Chapter 8 Page 22
Posted April 21, 2023 at 03:54 am

This week on Paranatural, it's time to meet your dad's friends. Thanks for reading!



        The Angel’s voice rang resonant through her squirming phone’s receiver. “I see. Then we have both heard of this doom the sphinx has augured,” she spoke softly. Each word unfurled its wings, it seemed, to rise upon the air as lilting echo. “Dearest Doorman... my heart aches for your present troubles, too. I know how much you care about the boy.”

        “Isaac... will be better off without me.” Doorman’s answer crackled through the line. “The shadows of my past loom long indeed... I’ve watched them cast a pall upon the bright future of each and every pupil that I’ve taken.” His sigh escaped the phone as static. “Time and again I’ve recreated my failures, thinking only of assuaging my own guilt. I... was never worthy of his faith in me.”

        The Angel shook her head, sending a luminescent wave shimmering down her flowing fur. Above, a halo bobbed softly in dim shafts of dust-filled light. “You are yet worthy of my faith... and there is still more you can do for him as well.” Feathered sleeves delicately cradled the phone she’d given life, which stared up at her with eyes made wide with reverence. “Create the peace that he deserves. Defend him from a distance.” The Angel wagged her downy tail impassionedly. “The destruction that the sphinx foretold, our enemies’ ambitions, the power of a Great Wight claimed by those that would abuse it... we must ensure none of this comes to pass. The time to hide and gather strength is over

        “...Yes,” Doorman agreed, and exorcized the anguish from his voice with one last sigh. “Yes, you’re right. For Isaac’s sake, and for yours—”

        The Angel raised her canine snout up towards the sky. “For a world where all of spiritkind can flourish.”

        “Under your watchful wings, my lady.” Doorman’s rote proclamation ended with a click.

        The soft hiss of boiling water filled the silence that ensued. With a deep breath in and out, Ángel let his spirit fusion scatter into shining feathers. He hung his head as they dispersed into spectral energy—not his normal pitch black, but a flawless shade of white. In the absence of his transformation’s glow, his eyes slowly adjusted to the low light of his antique shop’s cluttered backroom.

        “He thinks himself unworthy,” Ángel muttered, setting down the phone as it squirmed to escape his hand. “What does that make me? All that I have given him to earn his faith is empty words.”

        How eagerly My servant bears the burden of Our struggle, chimed a tiny voice inside his mind. Did We not speak the words you denigrate together? Is “empty” not the favored form of any worthy vessel, and has this vessel not borne hope unto Our flock?

        Ángel’s other hand unfurled. A polished bell sat twinkling in his palm. What had once been simple brass now shone a gleaming gold, framed by ribbon that had spread itself like wings. She was almost healed... for what little hope that represented.

        Ángel felt the gentle tug of spirit trance, and, glancing over his shoulder to ensure that Isabel was still taking zero interest in his absence or activities, surrendered himself to it with a sigh.

        “Arf!” said the spirit in the bell. Amidst a cotton candy cloudscape sat a tiny little dog. “We are the Angel,” she barked, “and the Angel is Us!” A puff of pale gold energy flared from her ears as they flapped like wings for emphasis. “As We share Her name, one aspiration and one body, I would have you share the blame when We fall short!”

        “...Well, Cherub, there is certainly enough to go around.” Ángel reached out to pet his spirit partner. Cherub’s halo wafted from his hand’s path with a hum like a florescent bulb’s, and she bowed to accept his touch with regal grace. “At every turn we have been foiled... always our foes remain one step ahead.” Ángel clutched Cherub’s bell tighter. “How did the Death Cult learn we meant to recruit Forge to our cause? How does the Witch discover and devour so many of the spirits we ally with? Davy Jones flaunts his ambition in the open, and yet even he eludes what spying we can muster...” He sighed, straightening into a meditative pose. “And now there is this sphinx’s portent. While we grope blindly in the darkness, the danger has drawn closer to my daughter...”