Annie and several cats walked to the corner. “I’ll just stand here,” she said, because it felt just like what she should do. The cats seemed to agree, so that’s what they all did. Actually, the cats sat on top of a large blue mailbox.
Ten minutes later an angel came up to her and said, “Ready?”
Annie kissed the cats goodbye, then turned and said, “Yes, I’m ready.” The angel held out her hand, Annie took it and they were walking down a street in a place that reminded her of home, just more so. “Is this where the rich angels live?” she asked.
“Only a child raised around humans would ask that question but essentially, yes, it is.”
“Are you going to take me to Michael?”
“Me?” laughed the angel. “No. I’m just going to point you in the right direction.”
“Okay, well thank you.”
“There aren’t any cats here,” said the angel warningly.
“That’s okay. My heart holds all the cats there are.”
“Go down that street,” she said, pointing, “all the way to the end.”
“And then what?”
“That all. Just go that way until you can’t go any farther.”
“You’ve been very kind and helpful. Thank you.”
“Child. I may be doing you the greatest disservice of all.”
“I’ll be fine.”
The angel bowed and walked away away. White wings were looking at her but she had white wings too, so she felt that she fit in rather well. She was wrong, of course, but she didn’t know that and what a person thinks is truly the only thing that matters.
Annie walked until she came to a great iron gate. The sign said, MICHAEL, and underneath that it said, ARCHANGEL. Annie started laughing.
“What so funny?” asked an angel about her age.
“You’re kidding,” she gasped. ” Michael Archangel? How pretentious can one get? I mean if he was a doctor or a baker a sign would be nice, so everyone could find him, but archangel? Really? You don’t see a problem with that?”
“That’s what he is,” said the angel.
“Do you have your name and the word boy after it attached to the door at house? I mean you have a name and you are a boy, so that’s what you are, right?
“It’s so egotistical and conceited and…”
“You might not want to say those things where he can hear you,” said the angel, nervously.
“He won’t like it.”
“Thats because he’s…”
“BECAUSE I’M WHAT?”
The boy made a small waving motion and ran away.”
“People like you, bullies, I mean, like it when people are afraid of you. How pathetic is that?”
“AND YOU AREN’T AFRAID OF ME?”
“Why would I be?”
“I’M AN ALL POWERFUL ARCHANGEL.”
“Whatever. Your just a guy surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear because they fear you.”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?”
“WHY ARE YOU HERE?”
“I’m here to kill you.”
“KILL ME?” snickered the archangel, his wings starting to open.
“Am I supposed to be impressed?” asked Annie. “I have wings too, you know, but I don’t flaunt them and I’ve lived among humans for a very long time and believe me, you aren’t even close to the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“I THINK I LIKE YOU,” said Michael.
“Don’t bother. You won’t be here long enough to get to know me.”
“COME INSIDE,” he said, opening the gate.
“Okay,” she said, following him.
“WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL ME?”
“The right way to ask that question is, why are you going to kill me.”
Michael laughed again. “YOU REMIND ME OF SOMEONE.”
“I’m going to kill you because you’re evil and hurt others for your own gain. I’m going to kill you for revenge. I’m going to kill you because you need to die and I’m going to kill you because I can.”
“GO ON,” said Michael, settling into a chair.
“You murdered my mother.”
“I’VE MURDERED A LOT OF ANGELS. BUT, YES, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND I DID MURDER YOUR MOTHER. SHE LOVED LUCIFER.”
“I love him too.”
“YOUR MOTHER WAS…SPECIAL. I OFFERED HER EVERYTHING. BUT STILL, SHE WANTED HIM.”
“I can certainly see why she wouldn’t want you,” said Annie, making a gagging motion.
“MAYBE I DON’T LIKE YOU,” he said.
“Maybe I don’t care.”
“SO KILL ME, IF YOU CAN.”
Annie nodded and pulled her chair forward, so that she was sitting directly in front of him touching his knees with hers. “Can you see into my heart?”
“OF COURSE. I’M MICHAEL. I’M AN ARCHANGEL I CAN SEE EVERYTHING.”
“Do you ever get tired of saying that?”
“I DO NOT.”
Annie sighed and stared at him. “Look into my heart, Michael. Really look.”
The angel leaned forward, smiling. “I LIKE GAMES.”
“I was counting on that,” said Annie. “Now look into my heart.”
Michael closed his eyes. Soon the smile slid from his lips and he began to frown. Annie held him tightly in her mind. The archangel began to pant and shake his head back and forth.
“LET GO OF ME,” he said.
But Annie held him.
“STOP I TELL YOU,” shouted Michael. “I COMMAND YOU TO STOP!”
Annie showed him pictures of Clark rolling on the floor with the puppies, of Adeline, showing off her new tattoo. She showed him pictures of Lucifer laughing, loving them, and eating cake. She showed him Matthew, dying, willing to sacrifice himself to save them. She showed him Sandra, Silver and Tinsel. She showed him the cats, loving her, fighting by her side.
Michael threw himself back in his chair, his hands pressed against his chest. “STOP,” he shouted. ‘THAT’S ENOUGH.”
“That’s what love feels like, Michael. That’s what you kill.” She showed him her mother. Her beautiful face, full of love and light, dancing in the sun, filled with joy and wonder.
Then she showed him the bodies of slain angels who died so that he could have more and more power. She showed him the fear and hatred that the angels felt for him. She showed him the agony of the humans he tortured and played with. She made him feel everything, the the love, the joy, the fear, the pain, the helplessness, the betrayal, the dying. She showed him his hands covered in the blood of humans, animals and angels.
Then she showed him his own heart. Putrid and rotting in his chest. Loveless and filled with never-ending want, greed, and need for more power over others. She showed him his wings, torn and filthy. She showed him his true face.
“NOOOO!” he screamed.
“Yes,” said Annie standing up. “I have the heart of a cat and I’m filled with love and love trumps hate and evil. You lose, Michael, Archangel.”
Michael fell from his chair and lay still, at her feet. He looked relaxed but older, thought Annie, as she stared at him. Two angels rushed into the room and hurried to his side.
“He’s dead,” said Annie, matter of factly.
“He committed suicide,” said Annie. And then she left.