“Peter please don’t go!” Mia sobbed into the sleeve of her white lacy dress.
Peter closed the door with a sigh and came to stand beside his fiancée, cupping his hands around her face. “Mia, my love, do not cry. I have been summoned to war, yes, but I will only be gone for a few months. I promise I will see you soon.” And with that he disappeared through the door.
Mia wiped her cheek with the palm of her hand and stretched her wings. She had better check on her sister, Lydia.
“No!” Mia heard her oldest sister screaming, “You can’t go! No!”
“I love you.” was her husband’s rushed reply before he breezed out the door and past Mia.
“Great.” Mia groaned as she entered Lydia’s living room. “Lydia? It’s me, Mia. Where are you?”
“Go away.” Her sister replied from the couch.
“He’s gone, Mia. Evan is gone-” she choked and daubed at her flooded green eyes.
“So is Peter. But, but don’t worry; they’ll only be gone a few months.”
“They might die.” Her sister shrugged bitterly, “But yeah, they’ll be back.”
“Lydia! Don’t you ever think like that!” Mia scolded, “We must think about, about… Dawn!” In all the panicked rush of things, they had forgotten about their middle sister who was having her own trouble.
“Do you have to go?” Dawn breathed into the shoulder of Joseph’s blue and gold shirt. “Dawn, I am a guardian angel, it is my duty. Besides, you shouldn’t worry about me; I will be very careful, alright?”
Dawn met her husband’s eyes and smiled, “Promise?”
He chuckled, “Do I have to?”
Joseph kissed Dawn’s forehead and before he left he whispered, “I promise I will be back for you.”
Once alone, Dawn rose from the balcony futon and entered the kitchen to be bowled over by her two sisters.
“Dawn!” they both yelped in sync. “Did, did Joseph-?”
“Stop stuttering!” Dawn demanded as she sat up rubbing her now-throbbing head. “Yes, Joseph is gone. Why? What’s wrong?”
“Oh, Dawn! So is Peter.” Mia whimpered.
“And Evan left for duty also.” Lydia sighed, trying to compose her emotions.
Dawn took a hand of each sister and smiled encouragingly, “Don’t be sad. We’re angels; have faith. They will be back. I mean; they’re guardian angels, it’s what they do.”
It got very quiet in the room as the girls prayed.
“Now,” Lydia said with a brighter look on things, “Let us go fix a celebration feast. For today, our loved ones have left for duty. But no matter where they may be, they will be in our hearts and our dreams tonight.”
Three months later.
“Dawn, Mia! We have mail!” Lydia shouted impatiently up the staircase. “Hurry! It’s from the outpost where Evan, Peter, and Joseph are!”
The girls rushed down the stairs and waited impatiently.
Mia pulled the letter out of the envelop and read out loud, “’Mia Dodson and Lydia Finlay; we are sorry to inform you that Peter Green and Evan Finlay have been missing in action for quite some time. Our dearest apologies. Dawn Barker; we are sorry to inform you that Joseph Barker has been lost to the demon forces. He will be forever in our hearts.’”
Dawn was swallowed up by shock.
“Could this be wrong?” Lydia whispered as she jerked the letter away from Mia.
“What can we do? I mean, Peter and Evan are alive, maybe we could…”
“What?” Dawn came back to reality, “Yes! Mia you’re a genius! We will go ask the High Council to help us! Let us make haste and go!”
“But, Council, please send some guardian angels to find our loved ones.”
“For the last time, my angels, we cannot do such a thing. It would be a suicide mission! I understand your discomfort and sorrow, but—”
“Then let us go!” Dawn cried out with frustration, “We will find our husbands.”
“And fiancée.” Mia added softly.
“Mrs. Barker; I hear your husband is no longer alive. There would be no reason for you to go anyway. And for the rest of you, only guardian angels can leave this realm to go to earth. Understand? The Council forbids it.”
“The Council is not God!” Dawn shouted as she gathered her sisters and left the room.
Once outside, Dawn pulled out a golden dagger and tried to pierce the cloud that they were standing on. The other girls got the idea so they grabbed their daggers and started digging.
A strange rumbling sound shattered the silence and the girls looked at each other, then they were falling.
