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The Angel's Share



 
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Jack Angiers

“Do they usually scream that much?” the brunette whined as she leaned over the prone body, its eyes pleading for help. Her tone was at once both horrified and curious.

The girl was a witch. Not a very powerful one from what he could tell. Though certainly enough to help Jack Angiers find an angel and disable it long enough to haul it back to his favourite safe house. Possibly a less powerful angel as well. Hadn’t everything just fallen into place for him?

Jack knew his days were numbered. You can’t do all the things he does as a human and not either get caught or killed. Live by the sword and all. The police were getting closer. That ridiculous detective, Carmichael, trying to make a name for himself or on some damn crusade. Fuck them! Why couldn’t they just let him be? It wasn’t like the world wasn’t overpopulated anyway. What would a few hundred matter? Hell, he wasn’t sure he would even get through that many in his short human life - precisely the reason he was pursuing more supernatural means.

“Yeah, they always scream this much, beg too.” Jack leaned in closer to his victim. “Doesn’t matter. The place is sound-proof. Now, will you answer, or are you gonna make me repeat myself? Fair warning, I hate repeating myself. You just whisper it now, in old Jacky’s ear. You do that, and I’ll show mercy, I promise you, I will.”

Oh, how that bird sang. The angel’s words were the sweetest of melodies rising to the rafters and through the sky’s canopies enough to make even the very race of angels he belonged to weep. If one looked closely, even Jack had one fat glistening tear threatening to fall. He had a chance to thwart death.

True to his word, he showed the angel mercy he rarely displayed and drew the wickedly sharp blade across its throat. The blood welled in a great rush, cascading down the neck and filling the table. Jacky got lost in it, flowed with it, the iron tang surrounded him. A buzzing was bringing him back, ruining this intimate moment. He frowned and looked up. The girl was speaking to him and, without another thought, Jack raised the knife he still held and plunged it directly into her heart.

The girl’s power hit him, threw him across the room, and he grinned like a maniac. “Yes! Fight me!” Instead, she clutched at the knife, attempted to pull it free. She staggered pathetically a few feet, collapsed to her knees and hit the ground with her face, twitching as her blood coated his floor. Jack realised as he stood that he had entirely forgotten her name.

Pulling the knife free, he wiped it on the girl’s clothing then stood and took his cell phone out. “Yeah, it’s me: two, both dead. Sorry, I don’t have time to clean up. Money’s in the usual place. Thanks.” Looking around, he picked up his jacket and headed to his regular church. It was a little-known fact that Jack was a Catholic.

The mistake he made tonight was not in going to confession, nor missing mass; his time management was off. No, the error was in thinking he was safe and that no one knew this part of him. Jack exited the church, backlit by the lights steaming out from the double doors that stood wide open. Feeling calm, he lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply before blowing out a plume of smoke as he stared into the pitch-black night.

A sharp pain tore through Jack’s chest as his body flew through the air and landed with a thud on the marble floor of the church. None of this ‘go for the legs’ bullshit, the torso was the largest target, and the shooter outside took full advantage and got all six bullets in the ten-ring.

Jack Angiers, prolific killer and all-around pain in the ass for one Detective Carmichael didn’t move and was pronounced DOA when the ambulance arrived at its destination.

Or so the case file read.
January 18, 2020 10:48 pm

Jack Angiers

The feeling of floating was blissful, if not for the searing heat. Jack came around slowly, his gaze caught on the cavernous ceiling of what? A dungeon? A cave? He grimaced and sat up feeling groggy and disorientated.

“Where?” was all he got out before a hacking cough overtook him. As it subsided, he wiped his mouth and noted someone, or rather something had walked up to him. He added ‘thing’ because whatever it was, had hooves. Two hooves to be exact, which meant it wasn’t any animal he had encountered before, or the animal was for some inexplicable reason stood on its hind legs.

“Welcome to hell, I’ll be your guide, and if you have any questions, please save them until the end of the tour,” the creature said with a gruff New York accent.

Hazel eyes roamed all over a goat-man creature. The thing wore trousers and a vest, no shoes or shirt though. “Hell? No, no, there’s some mistake. I should be in heaven.”

