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by on May 30, 2015

The two pencils clicked together in cross-form on the sheet of paper. Kendall arranged them properly, exactly over the two lines she’d drawn. “Okay, everyone set?” she said, looking around at the pajama-clad slumber partiers gathered in her bedroom.

Maia still looked doubtful. “I don’t know…” she ventured. She still wasn’t convinced of the wisdom of attempting to summon a potentially evil spirit, even if it was named something friendly like Charlie. She’d been thoroughly spooked by the videos lighting up her Twitter.

Kendall rolled right over her objections. Kendall was captain of the cheerleading squad, class president, and half a dozen other things besides; she tended to roll right over anyone in her way. “Look, it’ll be fun,” she said, “and it’s cool, and we could go viral. Trish, you’ve got video?”

“Yep,” Trisha said, holding her smartphone up for everyone’s eye, like Rafiki presenting Simba in The Lion King. She was Kendall’s second-in-command, as it were, the Grover Dill to Kendall’s Scut Farkus, if Grover Dill had worn braces and Black Widow pajamas.

“Awesome. Lights!”  Someone near the door flicked the switch. Only a nightlight glowed eerily now, fitting the mood perfectly.  Kendall took a dramatic breath. “Charlie, Charlie, are you-”

Without any warning, without so much as a spooky chord of music, the two pencils burst into flame. Blinding light blazed in the room, snapping away the shadows like rubber bands. Everyone shrieked and scrambled back, as the flame from the pencils mushroomed up towards the ceiling. Through the impossibly bright glare, Maia saw a form, outlined in fiery orangey-yellows, with wings all over, wings where there shouldn’t be wings, and eyes, lots of eyes, staring terribly-

A voice, dissonant and clanging, blasted at them from all corners of the room. “Why have you summoned me?”

Kendall threw up splashily. Trisha gathered what fortitude she had. “Um-” she squeaked, trying to sound defiant.

Flee,” said the voice. “FLEE!”

They fled, shrieking. The light faded, and the fire dwindled down like a used-up birthday candle. A smaller figure, yellow-white, appeared by the bed, trying to stifle a laugh. “Bravo, Raph,” she said, clapping. “Bravo.”

That was what you wanted, right?” said the voice from the fiery collection of wings and eyes. “I thought the pencils flaming might have been a bit much….

“It was perfect,” Constance said. Being a guardian angel could, occasionally, be fun. Especially when you could do things like this. “Bet she didn’t plan on summoning a seraphim.”

“No one ever does,” sulked the seraphim.

“Oh, grow up,” she said. “Right, who’s next?”

Birthday party, Third Street, fifth house on the left. They’ve almost started.”

Constance smiled, extending her wings. “Pencils down, kids.”  She and Raph disappeared, in a flurry of light.

This is a more developed version of the idea I was aiming at in the story I wrote for the gargleblaster challenge at yeah write this week. I read the article about the Charlie Charlie challenge going viral, and I got to thinking; what if the good guys decided to get in on the fun? And why doesn’t anyone try to contact the angels, anyway? It’s a thought. Also, I’ve been interested in the idea of terrible angels (terrible in the classic sense, natch) ever since Raiders of the Lost Ark, not to mention “Knowing”, the interesting film with Nicolas Cage. We always think angels are fluffy-winged beings with halos who show up and do the Touched by an Angel bit, but  I don’t think it’s really that way. In the Christmas story, the shepherds basically panic when the angels show up. The first thing they always say is “Fear not.” Would you be afraid of a human-like person with fluffy wings and a halo? Maybe that’s why no one tries to contact the angels…


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  1. I enjoyed hearing the angels’ perspective on this.

  2. Maybe if people knew angels could also help us have fun, they’ll be contacting their winged companions more often. Besides, angels need to have fun too! Loved this, both as a story and as a response to the Charlie Charlie fad.

  3. This was a fun read… might as well get some enjoyment from ‘spooking’ others 🙂 I think pencils bursting into flame would get most people’s attention!

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