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|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:01|
|# ? Dec 7, 2022 21:10|
We gathered on the hillside to watch the angels fall. The light from their burning wings lit our faces as we craned our necks to see them. Behind me, someone sang hymn in a thin and reedy voice. Another, deeper, joined in and before long most of the congregation was united in song beneath the glittering procession. Katie squeezed my hand, and I bent down to reassure her, to straighten the bandanna that was slipping from her beautiful, smooth head. She laughed at my concern, and pointed at the sky.
“Look,” she said,”that one is gonna land here.”
I followed the line of her finger to the tiny figure far above, motionless while the others passed across the sky. It slowly grew as we watched together, hardly daring to believe it - but Katie wasn’t the only one to notice. The noise of the crowd rose around us, loudly wondering what miracle was in store for us. We’d all heard stories of the wonders when falling angels landed: the dead returning with smiles and stories of paradise; bountiful harvests in lands of drought and poverty; whole towns ascending to heaven in rapturous explosions of light.
I knew what I’d ask for if an angel came to us, if my prayers reached the ears of one who could make them real. The dead had lived their time, and we had food enough, but Katie wasn’t ready for Heaven just yet.
The angel was close enough to make out details, a perfectly sculptured figure, twisting and tumbling in space. As it came closer its flaming wings cast shadows across its features, and the night sky behind it became harder to see. Around me people were kneeling, praying, speaking in cacophonous tongues. The angel fell further, now size of a man, but it must have been miles away yet. How huge could it possibly be up close? Katie was tugging at my hand.
“C’mon,” she said. “It’s gonna laaaand here!”
I realised what she meant, and we spoke to the people around us. “We’ve got to leave - it’s too big - we don’t want to be underneath it.” When that didn’t work, Katie and I tried shaking them, kicking them, pulling them up from their knees, but they shook us off and swore at us. I glanced down the slope of the hill, and saw the fast retreating backs of a few gatherers who had come to the same conclusion as us, but the rest, I realised, would have to save themselves.
Katie and I ran, hurtling down the grassy hillside, over the fence at the bottom, and as far across the neighbouring field as we could. I looked over my shoulder, just for a moment, and saw the angel, giant against the heavens. So huge, so impossibly huge. It had wrapped its burning wings around its body, in some final attempt to protect itself from impact, but the immense heat, which even I could feel, etched agony onto its perfect face. It was gigantic and silent and pale as ice, but its mouth was wide in a noiseless scream.
The angel landed, smashing against the crest of the hill. The earth shook in deep, violent shudders and Katie and I were knocked to the ground, desperately crawling further away while keeping the hilltop in view. The angel was so gigantic it took many seconds before the entire form finished its thunderous fall, its massive torso coming to rest down the slope we had just descended. Its head, beautiful and smooth, lolled like its neck was broken, and its fiery wings were extinguished in the cloud of dust that followed its impact.
All was still. All was quiet. I got up, pulled Katie to her feet, and we hobbled, then jogged, then sprinted toward the angel. Even from this distance I could see its eyes were still open and I knew I had to reach it before the light left them. We must have looked pitiful climbing that hill, neither of us larger than its finger, waving ineffectually at the swirls of dust and singed feathers. But we climbed until we stood before its face, before its pain. The angel’s heavy eyelids struggled to stay open but its impossibly blue eyes were still moving, watching our ascent.
Katie tugged at my sleeve and I tried to speak but here, when my prayers could finally be answered, no words came out. Katie huffed in exasperation, looked to the fallen angel and said, “Please mister. I don’t want to die of the cancer. Someone has to look after my brother. He’s uuuuseless!”
The angel’s expression changed. Anguish still on its face, but something else was there now, perhaps a smile, unbidden but not unwanted. I could not hear anything but the sound of the night wind but a voice rose within me, loving and reassuring.
“Little ones. To everything there is a season. A time to every purpose under Heaven. A time to be born. A time to die.”
Katie nodded, and her grip on my sleeve relaxed but I grew angry. This was the same platitudinous nonsense we’d had from doctors, from family, from our congregation. If all an angel could do was spout more of the same, then what the Hell use were they? I finally found my own words. “That’s such garbage. So what if there’s a time? Why does it have to be now?”
I watched emotions creep across its face, understanding and sorrow and even anger to match my own, mixed with the pain. We heard the voice again, deep within ourselves.
“Because Heaven has not yet fallen. And so we must hurl ourselves against its walls with all our might.”
The brilliant sapphires went dark then, the heavy lids closed. The body of the angel seemed to shimmer for an instant, then slid into translucency. It seemed I only blinked and this giant being had disappeared, leaving only a cracked and broken hillside to say it had ever been there at all. Members of our congregation, wandering dazed and forgetful in groups of two and three, began to approach us.
We don’t speak about that night, to each other or anyone else. Katie went into remission, and has been clear for six months, but neither of us want to tempt fate by trying to guess why exactly that might be. The last time she went into hospital, she took the children’s bible the congregation had given her, and kept it by her bedside the entire time. If anybody asked her about the large, singed feather she used as a bookmark, I didn’t hear them.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:01|
crabrock fucked around with this message at 06:49 on Jul 1, 2014
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:32|
Clipped Wings - 574 Words
The scientists placed a small bird back into its enclosure. “Goodnight, Einstein.” The crow looked back at them through the cage, responding with a faint caw. The lights were dimmed, and the humans left for the night. The crow was alone again.
The lock on the door was fairly complex for an animal cage, but it opened to Einstein's trained beak. He hopped across the room on his claws, ignoring test equipment and the abstracts on corvid research plastering the walls. He found his treasure carefully hidden behind a lab counter. Years of searching had recovered only one book to read. Small black eyes flicked over the bite imprinted cover of the King James Bible.
Closing his eyes he began a prayer in his head. God in heaven, grant me freedom. I have seen my brothers outside, yearning for your message. Give me the strength to leave here, or the strength to carry on. But nothing came. He hid the book away once again, and returned to his cage. For a time, he slept.
Looking down below him, the sun set on a park. The sky was filled with his fellow crows, moving to a place to rest for the night. Waves of them passed over the over fields, moving to a destination far away. Then Einstein felt his wings lose their grip on the sky. Slowly, he sank to the ground, flight feathers issuing forth from his wing. He cried out to his brothers and sisters in caws, but they left him alone and behind in the darkened grass.
On the ground he flapped his wings to rejoin the others but was stuck. The hissing of cats surrounded him. “Oh lord, give me the wings to fly away with my kind,” he thought. A white bird descended upon him.
He was a chick again, with his mother. A crowd of people surrounded their nest. He could see himself being torn away from her, being raised by the humans. They rewarded him for their tests. His belly was never empty, but he could never fly. Then he was alone in a field again, starving.
No worms, no insects, no seed to be found. Dig as he might, he could not escape hunger as his constant companion. A voice called out from the night, “How can you live without them to feed you? You know not what you want.”
He shuddered in his sleep. “This isn't the life I want. They treat me like a toy, but don't notice that I know more than they think. I know not how many years I have left, but I want to spend them out there and not in this cage.”
Again, a flash of white.
He stood before a giant black bird in the sky. The brightly shining being opened it's maw, cawing at Einstein. “I am the angel of judgment. Your time is now.”
“What for? I have done no wrong.”
The dark bird arched toward him with wings spread. “A sinful bird blaming the world for his cowardice.”
“Am I to lay down and die for no reason? I was made in your image. I deserve to fly.”
Einstein's felt a sharp burning pain in his wings. The bird faded away.
He awoke from his nightmare. Stretching his wings, he felt different. His clipped feathers had regrown. And the lock on the window looked much like the one on his cage.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:33|
Angel of the Morning
Read it in the archive.
Kaishai fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Jan 1, 2015
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:33|
sebmojo fucked around with this message at 22:13 on Jan 1, 2015
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:40|
The Holy Flame, 643 words
My future murder victim was in her townhouse. I rubbed my hands together and mimicked feeling the coldness of a Northeastern winter. I hadn’t been cold in a decade, but the ragged gloves and hole-filled boots on my feet wouldn’t normally be enough to keep a man warm. People noticed unusual details like that, and I didn’t want to be notice.
No one would notice the Judge however. Despite his bright flames that were hotter than any garbage can fire, I learned long ago that it had ways of going unnoticed. It was staring out of the alley at our target with its ring of eyes. The flames were muted tonight, and the rings were making gentle loops with each other, but I knew the Judge well enough to sense its impatience.
