Written for OLWG #30
“Tell us about Grandma again, Papa. Pleeeeze.”
“You’ve all heard this story at least a thousand times. You don’t really want to hear it again, do you?”
“Yes, yes we do! Pleeze Papa pleeze,” a chorus of young voices sang back to me.
“OK, gather round. I’ll tell you, but this time, I’ll tell you the whole story. You kids might not know it but your Grandma was an angel; an angel with magical powers.”
“But she was a fallen angel, right?”
“And, she was invisible too, huh Papa?”
“Who’s telling this story? Me, or you?”
“Sorry, Papa, sorry.”
“Yes, she was sort of a ‘fallen’ angel, and yes, she could be invisible when she wanted to be. She could also fly and, she always knew what I was thinking, but when I first met her she was just beautiful. That’s what I saw and I fell in love at first sight. She had long black hair and her skin was autumnal; flawless, smooth, unblemished and almost the colour of copper. She was tall, and lithe with a smile that would light up a room. Looking into her eyes was like looking at the sun and you dared not let your gaze linger lest you go blind.
“She looked young to me but she was wise and she only appeared young. Angels have been around a long time and she was thousands of years old.”
“Really? She was that old?”
“Don’t interrupt me when I’m talking! But, yes she was really that old. Did I mention that she was beautiful and kind too. Kind with a mischievous streak, and it was that penchant for mischief that made people think she might be a fallen angel. You see she liked to do robberies.”
“Robberies? You’ve never told us that before, Papa.”
“You weren’t old enough to be told that before. I think you might be old enough now, so I’m telling you. It’s important that you remember this: she wasn’t bad. She just liked to steal things for fun. She never kept the things she stole either, she would give the goods to other people who needed it; and if she robbed from you today, chances are she would give you something that you needed even more within a couple of days time.”
“How would she know what I needed?”
“She was an angel, she knew everything.”
“What kind of robberies would she do, Papa?”
“She’d steal whatever took her fancy. She used to like to rob banks because of the challenge involved and, it was easy to find people who needed the money. She enjoyed nicking the batteries out of farm trucks and stealing limousines. She would sometimes steal makeup or food. She could pick pockets. She could relieve a gentleman of his wristwatch, or a lady of her diamond pendant and they would never notice. Once we robbed almost a hundred gas stations in a single day. She’d empty out the tills and give the money to the hobos at the train yard and, when she knocked over a gas station she always took a couple of Twinkies too. She liked Twinkies and those were the only things that she kept for herself.”
“Wasn’t it dangerous to be robbing banks and things, Papa?”
“Yeah, it was dangerous, deadly even, but she wasn’t ever scared. She could just disappear to make her getaway, and she was an angel, for Christ’s sake. What the hell would an angel ever be scared of? She wasn’t scared. She wasn’t. She was beautiful and, she laughed at danger. Did I mention that I loved her? That she could stop traffic with a smile?”
“Where’s Grandma now, Papa? Did she go back to heaven?”
“Probably, Cindy, but I don’t really know for sure. She may have found someone who needed her more than I did. Or, she may have found someone who she needed more than she needed me. I don’t know… maybe she should have been scared. All I know for sure is that one evening we were dining at LaRue’s and she excused herself from the table, as I watched her walking towards the powder room she began to shimmer, like a distant road in the desert. She disappeared that night and I never saw her again. I hope to see her again after I’m dead.
“At least one last time, that’s my wish. One more chance to see her smile, to see her smile at me the way she used to.”
This week’s prompts are
- Really? That old?
- Was she really invisible?
- Just as deadly as it looks