I settled onto the couch with my bowl of popcorn on my knees. Fridays were film nights in my family. just me and my parents in front of the telly. I sighed, popping a couple of kernals into my mouth. For some unknown reason, my mother has started putting the old Disney classics on on Fridays. Although I wouldn't admit it to anyone, I secretly enjoyed watching them again. That said, I was going to have the songs going round and round in my head for days. At least it was the Christmas holidays now. No one would be able to catch me out for humming them under my breath. I glanced out of the window at the dark sky. It was certainly a night for sitting in front of the telly. Mother Nature was not in a good mood if she was sending weather like that at humanity. I settled myself further into the corner of the couch. someone knocked on the door. I barely heard it over the rolling thunder, but it sounded desperate. I left my parents to watch the film, stepping out into the hallway.
Rain lashed at the windows in Nature's terrible fury. The wind howled like a hound grieving for its master. Lightning flashed, illuminating the bare branches of the trees, the twigs casting the shadows of hands that reached out to grab you. I walked down the hallway towards the front door,wondering who would be calling at this time of the night, especially in this weather. I heaved open the heavy door, holding tightly onto it as the icy wind raked its talons down my face and across my bare arms. Squinting against the rain, I saw her. Shaking, shivering, sobbing, her clothes ripped, muddied and bloodstained, clinging to her prone form, her hair streaked white blond instead of its usual red as if someone had poured a bottle of bleach over her head, but it was her. She looked up at me with strange eyes full of tears. One eye green, the other brown, her make up long washed away
"I'm sorry," she murmured. "Oh god, I'm sorry. I didn't know where else to go."
My parents were standing in the hall behind me, having been equally curious about the caller. I pulled Angela inside, slamming the door. She stumbled, limping badly. I spied a dark, wet gleam on her thigh. My mother must have noticed this as well, hustling the girl quickly into the kitchen, grabbing the extensive first aid kit my parents always kept on hand. I sagged against the wall, my brain trying to catch up with what had just happened. Never before had I been more glad that both my parents were doctors. Between them, they could handle pretty much anything and, if they couldn't, they knew who could. Gathering up my courage, I peeked around the door into the kitchen. Angela was sat on the table, an old dressing gown worn backwards playing the role of hospital scrubs in an effort to preserve her dignity. My mother worked on a short, deep gash on the girl's thigh, my father working on her lower back with a pair of tweezers. Looking back, I realised that the wound must have really pained Angela for her to let someone work behind her with a such a minimum of fuss. but I wasn't really watching my parents. Certainly not after they caught my eye. Growing out from her shoulderblades was an expanse of muddied, bloodied, once white feather. An angel!