My life as an Angel

* for the competition*

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1. A Gift from Death

But before we took a step outside the castle the large doors flew open as if to surprise us. It sent a cold wind up my spine as something entered. Gloria scowled. James made no move to greet or talk to the guest. He simply floated there, his eyes gazing at it. I wanted to hide. Everywhere the thing glided it carried a mass of icy, black darkness with it. That was what it was and no more. A cloud of death and sorrow, but as I looked closer a human figure became clear. It was a girl! And she was my age! 

Her face was deathly pale and hollow looking. Her curly black hair floated lifelessly around her face although her soft, blue eyes said otherwise. She was wearing a tattered grey and black dress that bushed her ankles as she made her way over to us. But every step she took I forgot her face and when I looked again her face had changed. Now it was a young man's with tousled blonde hair and penetrating grey eyes. 

"Hello," Death said coldly. It's voice was a chorus of many. Vibrating around the room. 

"Hello," I said nervously as it's face changed again. 

Death was Death. It had no form or life force. I had to remind myself of that. Death turned to James and smiled a white, slightly menacing smile.

"Who is this?" Death asked airily. 

James glided forward. "It's an angel."

"An angel? And do you my dear know who I am?" Death took my hand and inspected it. It's touch made me shiver at the memory of the scene James had shown me.

"Yes. You're Death." I wanted to withdraw my hand but Death had a firm grip. Contact with it sent flashes of fear coursing through me. 

"Well done." Death released my hand and sat down in a chair. By now it's face was pale with dyed red hair and sinister brown eyes. "Now I have a gift for you little angel." It beckoned and I hesitantly stepped forward.

James made no move to stop me so I guessed it was presumably safe. His slender hands stayed limp at his side.

Death waved his hand and the air seemed to shift. I waited for something to happen. But nothing did. Then I realised Death was holding a small black brooch in the shape of a rose. It was beautiful with small crystals on the edges. Death held it out and put it on my dress. My long, blonde hair brushed the top. It glowed faintly. 

"Do you like it?" Death asked. It stared aimlessly at me. Now its face was of a handsome twenty year old male. It had windswept ginger hair and lovely sea green eyes. 

I nodded. "It's pretty." I touched the metal carefully. 

"It is isn't it. I was pretty once too," Death said. It's brow furrowed as if remembering. "But that was a long time ago. Would you like to see?"

I looked back at James who didn't react. "Okay," I said.

Death smiled and took my hand again. Everything dissolved into nothingness as we reappeared in a tiny courtyard with poplars and various other trees growing in it. I'd played in those when I was still alive. 

Suddenly, a young girl skipped into the courtyard. She had masses of curly brown hair and big eyes and a cute upturned nose. "Come on Bilbo!" the young girl squealed in pure delight. "Let us go defeat the mighty Smaug." 

Someone laughed. An older girl, maybe seventeen rushed in. Her chestnut hair flew behind her in a billowing mass and her mouth was curved into a smile. She had amber eyes like James. "Smaug? Smaug? Breakfast is far more important than Smaug!" 

The young girl giggled uncontrollably. The older girl stopped running. "I'm going to catch you Lily!" 

"Rachel," Lily whined and then squealed as Rachel gathered her up and began marching back to a mansion. The image faded and soon we were back in the sad castle of Death. 

"Lily," I mused. "That's my name."

Death nodded dreamily. "The name's so beautiful. Lily was my sister before I died." 

Then I remembered the gift. It glinted on my chest. "What is this?"

"Questions. Questions. Humans really shouldn't ask questions. They're just wasting time," Death said harshly. 

I gulped, thinking I'd said something wrong. Then Death's face softened. "The brooch can do many things. It can give you visions and it can change the future."

I ran a hand over it. "What about the past?"

"Sadly no," Death said. "James used to be an angel and I gave him one of those brooches. Back then they could do anything! Well, you can see what happened."

I spotted James gazing out at the rest of Death's realm. He looked lonely and forlorn. I didn't want to end up like that. 

"Why did you give me this?" I asked.

Death looked at me. It's grey-blue eyes tore into my soul. I couldn't help returning the gaze. "Have you ever wondered if I'd liked to make a difference? That I don't want to only be the cause of suffering and sorrow?"

I shook my head. I hadn't!

"Well. I do. And by you saving people from grave mistakes that they intend to make and helping people I can accomplish that. I want to make up for the death of my sister." A cold tear dropped to the floor as Death's gold eyes began to water.

"What do you mean your sister's death?" I took a deep breath. I looked over at Gloria who had not spoken for a while now.

But Death gave no reply as it remembered its past life. Its stories- good and bad- and the mistakes that it made. I knew better than to interrupt such thoughts as that.

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