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The Star Bookstore…25…Final Chapter

Pizza was delivered to the back door.  After all, one can not live on brownies and apple slices alone.

“There must be at least five hundred angels out there,” said Carl, grabbing a slice. “And no police are showing up”

“Well, why would they show up,” said Constance.  I’m sure people don’t even see them.  People see what they want to see, and while that’s a lot of angels in one place, people will detour to other streets and ignore the truth, just like they always do.  Fear, inspires blindness at times.  They think it’s easier to ignore the truth, rather than deal with it and that’s why nothing ever changes.”

Carl sighed, and nodded.

“What are the angels doing?” asked Star.

“Nothing.  Unless you call standing still and staring at the shop, doing something.”

Everyone sat down and ate, and tried to figure out why no one standing on the earth was upside down, or sideways.  Since no conclusion was forthcoming, the question was tabled for further discussion at a later date. However, one thing was resolved.  Up, down, and sideways, do not exist.  That just made the original question harder to answer, because everything was round and there was no floor, or ceiling, in the sky.

“Eclairs?” said Lily, putting the box on the table.

Everyone groaned with desire.

Star gave Midnight three more cans of cat food, and extra treats. Then, when everyone was full and happy, she said, “Constance.  Are you ready?”

“As I’ll ever be,” she said, standing up.

“You look a lot younger,” said Mary.

“Well,” said Constance.  “I use make up, and other appliances, to age myself. I also stoop over and use a cane.  If I don’t, people start to notice that I’m not aging.  Then I have to move, again.”

“I didn’t think about that,” said Mary, staring at her.

“Why would you?” asked Constance.  “I liked it here, and wanted to stay a little longer.”

“Let’s get the show on the road,” said Star.

Constance brushed the crumbs from her shirt and nodded.

They walked to the door and Star stepped outside.  Someone threw a big rock at her. She caught it and hurled it back.  The angel she hit, fell to the ground and didn’t get up.

“Anyone else want to play catch?” she asked?  When no one stepped up, she began again.  “I have a great surprise for you today.”

The mob grumbled.

“Someone you haven’t seen in a LONG time, would like to speak to your.  Her name is Constance, but it used to be Angel.  She’s your sister.”

Constance stepped out of the shop, onto the landing.  There was a huge, and very loud, GASP.

Star leaned over and said, “I think they remember you.”

“Brothers,” she said.  “I’ve been gone a long time,” she said.  “Living in the world all these years…without you.  I’m happy to see you again.”

Some of the angels waved at her.

“I tried to tell you we had to leave” she said softly.  “But you wouldn’t listen.”

They all nodded.

“Even after all these many years, I look at your faces and remember.”

Lilith ran up the stairs and hugged Constance.  “Hey.  I was in the neighborhood, Thought I’d stop by but you weren’t home. I looked around and.found you here, talking to…them.  You’re getting all mushy and, gag me with a spoon, but lighten up.  Hey,” said Lilith, standing seven feet tall and waving her arms at the angels.  “You were screwed by your makers.  They scrambled your brains.  The only one who got away was your sister, well, and me, of course.  Anyway, she’s pretty cool.  She wanted to save you, but there was no way.  There were too many of them and they were powerful beyond belief, I mean space travelers and all that,” she said, blowing a pink bubble, then snapping it back into her mouth.  We were all made for someone else’s purpose and, honestly, what can suck more than that?”

The angels didn’t move.

“So here’s the thing,” continued Lilith, who suddenly paused and looked at Star. “You do know you’re a Starling, don’t you?  I mean it’s you NAME after all.”

“I’m a what?” said Star

“Okay,” said Lilith, turning back to the crowd. “This Star person, who seems as dumb as a brick,  doesn’t  even realize who she is.  Yeah, I know, her name should be a dead give away, but what can I say?  Not a very bright Star,” she laughed.  “Oh, come on.  That was FUNNY,” she shouted.  “I can see you still haven’t developed a sense of humor.  Anyway,  your sister doesn’t want you to kill anyone.  If you do, the Star person will wipe all of us out, once and for all, and THAT INCLUDES YOUR SISTER.  DO YOU WANT TO KILL YOUR SISTER?”

By now the angels were massively confused and restless.  Constance put her hand on Lilith’s arm and smiled.  “I love you Lil, you know I do.  I love you’re passion and zest for life, but back off. I got this.”

Lilith cracked up and was giggling so hard that when she sat down, she put a hairline crack in the cement stair.  Constance smiled and stepped forward.

“Brothers.  I like it here.  I think you do too.  I don’t know if you can be reprogrammed, but I think we should to try to overcome what was done to us.  If you continue on your path of violence and destruction, I will be forced to side with Star.  I will ask her to kill us, for the safety of everyone else.  War must stop.  Violence must end.”

An angel stepped forward and climbed the stairs.  “It’s good to see you sister.”

“You as well,” said Constance.  “It’s been a long time.”

“Yes,” he said.  “A very long time.  Did you see the dinosaurs?”

She nodded.  “I did.  They were beautiful.”

“The first people?”

“Yes,” she said.  “They were beautiful, as well.”

“We used to have feelings for each other once,” he said.

She nodded.

“They took that away from us.”

“They did.”

“We should try and get that back.”

“I’ll help you,” she said.  “So will my friends.”

The cat was sitting on Lilith’s lap, getting pets.  “How happily ever is this gonna get?”

No idea.  But they have to do it their own way,” said Lilith.  “It’s their thing, not ours.”

What was Adam like?” asked the cat.

“There was no Adam, but I knew a guy named Chuck.  He was okay but too small.  I’m a tall kind of girl, I always wanted to crush him with my hands.”

Were there cats?”

“Huge cats,” she said, smiling.  “You kind of look like them.”


Lilith nodded.