“Relax, she’s in there, and she isn’t coming out,” I said before holding up the dented can. “You’ll get your bounty come darkness.”
The Judge spun quicker in annoyance, but still took the can from my hand. The flames roared for a brief moment, and I could hear the contents boiling inside. The Judge dropped it at my feet. It wasn’t fine dining, but it was warm and filling. I scarfed it down.
“Thanks,” I said. “But I’m still quitting. Last one.”
The Judge didn’t even acknowledge me. It was too busy keeping watch. The darkness settled in like a blanket, and a light snow was beginning to fall. I could feel the temperature drop beyond the edge of its flames. It rattled its rings together, looking at me.
“Fine,” I said. “Let’s go.”
I had made a copy of the door key last night, and slipped in silently. She was sprawled out on the couch, half naked and surrounded by wine bottles. She snored softly. With one smooth motion, I covered her mouth and slit her throat.
Her eyes opened wide, and she started to thrash. The warm blood sprayed out, coating me and the couch in a sticky mist. She was stronger than she should have been, and she struggled long after a normal person would have died. The Judge watched closely until she finally stopped. I kept my hand on her mouth for a bit longer, until it finally rattled its satisfaction.
I took a hot shower and cleaned myself. I carefully stepped around the puddles, and made sure not to look at her. They didn’t look any different, and I always made me feel a little sick to look at the bodies. I let myself out, and walked briskly. Soon I was a good half mile away.
“I wasn’t kidding earlier,” I said finally. “I really am quitting. Higher orders or not. I’m done.”
The first time in ten years, I saw the rings stop moving. The absence of noise was louder than any thunder. I simply stared into its eyes.
Then the rings whirled into action, spinning around each other so fast that the Judge looked like a flaming sphere. The flames burned so hot that I thought I was going to die. I thought it was going to burn me to ash, rules or no.
And then it was gone, and the cold hit me. It slammed into me like a fist, knocking the breath out of my lungs and sending me to my knees. I froze down to my bones, and felt sharp pains in my mouth and nose whenever I breathed. I had forgotten what the cold could feel like. I had forgotten about how terrible the wind could be.
I look around desperately for help. The alley was abandoned, and I was alone. I stood up, and tried to walk on numb feet. I needed to get warm. I was so very, very cold.
I needed fire. Needed warm. So cold. Forgive me. I’m sorry.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:42|
אוֹפַנִּים (or, Throne) 1195 words
Michael sounded shitfaced when he called me up. I had a pretty good buzz on myself, but the difference between us was probably a six-pack or two.
He said “Hey, listen man, I need to come up here” and then breathed into the phone like a creepy motherfucker. Sounded like he'd been running.
“Not today man, I'm already a six-pack in and I'm too lazy to get out of the house. What's up?” I would really have liked to avoid whatever crazy new poo poo Michael was about to rain down on me.
“Just come up here man. It'll only take a minute.”
“What's going on?”
“I uh...I saw this deer. In the woods.”
“Well I uh...I wasn't really out hunting, but I did have the shotgun with me and it was so loving close, I figured I'd bag me a deer, ya know?”
I waited for him to finish the story because otherwise we'd be on the phone all day.
“And well ah...the loving deer spoke to me.”
“The deer turned its head to me and loving talked.”
“What did the deer say?”
“I don't want to talk about that.”
Something cold had crept into his voice. Fear.
“How much did you have to drink before this impromptu hunting trip, Michael?”
“A lot less than it'd take for me to think a deer was talking to me.”
There was no getting out of it now.
“Hold tight, I'll be up there in twenty.”
I grabbed a couple of six packs and got into the Cadi. The road up to the cabin was a clusterfuck, especially driving this piece of poo poo, but it was the only transportation I had. I popped a tape into the deck and drove.
Michael lived in a cabin in the woods like a redneck, but he was actually from LA. Had an iPhone and a MacBook and everything, but dressed like a lumberjack and drove a lovely pickup truck he bought for a couple of grand a few years back. I'd call him a hipster but he was too committed. Hipsters don't poo poo in outhouses.
I parked behind his truck and got out. Michael sat on the porch, shotgun in one hand, Jack Daniels in the other. He looked like poo poo.
I slammed the car door.
“Well, here I am! Where's the loving deer at?”
He didn't laugh, so I walked up the porch steps. He looked at me, his eyes a bit too wide and crazy-looking.
“We have to go look for it man. It's out there somewhere.”
He gestured with his hand in the general direction of the woods.
“It's getting dark.”
“We should hurry,” he said and stood up.
“Look man, I don't know about this—”
“I'm never going to be able to sleep again if I don't find that loving deer.”
“Are you sure it actually spoke to you? Maybe you had a seizure or something. Hallucination.”
“I'm loving telling you man, the thing turned its head and talked to me like we was in line at McDonalds or something.”
There really wasn't much to say. I grabbed a six-pack from the car and followed him into the woods.
“It was right about here.”
He pointed towards a flat expanse of rock where water had collected from the previous night's downpour. He lifted his shotgun and aimed.
“I had him right...there.” He exhaled the last word. “Then it ran off into the brush.”
I didn't really know anything about hunting. How the gently caress were we going to find it?
I walked behind him. It was getting dark and Michael's nervousness had started affecting me. The woods creeped me out at night.
We walked deeper into the forest. We found the dead deer a minute later. The carcass was spread out all over the clearing in chunks of flesh and body parts. The head, was lying on a small tower of rocks.
“What the gently caress.”
It looked like a ritualistic murder and now I was really regretting following Michael here. He was my buddy and all, but something seriously hosed up was happening and my Sunday would have been better spent sitting at home watching TV.
Michael stepped into a puddle of blood and approached the deer head. He prodded it with the shotgun and it toppled over.
“Looks like someone got to it first,” he said.
“No poo poo.”
The carcass seemed to have broken the spell. Michael looked around the clearing and then up to the sky, seemingly himself again.
“We should have taken a flashlight with us, it's going to be a bitch to get back in this darkness.”
I turned around to start the long walk home, when the screaming started. I'm not sure if animals can scream, but this sounded like pretty much every single one of them had started to wail. I’d never heard anything like it in my life.
We froze up. I wanted to start running, but managed to hold it together. The sound was deafening and my eardrums pulsed. Before I could say anything, Michael took off towards the sound, leaving me alone in the dark. I ran after him.
It only took a minute to reach the hilltop. We found animal carcasses along the way. Foxes, rabbits, owls, even a wolf. The trees on the hill were wiped out, burned to ashes. The earth was blackened in a radius of maybe half a mile. The animals weren't burned, just dead.
At the top of the hill was a great wheel made of fire and eyes watching us. It lit up the sky, turning night into day. We got closer, dropping the shotgun and six-pack of beers. I was no longer in control and the world no longer made any sense.
We stood and watched as it spun, a wheel within a wheel, covered in eyes that never blinked and all of them staring at us. It felt like what I imagined being judged by God would feel. It felt like someone was shifting through the flour to find the worms that infested it, the sins in my heart.
It spoke and the words were both booming and completely silent.
“Κύριος ὡς πῦρ ἥξει καὶ ὡς καταιγὶς τὰ ἅρματα αὐτοῦ ἀποδοῦναι ἐν θυμῷ ἐκδίκησιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀποσκορακισμὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν φλογὶ πυρός.”
“What did it say?” I whispered. I’m not sure why I was asking him, but as far as I was concerned, he was now an expert by virtue of seeing weird poo poo an hour ahead of me.
“It’s scripture,” he said. “the Lord will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury.”
“I nodded as if that made perfect sense.
“I have to tell you what it said to me before.”
Michael managed to pull his eyes away from the wheel of fire long enough for him to look at me.
“It told me to kill everyone I love and then blow my brains out, because God is dead and the end is here and what happens next, you don’t want to see.”
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:49|
All Too Soon
The first blow took Corinne in the ribs, the second in the meat of her left arm. She recoiled against the passenger side door; her father's jeep barely navigated a sharp left hand turn.
"You. Do not. Play your stupid little games. With me and your mother." Her father punctuated each phrase with another sidelong punch.
