The Angel's Touch
by Dennis Danvers
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
-- Luke 12:6-7
The elevator stops on three as I'm going up, and an angel gets on. He has a
terrible time finding room for his wings and arranging them to his satisfaction,
standing right up by the buttons to make room for them, and they still bump
against the ceiling. He smells sweet and funky like singed feathers baked in
honey, and he glows like the elevator buttons. I huddle in the other front corner
and try to act casual. He follows me off at six and down the hall, all the way to my
"Brian Stark," he says. "I'd like a word with you."
"You have the wrong guy," I say, sliding the key in the lock, turning it, and
leaning on the door. But the door won't budge, not one little bit, like a brick wall.
"No, I don't," he says. "Don't lie to an angel. It angers us." He brushes my cheek
with the feather tip of his glowing wing, and I scream, or try to. The scream won't
budge either, lodged in my throat like a cork in a bottle, and I strangle on my pain.
I brushed up against a Portuguese man-o-war once in the Gulf. That was a lover's
kiss compared to the angel's touch. "I've come to ask you a few questions about
Melanie Waters. Are you going to let me in or not?" He smirks, sniffs. "You
have free will, after all. Yes, or no?"
"Yes," I gasp. My door flies open, and I fall into my apartment screaming.
He steps over me and slams the door behind him. He frowns at the ceiling fan
whirling lazily near one wing and it stops dead, the paddles falling like a blossom
wilting. He stands with his back to the sofa against the long wall and spreads out
his wings, knocking over a table lamp with a crash and then crushing the glass on
my Monet print. He rests his wings on the back of the sofa and seems to relax a
little. I stand before him and tremble.