*Nainika’s Note* This is NOT a series-Oh, who am I kidding. This is basically a series, isn’t it? All but in name. GhA. Enjoy :) EDIT: I'll change the middle portion...felt a bit rushed to me...idk if you feel the same
There was only one day in the year when demons have an edge over us angels. And it’s not even something that the Almighty had planned. It was purely human ingenuity. That I do suspect Asmodeus had a hand in pushing. Because that is just his scene. But this dreaded day wasn’t something that I could just forget. It's a day that the world rejoices when it comes around because they can have a day where pranks are everywhere and people fill the streets with laughter and fun and oh I hate it so much.
April Fool’s Day.
Back in 1582, France had the brilliant idea to switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The idea came from the Council of Trent, where both Asmodeus and I were in attendance, and..oh holy gods. That’s where he gave them the idea. Darn it.
Anyway, the start of the new year was moved from April 1st, the spring equinox, which followed the Hindu calendar, to January 1st. But there were a lot of people who didn’t realize that the date had changed, and they were referred to as “April Fools”. Thus, the tradition to prank on another on that day began.
But I hated the day so much. So, unlike the rest of the world, I made sure that I did good deeds on the 1st of April. However, a lot of people didn’t believe me. And often, my ideas of good deeds backfired poorly onto me. It wasn’t for lack of trying, it was just the fact that people become very suspicious of ‘good deeds’ on the first day of April.
Take America, 1775, for example. I gave the colonists the idea of separating themselves from Britain’s power-hungry rule, and they took my words with a grain of salt, turning the land west of the Atlantic into an eight-year revolution. Like...what?
And then France 1789. I gave Marie Antoinette the nice idea of giving the poor peasants cake for her glamorous party. But instead, they overheard her jesting proclamation, stormed the Bastille, started a decade-long war, and chopped poor Marie’s head off. I felt bad about that for years.
So, even though I mean well, it doesn’t quite work out the way I want it to happen. But I keep trying. An angel can never do the wrong thing. I think.
The first of April started off with a bang. A literal bang. Angels don’t sleep, so I was reading a magazine when I heard my downstairs neighbor shriek in either excitement or fear as a party popper exploded somewhere near her. Her boyfriend, probably. The one with a Stanford degree in engineering, who turns into a pile of mush around his long-time girlfriend who graduated from a community college with a degree in liberal arts. And yes, I have too much time on my hands and study my fellow Chicagoan neighbors. I’m an immortal angel. I can do what I want.
“April Fool’s!” He yelled, and I could hear it even from a floor up. I rolled my eyes and snapped my fingers. The prank that had caused her to scream had been replaced with a dozen fluffy puppies, because who could resist those? I heard confused gasps, but the overwhelming cuteness of those puppies won the two over and I couldn’t hear any more sounds. Satisfied, I didn’t even notice a shadowy figure lurking self-righteously behind me. I caught sight of him in the mirror and jumped.
“God, demon. Don’t scare me.” I said, turning to face him. His eyebrows quirked.
“You know what day it is?” He asked in a low voice. I rolled my eyes, walking to my gigantic closet and grabbing a cream scarf. I pulled on my fluffy boots and swung my off-white jacket around me.
“If you say it, I won’t talk to you all day.” I retorted. He grinned.
“Fine, I won’t say it. But watch where you’re going.” He said. I looked over my shoulder at him and failed to notice the trap in front of me. I walked straight into cling-wrap rolled around the door frame. Shrieking, I batted it away, but slipped on my hard-wood floors and fell flat on my back, the cling-wrap still covering my face. Asmodeus leaned over me and smirked. “What’d I tell you?” He asked.
I growled and snapped my fingers, turning his sunglasses into a small black kitten that meowled in fear and dug its tiny claws into his nose. With a yelp, my demon slipped on the floor and landed in the same place I was. I laughed at the expression on his face and turned the kitten back into his sunglasses.
“Payback,” I said. He looked at me.
“I thought you angels didn’t do that sort of thing?” He asked. I shrugged.
“I guess you’ve rubbed off on me,” I said vaguely, not seeing his strange expression as I got up. “Are we going?” I asked. Every year on...today, we had a tiny competition to see whose influence was greater. Most of the time he won, only because my good deeds backfired on me.
We walked out of my apartment and down the stairs. By unspoken agreement, we didn’t trust elevators. Something to do with Betty Lou Oliver and the Empire State Building elevator. My next-door neighbor was coming up as we were going down, holding a bunch of flowers in his hand. I caught the tripwire in the bunch and snapped my fingers, turning the false flower squirter into an engagement ring. True, he would be surprised, but his long-time boyfriend would thank me for it.
Asmodeus smirked at me, no doubt noticing my attempt at a good deed.
“It’s not going to work out, you know?” He said. I glowered at him.
