Timothy is a Christian who enjoys creating visual art and writing. He has a B.S. in Psychology.
Welcome to the second and final part of the flash fiction story, Fred, The Angel Returns. The first part can be found at Fred The Angel Returns. The second part will find Fred carrying out the final piece of his Angelic mission to earth. I hope you enjoy the story.
She looked at Fred. “Hey you’re the “what you call coffee” guy.”
Let’s Get To Work
Fred stood in front of the house. It was a red brick Cape Cod with slightly unkempt yard work. Fred had been here many times before on A previous assignment as an answer to prayer. He never liked to mix previous assignments in with news ones but Gabriel in this instance thought it would be beneficial to both parties. A sort of answer to both their prayers.
Also it was time to set part two of his plan into action. He walked up to the door and knocked. The door opened. A woman stood there.
“Hello, Jane...I need your help.”
“Fred…what...I mean...it’s been years. It so good to see you. You look the...same.”
Fred looked at his reflection in the window. “How cliche,” he thought, to look at one self in a mirror. Still he looked at his chosen image. He saw a short stocky man, double chin and slightly grey hair. He chose this form because it seemed less imposing to others. There was time he even presented himself in the form of what this world referred to as Santa.
“Fred...Fred...you said you need my help.”
Fred blinked. “What? Yeah...I need you to come to lunch with me.”
“If you’re asking me on a date. I’ll have to decline. My boyfriend wouldn’t approve.”
“Date…no, no.” Fred was caught in a bind. He blurted out the first thing to come to mind. “Sorry, but you’re not my kind. I mean type. I just need to talk to you.”
“Gee thanks, I don’t know whether to be relieved or to be annoyed. I’ll go with you. Hold on a second.” She held up her hand turned and went back in the house and came out with a purse and a coat on. “Okay, let’s get this over with.”
Fred tilted his head. “I didn't mean to offend you. I just wanted to…”
She waved him off. “It is ok Fred. Let’s go.” She turned away from Fred and started down the sidewalk. “I don’t really have a boyfriend. I mean I just said that cause you were freaking me out.”
Fred smiled. “Sorry, I didn't mean to, as you say, “Freak you out.”
“It’s ok. Now where is your car?”
“I don’t own a car. I walked here from the um...bus stop.”
Jane’s brow wrinkled. “I guess we’ll have to take mine.”
“That would be great.” Fred followed her to the car. They both got in the car. Jane started the engine.
“So Fred, where did you want to go eat. Do you have a favorite diner?”
“Yes, Sandy’s Place over…”
“I know the place well. My brother and I used to go there often to see his…”
“You still miss him don’t you?”
“Yes,” Jane said as she held back the tears. “I can’t believe he is gone.”
“But...I don’t know how to ask you.”
“Fred...you were my sponsor. You led me to put my trust in God...you can ask what you want. But if you’re going to ask if I’m still sober. The answer is yes...five years now.”
Fred smiled. “I knew you were sober. I can see it in your face.”
They drove the last mile or so in silence. Jane parked in the lot and they walked into the restaurant. Fred looked around to see which tables Amanda was waiting on. He saw her back in the far corner. He waited for the hostess to come.
“May I help you.”
“Yes, a table for two please.” Fred motioned to the back corner. “Can we sit back there?”
“Sure, follow me.” She turned and Fred and Jane through the restaurant. “Here you go.” She laid out two menus. “Your server will be with you shortly.” The hostess left and Fred and slid into the booth.
“So,” Said Jane. “Why did you want to come here?”
Fred looked around. “The food and the aviance is good here.”
“Yeah right.” Said Jane.
Just then the waitress came to the table.
“Are you ready to order?” She looked at Fred. “Hey you’re the “what you call coffee” guy.”
Fred bowed his head. “That’s me.”
Jane’s brow wrinkled.
“I’ll explain to you later.” He looked up at Amanda.”can we have a couple of minutes? But I will take some coffee. Jane what about you?”
“I’ll take a Diet Coke or Pepsi.”
Amanda made a note on her pad. Then left.
Once she was gone Jane looked at Fred. “I think she is using something.”
Fred knew she was using pain killers to kill the pain of loss but how did Jane know?
“How do you know?” Quipped Fred.”
“Ah, a difficult situation you are.” Fred faded out.
Here‘s The Card
“Fred, you may be out of touch with what an addict looks like but I’m not. I’m telling you she is on something..,,”
Amanda came back and set their drinks down. “Are you ready to order?”
Jane glanced at the menu. “I’ll have a Cobb salad with the house dressing and some fries.”
“And you Fred is it?” Said Amanda.
“I’ll have a double bacon cheeseburger and fries.”
“Ok, I’ll go put the order in now.”
“Thanks.” Said Fred.
Amanda walked away.
Jane looked over at Fred. “How does she know your name?”
“I told you I come here a lot.”
“Which reminds me. A burger and fries really? Too much of that stuff is going to kill you.”
“Truthfully Jane, being killed by a burger is the least of my worries. So, is there something we can do to help her with her problem?”
“Like you know, the first thing and the hardest thing is to get an addict to admit they’re hooked on something.”
