He traced the shape of her face with his finger, smiling ever so slightly. The picture was creased and worn in the folds, and smudges of his fingerprints marred its lacquered surface. But it was all he had left of her, his little angel.
He sighed and refolded the photograph, causing a feather to fall from his wings. He didn't bother to pick it up as he slipped it into his jeans pocket. Contrary to what people thought, you didn't automatically get decked out with long white robes and a golden sash when you opened the Pearly Gates. More often than not, you came wearing what you died in. In his case, it was his oil-stained green t-shirt and beat up jeans. It contrasted with the perfection of his new wings, but everything looked all right here.
He looked around him, eyes tinged with unhappiness. It was beautiful, of course. Soft pearly clouds cushioned the ground, and the weather was, as usual, sunny and cool with a gentle floral-scented breeze. Spirits floated around, laughing and smiling, their voices muffled by the clouds as they held hands and laughed together, looking at each other lovingly. He turned his back on an old man and a little girl, drifting away sullenly.
He had come about eight years ago, when she was seven. He walked out of an argument with her mother; it had been about him not telling her about a parent-teacher conference when he went instead. He had taken a walk to calm down. It was dark outside, and he walked in the middle of the road. Some idiot teenager didn't have working headlights. He was gone as soon as the fender smashed into his spine.
He had left her alone. She had been alone for eight years. What did she look like now? Who were her friends? How were her grades? Did she still laugh and smile and cry like she did? What was her mother doing to her? He would never know.
He would never know.
He started to cry, hating himself and hating this place. He didn't deserve to be here, not without his little angel.
The area around him faded to pure, empty whiteness. "What troubles you, one called Mark?" a voice resonated from around him. He tried to dry his tears and clean himself off. It wasn't God; God didn't trifle with those who had been mortal. But the original Angels were still important, and he didn't want to give a bad impression.
"It's not that I'm not greatful, sir," he began shakily.
"I know that you are not ungreatful; why would you be? You are in Paradise. What troubles me is that you are unhappy, one called Mark, and I would like to know why."
"It's my daughter, sir. I... I miss her. I left her behind when I died, and I'm worried about her. My wife, she... she didn't understand what she was getting into when she got pregnant. I don't know if she's taking care of my baby girl."
"I see." The voice is silent for a long time.
"I am sorry to have troubled you, sir. I promise, I won't bring it up again."
"Your daughter is in harm's way, one called Mark."
"We have been concerned for some time. Her mother--your wife, as it were--she does not care for the girl. She lets her run wild and unchecked. We are afraid that she will be hurt, and, based on her actions, she will go below. She does not belong there. We know this."
"What am I supposed to do? I'm up here and she's down there!"
"You must go back."
His breath caught for a moment. "I... I could go back? But I thought that was forbidden. I mean... It's never been done before... right?"
"You misunderstand, one called Mark. You would not take a tangible form. Think of it as going back to be her... 'guardian angel.' She would never be able to see you or hear you. You would merely guide her actions, using the sense of divinity that has been granted to you."
"I could be her guardian angel?"
"If you so choose. We would prefer that you would."
"Yes! I'll do anything! I don't want her hurt, sir. Send me there, I'll take care of her. I promise."
"So you have said and so it will be done."
He stiffened and tilted his head upwards as light drowned out his senses. His mouth opened and his eyes laughed as tears streamed down his face and swallowed his body. He wept silently and joyously as he faded away, lifting his hands and spreading his wings as he dissolved into the light.
Angelica lay on her bed. Her room smelt like cheap beer, old weed, and recent sex. Her mom was passed out in the living room, and the house was trashed. She shivered and almost cried; she felt dirty and ruined. She wasn't human anymore. She hated this. She hated her mother. She almost hated her father for dying. She hated everything.
A breath of air stirred over her body, warm and scented with earth. It soothed her, and held her, wrapped around her. "Angel mine," it whispered in her ear.
"Daddy..." she murmured, and then she slept.
|13 Jan 2006|| Caitlin Dragondivine Swinford|
Oooo. I like this a lot. Especially the first paragraph and last paragraph. It's sweet.