The Reluctant Angel
Angel Davis had no known enemies and almost as many friends, but he couldn’t shake the eerie feeling that he was being watched and distantly followed by the man in the oversized grey suit and the immaculately shined shoes.
The first time he saw him, the man was getting his shoes shined by the wide eyed young boy who hung on his every phrase and looked up at him as if he were some sort of messiah.
Angel remembers watching them as he passed with a strange fascination.
The old man looked up at Angel, mid shine, pulled out a pocket watch, clicked it open to view the face, closed it, placed it back in his jacket pocket, and tipped his fedora to him with a knowing yet wry smile.
Then, set his attention back on the boy who was preparing his vehicles of chosen transportation for the days journey.
Angel had forgotten about the occurrence, until he saw him again on his transit ride to work.
He always felt like it would be a good day when he actually got to sit in a seat, instead of holding on for dear life by standing in the aisle gripping the loop with both hands. Angel was able to hold on to that joy for 2 stops when the inevitable happened.
An older woman with a cane got on. There were no seats for her to sit in. Angel shifted his eyes, side to side, waiting to see if someone was willing to give up their seat.
As the barrage of newspapers began to lift, Angel shook his head and thought,
and promptly asked the woman to take his seat.
He then grabbed the loop as the bus pressed forward. He glanced around just as the newspapers were dropping, revealing triumphant grins of satisfaction.
That’s when he saw him again.
He was sitting in an aisle seat, 8 rows back. Angel probably wouldn’t have even noticed him, except for the glare of the sun that caught his shined shoes, just as Angel began his look around.
The old man, looked up at Angel, mid glare, pulled out a pocket watch, clicked it open to view the face, closed it, placed it back in his jacket pocket, and tipped his fedora to him with a knowing yet wry smile.
The bus stopped at the next stop. Angel had to move and assist the woman with cane to get up and off the bus. As he helped her to the door, he looked back, hoping to get his seat back, just in time to see the business man who stood behind him sit in that very seat, adjust his suit and glare at him. He looked beyond the “it’s my seat now stare” and noticed the man in the grey suit was gone.
The next time he saw him, he was just keeping to himself, like he always did, eating an ice cream cone on a park bench. The old man was walking through the park as well. He sat on the bench directly opposite of Angel.
Angel had had enough of the following, but as he got up to approach the man with the immaculately shined shoes, he was suddenly surrounded by a group of people carrying their Bibles like shields that needed to ask him a few questions.
“Do you know The Lord, young man?”
“Let us teach you the word of God and improve your life!”
“We can save you and prepare you for his coming!”
As they bludgeoned him with their questions, Angel got a glimpse of the man on the opposite bench.
He had crossed his arms and seemed to take great delight in watching what was transpiring.
Angel took in a deep breathe and did what he had always wanted to do….he calmly but confidently answered their questions…..his way.
“I don’t believe in God.” He said as they looked at him with mouths gaped open.
“My child, you are destined for a life in purgatory without believing!” One if them said.
“If I don’t believe in God…it wouldn’t make much sense to believe in hell…now would it!”
“Through prayer and his words in the good book we can make you a believer.” Another said.
Angel looked through a gap in the semicircle of believers that surrounded him. The man still sat there….intently listening.
Angel calmly looked at the questioner in the eye and answered.
“I have read the book. If you want to prove to me that there is a God. I have the only way.”
Angel reached into his pocket and pulled out a quarter. He looked at both the heads side and the tails side, then spoke.
They nodded yes.
“Ok. Then I will give you this quarter…..what I want you to do is pray long and hard…and ask that this quarter will turn up heads 50 times in a row after flipping it in the air. If it does…I will be a full and lifelong believer.”
The semicircle looked at the quarter and then each other and clamored for something to say.
“I come through this park around the same time, every Saturday. When you are as confident with your results as much as I am. Come find me.”
Angel then got up to leave. He looked over at the opposite bench.
It was empty, with no sign of the man in the grey suit anywhere.
He flipped the quarter up into air and watched it fall on to the ground in the center of the group. He glanced down at it and then back at them and said,
“There’s one…..only 49 more to go…”
He thought he heard the click of a pocket watch closing as he left the group to stare at the quarter, but chalked it up to wishful thinking.
As Angel walked the blocks that returned him to the solitude of his studio apartment, he got cornered by a group of teens, who apparently owned the stretch of sidewalk he was walking on.
“Hey homie…you can’t just walk on our turf” one yelled threateningly.
“Look, I am just walking home, kid. I live 2 blocks down. It’s the shortest distance and I am taking it.”
The kid curled his brow, pulled out a revolver, pointed it at Angel’s chest and said,
“It’s the shortest distance to your death…you still wanna take it?”
Angel returned his stare, put his hands up and retreated,
“Nah…I’m good…I’ll just walk around.”
Not giving in that quickly the kid stated,
“Not until you pay me for trespassing, give me you…”
He was cut off by the sound of squealing tires. A dark 4 door car came down the street…fast.
As if in slow motion, the windows began to roll down. The barrels of a automatic rifle emerged, sighted on the group of teens.
“GET DOWN!” And pushed 2 of the teens off their balance and to the ground just as the sound of bullets began to fly.
Just as quickly as the 4 door came…it left with the same squeal of tires.
The teens began to get up and check themselves for injuries.
They each seemed to be unharmed.
Angel, remained motionless on the ground, paralysed and near death from 3 bullets in the center of his back.
The last thought that went through his mind before his last breathe exited his body was of the man in the immaculately shined shoes and the sound of his pocket watch closing.
This is a new fictional story with an appearance by a character I created from another story.
That character’s story is called-
“The Shine” which is one story but it has 6 pages. The page number tab is at the bottom of the post.
To get to know him….hit the link.
He will probably show up again in “The Reluctant Angel”.
To continue the story press “here“.