Not a Grain of Truth

A random idea.

*

You woke up thinking it was a dream. It had to be, right? There was no way that had actually happened, visions of heaven and hell clashing on the planes of purgatory. That’s your fucking imagination at war with your Christian childhood, the battlegrounds are the substrates of your own mind not some ethereal plane separate to yours.

Yet you can’t shake the feeling, as you paw at your covers and push them away from your body to get up, that there’s some grain of truth in it. That’s weird, you think, obviously. Your dreams are dreams, by definition they aren’t reality, but why can’t the rest of your body get the message? Your heart is beating far faster than a normal nightmare would have it, the cold sweat is freezing your hairs to your skin and, as you pad your way through to your bathroom for your morning piss, your legs carry you almost reluctantly, as if they find your bed the safest place to be right now and any deviation or attempt to escape worth resisting.

Curious, isn’t it? That your body seems to be recognising the danger that awaits you today, even when your cognition refuses to accept what it’s just seen? Humans do have some disastrously self-defeating biology. You also seem to be wilfully ignoring me, despite the fact that narration surely can’t normally be a part of your morning routine.

 

 

“Fuck.”

 

The stream of piss faltered as he swore, splashing the seat and drawing more curses from him. He almost fell as he tried in vain to both finish his urination and check behind him for where the words came from. He pulled up his boxers and, seeing there was no one immediately behind him in the toilet (which he was greatly thankful for, since how close they’d need to have been would’ve been disconcerting), tripped through into his bedroom, desperately checking behind the door, inside the wardrobe, out the window, finding nothing but blaring horns and Big Ben tolling the eighth hour in the distance. He turned back into his room, shaking his head and slapping it a few times.

 

*If you’re doing that to try and shake me out of your head, you’re going to be concussed long before you succeed*

 

He stopped pulling on his trousers, frozen with one leg hanging precariously in the air. He mumbled something about too much alcohol and resumed, eyes darting around the room as he manhandled what should have been a delicate white linen shirt and tugged on his tie.

 

*Honestly, the longer you think this is your own head, the harsher the therapist will view the multiple personality disorder*

 

“Fuck. Off. You’re not real.”

 

*I disagree, but clearly that doesn’t seem to be making much of an impact on your opinion*

 

He wheeled around, almost choking himself on the tie as he yanked it into place. His eyes stared as he slowly rotated in place, checking every corner of his small apartment bedroom. When he saw nothing, he sighed, resignedly slumping onto the end of his bed, his forehead rested on his two clammy palms.

 

*Oh, I do apologise. I thought you were just being wilfully ignorant, but of course, you can’t see me in this form*

 

And then there it was, standing or rather floating about three inches off the ground in front of him. At first his eyes refused to register it, both from the blinding light that his eyes adjusted to slowly and then from the ridiculousness of what he was seeing. He traced white robes, torn and slightly greyed with wear, surrounding pale skin that looked itself ripped and cut, the torn skin floating in place. Two great wings slowly flapped behind it, but where he expected to see white feathers they were all greying, with a few turned pitch black within the layers.

There was no face.

Not visible, anyway, behind a dark shadow that its hood cast. There were two eyes, silver and bright, moving quickly over his body as if inspecting him, which of course they were, checking his body for the suitable markers.

*Close your mouth, friend, you’ll need to buck up pretty quick if you’d like to savour some of your sanity. Now, let’s see… Yes, surprisingly they’re all there, even if the countenance is… undesirable and the constitution is… severely lacking. You’ll do, I suppose*

And then it was gone again.

Hello, he thought. No, he didn’t. He didn’t think that, but he… did?

It’s me, he thought, the Angel. Oh. Right.

I know this is confusing, but trust me, it feels much stranger to me than it does to you.

“Oh I don’t know,” he muttered, “you’d be surprised.”

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