“You’ve committed sins,” it vaguely waved its hand. “That equals hell. So, here you are. Now if you’ll step…”

“No! I should be in heaven. I’m a good catholic; went to confession regularly. I want to speak to Eremiel.”

The goat-man flipped through the papers it held in its grimy hands. “There’s no mention of that. Just..just wait right here,” the creature bared its teeth and pointed to where Jack stood then moved away quickly, hooves clicking on the stone.

Before long goat-man returned with an angel who was fair of skin with green eyes and blonde hair wearing a flowing robe. The angel smiled; Jack smiled back. “How, might I ask, do you know my name?” Eremiel asked slowly in a fancy British accent.

If Eremiel had to ask, then Jack surmised he didn’t know the details of his ‘hobby'. He decided to try vanity first. He was always surprised how often that alone worked. “You’re well known on earth. Intelligent, just…beautiful.”

The angel slowly nodded his head. “Hmmm. Well then, let’s review your case, shall we?” Eremiel looked over the notes that goat-man, who it turned out, was called Aeshma, handed him. “Thank you Aeshma, family in good health I trust?”

“Can’t complain. How’s the poodle?”

Eremiel gave the demon the side-eye to see if he was taking the piss. Dogs, you see, do go to heaven. “Joshua, is fine, thank you.” He closed up the papers and handed them back to Aeshma, then took a deep breath and looked at Jack again. “There is a case here. You have indeed followed some of the laws set out as a good Catholic, and yet others you decide do not apply to you. Are you truly repentant for you foul deeds, Jack Angiers?”

“I am. Deeply.” Jack was sure to affect contrition and bowed his head. He briefly wondered if he should go down on one knee and squeeze out a tear or two.

“Jesus! You’re not going to believe him, are you?” roared Aeshma.

“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain,” Jack and Eremiel said at the same time. The angel blushed, Jack laughed before bowing his head once again.

“Thank you, Aeshma. I’ll take it from here. Jack, follow me.”

Eremiel walked towards a wall, and Jack followed. They walked right through it, and Jack found himself in a large, overly bright room. The look on Eremiel’s face, however, told him the jig was up.
January 21, 2020 05:53 pm

Jack Angiers

“Did you think that was going to work?” Eremiel turned on Jack the moment they were alone. The angel had the most beautiful eyes, gold flecked with silver, and Jack found himself oddly distracted by them.

“Yes. Though I thought I’d have to work a little harder for it.” Jack flashed the angel his best grin, the one that usually got him what he wanted.

“This is not a game!” The angel roared at him. Jack thought it was but wisely kept this mouth shut.

Eremiel gathered himself and took a deep breath. “Look, the best I can offer you is purgatory. That gives you a chance to be properly purified and made ready for this place.”

“No!”

“Jack, be reasonable.”

“No! I did all the right things. I went to church, I confessed…”

“And yet every time you did so, you managed to commit the same sin again and again not long after. You know how this works. The confession is only part of it and you and I both know you are not truly remorseful for your deeds. I’m only entertaining this at all because of your exemplary religious record. You were very dedicated to our Father in your own way. It’s not something we often see in those with your disorder.”

Jack looked at the angel sharply, hazel eyes stabbing him where he stood. “You’re going to let me in, and here’s why.” Striding fast to close the distance between Eremiel and himself, Jack leant in and whispered to him all information the dead angel had given him.

The quiet in the room was nothing like Jack had ever experienced before. He could feel it surrounding him, closing in, ready to swallow him whole. Not even his heartbeat rang in his ears. Panic started to bubble up, and he could barely draw breath. Eremiel looked set to explode, then by degrees, his frame relaxed, and Jack could breathe again.

“Fine, but you will never use that against me again.” The angel lifted its hand and touched the tips of its fingertips to Jack’s forehead, then pushed. Not trusting jack, he also took the information Jack had just used to gain entrance to heaven.

The breath exploded out of Jack’s body as he once again found himself thrown back before losing consciousness.
January 28, 2020 08:36 pm

Jack Angiers

The room swam into view slowly, and Jack lay there breathing heavily. A turn of his head and he could see the bottom of the robe Eremiel wore. He sat up and saw a hand extended to help him stand. Accepting it Jack was on his feet again, only this time something felt different.

