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Answer to Prayer

by on January 27, 2015

The lizard stared morosely into his drink. He didn’t know what to do. The math did itself inexorably in his head. He had a certain number of credits. It was far, far less than the amount he needed. Specifically, if he didn’t come up with nine thousand credits within twelve standard hours, his small spacecraft would be repossessed. A trader without a spacecraft was like a solar system without a sun. He would be grounded. His small lizard family would go hungry. What was he to do?

He’d come to the casino starship on a last hope, but now he was nearly out of what little he’d scraped together. He had won at first, but then, inevitably, his luck had turned bad. The house always got theirs in the end. The poor lizard had missed his moment to walk away.

He had nowhere else to turn now. But he did remember some things from his youth, back on his home moon. He lifted his eyes towards the ceiling. “I’m not,” he hissed quietly, “a church-going lizard, but…. if you’re out there…”

A short distance away, Constance wandered through the bustling crowds, her hands shoved in her pockets. She was bored. Her friends were away on their own mission, and she couldn’t help unless they were truly in mortal peril. It was the burden of being a guardian angel. She knew she could run her charges’ lives better than they could, but could she intervene? No. Constance rolled her eyes. Just once, just once…

Then she felt it: the slight ding from her halo, indicating the presence of a desperate soul. Constance shot a look round. She spotted the lizard. The halo dinged again. “You have got to be kidding,” Constance said.

She felt the angelic pull. It was the lizard all right, and he needed help. Constance rolled her eyes. She popped herself visible, and slid onto the bar stool next to him. “Right, what’s your problem?”

The lizard blubbered out his tale of woe in a few short sentences. Constance quickly assessed the situation. “So you need X, but you’ve only got Y. Okay then. Tell you what: you make one more bet, and you’ll win this time.”

“No I won’t,” said the lizard. “The house wins, ma’am. They always wins.”

The angel smiled. “Do they now?”

It turned out that it was a lot easier for someone to win at a card game when an invisible angel is reading the other players’ cards. In ten minutes, the lizard had won more than enough money to pay for his spacecraft. He would’ve kept going, but Constance saw the light in his eyes and wisely intervened. She pushed him off to the teller where he cashed in, and then saw him safely to the teleporters that would take him off the ship. “Bye now!” she said, as he disappeared, stunned but grateful, in the teleporting energies. She reflected that being a guardian angel wasn’t all that bad, all things considered.


This story was part of the ongoing Angel and the Space Otter series I’ve been writing, but I hope it stands on its own as well. Thanks for reading! 

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4 Comments
  1. Jennifer G. Knoblock permalink

    You have such a wonderful knack for characterization. I always enjoy your stories.

  2. Christine permalink

    Fun little glimpse into Constance’s day! That’s one lucky lizard.

  3. What an engenious little tale. Loved the angel.

  4. Asha permalink

    It’s so nice to see a return of this series. And what a fortunate lizard he was to have met up with his guardian angel. I especially liked that Constance turned her opinion around from her begrudging granting of his wish, to really enjoying her job.

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