Corinne barely felt the blows. The surreality of the situation launched her into a remote haze where everything was just data: Dad's left hand on the wheel, his right hand--
The trees passing in a blur. Another hairpin turn in the steep, forested road. The reckless shifting of weight on the Jeep's suspension.
Corinne's own voice saying "but you said! You said I could--"
Her father's voice, suddenly calm: "You know your mom and I are going through Problems. Sometimes I think you really don't us to be together."
"You said I could stay over at Nichole's."
"Your mother said no," her father roared. Then, calmly: "If I had known she'd already told you no--"
"You did know, dad," Corinne heard herself say. The jeep crossed the bridge over the river and then screeched to a halt at the edge of town.
Corinne didn't argue, calmly unbuckled her seatbelt, opened the door, and slid purposefully out of the Jeep.
Riverbend was a small town, and there wasn't anywhere that wasn't a few blocks from the high school. Corinne started walking.
Late June was a time of goodbyes. When Corinne slouched up the front steps of the school, her choirmates where already there, hugging and taking pictures of each other with their cellphones. Nichole was there, posing with the others.
Corinne walked past them into the cool lobby, passing beneath a handmade butcher paper banner that read 'Final Show of the Year'. She walked through the cafeteria, down halls of lockers, into the corner of the school reserved for shop class and chemistry. She slouched down against a locker and stared at the floor.
"Hey." Nichole poked her head around the corner. She tip-toed dramatically over to Corinne. "You seem bummed."
Corinne told her what happened.
They sat in silence for a while.
"I mean, I feel bad. I feel like it's my fault 'cause I asked you to sleep over. But it's neither of our faults, you know?" Nichole said. "I'll go see if the counselor is in, okay?" She got up and hurried down the hall toward the office.
Ringing silence settled over Corinne like a thick gauze. Her breath came heavy and fast. Heart pounding, she shoved herself to her feet and walked quickly toward the auditorium.
The stage was set but the lights were off. The stately emptiness of the auditorium was soothing. Behind the heavy red curtains, there were all manner of prop and set; bits of painted backdrop here, a rack of costumes there. She slid to the floor, back against the exposed brick wall, and imagined that she could hear the echoes of every concert and play that had ever been performed on that stage.
A feeling of completeness swelled in her chest. Her small voice was part of a lineage of voices, amateur but sincere. On stage, she was big, because she was part of a whole, a chorus.
The backstage door swung open and Corinne tensed, expecting the counselor, Nichole, or the choral director.
"Oh, sorry. Didn't know anyone was in here," said a girl with a round face and long blond curls. Corinne knew that her name was Jessica and that she was in the school's award-winning, audition-only chamber choir, and not much else.
"Don't mind me," Corinne muttered. Jessica eased the door closed behind her, sat down on the floor across from Corinne.
"So, we're graduating," Jessica said.
"It'll be sad to not sing with everyone anymore."
Jessica reached into her purse, fumbled around, and produced a ziplock bag of rich-looking chocolates. "I don't know about you, but I always need some chocolate on hand for sad times." She offered the baggie to Corinne. "Come on now, I made these myself. Well, me and my mom."
Corinne took the bag, put one of the chocolates in her mouth.
"Oh!" she said. The taste was musical. It was as though the song of a sunset had been condensed into pure, smoky sweetness.
The door to the backstage loading bay slid up with a curmudgeonly rattle. Late afternoon sun struck Jessica from behind, and her blond hair became a fiery halo. A few of the bass and tenor section hauled stage risers into the auditorium.
"We're so much bigger when we all put our voices together," Jessica said, and to Corinne she was just a light-limned silhouette. "Bigger than our sadness."
The stage door swung open again and Nichole appeared. "Counselor went home already," she said apologetically. "But we're starting rehearsal. You better get to the practice room." She ducked back out into the hall before Corinne or Jessica could reply.
Jessica stood, held out her hand to Corinne. "Come on," she said. "Lets go be big."
The risers were set, singers arranged in groups: soprano, bass, tenor, alto. The stage lights were on. Every seat in the auditorium was filled by parents, siblings and friends of her choirmates.
Corinne scanned the audience, but the light turned everything beyond the lip of the stage into murky shadow. Was anyone there to see her?
"Don't worry," said a voice at her side.
"What're you doing?" Corinne hissed. "You're not supposed to be up here yet."
Jessica took her hand. "We're going to be big together," she whispered back.
The choir director took center stage, back to the audience, baton raised, oblivious to Jessica's presence on the risers. The room went silent. Another flick of the baton and they began.
No one's in doubt that the children singing
All too soon shall be women and men.
Corinne's voice was shaky, but Jessica's was pure and true, and she guided the rest like a gardener patiently training a stubborn vine. Corinne felt her own voice adjusting, realigning until it was in perfect harmony with Jessica.
For the old ways they change
But the new is so strange
Will it ever be simple again?
The old folk song took on new meaning for Corinne as she sang. Will it ever be simple again? She thought of her father, of seeing her first major league baseball game with him, of learning the names of the plants in his garden.
Reflexively, she squeezed Jessica's hand, leaned on the surety of Jessica's voice. It would never be simple again. Her father would never un-hit her. Her parents would never love each other the same as before.
The song ended, was punctuated by a long moment of silence. Then the audience erupted in applause, a standing ovation fit for a true concert hall.
No one was there for Corinne. Everyone was there for Corinne.
"This is how we were meant to be," Jessica said under the harmonious cacophony of thunderous approval. "You'll see someday."
Corinne collapsed onto Jessica's shoulder, buried her face in evening-scented curls, and cried with abandon.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:52|
Angel of Sorrows
Word count: 1159 words
Ever since I was a child, I've been able to see angels. They don't all hold harps, though. Depending on their patronage, they hold different things if anything at all. Over the years, I've been able to distinguish them apart. There's the Angel of Inspiration, whose singing is more beautiful than a nightingale and who's songs bestow illumination to those who listen. There's the Angel of Mercy, who holds a shield and who's responsible for what people call miracles like when a person survives a horrific accident or when a premature baby girl takes her first breath. And there's the Angel of Serendipity, whose laughter is infectious and assists people in ways so insignificant and mysterious they attribute it to luck like finding a twenty in your pants pocket or getting a cup of coffee for free.
But the one I've always feared the most was the Angel of Death. She's dressed in dark robes and her wings are made of raven feathers instead of dove's. She wields a sword and cries constantly for the souls she has to claim. I recognized who she was at first sight and the first time I saw her she took away someone very dear to me.
My paternal grandpa was a short, humble man of eighty-five years. His head was bare and his eyesight was just as lacking. Over the years, walking became harder and harder to the point where he shuffles along with a cane. He became very prone to stumbling. In fact, last week he fell and hit his head against the table. My aunt Rosa was in complete hysterics, but he was fine. Us grandkids called him Papi and none of us could converse with him--we weren't taught Spanish. It was a generational thing. The house Papi shared with his wife, my late grandmother, was surrounded by almost every form of plant and vegetation imaginable. The front yard had a tree which grew pungent-smelling seeds which we'd pick and throw at each other. There was an avocado tree there too, and an orange tree in the back which grew the sweetest-tasting oranges I've ever had. Papi loved animals. He had a few dogs over the years but his pride and joy were his canaries. He built a giant birdhouse with his own two hands to house them. He had so many of them, you'd think he worked for the mining industry.
Every Saturday, my Dad's side would meet to have a potluck at his house. It helped that we all lived in the surrounding area. Not everybody would show up, but I always made it a point to show up every week if only for the good food. There was my Uncle Paul, who was the pride and joy of the family as the retired fire captain. There was also my Aunt Rosa, who was the mother hen of the group--constantly doting on Papi while barking orders to the rest of us. She took grandma's death the hardest of all and took it upon herself to take care of Papi as often as she could. Her husband, Sean, was a veteran police officer. That day, Rosa brought stuffed peppers. They were delicious Anaheim chilies stuffed with mozzarella cheese and fried in egg batter.
“So how's the surfing, Uncle Paul?” I asked.
“It's great,” he said. “The waves got up to twenty feet and there was a wind blowing from the coast.”
“But wouldn't a wind blowing against the waves make them break earlier?” I asked.
He shook his head. “It actually holds them up. See,” he said and held his hands up, “The wind pushes against the wave and keeps it from cresting,” he said and demonstrated by pushing the palm of his left hand with the fingers of his right. “I managed to surf longer on those waves.”
