Sarah, at fmme writes poems, replied to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge #29 with The weeping angel, and it reminded me of a story I wrote back in 1998. I guess you would call it micro-fiction. (I don’t do well writing anything much longer than this.)
I was driving to work on a winter’s day, late February, crossing the Skyway, an elevated highway over Buffalo harbor, and before me was a formerly vital industrial area that was pretty much dozed over, including a steel mill that once employed 40,000 people. All that was left was the desolation of empty lots, with mostly warehouses and start-up light industry slowly taking shape. As I crested the Skyway, Mick Jagger’s voice came over the radio, saying, “I thought I heard an angel cry,” and this story came to me. I have not edited it, since.
Do Angels Cry?
His wings folded forward, an angel cradles a tiny pearl that floats in space before him. For eons before eons, he has nurtured its development with the gentlest of care. In the minds of the beings who dwell there, many angels are present to watch over them, and such may be said to be true. Although their free will prevents him from taking an active role in their lives, his thoughts are with each of them.
At times, he beams with pride at their achievements, and sheds tears of joy at the charity they bestow on each other. Other times, he sheds tears of misery at the hatred they have for one another, and tears of shame at the greed they harbor in themselves.
Of late, he is troubled more often than not. Their greed has often caused faction to war against faction, yet resolution has always been reached on a regional scale, with time being the only variable. That has changed with progress.
The desire to reach around the globe is a reflection of that progress. To gain the interest of those who dwell there. And, sometimes, to gain dominance over those same beings. Time is no longer the only variable. How many will suffer from the desires of others a world away?
From a distance, the pearl still seems to hold much of its original brilliance. Its inhabitants have made tentative attempts to reach out to the expanse that surrounds them. Hoping to someday reach the jewels that fill their sky. Hoping to find other pearls that may share the beauty that dims within their own.
The eye of the angel sees through the deceptive veil that now shrouds the pearl, to the true nature of its condition. The time has come for the pearl to be on its own. The fate of its beauty lies just over its horizon.
Shedding one last tear, he lets loose his grasp. The pearl spins on its own, waiting to cross that horizon on its own. He does not wait to see the outcome.
The soft beating of his wings sends him away, as once again he travels amongst the jewels that fill the sky. Passing many of his brethren, intent on the state of their own pearls, he goes in search of another that is newly formed.
On the pearl that he has left behind, there are those who wonder, “Do angels cry?”
Image source: Wikipedia