Chapter 2Mature

Chapter II – Insanity

(true to only the sane)

Slapping an Angel is the one most insane thing I have ever done and will ever do in my now short-seeming life. My hand made contact with its flawless, glowing skin with your typical slapping sound as tears sprang to my glassy eyes. His head, bare inches above mine, shot to the side as I released my fury at being so powerlessly human on the shimmering immortal. The impact shot up my arm and seemed to go right through to my very soul.

There was a split-second of utter silence, my hand still in the air, as I realised with silent horror that I had assaulted an Angel, and as said Angel realised he had been struck by a lowly mortal.

I was dead. Simple as. So of course, being human, I ran.

I sped past the seemingly shell-shocked Angel and didn’t look back. The brick houses shot past me as I ran for my life, the impact of each step jarring up my legs. I wasn’t a sprinter, more a long distance runner, but I reached my front door, panting, within a minute. I didn’t look behind me, fear driving me on as I locked the door and ran up the stairs, tears now rolling freely down my cheeks and onto my stupid striped tie with the stupid Saint John’s symbol. I had never hated Christianity more than at that moment. Whatever God resided up above those fluffy white clouds, playing with our lives, was cruel. Cruel and heartless.

I was as good as dead after that stunt, and Beth was probably going to die. I was helpless. I should have been terrified, and I guess I was, but more than that; I felt miserable. So sad even that I didn’t bother hiding in my closet or under the bed with a knife; I just collapsed on my bed and cried. My best friend since I was born was going to die.

We had gone through everything together; first school, middle school, our first day at a scary Catholic high, our first bastard boyfriends. We kept nothing from each other save our darkest of secrets, and even then there were always hints. The only secret I was sure we didn’t share in the slightest was my ‘sight’. She didn’t know I could see Angels. Those sweet, sweet Gods of death. Stunning yet cold, bright yet undeniably dark.

Beth had unconditionally comforted me back when my mother called me a hell-ridden child every day for lying about ‘God’s precious Angels’, when she didn’t even know what made me so distraught. And now, when she most needed me, I could do nothing. What use was seeing Angels when I couldn’t raise a finger to stop them taking from me what I held dear…?

I sobbed the hours away, hearing my dad return from work and my mother from church. They left me alone other than to call me down for dinner. I ignored them, and beyond tears, lay on my salty pillow, eyes glassy and distant. What would they say if I told them I had slapped an Angel? What would they say if I told them I was probably going to die within the next hour? What would they say if I expressed my opinion that God, if he existed, was a cruel child sitting on an anthill after all? I was the current ant between his fingers, squirming as he pulled me limb from limb. And his loyal Angel would be there to deliver the finishing blow when he got bored of my squealing. I nearly started to cry again, but managed to stop myself, head throbbing from water loss. I wasn’t strong, I never had been, but I knew that crying got you nowhere.  

Maybe I could just apologise and the Angel would forgive me. Isn’t forgiveness what God preaches? I mean, a slap wasn’t going to have done much damage… But even if I survived abusing an Angel, there was a one in three chance (based on my experience) that Beth was going to die either to serve some higher purpose or because she willed it upon herself. The latter I would never allow, and Beth would never even think to do, no matter what. So maybe, just maybe…

I bit my lip as hope resurfaced and refused to be put out despite my efforts. I should go outside, show him I’m willing to apologise… I swallowed, uncertainty gnawing away at my resolve. 

Have you ever been bungee jumping? I have (that it was only from atop a very high tree aside), and the best thing to do is just jump. Don’t stand there, quivering on the edge, to debate the likelihood of the fastenings failing, or the probability of being strangled by the elastic on rebound. The more you think the worse the fear gets, however unreasonable.

So, with that questionable resolve in mind, I dragged myself out of the warm security of my bed, opened my double-glazed window and climbed out onto the porch roof. The biting chill of midnight’s breeze stung my cheeks, and I forced myself not to look down. I wasn’t all that scared of heights, but considering the courage (or insanity) I was already using up to just get myself to move, I might as well not make my situation even worse... Grabbing onto the flimsy guttering, I managed to pull myself up with no small amount of struggling and cursing, hooking my right leg onto the roof tile and pushing with all my strength.

Lungs heaving, I lay back on the lightly tilted roof and gazed up at the clear, starry sky as I caught my breath, thinking if the Angel decided to kill me after all, I wouldn’t mind having this as my last sight. The stars were shining, winking pinpricks against the endless void of black, beautiful despite the accumulated pollution and refracting light born of civilisation. I felt as if I could fall and fall into the abyss if I stared too long.

It seemed my assumption that the Angel would notice me best on the roof was right; as the subtle ruffling of feathers was all the warning I got before said Angel swooped down to land somewhere behind me, bare feet soundless on the grey tile.

The End

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