“Okay, let’s wrap this whole thing up,” sighed Star.  “What’s it gonna be?  Am I smiting everyone, or are we going to just party for awhile?”

The angel let go of Constance’s hand and moved toward Star.  “We would never hurt our sister.  Not for anything.  There will be no war.”

“Thank you,” said Star.

“May I ask a question?”


“Are there any brownies left?”





The hive mind is a funny thing.  Once a decision has been made, the change hits everyone at the same time.  So, angels everywhere understood that their sister was back and the fighting was over.

The angels are still among us, so are their alien masters, who are in government and positions of power, across the globe.  I think it’s time we break the code and wake up. Unless, of course, working for them until we die is our life’s goal.  The enslavement of people doesn’t make sense.  It’s all about violence, the violence they create and allow.  Fear and violence, rule the planet.  Maybe we should stop playing that game, stop letting our children be sent to wars we don’t even understand.  Maybe we should demand that violence against us end.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  But I think the fact is, is that almost everyone will detour down a different street and pretend they don’t see what’s going on one street over.  That has never worked, and it never will, but people who are afraid, are very good at pretending.

Thank you for reading this story.  I really appreciate it, so do all the characters.

The Star Bookstore…24

“This angel thing is taking way too long,” said Star. “Mf#ug@rn.”

“Swallow,” said Carl.  “We can’t understand you when you talk with a whole  brownie in your mouth.”

She nodded, swallowed, and sipped her tea.  “I’m getting bored. And if I’m bored, you must all be toeing the line of unconsciousness.  I hate to just kill all of them, but I’d like to get back to some kind of normal life, running a bookstore with my friends,” she said, touching the hands of Mary and Lily.  Having customers, going OUT once in awhile, and being able to THINK of something besides them.”

“You’re doing the right thing,” said Carl.  “No one has ever given them a chance before.  People have been raised to fear them, not help them.”

“I think you should just kill them,” said Constance.  “That’s what Dead Boy would do,” she said, holding up her paperback.  “He wouldn’t think about it twice.  Not after all the trouble they’ve given you.”

Everyone looked at her, but she was already back to reading.

I don’t care what you do as long as you feed me,” said the cat, who was sharpening his claws on Carl’s jeans.

“I’ll back you no matter what you do,” said Jack, smiling at her.

“It’s all so stupid,” said Star. “Hate, war, killing each other.  What’s the point? If you don’t like what others believe, or do, just STAY AWAY FROM THEM.  How can people NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?  Why can’t we catch a break and just chill out and have peace for ten minutes?”

“Never gonna happen,” said Carl,” pushing the cat away.  “Earth is a war zone.  You get here by enlisting.”

“I hope you’re kidding.”

“I’m not.”

“Then why am I bothering?  I should just kill them and be done with it.”

Carl smiled.  “You’re bothering because part of war is about negotiating, winning, and surrendering.”

“Winning and losing,” said Mary.  “Everything is about winning and losing, even if people pretend it isn’t.  Life is one big fat dichotomy.”

“I have a question,” said Constance, putting her book down.  “How can everyone on the earth be standing up right, and no one be standing upside down or sideways?  We’re on a rock spinning through space in an indifferent universe, with no safety net, and yet, we’re all right side up. How is hat possible?”

“That’s a great question,” said Carl.  “Is it okay if we take care of the angel problem first, and come back to it?”

“Sure,” she said, picking up her book.  “I just wanted to throw it out there.”

“I really like her,” said the cat. Star nodded in agreement.

Everyone else just stared at Constance.

“Is it okay to kill angels who don’t know any better?”  asked Star. “To kill those who were programed to be servants and to obey?”

“YES!” said everyone at the same time.

They want to KILL everyone, and that’s not a good thing,” said Lily.

“Can they even be rehabilitated?”  asked Star.”

No one said anything.

“I mean are they hopeless cases that will never stop killing?”

“They were made to be what they are,” said Constance.

“Who actually made them?”

“Not an invisible person,” said Constance.  “An alien race that needed workers, made them.  Earth, although it didn’t have a name back then, had things the aliens needed on their home planet.  They needed workers to get those things out of the ground, so they made the angels. When they were made they had open minds and were more like humans.  Some of the angels started thinking that they were being used, and abused.  They started rebelling, not following orders.  So their makers, the aliens, twisted their tongues, and forced them to speak different languages, so they couldn’t communicate with each other.  They took their free will, and their minds, and replaced them with obedience and dogma, much as your churches, cultures and institutions do today..  They erased their memories and turned them into things. And they made them immortal, so they could work forever, and never stop.”

Again, everyone stared at Constance, who was once again, looking down at her book.

“Constance,” said Lily.  “You seem know a lot about the angels.  Why is that?”

Constance sighed and put part of a napkin between the pages of her book.  “I was just getting to the part where Razor Eddie…well, never mind,” she said.  ” It can wait, I suppose. I know a lot about the angels because I’m one of them.”

Dead silence.  Really, really, dead.  Everyone stared at her, yet again.

“Oh, don’t look at me like that.  I was the only female angel.  I could see what was happening to the others.  I saw what the aliens were doing to them.  And, let me tell you, it’s not easy being the only female around that lot.  And the aliens were not gentlemen, I can tell you that.  I hated them and I hated what they were doing to the planet and to my brothers.”

Everyone continued to stare.

“The angels minds were taken from them.  So, while it’s not their fault, they still can’t be allowed to keep killing everyone and starting wars.  Having your brain scrambled is not a free pass to killing, violence and destruction.  It’s too bad, but they have to be stopped,” said Constance.

“Why aren’t you like them?” asked Jack.  “You seem perfectly normal.”