“Use your wings!” Lydia instructed, always clear headed.
Dawn stretched her wings and a sharp pain hit. Her wing was broken! “Don’t! Don’t use your wings; we’re going too fast!” She shouted to the other girls.
In what seemed to take forever the ground came into view.
Before they hit the ground, a blue shield surrounded each girl, protecting them from the fall.
Several minutes later, Dawn awoke and ran to Mia’s side, and then to Lydia’s. Worry creased her forehead as she studied both girls. What were these strange black marks on her sisters?
“They’re runes,” came the answer.
Dawn turned quickly to find a man staring at her over the top of a shovel. What a strange looking angel! He wore a dirty striped blue shirt, dark blue, and seemingly rough looking, pants, and the strangest thing sat on his head. “What is that?” she gasped, pointing to his head.
He smiled, “That’s my cowboy hat.”
She looked at him with saucer sized eyes. “What? And where are your wings?”
He rested the side of his scruffy face against the end of his shovel, “I ain’t no angel, missy. The name’s Bridger.”
“Then you are a demon? That is the only thing that exists other than angels. And Dawn is my name. Not missy.”
“Look Dawn, I’ll make the long story a short one; I am a human, we exist between angels and demons, I know about runes and angels and stuff like that because your husband told me about them.”
Dawn’s heart jumped, “Joseph’s alive? Where is he? I must see him!”
“He was nearly killed by demons. I took him in, took care of him for a week or so, and then the demons came back. I had left to get supplies and when I came back, Joseph was gone.”
“He’s still alive.” Was all Dawn could say.
“Dawn, get back!” Lydia shouted as she flung herself towards Bridger.
“No, Lydia! He’s not a demon! He’s a human, and he knows where to find our husbands.”
Lydia crashed into Bridger but made no attempt to hurt him, “A, a human? I’ve only heard of them in stories.”
Bridger scoffed, “Same here, until recently.”
Lydia blushed and rolled off of him.
Bridger stood back up and dusted himself off, “And as for you, Dawn, I never said I knew where the demons took your husbands.”
“But you will help us, won’t you?” Dawn smiled and batted her eyes.
Bridger sighed, “Well heck. I guess I could track the demons for you girls.”
He got bowled over again by Mia who had been listening, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” She kissed him on the cheek and he grinned, “No problem.”
Mia looked at Dawn and shrieked, “What is on your arm and shoulder? Lydia! You have black around your eyes and something on your hand! Oh no! Look I have one on my wrist!”
“Mia,” Dawn sat down beside her youngest sister, “Its okay. They’re just runes.”
She looked at Bridger for help. He rolled his eyes, “Yeah, runes. They’re marks that show up when an angel has disobeyed the law, or something. They also aid in protection and skill. That is, if Joseph wasn’t mumbling about some sort of nonsense.”
“Joseph doesn’t talk nonsense. What he says it is, it is.”
“Dawn, Joseph was in some bad shape for a while. Nonsense talk happens to people who don’t feel so good. They tend to mumble.”
Dawn glared, “Whatever.”
Bridger stood up, “You have quite the mouth don’t you? As a matter of fact, you ain’t an angel at all. I figure you’re a fallen angel. In other words,” He leaned close to her, “You ain’t perfect. None of you are. I think that’s what I’m going to call you girls; Fallen Angels.”
The girls were speechless.
Bridger smiled, “Let’s go, Fallen Angels.”
No one had ever said anything so rude to them. Besides, there was no such thing as fallen angels.
Well now there was.
As they walked Bridger kept looking at Dawn through the corner of his eye, then he would shrug.
“What are you starring at?” She demanded after a while.
He chuckled but didn’t turn, “I just don’t see Joseph being your type.”
“Oh yeah? Then who is my type?”
He ignored her, “Lucky for you girls, I kind of like Joseph, I started tracking the demons a few days ago. And I was catching up too, that is, before I ran into you. Anyway, we should get close enough to snatch our men tomorrow at noon.”
Mia’s ears rang with the sound of Peter’s voice, ‘I promise I will see you again.’ was his last words to her. “I hope they’re okay.” She whispered to Lydia with a hopeful smile.
Lydia smiled back, “I’m sure they are, Mia. I’m sure they are.”
