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.)