Constance took a bite of her brownie.  “I was smarter than they were. I could see what they were doing, so I ran away.  Far enough away that they just let me go. They didn’t think it was worth it to follow me.  I knew that eventually, my thoughts would be taken, I understood that I couldn’t escape that, but I was wrong.  You see, I met Lilith.  She was around even longer than I was.  She was gorgeous and tough as nails, as the saying goes.  I liked her immediately.  I told her what was happening, what the aliens were doing and she said, “Screw them.”  She gathered leaves, barks, bugs, mosses and things I’d rather not think about, then she made me drink and eat a lot of what she called potions.  Whatever she did, it worked.  We got along so well.  She was fun to be around.  The aliens made her as a prototype, she said.  But they were all over her and she fought back and won.  That’s when she ran away.  Seems women are always running away from men.”

The men at the table looked at their feet, and the women looked at them and growled.

“The things the angels believe were put into their heads by others.  Nothing’s different today.  Now parents and the state does it, but it’s the same thing, it’s just acceptable.  I mean hatred and prejudice, is passed from one generation to another and no one seems to be able to break the cycle.  We’re really not that different from them.  We’re just coded and brainwashed in different ways. The lies are the same. The language barrier continues to exist.  That never changed.  The aliens gave the angels a false history and filled them with insane beliefs, and that’s still on going.  The angels had no idea they were being lied to and programmed…exactly the same thing that’s happening now.  They wrote the blueprint and it’s still in effect.  People are just not aware of it, but their minds are being controlled and they are working for them, just as they have always been.”

“Uh,” said Star.  “So you’re as old as the earth?”

“Mostly,” said Constance. “I wasn’t here when it was a lava pit, but as soon as things started cooling down.  Yes.”

“That’s a lot of candles to put on a cake,” said Mary, and everyone laughed, including Constance.

“I don’t think my age was the actual point of what I said,” sighed Constance. “I was telling you that nothing has changed.”

“You knew Lilith,” said Carl.  “Amazing.”

“She was full of ideas.  So intelligent and sharp.  We traveled together for years.  I still hear from her now and then.”

Again.  Dead silence.

“You’re in touch with Lilith?”

“I just told you we were close, didn’t I?”

“What happened to the aliens?” asked Jack.

“Oh, many of them are still around.  I see them on the street, or in shops.  They liked human females, you know.  Once females crawled out of the water and evolved, some of the aliens never wanted to leave. No one could really fight them, the women, I mean.  They had no idea what they were. But for the most part, the aliens went back to wherever they came from. Two brothers were in charge.  One stayed and the other left.  The one who stayed liked the pre-humans, and stuck around to watch them evolve. As for the planet, well, you can see holes in the earth, certain caves, sites where they took things.  Thieves and liars.  Really hateful species.  Their decedents are here.  All of our presidents have their blood in them.  Half human, half alien.  That’s why they are such good manipulators and liars.  The good thing is that they have enough human in them, from their mothers, that they can die.  The original angels were made.  Those who are born, can die.  A lot of women died giving birth to alien offspring.  It was a terrible time.”

“So, it’s still happening?” asked Mary.

“Oh Sweetie.  Of course it’s still happening.”

Midnight jumped onto the table and head butted Constance.

“Are souls a real thing?” asked Star.

“Only animals have them,” said Constance, reaching for the cat.

Everyone nodded.

“Can we change the angels?  Stop them from killing?”

“I don’t see how,” sighed Constance.  You can’t even stop yourselves.”

“She’s right,” said Jace.

“Will you talk to them?” asked Star.

“Me?  What would I say to them?”

“Maybe they’ll remember you,” said Lily.

“I doubt it.  Not after all this time,” said Constance.

“Will you try?”

“Sure,” said Constance. “What have we got to lose?”




The Star Bookstore…23

Someone threw a stone at the angel.  He stared at them and held out his arms.  “It’s me, Angel,”  he said, walking to the edge of the stair.  He was hit in the chest with another stone.

This,” said Star,  loudly, “is a SHIRT.  It’s not a magic SHIRT.  Wearing it, doesn’t turn someone into someone else.  This is angel,” she said, putting her hand on his shoulder (loud gasp from the crowd).  He  is no different without the shirt, than he is with it.  He is still one of you.  He’s Angel.”

“Kill him,” shouted an angel.

“Did he say kill me?” asked the angel, turning toward her.

Star nodded.  “Can you actually kill each other?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Look,” she said, to the crowd.  “All of you were coded to not THINK FOR YOURSELVES, because thinking for yourselves is DANGEROUS to the establishment, or to those in power.  Pick a name, wear different things.  Become individuals and stop following the rules.”

“You might not want to tell them to do that,” said the angel, ducking out of the way of another stone.

“Why not?

“Some of the rules keep us sane and in line.”


“What have you done to me?” asked the angel, miserably, batting away another stone. “You’ve ruined my life.”

“I was trying to give them an example of how silly all of his was.  I thought it would turn out differently.  But hey, this isn’t a bad thing.”

“It is for me,” he said, putting his hands around her neck.

Star punched him and he flew backward, hit the brick wall, and fell to the cement.  “Don’t do that again, or I won’t be so nice,” she said, kicking him a little. “Understand?”

The crowd was silent and staring.  She turned to them.  “Do you all want to die?  Because if you do, I can make that happen.  If you want to live, I can help you with that as well.  Angel,” she said, pointing to the guy moaning on the ground, is your brother and look how quickly you turned on him, because of a piece of cloth.  Remember when I told you that you’d be killing each other in no time at all, if we were all gone?  Well, we’re still here and you’re already turning on one of your own.”

There was murmuring in the crowd.

“You guys don’t hate us,” she said, “you hate yourselves for not opening the doors of your own cages and letting yourselves out.   I don’t know if you can free yourselves. But look around you. You can have…”

“Great cats of the world,” said Midnight. “You sound like the president in that movie with Will Smith and the aliens, where he stood on the plane and told the world all that garbage.”

“I heard that,” said Star.

I hope so.  I said it loud enough.”

