Molino. Two gentlemen are awaiting you in the restaurant."
"Thanks for the tip on Skylark in the sixth, Mr. Molino. No way was I gonna bet on that nag. And oh how I needed that money, honey!"
Molino stopped walking, as did the two bodyguards a half-step later. Molino stared at the valet for eternity before speaking through clenched teeth:
"Just make sure you don’t get any makeup on my upholstery."
He resumed walking, but this time only the driver accompanied him. Bodyguard Number Two stayed with the Eddie the valet to impress upon him the degree of acceptability of unsolicited horse-race comments.
This was the most exclusive club in the state of New York. Molino walked in still surprised that the valet had shown such glib disregard for his own safety. Employees here were ordered to comply with a half dozen house rules or be fired. Rules number 1 and 2 were the most important: never to speak to members unless spoken to, and never hear anything that members say. Rule Number 2 was, of course, the easier rule to bend, but Eddie had broken both rules in a big way.
Trueque scampered through waist-high saplings and underbrush. The first chill of winter air snapped at his heaving lungs. This was still the easiest way across the mountain. The path made by timber wagons bound for a mill that once stood at the foot of Ghost Mountain had all but disappeared.
Trueque paused to catch his breath, then resumed the sprint. Pounding the ground, he frightened two chipmunks that scampered under a log.Being late for a meeting with his uncle would not be acceptable.
His uncle – a man who had gotten into politics for what Trueque saw as all the wrong reasons – had become wealthy not by being patient or forgiving. He would see the tardiness as a serious character flaw in his thirteen-year-old nephew.
A sonorous voice from a nearby thicket startled Trueque: "Will the committee please come to order."
He stopped running, peered into the thicket.
"Who’s in there?" Trueque said with a trembling voice.
Whoever it was, he was asking for trouble. Trueque’s uncle did not take kindly to trespassers.
"Whoever you are," Trueque said, "you’re on private land."
The voice said something in response, but too softly to make out. Other voices also joined in, a hodge-podge of undecipherable sounds that sent a chill up Trueque’s spine.
He spun around, looked in every direction all at once, but saw only rugged mountain scenery. His mind flashed on hair-raising thoughts about the Indians who had been driven off this land by settlers.
Dead Indians? Haunting the land?
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Pride of Ownership
The Pride of Ownership floated effortlessly in the azure waters of the Gulf. Waiting for his client, Captain Kelly leaned on a dock stanchion and felt a swell of satisfaction as the thirty-nine-foot sport fishing boat bobbed against the pilings’ rubber bumpers. The Pride wasn’t a new boat, but it had been superbly maintained. While some boats bore pretentious, inappropriate titles, this one was aptly named.
Watching – admiring – the boat, Kelly couldn’t help but recall his years of confinement in the cab of an eighteen wheeler, sliding on rain-soaked roads in New Hampshire, burning his hands on sun-scorched metal while climbing out of the cab in the blazing Arizona heat.
Don’t miss that life, he told himself. Couldn’t get me back there for all the treasure in the Caribbean.
"Hey, Unc," someone said behind him.
He turned around and watched two men in their early thirties saunter toward the boat ramp-- nephew Dan and Dan’s friend. The way the pair walked, neither of them had a care in the world. Kelly didn’t want them on this private charter. With Dan, life was one big lie after another, coke dealing being his illicit pièce de résistance. Kelly had long known that Dan was using, so selling was the logical next step; but still, Dan was such a skilled liar that the ultimate realization was a surprise. As far as Kelly was concerned, Dan was the only major mistake his dead brother had ever made. He was letting him on the boat today only out of . . . well, out of what? A hazy sense of obligation toward his brother?
As for Dan’s friend – well, Kelly knew nothing about the guy.
At least today’s client was favorably disposed toward Dan’s presence. Kelly had asked the client if it would be all right if the pair came along, and client had said, "The more the merrier." Maybe the four of them would get through the day without incident.
Nearing the boat, Dan offered his hand. Kelly ignored the gesture, which didn’t seem to perturb his nephew.
"Uncle, this is my friend Richard. He’s the one who’s setting me up in business."
Dan dug a finger into his nose – right there in front of his friend and his uncle, a habit that made it damn near impossible to engage the guy in conversation.
Kelly studied Richard: beady eyes, silk shirt, 1940 vintage felt hat. Richard couldn’t have looked more like a Hollywood gangster if he were the reincarnation of Al Capone.
"You two know the rules," Kelly said. "No drugs, no vulgar language. The paying client is king here. You guys are along for the ride."
Dan took a long drag from his cigarette. Kelly noticed his fingers were nicotine stained. Dan started to say something, "Unc, I—"
But Kelly pivoted and stalked toward the parking lot. Walking, he heard Dan mutter, "That’s right, you old Irish fart, go suck up for your dinner."
Dan and Richard laughed, and the laughter dripped scorn.