Looking down his body to see if anything was different, Jack noted no change. He raised his hands palm up then scrutinised them as he turned them over, then clenched the fists before dropping them to his sides. His gaze caught on something small and black by his left foot. Bending, he picked up the item and studied it as he straightened to his full height. It was a feather.

Eremiel caught Jack’s eyes and smiled slightly, then answered the unspoken question. “Yes.”

“You gave me black wings?”

“You’re lucky to have them at all, Mr Ungrateful. You have to earn a pair like mine.” Eremiel appeared close to the end of his rope, then visibly calmed himself once more.

“How do I…”

“Think it. Everything is accomplished that way here.” The angel extended his iridescent wings.

Momentarily speechless upon seeing the angel’s beautiful wings, Jack stared in awe. Thinking about spreading wings as if they were attached to his body, Jack felt a ripple across the muscles in his back and almost yelped like a girl due to the sensation. He managed to defeat the initial fear though his voice came out as a whisper.

“This is…unbelieveable. How are the wings not tearing my clothing?”

“They are magical, supernatural, otherworldly, whatever you want to call them. They are a thought until fully formed then they manifest and become solid.”

To prove the point, the angel brushed his fingertips over the primary feathers and Jack shivered at his touch. He hadn’t expected to feel anything.

“Ahh.”

“Yeah.”

“What just happened?” Beads of sweat dotted Jack’s forehead that had nothing to do with the temperature.

“Forgive me,” Eremiel said as he moved away, folded his wings back until they disappeared, and faced Jack with a slight blush to his cheeks. “It is considered bad etiquette to touch another’s wings without permission.”

Tipping his head to one side, Eremiel studied Jack. “They suit you.”

Grinning, Jack was fairly sure the angel was flirting with him, and he properly relaxed for the first time since this ordeal started. “Thanks. Does that mean I get a halo next?”

“Don’t push your luck.”
January 28, 2020 08:44 pm

Jack Angiers

Present Day

“When do I get to return to earth?”


This request became Jack’s mantra, and he asked Eremiel at least every other day. Jack’s plan had been simple; get into heaven, become immortal, go back to earth and continue his hobby for eternity. The problem was, heaven was changing him. He didn’t quite know how or why. Part of his current motivator to get back to earth was to see who he had become. Being around humans again would hopefully give him the perspective he sought, either that or he would go on a murderous bender.

The fact that he had never once thought about killing any being in heaven worried him deeply. No, wait, that wasn’t entirely correct. He had thought about it but had no real desire to act upon it. This was not normal for him. His standard was blood everywhere. Fuck! Was he turning into a saint?

“You are not a saint,” Eremiel said as he breezed into Jack’s quarters. When they were together, Eremiel ditched the robe and opted for white jeans and a white button-down. Jack still favoured dark clothing. Jack liked how they looked together, dark and light.

The angel took a seat in the kitchen where Jack was finishing up dicing an onion. “Spaghetti and meatballs, and dude no matter what we share, not cool that you read my mind. Are you staying for food?” The angel shook his head and Jack put the knife down to give him his attention. “What’s wrong, Remy?”

Jack and the angel had become good friends during his time in heaven. More than friends, though they kept that to themselves. Consequently, when one of them was not having a good day, the other knew. Generally speaking, there weren’t a whole lot of bad days in heaven.

“You got your wish, Jack. You’re getting sent back to earth.”

“What? That’s great! Why now?”

“It seems some, ah, surveillance is needed. It was surmised with your, um, background, that you would be good at tracking and stealth. You were an obvious choice.” A blush settled in Eremiel’s cheeks.

“Who have you been talking with? You never talk like this.”

“Michael. Archangel Michael. The higher-ups have a mission for you,” Eremiel studied his hands as if something interesting could be found there.

“What mission?” Jack shook his head, not understanding.

“They need information about a woman, I don’t know much more,” Eremiel waved his hand around vaguely. “They will give you all the details.”

Blowing out a breath, Jack stared at the ground. Happy that he would get his wish, yet sadness filled him when he looked at Remy. “Will you come with me?”