That afternoon, they made camp and Bridger took Lydia by the hand and led her deep into the darkness. “Can you see me, Lydia?”
“No.” she squeaked, “I don’t like this.”
“Hush.” He instructed, “Focus. Don’t look at the dark, look into it.”
Lydia’s tried to slow her ragged breath as she tried to look further. She finally gasped, “I see you! Well, your outline anyway.”
“That’s good. Now, hit me.”
“That’s not a good idea. I’m going back to camp now.”
“Do it, Lydia. I know you can.”
She reached out and lightly pushed his shoulder.
“Harder. If you can disobey the Council, you can hit me. Or are you just a chicken?”
How did he know so much?
“Names like that aren’t nice. Besides I am not a bird.” Lydia stuck her nose in the air and turned to leave. Bridger roughly grabbed her by the arm and jerked her back.
“Really?” He mocked, “Because you have wings like one. Yeah, you’re nothing but a–”
Her pupils started glowing and Bridger fell to the ground in pain.
“Oh my goodness! Are you alright? Where does it hurt?”
He groaned, “Everywhere.”
“What happened? Why did I do that?”
“A little thing called anger. I made you mad by hurting you and calling you names. That was pretty good. I think you girls are okay without me trying to teach you how to fight. Just remember to be mad.”
Bridger got to his feet slowly, feeling the soreness, and went back to camp.
After a restless night and a long day, Bridger and the girls found themselves beside the demon’s campsite.
“Well girls. I’m sorry to leave you like this, but this is your fight now. Take care and save those men.”
“But, but-” Mia started to object. But realization hit the girls; Bridger would die if he even tried to fight a demon.
A tear streamed down Dawn’s cheek, she had found a place for this rugged young human in her heart.
“Goodbye, Bridger.” She whispered as she hugged his shoulder awkwardly.
“Goodbye, Fallen Angel.” He murmured as he pulled away to hug the other girls.
Then Bridger disappeared into the darkness.
Lydia sighed, “Well, what are we waiting for? And remember girls; be angry. Mia, you’ll stay out of sight and go free Evan and the others. Dawn and I will distract the demons, okay?”
Mia and Dawn nodded and Mia watched as her older sisters crept into the center of the camp.
A large, eight legged demon slept noisily in front of a large tent.
Dawn snickered and nudged the monster so it awoke, and then teased, “Um, excuse me, I’m lost would you help me?”
The demon shrieked and a dozen more surrounded the girls. In between the demons shrills, Dawn and Lydia heard muffled voices; their husbands.
Dawn’s heart raced as she imagined the limp form of Joseph. There was a strange tingling at the back of her head and, before her eyes, the demons fell lifeless to the ground. Twice as many demons appeared and Dawn grabbed Lydia’s hand.
“Ready?” She asked breathlessly.
“I’m ready to see my husband.” Lydia confirmed.
A bright blue light covered the girls and when it faded, in the place of the demons, stood Mia, Peter, and Evan.
Lydia rushed to Evan’s side and Dawn was filled with confusion, “Where’s Joseph?”
An amused chuckle came from behind her, “I almost thought you’d forget about me.” Dawn turned to look at Bridger, “What?”
He closed in on her and crushed her in a hug, “I love you, Dawn.”
Dawn pulled back to look at him, “I don’t understand. You’re not my husband.”
Bridger smiled, “Yes, I am. This is what happens when an angel dies; they become human. Unfortunately, I now have some behaviors that are a bit rude.”
After looking more closely, Dawn could see the soft side of this rugged man, Joseph’s side.
“Joseph!” she looped her arms around his neck, “I love you.”
“Dawn, my love, it’s not Joseph anymore. But no matter what my name is, my heart will always be yours.”
Because the girls disobeyed the Council, they could not go back to their perfect houses, so they stayed on earth.
Lydia and Evan moved to Montana where they had five children. One of which found the first known gold in the country.
Mia and Peter got married and three years later got a pardon from the Council and they went back to their heavenly realm.
Dawn and Bridger settled down in New Mexico and had two children. People today claim to have seen a cowboy and an angel, but the question is; was it a Fallen Angel?
Created for my Fallen Angel Collection of plates.
Can be bought at etsy.com.