Colette registered two things as she began to wake. One, she was no longer sitting placidly in her father's garden making daisy chains and thinking about angels. Two, the thing that had hit her on the head apparently hadn't been a low-flying owl. Not unless low-flying owls had vans all of their own, of course.
Colette blinked, feeling her pupils begin to expand in the darkness of the van. At least, she assumed she was in a van. She could see next to nothing, and was lying on a cold, vibrating surface. An engine whined near her ear. She gulped.
She'd read the horror stories, of course. Hansel and Gretel. Snow White.
Sleeping Beauty. The beautiful heroine (her, obviously), was taken by some cruel male, seduced into a kiss, forced into marriage, or worse, turned into a raging criminal by burning innocent old ladies to death. Suddenly, she was drawn out of her comfortable reverie by a sudden jolt through her bones. The rumbling beneath her ceased and the van door slid open with an alarming sliding sound. Colette sat up as light streamed into her eyes. It fazed her so much that she didn’t see the chloroform doused rag before it was too late.
“You don’t know where you’ve going, do you?”
Christian tightened his grip on the steering wheel and hissed out through his teeth.
“You have absolutely no idea what to do, do you?”
Christian let out a small swear word.
“And you’ve no idea where your daughter might be, do you?”
Christian roared and slammed on the brakes. They stopped in the middle of the almost indistinguishable road, which ran slap bang through the middle of the highly distinguishable desert.
Emmanuel turned with a quizzical expression on his face as Christian let his head fall onto the steering wheel. His hair fell over his eyes and suddenly, he wished he’d brought beer. He pulled out a cigarette instead and rolled down the window, letting the gathering cloud of smoke float out into the air like a ghost. Emmanuel fiddled with his fingers, lacing them together, pulling them backwards and forward like it didn’t hurt. Christian felt slightly sick and slapped at Emmanuel’s hands.
“Stop that. Come on- you’re an angel. Can’t you just, I don’t know, magic her here?"
Emmanuel pondered this for some time, then finally, "No."
Christian let his head fall on the steering wheel again and moaned. Emmanuel watched him with the expression of a someone watching an extremely interesting television programme.
"I suppose I could always pray to God and see if he knows what happened. Although there's always the slight problem that he banished me from Heaven and wants nothing to do with me."
Christian raised his head slowly. "I thought you said that you... fell from Heaven? By accident?"
Emmanuel's eyes went wide. "Ah yes. So I did. Did I? Yes, I did. I must have. I did, didn't I? Or di- Christian, why on earth are you making that noise?"
Christian was laughing so hard that his eyes were watering. He wiped them on his flannel shirt. "An angel that lies. Emmanuel, the lying angel. Go on." Christian punched Emmanuel's arm. "Whatcha do to get banished?"
Emmanuel looked affronted. "It is of no consequence- Colette?."
"Colette. Are we not on a mission to find her?"
Christian nodded. "Oh yeah." he hoped that taking a cool attitude would mask the serpents of fear that writhed in his stomach. "Hey, follow the yellow brick road, right?"
Christian turned the radio up, revved the engine, and sped off in what he hoped was the direction Colette had been taken.
And high in the sky above them, cold eyes watched their every move.