“I would’ve never guessed you'd ever get into surfing,” I told him and took a bite out of my stuffed pepper, savoring each and every little flavor from the spiciness of the pepper to the richness of the cheese. “How's the beat, Uncle Sean?”
“I caught a guy with a nasty staph infection on his leg the other day,” he said.
“Husband, not at the table,” Rosa said and winced visibly.
“Hey, it was a learning experience for the rookie,” he said. “If you can't handle this, then you have no business being a cop.”
“Stop it,” she berated him. “Dad, how are you doing?”
“Okay,” Papi said and let out a hacking cough. He handed his empty plate to Rosa as she got up to put it in the sink. Papi got up and walked out of the dining room. He was always restless and couldn't sit down in one place for long.
“Honey, would you go out and look after him?” Rosa asked me. I finished my plate, put it in the sink, and walked out after him.
“Hey Papi,” I said and found him in the back yard sitting under the trumpet vine.
“Hi son,” he said and looked up at me. “Where's your daddy?”
“Esta en casa,” I said in my broken Spanish and sat down in the chair next to him. “Your head feeling good?” I asked him and put my had where his bandage was.
“Oh yah,” he said and chuckled as he sipped his coffee. I heard the canaries singing their beautiful song in the background.
“Lemme get you more coffee,” I said. He handed me his thermos and I went inside to fill it with black coffee. No sugar, cream, or milk, just the way he liked it. When I went back outside, I almost dropped it--standing next to him was her. Tears were streaming down her face and her wings were folded against her back. Without saying a word, she looked at me and nodded.
I handed Papi his thermos. “Thank you,” he said and sipped away oblivious to the specter of death standing next to him.
“Papi?” He looked up at me. I bent down and held him in my arms. “Te amo, Papi. Te amo mucho,” I said and cried in his shoulder.
“I know son,” he said and hugged me back. Looking back at that moment, I think he could sense her too.
That night, he died peacefully in his sleep. We buried him beneath the orange tree in a private ceremony. During the funeral, I saw her standing next to his grave in silent vigil. I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to run up and attack her. But something stopped me--it was the memory of my grandfather, and how he met his death with grace and without protest. He was a man who lived his life without hate, and in memory of him I couldn't bring myself to hate her. I still don't.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:54|
I'm gonna be late. I was expecting it to be at midnight. I should have it by then.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:57|
Kas sat and watched as the dictator screamed his life away into the cold tile floor. As the puddle of blood grew beneath the man, Kas began to recite the blessings, trying to pass along what love and mercy he could. He didn’t stir until the last gasps had faded away and the body slumped down, small and dark. Kas spread his wings and flew off, leaving the body alone; there was no family for him to comfort.
Back at work, he changed from his robe into his street clothes and prepared to go home. He winced as he raised his arms to put on his shirt: the two long vertical scars on his back still bothered him from time to time. As he was about to leave, he ran into his friend, Zaph. “Hey, Kas,” said Zaph, “Hey, I was just looking for you. Eva and I were talking last night, and she has a friend that we think you’d get along with. Would you be interested in meeting her?”
“I—I don’t think so,” said Kas, quietly trying to move past him.
“Kasiel,” said Zaph, grabbing him by the shoulders, “man, it’s been seven years now. You’re immortal; do you really want to be alone forever?”
Kas paused for a few seconds. “Let me think about it,” he finally mumbled, and walked off.
He flew home and sat down on the couch with a sigh. Zaph’s offer kept coming up, no matter how much he tried not to think about it. Kas was used to loneliness and didn’t mind it; instead, it was the thought of replacing Sara with anyone else that made him sick. I guess I should’ve moved on by now, he thought, but I still love her.
Kas had experienced a number of extraordinary things, from creation to the rebellion of the Fallen, but never in a hundred thousand years had he expected a divorce. “I really love you,” said Sara, “I do. But I know I won’t love you when I’m eighty and hunched over a walker and you’re still just the same as you are now. All I’ll feel is a sick sort of envy for what you have. Plus, after I die, who knows how many thousands of years it’ll be before we’re reunited on Judgment Day.”
“I don’t care at all if you get old,” Kas had said, all the feathers in his four wings trembling. “There are plenty of other angel-human couples out there who go through this, and it’s no big deal to them. And I don’t mind waiting, no matter how long it takes.”
“Well, I guess I’m petty then,” said Sara, a bit bitterly. “But I know that’s how I’ll feel, and I think I’d be better off with another person who will also grow old and wrinkled with me. And it’s not fair for you to have to wait for so long.”
They continued arguing for a long time, but Sara wouldn’t budge on the matter, regardless of how much she cried. Kas knew that she rarely changed her mind; he just didn’t understand why this was coming up now after five years of being together, when she’d never had this issue before. Sure, she had a few more lines on her face now, but what did that matter? Finally, he stood up, and, in the even tone he used for his blessings, said, “It’s not my way to interfere in the acts of people,” but his prismatic eyes were clouded over.
After Sara moved out, Kas had kept to himself mostly. He worked and he slept and he greeted the neighborhood kids, and out of the corner of his eye, the sun came up and the sun went down over and over without him paying much attention to it at all. The only time he had felt much of anything was on their anniversary the next year where, in a mood that could only be described as something between rage and despair, he had ripped off one pair of his wings, sobbing with the pain that followed. Six years later, they were still propped next to the front door, dusty and faded, as if waiting for their owner to return.
Still, he never wanted to return to that moment, wanted to stop the pain eating at him, so he hesitantly agreed to the date. Waiting at the restaurant table, he felt terribly anxious. I don’t think I should be doing this, he thought, but he remained seated. He was reciting Psalm 32 to himself when his date walked up to the table. “Hi, are you Kasiel?” she said.
“Yes, call me Kas—” Kas began, holding out his hand, and then dropped it when he saw his date. “Is this some kind of joke?” he said angrily.
“Maybe for you it is, but I have no issue dating angels of the Light”, said the fallen angel, rustling her dark grey wings slightly. “My name is Azza, may I sit down?” When Kas remained silent, she then proceeded to sit down and look at the specials menu.
Kas sat down as well and put his face in his hands. “This is what I get for trying to date again; I just knew it would go wrong.”
“Mm,” said Azza, fiddling with her necklace. “Eva told me you were divorced, but she didn’t mention this. Personally, I’m not very into men with a lot of baggage, so I think I’ll go.”
Kas ignored her. “What couldn’t I give her that she wanted?”
Azza rolled her eyes at him. “What’s her name?”
A dark red orb materialized on Azza’s hand. She held it out to Kas and said, “Take a look.”
Kas knew he was supposed to avoid the Fallen’s tricks, but he still looked anyway. In it, he saw an older Sara gazing with that sweet look of hers on a man with a giant bald spot. They sat on a park bench, holding hands and watching two young children run around with a golden retriever. The Sara he knew had never wanted anything like that, hadn’t even wanted kids.
Azza closed her hand and the orb disappeared. “There’s your answer,” she said. “Now move the gently caress on.” She stood up and left.
At home, Kas lay in bed and reflected on Sara’s content face. His thoughts then turned to the dictator who had bled to death alone in the palace. An angel is slow to change, if he ever does, he thought. People aren’t like that though: they only have a little while to make choices, right or wrong. He suspected that was the only answer he’d ever get.
He looked at the picture of them that he kept by his bedside; the two of them smiling at each other at the beach, him with a wing wrapped around her. He still loved her. In the morning, he wrapped his torn wings in garbage bags and put them in the coat closet. One day, he would be able to throw them away.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:59|
You ever watch cartoons? You know the little dudes that hang out on the shoulders of the protagonist? The guy in white who always looks like he has a loving moral compass shoved up his rear end, and the other dude who more often than not has his red suit somehow not get burnt up by the flames he's got on like a trench coat?
Yeah. That dude with the wings, that's me. My name is Damian, and I'm a Conscience.
Now, I don't know what you've heard, but this isn't an easy gig to score. There's a whole poo poo load of tests, to make sure that you're not going to tell your Soul to like, jump off a bridge or something. They've got to makes sure that your intentions are pure, or at least that's what all the pamphlets say.
I got into this straight out of Spirit college. My advisor said with my grades, it was either this or trying out for a Haunt Squad, and I don't much care for rattling chains and creaking stairs in the middle of the night. Clearly, I don't think it's too Hollywood or anything like that; I'm a Conscience for Pete's sake.
