You can read Part 1 HERE.
When the story is over I will share the picture that inspired it all. If I share it now it may give away the ending.
I flew straight to the pearly gates of heaven. I was tempted to show off in front of Naolin, but she was in no mood to play. I landed gently on the soft grass that sat in front of the gate. I know humans believe that the streets of heaven are paved with gold, but that is only a human desire. What good would a gold street do? It would be cold and hard on our feet, not that I ever went past the gates. It was the softest grass you could find anywhere. The grass bends under your feet and springs back when you walk away. I sometimes took a nap in the grass, but that usually ends with Peter waking me up to tell me one of his stories. Nice guy, but he doesn’t know when to stop talking.
I waved at Peter when he noticed me. His smile was always bright and welcoming. I believe that if he wasn’t guarding the gates of heaven he would be on Earth collecting souls like the angels are supposed to.
“Peter, anything new going on?” I asked. I walked closer to him and noticed he looked confused. One brow was raised and he was staring behind me.
“Naolin, what are you doing?” Peter asked the beautiful angel that had followed me. He looked at me, his eyes wide. “Did you know that she was behind you?”
“Yes.” I said. I couldn’t help my laugh. I had no idea what was going on, but I could sense something was wrong. “Is there a problem?” I asked Peter.
“There is no problem.” Naolin answered. I turned to look at her. The anger in her voice caught my ear. Something was definitely wrong and I was afraid I had inadvertently been pulled into the middle of it.
“But there is a problem.” Peter said. He moved forward and grabbed Naolin’s arm, pulling her towards the gates. Naolin jerked her arm from Peter’s grip and moved behind me.
Yep, in the middle of it and there was no going back now. I seemed to always get myself into a mess. You know the saying, wrong place, wrong time.
“You will not put your hands on me Saint.” She glared at Peter. “I was only making sure this demon delivered the soul he collected tonight.”
“My name is Kyson. You know this already.” I said. I shook my head and rubbed my face. I didn’t even want to know what I had stepped into.
“Kyson always delivers his souls. He is our best collector.”
“He is a demon.” Naolin said.
“Yes, he is, and he does his job.”
“Angles should be the ones bringing souls to heaven.” She said. She had moved from behind me and stood in front of Peter. It was only then that I noticed how short she was, at least short compared to Peter and myself. Peter and I were the same height, 6 foot 5 inches. Naolin was even with Peter’s chest. Her short stature didn’t hinder how intimidating she was. There was an aura about her that kept everyone at a distance.
“Naolin, you know how this works. Angles have not been collecting souls for years. There is much to do here in heaven. Why are you out?”
“Because this is what I was created for.” Naolin’s hands were clenched at her side, her nails digging into the skin on her palm. I took a step away from her, just in case the angel decided to spontaneously combust.
“It is the job of the demons now. An angel’s job is to collect the souls at the gate.” Peter pleaded with the stubborn angel.
“I will not!” She shouted. She stepped to the edge of heaven, her wings open as she threatened to fly off.
“Naolin, please. If they know that you have returned and I let you get away, I will be the one in trouble.”
“What is going on?” I asked. I was starting to feel like I was invisible. Even though I didn’t want to place myself in the situation, curiosity got the best of me.
“I will tell you what is going on.” Naolin said. She came to stand beside me, her eyes narrowed as she glared at Peter. “They have locked us up, the angels, in heaven. They told us that we were of better use here. They told us that collecting souls was too impure for our innocent hands.” She spread her fingers revealing the moon shaped cuts she had created with her nails. Blood covered her palm and fingers. I hadn’t known that angels could bleed.
“Your hands.” I said. I pulled a bandage from my pocket. Yes, I keep them with me. I sometimes mingle with humans and humans are clumsy creatures. I stepped forward and grabbed one hand, wrapping it and moving to the next. When I looked up I noticed that Peter and Naolin were both staring at me. “What?”
“Did you not hear what I just said?” Naolin asked me.
“Of course, but you were bleeding. Also, I find it hard to believe that the angels have been locked in heaven.” I looked at Peter for support, but he looked away avoiding eye contact. “Even if you were locked in heaven, why would you really care?”
“I care because I was created to help a soul journey to heaven. I was created to bring people to peace.” She took a deep breath and released it. “I cannot just sit in heaven, with everything I could ask for, and watch as souls are wrongly delivered to hell or left to wander the world, lost and confused.” A tear streaked down her face.
“Peter.” I said. I looked at my old friend and forced his eyes to meet mine. “Is it true?” I asked him. “Please, Peter, tell me that the angels are just lazy and decided not to collect souls anymore. Tell me that what Naolin is telling me is a lie.”
“I do not lie.” Naolin said. She was looking down at her feet trying to hide her tears. “Kyson, please believe me.” Her voice carried my name to the depths of my own soul. My heart sung in gratitude to hear my name pass the sweet lips of this angel. I knew what I had to do then. I believed Naolin.
“Then let’s go.” I said to her as I grabbed her hand, careful of the self inflicted wounds I had wrapped for her. I lifted my wings and stepped off the ledge of heaven, pulling Naolin with me. We soared through the air, a soul clutched in one hand and an angels warm fingers in the other.
In the distance I could hear Peter yelling for me. Something had happened in heaven and they had done a fine job keeping it from the demons. Unlucky for heaven, Naolin had escaped their hold. It was time for the truth to be told.
Click HERE to go to Part 3