Science Fiction

The snow falls, like angels who lose their wings. They brush the somber streets, alight with dull lamps that blink occasionally when a breeze flows through the cracks of the window covering the shivering bulb with a chill that can freeze a heart. “Misty times,”  said the mayor, “are upon us. We must take advantage of this fog as a time to spend with family and people close to us; if we ventured in the clouds of mystery, there wouldn’t be many alive as there are now.” The park was vastly empty, the creaking branches of oaks the only movement apart from the wind and snow flurry. Even now, at this time at night, the houses only stir with stifled snores, the lights in their lukewarm homes having been winked out, save a nightlight or a child awake, reading their book with relish under their covers. Soft fluttering snow was all that people had wanted all year, but now that they see its wonders, the community grows tired of it. They don’t appreciate the goodness of the snow. Except for two unique people who are outside, one of them young, the other old. One of them is waiting, the other is wondering. One sits on an old, forlorn bench with the plaque of a lost one to remember, while the other dances the angels who have lost their wings of flight. Let me tell you their stories.


I don’t see what everyone here feels about snow. It’s as if the moment they get it, they realise they never wanted it in the first place. They’ll be wondering about me not being home… but I have to wait. Just a few more minutes. She promised she would be here.

I am Vickard, a descendant of a French family of the Contes. Here in the city of Dureign, nothing is normal. The people aren’t normal. The predictions aren’t normal. Something is wrong. Sometimes, I give up. I end my worries, and try to end my life. It never works out. You see, this is a Monochrome Territory, like the weakly similar dystopian worlds authors seem to create in dull ways. This is real. This isn’t a fairytale. This is my life. Everything is controlled, stabilized to the maximum capacity. If you don’t obey, you get destroyed in court. LITERALLY destroyed. First, they use your thoughts that they group data on; then they pass onto your memories, and end it with gusto by taking them from you. They know that simply ending a life is a blessing to anyone who goes to court. They destroy you by explaining your abominable nightmares in full detail, or force you to watch your horrors in such a realistic way that you never forget. If you don’t end up surrendering and falling onto your trembling knees, begging for mercy, they consume your reputation, send your secrets to anyone’s access. That is why no one sought to end them. It’s because they know too much. They uncover too much. And the more it happens, the opportunities you get to end your miserable soul are minimised. How do I know all this? It’s because my daughter’s death was put on my wife, who was sent to the jury. I never saw her again, or anyone else had either. Except of course, for the Molis, which means ‘just’ in greek. No one agrees, but no one can disagree. Tonight, I am here to be pardoned by Melanie, and to be given either the wings of death, or the wings of life.


My hands are frostbitten cold, but I don’t see the point of going back in. The snow lights up the sky more than our dim lamps. I stick my tongue out, catching the snowflakes and turning them to water in seconds. Snow is so wonderful, I think to myself, hoping that the speaker on the lamps doesn’t sound the alarm of communication after curfew (rule 234). I don’t know who invented these laws, and I don’t want to know. 

Dumping my backpack onto the ground, I send a flurry of snow fluttering briefly before being carried by the wind. I search through it and find what I was looking for. Sighing, I gaze at it. Momma and Poppa, in a beautiful, ancient, carved frame. Their eyes regard mine, sweetly, murmuring their parenting love and safety. I hug them close, the smooth glass clinging tightly to my coat. I didn’t know why I didn’t get rid of the glass: it was banned, since last month when a man cut his throat with a splinter of the sharp material, killing himself instantly. But I knew that I was too careful for that. After one last look, I slide the picture into my bag. I fumble again, and grab a stolen chocolate bar from the canteen. I’m about to eat it, when I spot something in the fog. An outline, hunched on a bench. I take a step back, but then I freeze. The figure has seen me.


I’m breathing in the frosty air, inhaling the tangy, chilly snowflakes. I have to get back. She won’t be coming. I look up, trying to find my way back. Then, I see a shadow-like figure. It’s about to go back, but it sees me. I’m about to leave, when the figure speaks and walks forward to me, shrinking into a little girl, her blue eyes as beautiful as the snow on the faraway mountains. “Are you an angel?” she whispers.