“My cat just told me I’m talking to much.”

A small cheer went up from the crowd.

“Fine,” she said, turning to the guy on the ground.  “You want to stay with me, or do you want to go with them?”


“Okay,” she said, taking the shirt off of him.  “You have 24 hours to tell me what you’ve decided to do.  If you don’t have an answer,  I’m going to kill all of you.”



The Star Bookstore…22

There was a tap on the door.  Star opened it.  The angel stood looking at her.

“What’s your name?” she asked.


“Angel?  That’s it?  Not Tom, or Jim?  Just Angel.”

“That what we’re all called.  Angel is our name.”

“So you’re all called Angel and you all wear the same clothes.”

He nodded.

“Okay, Angel, here’s the thing.  I can help all of you have a different life.  We can all get along. We don’t have to fight and no one has to die.”

“You killed one of us.  The first one.  So someone already died.”

“I know but, seriously?  How could that possibly be the first angel to die since the beginning of time?”

“I don’t know,” said the angel.  “We’re hard to kill and no one tried very hard before, since most everyone is terrified of us.  Except for you, I mean.”

“So you’re hard to kill.”

“Unless a bat is involved. And you, of course.”

“I see.”

“You’re the only one who seems to be able to kill us, so we want to kill you first.”

“That makes sense.”

“Can I kill you now?”

“No.  But listen.  I actually have the power to kill all of you.”

“You don’t have that many bats,” he said, looking around.

“I don’t need bats.  For some reason, I have power that will let me do that.  What you have to decide is whether or not you want all of you to live.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I can understand that, but there’s only one way to find out and that’s by all of you dying.”

“No one has power like that.”

“I do,” she whispered.  “And when I do it, it won’t just kill the angels standing here, it will kill your whole species.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Have you ever heard of Keanu Reeves?”


“How about the Matrix?”

“Is that food?”

“So that’s a no, as well.”


“What’s that?”

Star sighed and said, “These are the facts, Angel.  I have energy inside me that, when unleashed, can drop every single angel in his tracks.”

“Why would you do that?”



“Angels are the bad guys.”

“We are?”


The angel turned and looked at the crowd of angels standing in front of the shop.  “They look okay to me.”

“Wanting to KILL everyone, makes you the BAD guys,” she said, pointedly.


“Because…not everyone should be killed for no reason at all.”


“This conversation is never going to end,” sighed the cat.  “Just kill them, and get it over with because I can’t stand much more of this and I’m really hungry.”

“If you killed all of us, would you be the bad guy?” asked the angel.

“Okay,” she said.  “Good question.  I would be killing all of you, to save mostly innocent people from being killed BY you.  So no. I would still be the good guy.”

“Are you sure?”

“As sure as I can be.”

“So you can kill all of us and be the good guy, but if we kill all of you, we’re the bad guys?


“I don’t think so,” said the angel.  “That seems wrong.”

“I know that, but it’s actually right, because I would be protecting others from you, while you would just be killing everyone.

“You’re making me tired.”

“I’m making myself tired as well.”

“I’ll talk to the others,” he said.

“Who’s your boss?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Who made you?”

“Someone invisible.”

“An invisible person you don’t know is your maker?”


“How does he tell you what to do?”

“I have a book.”

“A book?”

“Yes and all the rules are in there.”

“The invisible person’s rules are in a book that is in your possession?”


“Where did you get the book?”

“I found it.”

“Where and when?”

“On the ground a long time ago.”

“How do you know an invisible person wrote it?”

“Who else would have done it?”

“You’re kidding, right?”

The angel shrugged.  “No.”

“Don’t you have a rule in your book of rules, that tells you not to kill anyone?”

“No.  It mostly tells us how to catch trout.”

The fish?”

He nodded and the cat started pacing back and forth.  “I don’t know how much more of this I can stand,” he meowed.

“I thought you did have a rule like that,” said Star, mentally agreeing with Midnight.

“We don’t.  We can kill anyone we want to kill.”

“I think you’re wrong.”

“I’m not.”

“You are. Once we were here other people came and put us to work.  They said that’s what we were made for.  Work.

“Seriously?  So aside from the invisible one, others came from somewhere and said you had to work for them?”


“Were you ever a child?”

“No.  We were always just like this.”

“I don’t get it,” she said, shaking her head.

“I’ll get back to you.”

“I’ll be here.  And check your rules before you decide anything.”


“But wait a second,” said Star, waving at Carl.


“Carl, give my your shirt.”


“Just do it, please.”

Star held out the shirt.  “Put this on.”

“No,” said the angel.

“Do it, please.”


“If you don’t do it, I’ll break your kneecaps with my bat.”

“Okay.  I’ll put it on.”

The angel put the shirt on and there was a collective gasp from the crowd.  Many of the angels turned away, others covered their faces with their hands.”

“What’s happening?” asked the angel, looking at the mob.

“You look different than the others.  All of you are living in a prison of your own making.  By following the rules you have given away your freedom.”



The Star Bookstore…21

“What?” she asked, looking at everyone staring at her.

Carl shook his head and walked away.  Constance patted her arm and went back to the brownies and her tea.  Lily and Mary smiled and went back to work.

That was really cool,” said Midnight.  “You’re okay.”

“Wow.  Thanks,” she said, picking him up and smothering him with kisses.

Okay, that’s enough,” he said, trying to seal kick her.  “Enough.  ENOUGH WITH THE KISSES!  I GET IT.  YOU LOVE ME.  SO STOP, ALREADY.”

“I’d like some kisses,” said Jack, turning her around.

“You taste like apple brownies,” she said.

“Is that a good thing?” he asked.

She kissed him again, then licked her lips.  “I think so.  It’s a little weird, but it’s good.”

“That’s exactly what I was going for,” he snickered. “A little weird, but good.”

“They’re trying to set fire to the side of the building,” said Mary, turning from the window.

