Angel's Descent

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When my brother and I went to visit our childhood home, we faced a strange encounter.

Submitted: July 03, 2013

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Submitted: July 03, 2013

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By Dana Husam Abdallah

Finally, we spotted the building.

It looked just how I remembered it---- the blue-tinted windows, the white-washed exterior, all five stories gesturing at me to enter. It was as though no time had passed at all.

After my older brother, Adam, parked the car, I entered the lobby first. A childhood memory flooded back to me as the past gave us hugs: Adam and I timidly explaining to the watchman that we weren’t squirting water from the window up at the third floor at innocent bystanders, no; our soaking-wet clothes were left to dry out on the balcony, so water droplets hit people below by mistake.

The elevator was much smaller than I remembered. Or maybe it was because I had gotten bigger.

We heard the “tiinnn!” announcing we reached our level, and the doors opened shortly afterwards. We could see a patch of yellowing wall in the dimly-lit corridor.

“Shall we?” Adam smiled at me, probably as excited as I am.

We stepped out, and eyed all three doors: 301, 302… and 303.

“It’s the big white building near the canal,” I remembered saying to the pizza-delivery boy over the phone, in my soft girly voice. “Flat 303!”

The problem was that there were several white buildings near the canal. The frustrated boy would then ask for more details before giving up, insisting that he get directions from either of my parents instead. It must’ve happened at least twice.

 I motionlessly stared at it for what felt like a minute; an inexplicably overwhelming feeling left me unable to move. I motioned to Adam to ring the doorbell.

While he approached it, we heard the sound of a footsteps and a cough behind us.

We turned around. A Pakistani woman wearing cultural clothes stood there, arching an eyebrow at us. I wondered if she came from one of the other flats; I recall the building staircase had very noisy doorways.

“Are you trying to get into that apartment?” she asked, looking at us with maternal concern.

“Yes, it’s where we grew up,” I answered, eyeing the green and pink swirls of her shirt. “We just want to look at it, see how it’s changed. We were in the neighborhood and decided to satisfy our curiosity.”

I glanced at Adam, who rolled his eyes at me. He’d be thinking, “It’s none of that lady’s business; why are you giving her all sorts of details?”

“Please don’t ring the doorbell.” Her voice was as stern as her expression. “It will unleash all the demons I fought so hard to lock up.”

After a moment’s shock, Adam snorted.

I was alarmed. What was she talking about?

“A family moved in years ago, probably after you left. One of their daughters was a schoolgirl. She learned to practice Black Magic from stupid classmates. She would hold up one end of a pencil, and link it to an end of another pencil, held up by someone sitting opposite her, usually a sister. They would chant for a holy spirit to come to them. Then they would ask the spirit if it was there; assign a “yes” to the right of the pencils and a “no” to the left. A force would move both linked pencils to the ‘yes.’”

I wondered if the woman had lost her mind. Maybe she watched The Grudge too often. Her expression was solemn, though. I found myself unable to speak, even though my mind was bursting with question after question.

“They would then ask the spirits questions about the future. It was a fun game to those foolish kids. Their passive, idiot mother watched them and ignored it. She told me everything, dismissing it as a joke. She didn’t believe in it. One day, all the food in the kitchen mysteriously disappeared. The mother thought it was stolen by impoverished burglars, even though the local police ruled out any possibility of a break-in. But I knew it was the doing of evil. A few days later, the children woke up covered in bruises from head to toe. The mother explained that away too! She said it was an allergic reaction to foreign food they ate at a fishy-looking restaurant. I had to act; I knew it would get worse.”

Her voice was captivating; I hung on to her every word. Goosebumps on my arm prickled my skin.

“I performed a religious ritual at the doorway. It caught fire from hell; the residents had to evacuate immediately. The walls and floors were destroyed, but we put out the fire before it spread to the rest of the floor. The family moved out, and yet the devils lingered. The watchman sealed the door and fixed a warning saying that no one is to ring the doorbell or enter it, for mystics all say the results would be deadly.”

I peeked at the foreboding door. No warning sign hung there.

“I’m the warning. I died in the fire. An angel to appear when needed.”

With that, she vanished.

We got out of there as fast as we could.


© Copyright 2018 danahusamabdallah. All rights reserved.

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