So I went through the testing and passed. Then it was on to the waiting list, to be matched with a counterpart, an Immorality, who my scores indicated I was compatible with.
A few weeks of waiting later, and I was matched with Geneva. She had tried out for a Haunt Squad, and they turned her away for being to liberal with her Terrors. So she came to test with us, and scored perfect for an Immorality. They paired her up with me, and then we were sent out to wait for our Soul to be born.
I'll be real with you; I don't remember who our first Soul was. We don't have much to do until they actually start to develop their sense of right and wrong, and this Soul died before then. All I can remember is Geneva.
She was wild. All the phrases that come to mind when I think of her sound cliché, but trite phrases ring true for a reason. She was a firecracker, like her essence was alive, ablaze with the electricity of hedonism.
Every other Immorality that I had met before had been vicious and cruel; not Geneva. Sure, she wasn't nice in the strictest sense, but she did have a moral compass of sorts. Hers just happened to be tuned a few degrees off North.
Our first day with our Soul, we were still getting the hang of things. We don't stay with them 24/7, we can leave for short periods of time, to check situations elsewhere that might impact our decisions. Not having many decisions to make for our Soul yet, we popped out for a breather.
"So, pretty crazy, huh?"
She didn't respond; she just looked at me with her auburn eyes that seemed on fire.
"How's it being an Immorality? Must be an exciting job."
"Uh, so, did you ever think you'd be an Immorality when you were in Spirit college? Or was it always the Haunt Squad?"
"Maybe we should be heading back, you uh, never know if a new Soul's gonna need help making an important life-changing decision, eh?"
She was gone in a lick of flame.
It went on like this for weeks. Any time we'd leave our Soul for a bit, I would try to engage her, get her to say something, anything. She remained as silent as ever.
She remained mute, even after our Soul died. It wasn't a quick death, and we couldn't do anything to make it any easier; that's the Guardians' job. It was painful to be part of, and the only person I could talk to about it wouldn't. After the weeks of enraging silence, I snapped.
"Why won't you talk, Geneva?! I know this has to hurt you, too! Just say anything!"
She looked up at me, suddenly small and ashy. "I..."
"What? What, are you going to tell me to suck it up? That she deserved it? Just loving speak!"
Shocked into silence, I stopped. Everything hit me at once: our Soul's dying, Geneva speaking, everything, and I wept.
I was reassigned to a new Soul after a time. Geneva was as well, but we weren't assigned together; I think the Moral Corps is more superstitious than they like to let on.
My next Soul and next Immorality were fine. My Soul lived a fairly long time, and managed to keep a fairly level head, despite my having checked out. I requested an early retirement after this Soul's passing, and the Board took pity on me and granted it.
Elysium was nice, but my first assignment had broken me. I looked for Geneva, not in Elysium, but in the Fields of Asphodel. I thought I got a glimpse of her once, her auburn eyes dulled with pain, but she slipped away before I could call to her. It's just as well, two broken halves don't necessarily equal a whole.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:59|
Angel of Death
Death came for me on the 14th of May. I was in my chair when it happened, dirty cigar between my chapped lips. The gas heater was off and the room felt so cold I swear I could see my own breath. I noticed her in the reflection of the TV, but she stood so close that I didn’t see the use in turning my head.
“I’m dreaming,” I said. “I must be. All I need to do is wake up.”
The Angel hovered over me, it’s bony fingers coiled around a tall walking stick. She considered me.
“I apologize, Harold. But I am very much real. Fate has decide that your life ends this very night.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“It’s unfortunate, I understand. But you have no choice. It is time.”
I stared at the television for a long moment, thinking. This wasn’t a dream.
“Christ. Just let me watch the rest of this. Can you let me do that?”
She hesitated. The walking stick tapped the floorboards with a slow beat, but in the end, she relented. The Angel stood in place for a long time.
“Take a seat, why don’t you?”
The Angel hovered to the chair opposite me and sat. In the cavities where her eyes should have been, only pitch blackness remained. I forced myself not to stare into them.
“I will be here until you are ready,” she said.
“Whatever. Help yourself to a drink.”
She twisted her head to look at the table, bottle of brandy close to the edge. Cracking a hand out, she pushed it across the counter and closer to me.
“I cannot,” she said. “But I appreciate the gesture.”
Seinfeld was ending that very same night. It wasn’t just a half-hour, closer to an hour and a half. It gave me time, room to think. Of course, I found myself more glued to the television sitting in front of me. The finale was a joke. A prank played on every last sap that watched that show. And the more I kept watching it, the more I wanted to grab the brandy and chuck it at the loving screen.
Instead I brewed. I couldn’t do anything. My body felt stiff and I didn’t feel like moving. So when the trainwreck ended and turned to the news, I was left to my own thoughts.
I finally spoke a hour later.
“It’s not fair,” I said.
“I understand that it is not fair.” The Angel said. “If it were up to me, I would not be here. But there are gears in this world that must tick, you already understand this, Harold.”
I sighed. “Not at you. At my kids.”
The Angel just looked at me. In my mind, I imagined myself running my hand through my gray hair.
“They take after their mother, I swear. They are impossible. I bet you anything they’ll put on a face when it’s this mansion and my money on the line. Like loving vultures.”
She bowed her head. “How does that make you feel?”
“Like a horrible parent? Like I should have changed my will? What are you asking, exactly?”
“I am asking questions in order to help you cope. I already know the answers.”
“… And how the hell would you know? You a mind reader?”
“I have been with you since the day you were born, Harold.”
That wrenched an incredulous laugh out of me. I stopped talking, and we sat in silence like that. She watched me. I watched TV, but my mind was running through fifty stray thoughts at the exact same time.
“Give me a day.” I said. “I’ll change the will, chuck everything to a charity. Give me a day to do that, and I’m yours.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Harold.”
“An hour then. I could write something up in an hour. Please.”
The Angel said nothing.
“I don’t want them getting anything.”
“You already said that your children do not respect you. If that is the case, then why, pray tell, did you give them everything?”
I sighed again, feeling a knife in my chest.
“It was what my father did for me.”
When the Angel did not speak, I continued.
“When my father died, the money was split even. My brothers and I, we decided to give the house over to me. Everything he own was in this house, and that’s how I kept it. The plan was to give it to my kids, to let them decide just as we did years ago. But that was only wishful thinking.”
A knife jammed in my heart as I said that last part.
“So why do it?” The Angel asked.
“Because it was how my father taught me.”
“And how does that make you feel, to have lived in your father’s shadow?”
“What are you even hoping to accomplish with these damned questions? Stop toying with me.”
She said nothing, drat her. I wanted to bury my hands in my face but the feeling in my arms had left me so very long ago.
The clock in the dining room struck midnight. I couldn’t take it. I sighed again.
“I feel inadequate. Every little choice I have made over the past sixty years has turned out to be the wrong one. My brothers hate me. My children want everything I have. My father would be disappointed in me, I know that. And I hate myself for that.”
Silence overwhelmed the room again. I stared at her.
“There. I answered your question. If you’re going to kill me, just do it. I’m done.”
She did not respond at first. Then, through her gnarled mandible, I swear she was smiling.
"You are mistaken, Harold. You have been dead since yesterday.”
Took a second to sink in, but when it did, I howled so badly my throat burned. Christ. It was the funniest thing I heard all my life.
"S'that so?” I said. “gently caress it. I won’t fight. But do me a favor, before we go."
The Angel cocked her head, stood up from the seat and gave what looked to be a nod.
"Let me go out with a bang."
The Angel rose her arm and extended a finger.
The gas valve snapped. The room smelled like rotten eggs. She hovered over to me, old bones cracking as she twisted her hand, putting thumb to middle finger, right under my cigar.
In my head, I imagined dropping to my knees, pressing my hand to my chest. Father. Son. Holy Spirit.
I saw the light. A-loving-men.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:59|
Welp. Good thing I checked the thread and saw the deadline.
Audrey 1,155 words
Audrey looked around, not sure where the voice had come from.
"Down here, man."
She looked down and saw a filthy, middle-aged man sitting on the sidewalk grinning up at her. He was wearing a ratty, oversized tweed coat with holes patched with garbage bags. His teeth were perfect.
"Yeah. Sup Angel? Do you know you look just like Audrey Hepburn?"
