Another Scottish apocalypse this week, but no zombies.
"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.