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Tea with an angel.

17 days ago
Commended by mizal on 3/24/2021 4:49:38 PM

So, awhile ago I posted a short story called “An Angel by any other name”. I’ve had an idea for a sequel for a few weeks. So, this is my attempt to further the world. So please enjoy and once again don’t hesitate with any question comment or concern.

 

 With a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, Sandra watched as her new brother played with some of her old barbies. Sandra’s world had been flipped upside down a mere two weeks ago. Her parents had adopted this little ball of positivity and sunshine named Billy. Going from an only child should have been hard, but it had been impossible to dislike him. The agency had warned the family that he had been terribly abused before becoming the only survivor of a brutal home invasion. Both the sperm donor and the egg factory had died. Sandra refused to acknowledge such trash as human let alone parents. No child should have to deal with trauma induced nightmares. Hell, her heart had almost broken when asked why he didn’t mind playing with hand-me-down barbies.

“Cause I ain’t ever have toys before.”  Such a simple but devastating answer had silenced any further questions. Sandra thanked God at that moment that they were dead. If they hadn’t been, odds are she would be in a cell at this very moment. Suddenly, that dark train of thought was cut off as Billy collapsed to the floor. As quickly as possible Sandra rushed to his side. Letting out a sigh of relief as it turned out he had fallen asleep.

The blood turned to ice in Sandra’s veins as an unknown feminine voice spoke up from behind her. “At least you seem to have decent enough reflexes.”  The scream that was on her lips died as Sandra turned around. Standing in a spot that had just been empty a moment ago, was a tall and imposing woman. Her ethereal features were contrasted by large black wings. “We need to talk.’ The woman’s voice was a wonderous mix of commanding and music like.

Hands slightly shaking, Sandra set the cup of tea down. “Who exactly are you?” The question had been valid, but Sandra had wanted to be more subtle. Seemingly ignoring the bluntness, the woman spoke once again.

“You may call me Ereriel. I am what your kind calls a fallen angel.” After finishing her self-introduction, Ereriel calmly sipped her tea. Sandra began to panic, exclaiming louder then she had wanted to. “Holy shit! You’re a fucking demon?”  As suddenly as her panic had stared, she felt it disappear. With a pointed look Ereriel spoke once again.

“Are you hard of hearing child? I just said I was a fallen angel. I would appreciate it if you did not call me one of those foul beasts.” Seeing how confused Sandra was, Ereriel continued to speak. “The difference is how far we fell. Those abominations fell all the way. We fallen angels landed on this plane.” Sandra nodded as she took a seat across from Ereriel.

This whole experience was wild, but Sandra found herself believing in this story. Maybe it had been the wings. Curiosity got the better of Sandra as she asked a question that had come to her mind. “Ok then, how come some of you landed on earth? I mean did you still rebel against God?” For a moment Ereriel was silent before she answered.

” Yes, I did. What separated us is the why. Lucifer and the demons rebelled due to their pride. My reason was slightly different. I was destined to become a guardian angel protecting those who fought for the faith. At the time I believed no warrior would have faith in me if their souls could remember me bowing to them. I refused and was considered a rebel. After the war I had to be punished but my intentions had been better, and I had refused to fight my former companions.”

Sandra found herself slightly nodding along as she listened. It made sense. Like breaking a minor rule in school to receive in school suspension. Rules had to be enforced but that doesn’t mean all infractions are of the same severity. Sandra then asked the next question that had formed while listening to the tale. “So, now that we covered why you are here in the big picture, why are you here on my couch?”

Ereriel slightly tilted her head towards Sandra’s room, where Billy now tucked into her bed was still peacefully sleeping. “I came to check on the boy.” There was a moment of hesitation before she continued talking. “Billy is precious to me, and I wanted to make sure he was doing better.”

Catching onto something Sandra asked yet another question. “How do you know him? I mean sure you were supposed to be a guardian angel, but that doesn’t explain how you met him.” Ereriel gave a small nod of acknowledgment before speaking herself.

“I was summoned by him. Billy asked if wanted to be his friend. I was curious and confused so I did not immediately teleport away. Quickly it became obvious he had been abused. Still despite that when the offenders appeared, he was more worried about my safety. For a moment it looked like the situation would defuse. Instead it got worse. I put him to sleep and dealt with them in a most satisfactory way.”

At this point Sandra let out a gasp as some dots connected in her mind. “The mysterious home invasion. Then that means you’re the ‘Eri’ Billy spoke about to the police.” With a strange mix of horror and appreciation, Sandra continued to speak. “First good job those asswipes had it coming. But that raises a question, how did Billy even know how to summon you?”

Gently setting the now empty cup on the table Ereriel spoke once more. “I was curious as well. When we had a moment alone, I read his memories. One night when his father had passed out due to drink, he had snuck into the room with the television. His mother had been enjoying a drama about supernatural creatures. Billy cannot tell the difference between fiction and reality. Billy had thought this was real and wanted to try to summon a friend like those people in the show had. He tried to copy the method he had seen them do; the problem was he failed at doing it the same way. Billy failed so badly at this fictional ritual, he succeeded at the real one.”