Audrey was so please someone had finally noticed, "Thank you. I considered a number of different human appearances, but I consistently found Audrey to be the most attractive."
"Good call. You ever seen Breakfast at Tiffany's?"
"It's my favourite!"
"Me too, girl we should get together and watch it sometime." Jesus winked.
"No," said Audrey, "that would be inappropriate, I think."
"You sure?" asked Jesus, "I was gonna ask you, your plane or mine?" He threw his head back and guffawed, clapping his hands. A well-dressed woman passing by on the street flinched away from him.
"Yes, that was very funny." Audrey agreed, straight-faced.
"Woof, you Angels got no sense of humour," said Jesus, still grinning, "You should spend some more time on the physical plane with us flesh and blood beings and lighten up a little bit."
"I don't think the Boss would allow that."
"Well, when I'm in charge it'll be party time," Jesus pumped both fists, "woo!"
"Yes. Well." Said Audrey, "Speaking of the Boss, I have a message for you. From him."
Jesus wasn't listening, he had turned his attention to the two young women who were approaching him.
"Hey, Jesus!" One of the women called out as they neared Jesus's corner of the sidewalk. They were both dressed in short skirts and towering heels. Their hair was dirty and matted, their exposed skin covered in bruises.
"Good evening, ladies." Jesus smiled his perfect smile as he stood to greet them.
"Who you talkin' to?" asked one of the women. Her hair was blonde, her heels blue.
"Audrey," said Jesus, "You can't see her because she's an angel."
Audrey recoiled in horror. You weren't supposed to just tell people things like that. It was totally against the rules. And yet she was the one on probation? So unfair.
The blonde woman laughed, "Okay," she said, shrugging, "can you bless me and Sonya before we go to work? We brought you a sandwich." She nudged the other woman -- Sonya, Audrey supposed -- and she produced a battered looking gas-station sandwich from the depths of her purse. It was still mostly wrapped.
"Thank you," said Jesus, "but I wouldn't take the food out of your mouth."
"Oh don't worry," Sonya piped up, "we stole it."
"Oh. Well then I wouldn't want your hard work to go to waste. Thank you Cherry, Sonya." Jesus accepted the sandwich and tucked it into his jacket pocket. "Now, close your eyes."
Cherry closed her eyes and bowed her head, and Sonya followed suit, shifting her feet nervously. She jumped a little when Jesus placed his hand on her head.
"Bless you, little children, may the Lord keep you safe from harm," he intoned "and may the johns tonight all be good tippers."
Cherry looked up and put her hands to her heart as she said, "Thank you, Jesus. I hope you like the sandwich."
She took Sonya's arm in her own as they walked away. "That guy really thinks he's some kinda black Jesus, huh?" Audrey heard Sonya say as they passed by.
"Shut up Sonya," said Cherry "he might be the real Jesus, you don't know."
"But Jesus wasn't black."
"Jesus can be whatever he wants to be, idiot, he's magic. All I know is, I've never been in bad trouble since I met Jesus. Plus, he always has booze. Always. And it's not cheap poo poo either, I don't know how he does it."
"Jesus!" Audrey stamped her foot, "You can't just tell people who you are and that there are angels around, that's against the rules!"
Jesus shrugged, "No-one believes me anyway, so it's not like it matters."
"But that's so unfair! I get put on probation for living with a human, who didn't even know I was there, but you get to tell everyone everything with no repurcussions? That's not allowed!"
Audrey was so incensed that her compsure slipped. Her dark, perfectly swept-up hair receded back into her scalp, her eyebrows and eyelids disappeared, and her eyes became huge, black orbs as her height doubled from five feet to ten. Her outfit, carefully chosen to be Audrey-esque, but not too derivative, fell away as three pairs of wings, covered in eyes, sprouted from her back. She pulsed with unearthly light, and Jesus threw up a hand, squinting.
"drat, Angel." He said, "That's awesome. Kinda creepy though."
"I have a message for you," said Audrey, staring at Jesus with thousands of eyes, "you have to come home."
"Home? I don't want to go home. I like it down here, with my peeps."
"You can't deny a request from the Boss. You have to come home."
"You can't deny the Big Guy," said Jesus, "but I can do whatever I want, and I'm staying here."
"No." Said Audrey, "Don't make me come down there."
"Like that?" Jesus laughed, "You wouldn't dare show yourself on the physical plane all uglied up like that, Audrey Hepburn."
Audrey gasped, how rude.
"In fact," continued Jesus, "I think you're just jealous because you have to follow the rules and I don't."
Audrey grew even taller and the ground underneath Jesus started to tremble, "How dare you!"
"Woah, woah, Audrey, calm down," Jesus held up his hands, "I'm sorry, that was rude. Why don't you come down here and let me apologize?"
The eyes on Audrey's wings narrowed, suspicious, "What do you mean?"
"We could go out for dinner, catch a movie, maybe Breakfast at Tiffany's? Have you ever eaten human food? It's reeeally good."
"And then you'll come back with me? Home?" Audrey began to shrink, her eyebrows and hair growing back, her wings receding. Human food did sound good. The lawyer ate pizza all the time, and Audrey always wondered what it tasted like.
"Uh, sure." said Jesus, "Look, I'll even dress up." He stood up and shook out the sleeves of his jacket, making it whole, clean, and new. He ran his hands through his hair and turned them into perfect, neat dreadocks. He held out his hand to Audrey.
"Well," she said, back to normal now, "I'm already on probation, so..." and she had to admit, black Jesus was pretty hot.
"Atta girl." Said Jesus as Audrey shifted down and shimmered into being on the mortal plane. "Let's go destroy some all-you-can-eat buffets. Drinks are on me."
Jesus grinned as they strolled towards the waterfront to begin the evening. Fallen angels were his favourite kind.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 01:59|
SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED!
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 02:00|
Well poo poo. Guess I'm definitely on for the next Thunderdome then.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 02:43|
Post your story anyway, dweeb!
Well poo poo. Guess I'm definitely on for the next Thunderdome then.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 03:00|
You are toxxed this week and you've missed the deadline, but I am a benevolent god, so get your story posted before midnight EST and you shall not be banned!
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 03:07|
Flash rule: Must contain violence but no death
"Oh my God I hate this job," Chuck said.
He set down the pizza delivery bag and wiped the film of water from his face. He hated delivering to people in the pouring rain, but at least people seemed to tip better when the weather was poo poo.
Chuck rang the doorbell and pulled out his phone. He flipped through the texts from his girlfriend. She had sent, "gonna be late, got another gunshot wound in the ER." She was having a poo poo day too, but at least she was dry. He tapped back a quick reply "Okay, I should be getting off in an hour, I'll stop by and pick you up on my way home."
The person who'd ordered the pizza finally opened the door. After a quick exchange, with no tip of course, Chuck was off running back to his car with the pizza bag over his head to block at least some of the rain.
"loving assholes," he cursed. He flipped open the glove compartment and fingered the glock he had stored in there, the spare silver bullets rattled along with the gun. For a moment he considered pulling it out and marching up to that door to deal with the customer.
With a start he realized what he was considering and slammed the glove compartment closed. Trembling he started the car and pulled out on to the street.
Chuck booked it back to the store, as he approached a stop sign at the corner a dark figure darted out from the side of the road, running directly in front of his headlights. Chuck hit the breaks but the car slid right into the dark, whatever it was, with a sickening crunch. The airbag deployed as the car slid to the side of the road and lodged itself into the ditch.
"gently caress," Chuck said.
Kicking open the door he ran over to the body on the ground. As he approached he could see large protrusions from its back, but he ignored those as he dashed to the front of the person to see if they were okay.
Eyes fluttered open just as he kneeled down, eyes that shone with a light all their own. The being stood up and picked Chuck up by the neck with one hand. Its protrusions, grew, or rather, unfolded to reveal wings easily ten feet wide.
It dropped him as the being checked itself over. Chuck stood up gasping and clutched at his throat as he backed away.
“You there, human,” the being said in a deep tone, “where are we?”
“Toronto,” Chuck said in a wavering voice.
“Very good,” the creature said and grabbed Chuck’s arm.
He asked, “What are you doing?”
“I am here to help,” the being said.
“Woah, woah, woah there bub, I’m not just going to run off with you, I don’t even know who you are,” Chuck said wrenching his arm free.
