People stepped to the side, staring, making room for her, as she walked down the sidewalk. Some bowed their heads, some fell to their knees, others reached out, wanting to touch her. But she looked straight ahead, her hands balled into fists, her fury barely contained. She heard whispering, praying, and singing. It made her sick. “Weaklings,” she muttered, wondering how they could even stand to look at themselves in their mirrors.
A stray dog limped toward her, wagging his tail. She bent down and ran her hand over his back and he was instantly restored. Once again healthy and young. He turned and walked next to her.
Three thugs stepped in front of her. They grinned, threatened her, and flashed their weapons. She smiled at each one, saw the horrific things they had done, and watched, as they turned to dust. She told the dog to be careful not to step in them because they were disgusting. She never had a dog before, but she guessed that she had one now. He looked at her and nodded, careful where he put his paws.
The street was becoming crowded, as more people saw her. Sure, her lovely wings were tattered and worn, but that’s what happened to battle mages. They got torn up. Especially on a planet like this one, where the inhabitants were all insane.
“You know,” she said to the dog. “I was just doing MY JOB!
The dog barked.
“You go to a planet to clean it up, but then you hit earth and there’s no end to the evil and violence. What was I supposed to do? What would you have done?” she asked, still moving forward.
The dog remained silent but sent her mind pictures.
“Yeah, that might have worked,” she admitted, “but I doubt it.”
A few wing feathers fell to the ground. Several people rushed to pick them up, but they disappeared before they could touch them.
“Do you see these idiots following us?”
The dog looked behind him and moved closer to her.
“Desperate to have someone take care of them. Refusing to take responsibility for what’s happening across this spinning rock. They act as if they’re helpless, when, in fact, they are victims and prisoners of their own failure. They want my feathers, as relics to be put in hermetically boxes, so they can worship them. Why? How needy can they be? Have you seen what they keep on alters? Body parts, bits of cloth.”
The dog danced by her side.
“Oh, right. Of course, you haven’t see those things. Dogs aren’t allowed in their holy places, even though you’re actually the perfect ones.”
The dog just kept walking. He didn’t care about holy places or perfection. He was just happy to be happy.
“My wings,” she said, softly. “I can’t retract them right now. It’s my punishment for not following orders. Not the first time, that’s for sure. And it won’t be the last.”
The dog growled.
“Thank you,” she said, smiling at him. “I couldn’t agree more. You know,” she continued, “when my wings are out, I’m not supposed to be seen by the humans. It kind of freaks them out and makes them think their gods are real. But screw that. I’ve been on this planet for way too long. I’m not hiding, and if they don’t like it, they being the War Queens, they can kiss my non human….”
The dog stopped at the corner and sat down, waiting for a car to pass. She stared at the dog, then walked into the street and turned toward the car.
“Can’t you see that this dog wants to cross the street?” she asked. The driver looked at her. Looked at her wings, then held up his hands in surrender. “Be happy that I’m letting you live,” she hissed. She stood in front of the car until the dog was safely on the other side waiting for her.
Her wings brushed against buildings and lamp posts. “I’m supposed to help this human species stop being violent. Stop them from hating, from warring, and from killing everything.”
The dog looked down and shook his head.
“I wish they were half as smart as you are,” she said. “If only you had opposable thumbs.”
The dog huffed, thinking that he could open dog food cans, if that were the case.
A cat looked down and saw a weird bird-like being. A really big bird. He licked his lips, and jumped from the windowsill he was sitting on, to the cement in front of her.
“Sure, you can join us.”
The cat looked at her, at the dog, then moved to her other side. When they came to a mailbox, the cat jumped on top of it and yowled.
She turned around and saw the truly huge crowd that was following them.
“I see your point,” she said, to the cat, so she held up her hands, and the crowd quieted.
She stood on a fire hydrant, looked at the people and said, “I’m in a really BAD mood. No matter how many evil people I erase, there are always more taking their place. I’m sick of being here, sick of you. You’ll follow ANYONE, because you can’t think for yourselves. You allow hateful people to tell you what to do and then you just do it, thinking that you aren’t responsible for what happens, because it wasn’t your decision. Think torture, death camps, species disappearing and all the rest. But everything is a human decision. THIS is your last chance.