“It’s not my assignment. Besides, it was only a matter of time before you found a way back. Destiny was always going to take you from me.” The angel smiled; sadness clear in his beautiful eyes.

“When? Do we at least get tonight…”

“No. You have been called for this duty and must leave now. Jack, don’t miss this window of opportunity, it’s not certain you will get another.”

Jaw muscles jumped as Jack thought through his decision. Having minutes instead of hours or days to think on it outright pissed him off. Schooling his emotions, he resolved what he needed to do. Jack briefly hesitated before he pulled the angel to him for a strong hug and they held each other a moment. They were out of time - what an odd thing for two immortal beings.

“I never expected…this, us. I don’t usually form relationships. I didn’t know I had the capacity for them, but now…I will not forget you, Remy.”

“It’s the healing, working on multiple levels. We will meet again, a long time from now, but until then, I will not forget you either, Jack,” Eremiel released Jack and stepped back, then raised his head stoically and gave him a crooked smile. “Go, you foolish human.”

Nodding slowly, Jack smiled wide at the insult. “Alright. Can I see your wings one last time?”

“Begone!”

Grinning, Jack slipped a hand behind Eremiel’s neck and pulled the angel in for a quick, hard kiss, then quit the room and sought out the Archangel Michael.
January 29, 2020 04:40 pm

Jack Angiers

Michael was an imposing angel as Jack had expected. What he didn’t expect was for him to be in camouflage gear and reside in an office that resembled a war room. Jack was no slouch in the height department at six foot one, but Michael towered over him and if he ever had a sense of humour, it had long departed.

“Jack, good, we have a mission for you. You’re going back to earth as we need you to track down this female.” Michael threw an envelope at Jack which landed on the table between them.

Picking up the envelope, Jack frowned and opened his mouth to talk. The archangel slashed a hand through the air before he could, then pointed at him.

“You only need to listen. We are sending you back now. You already have the following to aid you: supernatural strength, speed and healing. Also, we are giving you enough mind control to cover your tracks if need be, procure items such as food, or our dearest Lord forbid, cover-up memories because you flashed your wings at someone. If any such embarrassment should occur, remove that memory post haste.” Michael stared hard at Jack to see if he understood, one eyebrow raised as if he doubted the human turned angel was capable of much. With a curt nod, he continued.

“Twenty years have passed on earth since…”

“Twenty years! I’ve only been here two…”

“Quiet!” Michael bared his teeth at Jack. “Time works differently here; get over it. We have very little information on the female but know that she carries something very dear to heaven that we want returned. We do not know if her intention is to give it to us or use it for nefarious purposes. Once you move into the antechamber, you will have ten minutes before you must leave. You are permitted to take the photograph only. If you are unable to complete the mission, neutralise the target. Understood?”

Jack nodded and bit his tongue. He had an overwhelming desire to tell the archangel to fuck off, but he did want to return to earth.

“Outstanding. I shall see you for the debrief. In the meantime, good luck and God speed.” Gesturing towards the door to the antechamber, Michael turned away and busied himself as Jack exited the room.

What a dick, Jack thought as he sat on a seat in the antechamber and looked through the minuscule amount of information. Target: Female, early twenties, red hair, green eyes, demon, currently residing in New York City. Mission: Obtain high value payload. Payload? Jack frowned. What did that even mean? The photo showed a pretty redhead who looked more like she belonged in heaven than hell. Demon, what did he know about demons? Apart from his own, next to nothing.

Jack shoved the photograph into his jacket pocket. Then as he felt himself losing consciousness once again, his last thought was to wish they would stop doing this to him.
January 31, 2020 06:10 pm

Jack Angiers

Two weeks later – debrief after the completed mission.

Sitting in the reception area of what appeared to be a large office was where Jack gained consciousness this time. He wondered why heaven insisted on making things look like earth. The whole thing should be open plan to his mind.

A door opened and the archangel Michael strode out, looking as confident and annoying as he had every other time Jack had met him. “Jack, come in. We have a lot to get through.”

Jack nodded and followed the large archangel. He didn’t, however, step into an office. Instead, they stepped onto a beautiful balcony that overlooked a magnificent garden with fountains, all manner of flowers and a hedge maze. “Wow,” Jack blurted as he moved to the edge of the balcony and looked out. “This place - now this is what I thought heaven would be like.”