The being cocked its head then nodded and said, “That is a fair concern to have. My name is Zadkiel. I am the patron angel of mercy.”
“Wait, you’re an angel?” Chuck asked and glanced back toward his car in the ditch. He noticed now that the rain had stopped in a circle around the two of them.
“What the hell do you want with me?” Chuck asked.
“You are on a dark path Chuck. You let your anger get the better of you all too often,” Zadkiel said, “God has a plan for you, but you need to let go of your hatred.”
Chuck crossed his arms. “Listen man, angel or not, I don’t have to deal with your poo poo. I’m already dealing with enough crap as it is without you too. You already hosed up my car.”
“Did I?” Zadkiel said and pointed toward the road behind Chuck.
Chuck turned to see his car out of the ditch and back on the road without a scratch on it. Well, at least no new scratches.
“You can’t deal with being snubbed. I know that back there at your last delivery you nearly shot the man for not giving you a tip.” Zadkiel said.
Chuck turned back to the angel. His eyes smouldered with a deep resentment. Chuck thought back to all the times he’d delivered to people and the utter disgust he had experienced each time. He stalked back to his car and retrieved the gun out of its hiding spot.
“Give it to me Chuck,” Zadkiel said. “God loves you, and knows what’s best for you.”
Chuck turned the gun around in his hand a few times. “You’re right, I do have an anger problem,” he said.
He spun the gun around and shot the angel in the knees. Zadkiel stumbled to the ground looking up at Chuck in shock.
“But I’m not your god’s plaything,” Chuck said with a sneer on his lips.
He tossed the gun to Zadkiel and it skidded to a stop right in front of him.
“Why?” Zadkiel asked, “I’ll heal in a few seconds anyway.”
“Because a few seconds is all they need,” Chuck said snapping his fingers.
Shadows emerged from the trunk of Chuck’s car swarming around the angel. He struggled to get to his feet but collapsed as his legs had not healed enough to support his weight. Within seconds a spinning black sphere completely surrounded him and contracted into nothingness leaving behind a faint scream.
A pair of cool red eyes appeared in the darkness on the opposite side of the car. “Your end of the bargain have been fulfilled, you will find your payment in your car,” it whispered.
Chuck peaked through one of his windows and saw a hefty duffle bag on the passenger seat.
He nodded and tipped his hat to the eyes in the darkness. Unpinning his nametag and pulling off his uniform’s jacket, he shoved them in the back seat of his car and drove off to pick up his girlfriend.
“gently caress that job man. gently caress delivering pizzas.”
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 03:51|
It's nice to know that I'm not going to be banned, no matter how bad my story is - especially since this is my first time in the 'dome.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 06:38|
Hush with the chitchat.
Interprompt: 100 words on the beautiful end of the world.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 07:10|
probably not what you meant
“Hey Earth… nice rear end!” said the sun, which was shining brightly in space.
“Pig,” said the Earth, as she rotated away. Every night she had to put up with this harassment. “How long are you going to do this?”
“The only way you can get me to stop is if you let me have a little squeeze.”
“Not in a billion years.”
Four billion years later, the sun burned out its fuel of hydrogen, and expanded toward the Earth. “Gonna get me a piece of dat rear end,” said the sun, and it pulsed red with desire.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 07:18|
The Old Gunfist Magic
Henry Gunfist loved to paint sunsets with dogs. Big dogs, small dogs, and some medium size.
But then, one day, the President called him up.
"Gunfist," said the President. "We need the old Gunfist magic."
"No can do," said Gunfist.
Shortly after that a nuclear war started and Henry painted his most beautiful sunset ever, calling it "Nuclear Sunset".
sebmojo fucked around with this message at 12:28 on Aug 23, 2014
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 07:41|
The Beautiful End
The pristine towers in the far distance were spears raking at the bruised sky in defiance. The sky above them remained an inky purple despite the never-ending bands of dazzling white light ringing the tops of the towers.
Two women sat and watched from their perch on a hill, each of them covered from head to toe in mud, fertilizer and body odor.
“You’d have to be crazy to live in that poo poo.”
“How do they sleep with all the light?”
The pair laughed and returned to their house of dirt and brick.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 07:51|
A Good Night's Rest
They warned Rolf about the bustling city life, but not even they could predict the noise and the insomnia that inflicted him.
Rolf was trying to sleep on the couch when it happened. The loud screeches made him jump. Then, nothing.
Carefully he rose and made his way to the window. His eyes dilated at the sight.
Abandoned cars littered the street. The sky took on a deeper shade of black, one of silence and void. Not a soul in sight.
It was still early, wasn't it? The man smiled to himself. He returned to the couch and closed his eyes. He slept well.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 14:31|
Hush with the chitchat.
‘I thought about it, and I think we’ll have to end this,’ said Natasha in tears.
‘It was just a fart, Jesus, it’s not the end of the world! I was trying to make a joke!’ Martin couldn’t believe his ears. Just a week ago they’d been planning their wedding.
Natasha wiped her tears ruining the eyeliner.
‘It’s not just about us, Martin. In case you didn’t notice, your fart summoned an intergalactic fleet of alien colonisers!’
‘Are you saying they are after my colon?’
‘That’s it, Martin,’ said Natasha and pulled the trigger of her plasma gun.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 14:59|
Totally Not 'That' Snake - 100 Words
The Dame tossed her golden locks over her shoulder with a flick of her head. The neon lights of NeoDetroit played its hues of red, blue and green over her hair, making it a brilliant kaleidoscope of color as it shimmered in the exhaust of the industrial air conditioners. Even at 3 AM in this dank little alley, it was impossible to get away from the lights.
“Do it, Snake” said the Dame, delight dancing in her cybernetic eyes. “Turn the world off,” she said, laughing as she took in the sights for one last time.
I pushed the button.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 15:23|
AP Chemistry (98 words)
The Professor held the planet in his hands. "Now class, do be careful. Has everybody got their goggles? This reaction is beautiful, but rather bright. We're going to introduce our little globe here to a beaker of nitric acid."
He dropped the small blue-and-green ball into the liquid. It burst into flames after shooting out a dazzling white light. The Professor smiled. "Now, you try."
"Do you hear something?" asked Ch'tai.
"Like what?" said Macluck.
"Other than the fizzing, really faint...It sounds almost like...screaming?"
"Nah," said Macluck, swirling his burning planet around. "Sure does look pretty."
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 16:12|
Late submission: Sorry y'all no internet access again. Here's the story I produced regardless but I'm going to be out for a little while till I can get a solid connection at home. Using my school internet right now.
Title: An arrow apart.
Sophia floated above the couple. Her delicate fingers were clenched tightly in her hair, as she tried to figure-out the situation. All she could decide was that free will sucked. The three pairs of wings, and her holy aura, was entirely unnoticed by the couple below her. Humans couldn’t see angels.
“Cigarette?” Lucifer had silently crept next to her, their wings gently flexing the summer air. Angels weren’t prone to emotional outbursts regardless of who decided to appear next to them, but Sophia’s expression quickly resumed matronly façade she put on in front of others.
Sophia nodded. “I just can’t understand them.” She said pointing at the couple below.
Lucifer shook his head empathetically. Though Lucifer only had two pairs of wings, a symbol of his station in the angelic hierarchy, Sophia couldn’t help but talk to the only other sentient creature that could understand her without a holy revelation. In Sophia’s mind, Archangel Uriel only needed one more reason to call her a heretic and destroy her. The mortal insistence on comparing her to the Holy Spirit hadn’t helped retain her position.
Though only a cherub, Lucifer knew the difficulties of being an angel intimately. For a moment, floating effortlessly above the couple below the two had a commonality. Watching as Lucifer brought the cigarette to his mouth and took a long slow drag, she felt every bit as satisfied as he did with the exhale. Sophia lit her own cigarette, but found the experience wasn’t as pleasurable as it looked. After coughing fiercely, she handed her cigarette back to him, “Not my cup of tea.”
He laughed. His angelic features were beautiful, perhaps even amongst the most beautiful of all angels, but she felt unmoved by it. Angels had no real gender, below the belt they had less to speak about than a ken doll did. Regardless, she could appreciate the calm coolness with which he puffed on the tobacco, if not his statuesque appearance.
