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Guardians

by on May 21, 2019

“Right, everyone, listen up!” Raphael called. The angel assembly dutifully fell silent, with only the most minimal ruffling of wings. Raphael ran down the assignment list briefly. “Donny, you’re on guardian detail. Lisa, same. And let’s try and cut back on the head injuries, okay?”

“Sure, boss,” Lisa said, as her fellow angels giggled around her. “But hey, you know a better way to stop people cheatin’ on other people than whacking them over the head with a frying pan, you let me know.”

“How about calm reasonable persuasion?” Raphael said tiredly.

“How about a mailbox? I’ve been thinking about switching to a mailbox. More balance in the swing, and all that.”

“Just try talking them out of it before you clobber them, okay? Now then, Anna, you’re on guardian too. I know you just transferred over from Angel Choir, so make sure you read the packet before you start. This job involves a lot less singing and a lot more stopping bad things from happening. Your charge is about four months from being born, so you’ve got time. You’ll be stationed in…ah. Chernobyl.”

Anna blinked. “Are they letting people in there now?”

Raphael shrugged. “Unofficially, yeah.”

“Cool,” Anna said laconically.

After the assignments were announced, Lisa darted over to where Anna was gathering her paperwork together. “Hey, my guy’s in Chernobyl too. I was just heading down there. Wanna tag along?”

“Sure,” Anna said. “You are not planning on hitting my person with a mailbox, are you?”

“Not unless he grows up and cheats,” Lisa said.

Anna rifled through her packet. “It seems to be a girl.”

“She, then,” Lisa said. “I’m equal opportunity that way.”

“Why is this a thing with you?” Anna asked curiously.

“Pre-angel. Long story.”

Several months went by. Anna was on guard in the corner of the small crumbling brick house. Her charge still hadn’t been born yet, but from what Anna could tell, the child would arrive any day now. So far, the most guardian work Anna had done was making sure the baby wasn’t affected by the radioactivity still lingering in the atmosphere.

The mother was reading a book by the window, although she didn’t seem to be paying much attention. Anna surmised she was worried about the father. Now that Anna thought about it, the man was past his usual time.

Then the door opened, and the father came in, looking rather the worse for wear. “You would not believe what happened to me,” he exclaimed. “I was just coming from taking a tour through the zone, you know how the tourists come all the time now, and one of the tourist women came at me with a mailbox!”

“A mailbox?” the mother said.

“You would not believe,” the father repeated. “She swung it like the superhero in the American movies, the one with the hammer. She was crazy! And then she ran off and the police acted like they couldn’t see her!”

“How curious,” the mother said. Anna was thinking the same thing, until she looked past the father, out the window to the barbed wire fence outside. Lisa stood, grimly clutching a white wooden post in one hand. Anna sighed. This was going to be a complication.

7 Comments
  1. I may have spotted a reference to Rowan’s advice about automatically jumping to violence. May have. You don’t usually do flash forwards but I liked it here. It definitely worked to give the mailbox conversation meaning.

  2. The angels and their antics are always entertaining and you have a very entertaining authorial voice. I did feel like the setting prompt was included in a very cursory manner this time though.

  3. Uh-oh, definitely a complication!

  4. Hello! I’m sure it was hard to write a light story with such a heavy topic. Like Asha I also felt the prompts weren’t integrated as well as they could have been, but still enjoyed the humor of your continuing angel tales! I did slightly wonder why Lisa would appear as a woman to wield the mailbox (or why she would have to use a mailbox at all). Still, I like how you remain faithful to the stories you want to tell. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I hope you put all these angel antics into an anthology! Funny story and the angels come alive for me. I agree that the prompts could be more relevant to the story.

  6. Krista permalink

    I loved the humor in this piece and how everything came back together so well. A very fun read. Thank you for sharing.

  7. This was very entertaining. I love the antics of these angels, especially Lisa the mailbox-wielding one. Good job!

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