Timothy is a Christian who enjoys creating visual art and writing. He has a B.S. in psychology.
Prompt: Write story in the magical realism genre. It is about a liar and a postcard and should include the line, ““Is anyone there? Show yourself now. I’m armed.”
“Is anyone there? Show yourself now. I’m armed.”
“No you’re not.”
She turned to find a portly man, with black hair standing there. He smiled.
“Just how do you know I’m not armed?”
“I’ve been standing here watching you for a few minutes now and I saw no weapon.”
She looked at him. She knew she should be worried but for some reason she felt calmness welling up inside her.
“I’ve been here in this office for an hour and did not see you. I mean the office is all glass. I would have noticed you.”
“I did not want myself known so I remained in the spiritual realm until it was time,”
“So are you a ghost or something?”
“I believe I am more of the, “ or something”. My name is Fred and I’m an Angel sent here to seek your help and at the same time help you.”
“Fred huh...an Angel. Well my name is Nicole and I’m a elf.”
“I sense some sarcasm in your voice.” Fred waved his hand. The two of them reappeared at a local restaurant.
Nicole looked around the restaurant. “I know this place. My brother and I used to come here before he…”
Fred looked at her. He knew not to say anything. This was one of those times when humans knew to be quiet.
Nicole looked up at him. She brushed a tear from her eye. “So why did you bring me to Sandy’s Place? Is this some kind of Angel humor or maybe therapy?”
Fred smiled. “No, I just like the food here.”
She tilted her head. “Angels eat?”
“Well technically no but as we angels say, “When hanging with the humans do as the humans do. So let’s eat. I’m hungry.”
They entered the restaurant and waited to be seated. Fred looked around the room. He wondered where Amanda was. A waitress walked over to the table.Her name badge said Carmen in handwritten letters. Fred looked up at her. “Where’s Amanda?”
The waitress looked at him. “She doesn’t work here anymore. She got a better job at some non profit. I think they deal with suicide prevention or something.”
Fred smiled. Things seemed to have worked out for Amanda. He often never knew what happened to his charges after he left but it warned his heart when he found out any good information about them.
“Are you ready to order or do you need a few moments?”
“Well, I’ll take a double bacon cheeseburger, a side order of curly fries and a large coke.” The waitress wrote the order down. She looked at Nicole.
“How about you?”
Nicole looked at her. “I’ll take a salad and a Diet Coke.”
She looked at Fred and smiled. “You know all that cholesterol is going to kill you one day.”
Fred laughed. “I told you I’m an Angel. I’m alive but I cannot die in the same way you humans do. I’m a corporeal being, a spirit. I only take human form when I’m needed. Hence, you called on God for help and I’m here.”
“I called on God to take my grief away and he sent me you?
“Yes, it is the usual procedure. Words are spoken in prayer. An Angel is dispatched. Once here we assess the situation and take the appropriate course of action.”
“So you know all about my brother and his…”
Fred looked at Nicole. Tears started to slide down her cheeks. She wiped the tears away. She looked back at Fred.
“So what is your plan? How are you going to take my grief away? Bring my brother back...I’m sorry. I know you’re here to help me.”
“There is no need to be sorry. I do not understand grief as you humans do but I still know what it is like to suffer loss. Now as to my plan. It is as you humans say, “in progress.”
“Hey angels gotta live too…” He laughed.
Nicole laughed. “I sure hope you think of something soon because...well lets say I’m ready to feel joy again.”
Fred sat there and looked at Nicole. He thought for such simple beings these humans sure had complex problems. He started to offer some words of comfort to her but the food came. Then they sat and ate over some idle chit chat which consisted of the usual Angel to human, human to Angel questions. Finally they finished, Fred paid the check and they left.
“What is an angel doing with cash?”
“Hey angels gotta live too…” He laughed.
They walked in quiet for a few moments when Fred caught Nicole looking at the postcard again. He knew what the card said but still part of a human’s healing process was talking. He decided to see how much she would tell him.
“So, the postcard looks important to you.”
She looked over at him. “What? Oh yeah. It is the last thing I have from my brother.”
“What’s it say?”
She smirked at him. “If you’re such as Angel...you tell me…”
Fred chuckled. “These humans,” He mumbled under his breath. Ne looked at Nicole. “I don’t want to appear like I’m meddling into your affairs but I know your brother passed suddenly and he had a significant other whom he was going to introduce to you when he came home. But...you don’t know her name and you’d like to find her…”
Nicole looked at the post card then back at Fred. “What...how?”
Before you ask...no I can’t just plop you down in front of your brother's girlfriend...even if I could. Rules...we angels have rules mind you. One of them is against too much interference. All I'm allowed to do is nudge you in the general direction you need to go. Oh, I almost forgot. Must have slipped my mind. Do you want a coffee?”
