Friday, 11 June 2010

Friday Flash 2

Another Scottish apocalypse this week, but no zombies.

Highland Visitor

"I'll get it!" I scrambled over the squidgy eiderdown walls of the fort ahead of Rose, skidded across the wooden hall floor in my socks and pulled open the front door, making the wind chime jingle.
"Mam's just in the garden," I said to the angel who stood there. "She's trying to mow the lawn before it gets too dusky. Shall I away and get her?"
"No, no, it's fine," said the angel. "I don't want to bother her if she's busy. I'd just like a glass of water, if that's okay?"
"Caitrin!" hissed Rose from behind my knees. "We're not supposed to let strangers in without Mam."
"Aye, it's alright, it's an angel. Mam won't mind."
I pushed Rose backwards across the floor on her behind and stood back to let the angel in. He sidled in, looking a fair bit embarrassed.
"I won't stay long," he said. "I don't want to get you into any trouble."
He had a lovely voice, all warm and treacly.

I led him through to the kitchen and sat him down at the table. Mam would be far more annoyed if I was rude to a guest. The angel was carrying a wee golden trumpet and one of those swingy things you put incense in at church. Rose was still shuffling around on the floor and I could see she had spied the trumpet. She always acted skitty around people she didn't know and I was going to give her a proper chiding when the angel had gone.
To get her to act nicely I sent Rose to fetch some water, although I knew she'd have to stand on her pink stool to reach the tap. I asked the angel what he was doing all the way up in these parts.
"It's the apocalypse, you see," said the angel in his treacley voice. "I'm early, though." He leaned forward and I leaned in too. "Can you keep a secret?"
I nodded. "Aye."
"I'm a temp. I'm not supposed to be on duty at all. Half of the office is out on training and then the call came through." The angel shrugged and sighed. "I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get here so I set off early and of course now I'm the first one."
I'd had that before, that time of the junior disco down in the town, and I nodded.
Rose came back in the glass of water and put it on the table without spilling a drop.

Outside I could still hear the mower rattling around the garden with Mam in tow.
The angel took a few sips then put his glass down.
"I'd better go. Thanks for the water."
He seemed very jumpy now, nerves I suppose, and as I showed him to the door I gave his hand a wee squeeze.
"Good luck with the apocalypse."
The angel returned me a grin and a shrug.
"Thank you." And he disappeared off into the gloom.


Marisa Birns said...

What a charming tale! I guess even angels have to be new to the job.

Donald Conrad said...

I get a sense the girl had no idea what an apocalypse could be.

A fun read and thank yuh.

John Wiswell said...

I wonder where you hire temp angels. I could use one for my shoulder. Do you have the agency's number?

Was charmed first and foremost by the kid's olde quirk manner of speech. Lovely work on this one.

Jenzarina said...

Thanks for your kind comments.

John, If you type 'Office Angels' into Google you'll get the contact details. Just call them up and say you need an angel for your shoulder

Anonymous said...

Lovely tale. I enjoyed everything about it. The little girl's innocence was perfectly told.

I'm Googling Office Angels right now. :)

Anonymous said...

Even heaven has a temp agency. Who knew? :D

Valerie said...

That was adorable. A little sinister because of the dramatic irony, but adorable.

Sulci Collective said...

showing up early for the apocalypse - I love that!

marc nash

ganymeder said...

That was perfectly charming.

PJ said...

So i guess the apocalypse will have to wait until the mowing is done. Good excuse to let the grass grow ;-) Very sweet tale - i like the interplay between the children and the sweet-sounding antiquey words you've sprinkled in.

Sam said...

This is absolutely fabulous! My favourite #FridayFlash of the week by miles. I love the setting, the characters, the dialogue/dialect, and turning up early for the apocalypse did make me giggle. I'd be quite happy to settle down and read a novel length work in the same setting. Bravo!

Eric J. Krause said...

Good stuff. Loved the humor in this, especially that the angel is a temp. I feel for him being early--if I'm new to something, I'm always extremely early myself.