This came up on my news feed from Jan 2014 and I’m sharing again as the feedback I received for this piece blew me away (and still does) and because I fell in love with it all over again as I read.
I miss the flash fiction circuit I belonged to. I know a few of the sites are back in business so I now have to find the time between essays and lesson obs to write for them. This piece has inspired me. Enjoy.
Simone’s Night Off
I wander around, dressed for the occasion but no one sees me. But they know I’m there, can feel my presence for I am a Guardian Angel. I rest a comforting hand on heavy shoulders, I sooth a sick brow. I am only seen by those moving on upstairs as I lead them on their way. Tonight I am at an office party. I love the atmosphere of parties. Everyone is smiling, conversation flowing, sparkling dresses twirling. No one will see me tonight though. I just feel like being somewhere full of laughter and life where a Guardian Angel isn’t needed, where no one is moving on. Even I need to relax sometimes.
I stand alone, silently watching the flirting, the politics, the laughter. But one person isn’t laughing at the witty joke cracked by Ian in accounts. He doesn’t wear a smile on his stern looking face. His eyes are dark and stare ahead . . . at me. I turn around, but no one is behind me. I turn back to him and he’s walking towards me. In my two hundred years of being a Guardian Angel, I have never been seen unless by the dead or dying. He is neither.
“Hi.” His voice shocks me, not because its weird or funny because it isn’t. No one has ever spoken to me, no living human anyway and I am visibly startled.
“Hi,” is all I can say even though a thousand questions are on the tip of my tongue.
“Great party isn’t it?”
“Leo.” He holds out his hand.
My hand slips into his and I feel the warmth, so welcoming. “Simone.”
“Care to dance?” We walk to the dance floor and he smoothly places an arm around my bare back, his hand feels hot against my skin. He leans in close, pulling me in tight. And we move gently as I rest my head on his chest. I can’t describe how the touch of another makes me feel. For so long, I’ve been alone.
For the rest of the party, Leo and I are inseparable. I don’t want it to end. But apparently, it already has as I realise we’re alone.
“So, you can see me?” I finally ask.
“I sure can, every inch.”
As an angel, I can’t blush but his remark sends fuzzy feelings whizzing through me that I try to ignore.“How?”
He shrugs, pouring the remnants of a champagne bottle into a glass. “I guess I’m in tune with the universe or something like that.” He laughs, and empties the glass in one gulp.
“You know what I am?”
“Yes I do. Which is why I haven’t offered you a drink all evening. I know you don’t need to eat or drink. I know you don’t get the chance to feel the touch of a man,” he says softly, stroking my cheek. “I also know that you long to be kissed,” he whispers as he tips my chin up to meet him. Anticipation rises; after a drought of two hundred years, it’s to be expected and when our lips meet, I feel as light as a cloud, floating on air.
“So, this is what it feels like to have your halo slip.” I laugh. “I’m so going to get into trouble for this.”
“I think you’ll find you’re already in trouble, Simone.”
“I mean with my boss, not you,” I joke looking up at him. The smile fades from my face as the eyes staring back at me glow red. I try to pull back but he clutches hold of me, his hand burning into my arm. I cry as my flesh sears.
“You see, I’m very much like you, Simone. I am also not seen by humans. But unlike you, I work for him downstairs. My job is to bring despair by ridding the world of hope which means ridding the world of angels and as gorgeous as you are, Simone, that means you.”
The pain is acute, a quick blow. Looking down, I see the bloody blade being pulled slowly from me, a crimson stain rapidly spreading across my white beaded dress. Leo holds me, laying me gently on the floor where we’d danced all night.
“Sorry, Simone, it’s nothing personal, just doing what I do,” he whispers, gently pressing his lips against mine. I know my last breath is leaving me. I know the last thing my blue eyes will see is him, Leo. I see his hand glide down my dress, pulling off a bead and slipping it into his pocket. He gives me one last look before vanishing, leaving me to the unknown.
The original link (the prompt pic has been removed. It was a snippet of a gorgeous beaded white dress)