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One Who Works in the Dark

by on June 26, 2019

It was really surprising, Raphael reflected, even after all these eons, how much paperwork was still involved in overseeing the heavenly hosts. He was just sorting out various applications from angels wanting to be transferred into the choir when he heard a knock on his office door. “Enter,” he said calmly, without looking up.

“Sir?” Donny said. “Ah, sir, I wanted to apologize again about the, ah, incident with the tennis and the, ah, hyenas, and I wanted to ask if-“

“Let me stop you right there, kid,” Raphael cut in, his voice not without a note of kindness. “Let me guess. You got tricked by Leon, who wasn’t actually an angel but who was working for the other side. So you want to go Down There and get him back, maybe stick a halo up his shorts or something, is that it?”

“Of course not, sir!” Donny said, a little archly. “That would be vengeance, which is strictly forbidden! I just thought I might, you know, find out how he got through our defenses!”

“Right. Sure you did. I get it, kid. The thing is, even if I were inclined to send you on a mission like that, we’re already handling the situation.”


“Yeah. We have a mole down there. Deep shadow conditions, so to speak. She’ll take care of Leon.”

“Ah. And you’re sure I can’t….help?”

Raphael smiled grimly. “If all goes well, she shouldn’t need it.”


It was chillingly cold in the lowest level of Hell. An eternal wind howled mournfully across the frozen lake of ice that imprisoned all those guilty of treachery in one form or another. Behind one ice-bound rock, a thin figure emerged from a round hole that had been painstakingly chiseled into the ice. Leon shivered and clutched his jacket tighter around him. He hated getting back into the infernal regions this way, but it couldn’t be helped. All he had to do was make his report to the Boss and then he’d be back up top again tricking the halo-heads. So much more fun than slinking ’round the ice down here, he thought.

“Hey, sailor,” a voice called from behind him, making him jump. One never liked hearing unexpected voices in Hell. Leon whirled around.

“Ah,” he said in some relief. “Francesca. Back from soul reapin’, are you?”

“You might say that,” Francesca said. She was casually holding a long sword with a smokey grey blade in her hand. “One never really is much off duty in this job.”

“Yeah,” Leon smirked. “‘Specially when you have to beat the halo-heads to it. Those guys are the-“

No one ever found out how Leon would have finished the sentence, as Francesca’s sword flashed out and through him. Then, for the first time in a very long time, she popped on her halo. “Raph, I got one!” 

There was a distant, furious rumble in the ice. Before anyone could do anything, however, Francesca’s halo flashed with golden light, and both she and Leon disappeared. 

  1. I loved “halo-heads”! Your stories usually give a little refresher of the characters’ arcs. I can’t remember if Francesca and Leon have come up before, so I’m not sure if this story had a larger meaning like your other stories usually do. I mean, you more often than not refer back to previous installments and I missed them in this one. I liked that Francesca hid her true identity. She an angel with an edge! Ha!

  2. Hello! I was hoping that someone would do this kind of mole! I like Francesca and the way you portrayed her. By starting with Donny, Raphael and the link back to the previous story, I kind of felt you lost an opportunity to put a mystery/surprise element in about her being the mole (“Who is the mole?”) that would keep the reader curious for more– But that may be just me! Francesca is very cool and I’d like to see more of her. I’m a little sad Leon is gone! Good job and thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m glad I was just reading about Dante’s Inferno — didn’t realize it would be useful background material so quickly! Love the crazy twist at the end, which could be just about anything at this point. Luckily I’m behind on reading your stories so now I can jump straight to the next one, whew!

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