“Yes, that is true of any sin. Jesus once said, “Know the truth and the truth will set you free. The problem is most people try to ignore the truth because it is to painful to bear. Instead they justify away their sin because it is easier. Addictions are no different. So we have to try and figure out how to get her to admit...wait, you have your business cards on you,right?”
“Always...wait how did you know...never mind you always seem to have a way of knowing.”
Amanda brought their food. They sat and had some idle chatter as they ate. The conversation mostly came from Jane who filled Fred in on the last few years of her life since her brother died of an overdose. His death had been the turning point in her addiction to pain killers. With the help of Fred she‘d turned her life around.
Of course Fred already knew how Jane had lived her life since the last time he saw her a number of years ago. Fred liked to keep track of the humans he helped.
Amanda brought the check.
Fred excused himself for a minute and pretended to go to the bathroom. A few minutes later he came back. Jane was waiting for him.
“You ready to go?”
Fred looked around for Amanda. He didn’t see her.
“Did you give her your card?”
“Yes, but she was reluctant to take it. Wait, is that why you left so we could be alone together?”
“Well, I figured if you did say something to her it would be easier without a third person here, especially someone she sort of knows.”
Jane looked at Fred. Her brow wrinkled. “I didn’t say much to her. I gave her my card and told her if she ever wanted to talk.” She pocketed the card And that was that.”
She handed Fred the bill. “I left a tip. You can pay the bill. After all since this is a non-date.” Jane laughed. “So you want me to give you a lift?” “Nah, I don’t live that far from here. I think I’ll walk.”
“Ok, suit yourself.” Jane turned and started up the sidewalk. She turned back to Fred. “If you’re even in my neighborhood again stop by and say hi.”
“I will for sure.” Fred smiled. He would be checking up on her from time to time, After he was her guardian Angel. After Jane left Fred changed himself into the form of a homeless man. He waited no the corner near where Amanda would go to take her pills. A few minutes after her shift was over Amanda approached. Fred looked up as she walked by.
“Excuse me miss.”
Amanda turned. “I don’t have any money if that’s what you’re looking for.”
“No, no nothing like that. This card fell out of your pocket and I thought it might be important.”
Amanda took the card from Fred’s hand. “But I thought I threw…” She looked at Fred. “Thank you.” She started up the street. Instead of going into the abandoned building she kept walking. Fred watched her drop the card to the ground. “Ah, a difficult situation you are.” Fred faded out. He appreared in Amanda’s house. He placed several of the business cards around the house just to make sure she found one. He placed a little heavenly tracer on each one so he would know what she did with them. Then he faded out again.
Amanda came home a few minutes later.
There was the card on the counter.
The End Begins
She dropped her purse on an a small end table by the door, slipped off her shoes and headed to the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee. She got the coffee out of the cabinet and turned to make her coffee.
There on the counter was the business card. She almost dropped the coffee on the floor. “How?” She thought. She’d dropped it on the street on the way home. She picked the card up off of the counter. She ripped the card up and threw it in the trash can. She looked down into the trash can just to make sure the card did not return. She returned to making her coffee.
After it brewed she grabbed a cup settled into her couch to relax. She pulled her bottle of OxyContin out of her pocket amd popped the top off. She wanted to take some but stopped herself. She couldn’t live like this anymore. She put the lid back on the bottle. She sat there and thought about it for a while.
Maybe she should call the lady from the card. If only she hadn’t ripped it up. She jumped up off the couch and went back into the kitchen. She looked in the trash can. The card wasn’t there. She let out a sigh.
She turned to go back out in the living room. There was the card on the counter. She looked around.
“I get the message.” She said to no one in particular. She walked over, picked up the phone and called the number. On the other end Amanda answered.
“Is it ok if I come over to your house to talk? Thanks, I’ll be over in a few minutes.
Outside Fred watched as Amanda left her house and went to the bus stop. She boarded the 11th Avenue bus. He knew she was on her way to Jane’s house. He smiled because his plan had worked. Amanda would get the care she needed. He faded out.
Amanda sat on the bus thinking about what she was doing. Should she really be heading to a complete stranger's house to spill her guts out? Deep inside her mind cried out, “no“ but her soul cried out yes. She got off the bus a few stops later amd walked down the street to the address on the card. She walked up to the door and knocked. The door opened.
“Hello Jane. I don’t know if you remember me but you were at my table today. I...I…I’m an addict and need your help.”
Jane smiled. “I remember you. Now come inside so we can talk.”
Amanda walked past Jane into the house. She glanced across the street. There was Fred smiling. He tipped his head. Jane waved back.
Fred watched as the door closed. His work here was done for now according to the boss. Gabriel, to be exact. He faded out. On to his next calling.
© 2020 Timothy Whitt
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on December 29, 2020:
Tim this is another great part to the story. Fred is a wonderful character. Just proofread this section again:
“ Outside Fred watched as Amanda left her house and went to the bus stop. She boarded the 11th Avenue bus. She must be headed to James house. He faded out.
Jane sat on the bus thinking about what she was doing. Should she really be heading to a complete stranger's house to spill her guts out? ”