She stood before him, not quite reaching five foot.
"So you're awake. Good thing too, I was about to give up on ya." She had a slight western accent, and when she spoke a small gap could be seen between her front teeth.
"What were ya doin' out theres anyway? Ya coulda died." For a youngster she wasn't afraid of telling it the way it was.
"Who are ya anyways? I ain't ever seen ya around here before." He began to answer her when she began again.
"I'm Angelique, but Papa calls me Angel 'cause I'm like his Guardian Angel or something like that." He smiled at the reference to angels.
"It sure is mighty fine to meet a young tyke like yourself. I'm Chase." She stood there, studying him.
"Well Chase, you were almost buzzard chow." Her tone was casual, almost happy, then it turned more serious.
"Why were you out there anyways? The nearest store is ten miles that way." She raised a thin arm and pointed in a general south-western direction. Chase thought over his response for a few minutes. "To tell you the truth, I don't know." He honestly didn't so he figured why lie?
"You don't know? We'', I guess that's that." She turned on her heel and started searching through a pile of what sounded like metal objects.
"Are ya hungry? Papa went for more supplies, said he'd be right back." Chase sat up again, the pain was starting to fade but he knew it would take a while to completely disappear. He couldn't see anything that signalled another man.
"Uh Angelique, how long has it been since your papa left?" She paused her rummaging.
"It'll be three weeks tomorrow. Why?" She proceeded to pull out a pot, a large spoon, what looked like a can opener and a tin can.
While she cooked a pot of beans, Chase tried to stand. "I wouldn't try moving around too much. You've got two long nasty scars running down your back. They look infected." Chase reached around hesitantly with one hand. Carefully he touched the spot where his wing connected with his body when unfurled. The strip was warm and moist, hard and jagged around the edges. He brought his hand back around and saw that it had a little blood on it. Silver. The colour of angel blood. They must have been a wreck.
"Beans are done, get 'em while their hot." Angelique handed him a bowl of beans. He thanked her and began to eat.
Angelique sat across from him on the floor with her own bowl. "So, where ya from?" She asked him around a mouthful of food. Chase couldn't say
'I'm from Heaven but I fell. Can you help me get back?' She's think the sun had melted his brain.
"I'm from up North."
"With all them polar bears n' snow? Wow, your lucky." He smiled.
"Well, you don't gotta worry 'bout heatstroke or buzzards."
"I guess not." They continued to eat in silence, until both had scraped their bowls clean.
"Thank you Angelique." Chase then remembered his wounded wings. "Do you got a mirror I can use to, you know, survey the damage?" He gestured to his back.
"Oh ya. We ain't savages. It's over there." She pointed to a small bag. As Angelique cleaned up, Chase found the mirror and went outside for some privacy.
He removed the tattered remains of his shirt and angled the mirror so he could see his back. From what he could see, there were two long, red, gashes coated in his silver blood. Sighing, he unfurled his wings. They had a slight glow to them, and their colour was stunning in the sun's rays. Using the mirror he noticed a few oddly coloured feathers near the edges. Taking a closer look he realized that his once pure white wings were now spotted with the odd grey feather, varying in shades.
"What'cha looking at back here?" Angelique came around the corner placing an old ball-cap over her golden locks. She caught a glimpse of something white before Chase pulled his wings back in.
"Angelique I wasn't expecting you to be done cleaning up so soon." She rolled her eyes.
"Call me Angel, Angelique sounds too formal. And I know how to clear up in a hurry."Adjusting her cap to protect her eyes from the sun, she looked at him.
"So what do ya wanna do?" Chase surveyed the area. There wasn't much, mostly dirt, dust and a few shrub-like plants.
"What is there to do?"
"We could go to town." She suggested with a shrug of her small shoulders.
"Fine by me. Which way?" With that, Angelique pointed him in the direction of the town where, just a few weeks ago her Papa had been heading.