The Guardian Angel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: February 14, 2020

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Submitted: February 14, 2020

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A disheveled, wiry man stepped along the pavement of the rapidly darkening neighborhood. Recently, the streetlights have given up in a few more places, resulting in an even more of the perpetual gloom. The man rubbed at his exposed biceps as a chilly breeze swept past. His shoulders, all the way down to his hands were covered with tattoos of flaming skulls and snakes.

Usually during the day people would give him a wide berth even on busy streets once they saw those tattoos. They are the signs of the local gang in his area, “The Serps. Today as a quiet night, though, and in a town as small as this most people often went back to sleep once the clock strikes twelve. The man only came out at all, in his tattered jeans and sneakers, only because his stomach was growling for some midnight snack.

The gangster froze mid-step as a sound suddenly broke thorough his wandering thoughts. It was a creak creak creak. There, and back again. Creak. Creak. Creak. The man swept his gaze around, wondering what sort of noise could it be.

He’d drawn his knife and now flicked it open as he scanned the darkened streets around for threats. He felt as if he was being watched by some huge malevolent creature with bloodshot eyes. His skin prickled and cold sweat dripped down his face.

With the knife trembling in his hands, he yelled, “You sucker! Whoever you are, come out right about fucking now or I’m gonna shank you!” There was only silence as a reply. The man took a halting step forward, stepping on to an abandoned park where the sound seemed to be coming from. He parted the tall weeds and shrubberies that barred his path only to come across…

… a swing, swinging jubilantly in a clear patch of moonlight. Upon its seat was a little girl, not more than five years old, swinging on it with a face so full of bliss there seemed nothing could have ever been wrong with the world. The gangster exhaled a sigh of relief at his own stupidity. He put his knife away and approached the little ginger-haired child.

“Hey, what are you doing out here so late?” The man asked in what he thought was his most pleasant voice.

“Just swinging, mister.” The girl replied without ever looking up, her stare fully concentrated on the darkened fields before her.

“Where are your parents, though? A young girl shouldn’t be here this late, surely?”

“My papa’s dead, mister.” The girl replied as she finally turned around to look at him in the eyes. “As for mama, she’s probably drunk with her ‘customers’ somewhere.”

The girl’s eyes were bloodshot, as if she has been crying, and even the gangster couldn’t help but pity her just a little.

“How about a guardian? A little thing like you wouldn’t be able to come out here all by yourself. Is there anyone who came with you?”

At this, the gangster felt that sensation once more, that flood of nerves and cold sweat that told him something gigantic was watching him. It was much closer this time.

“A guardian. That I have, mister.” The gangster tried to pull out his knife, but his shaking fingers dropped it into the shadows of the overgrown weeds. He stared dumbly as the night sky above the swings shifted, and a grotesquely pale, long limbed creature emerged from behind the veil of night.

He tried to run away, but the creature moved with a blistering speed. Its huge hand whipped forward in a blur and caught the gangster by his ankles.

As the pale demon lifted up the gangster, he shrieked. That shriek reached a crescendo as the pale demon ripped him in half, spilling some blood onto the swings, their color blackish under the moonlight.

After the deed was done, the girl asked the demon once more. “Where do these people go, Longy?”

“To wherever evil people go, child.” The pale demon replied endearingly as he tried to wipe the gangster’s blood on the weeds surrounding him. It succeeded somewhat, and now use one of its overly large hands to lightly path the little girl on her head. “There’s a special place designed for those people, ay.”

“How many did you get today?” The little girl asked as her foot thumped against the bare earth beneath her, propelling the swing to move forward and back at a more rapid pace.

“Five. Three men and two women. Two murderers, a conman, a thief, and an adulterer. I would say today was a pretty good hunt.” At this, the pale demon’s lips bunched together in a feeble attempt at a smile, and the little girl laughed at his hilarious expression.

“You looked so silly! Here, let me show you.” She pointed a stubby finger at her lips and broke into a fierce grin. The pale demon saw this and replicated her, which results in a better semblance of a smile this time.

“So, you told me about your mother.” The demon said as he sat back on his haunches, observing the girl as she swung to and fro on her swing. “Is it really true that she had been serving those drunk clients?”

Here, the girl’s face fell, and she nodded sadly. The rhythm of her swing faltered and came to a complete stop. “Recently mama had been coming home really late at night, or sometimes even in the morning. She would always smell of cigarettes and alcohol. When I asked her to tell me my bedtime stories, she’d waved me off, and went back to her room. I could hear her crying in her room.”

There was a tear glistening in the girl’s hazy eyes, and the pale demon reached out its gigantic hand to try and wiped them away. It only succeeded somewhat, resulting instead in moving the girl’s head from side to side. That brought a small chuckle out of her, at least.

“I don’t like it at all. Sometimes mama would even brought some of those men home with her, and every time I’ll have to cuddle in a corner of my room as they came banging against the door and hollering drunkenly.” More tears dropped down the little girl’s face, much more so than the demon would wipe all away now. “I wished things would be the same, back when papa was still alive. I wish he wouldn’t have left us like that.”

“Your papa wouldn’t want to leave you if he could help it, child. I’m sure of that.” As the demon said those words, sights and sounds and memories flashed through its brain. There was a birthday party for a little girl whose face was still too obscured for him to see properly. The warmth and weight of holding that girl as a baby in his arms. That cooing, bright eyed baby, who cried out in laughter every time he lifted her up and embraced her once more.

All of a sudden, a stream of sluggish, grayish steam invaded his mindscape, and those memories he’d felt so fond of evaded the demon once more. He’d woken up near the side of a street, having no memories at all of how he’d gotten there, and already in this grotesque, long limbed form. He’d wished to be able to one day discovered the memories of his days past, but alas he guessed one must take things one step at a time.  

He patted the little girl’s head once more, a gesture that felt so familiar and natural to him that he involuntarily did it every time he thought about her.

“I promise I will take care of those clients of your mama, as soon as I could get my hands on them.” As if as an afterthought, a question entered his mind,

“How did your father die, child?”

“It was a car accident.” The little girl said, her eyes downcast and glistening once more. “He excused himself to go somewhere on my birthday, and the next time I see him was…” Here she trailed off and broke into a sob. The demon patted her on her teeny tiny back with his massive hand, in a least awkward way he possibly could.

He/ It remembered. When he woke up besides the road in this grotesque form, there was a box besides him as well. A box containing a frosted chocolate cake.

After listening to the girl cried for some moments longer, the demon involuntarily patted her on her head once more, for which the little girl craned her neck up towards his hand and placed her small hands around his. While doing this, the demon said. “It’s getting really late, child. You should go home now.”

Once the little girl hears this, she turned towards him and made a pout. “But… but I wanted to stay longer!”

“Go on home now.” The demon moved away, retreating towards the center of the abandoned park, and taking up the mantles of the night to wrapped around him once more. “Your mother is going to be worried sick should she gets home and you weren’t there.”

“But… wait!” The little girl cried out, but only the demon’s pale eyes were remaining. She heard him say, “Be a good girl, alright?” Before that too, disappeared completely, leaving her to walk back home under the guidance of the moon in the dark night and twinkling stars.

However, she was never truly alone, for behind the veils of the night, her guardian angel kept watching out for her. Always.

 


© Copyright 2020 S. K. Inkslinger. All rights reserved.

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