“Thank you,” said Star, who went to the small fire place next to her French wire table, and grabbed the long matches and a bit of paper.  She opened the window, lit the matches, started the paper on fire, then threw it.  An angel’s hair caught, and went up in flames.  It’s not easy to set someone on fire from a window, so she counted it as a win.  “Hey, don’t forget to fall and roll,” she said, before slamming the window shut.

Then she turned to Jack and said, “This building is almost soundproof.  You can hardly hear him screaming.  If the angels keep this up, they aren’t going to leave me much choice..  I mean, how many chances can you give people?  Right?”

Jack nodded.  “I don’t want to spoil your fun, but I think I’m madly in love with you.”


He nodded.  “Yeah, I’m surprised too.”

“Can we talk about this later?”

“Sure,” he said.  “I just thought you should know.”

I am so freaking glad I’m a cat,” said Midnight, going back to lick his empty dish.

“I think I’ve been civil and nice to the angels, but I don’t want to play for much longer.  If they don’t back off, I’m taking them down.”

“How?” asked Carl.  “There are over two hundred out there now, and more of them are coming all the time.”

“I’m going out in front to talk to them.”

“You’ll be dead before you say a word.”

“I don’t think so.”

“We do,” said Lily, Mary and Constance.

“I’ll go with you,” said Jack.  “For moral support.”

“Thanks, but that won’t be necessary.  I just think this is the right thing to do, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll kill them.”

I’ll go with her,” said the cat.  “It’s my job, and besides she’s mine, so…”  No one heard him but Star, and she smiled at him and nodded.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” she said, grabbing the declaration of war, off the desk.

She opened the door and held up the paper.  A bullet tore through it.

“HEY,” she shouted.  “I’M TRYING TO BE DIPLOMATIC HERE.  You gave this to me, so honor it.  Pick a spokesangel and send him up here.”

There was a lot of mumbling, pointing, nodding, and the shaking of heads.  Finally, an angel stepped forward and walk up the stairs.  “What?”

“There are no terms on this paper.”

“Terms of what?”

“Of the war you’re declaring.”

“I don’t get it.”

She put her arm down, and said, “Are there any female angels?”




“How do you make more angels?”

“We don’t. We’ve all been here from the beginning.”

“Shouldn’t you have died off already?”

“We don’t die.”

“You never die?”

“No.  Well, not until you killed one of us.”

“And there are no female angels, right?”


“No wonder you want to kill everyone,” she said. “No female angels.  I can’t even imagine.”

“Imagine what?”

“See, there’s a lot in life you’re missing, by being just a bunch of guys in a group.”

“Like what?

“Throw pillows, dancing.  A lot of things.”

“We just want to kill everyone.”

“What will that accomplish?”

“None of you will be here anymore.”

“Then what?”

“We will be alone and we can do whatever we want to do.”

“What can’t you do now?”

He thought for a moment, then said, “Our terms of war are that you all die.”

“That’s not a term, that’s a threat.”

“What’s a term?”

Can I bite him and claw his eyes out?” asked the cat.  “Please.”

“Maybe in a minute,” she told the Midnight, who was sitting by her foot.

I really want to, so hurry it up.”

“Why do you all dress the same?”

The angle looked down at himself, then he turned and looked at the other angels.

“Do you know what a program is?”

“Something on TV?”

“Yes, but in this case, no.  I think you guys have been programed to be one thing, instead of many things.  You were created to obey and not think for yourself.”

Now?  Can I bite him now?”

“If you do not agree to the terms, we will kill you,”  said the Angel.

There are no terms.  I was asking you for your terms, remember?  And what would you do if there were terms and I refused to accept them?”

“Kill you.”

“So either way, you just want me dead.”


“Okay Midnight, have at it.”

There was a lot of yelling and waving of arms.  There was blood and hissing and other stuff as well.  Eventually, when the cat was finished playing, he jumped off the angel, shook himself, and walked inside.  Star followed and closed the door.

Some of the angels came up the steps and dragged the angel away.


The Star bookstore…20

“Are you here for the next two books already?” asked Star, surprised to see her best customer walk in.

“No.  I’m here to fight the angels,” said Constance.


“I may be eighty-seven years old, but I’m a lot stronger than I look.”

“Okay, but you could get hurt.”

“Gee, I never thought of that,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“Where did the angels come from?  Why are they…the way they are?” asked Star.

“They’ve been here from the beginning.  We believe they became jealous of the other species. They follow a LOT of rules, you know.  Kind of a ‘hive mind’ mentality.  Anyway, their envy was like a disease.  It had eons to fester and turn into hate.  It’s not that the other species were mean to them, or even noticed their differences, which probably made things even worse,” said Constance, softly.  “You see, most just do what they do, because of what they are.  If they can walk they walk, if they can fly, they fly.  They don’t always realize that others can’t do what they do.  They don’t always think about what they can’t do either.  We all just get up and do what we can.  But the angels grew resentful of what others could do.”

“I understand what you’re saying,” sighed Star.  “But that means they’re really, really, old and,” she continued, “possibly responsible for all the wars we’ve ever had, and are still having.  I wonder if they saw the dinosaurs.”

“Of course, they saw the dinosaurs,” said Constance.  “That’s what being here from the beginning means.  They’ve seen everything, and they don’t physically age.  They’re trapped in this place forever.  The angels believe that if they kill everyone, no one will be able to do anything they can’t do.  No one will have more of what they think they want.  They believe they’ll have everything, since no one will be left to compare themselves to, but, no matter how many wars they start, they can’t seem to get rid of us.”

“So they truly are exactly like the government.”

“My dear…they ARE the government.  That’s the one thing they own completely.  Why do you think it’s such a mess?  And yes, they start the wars, trying to kill us, by letting us kill ourselves.  That way, they don’t actually have to do anything themselves.”