“And you can say that for a fact?” I asked. He nodded, smirking even more. I gasped. “Don’t you-” I started, but he’d already snapped his fingers. I paused on the steps at the howl of fear coming from my neighbor’s boyfriend. “What’d you do?” I demanded. Asmodeus laughed.
"Just made that ring into a hairy tarantula. Larry's confused but Micah is absolutely terrified." He said. I groaned. See what I mean about backfiring? He's incorrigible. But he's a demon, so what did I expect?
"You....suck," I said, struggling not to swear. My demon only laughed harder.
"It's April-" He started, but I punched him squarely in the stomach, making him double over.
"You say it and I do it again," I vowed, glaring into his sunglasses. He only winked at me.
"I can't change the date, angel. I can only embrace it." He said. We reached the bottom of the steps and I pushed open the front door. The brisk wind nearly took my breath away and I tightened my shawl around me. The sky was bright blue, wisps of clouds floating high above us, but the wind off Lake Michigan was chilling as always. It didn't matter that we'd lived in the city for over fifty years, the cold always got to me.
"Where to, Cielo?" He asked as we turned down Monroe. I shrugged.
"Buckingham Fountain? Shedd Aquarium? Lakeshore Drive?" I said. He mused.
"Eckhart Park?" He asked. I rolled my eyes.
"Again?" I asked. He smirked.
"Fine then, you pick." He said. We walked down Monroe in silence as I thought about where to go.
"How about just wherever we end up?" I asked. Asmodeus side-eyed me.
"Oookay then." He said. I smiled. Okay then.
We walked for a bit, enjoying the fresh air. We got hot chestnuts from a vendor off Park and Lake, and we clutched them as we walked further down Michigan. As we were crossing Wacker Drive, I noticed a man sneaking up behind a woman, presumably his partner or relative. I swallowed my mouthful of food and snapped my fingers, putting a very pretty necklace in his hands in place of the prank he had. She turned to him with a surprised look and pressed a kiss to his lips. Fawning over the necklace, she made him put it on, and his confused look turned into one of pride. See? Not everything backfires.
Asmodeus glared at me. “Stop it.” He said. I blinked.
“What?” I asked. He motioned to the couple.
“Being...good today. It’s-” He paused at my glower. “You know, that day. Let them enjoy it.” He complained. I shook my head.
“No can do, demon. It’s in my nature.” I said matter-of-factly. He groaned.
“Why do I even bother?” He muttered to himself. I smirked. Because he couldn’t help it.
The day passed much like the morning. I prevented six other people from pranks and practical jokes, and only one of them Asmodeus prevented. Instead of the water gun the woman was holding, he put a real gun in her hand. I quickly elbowed him and he put the water gun back, slightly disappointed. The woman didn’t even notice, but I made sure her opponent was dressed in waterproof clothes.
It’s the simple things.
We walked back to my apartment, Asmodeus sulking at the end of his favorite day, and me glowing because I had done good deeds in place of pranks. No, really. I was literally glowing. My warm caramel skin turned a milky white and Asmodeus quickly shoved me into a dark alleyway to make sure I didn’t startle people.
“You’re glowing.” He hissed as I blinked, confused, up at him. I looked down at my skin and smothered a gasp.
“This shouldn’t be happening,” I whispered, trying to put a damper on the glow.
“Do something about it.” He said, peeking around to make sure nobody else was around. I patted my arm like a fool, and nothing happened.
“What do I do?” I said. He looked at me.
“I’m not an angel. How the hell should I know?” He asked, but sighed at the look on my face. “Uh...try thinking negative thoughts.” He said. I blinked.
“What? I don’t think negative thoughts, you…..dolt. It’s not in the job description!” I shot back. He rolled his eyes.
“Well, la dee da. Do something, and do it fast. People are gonna ask questions.” He said. An idea came to me.
“That’s it!” I said excitedly.
“What?” He asked.
“April Fools. They’ll think I was the victim of a very good prank, as much as I hate to say that.” I said. He looked at me doubtfully.
“You think that’ll work?” He asked. I nodded.
“I’m sure of it. But you owe me for that.” I added. He scowled.
“For what? It wasn’t even my fault-” He started, but I yanked him out of the alley. As predicted, people stared, but I laughed it off.
“He got me good!” I said conspiratorily to one shocked woman. She grinned.
“I can see that.” She laughed. After she passed, I snapped my fingers and made her young daughter at home get accepted into the children’s hospital and put some extra money in her bank account. The poor lady deserved it.
After we reached my apartment, the glow faded. With a sigh, I turned to my demon.
“What was your favorite part about today?” I asked. He choked back a laugh. “What?!” I asked, elbowing him.
“I’ll never forget that you had to pretend to be a pranked person.” He snickered. I rolled my eyes.
“Yeah, well, you’ll have to wait another year for this chance again, demon,” I said, pulling open my front door. I heard his low voice over my shoulder.
“That’s what you think.”