A hight pitched whistling sound told them the angels were coming. All three called their swords. The cats stood ready and so did the hounds The first angel broke through the window and Lucifer dispatched him with a single swipe of his sword. Then the angels started screaming, as they poured through the windows.
Everything happened quickly. The cats were biting, clawing and tearing at wings. Annie and Clark were fighting hard and Annie was disappearing angels right and left but no matter how many they killed, more just kept coming. Lucifer was fighting like a machine, killing one angel after another when suddenly the white wings were frozen in place.
“Why didn’t you let me know you were having a party?” said Silver. “Keeping all the fun stuff to yourselves?”
“Silver,” said Lucifer politely. “I’m teaching my children how to fight.”
“I see,” she said. “How’s that working out?”
“Brilliantly,” he said, happily. “The cat’s and puppies are having a wonderful time as well.”
“Do you want me to make them go away?” asked Annie.
“If you don’t mind,” said Lucifer.
Annie held up her hands and said, “Go away white wings and never come back to us again. Ever!”
The angels disappeared. Silver stared at Annie.
“Our dad just wanted us to practice,” said Annie. “I think we did okay.”
Two of the cats were hurt and Annie went to care for them. Clark went to check on Matthew.
“What just happened?” asked Silver.
“She has a gift,” he said.
“You were letting them practice?”
“How else can the test themselves, if not in battle?” said Lucifer.
“True,” said Silver. “They do need experience.”
“Buttercup and Aurora might be limping for a few days but I don’t think anything’s broken. I gave them healing energy and put their beds in the bathroom, so they can rest. Bunny has a bloody ear but that will heal. Everyone else seems to be fine,” said Annie. I think they fought bravely, don’t you?”
“Indeed,” said Lucifer. “I shall thank your cats myself. They seemed to enjoy ripping feathers out of wings.”
“Oh, yes, they did like that very much. You know how it is…cats…birds.”
“Dad,” said Clark. Matthew isn’t any better.”
“Matthew is here?” asked Silver.
“He came to warn me.”
“You know how he is,” he said, walking toward the bedroom.
Annie led the Silver into the kitchen and passed out cake plates.
“How did you make the angels disappear, Annie?” asked Silver.
Annie shrugged. “I don’t know. I can just do it.”
“You can just do it?”
“What was your mother?”
“What do you mean?”
“What magic did she have?”
“She died right after I was born. I don’t know anything about her.”
“I’m sorry,” said Sandra.
“Me too,” said Annie. “Thank you.”
“Yes, Adeline, you were very brave. I saw you peck at a lot of ankles and downed angels.”
“The hen stood up straighter and flapped her wings.”
“The bird was fighting with you?” asked Silver, in amazement.
“Of course. We’re a family.”
“Is that a tattoo on her leg?”
“It is but it’s just temporary,” whispered Annie. “She doesn’t know that.”
“Matt, why did you come here?” sighed Lucifer.
“Brothers,” he whispered, reaching for Lucifer’s hand.
“Why aren’t you better?” asked Lucifer, suddenly worried.
“Poison blades,” he muttered. “They knew I would come here.”
“ANNIE,” shouted Lucifer. “HERE. NOW.”
Annie ran into the room. “What’s wrong?”
“Matthew is dying. He was stabbed with a poison blade. Is there anything you can do to help him?”
Annie pushed Lucifer aside. Three black cats came into the room and jumped onto the bed. One curled up on Matthew’s chest, another on his gut, and the third cat wrapped herself around his head. Annie put her hands over the angel and closed her eyes. More cats came into the room and started laying around the angel’s body. Then they all closed their eyes and started dreaming with Annie. Annie ran her hands up and down the angel’s body, her inner eye watching colors and words fall from her own palms. Eventually, the angel’s ragged breathing began to even out. As soon as that happened, the cats leapt from the bed and Annie fell unconscious to the floor.