An Original Novel
Damiel sat on the couch, eating loaves of bread. He wore clothes that Ario found in his attic that were near the right size. Mrs. Pacrifa had been a little suspicious when all the loaves kept disappearing, but didn't mention it, as he was hidden in the attic whenever she was around, which was really only in the evening. Mrs. Pacrifa worked a full time job and although she got weekends off, she tended to leave early in the morning to go work for a charity organization and didn't return until late at night. The television was currently playing a rerun of a program call Unnatural which was about two brothers who travel across the country hunting ghosts and demons and the like.
“This angel... Cassiel?” Damiel looked up at Ario, “I don't get him.”
“What do you mean?” Ario sighed.
“I mean, he's just a mindless soldier,” Damiel explained, “Angels aren't like that at all. We have feelings and emotions and shit.”
“Well, as far as I am aware,” Ario replied, “He gets better.”
“Ya don't know?” Damiel asked.
“Nah,” Ario shook his head, “I'm not really interested in the show all that much. Lory is more obsessed with it.”
“Why are ya friends with her?” Damiel asked, “Ya know, she's nice and such, but ya two don't really have much in common at all.”
“That's just the thing, isn't it?” Ario shrugged, “She's so different. Not conformed by society, but she's not a main-stream nonconformist, either... She's like no one I've ever met or probably ever will.”
“Main-stream nonconformist?” Damiel smirked.
“Yeah,” Ario rolled his eyes, “Like a total bitch about everything that's popular and Goth or metal and rebellious and shit. She's not like that – She does what she does just because.”
“But ya're different, too,” Damiel noticed, “I can't quite put my finger on it, but ya give off a weird vibe.”
“I guess,” Ario shrugged, “I've been told that, before.”
“Knock, knock!” a voice called from the screen door in the kitchen. Ario sighed and got to his feet, going to greet his guest.
“Who's there?” he asked, glancing through the gridded screen to see Lory standing there with a big brown paper bag that probably came from the grocer's.
“Anna-Mary!” she replied.
“Anna-Mary who?” he said.
“Anna-mary-tary, My dear Watson,” she giggled, slipping inside when he opened the door to her.
“Funny,” he rolled his eyes. Back when they were young, she had said knock, knock when she arrived and, being the kid that he was, he'd said who's there. He'd then refused to let her in until she finished the joke. Ever since then, she'd always had to tell him a knock, knock joke when she came around.
“I know, I am,” she flipped her hair back, dramatically, “So, I brought stuff,” She set the bag on the counter and began unloading its contents, “Bread, bread, bread, bread, more bread, some bagels, wheat bread, whole bread, little tiny tea-time sandwich bread... Oh! And this.” She pulled the last thing from the bag and pushed the bag aside so it could sit on the table. Before them lay a can of spray paint.
“What's that for?” Ario asked, picking up the red spray paint canister and reading its label.
“I'm a theolophile, remember?” she said, “I know all about angels. How to trap them, if we need to.”
“Trap him?” Ario asked, “Why would we do that?”
“In case he goes back to his superiors once he's done here,” she replied, “You heard him the other day. The angels don't want humans to know their secrets. They'll come and erase our memories if we let him go.”
“Well, he can't stay here, forever!” Ario objected.
“Of course not,” Lory laughed, “You think I'd buy all this bread? The Occultary sends their regards.”
“The... What?” Ario blinked.
“It's an organization of people that do the same thing I do,” Lory explained, “Remember when we were kids and you said we should get a job and I said not to worry about it because we were covered?”
“I assumed you meant our parents,” Ario admitted.
“I got a job, silly,” Lory laughed, “I do research for them. When I gained membership, they started taking care of me and everyone I cared about. Now that I'm old enough, I give them a lot of help. Of course, they're interested in more than just angels, but I'm not too interested in that other work, myself.”
“So... All this time,” Ario clarified, “You weren't just interested in angels, you were collecting research for the library of the supernatural?”
“Pretty much,” Lory nodded.
“Right,” Ario contemplated this, “You were gonna tell me this, when?”
“I wasn't, actually,” Lory admitted, “We're top secret, but they were hoping maybe you'd join us. Now that, you know, you got a taste of what is out there. If you aren't into angels, there are other things. Demons are kind of cool. And ghosts and pagans and vampires and the like.”
“Lory. No,” he shook his head, “You're not recruiting me into some weird group of creepy hunters. No wonder you're so into that stupid show, Unnatural.”
“It's not stupid!” Lory insisted, “It's one thing to not want to join, but it's another completely to be a total ass.”
