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Serve and Protect

by on October 7, 2014

“”I tried to forgive them,” Constance said piously, “But you see, that was before I became an angel. So naturally I had to struggle with that. I mean, come on, it’s a freakin’ dinosaur dig in South Dakota. I expected the dinosaurs to be, y’know, dead. No one told me one of ’em might come alive. I mean, yeah, I’d had a drink or two or six, but-”

“Ahem,” rumbled Bernard, Constance’s supervisor, just as several of the littler angels were getting interested. “Perhaps, Constance, you could return to the fundamentals of being a guardian?”

“Sure,” said Constance, going back to her flannelgraph. She’d been at it for some time now, so much that she was now teaching classes, but she still couldn’t help digressing into stories about her human life. With a sigh, she resumed.

“Buses. Your planets with teleporters, now, don’t have this issue, but a lot of places still do, so listen up. Sooner or later, your charge is gonna try to get run over.”  She stuck a small cutout of a yellow bus on her flannelgraph. “You, obviously, can’t let that happen. If you see a bus heading towards your person, pull ’em back. By force if you have to, though that’s kinda last resort material. Go subtle if you can. Stall, divert, make ’em think their long lost lover is coming the other way, whatever. I had someone hit by a bus once. It’s not fun.”

“But,” asked a timid angel, “didn’t they get resurrected later?”  She had heard Constance tell that particular story several times.

Constance rounded on her. “Yeah, but you can’t count on that! Resurrections don’t come easy, you know. Especially not with humans. They can’t regenerate, and they die easy. If you see that bus coming for your person, you have to think it’s playing for keeps. Got it?”

The angel nodded quickly. “Yes, ma’am. No resurrections from buses. But what about taxi cabs?”

Constance looked thoughtful. “Taxi cabs. Now there’s an interesting story….”

What the story would’ve been, her class never found out. Constance’s halo, which she had hung up on a spike of cloud to be out of the way, suddenly began flashing bright red. “Class dismissed!” Constance yelled, snatching for the halo and springing into the air. Red alerts, she had told her students a hundred times, were serious. It was an all-wings-on-deck situation. It meant your charge was in extreme peril.


Sarah May Raxenpaxerflirk lived in a dingy grey room in a dingier greyer house on the outskirts of the small moon. She longed for a nicer place, especially on nights coming home after a long shift at the Lady Amber. She felt so tired on these nights. Her every tentacle ached as she made her way upstairs. She crept into her small room and threw herself on her sleeping pod with a gurgling sigh. Sometimes she wondered whether medical school was worth it.

Then she heard a beep from her door. “Who is it?” she called, a little nervously. She only had a few friends, and most of them were back on her home planet. She hadn’t had a social call yet.

“Lunar Constable Jenkins, ma’am,” came a metallic voice. “Need to ask you a question about one of your customers.”

Sarah May looked through her peephole. Sure enough, she saw the glint of the robot policeman’s badge. Robots were the mainstay of the Lunar Constabulary. With a sigh, she typed in a code, and the door slid open. “Which one?” she said blearily

“Space otter. Talking to a cloud of gas.”

“Oh!” Sarah May exclaimed, because she actually did remember him. “Yes, he was very nice, tipped well, no trouble at all.”

“Did you hear any of their conversation?”

“Well, no, not really…” Sarah May said, furrowing her brow. “I had other tables. The otter did say something about a Norb, but I didn’t really catch it.”

“You mean,” said the robot, “An Orb.”

Sarah May’s eyes widened as she understood. “Not the Orb of the Wha-”

The robot’s arm cannon rose, crackling with plasma, and aimed in her direction. “Sorry, ma’am. Wrong place, wrong time.”

Sarah May Raxenpaxerflirk started to scream. Then there was a golden flash, and a shower of sparks. A halo seemed suddenly to be growing out of the robot’s chest. It fell over in a heap of wrecked metal.

“Robots,” Constance said, brushing off her wing. “I’ll have to add robots to the lecture.”


  1. What a wonderful story. I loved the idea and it made me smile. I have this picture of Constance giving a lecture to a group of new Angels. Great!

  2. That was so imaginative and off the wall. Great story!

  3. So good! Constance reminds me of the Hayley Mills character in the old Trouble With Angels movie. I especially enjoyed your descriptions of Sarah May’s world.

    • You are too kind. 🙂 As it happens, I rewatched the Trouble with Angels earlier this year, although I admit I did not intentionally model Constance after Hayley. Now that you mention it, though…

  4. Natalie DeYoung permalink

    I liked the concept here!

  5. Love it! So, wait, the police robots are the ones who take you out if you say the name of the Orb Which Shall Not Be Named? Or it was something else posing as a robocop trying to get her to say the name? But why would anyone want to entrap poor Sarah May? Can’t wait for the next one!

    • Very good questions, all. I do not have the answers yet, as I am more or less making the story up as I go. But hopefully I will know the answers soon. 🙂

  6. Whew! Sarah May should thank her lucky stars that Constance was there!

  7. Christine permalink

    I love how you mix absolutely believable dialog and mannerisms with absolutely absurd situations and characters. It’s a particular knack of yours, and I love it.

    • Thanks; you are too kind. I don’t think I’m terribly gifted with description, not like Tolkien or any of the classics, so I try to get the dialogue right to compensate. 🙂

  8. I love the idea behind this. Angels wouldn’t only be on Earth, but they could be any where. And yeah, the charges of angels are always walking in front of buses. Loved that aspect of it. This was great fun!

    • Touched by an Angel: IN SPACE! would’ve been so much more fun as a TV show…

  9. An angel with a flannelgraph – love it! This was great fun!

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