There was a moment of silence as Sandra tried to process this. Ereriel knew his whole life story and was probably drawn in by his positivity. Not only that but the whole summoning should have failed but didn’t. On top of that of all the things to summon, a slightly disgraced guardian angel who could and would help him was possibly the best outcome. After a moment Sandra voiced these thoughts.

Ereriel started to speak once more. “A child should never go through that hell, yet Billy still cared more for others. He is an exemplar of some of humanities best qualities. The other part is simple. I am thoroughly convinced that the Heavenly Father is responsible. He would have the power and motivation to make such a seemingly impossible occurrence happen. Since angels could not directly interfere, why not outsource the task. I am an unaffiliated warrior who would gladly take the mantle.”

Standing and speaking in a voice ominously devoid of emotion, Ereriel continued. “I have already failed one divine mission; it will not happen again. I will continue to watch over and be a presence in Billy’s life. If I ever find his care lacking in any manner at all, I will bathe this house in holy fire. Then I will find someone more capable.”

Sandra took a few steps forward. Despite the obvious threat, she soon found herself craning her neck up to stare the physically imposing woman in the eyes. “You will never take Billy. While I am glad you got him out of that shithole, he is my brother now. I don’t care if it’s you; some asshole distant relation who refused to help till now, or God himself. This is his home and I will stop any of you chucklefucks from taking him. This is his home and I will protect him.”

A slight smile ever so briefly graced Ereriel’s face. “I like your fire girl, keep those flames burning. Oh, and when the two of you wake up tell Billy I said hello.” The next thing Sandra knew there was a snapping and a feeling of exhaustion.

The smile on Billy’s face was amazingly bright when Sandra mentioned several hours later that she had met ‘Eri’. Sandra could tell Billy was incredibly happy that two of his favorite people not only met but seemed to be getting along. “When do ya think we gonna see Eri again?”

Sandra pondered Billy’s question for a moment before speaking. “Well, I have a feeling she is closer than you think. I can’t imagine it being too terribly long. However, before that let’s get down to the table. Mom’s chicken noodle casserole is heavenly.”

Tea with an angel.

17 days ago

Great Story, I do see a few punctuation mistakes, but that doesn't take away from the narrative. I can't wait to see this plot progress, especially with how it's going right now.

 

P.S. Erieriel may be a bit confusing, considering the existence of Uriel, or Ariel, depending on language, etc.

Tea with an angel.

16 days ago

Thanks. Well orginalially, she was suppoused to be Uriel. Then it occured to me that it might be better to go a slightly different way. I didn't really want to come up with a completely new name. Now i just go with "I'm trying to invoke that." 

Tea with an angel.

16 days ago
Nice, glad you're continuing this one. It's mostly exposition but as part of a longer thing it works as a breathing space and a way to get some needed info out.

>>>If they hadn’t been, odds are she would be in a cell at this very moment.

That's referring to Billy, isn't it?

Eri's explanation was a little too vague, it took me a couple of times reading 'bowing to them' to decide that probably referred to God, and in that case I'm not sure I follow the reasoning. But at any rate there's no reason she needs to go into full details while talking to a kid.

I suppose my main question would be whether you had ideas for where the plot was going from here? With the parents gone I assume the next source of conflict will be showing up soon. I'm wondering if there will be a demon now that they've been established in the setting, and it would take something like that to be a challenge to Eri.

Although another option might be more mundane difficulties for Billy in his new life she's unable to directly interfere with, although if there's rules or limits to that they'd need to be identified for the reader.

Suddenly passing out that way doesn't seem too normal or healthy for poor Billy.

Tea with an angel.

16 days ago

I was referring to how lucifer refused to bow to humanity but I could have made that clearer. And I thought I set up the next conflict. Must not have gone as well as I thought. The next part deals with Sandra having to deal with essentially a tiger mom in Eri. Eri is a soldier who finally found someone else to care for and honestly she can do whatever she wants. Eri has killed without hesitation and literally walked into a kind and caring home and threatened to burn everything down. The problem is Eri has no idea what healthy love looks like.

Tea with an angel.

16 days ago
Rereading and I think it sets things up fine, I was half asleep earlier. The issue I see though is that the difference in power levels here are so vast I don't believe for a second that Eri is ever going to follow through, unless the idea is for her to go full villain. Sandra can be as defiant as she wants but she's still just a powerless kid.

Eri might make a great antagonist but the overall story may need something more driving it.

But then again this is really early on and I'm doing a lot of speculation of how it may turn out far in advance. And still half asleep lol.

