I selected the image of a snowy Dundee, Scotland for my twenty-minute sprint this week and decided to bring back a character from my A to Z story from April while I was at it.
Uriel landed on the stoop of number seven. Once again he’d been sent down to the world of men to find someone. Glancing down at himself, he’d even been given the same physical form as his last trip. That was unusual. Michael had said it was four years later, as the human’s tracked it, then his last trip.
He’d been sent with very different clothing this time. He had long, warm pants, a thick shirt, and a heavy jacket that hung down to his knees. It was considerably colder than last time. Uriel concentrated and took a brief step out of time so that he wouldn’t be visible to those moving about on the street. Michael had told him that he should wait at the door to number seven until it’s occupant returned home. Uriel thought it would be best to allow them to have a chance to go inside before Uriel knocked on the door rather than surprising them on their own stoop.
It was early evening, and the snow was falling gently through the air to settle over everything.
Uriel watched as the white flakes slowly accumulated. He continued to watch as young people walking up and down the street disturbed the snow. One person walked up toward the stoop where he waiting, but they went into number six. A few hours later they came out again.
By this time the streetlights had come on and the hush of night was descending over the neighborhood.
Uriel continued to keep watch.
He was still there the next morning, when a familiar figure turned up the walk, one hand rummaging in a pocket.
Avery had grown into his lanky frame in the intervening years.
Uriel stepped back into the flow of time as Avery looked up again.
Avery’s mouth dropped open in surprise, but he didn’t stop walking as he pulled a key out of his pocket.
“I never thought I’d see you again,” Avery said softly as he joined Uriel on the porch.
“I am sorry I had to leave so quickly before,” Uriel replied. He hadn’t liked leaving like that. He’d wanted to explain things to Avery as well as Rosario.
“You didn’t have much of a choice I’m guessing,” Avery said as he unlocked the door.
“When I am called home, I must go,” Uriel replied.
“Come on in,” Avery said as he pushed open the door.
Uriel felt the tingle of magic as he stepped into Avery’s flat.
“I’ve learned a lot since you told me not to doubt my own abilities,” Avery said with a small smile. “I make a kind of warding spell on anywhere I live now. It keeps the nightmares outside.”
“I can see why they wanted me to come,” Uriel said.
“Am I breaking the rules?” Avery asked.
“No,” Uriel replied. “I am not here to punish you.” His Lord didn’t send them to mete out punishments, at least not in a few millennia. Mostly, he was sent to help humans.
“So why are you here this time?” Avery asked.
“My instructions were to wait on the stoop for the occupant of the house, and to assist with what they would encounter this day.”
“Encounter?” Avery asked. “That sounds ominous.”
“I am not given more information than I need.”
“So I just go about my day like I was planning to?” Avery asked, tilting his head to one side as he studied Uriel. “You’re just going to follow me around?”
“I do not have to be visible to be with you,” Uriel replied. Avery already knew he was something other than human. Uriel wasn’t sure if Rosario would have told Avery that Uriel was an angel or not.
“Like you weren’t visible on my porch?” Avery asked, grinning now. “‘Cause you weren’t there when I turned up, but you were when I got to the stairs.”
“Yes,” Uriel admitted. He hadn’t thought Avery would notice.
“That might be better,” Avery said. “I have a meeting with some classmates to work on a project, then I’m meeting a friend at a pub for dinner. Having you join us for dinner won’t seem that weird, but the classwork thing would be awkward.”
“I will remain unseen, but remain close so I can be of assistance if needed,” Uriel replied.
“Great,” Avery answered. “But before that, I need breakfast and a shower. I hadn’t actually planned to crash on the couch last night, but Kelly didn’t want to wake me up after I had.”
“I will wait,” Uriel replied.
“Alright then,” Avery said before disappearing up the stairs.
Watching Avery work with his classmates had left Uriel mildly confused. They’d been clustered around a strange device that displayed an odd picture that kept changing, and they tapped on a series of buttons below the screen to make it do different types of changes. Uriel didn’t really understand what Avery had spent two hours doing.
Uriel remained a step out of time as he shadowed Avery to lunch with two of his four classmates, and then to the library where Avery spent the afternoon collecting books and consulting them while working on the strange little machine with its changing picture.
Avery returned to the flat after that.
“You still here, Uriel?” Avery whispered.
Uriel stepped back into the flow of time.
“Good,” Avery said. “I thought I could feel you, but its more reassuring to actually see you.”
“I will not leave you unprotected,” Uriel said.
“I know,” Avery replied. “I let Ry know that I’m bringing a friend who happened to be in town. I just said you were a colleague of Rosario’s who dropped by while passing through. It keeps us pretty close to the truth.
“Come on then,” Avery said. “I hope you like Ry,” he added as he led the way out of the flat. “I want Ry to be the kind of person you can like,” he added softly.
Uriel followed, now very curious to meet whoever this Ry was.