“You're right. Sorry,” he sighed, “Let's just go check on the bird.” As the two of them entered the room where Damiel was, three things happened all at once. The first one, in relativity to the other two, was rather uneventful. A small bee had been buzzing about the room and minding his own business – which seems fairly mediocre to the humans and the angel, but was very important to him. He found a crumb of bread and picked it up. This might seem peculiar, because bees don't have any use of bread crumbs, but it went unnoticed by them. The bee took the crumb and flew back to his hive through the window which was conveniently opened on this particular summer day. Of course, the crumb was useless to the other bees and they kicked this bee from his home because he had a long history of being incredibly worthless. So this bee, after being cast out of his society, took a trip up a huge mountain and met a very friendly fairy who took him and his crumb in. The fairy, however, became very poor after the bee died and was forced to sell the crumb where it landed in the collection of a very wealthy woman who identified the piece as Mana because nobody knew what it's original purpose had been. Of course, this was rather amusing, because many people believe Mana to be the name of the food of the angels. This, of course, was ridiculous because, quite obviously, most angels prefer the mastery of the French cuisine, but the collector did not know that, else she may have named it something more along the lines of Leanjele which, quick frankly, sounds like a far superior title to a collection piece than Mana does.
The second and third thing that happened were a tad bit more eventful than the first. The second thing that occurred was Damiel spotting the bread – and the nice lady who kept taking care of him – and he lunged across the decent coffee table that Mrs. Pacrifa had bought at a garage sale a few years ago. Although Damiel's heart was always in the right place, he tended to have a very handicapping flaw of never thinking things through before he did them. On the coffee table was a very full vase of flowers that were fake. Despite this, Mrs. Pacrifa insisted they needed to be watered and did so every night when she came home. It might have had something to do with Ario's tradition of emptying out the water as part of his morning routine, but he'd forgotten on this particular day to so. And as Damiel reached for the bread, he knocked it onto Lory, who was startled by the sudden appearance of water all over herself. She jumped back into Ario, who still held the spray paint, and he accidentally pressed the button on the top and sprayed in the direction of the open window.
The third and final thing was the arrival of a phoebe. He flew into the window, expected to carry out his mission and return to his usual task of working in the sector he was assigned to under his commanding swallow, who was as much of an ass-hat as any angel. Of course, with the calamity that had just occurred, he flew in the open window, past a peculiar little bee carrying a crumb, and directly into the spray of the red paint. He lost his sight and steered off course, crashing directly into Ario.
“Ah! Cardinal!” Damiel screeched, ducking behind the couch with his newly acquired bread. Lory followed after in alarm, really not wanting to loose her memory after she spent so much of her life learning about the angels and finally getting to meet one. Ario looked down at the bird in his hands and spotted the red residue left behind on his fingers.
“Guys... It's not a cardinal,” he sighed, tossing the can on the couch, “It's a phoebe.” Almost instantly, the bird changed into a human. His hair was a dark, lead grey color and his eyes were a deep green, in contrast with Damiel's, which were a dark blue. He wore a black button down shirt with was beneath a fit black jacket. Black pants and a white tie finished off the outfit. He was about sixteen or seventeen in age – At least as appearances went. Now, the thing about angels is that they aren't always aware or, in some cases, are simply indifferent to what is considered socially acceptable to humans and what is considered awkward. Ario found his fingers wrapped around the waist of the angel before him after the transformation and was captivated by his eyes that swam in intelligence and confidence. Then, of course, he realized their positioning and took quite a few distinguished steps back.
“The Hell?” he snapped, defensively.
“Ashriel!” Damiel beamed, peeping out from behind the couch, “Long time no see!” He rushed out and crushed the smaller angel in a hug, lifting him off the ground in the process. Ashriel remained completely still, his face portraying no emotion.
“Greetings, Damiel,” he replied. Damiel set him down and took a step back, his hands remaining on his shoulders.
“Look at ya, boy!” Damiel laughed, “Ya got upgraded to a phoebe! Good for ya... I knew ya could do it!”
“Damiel,” Ashriel frowned, “You need to come with me, now.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Lory interjected, “I'm sorry, but no. He's not going anywhere.”
“You must be Malory Kah,” Ashriel turned to her, “The theolophile. The angels know all about the Occultary – All about you. I suggest you mind your own business, Miss, and leave this to the professionals.”
“Cute,” Lory smirked, “But I am well aware of your strict orders not to use any magic on mankind and you're a pretty scrawny kid, so unless you think you have some hidden muscle in that body of yours, I suggest you back off, yourself.”
“I assure you I am plenty strong enough with merely my natural strength,” Ashriel gritted his teeth, “Don't test my patience, Mortal.”
“Ashriel, let's talk abou-” Damiel attempted.
“Silence!” Ashriel snapped, holding up his hand. Damiel shut his mouth instantly, concern running through his eyes.
“Don't yell at him!” Lory defended, “He hasn't done anything wrong! You have no right to just show up and do whatever you want!”
“I will flatten this house with you inside if that's what it takes to get you out of my way, Pest,” Ashriel bit. Ario's head shot up at this statement. He wasn't particularly passionate about this house or most of its contents, but his mother rather liked this house and he would rather not have Lory swashed between floorboards, so he chose to speak up.
“Enough!” he shouted and the other three stopped. Lory looked relatively surprised at his sudden outburst, Damiel kind of smiled a little – he'd been met with direct commands at other intervals in the course of his stay and was used to it by now – and Ashriel wore a face that spoke of slight confusion, but of mostly interest – Like a scientist was studying a new kind of bird, perhaps.
“Alright,” Ario sighed, glancing between the three of them, “That's better.”