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago
And I was probably still being unclear. Eri the character and what she may or may not do is one thing, and it's obvious what you're going for with her as a complex character with this one track mind and tunnel vision about protecting Billy. But just looking at the story structure in a meta way, I know there's no real threat and despite the power difference between her and this little human girl she's never going to be just like, *finger snap* "you're dead bitch" no matter how easily she could do so within the setting. Because then there'd be no story.

This is probably coming off as overly nitpicky, so let me emphasize that my brain has been slowly disintegrating from lack of sleep all week and I'm just rambling here. This works fine as a continuation of the last part and your overall writing ability and feel for dialogue and the like has continued to improve.

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago

Oh it's fine. I fully understand. Yeah she can't just erase Sandra. But i will say that in the next part I have planned they do come to physical blows. It goes extremely badly for Sandra. I'm trying to find a balance between thanos snapping and making Eri seem harmless. I mean yeah Eri wins 11 out of 10 times so eh. But thank you I've been working on trying to improve my mechanics.

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago
Can I get a link to the original?

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago
What the hell why am I a penguin?

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago

You don't have a profile picture. That means you get to be a confused penguin trying to read.

Link to first part: http://chooseyourstory.com/forums/creative-corner/message/28122

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago
I see.

Thanks for the link!

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago
Commended by mizal on 3/25/2021 10:34:46 PM

Good continuation: a (seemingly) major character got introduced, things progressed, and stuff was explained. The setting has grown too!


I think there's less mistakes here than in the last one too, which is nice to see.


However, I didn't notice any tea here, so the title is misleading.


On a more serious note, going from 'a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth' to a willingness to defy God is...an escalation. I think it works tho, especially since Ereriel acknowledges Sandra's 'fire' in this regard.


Setting & Religion

I will say that having angels exist in a modern setting and (assuming Ereriel wasn't lying) have them tied into Christianity does make me wonder about this world. As a classic example, if God is all good, all knowing, and all powerful, why do bad (or horrible) things happen?


Sandra comparing divine mandate to school rules is in some ways funny to me, but this in-text view does beg the question of why God is outsourcing direct interference to fallen angels instead of just...changing the rules. Why make the rules like that in the first place if they're not good enough? Is there someone above God who stops angels from interfering in abuse of innocent children?


These questions don't necessarily need to be addressed directly, or answered at all (but there are many ways to go about answering them if you are planning on doing so).


But for fun, I'll add some more questions: is the Bible literal or metaphorical? Do priests operate on faith or can/do they actually talk to angels etc? Are the three spheres a thing (I want my wheels with eyes angels)?


Then you have the more serious concepts surrounding religion that could be explored. You can also look into the impact of religion on human history while ignoring the literal divine. Then there are interesting questions regarding humanity and our place in the universe (and how we came to be, creation myths etc) that could all be tackled.


Oh, also, does this mean all other religions are wrong? What about mythologies? Will Odin show up? What about Ra?


Now, I mention all this, but I don't expect you to explore all these ideas. In fact, you might not care for any of them! You're not (I assume) doing some mayor theology exploration, so focusing on what matters for the story you're telling is much more important (but that isn't to say certain religious themes can't matter).


Anyway, my point is that you have a lot of directions to take the broader story (even if the focus stays on Billy).


Future

My guess is that things will continue to focus on Billy, but if this'll be more an exploration of abuse, or just growing up with an overbearing warrior guardian angel, or just a fun escalation where a kid grows up to challenge God...I don't know. I do think that whatever you have planned will likely be good tho, since so far the story does feel well constructed (to me).


Since I don't know if you've planned how long/big this'll be, I guess I'll say: beware of scope creep? But linear story scope creep is less scary to me after experiencing storygame scope creep, lol. With that said, both can be killers.


Anyway, I can’t imagine it being too terribly long before the next part (I hope that was meta foreshadowing!), so I'll be looking forward to that.


P.S. As a more nitpicky question...Ereriel can burn the house with 'holy fire', but should a fallen angel have access to 'holy' fire? Also, as she's fallen, why does she retain her abilities? Just asking since I'm curious, but if you don't have an answer it doesn't actually matter.

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago

The first thing I want to say is all the other religions and myths are true. I don't know if i could fit it into my plans so I don't mind mentioning it. That is actually what stops God from directly intervening. The thing is if does something here, due to those pesky butterflies he could impact lets say Amaterasu in some way. Same rough idea for being all knowing. Sure he's all knowing, in the Christian world but that doesn't mean he knows what's going on in Asgard.. The all powerfull divine are kept in check by each other. He outsources it because fallen angels job description is literally wander the earth doing what they please. So he can't directly interfere, but fallen angels are closer to being like the monsters of old. Kind of like how Posiden could let the kraken loose. 

Tea with an angel.

15 days ago

I had a feeling you might go the path of 'all the other religions and myths are true', but I didn't mention it...so I have no proof.


Anyway, what you've mentioned sounds good. Will be very interesting to see how these fantastical (not mundane) elements come into play. You certainly won't have a lack of inspiration at any rate, aha.