“So, what do we do?”

You could wake up Miss Nora,”  said the cat.

“What would Miss Nora do?”

Constance smiled.  “I’m sure she’d have an idea or two.”

“That’s what my cat said.”

“Ah,” said Constance, eyeing Midnight.  “He’s one of those cats.”

A brick hit the window and bounced off.

Star got up, opened the window and yelled, “HEY, KNOCK IT OFF.  I don’t come to your place and throw things, do I?”  Then she closed the window and started straightening books.

Can I have some FOOD, please,” begged the cat.

“I don’t think you’re even hungry.  I think you’re a stress eater.  When you get stressed, you want to eat, so you don’t have to think about what’s stressing you.”

“Are you insane.  I’M HUNGRY.  HUNGER is what’s stressing me.”

“Okay,  Glad we cleared that up.”  She gave him three cans of cat food and dry food.  Then she put some chicken on top.

“Finally,” said the cat, digging in.

“Shouldn’t he be huge?” asked Jack, watching the cat inhale the food.

Star shrugged.  “Maybe he has a high metabolism.”

“Maybe he ‘s a black hole and things just disappear when they get too close to his event horizon.”

“Could be,.” she agreed.

Lily walked into the kitchen, poured a mug of coffee, grabbed an apple slice and said, there are about a hundred angels out in front.”

“Here’s what I need to know,” said Star.  “Can demons get big and crazy strong, like in the movies?”

“No,” said Jack, trying not to laugh.  “I mean we can get…uh….”

“What he’s trying to say,” said Lily, “is that when pushed, we can become very strong. We do not turn green, our eyes don’t shoot laser beams, and our clothes don’t tear and fall apart.  We do not grow ten times our size, although we do stand up straighter.”

Star looked at Nick and grinned.  “That’s too bad about the clothes,” she said.

He chuckled.  “It’s not really a problem, if…”

“We can fight,” said Lily.

“It might not be that kind of war,” said Star.

“What do you mean?” asked Jack.  “What other kind of war is there?”

A few bricks hit the front door and the angels started howling at the top of their lungs..

Star walked to the front door and waved at them.  They stopped howling.  She opened the door and said, “Oh, don’t stop.  That was wonderful.  Wasn’t that a song from WICKED?  Or was it CATS?  Either way, keep going.  You guys have great voices.”  Then she closed the door and waited.  All she heard was silence.

“I love confusing them,” she said, grinning.

There was a tap on the door.  She opened it and a fist came straight at her face.  She grabbed it and twisted.  The angel went down, bones snapped, and he screamed.

“That’s no way to introduce yourself,” she said, putting pressure on his arm.  He screamed again.  “We aren’t even fighting yet.  Let’s be civilized and polite until then.  She put her foot on his neck.  “I could crush your throat, right this second.  Is that what you want?”

The angel shook his head, well as much as he could, with her foot on his throat.

“There’s a lot of pain and death in war.  You know that right?”

He nodded.

“I’m trying to save us from that.”

“Wars don’t bother us,” he whimpered.  “Angels live forever.”

“What the….  Why didn’t anyone tell me that?”

He looked at her, his ugly features made worse from the pain.

“If I let you up, will you promise not to fight, if things go sideways?”

“I can’t,” he whispered.  “They’ll send me to the senate, or make me a representative.  They might even make me a vice president of something.”

“Do you want to come inside?  I mean I can just drag you through the doorway.  We have brownies and apple slices.”

“No. I’m supposed to kill you.  My life is with them.  We hate you.”



“Why do you hate everyone so much?”

“I don’t remember,” he grunted, as she pulled on his arm.

“You might not die, but it seems as if you can feel pain,” she said.

“Not before you came along,” he rasped.


He nodded.  Things can happen to us, but we heal right away and we don’t feel any pain.”,

“Do angels lie?”

He closed his eyes.  “Yes.”

“Are you a liar?”

“Sometimes,” he groaned.

“How about right now?” she asked.

“No.  I promise.”

“Are your promises any good.”

He shook his head.  “Not always.”

“At least you’re honest about not being honest,” she said, dropping his arm.

He screamed again.

“Oh, sorry.  You might want to get that looked at.” Then she kind of pushed him a little, and closed the door.



The Star Bookstore…19

“The body’s gone,” said Star, looking out the window.

“I think his crew came and got him during the night,” said Lily.  “They tried painting things on the building this morning, but the paint wouldn’t stick.”

“I LOVE YOU BOOKSTORE,” yelled Star, holding her arms out to the side.

Lily laughed.  “I love you too, bookstore.”

“She knows we love her,” said Star, feeling the bookstore purr.

A bunch of them came,” said the cat, leaping onto the front desk.They picked up the dead one and took him.  I think they are plotting against us big time.  What’s for breakfast?  You don’t feed me nearly enough.”

“I feed you four or five times a day,” said Star.

Yeah, but they’re small portions.”

“No they aren’t.”

One of these days you’ll wake up and find me a withered shell.  How will you feel then?.”

“Follow me,” she sighed.

I’ve been thinking.  If you made rat cat food you could end up rich.”

“Absolutely no one would buy rat cat food.  People buy cat food, not cats, and trust me when I say, it’s a bad idea.”  She fed the cat, just as Mary called to her.

“There are two angels at the door, but they aren’t coming in.”

Star went to the front of the shop and opened the door. “What’s up guys?”

They looked at each other and handed her a sheet of paper.  She pulled a book off the shelf and showed them pictures.

“What are they?” one asked.

“They’re what humans think of as angels.”

“We aren’t that.”

“No.  You’re not.”

One of them nodded.  “What’s with the wings?”

“See, I don’t get that either.  It’s aerodynamically impossible for them to fly.”

“I don’t know what that means, but they wouldn’t be able to fly.”

“Take the book,” she said, handing it to him. “My gift to you.”

