Patricia woke up and realized she did not know where she was. Her
hand instinctively found its way to her forehead. All she could
remember was the excruciating pain which had assailed her brain
and the darkness. How she had come to be here she had not a clue.
A memory tugged at her mind and she tried desperately to pull it
to the surface. My name is Patricia it said slowly almost
deliberately and I am seven years old. Then something else
stabbed into her already befuddled thought process, you were
playing in the street and a car hit you. She stood for a moment
and then began to cry. She wanted her mother and father but they
were nowhere to be seen. There was nothing but wisps of something
akin to smoke or a perhaps a thick heavy mist. She could hear no
sounds. It left her frightened. Her tiny hand found its way once
more to her head where there should have been a deep gash from
the car's impact, but there was nothing. As her agitation and
feeling of abandonment rose she heard the sound coming from in
front of her. A voice that was familiar to her called softly to
the young girl. The voice was coming for an area in front of
Patricia and as the sound grew louder a beautiful radiance
"Patricia," the gentle voice sang, "you have nothing to fear for
I am here with you."
Patricia just knew it was her grandmother's voice she heard, but
how was that possible, her grandmother had died just last year.
Patricia began walking slowly toward the voice through the mist
which was now turning a soft golden color. She could spy a figure
floating across the foggy plain to meet her. As she walked
Patricia heard other voices coming from behind her, there where
the darkness was closing in around her.
"I'm afraid," the doctor said, "there is nothing else we can do
Patricia wondered who was speaking and she paused for a moment. A
sound of hysterical crying reached her ears, then another voice
one she knew to be her father's.
"There must be something you can do?" Patricia's father's voice
cried in desperation.
"Daddy," Patricia screamed at the darkness, "Daddy I'm
The girl started back the way she had been coming from toward the
darker colored clouds, but still the voice from the light called
seductively to her.
"You must not go back," the voice which sounded like her
grandmother said, "you must stay her child."
Patricia not knowing what she should do burst into tears and
waited. Maybe her grandmother would take her to where her parents
were. It was not Patricia's grandmother that finally made its way
to Patricia's side, but rather a person that was so beautiful
Patricia smiled. He was very tall and looked more like the mist
that surrounded him. He was a man of that Patricia was sure, but
not wholly as any man she had ever seen. The brilliance had
approached with him as he came and now Patricia was consumed by
the light that he had encircling his body.
"Who are you?" she asked the man.
She watched as he approached. His face was almost childlike, but
the features of his face exuded the strength of age. A specter
more than a human, his skin reminded her of a fine piece of
porcelain or a statue made of granite. Just behind his shoulder
blades she observed the massive wings which were at the time
retracted against his slender back. He as she took his visage in
had reached her side and looked down at her.
"I am Azrael," he answered softly, "and I am here to help you
Patricia could still hear the crying sound coming from behind her
and she wondered why it caused her such pain.
"We must go now child," the angel said to her, "for your time has
come and gone."
"Are you an angel?" she asked Azrael, "If you are, am I
Azrael stood for a moment looking at her. His eyes though cold as
steel, softened for an instant as he studied Patricia's eager
face. Then he knelt beside her so that he was at the same level
as she was.
"Yes," he answered slowly almost cautiously, "I am Azrael, God's
most feared angel. It is I who collects souls of the dead and
carry them to eternity. Yes dear sweet child you are dead."
Patricia overcome by the realization began to weep softly. She
could still in the darker clouds behind her hear the voices
speaking softly and a woman crying. Drawn somehow to the sounds,
she turned quickly and began to run toward the, oh so familiar
voices. Azrael not expecting Patricia to turn and run started
after the girl. She had reached the fast closing area of darker
mist and gazed down into the blackness. There she saw her mother
on one side of a hospital bed, crying and on the other side of
the bed was her father talking to a man in a white lab coat. What
she was not prepared for was the image lying in the bed. Her face
was torn most of the way off and something resembling a grotesque
Halloween mask stared back at her.
Azrael had reached Patricia just as the high pitched scream left
her lips. He wrapped her tightly, close to his slender body and
with one hand began to stroke her head. He turned away from the
darkness and started toward the radiance, rocking the girl gently
as he flew.
"What was that sound?" Patricia's mother asked as the scream
found her ears.
"Must be the wind," the doctor answered, "we have a big storm