A tattoo that's been on your hand for as long as you can remember. A chance happening. A threat.

A story.


4. Angel Wings

Lily and Josh sat together, waiting for the paramedics to check them over. "Where did you come from? I don't recognise your accent," Lily asked, pushing her hair behind her ear. "I was born and raised in Tennessee. My dad was in the army. He was away on active duty when I was born. He came home when I was three. We were all so happy. He didn't have to go away again until I was sixteen. It was supposed to be his last mission. It was supposed to be four years long. But two years ago, we got the call that no military family wants to get. He was a year in." Lily nodded. "I'm sorry." Josh pulled out his dog tags. "That's why I wear these. They were his." Lily stared at her tattoo. "I was born and raised right here in the city. My life was relatively normal compared to yours, I suppose. My parents split up when I was eleven and I went to live with my mom. I've had my tattoo for as long as I can remember." Lily couldn't say much more than that. Josh nodded. "It's the same here. I suppose I've been luckier with mine, though. I can hide mine easily. It's harder with you." Lily laughed a little, before sighing. "I wonder if there's anyone else like us? Anyone else who has got these tattoos?" Josh shrugged. "Who knows?"

Hours later, Josh was back at home. His house smelt like chocolate chip brownies. He had one beside him as he done a little research. He was trawling the web, searching for stories similar to his and Lily's. He wasn't getting far, however. He was getting frustrated. Something was telling him that there was something more to this whole affair. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration and shut down the laptop, taking a bite from his brownie. His mom knocked the door before opening it. "Alright, honey? How was your first day? Before the explosion, obviously." Her accent was a lot stronger than his. "Fine, I suppose." She raised an eyebrow. "I suppose?" She asked. "In all fairness, Mom, I wasn't there long enough to get used to it." He took another bite from his brownie. She laughed a little. "St least you don't have homework." She grinned as she went to close the door. "Oh, and Josh, honey?" He looked at her. "Explosions don't exclude you from keeping your room clean." She warned as she closed the door. He laughed a little, finishing his brownie.

Lily was at home alone. Her mom wasn't going to be home for another few hours, and her sister was away at school. She had won a sports scholarship to some fancy sports academy and was only home every three weeks or so. Lily was sprawled across the couch, eating chocolate ice-cream and watching Pride and Prejudice. There was a sudden banging from the front door. She pressed pause on the remote and put the container on the coffee table. The door burst open and Lily shot to her feet. Footsteps through the house. A masked man burst in. His mask was white, simple, with a black raven's beak protruding from the nose. He was tall, imposing. Lily felt an odd mix of anger and fear. But instead of trying to steal the furnishings, as she expected, he went straight to attack her. He brandished a knife. She managed to fend him off for a short while, before he landed a blow across her arm. It was shallow, but it was enough to make her recoil and give him the advantage. He shoved her to the ground. She landed hard and saw stars for a moment. As he went for her with the knife, she stretched out her hands as a final defence. Something gleamed in his eyes and he grabbed her hand- the one with the tattoo. He went for the tattoo with a knife. Something burned inside of Lily. She felt a burning power inside of her. It built and built, until she had to unleash it. A wave of energy knocked the masked man backwards. He wasn't knocked out, but he was thrown several feet back. He stared at Lily, his eyes wide, before clambering to his feet and running out of the house. She ran to the phone, her hands shaking. She dialled out the only number that came to mind. "Josh?"

"We were right, there's much more to this than we thought."
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