Nicole wrinkled her brow. “Coffee, but we just ate lunch.”
“I know but I love coffee. It’s one of God’s greatest creations. Well that and chocolate. So, can you just indulge an old Angel and not deprive me of my coffee?”
Nicole, shook her head. “Let’s go. I wouldn’t want to deprive an old Angel his coffee…”
“Thanks, now as to your problem. I’ve got some thinking to do on the best way to approach the situation.”
They walked to the coffee shop. Fred held the door for Nicole. She entered the store and he followed. Nicole looked behind the counter and saw a young girl standing there. She looked up and saw Nicole standing there, Her face took on a moment of panic but then it was gone.
Nicole wondered why but wrote it off. She turned to look at Fred but he wasn’t there. She got a little annoyed because he was the one who wanted the coffee.
Since he wasn’t there she decided to just go home. She turned and left the store. The girl behind the counter watched her go and breathed a sigh of relief. She wasn’t ready to face Nicole, not just yet.
Fred stood in the doorway and watched Nicole leave. She couldn’t see him, no one could Because he was in his spirit form. He shook his head. “You can lead a human to where they need to go but you can’t get them to see what is right in front of them.” He said to himself before he turned and left. Time to regroup.
“Like I said we don’t normally do this but here goes.
Nicole caught a bus across town back to her home. She opened the door and went in. She shook her head. “An angel,” she thought. “Probably just a con man.” She reached into her pocket for the post card. It wasn’t there. She panicked turning all her pockets inside out looking. Where could it have gone? The bus? No, maybe she dropped it. “Crap,” she said mostly to herself. She’d lost the only link she has to her brother.
She dropped into a chair and started to sob. She opened her eyes to see a man sitting on the couch. She knew deep down she should be afraid but she wasn’t.
“Who are you?”
“I am a friend of Fred.” He took off his hat, tipped his head. “Most people call me Death.”
She pushed herself back in the chair.
“Do not worry I’m not here for you. Fred sent me. He wanted me to give you this.” He took the post card from his inside pocket and handed it to her.”
He shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t know. Now as to why I’m here. By the way I’m going against angel protocols by being here but the boss ok’d it.”
“The boss?” She asked.
“The boss,” He smiled. “You know God.”
“Wow, but why are you here?”
“Well, before you brother died he asked me to give you a message…”
She started to cry.
“Like I said we don’t normally converse with the relatives of those who’ve passed along and I’m only here at the request of Fred and by permission. I would like to start by saying your brother did not suffer and he is in a better place now. He really only spoke twice. He first told me to you he loved you and you need to get on with your life . He also wanted me to tell you to find and take care of Jocelyn. He knew you would be best suited for the task.”
Nicole looked up. “Jocelyn? Just who is Jocelyn?”
Death looked at her. “I have no idea. Now if you’ll excuse me I have appointments to keep.” He faded out.
Nicole just stood there. She looked at the postcard. She reread the last line of her brother's words. “I will be coming home sometime soon, maybe in a week or two. Oh yeah I have a surprise someone I want you to meet. Seen you soon. “
It wasn’t long after that he brother had died in an accident while on his mission trip. She buried her brother a couple weeks ago but those final words still haunted her. Maybe she needed to find this Jocelyn to see what she knew. Her mind went back to the coffee shop.
The girl behind the counter seemed to know her. She decided to go back and see why. She put on her coat and headed out the door. She got off the bus a block away and started to walk to the coffee shop.
Fred watched her from across the street. He smiled.
Nicole walked into the coffee shop and looked behind the counter. The girl was gone. She turned and started to walk out when she saw the girl sitting at a table in the corner. The girl hadn’t noticed her because she was on her cell phone. Nicole walked over and stood by her table. She looked up at Nicole. Her eyes opened wide.
“Hi, my name is Nicole. I don’t really know why I’m here but…”
“I know who you are. “I mean I don’t know your name but I’ve seen pictures which were sent to me on my phone. I got them from a man named Fred who happened to be on the mission trip. He supposedly was a good friend of your brother and my mother.”
“So your reaction when you saw me the other day…”
“Was because I never expected to see you in person...you were just a picture from a few months ago. I didn’t know your name nor how to find you. My name is Jocelyn by the way.”
Nicole just stood there. Her mind was reeling. Her brother wanted her to take care of another woman’s daughter. Why? Then two things popped into he mind.. She looked at Jocelyn. Fred had set this whole thing up for a reason. The only reason she could think of was the surprise her brother had for her was he had gotten married and now this girl was his step daughter and she was technically her aunt.
“Thank you Fred” she said under her breath.
“Why are you thanking him?”
Nicole looked Jocelyn, “A long story...we need to talk.” She sat down at the table..
© 2021 Timothy Whitt