“Interesting,” Lucifer said as he blew smoke rings. She got the feeling he didn’t really care, but she was never sure what to make of Lucifer. Were Uriel present, he’d probably try to behead the fallen angel but Sophia liked to think she was easier to get along with than the spirit of a flaming sword. “What are we looking at here?” He asked finally.
Sophia sighed, “Absolutely nothing.” She fingered a little heart headed arrow, and motes of sparkling dust burst from it proving its supernatural power. “They were doing great, then this.” She motioned to the two who seemed trapped in a loop of uncomfortable small talk. “The arrows aren’t working and I don’t want to shoot them again.”
Lucifer laughed, “What? You’re not interested in another Romeo meets Juliet tragedy?”
She shuddered as she remembered that fateful arrow. “Preferably not.” Her arrows of love had, at one time, motivated anyone hit by them to seek out their true love. After a thorough dose administered to this particular couple however, the girl swirled the coffee in her mug, while the boy struggled to come up with a topic worth talking about.
“O’ churl, drunk all, and left no drop to help me after?” Lucifer teased. “I will kiss thy lips; haply some poison may yet hang upon them.”
Sophia’s face flushed, and her skin felt hot. She’d never experienced it quite as potently before, but she had to guess that Satan had embarrassed her. “Well, do you think you can do better?”
The Devil smiled extended to impossibly wide proportions, and the tips of his lips rolled into curly-cues. “Not only do I think I can do better, I’d even entertain a bit of a bet. What do you say, one soul if I can do a better job?”
Sophia felt intrigued, ultimately however it was her job to bring love to people, and she didn’t really care how it happened. More importantly she knew the rules of heaven and knew that, bet or not, their entrance into heaven wouldn’t be affected. Hesitantly at first, but with growing confidence she shook the Fallen One’s hand. “Do your best, but don’t hurt them.”
Lucifer mocked a wounded heart, “dear Sophia, when have I ever hurt men?” She raised an eyebrow and tried to hold back a smile. “Ok, maybe there was that one time…. Anyways, you’ve got yourself a deal.” A snap of his fingers was all it took. In a moment the two were having an extraordinary conversation. Lucifer laughed, “It’s all in the wrist.”
The seraphim glared at the angel of darkness, “you do realize that if they express pure love your contract is null and void right?” She felt a modicum of satisfaction in stating such, but there was nothing worse than a Seraphim being showed up by a Cherub, much less a fallen Cherub. It was sort of akin to an employee that had been fired a decade ago, showing up and doing your job quicker and better than you, the CEO, could. It not only left her feeling useless, it made her question how he had ever managed to be fired in the first place. She hesitated, then spoke, “what’s your secret?”
Satan laughed, and beckoned her closer. Hesitantly she leaned closer, careful not to touch the body of the fallen one. “How can a being without free-will understand an emotion that requires the expression of free-will? You ask for heresy Sophia and this knowledge is forbidden to you?” He whispered.
Crossing her arms, Sophia noted the two kissing below them, and smiled in spite of her attempt at a strict expression. “You know, you’re not very good at this evil thing?”
“Second greatest lie ever told.” Satan paused as he extinguished his cigarette, “The first was that it took an apple to give humanity freewill.” His laughter echoed into a puff of smoke leaving Sophia to consider the meaning of his Heresy alone.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 19:29|
Nuclear Option (61 words)
Hello, the end,
My bags are packed and standing by the door -
I'll tug my parka on and take your hand,
and walk into those drifts of scalding snow.
Hello to having-been,
I've never seen a sunset quite this green -
but I've walked the land and seen what man has done
and I for one won't weep to see us go.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 20:06|
Touched by a Thunderdome: RESULTS
Congratulations fucknuts, you have left me with a glimmer of hope still in my heart thanks to the overall lack of horrible poo poo this week!
The winner is Fumblemouse, who caught the imagination with colossal falling angels. Nice work.
Honourable mentions this week go to Sitting Here and godoverdjinn for moving and amusing us, apparently on purpose.
Dishonourable mentions this week to ZorajitZorajit for a boring pretentious non-story and elfdude for sucking at absolutely every aspect of what makes a story work, so they should feel lucky that -
The loser is RunningIntoWalls. Goddamn, I didn't want to do this to you again, but holy poo poo was that terrible. Proofread! Edit once in a while maybe! Give more of a gently caress!
Special mention to Tyrannosaurus who probably would have won if they'd bothered to put an actual angel in their story like I asked.
Jeza's story is yet to appear. Djeser, nickmeister and CommissarMega at least had the grace to admit they were backing out. The following posters didn't bother to submit or say anything and are now on the shitlist: Whalley, A Tin of Beans, Masonity, Entenzahn, Lake Jucas, Grizzled Patriarch
And DreamingOfRoses didn't speak up in time to avoid a toxx.
I felt like the standard was pretty high this week! Some fairly good poo poo got nothing, proving that a rising tide doesn't actually carry all boats. Crits will come later. For right now, step up, Fumblemouse! It's your problem now wheeee
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:11|
THE BLACK JUDGEMENT
Today is a sad day, Thunderpeople. Today is a day where I have to pick a favorite child out of my three fabulous children (except curlingiron, gently caress that red-headed stepchild) and pronounce one of them the winner of this brawl.
I do not want to do it, but, unfortunately, it must be done.
I laughed several times through this story. There was a perfect balance of wtfery that I can definitely get behind as I feel that everything you had going on in your story is something I would do myself.
You portrayed Jesus very well and even had him as a main character! Also you made our Negro Savior a ladies' man; a friend to the prostitutes as well, and I can get down with that.
Da Iron of Curling
You failed me, begone!
Even though you had Jesus, in your story, he did not have a large a role as I would have liked. The nigga of man is a jealous God, Moon. While your main man was in the Garden of Eden, It was unclear as to what plan Jesus slipped on purpose and to what end. Actually, that whole mid part was a head scratcher.
Although the story you told was written well, it was not that funny. I can suspend my belief that the Jesus you portrayed would have been able to pull rear end whenever he was up to it, but if I were to actually judge the dialogue between Jesus and his fallen honey as non-biased reader, Jesus' smooth talking is rather janky and he would come across rather petulant.
And finally, for all involved, his name is not Jesus, it's Black Jesus. You gotta say the whole thing.
The winner, by the slimmest margin - solely by the virtue of being humorous, We Landed On The Moon
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:21|
Well, at least I wasn't last!
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:23|
gently caress Your Rules, and I Don't Care It's Late, 114 words
We did not leave this world with nuclear glow,
Murder for a murder, sharing all blame.
Cover'd up in silence by dirty snow,
Those who survive wishing death by the flame.
Nor did we go off on some glory run,
Venture away from our belov'd sweet land,
To dance and mate under strange far off suns,
All men allied, gathered in one sole band.
We stay at home and fix on other things,
And age and grow and die and change our lines
Til man transforms into different strange beings.
We grow weary and sleep away all time.
"Is" is a thing but for a few moments
And "Is" becomes "What was" without torment.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:42|
Prompt number LXXXVIII - The Wise Fool
I wrote terrible stories in which cats' bottoms featured prominently, I churned out entries where bottles had more character than my characters, the literary headlines ran 'Fumblemouse Fumbles Again'. Oh, how foolish I seemed! What I figure of fun I had become! But now I have reclaimed the Thunderthrone in a rain of glorious giant angels.
It may surprise you to learn that this was my plan all along.
This week's prompt is to write a story about a wise fool. It can be a literal court jester, like Touchstone, A holy fool, like Nasruddin, or something of your own devising, so long as it fits the prompt.
Also, your story must contain a citrus fruit, because you need your 5+ a day.
WordLimit: 937 words
Judges: Fumblemouse, Some Guy TT and [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE AND WIN A FABULOUS PRIZE IF YOU HAVE A WIN OR COUPLE OF HMs].
Sign ups close Friday 11:59pm EST
Submission in by Sunday 11:59pm EST
The wisdom of foolish crowds
The News at 5 (Fool is on the idiot box)
docbeard (fool is an expert at malapropisms )
That Old Ganon (Toxx)
God Over Djinn
Benny the Snake
Fumblemouse fucked around with this message at 03:17 on Apr 14, 2014
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:53|
Best prompt, I'm in
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:54|
Yeah okay I'm in.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:56|
Time to get foolish.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 21:58|
|# ? Dec 7, 2022 21:10|
When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of IN.
|# ? Apr 7, 2014 22:00|