TOPIC OF THIS CONTEST WAS:
She squinted at the dark yellow leaves blowing in through the broken window, scattering to the corners of the room. She’d never had any friends and she had her translucent white skin and pink eyes to thank for that. Never attending school didn’t help her social status, either. Yet, on this night, she found herself huddled on the freezing floor of an abandoned hunting shack, surrounded by girls she’d passed near the woods. She startled when the one of them leaned forward, and spat, “Truth or Dare?!”
(Stories need only touch on this topic in some way to qualify.)
The leaves crunch under my shoeless feet as I meander the woodland path. Archangel Gabriel calls this grounding, when angels’ feet connect with the Earth’s electrons, transferring energy into the soul. An earthing session for a high-dimensional angelic like myself fuels my existence. I am a GAIT, guardian angel in training, thriving under Gabriel’s House with a multitude of rules that prevent accidental guardianship.
Since I have been on Earth, I have had no friends, never attended school, and I don’t know what social status feels like. I wonder if I were a human would I be popular, funny, athletic, a nerd, a loner, a loser, disabled, a non-conformist, artistic, or a musician? I secretly crave knowing my Earthly potential, a sentiment embarrassingly filthy.
A log cabin shack along the trail is usually occupied by hunters. Tonight, instead of men sharing swigs of whiskey, I detect high-spirited cackling. The aroma of burning wood lures me toward a low, cracked window. I squint past the dark yellow leaves scattered to the corners of the room. Five girls huddle by the fire, sharing secrets. These girls resemble what I feel that I could be if I were not a GAIT. They are shapely humans with silky hair, creamy skin, and lips that pitch sounds of happiness.
I should take custody of my thoughts; these lower human vibrations are only a trap of instant gratification, like pornography for the angelic soul. One girl glances toward the window, and mouths, “Come in from the cold.”
A surge of desire rushes through me. I step into the shack, radiating jewel-tones that scatter across the wood floor in a delicate pattern like a stained-glass window.
“Come by the fire, you look like you are freezing,” the girl wearing a hooded sweatshirt says. “You are totally pale. Are you feeling okay? Wait, you don’t have conjunctivitis, do you?”
The girls flash their high-wattage smiles, then make room to accept me in their huddle on the freezing floor, despite my shocking translucent white skin and other-worldly pink eyes. I fold my legs to sit like them.
“Truth or dare?” the girl with a knit hat says to me. The truth is I have never been to school like them, I don’t have friends or freedom from GAIT to hang out like this, and the complicated angelic truths are not for humans to comprehend.
“Dare,” I reply, and emit a low giggle that sounds like them.
The girl in the hoodie plucks six fluffy marshmallows from a plastic bag, and spears them through the center with a stick. She rotates them above the fire.
Stuff these all in your mouth and swallow them without gagging. If you puke, then you tell us a truth,” she says, handing me the hot stick.
I slide the long row of roasted marshmallows toward my throat. My cheeks puff out as I shift around this pasty medicinal convection derived from the ancient root of Althaea officinalis. The sugary, gummy texture is repulsive but these human girls are obviously partial to this delicacy as they brought a surplus with them. Once I swallow the last glob down, I show them my empty mouth.
OMG, you did it!” the girl in the hat shrieks. She holds out her fist for me to bump my knuckles, a sign of human approval. Now you have to ask Jillian truth or dare.”
Jillian nervously says dare. I line up six fat marshmallows on the stick, roast them, and tell her to eat them just like I had to. Jillian crams the charred marshmallows into the recesses of her mouth, but as she starts to chew them, a marshmallow wad lodges in her throat and she convulses. Instead of spitting them out, she swallows harder, driving them deep into her throat. Jillian’s eyes spiral and her rosy complexion turns blue before she slumps over, and her head hits the floor. She stops breathing as her body turns rigid.
The friends thump on her back, attempting to dislodge the marshmallow mass. Only I can see her sweet soul lifting out of her earthly body, drifting like a butterfly into the spirit world. I reach upward for Jillian’s hands so I can pull her back to this world where she must pursue her earthly dreams. It’s not her time.
Jillian cooperates with me as she reconnects with her body. Her relieved friends hug her. They don’t notice as my translucent skin dissolves into miniscule electron particles that envelope her body and soul like lights around a Christmas tree.
I am no longer grounded on Earth as I am now tagged as Jillian’s guardian angel. This is much sooner than what Gabriel’s House ruled, but to me, escaping the confines of solitary repose to experience a hint of human friendship was worth the risk.