No getting around it, Kelly told himself. Add one part jerk to one part cocaine and you get two parts obnoxious bravery. Dan was twenty years younger, and Kelly knew he could beat him senseless without expending much energy, but he had given up slamming fists into the faces of the Dans of the world at the same time that he gave up drinking. Which was also the same day that he had asked God to rid his wife of cancer.
That was fifteen years ago. Elisa had been cancer-free ever since.
The client was in the parking lot retrieving a windbreaker from the backseat of a rented Mustang. Kelly stepped over to meet him.
"You Mr. Zabar?" he said.
"That’s right. You must be Captain Kelly."
Optimistic to a Fault
"I'm not sure, Captain Edwards, but it looks to me like the right front tire blew and the driver couldn't hold her. That's how he ran off the road."
The young officer was nervous, hadn't been up close on many accident scenes.
"Yeah, that's how it looks to me," Captain Edwards said. "Too bad he couldn't have missed that pole. Christmas Eve is a rotten time for something like this. Take care of the body removal and clean up. I'll take care of notification."
Edwards didn't wait for a reply. Notification was the most unpleasant part of his job. High-speed chases, gun battles with desperate people, and countless highway fatalities had taken their toll on Edwards. He was adept at keeping his body hale and strong, but keeping his emotions in check was growing harder with each passing day. Lately he'd found himself merely putting in hours, counting the days until July seventeenth.
"Seven more months," he muttered aloud as he made his way back to his silver sedan, "and Jean and I are out of here." Seven months. Freedom. He stopped and checked the antennas before getting into the car. One more antenna would earn him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Desk sergeant Bill Tims smiled as Edwards walked into Post 337.
"Bad one, Cap?" Like he was talking about the weather. No disrespect, no empathy. Edwards saw that he was filling in dates on an arrest sheet. "How'd our greenhorn handle it?"
"Better than most," Edwards said. "Looks like a case of bad rubber. The scene's quite a mess."
"No shit," the sergeant said. "Kid really didn't lose his dinner?"
"At first he wasn't in much better shape than the driver. He shouldered it okay, though."
Tims had been on the force almost as long as Edwards, twenty-eight years. Both of them remembered their first bad accident scenes with disturbing clarity. A man could learn to handle himself when confronted by death, but getting used to death was another matter.
Ninety miles away, Betty Walker duck-waddled her way to the bathroom. Nine months pregnant and Christmas Day notwithstanding, she was ready for the hospital.
I'll have this baby tomorrow one way or another, she promised herself.
Telephones, like cats, seem to know when it's the worst time to come to life. No sooner was Betty seated on the commode than the phone rang. Abraham, honey, I love you; but you've got to work on your timing.
"Where’s a taxi when you need one? Any other time there’d be fifty of ’em lined up waiting for their next victim."
Dave Richardson was still complaining when a Yellow Cab turned the corner and came to a screeching stop in front of him.
Opening the door, he muttered to himself, "Dave, be glad it’s not raining. This guy would have just soaked you." Then he said to the driver, a guy in a turban, "Business Express Terminal at Midway." He flipped his cell phone open and punched the number to his office.
"Global Insurance, my name is Nan. How may I direct your call?"
"Nan, Dave here. Listen, get on the horn and let Carl know I’m in a cab headed for the airport. I’ll call him from Atlanta after the meeting."
"Okay," Nan said.
"Might as well get Bill on, too, make it a conference call. He’ll want the bottom line."
He hung up and pressed another stored number. When his wife answered, he said, "Caroline, just enough time to let you know I’m on my way to Atlanta. I’ll be there at least two days. You pick up that bounced check at the country club?"
"Yes. You remember what tomorrow is?"
"For Pete’s sake, Caroline, I’m trying to make a living here."
"I only asked—"
"You can always go eat with your sister and her brood. It’s just another day anyway. The whole thing is commercial crap dreamed up to keep turkey farmers and Hallmark Cards in business."
Again he hung up before a response could come. Closing the phone, he muttered, "Double whammy. Thanksgiving and a damn anniversary on the same day."
"What’s that?" the cab driver said, looking at him through the rearview mirror.
"I wasn’t talking to you," Dave said.
"Holidays," the driver said. "Yeah, holidays always make me think of something I once heard."
Great, Dave thought. Now the font of immigrant, lower-class wisdom will speak.
The cabbie said, "‘There are two great tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, and the other is getting what you want.’"
"Seems to me," Dave said, "if I were driving a hack for a living I’d want to watch the road and keep my brilliant opinions to myself."
"That’s how you would do it, sir?"
"Look, I don’t know how much you make driving this pumpkin, but I doubt you or any of your rag-head relatives pull in as much in a year as I’ll make on this one business deal tomorrow."
"Wow," the cabbie said, "that’s a lot. Didn’t mean to upset you. By ‘rag head’ I presume you mean a person from the Middle East?"