“We’re going to kill you.”

“That’s what the last guy said.”

“We’re smarter than he was.”

“Do you really think so?” she asked, frowning at them.

They nodded in unison.

“You know there’s no reason for any of this violence to happen, don’t you?”

“It’s what we do.”

“Do something else.”

“Like what?”

“Read a book.  Go out to dinner with humans and demons.  Make friends.”

The angels hissed at her, and their ugliness increased.

“Oh please.  Violence isn’t the answer.  Okay, maybe it is sometimes, but no one is doing anything to you.  You might even be good looking, if you just lightened up a little.”

“You all exist.  We don’t like that. We don’t want you to exist.”

“So you want to live alone on this big planet?  You know what that means don’t you?”

“What? asked the angel.

“It means you’ll only have each other to kill?”


“If you kill everyone else, you’ll be all alone, with your entire species.  Who would you hate then?  Who would you kill?”

“We have to kill you because you have free will.”

“No we don’t.  That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.”


“Whoever made that up was a liar.  Look at all the humans following the rules, going insane because of religious beliefs, government control, slave labor, working until they drop dead, no control over anything in their lives, so they drink, do drugs, and sit in front of a box waiting to die.”

“We didn’t think of it that way.”

“Well you should.  What did you have for breakfast?”

“Corn flakes,” said one of the angels.

“I had toast.”

“Who told you want to eat?”

“We usually all eat cornflakes, but milk makes him sick, so he had toast,” said the first angel.

“Free will.  You decided what you wanted to eat.  That’s just about as much free will as we have.”

“No it’s not.  You opened a bookstore.”

“You can open a bookstore too.”


“I can help you open one, if you really want to do it.”

“We have to go.”

“Sure,” she said.  “But think about what I said.  If you kill all of us, you’ll be hunting each other in no time.”

“I don’t think they went to school,” said Lily.

“I agree,” said Star, showing her the piece of paper.  “This is a declaration of war.”

“They spelled war incorrectly.”

“They’re stalling, while they try and figure out how to fight the building.”

“Do you think they’ll be able to do that?”

“No,” said Star.  “And I bought apple slices to go with the brownies.”

“Where are they?”

“Kitchen counter.”

Lily went to the kitchen.

“Hey,” said the mover guy, walking up the stairs.


“Heard you’re in a bit of trouble.”


“Heard you knocked off an angel.”

“He fell.”

“And broke both knees and his face?”

“It was a bad fall.”

He laughed and held out his arms.  “Kiss?”

“Sure,” she said.  “Come on in.”

“I’m here to help.”


“Why not.  The angels need to be taken down.  You’re going to do it.  I’m going to help.”

“Did Carl tell you to come here?”

“No. Carl told me what was going on.  I wanted to come here.”

“Does Carl know everyone in the world.”

“Probably not everyone.”

“This isn’t a romance novel.  Us, I mean.  I’m not looking for love, or a relationship.”

“Never thought you were.”

“Apple slice or brownie?” she asked.


“You’re name is Jack.”

“I know,” he said.  “My mother told me a long time ago.”

“My cat told me,” said Star.

“Cats are like that sometimes.”

Star nodded.  “So are mothers.”

He smiled.  “That’s true.”

“Another kiss?” she asked.

“As many as you like.  I’ll be here for awhile.”

She kissed him again, then got the apple slices and brownies.

Angels are standing in front of the shop, he said.

“I know.  They gave me a declaration of war.”

“You’re kidding,” said Jack, grabbing her hand and pulling him to him. “Dance?”

“I’m not kidding,” said Star, leaning against him.

Hey,” said the cat.  “I thought this wasn’t a romance novel.”

“It’s not,” said Star, as she twirled.

You’re dancing and eating apple slices.”

“Constance is here,” called Lily.

Thank all the white mice in the universe,”  muttered Midnight.  “Not a romance novel my muddy paws.”

“I heard that,” she said.

Like I care.

The Star Bookstore…18

“Maybe you don’t need a plan,” said Carl, dropping into his chair.

“How can you plan for something when you don’t know what’s going to happen?”

He nodded, and finished his brownie.  “They’ll want revenge.  They are going to come to kill you.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Don’t worry about it?” he said, his voice rising.

“Look,” she said.  “Everyone dies.  Everyone.  Most of us have no idea how we’ll die.  Unless we kill ourselves, it’s a crap shoot.  Someone could have a terrible disease, but get hit by a bus, something they never expected.  I know what I’m doing might  look stupid to everyone, but isn’t life about action?  I don’t want to hide, or just sit around letting other people take out the trash, so that I’m safe.  It doesn’t matter when we die, it only matters how we live.”

“Can I have another brownie?” he asked, reaching for one.

“Eat all of them,” she said, shoving the box toward him. “That’s what they’re FOR. I can hide them.  Keep them safe, until they get stale and I throw them out, or someone can EAT THEM BECAUSE THEY’RE MEANT TO BE EATEN.  Even brownies don’t want to sit on a shelf and be safe.  Although, I don’t know that for a fact.  It just makes sense though, doesn’t it?  I mean, I’ve never asked them how they feel about it.”

You know I’m still young, don’t you?” asked Midnight.

“And?” she said, staring at him.

I’m hardly out of kittenhood.  Okay,that’s not exactly true, but still, I don’t think I’m ready to die.”

“I promise to protect you to the best of my ability,” she said, to the cat.

“You talk to your cat a lot,” said Carl.

“So, what do you think they’ll do?”

“Hi, said Constance, waving at Star.  Damn that book was good.  I’m ready for number six.”

“I’ll get it for you,” said Star.  “Sit down and have a brownie with Carl.  I’ll get you a mug of tea.”

“There’s a dead angel on the street in front of your store,” she said loudly.  “It’s drawing a crowd.  Maybe everyone will come in and buy books.”

