“Hi,” said Annie, to the boy sitting on the curb. “Why are you sad?”
“You can see me?” he asked, standing up.
“You’re right here, of course, I can see you,” she said, shaking her head. “Is this a boy thing?”
“What’s a boy thing?”
“You know when boys do silly stuff.”
“Oh, no, it’s not that.”
The boy shrugged. “I’m an angel,” sighed the boy. “A fallen one.”
“Where did you fall from?” asked Annie.
“Up there,” he said, pointing sideways.
“I’m an angel too,” she said, smiling. “I’m a guardian cat angel. What are you?”
“I’m not anything.”
“Everyone is something,” she said. “And I’m Annie, by the way.”
“Clark,” he said, looking at his bare feet.
“Your wings are pretty,” said Annie. “Mine are just plain white. I wanted orange ones because that’s the color of the sun, but they don’t come in orange. How did you get them in black?”
“I’m a bad angel, so they’re black.”
“Colors aren’t good or bad, don’t ridiculous. What did you do, kill a unicorn?”
“Have you ever MET a unicorn? They’d kill you in a second. That’s what they do,” said Clark. “They’re mean and vicious and it doesn’t matter that some of them have flowers in their mane. That’s just to fool everyone into believing that they’re nice. And how did you get to be a cat guardian?”
“It’s what I wanted to do.”
“Just like that?”
“Lucky you,” he said, folding his wings, tucking them to his side.
“Why did you get kicked out?”
“Because I don’t think humans should have false invisible leaders to believe in. That they should be jerked around by beings who pretend to be something they are not.”
“I believe that too.”
“Sure. We are just a different race, or species, if you like. One species should never bow down to another one just because the other one is more advanced and a LOT smarter. We sure don’t listen to anyone else. We just kill everyone.”
“That’s my point. They spread rumors about us that we were evil and live in a place filled with hot things.”
“You don’t, do you?”
Clark stared at her. “I live right here in that apartment building over there, All the angels who left because they couldn’t stand all the manipulation and lies, live here. We try and help people see the truth about you guys with the white wings.”
“Hey, I’m here to save cats.”
“A worthy job, to be sure,” said Clark, bowing slightly. “I meant no disrespect.”
“Cats are perfect,” said Annie, moving closer to him. “And don’t you forget it.”
“I won’t,” he said, smiling. “I have a puppy, wanna see her?”
“Of course I want to see her. What’s her name?”
“Lucy. I named her after my dad because she’s kind and loving, just like he is.”
“That’s nice. I don’t have a cat of my own but I hope to have one soon.”
“What will you name her?”
“I’m hoping she’ll just tell me her real name.”
“Cat’s are funny about that. Their mothers whispers their real names into their ears at birth and they never tell anyone.”
“I’m hoping to be the exception.”
Clark laughed. “I think you already are.”