It is hard to be alive when you live with wings.

For the 24 Hours In Bone City competition.

1. Flight

My hand holds the glass banister, as I slowly make my way down the large marble steps. My long dress drags on behind me, dripping off of every step, until my bare feet stop at the bottom of the staircase. I am in the main hall of Blissery, the place just beneath the well known Heaven. The main hall is busy, full of bustling secretaries in beautiful white silk dresses, and Guiders in pale blue suites. It's amazing to see the place so full of life, and to the normal human this would be like an ordinary office workplace, but it is not. It is much more special, and has a lot more meaning. Blissery is where good souls are given to those who are guilty, and deserve a second chance to have a good life. The good souls are collected from those who have lived and died a faithful life.

'Jasmine Flyheart, it is just amazing to see you here again.'

My thoughts cloud, and I turn my attention to Miss Leavelee. She smiles at me with kindness and warmth, and it is hard to resist the urge to smile back. I release the tention in my face, and give her a show of my gleaming white teeth. Then my smile fades, and I look down at the folder that she had pinned across her chest.

'You have an assignment for me, don't you, Miss Leavelee.'

She nods, letting her blond bun on the top of her head wobble. Then she lets the folder fall from her chest to the gap between myself and herself. She opens it up, and flicks through the many sheets of crisp white paper, until she finally stops. Then she carefully slips the paper out, and hands it over to me.

'You should know how the list works by now. Would you like me to run through it with you anyway?'

'No thank you, Miss Leavelee. I'd like to try this by myself. All your help had been absolutely amazing, and it's be just great if I can follow in your steps one day.'

I can't help smiling. She is the loveliest lady, and the greatest of Leaders. She is trained especially for helping young Wingz such as myself. Wingz are a special group of girls who fly between Blissery and Hell. We collect bad souls and replace them with the good. The only bad part of my job is the fact that I have to go to Hell, where the Keepers are fierce, and have fireballs ready in the palms of their hands. They do not like Wingz. If we were not so special, we would be dead within ten seconds flat. It is such a horrible thought, that I let it go, and let my eyes scan the paper I now have in my hands.

'The only one you should be a little cautious of, is that one.'

Miss Leavelee points her fore finger to a name printed in deep black. The bold ones are the more frightful souls. They tend to run and scream, and sometimes attempt suicide. But as a Wingz, I know how to control and take care of the situation. I simply sing to sooth them, relax them. It sends them into a deep trance, and I can gently pluck the guilty soul and replace it with a good one, before taking the bad one to Hell, where the Keepers take them and burn them. They hate that job, because it mean less bad souls to take in. It's actually quite surprising how well the good and the evil can work together.

'You can head off now' Miss Leavelee hints, and somewhere in her voice I can sense that she knows I am thinking bad thoughts. I nod, and leave.

I walk past the main desk, my dress following behind. When I am outside of the building, I look back down at the sheet. Today I have three souls to collect and replace, then the three bad ones to send to Hell. It is usually an easy job, but as I said before, there are a few tricky ones. Nothing I cannot handle, though.

I make my way over to the cloud transporter. I stand on top of the cloud, and release all negative energy. That can slow down the cloud, and can sometimes mess up my ability to collect souls. I fall suddenly, until I stop, and am floating in the middle of a crowded street. My wings break free from my shoulder blades, and keep me levitating. People brush by, un aware that I am here. Un aware that I can save them from who they used to be.


The final soul of the day. The trickiest, Miss Leavelee told me. I look down at the paper, then back up. I am in front of a towering block of flats, listening to the pounding of strong and un tasteful music, and the loud and ferocious barks of dogs. It is hard for me to feel pretty when I am in a place like this. It makes me feel scared and out of control, and I hate that. I am the one who has to be in control all the time when I am dealing with souls. They are special, and delicate. If one of them is to be misplaced, who knows what will happen. I will be stripped from my Wingz club, and will be forced back down to Earth with no memory of what I have been doing for these few months of my life. It took me ages to work up the ability to grown wings, and now that I have them, I have to be loyal, and keep to my duties.

I am getting distracted. I cannot keep this up.

I float through the flats, and am at a random floor. No, this is not the place. It is the one above that I need. Slowly, and with patience, I cross the floors, and pause in a bedroom. It is occupied with a female, who is sleeping under the covers. I can hear her light snoring, as she inhales and exhales. It is sweet to watch her so peaceful and calm, but now is the time.

I can do this without waking her. Easy.

I float over to her, and reach down. I pluck the soul, and pick it up. I cradle her in my arms. She is no heavier then a feather. Slowly I place her down onto the floor, and reach inside my bag for the small good soul. I place it gently inside her heart, and watch as she shivers, and shoots up right. She can see me now. She is staring. She is not over-reacting like Miss Leavelee said.

'You came.'

I begin to sing. It is light and in tune, and I watch her smile, and curl up once again. I prefer my Good Souls to be asleep. This way they will not remember. It is sad to see her forget, but she is no longer any use to me. I came, collected, replaced. That is my job.

I lift her old soul back up. Then with a deep breath, I concentrate. That is when I shoot down through the flats, but do not stop at the bottom. I fall through the earth, faster and faster, until finally, I hover just above lava. It's nice to see the Keepers attempt to kill again. Ugh.

'Here' I say, passing over the soul to a man with a red face, and a horn on one side of his head. He holds fire in his eyes, letting it burn and flash before me, as the flames lick up the soul. He smiles as if his day is complete.

'Be off.'

He glares at me, letting me quiver inside. I narrow my eyes, and flash out of there as fast as I possibly can. I do not like Hell. And neither should you.


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