“There are beings in the universe who could fry this planet without even working up a sweat. Think DINOSAURS. They eliminated them so they could put you here. What a mistake THAT was. See, if those smarter than you, which is almost EVERYONE, want change, they can just throw something big at this planet and your species will NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN. You are an experiment gone wrong. Mindless beings letting your offspring die from starvation, polluted air, lack of water, and violence. If it were up to me, and perhaps it might be, I would say that your expiration date has expired.”
The cat hissed at the people. The dog growled.
Her wings folded. “Hmmm,” she said, wriggling her shoulders, as the crowd gasped.
“WAKE UP!” she yelled at them. “THERE’S NO ONE TO SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELVES. ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT.”
A winged being landed in front of her.
“What?” she said.
“You’ve been transferred to X46LN9.”
“Seriously? I hate that place. It’s too dark.”
“Yes. Seriously. You leave immediately.”
“I’m taking the dog and the cat.”
He scratched something on a weird bulb and said, “Done, but you can’t kill all of these people.”
“I’m not good at following orders,” she said, icily.
“Everyone knows that.”
“Get out of my way.”
“I can’t let you kill them.”
And then he was a pile of dust. The crowd tried to back up, but there were too many of them. They had trapped themselves.
She looked at them and shook her head. “You TRAP YOURSELVES in every way possible. I’ve been in this horrible human suit for years. How can you stand it? And yes, that was an act of violence, so kettle, pot, stones, glass houses, but I’m trying to help you. Although it does seems to be a contradiction at times and yes, you can fight violence with violence, I think. Anyway…”
A woman in the front row stepped forward. “To answer your question, we can’t stand it. Why do you think we kill each other?”
“That’s brilliant,” she said, staring at the woman. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself. You are being driven mad by never being able to be your true selves.”
People started nodding in agreement.
“Wow,” she said, her spirits lifting. “Thank you,” she said, to the woman still standing there.
The woman raised her hand. “How can we fix the problem.”
“Well, aren’t you the fabulous one,” she said, pulling the cat off the mailbox and kissing her. “You can start by telling that truth and by looking at what you really are.”
“What are we? What’s true?”
The woman nodded, and so did the people in the crowd.
“I know you’d probably like me to tell you that you are all beings of light, or lizard aliens, or even sparks of consciousness, but I would be lying to you. The answer is simple, but difficult to understand.”
Someone in the crowd yelled, “Are you going to kill us?”
“No,” she said. “I’m not going to kill you. This women,” she continued, pointing at her, “has given me hope, and saved your lives.”
“I have?” asked the woman.
“Definitely,” she said, petting the cat.
“Please,” said the woman, “finish what you were saying. What are we?”
“You are whatever you choose to be. You can be good, or evil. It’s up to you. Everything is your choice. What you are, will be reveled once you exit the human suit. But what you can be, is up to you. You must think for yourself and not follow those who are evil and greedy.” Then she picked up the dog and the three of them vanished.
“You didn’t tell us what truth is,” said the woman, helplessly.
The crowd stayed where it was for awhile, those in the front passing information to those farther back, and that way, the word spread.
Suddenly she was back. “DO NOT MAKE A RELIGION OUT OF THIS EXPERIENCE OR NOTHING WILL CHANGE. I NEVER WANT TO SEE FLOWERS AT THIS FIRE HYDRANT, OR CHARMS, SIGNS, OR ANYTHING ELSE. GOT IT? RELIGION IS A CULT, EVERYTHING IS A CULT, SOME ARE SIMPLY ACCEPTABLE CULTS, SO THEY ARE CALLED SOMETHING ACCEPTABLE. STOP BEING SHEEP.” Then she was gone…again.
The crowd broke up and everyone went their own way, wondering how to make the world a better place. Someone suggested that if they were better people, the world would become a better place automatically. Some agreed, while others just wondered what they were having for dinner, and who won the baseball game.
A few people looked to the others for forgiveness, but they were told to forgive themselves and become better humans.
Finally, the street cleared and a soft rain washed the ashes of the dead bodies into the gutters that led to the sewer system.
The winged one is still traveling the universes. But every now and then she checks in to see if it’s time to get rid of the humans. She’s still trying to figure out how that whole violence to end violence thing works. The cat doesn’t see a problem. The dog, however, is concerned and still dreaming about having opposable thumbs.