A deep chuckle sounded behind him, and as he turned Michael appraised Jack for a moment, and he wondered at what the archangel saw.

“Jack, thank you for completing the mission. We do, however, have some misgivings on what you achieved.”

“I did as you asked, for the most part. Look, I’m not one for suspense. Will I be staying in heaven?”

“No.”

Well, that was succinct, he supposed. “Why not?” Jack responded sharper than he intended.

Michael paced lightly, his hands clasped behind his back, looking every bit the general he was. “You’ve come a long way, Jack. You’re shameful entry into heaven...” Before Jack could respond, Michael continued. “Oh, yes. We know how you got yourself in here. There is very little that is not known, and yet I agree with Eremiel, you deserve a chance to change. He vouched for you, quite literally put his reputation on the line. For you. He is a good male, a good angel.”

“I know that!”

“And yet you never told him you loved him.”

“If I felt such a thing, it would be between him and me. I’m not discussing that with you.”

“And here is the crux of the matter. The homicidal urges due to your disorder have reduced, drastically, along with many others. But you are still unable to open yourself up, even to one you were so close with. You still weigh up the costs and benefits of every conversation and every person you meet. Still manipulate and lie for personal gain without regard for others.”

“I’m trying,” Jack said through gritted teeth. “I’m fucking trying.”

“I know, and it is because you are trying a second chance is on offer at all.”

Jack blew out a long, slow breath. Well, at least they weren’t sending him back to hell. “I will be mortal again?”

“No, you will have what few powers we have given you, and you are immortal, an angel. But we will watch you, carefully,” Michael paused a moment, then continued. “Be wise, Jack. Very few people get this chance.”

A nod of his head was all Jack could manage at this moment. He kept his eyes trained on the ground. It was a lot to take in, and Jack wasn’t good with all the feels that were going on right now.

“Good. There’s one more thing I wish to discuss before you leave to return to earth. Jack,” Michael called his name softly to gain his attention. “Tell me about the people you murdered. All of them. “

A shiver ran down Jack’s spine as his face blanched. Immediately he began pacing, shaking his head. It took him a while to speak at all. “I’ve confessed these already.”

“No, you haven’t. You can’t lie to me about this, Jack. You couched each confession in language that separated you from the act. Never once did you own what you did. That you wilfully murdered these people.”

Turning to face the beautiful vista, Jack didn’t see it at all. Instead, his mind showed him pictures of all he had done. Didn’t they know? Didn’t they understand why he did those things, because when the blood flowed it was as if it flowed into him, filling the gaping hole inside himself so that for one single moment he felt whole? So. Fucking. Selfish.

For a sickening moment, Jack thought he might throw up. The slide show in his head looked different now. No longer something he could switch off or look at carelessly because he felt nothing. His emotions were wired these days and he hated it, yet knew this was the right path, the only way to live a real life. The pictures made him feel something that crawled over his skin, sank in through his pores to settle around his heart with sharp claws dragging him down. He could barely breathe, think, talk without feeling like the worthless trash he was.

For the first time in his life, Jack Angiers felt shame, and he had so very much to be ashamed of.

Turning to Michael, he approached and had a moment of clarity as he looked into the patient eyes of the archangel. This was not something he had to do, not something anyone had to do. Michael was doing this purely to help Jack, and the thought humbled him that today his confessor would be one degree of separation from God.

Never had he wanted to run from a situation as much as he did right now. Heavy feet brought him to Michael where it was a long time before he knelt, and even longer before he crossed himself and began. If Michael noticed the tears that ran unchecked down Jack’s face, he didn’t mention it.

It was a lengthy confession, and time and again, he faltered so that about halfway through, Jack felt Michael’s broad palm on his shoulder giving him the strength to see it through. It finally struck him that for once in confessing his sins, he didn’t care about himself. He wasn’t doing this to feel better about himself but was honouring the lives he had stolen from so many. People that wouldn’t get to see the faces of their loved ones, say goodbye one last time, live a full life with hopes and dreams. Yet he would. Yep, he was trash, and for the first time, Jack was genuinely sorry for his actions.
February 09, 2020 08:49 pm

Jack Angiers

“Go in peace, Jack,” Michael said sometime later, and Jack stood and swiped his palms over his face.

