Annie…Short story…14

“More cake?” asked Clark.

“Yes, please,” said Annie, who was standing next to the table, since the chairs were all occupied by sleeping cats.

“You can move one of them, you know.”

“But they look so comfy,” she crooned, petting a gray tiger on his tummy.”  The cat sneezed, licked his side frantically, then jumped to the floor and went in search of food.  Annie sat down and watched Clark pick up a calico and put her in a cat bed.  When he came back, a white cat was making a nest on his chair.  He picked the cat up and put her on the table.  She did upside down cat and stretched, turning into the longest cat anyone had ever seen.  Then she snapped back into a ball and purred before falling asleep.

“Good thing we didn’t want to make angels together,” snickered Clark.

Annie choked and fanned her face, trying to swallow the water in her mouth and breath at the same time.

“You okay?” he asked.

Butch ran to the back door and started barking hysterically.  An angel hit the door hard and started melting.  “The new wards your uncle put up are working beautifully,” she rasped, rubbing her throat.

“He’s actually very talented, intelligent and creative.”

“So he’s one of those, don’t look at the covers of books, kind of thing.”

“It’s, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’,” said Clark, chuckling.

“That’s what I just said,”  said Annie, frowning.  Another angel hit the window.  “I wonder why they never catch on.  I mean they have to see that the others angels are melting, right?”

“Cluck,” said Adeline, as she strutted to her water dish.

“We have a perfect life,”  sighed Annie, contentedly, as another angel hit the wall.

“It is perfect,” agreed Clark, cutting a fat slice of cake for both of them.

“You must be Annie,” said the beautiful woman in the navy blue, linen suit.  “I’m Lucifer’s secretary, well, I’m actually his assistant, but I guess it doesn’t really matter what my title is because it’s the job that matters.  Anyway,  my name is Feather in the Wind but everyone calls me Sandra.”

“Why do people call you Sandra if your name is Feather in the Wind?” asked Annie, a bit stunned by the woman’s arrival.

“Because Sandra is short for Feather in the Wind,” said the woman, impatiently.

“How can Sandra possibly be short for Feather in the Wind?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why don’t people call you Feather?”

“Why would they do that?” asked the woman.

“Because it’s your name.”

“Sandra,” said Clark.  “What can I do for you?”

“You father wanted me to let you know he will be home tomorrow, or maybe the next day.  He said not to answer the door or go outside.  He said to tell your uncle to keep reinforcing the wards and to stop staying up so late that he sleeps all day.  He said to tell the dogs to remain on high alert and to sleep in shifts.”

“Anything else?” asked Clark.  Sandra’s eyes lost focus as she started counting on her fingers.

“No.  That’s it,” she said. “Well, there is one other thing.  Tell Griffon that he better pay me back or I’ll make sure that some of his body parts stop working.”

“I’ll give him the message,” said Clark, grinning.  “Would you like some chocolate cake.”

“Yes please, but could I have it to go?”

“She seemed nice,” said Annie, once Sandra was gone.  “A bit hyper but nice.”

“She is nice.  She sane and that’s surprising when you consider that she’s been working for my father for a million years.”

“That’s a long time to do anything,” said Annie.

The hen tried to jump onto the table but kept missing and falling to the floor.  “Wings that won’t let her fly.  What an evil and cruel thing to do to someone,” said Annie, picking up the bird and putting her down on the tabletop.  “I’m sorry about your wings,” she whispered, to the hen.  Once the table, the chicken hopped over to the white cat, cuddled up to his side and dozed off.

“Sandra was here, wasn’t she,” muttered Griffon, as he leaned against the side of the refrigerator.  “I can smell her perfume.  It’s green, like emeralds, or something.  Maybe it’s rose, I can’t remember.  Possibly Jasmine. “Did she tell you to tell me to pay her what I owe her?”

“She did,” said Annie. “And unless you don’t want certain parts of your body to stop working…her words, not mine…I suggest you pay up.  What do you owe her, anyway.”

“I owe her a new sword.  If I pay up, I won’t hear from her again and that’s why I don’t do it.  I’m crazy about her but why would she want someone like me?”

“While that’s a very good question, I have a better one.  Why do people call her Sandra, when her name is Feather in the Wind?”

“Sandra is short for Feather in the Wind,” said Griffon, suspiciously.  “Didn’t you know that?”

“I’m going to my room,” said Annie.   “If I stay out here I’ll go stark raving mad.  Nothing makes sense and no one seems to notice,” she huffed, tucking a black and white cat under her arm.  “Humans do that, Jack is John, Margaret is Maggie, James Is Jim, Robert is Bob and now Feather in the Wind is Sandra.  What’s short for Annie?  Matilda?

“Nothing’s short for Annie,” said Griffon.  “What’s wrong with her?” he asked, turning to Clark.

“The hen’s name is Adeline,” said Clark, trying to change the subject.

“I can dig it,” grinned Griffon.  “How did Sandra look?”

“Fine.  She was wearing a navy blue linen suit and matching pumps,”said Annie.  “She’s pretty.”

“She is indeed,” said Griffon.  “We met at a the park in San Francisco, in nineteen sixty three.  She had flowers in her hair and man, none of the other angels even came close to being as gorgeous as she was.  Those were days of peace, love and acceptance, man.  People shared what they had and everyone was welcome.  Scared the hell out of the human establishment.  They wanted to shoot us.  Actually they DID shoot some of us. We were gonna change the world and get the guys out of Nam.  Good times,” he sighed.  That’s when I fell in love with her, you know.  She loved me too, but eventually, she wanted to grow up and well, I wasn’t really ready for that.”

“Are you ready now?” asked Clark, as another angel hit the window.

Griffon shrugged.  “I’d give it my best shot, if she’d have me.”

Annie turned to Clark.  “We can clean him up and try to teach him how to be an adult.” The hen made a noise that sounded a lot like laughter.

“Seems impossible,” said Clark, shaking his head.

Another angel hit the wall.  “Why do they never learn?”  Asked Annie, once asked again.

“This is earth, home of the chronically stupid humans,” said Griffon.  “A species that hunts itself and NEVER learns from its mistakes. They poison themselves, kill the only place they have to live, kill everything that walks the planet, as well as the things that just exist, like water, plants and air.   When the angels get this close to them, they get stupid too.”

“Why isn’t that happening to us?” asked Annie.

“The angels who are dying are disposable.  Like humans, the powerful guys at the top, send other angels to die, while they stay safe.  Gives them something to do”  said Griffon.

“That’s horrible.”

“Like, that’s life, man.  If you’re at the bottom, you don’t matter.”

“That’s so wrong,” said Annie.

“That’s earth, tiny sister.  And, that’s the way it will stay until the people on the bottom get tired of being there.”

 

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