Paranoia: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #16


Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.


paranoia, n.
1. Med. Originally: a delirium, dementia, or other disorder affecting the function of the mind. Later: mental illness characterized by a persistent delusional system, usually on the theme of persecution, exaggerated personal importance, or sexual fantasy or jealousy, often as a manifestation of schizophrenia.
2. More generally: any unjustified or excessive sense of fear; esp. an unreasonable fear of the actions or motives of others.

Today’s Story Segment:


The next morning, Rosario found Uriel awake and roaming the living room examining everything when he got up at five.  His wings weren’t in evidence, which Rosario assumed was because they would be out in public most of the day.

“I take it you don’t sleep much,” Rosario said.  He ran a hand through his hair, hoping he didn’t present too poor an image.  He had this strange desire to appear presentable in front of an angel.

“No,” Uriel replied, turning away from his examination of a table lamp to look at Rosario.  “We do quite well on only an hour or two of sleep per day.”

“I’ll definitely find you some books by tonight,” Rosario promised.  “I hope you weren’t too bored this time.”

“No, I have been exploring,” Uriel replied.  “There is so much in your home that I am unfamiliar with.”

“Just don’t stick your fingers in the slots in the plates on the wall.  They carry electricity and I wouldn’t want you to damage yourself accidentally,” Rosario said.  “Are there any specific kinds of books you would like.  General history seemed obvious enough, but would you also like information on technologies or local politics or any of that?”

“History will definitely be useful,” Uriel agreed, “however, I am unsure about any other topics specifically.  My goal is to become as familiar with this present era as possible.  As well as this location.  I do not even know the name of your city.”

“Most people refer to it as New York, but we’re technically in Jersey City.”

Uriel nodded.

“I’m going to get ready,” Rosario said.  “Breakfast should be up in about an hour and after that we’ll go to get you proper clothing and shoes.”

“I do not know if I was given currency from this era,” Uriel said.  “I was expecting coins, but all I have is a fold of leather with some papers in it.”

“We use paper money these days, so it’s possible you have what we need.  I can look with you at breakfast,” Rosario replied.  “And even if you have no funds, I’m happy to provide for you while you are here.  As far as we’ve been told, you are here to help me, and it would be poor repayment if I didn’t at least provide what you needed during your stay.”

Rosario went back into his bedroom before Uriel had a chance to respond.  He didn’t want to find out if the angel would try to object to him paying for things.

An hour later, over breakfast, Uriel handed him a slim leather wallet.  Rosario carefully examined the contents.

“You have a state issued ID in here, so you can move through places that require such things, but it doesn’t allow you to drive a vehicle, which I’ll explain to you when we go down, since we’ll take one to the store and my places of work.  You also have a hundred dollars.  If all you needed to do was feed yourself once a day that would last you a week or so depending on where you spent it.”

“I’m not sure I would know where or how to spend it,” Uriel replied as he took back the wallet.

“Savino and I will make sure you learn the basics so that you can fend for yourself if need be, but I’m also happy to keep you with me.  I can confess that the stated reason for you being here is giving me a slight case of paranoia about my own safety.”

“I will not allow harm to come to you if I can prevent it,” Uriel replied seriously.

“Of that I have no doubt,” Rosario replied with a smile.  “I simply need to remember that just because you will be needed, doesn’t mean I need to jump at every shadow in the meantime.”

“Remaining vigilant is wise, especially when one has been warned about danger,” Uriel said.  “However, becoming over fearful is not usually productive.”

“It is a balancing act,” Rosario replied.

Once they finished their breakfast, Rosario retrieved his suit jacket from the bedroom and lead Uriel out into the hallway.  Savino was waiting for them by the elevator.

“Good morning, brother,” Rosario greeted him.

“Good morning, brother,” Savino replied.  “And good morning, Uriel,” he added.  “I hope you have a restful night.”

“I rested well,” Uriel replied.

Rosario pushed the button for the elevator.  It came more quickly than it normally would since they were leaving half an hour early.  Rosario would have left even earlier if only there had been a store open before eight.  As it was, the shop was opening half an hour early for him.

They were silent as they moved into the elevator and rode it down to the ground floor.  Rosario lead the way to the left and down the long hall that led to the parking garage next door.

“These are vehicles or automobiles,” Rosario said as they moved into the echoing concrete space.  “The smaller ones are generally called cars,” he continued, pointing to one.  “The larger ones are either trucks or SUVs,” he said pointing those out as well.

“The metal conveyances,” Uriel said with a nod.  “I say these when I arrived, but did not have a word for them.”

“Humans use them for transportation,” Rosario went on.  “They’ve replaced horses, carts, and all other manner of animal drawn conveyances.”

Uriel nodded, looking carefully at each automobile they passed.

Rosario slowed his pace, letting the angel look his fill as they made their way down the row to where Rosario’s sedan was parked.

“This is mine, and the one we will ride in today,” Rosario said when they reached it.


3 thoughts on “Paranoia: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #16

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