Chapter VI – The End?
(is there ever an ‘end’?)
Caleb watched the human girl leave, her steps loud on the loose slate of the roof and feet clumsy. She was obviously exhausted; her eyes were shadowed and skin pale, but he couldn’t blame her. He knew little of fear (he hadn’t experienced that particular emotion in over two thousand years), but remembered enough to understand that until this was over she would not, could not, rest adequately. Sonea was going to die, and no amount of reassurance would ease the nightmares she was no doubt having.
Although it had been at the dawn of his existence, Caleb still remembered the time when he had been human, going through the same experience the girl was now. It was how Angels were Made, after all.
On Earth, about a million people are in Karmic equilibrium at any one time. These persons have no horrible sins to pay for, and no heroic deeds left unrewarded. Out of these one million, about one hundred have earned, through various human reincarnations, the right to be Tested. These chosen few are given the Sight; the ability to see Caleb’s kind. Then, once they know what being shadowed means for a normal human, they become one of the shadowed themselves.
This is the first part of the Test. The second is the day following the realisation. If the Tested runs, attacks their Angel to prevent the assumed reaping, or goes insane, the Test stops there. If not, then the third, final phase takes place the next day.
The person closest to the Tested human’s heart is put in mortal danger. The human is given a choice; save their precious companion and sacrifice themselves, or leave them to die. If the human chooses the latter, then both the Tested and their companion survive and live a normal life. If the prior is chosen, their companion lives and the Tested dies, but is reincarnated as an Angel instead of a human.
Luckily, Sonea had slapped Caleb in reaction to a misunderstanding about her friend, otherwise she would have failed the second part of the test.
He though back to his utter shock at being slapped after trying to confirm whether she truly was a Tested or not, and smiled. Angels do not often come across humans who can see them, and when they do it is utterly without warning, so she hadn’t been the only one surprised. For Caleb, it was actually his first time shadowing one of the Tested, so he hadn’t really known what to do.
Fortunately for him, Sonea had been taking it all remarkably well, and he found their conversations to be fascinating. So, everything considered, he viewed this experience to have been a positive one. Hopefully it would end positively, with Sonea making the right choice.
If not, then their conversation just passed would be their last.