“I’m Carl,” he said.

“I’m Constance, and I know who you are.”

He nodded.

“We have to help her,” she whispered.

“Excuse me?”

“I brought the next two books,” said Star.  “They’re so good.”

“Thank you,” said Constance happily.  “Do you think you  have a copy of Atlas Shrugged?”

“Probably. It might take a few minutes to find it.”

“I’m in no hurry, and these brownies look delicious.”

“Okay, be back in a few.”

“Take your time,” said Constance, cheerfully.  “Look Carl, the war is happening now.  Star is the catalyst.  It’s time to bloody wake up.”

Carl looked at the woman and saw that her eyes were like movie screens, showing him pictures of battles. People were fighting, dying and screaming. The skies were blue black, filled with smoke and…”

“I found it.  It’s a bit battered.  Please accept it as a thank you gift for being a fabulous customer.

“Thank you,” she said, getting to her feet.  “Can you run a tab for me?”

“Of course,” said Star.

“Thank you, yet again, my dear, and I don’t need a bag.

“Enjoy your books,” said Star, watching her walk toward the door.

“I’ll be back soon,” she said.  “Maybe even this afternoon.”

“Always nice to see you,Constance.  You’re welcome anytime at all.”

“Do you ever feel as if you’re going insane?” asked Carl.

“Sure,” said Star.  “Is that a bad thing?”




The Star Bookstore…11 (sorry, I skipped 11) I have trouble with keeping numbers straight. THANK YOU for reminding me..

“I’m worn out,” said Mary, tiredly.

“Me too,” sighed star.  “Let’s begin again tomorrow, if you’re available.”

“If I can move, I’ll be here,” she said, dragging herself to the door.

Star made her way up the stairs and fell onto the bed.

You forgot to feed me,”  said Midnight.

“It’s almost three in the morning.  Can you wait until breakfast?”

What do you think.”

“Fine,” she groaned.  “I’ll feed you.”

Gee thanks,” he said.  “Nice of you to try and keep me alive.”

“Drama King,” she muttered.

The guy Mary touched was human, but just.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Not sure, but I think if the angels get him, it would release something inside him that would allow dormant angel genes to awaken.”

“That’s not good.”

No.  It isn’t,” said Midnight.  “And the plants look nice.  I’ll try not to eat them, or play in the dirt.  But I can’t really guarantee that I won’t.”

“Tell me more about the dormant genes.”

They’re like the genes humans have for diseases.  You can have the gene for something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the disease.  The gene has to turn on for that to happen.  It’s the same kind of thing with angel and demon genes.”

She nodded, ate another brownie, and gave the cat more treats.  “I get that.”

“I certainly hope so.  It’s as basic as things could possibly be.”

“What about heaven and hell?  Is that where the angels and demons come from?”

You can’t be serious.  Heaven and hell don’t exist.  They’re just more things people want to believe in.  Reward and punishment.  One more way to control everyone.  It’s the human way of life.  Pathetic, I know, but humans seem to like it.  If they didn’t, they’s stop doing it and have fun.”

“Did you say something?” asked Star.

“You fell asleep?


I will not repeat a single word,” hissed the cat.  “I think the part demon furniture guy likes you.  He lights up when he sees you.”

“It’s just a fun thing.  I don’t even want to know his name.”

It’s jack.”

“I just told you I didn’t want to know his name.”

I’m a cat.”

“That’s no excuse for bad behavior.”

“I think it is.”

“You’re wrong.”

I beg to differ,” said Midnight.  “Want to know his last name?”

Star stood up, put the only brownie left, back into the fridge, and went upstairs.”

Are you mad at me?” asked Midnight, walking across the bed.


He nudged his nose under her arm and settled down. Is that better?  Are you less angry?”

Star sighed, and pulled the cat closer, kissing his face.

Midnight smiled and started purring.


The Star Bookstore…17

“Do you read?” she asked.

“Yes,” said Carl.  “When I’m not dragging dead angels to the curb.”

“Hey, that was ONE time.”

A police officer walked in.  “There’s a dead angel out in front.”

“Really?” said Star.

“Someone said they saw you dragging his body out of here.”

“That person must be mistaken.  Please feel free to look around.  I can assure you, nothing has been happening in here.  I had a customer, and this gentleman and I have spent most of the morning drinking coffee and eating brownies.  Would you like one?”

“I’m on duty.”

“Sure.  While you’re looking, if you see any books you like, just let me know.  I can hold them for you, until you’re off of work.”

Mary came into the room and said, “Jerry?”

The officer smiled.  “Mary.  What are you doing here?”

“I work here.”

“There’s a dead angel outside.”

“Did he get hit by a car?”

“I don’t think so.  Did you hear any noise in here?”

“We’ve all been working, putting books away and eating brownies.  You should have one, they’re the best.”

“Thanks, but you know.  I’m in uniform,” he said, shyly.

“Oh, of course,” said Mary, blushing. “How would it look if you had powder sugar all over your jacket.”

“I think I’m gonna barf,” said the cat.

“Maybe I’ll see you later,” said officer Jerry.

“Maybe,” replied Mary.

“Well thank you, Miss Star.  Everything here seems to be in perfect order.”

“Thank you officer.  Have a good day.”

Once he was gone, Mary walked by Star, grinned, gave her a high five, and grabbed a brownie.

“What were you saying about wondering if you were insane?” asked Star.

“Never mind,” said Carl.  “Not important.”

“I’m thinking of having some author readings next month.”

“If anyone is still alive, it’s probably a good idea,” he said.

“There might be some local authors who will be willing to come in.”

“Do you know that you just killed someone?”

“Did I?”


“Did you try and stop me?”

“No.  I did not.”

“He was here to kill me.”

“Yes, I believe he was.”


“I’m going to gain twenty pounds from eating all these brownies.”

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