Today and Beyond
The setting was ideal for Henry Cartwright’s gatherings of powerbrokers. His guest, a man named Zabar, was different, but perfect for this meeting.
Chestnut Ridge, the name of the 200-acre estate, was located on the Tennessee River just east of Florence, Alabama, a small city tucked in the northwest corner of the state.
Cartwright sipped some juice, then opened the meeting. "The secrets of the rich and famous are not secrets. The question has never been, 'Could one become rich and famous?' The question is, 'Are you a wisher or a doer?'"
Cartwright paused to let the words bounce off the walls of the cavernous room. Then:
"I suspect that those who are afraid of and speak against accumulating wealth do so because they know better than anyone else what evil they would do if circumstances would permit. Or possibly they are just lazy and begrudge others who work, plan, and save.
"Voltaire wrote, 'Never having been able to succeed in the world, they took revenge by speaking ill of it.'
"Practices zealously pursued pass into habits. I say know thyself, and let there be no envy or ill will."
Since Zabar was the newcomer, everyone in the room was looking at him, halfway expecting this man, wearing a light linen shirt and pants, showing well-manicured toenails peeking out from well-worn sandals, to break the rules and interrupt the speaker. But Zabar said nothing and while the expression on his face was one of interest, he remained at peace.
Guardian Angels by Eleanor Goold
Guardian angels have long been watching over us. Since time began, and in every culture, angels have been with us in one form or another.
Representations of the angelic realms tend to come to us at times of personal, spiritual awakening. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that records of angelic interventions are found in almost all the systems of religious belief from Christianity and Judaism to Islam.
Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible contain plenty of angel stories.
In the Old Testament, it is in the Book of Daniel that we first learn of the angels Michael and Gabriel by name. Daniel survives the lion's den because angels shut the lions’ mouths. It is also here that we learn of the guardian angels of the nations.
Later in the New Testament, it is Gabriel who appears to Mary to tell her that she is pregnant with Jesus.
It is generally accepted that angels give us compassionate counsel throughout our times of need.
Even the most famous of fallen angels, Lucifer or "light giver" as he is known, is sometimes acknowledged as being sent by God to strengthen our spiritual resolve. Controversial as his presence is, he is the shadow that reveals the light.
Bob Miller first met his guardian angel at the age of eleven years old. He has since recorded his adventures with his guardian angel named Zabar, in his compilation of short stories.
Guardian angels are not only protectors but also our guides to greater awareness.
Bob Miller's gripping storylines pay testament to this.
An Angel Named Zabar shows us that guardian angels can appear in many forms and in all walks of life.
Zabar, as is the habit of guardian angels, turns up in the most unlikely of places where hope no longer appears to exist. Zabar generally appears as a peaceful sandal-wearing messenger and guardian, not quite real and not quite unreal. His presence is fluid throughout all the short stories in the book, even though all the stories are individual and stand alone.
These stories make inspirational reading for those of us searching for our angels, as they take us through various encounters with the angelic realms. From the introductory story about meeting Zabar, My Friend Zabar through to "Today and Beyond," which feels more like a homecoming, Bob Miller show us that guardian angels are with us everywhere, on whatever path we take, come sea or mountain, sidewalk or gutter.
Angels manifest in different ways for different people. For some, such as poets and writers, angels may manifest as a muse. For others, they can appear as a vision, a voice or a physical being.
Angels, it would seem, are adaptable in their approach.
This compilation of shorts differs from other books on the subject. Each storyline is different and takes place in different landscapes. From A Deer Named Titan and Windy Ridge, set in the country, to more urban tales such as Waterloo, each story demonstrates that you can meet your angels in the most unlikely of places. You can even meet your guardian angel at sea as in Pride of Ownership.
Weaving through the lives of ordinary and not so ordinary folk, it feels as if the angels themselves are speaking to us through this book of shorts.
Well-written family material for both adults and adolescents alike is contained in this collection of short stories from the angelic realms; Bob Miller appears to have earned his wings.
An Angel Named Zabar - A Spiritual Book
This is a delightful change of pace in the realm of spiritual books. It's gratifying, peaceful and a quick read. It's perfect for airport terminals or bedtime. Your presence here is very encouraging and no way could anyone convince me that it was just by chance. I'm asking you to join me on the Angel Express. The accommodations are first class and I guarantee you it will be an exciting journey. This book is just a sampling of countless events that are taking place at this very moment on Earth.
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In 1958 Bob Miller joined the U.S. Air Force and served in the Strategic Air Command in a crash rescue unit (SAC).
Ten years later he was in a U.S. Army uniform and served with the 192nd Assault Helicopter Company that supported the 3-506th Infantry (Airborne) serving in Vietnam (Phan Thiet / LZ Betty). Miller's aircraft was shot down twice and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 29 clusters.
He has written seven books and recorded two music CDs.