“Do you believe in angels, Dr. Wells?” The rest of the therapy group rolled their eyes.
“There she goes again, on about those damn angels,” Randy growled. He crossed his arms and kicked at the floor, his metallic chair rattling against the tiled floor. “The girl’s got a fixation and I’m sick of it.”
“No, judgements, Randy. You know the rules.” Dr. Wells frowned at him and then turned to Cindy with a condescending smile. “Tell me about your angels.”
Stretching her toes, Cindy softly hummed in time to the thwap of the ceiling fan. The scent of jasmine floated in the air, stirred from some forgotten corner. In the silence, she gazed at the white walls and watched the shadows dance, while tracing a pattern on the padded arm of her chair.
Finally, she spoke. “You must believe in them to see them. I mean really believe, not just Sunday-go-to-church conviction, forgotten on Monday. If you have true faith, they can help you.”
“Fat lot of good they did you,” Randy laughed. “You’re stuck in this loony bin with the rest of us.”
“Randy,” Dr. Wells stared with another disapproving look. “What did I tell you about that?”
“Not to call this place a ‘loony bin’.” Randy slouched in his chair and scowled.
“They did help.” Cindy’s voice interrupted and everyone turned to gawk. “The angels saved me.” She smiled, but wouldn’t elaborate.
Not until the next session.
The last to arrive, Cindy sat down, easing into her chair. She looked at each person and spoke as if no time had passed. “Not all angels have white wings, you know.” She hummed and gazed upward. “Some have black wings. They’re the ones who punish sins.”
“On about your angels, again?” Randy grunted. “They’re not doing a very good job. Plenty of sinners in the world.”
Cindy glared at him, raising an eyebrow and tilting her chin. “You have to ask them first. They can’t punish anyone, if you don’t ask.”
Dr. Wells cleared his throat. “That’s what you told the police, isn’t it? That you requested angels protect you from your parents? And the angels killed them, not you?”
Cindy turned her attention to the doctor. “Yes. I don’t think they believed me, because I ended up here. But it’s the truth.”
Dr. Wells smiled. “Truth can sometimes be complicated. You’re here so we can sort what really happened that night.”
“I told you. Not believing me doesn’t make it a lie.” Cindy laughed. “I’m not crazy. They’re real, and so beautiful. Ebony feathers, ethereal faces and shining eyes, with a radiant silver aura. And the loveliest things about them are their long blood-stained claws.”
“Claws don’t sound lovely.” Randy grunted into the conversation. “Your angels are just made-up monsters.”
“They are not monsters!” Cindy stared down Randy, and he squirmed.
“Stop looking at me like that. I ain’t done nothing to you. Keep away from me with your angel delusions.”
“You have nothing to fear from my angels. You don’t have many sins, even if you pretend otherwise. Dr. Wells has sins, though,” Cindy tilted her head towards the therapist. “Dark ones.”
“I’m a sinner, am I?” Dr. Wells chuckled.
Cindy nodded. “I know what you’ve done and so do the angels.” She leaned forward. “Time for you to pay.”
“Is that a threat?” Dr. Wells straightened in his chair. As he did, he felt something brush against his shoulder and smelled a hint of jasmine. A black feather fell in his lap. An invisible hand reached into his chest, and Dr. Wells felt the last beat of his heart before a force ripped the organ out of his body in a spray of blood, bone, and flesh. His corpse crumpled to the floor. Everyone but Cindy screamed.
And somewhere in the ether, a blacked winged angel feasted on the heart of a sinner.
∼ A.F. Stewart
© Copyright A.F. Stewart. All Rights Reserved.