“I strongly suggest you find other supernatural beings,” Michael continued.

“I believe I already have, but I haven’t exactly asked what they are.”

“Good. Be sociable, be nice, make friends. Learn to be someone that supports others, not because of personal gain, but because it’s the right thing to do. Lastly, try to clean up your language.”

“Fuck that. You don’t think I have enough to work on here. My language is the last thing I’m gonna worry about.”

When he heard Michael’s rumbled laughter, he realised the archangel was ragging on him. Then Michael became utterly serious once more. “I need to warn you, Jack. If you take even one innocent life, you will go straight to hell. We will not save you. Understood?”

“Understood.” Okay, so there was that.

“Good. There’s someone outside wanting to see you. You have…”

“Ten minutes?” Jack cut him off. Yeah, he was a smartass.

Another chuckle rumbled up from Michael’s chest. “I like you, Jack, but don’t push it. No, a few hours. I suggest you make the most of it. Now, get out of my sight.”

As Jack left the ‘office’, his eyes zeroed in on the one he most wanted to see. Eremiel was there, waiting for him, and Jack had an overwhelming desire to weep again. What did he ever do to deserve such loyalty?

“Come on,” was all Eremiel said as he held out his hand. Jack took it without hesitation and followed him out the main doors. Instead of being on the street, they were in a magnificent park, filled with lush grass, a clear blue lake where swans glided gently by, and it was a perfect sunny day.

“Why did we never come to any of these places before. I return, and suddenly heaven looks like, well, heaven.”

“You weren’t ready for this, Jack. Heaven is whatever you need it to be. At that point, you needed something that looked like earth. This,” Eremiel gestured to the scenery around them. “Is what I prefer.”

“Why?” Jack whispered, then cleared his throat and spoke up. “Why did you put up with me? Do all these things for me? I blackmailed you to get in here, and I’m sorry I did that to you.”

A slow smile spread across Eremiel’s beautiful face. “You know why. It’s your pretty hair. Besides I’m not sorry, I wouldn’t have met you otherwise.”

Jack grinned and shook his head at the hair remark. “Shallow.” Then he lifted their joined hands and kissed the angel’s knuckles as he tried to formulate what he wanted to say.

“Remy, you know I...ah…that is to say, the way I feel...about...” Awkward, to say the least. Jack tried again. “The time we’ve had together…um…you’re a great guy.” Okay, that was beyond pitiful.

“No, wait, don’t say anything. I know that was bad,” Jack broke their connection and walked away, scrubbed at his face, then immediately turned and went back.

“You…us. This means something to me,” Jack stated.

Eremiel nodded.

“You mean a lot to me,” Jack said, wondering why it was so challenging to say the words he meant.

Eremiel nodded again and remained silent, giving Jack the time that he needed.

“Remy, you mean everything to me.”

Finally, the angel cracked another of those dazzling smiles that took Jack’s breath away. “I love you too, Jack.”

Thank fuck! The angel got him; he just got him. Jack let those precious words sink in deep then closed the gap and set his to lips to the one being that breathed life into his withered black heart.

As Remy drew back, Jack felt the angel’s hands at his neck as he held his stare. He knew that look. Remy was about to get serious on him.

“Don’t mess this up, Jack. You have a second chance, to live the life you should have; to be the man you should have been the first time around, and I don’t want you to cling to what we have here. Start anew, be open to what you find there.”

“Remy, I..”

“No,” the angel cut him off. “We’ve had our time. A lot of people never find anything close to this. Keep the memories, but don’t drown in them. You understand me?”

Reluctantly and after some prodding, Jack agreed. “Fine, but people are asking a fucking lot of me, today. Also, no more goodbyes, okay, this is killing me.”

“No more goodbyes, then.”

“So, we have a few hours. Any suggestion on what we might do?” Jack asked a slight tilt to his lips as he watched his angel intensely.

Eremiel deadpanned. “Badmington?”

Yeah, this angel got him. “I thought you’d never ask.”
February 10, 2020 05:49 pm
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