ANGEL IN THE SNOW
Heavenly bodies are rare in these parts. He should know. It's
his business to scope these streets, separate the sinners from
those that are blessed.
Most nights, it's slim pickings--hordes of dismal sinners who've
fallen from grace, now carrion for the vultures who feed off them.
Vultures in pimp suits and pinky rings who promise salvation but
deliver death in dime bags. It's an easy trap for young angels
anxious to fly. But it's their legs, not their wings they'll be
spreading, and flight comes only via needle and a spoon. After
that, it's an express train to Hell on the tracks that course
their arms. His trained eye sees past the throngs of wasted souls,
all the hopeless hollow eyes that line this strip. No halos here,
no clouds except the black exhaust of cruising cars. And when
these angels step to the curb, it's neon, not glory that bathes
them in color as cold as their shivering bodies. Love for sale
carries a higher price than the crumpled 10's and 20's these girls
barter for flesh. It's a hard lesson learned only after too many
men and too many nights have extinguished their dreams and robbed
But his angel is different. There's a radiance about her, a glow
from within. That killer combo of youth and beauty, with enough
innocence to make his mouth water. Her shoulders are creamy porcelain,
fresh flawless skin that tells him she's closer to cherub than
angel, young enough to be saved. And a ripe body that shows she's
old enough to be his savior. She smiles when he approaches. He
sees Heaven in her eyes, potential in that luscious mouth. Cheeks
still baby-plump dimple when he speaks to her, flush slightly
in the shadowed light. He wants to eat her alive, right here,
right now, but knows he has to wait. When they're this young,
it's better to be patient. Angel food is a delicacy to savor and
enjoy. Mesmerized, he tracks her body's soft curves as a Bible
passage comes to mind. The one about Jacob and the angel, that
little saga about the earthling with attitude who thinks he can
strong-arm a winged warrior. And once in the clinch, Jacob tells
the angel, "I will not let thou go except thou bless me."
A sentiment fitting for this moment, except he has no intention
of letting this particular angel fly away. Blessings are optional,
but before he's done, somebody's going to get sanctified.
She calls him 'Father.' Maybe she's into role-playing, or maybe
it's his cleric's collar, but either way it works for him. She
trusts him--confidence bought with a simple garment and a cheap
crucifix. A handy trick, but one that only works with young angels.
Once their wings are broken, they recognize the demons in disguise.
A few more words, a nod, and she's in his car with a shy smile
and breasts that make him hungry. But he can't show it. Control
is critical for angel guardians. Make his move too fast and she'll
panic. He wants her wings to flutter, not soar. She'll be soft
and warm, sweeter than the others. Tender. From Nebraska, she
tells him. Just arrived this morning. Not yet familiar with this
city, this street, or the shadowed figures who huddle along it.
So much the better for him, and his purposes. While she chatters
on, he contemplates her thighs. He can tell she's hungry. It's
a simple matter to buy her a meal, watch that incredible mouth
move around the greasy cheeseburgers she claims are her favorite.
Child's fare in a woman's inviting mouth. She offers him some,
but he refuses, content for now to watch her. His meal will come
later when his feeding frenzy is unleashed. For now he'll watch
those lips and dream. She thinks he's listening, a priest attending
to the words of one of his flock, and so she chatters on. Solemnly
he nods, imagining how her pink nipples will bruise between his
in the car, they head toward the edge of the city and the heart
of his personal darkness. She doesn't know, of course, couldn't
know, since nothing here is familiar to her except the office
his clothing represents. A priest who cares about her, who came
to save her soul. Who fed her a cheap meal before feeding his
own appetites. His angel from Nebraska knows only that she trusts
him, the thoughtful caring priest in that crowd of hungry sinners.
And so she chatters on, oblivious to the desolate streets or his
black intent. They say Heaven is in the details. Like the way
she smiles when he pulls up to the house, tells her there are
good people here who can help her. The way she follows him blindly
through the darkened rooms even as her breath quickens like a
captured rabbit. The light he switches on is just bright enough
to show the way her eyes dilate in fear and comprehension. Too
late now to fly away. This angel has fallen into the demon's pit
where there's no escape. Her fear rises up around them like the
fires of Hell, as wild as his intentions. He can smell it, taste
it when his tongue flicks over her shivering skin. Terrified,
she whimpers when he touches her, mewling sounds that clog her
a tortured animal, or an angel fallen from grace. To his ears,
as sweet as a celestial choir. His angel has no halo, so instead
he rings her throat with hands that mark her tender flesh. Christ,
she's soft! He's barely squeezing and already she's choking. He
eases up, but just a little. No sense snapping that fragile neck.
Not yet, anyway. Not until his angel has blessed him. So, he pins
her wings back, makes her kneel before him as if in prayer, and
shouts God's praises while she chokes and gags. A religious experience
if ever there was one...and it's not over yet. He's the rutting
god who fills her, leaves stigmata in the form of welts and bruises
on that milky skin. She's beyond screams now, beyond resistance.
Her eyes are dark with the knowledge of who he is--the only one
who can deliver her from this evil. No angel in the firmament
ever tasted so sweet, and his teeth clamp down for more. His fingers
clench that spun silk hair and twist her lower. He's ready for
salvation now, expects Paradise just beyond those heavenly gates.
He parts them roughly in a single thrust hard enough to vanquish
the demons. There's deliverance in her ruptured softness sweeter
than any blood or wine. Benediction as he rides blindly into the
light. Afterward, she's barely breathing. His angel is motionless,
with not even a flutter of her broken wings. That happens sometimes
after he's been sanctified. But he's the angel guardian, and knows
exactly what to do. The same thing he's done countless times before
to help these angels fly away home. He carries her into the kitchen,
props her limp body up in a chair. Places the mirror in front
of her that reflects her pale angel's face. And carefully pours
the white powder in a mound large enough to guarantee flight.
For one last time, he strokes her silky hair before pressing her
face into the cocaine, holding it there until her pulse lugs to
a stop. Until her soul takes flight and she returns to the heavens.
After that, his mission is complete. He's delivered another angel.
one last thing to do now. Removing his priest's collar and the
crucifix, he returns to his waiting car. His ankle holster is
there, the kind all narcotics cops wear. He clips on the badge
and keys in the radio that transmits to police dispatch. "792-Charlie,"
he says, as he's done countless times before. The dispatcher's
voice crackles in response. "Is that 792-Charlie coming in?"
"Ten-four. I've got a O.D. at the dope house, 6178 Exeter.
Looks like a young girl. Can you get an ambulance rolling?"
"Ten-four, ambulance is on the way. Got any I.D. on the subject,
792-Charlie?" He glances back at her golden hair, at the
creamy skin now tinged with gray. "That's a negative. Just
another young kid who wanted to fly."
2002 by Gina Gallo