Novella Excerpt – Ordinary World (Chapter 5)

After finishing this story, I present to you an excerpt from chapter 5.  This excerpt starts about 3/4ths into the chapter and goes all the way into the end.  I chose this excerpt because it’s the first real appearance of Cecil, who is my darling little cinnamon roll of a guardian angel.

Please enjoy.

The woods seemed particularly inviting that afternoon. The sun was shining, which made the snow glitter, and it looked especially beautiful against the bare black trees. Abigail stayed as quiet as she could while she walked through the snow, straining her ears for any hint of an angel’s song. It was silent for the longest time, and she thought about heading back when her face began to sting with cold, but then she heard the sound. The beautiful sound of an angel’s voice singing in the seclusion of the woods.

Abigail quietly made her way toward the sound, and it led her back to the place she had seen the angel the last time she had encountered him. He was there again, knelt down in the snow with his hands folded in front of him, his gray wings stretched out wide behind him. She took a deep breath at the sight of him and crouched down a little to watch and listen.

The song seemed to wrap around her and envelop her in warmth and comfort, though as she continued to listen to it, there was a sense of sadness about it. The way he was knelt down, he looked rather sad himself. Though Abigail did not want to scare him away or cause him to stop in his singing, she took a small step toward him.

The crunch of snow beneath her boots did not go unnoticed. He stopped in his singing at once and turned to her, his eyes wide. Before he could make a move, Abigail blurted out, “Please don’t run away! I… I want to talk to you.”

He stood up slowly, his muscles tensed, but he wasn’t making any move to run, at least not right away. “Talk?” he murmured in a quiet voice.

Abigail gazed at him for a long moment, then she nodded her head. “I’ve… heard you singing before. I like it, it’s really pretty.”

Singing?” He blinked at her and tilted his head, then he mumbled something under his breath. “Right, I guess it does sound like that to humans…”

Who are you?” Abigail asked. “My name’s Abigail, what’s yours?”

The angel hesitated a moment, his wings twitching, then he mumbled rather quietly, “Cecil.”

Why are you out here behind our house?” she asked. “And how come you ran away before?”

Cecil frowned at her, and he made a move as if to walk away from her, but then he sighed and slumped forward slightly. “I’m… I didn’t know I was this close to someone’s house, and for that I apologize. And for that matter I hadn’t meant to make myself visible to anyone.” He narrowed his eyes for a moment then pressed a hand to his face, sliding his fingers under the rims of his glasses to rub at his eyes.

Abigail took a small step toward him, a look of curiosity in her eyes. “Are you a real angel? Like a Christmas angel?”

Cecil peered at her through his fingers and tilted his head to the side. “I wouldn’t say I’m a Christmas angel, no, but I am an angel.”

I’ve never met an angel before.” She smiled at him a little. “Your wings are pretty.”

He peered over his shoulder at one of his wings and looked alarmed for just a moment, then he sighed and slumped his shoulders, his wings drooping just a little. “Are they? They’re not supposed to be this color, you know.”

They’re not? What color should they be, then?”

He pursed his lips then let out a deep breath, murmuring, “As white as the snow on the ground. Whiter than that, actually. The cleanest, brightest white you’ve ever seen.”

Then how come they’re not like that now?” she asked curiously, taking another step toward him.

Because…” His voice trailed off and he looked at one of his wings again. The dark gray feathers shimmered in the sunlight, and he took a small step away from her. “I’m… I’m sorry, I shouldn’t… you shouldn’t be talking to me.”

Wait a minute! Don’t go, please! I’m lonely.”

He stiffened and stared at her, moving his lips as if he were saying something, but no sound came out. Abigail took another few steps toward him, and Cecil backed up. He slowly reached one hand out to her and rested it on her shoulder. “I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t have even seen me here. This is all my fault.”

Please don’t go,” she asked again, her voice much softer than before. “Can’t we be friends?”

I…” He stared at her, eyes full of uncertainty. He gave her shoulder a little squeeze and whispered, “You should go home now. Your parents are probably wondering where you are.”

He stepped away from her and turned his back, and in the blink of an eye he had vanished. Abigail stood there for a long time before letting out a breath she had been holding and heading back home. She felt, however, that she would see him again.

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