“Are you an angel?” I whisper, taking in the pale, old man. He seemed to emit a kind of white, heavenly light, like a fallen angel. “Did you lose your wings?” The weazened man seemed as bewildered as me, but I couldn’t help asking him if he was supernatural. With no parents, and no guardians, what is not to ask? He leaned in, and murmured, “What is your name?” “Diona, though I had another name given to me by my parents before the Molis chose this one.”

He seemed to be calculating, taking in my appearance. That is when I remembered the chocolate. “Do you want it?” I ask, seeing if he was hungry. Well, I think he’s an angel, so maybe he will say yes, and eat it, since angels only eat honey, milk and chocolate. OBVIOUSLY chocolate. “Yes please,” he said, his eyes darting to my clutched confection. I gave it to him, and my heart gave a leap of excitement. He is a celestial messenger! I knew it! I simple broadly, as the angel nibbles some of the chocolate. “How old are you?” His voice is a bit croaky, like a frog who swallowed a fly alive. Angels don’t all have bell-like voices. “Two thousand, five hundred and fifty-five days old. What is heaven like?” He opens his mouth to answer, but the questions that have been building up in my head come bursting out: “You’re an angel? That’s amazing! I can’t believe it! How did you get here? Why did you lose your wings? Is heaven like how Earth used to be 17 million years ago? Can you remember when there were trees? What does the colour green really look like? If I were to fall on a cloud, would it take me to heaven, or would I just live there forever?” The angel’s eyes open wide with surprise, and I realise I haven’t said ‘sir’. “Sir.” I quickly add. His face softens, and a smile stretches on his face. He softly murmurs, like he’s speaking to himself, “Did you hear that, Melanie? She thinks I’m an angel.” The angel takes a faraway expression, like when I daydream. “Mr Angel,” I start to say, but he cuts me off. “Call me Vick.” 


It’s so strange, when you’re called an angel. You feel complimented, but also feel a pang of remorse that you can’t be what they want you to be. “So.... You’re not an angel?” The girl’s hands are white, the nails a little blue. “Here.” I slip my woolly gloves off and put them on her hands. She sighs in relief, the warmth getting back to her fingers. She’s wearing a grey coat that looks too big for her, and her feet are in black wellies. Poor infant. She must be very lonely. 

“No, I don’t think so. Thank you for the chocolate Fiona.” “It’s Diona!” She giggles, sitting next to me on the bench she has to hoist herself on to it, her feet dangling. The snow continues to fall, no sound coming from their fall. Diona pokes her tongue out, and tries to catch them. Her hair is uncovered, and snow nestles into her dark locks. White on black. I feel a tug on my sleeve. Diona is still sticking her tongue out. She points at herself and her tongue, then me. She wants me to do it too. I sigh, but the urging of the little girl gets my tongue to unroll, and my head to tilt back. We sit on the bench, catching the snowflakes on our tongues. 

A moment where we can forget that humanity has disgraced Mother Earth, a moment where we can forget our troubles. A moment that I can enjoy. I feel my body suspire, leaning back against the bench. I  feel myself leaving Diona, the Mortis, the grief, the pain. Diona is watching me, her eyes big with wonder. Then she smiles. “Good bye, Vick.” I wave goodbye. I’m about to ascend to them, to Melanie and Lola. I take a breath. I fly.


Vick is gone. I can see his body relaxed. He’s happy. I grin to the snow, and open my backpack. The picture is still there. “Mummy, Daddy, Vick is an angel. I knew he was! He’s like you! I wish I could come and see you, but I’m too young. And tomorrow the Mortis will be giving us new books! I hope there’s the second book of the Magic Faraway Tree. I love you guys. Please say hi to Vick from me.” I blink back tears. I kiss the cold glass, and hug the picture tightly. I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay like this, always wondering. I don’t want to be sad and lonely, like Greta. Greta is 3650 days old, and I wish she smiled more. She used to be my friend, but then she just… stopped. So did Eli. Agnes. Ruby. Tim. Bob. What have I done wrong? I take a breath. I’m okay. They chose to leave. I smile at the snow. I smile at Mum and Dad. They will never leave. Not really anyway. I put the picture back in my bag, zip it closed, and walk from the bench where Vick sleeps peacefully, an angel’s smile on his dormant face. 

Diona and Vick are two souls in a million. Two souls that the Mortis can’t get a grip on. 

Don’t let fear, shame or doubt take you from this world. You are loved.

September 18, 2020 18:32

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