Sunday, January 10, 2010

Entry #109

On the Way to Merry Mills
by Walter Conley


Once I met an angel, who fell in love with me. He landed on the wooded path to Merry Mills. His name was lovely to hear, but impossible to say or write down now so you’d understand. His angel’s body, head to toe, was daylight-dark and shifting—like the cloudburst from a mushroom I had stepped on as a girl. The connection made me scared and I wouldn’t let him touch me, though he asked to do so with the tenderest of smiles.

“I promise I won’t hurt you,” the angel said.

“You might not intend to,” I said back.

“Just a peck on the cheek?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Hold my hand? Oh, darling, please?”

“I can’t,” I told him. “I simply can’t.”

He started to cry, then, really sob, every strand of muscle drawn tight as tighter. I thought he resembled a bird of prey, one whose heart wasn’t hard enough for killing.

“I didn’t know angels could cry,” I said.

He peeked through his fingers and said, “Me, neither.”

“Does that mean you’re a man, now? A human being?”

“No,” he whispered. “Just a sad angel.”


(Walter lives in the Piedmont Valley of central VA. He has written for a variety of media and currently publishes the ezine disenthralled @ http://disenthrallme.wordpress.com.)

32 comments:

Ayodele Morocco-Clarke said...

Love the lyricism. Reads like a poem.

kashers said...

Ahhhhh... poor, sad angel

Preeti said...

Hawww... beautiful. vivid.
The first line got me hooked. It's always "i fell in love with an angel..." :-))

Very nice.

Kurt Hendricks said...

I agree with Preeti - good job of turning the convention on its' head.

Lee Hughes said...

The prose was amazing, and as another said, read in parts liek poetry. My favourite part though was the end.

"“Does that mean you’re a man, now? A human being?”

“No,” he whispered. “Just a sad angel.”"

Craig said...

Very clever.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Lovely and with a smart ending.

Tessa said...

I think he is a rather naughty angel...his sobs an act, perhaps? See, for some reason this piece made me smile - I'm not sure it was supposed to, but I enjoyed it very much.

Bernita said...

She is wise in her simplicity.
When we walk in the Other we still must keep our feet on the ground.
I liked the innocent, airy style, and liked especially " was daylight-dark and shifting—like the cloudburst from a mushroom I had stepped on as a girl."

Scribblers Inc said...

could almost smell a strange tinge of twisted goth there...maybe its only me...

Mithun Mukherjee.

maybe genius said...

Love that last line :)

LynnAlexander said...

Well done. There is something slightly manipulative about that angel though, isn't there?

Janelle Rene said...

Such a seemingly unequivocal subject of love n' light, in theory, and yet so proportionately ominous...well played Mr. Conley.

Aniket said...

Haha! This is such a masterfully thought out piece. Great start and a killer ending. Hailing frequencies open...

Michael Solender said...

Great piece Walt. Subtle and nuanced.

laughingwolf said...

nicely done, walter...

CJT said...

This is definately an interesting read. Walter, I never quite know what to expect from you, and this is one of those surprising pieces.

Tara said...

Very poetic. And a naughty Angel, indeed.

JaneyV said...

Walter - there is so much to like about this story - the forthrightness of the girl - the ambiguity of the angel - the gorgeous language...


Like Bernita I was particularly moved by the line
was daylight-dark and shifting—like the cloudburst from a mushroom I had stepped on as a girl.

Beautiful.

peggy said...

I kept expecting this to be an allegory of a preditor, and cheered the little girl for questioning and not being gullible.

Still not sure if I should view the 'angel' as an angel or something evil, but the story was captivating and I too, loved the rhythm of the words.

Four Dinners said...

A poor lonely Angel or one with an ulterior motive.

I'm still guessing but I loved the way you wrote this very much.

Deb Smythe said...

Just cause he looks like an angel...

And thanks, Walter, for a good read.

Kartik said...

It's ironical that he was on the way to "Merry" Mills!!

Tim Remp said...

"Just a sad angel" stuck with me. Nice piece.

-Tim
http://clarityofnight.blogspot.com/2010/01/entry-138.html

illyriataylor said...

Oh Walter, such a sad beautiful story.
(Alisa Haller)

catvibe said...

What Bernita and Janey said... I loved this through and through.

McKoala said...

Beautiful, mythical atmosphere.

walter conley said...

wicked tessa,

will you come to my birthday?

we'll have a table in the sunroom, where my uncle likes to sew, an old tv, afghan throws and pepsi "one" or even "any other" for the drinking.

james r. tomlinson said...

I'm reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short story "The Old Man with Enormous Wings," where the townspeople find a washed up angel on the beach, cage it, and charge admission for anyone interested in seeing him. Nice interpretation of the photograph.

Terri said...

This is lovely; poetic and lyrical. The innocence of the girl and perhaps not-so-innocence of the Angel - unique and memorable.

Chris Eldin said...

Sad and poetic. I was left wondering about the true nature and motives of the angel though.

Aerin said...



my caveat

Something I Would Keep

Hells yes for strong female characters!! You go, girl..I mean, Walter.

Something I Might Tweak

Once I met an angel, who fell in love with me. He landed on the wooded path to Merry Mills. This seems almost like the beginning to a Mother Goose rhyme and threw me when it didn't continue.