The Thirteenth Hour
By S. A. Hereatta

The Final Angel

Angel woke at the base of the Third Angel. When she looked at its face, it was satisfied, pleased. She looked at her watch. It was one o' clock in the afternoon. That's funny, she thought. I got here at 12:59. The vision seemed to have laste an hour. It was as though there were an hour seperating twelve from one. A thirteenth hour.

She went back to lunch and sat with Nina Thompson. They talked. Angel hoped that this conversation would save Nina from the fate she'd had in her vision...

Three Years Later

Twenty year old Angel Aquarelle knelt in front of the First Angel. The face was still pained. She smiled and stood, tracing her fingers along the angel's face. She turned to the Second Angel, the face was so sad, so sorrowful. Tears sprang to Angel's eyes when she remembered what she witnessed from these two angels. She looked at the Third Angel. Was she having this vision? Or had she changed the vision when she talked to Nina, Xander's younger adopted sister.

Angel had researched Xander when she left high school. He was born to a mother with no husband. The father had left a week after he found out Xander's mother was pregnant. Being only sixteen, Xander's mother gave him away. He was adopted by a couple but they gave him up when he turned six. From then on, he was shipped from foster home to foster home, eventually making it to the Xaxone home, where he and Rider were foster brothers for a few short months. Then Xander was adopted by the Thompson family, where he met his younger adopted sister, Nina. At some point he and Lillian Evalyne started to date in secret, then he killed her when she saw him robbing a grave. When he met Rider in the cemetery four years later, he killed Rider too.

Nina didn't commit suicide like Xander had implied in Angel's vision. In fact, Nina and Angel had become quite good friends. Nina was spending a few months in Australia with her two cousins on vacation before she and Angel started their first year of college.

Angel stared at the Three Angels, the First Angel, Past, the Second Angel, Present, and the Third Angel, Future. She'd seen through the eyes of all three, witnessed crimes of the past, the present, and the future, and the first two had been correct. She wondered if the third would be too.

She looked at the bouquet of flowers in her right hand, the single rose in her left. She'd pricked her finger on the thorn of the rose. It still hurt a little. She sighed and kissed the stone, then set the bouquet down in front of Lillian's headstone.

"I love you, Lillian," she whispered, then stood and knelt in front of Rider's headstone. Two identical tears, beads of water and salt, love and sorrow, fell onto the gray stone. She lay the rose down and traced the words of the stone: Rider Xaxone; 1987 - 2005; Remembered forever with love. She started to cry harder. She hadn't cried for her best friends since she had the vision of killing Xander. All those years of keeping the tears inside poured out and her body shook as she sobbed.

While she cried, she heard footsteps approached. She fought to control herself and stood, glaring, knowing that it was Xander Thompson. Sure enough, there stood the man. Black, matted hair, hollow gray eyes. His skin was patchy and pale, like a dead man's face. He smiled at her, as though they were old friends.

"Angel Aquarelle," said Xander, the side of his mouth twitching. She stared coldly back at him in silence. "I'll bet you remember me?"

Angel's jaw tightened. "Yeah, I remember you," she said, her voice harsh and cold. "You bastard. How the hell can you be so calm? You murdered my best friends! You killed people! You took lives that could have been great! How can you be so casual when you killed?"

Angel remembered that in her vision three years ago, Xander was accusing Angel of killing Nina Thompson, his little sister, by ignoring her, pushing Nina to commit suicide. But Nina was alive and well, she and Angel had a small group of friends although they all got other colleges.

"I didn't kill, Angel," he whispered. Angel froze. This wasn't her vision. "I was just protecting myself. What would you have done?"

"I would have let them find me!" Angel shrieked angrily. "I would never kill anyone! I'm not a murderer!" Was she? Angel's mind wandered back to the vision. Would she really kill Xander? She didn't know if she could. She hated him so much. Enough to become what he was? She wasn't sure. "Why did you kill them?"

"Lillian saw me robbing a grave," he said sadly. "I loved her so much and then she found out my secret. I didn't want her to know I was poor. The damn Thompsons had more kids than they could handle. We didn't get anything. So I robbed graves to sell things so I could buy her things and take her out."

"You obviously didn't love her that much," Angel said angrily, "or you wouldn't have killed her."

Xander heaved a long, loud sigh. "I really am sorry, Angel. I would take it all back if I could. But I can't...I can't take any of it back." His voice was sad, but his eyes showed no regret. Angel wanted to kill him. She wanted to kill him so badly.

"Die!" she screamed, pounding her fists against his chest. "Die!"

Xander pushed her off of him and unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a bare chest. He took a knife from his back pocket and handed it to her. A single tear ran down his cheek.

"Do it," he whispered.

She laid a hand on his bare chest where his heart was. She chuckled. "I always expected to find you had no heartbeat. Like you were some sort of heartless monster. But maybe you still are. Heartless as ever." She looked Xander straight in the eye. "How can you have a heart and still be able to kill?"

"You want to kill me. It never stops, Angel." Xander's eyes were growing sadder by the moment, as though every moment he wasn't dead was torture. "I kill, then you'll want to kill, then someone will want to kill you. It won't stop if you kill me, Angel."

"I know," Angel whispered. She dropped the knife. "Go turn yourself in, Xander. Please. Just turn yourself in."

Xander nodded. Angel knew he would. He wouldn't lie. Not anymore. He walked away, leaving Angel alone in the cemetery. She knelt next to the Third Angel.

"I guess the future can be changed after all," she whispered.

Xander Thompson turned himself in to the police. He was given a life sentence and died in jail two years later. His last words were, "Tell Nina I'm sorry."

Nina Thompson graduated from college a writer. She wrote a book about Angel's visions, Nina being the only person Angel had told.

Angel Aquarelle disappeared the day Xander Thompson turned himself in. No trace of her was ever found.

The night that Angel Aquarelle disappeared, a fourth angel mysteriously appeared in the cemetery. Many believed that the angel was a sign that Angel Aquarelle was happy wherever she was.

Nina believed that the fourth angel was Angel Aquarelle herself. Many readers of Nina's book held the same belief.

To this day, no one ever noticed, as Angel Aquarelle did, that the faces of the Four Angels all held very different emotions. The First Angel's expression was one of pain and sadness. The death of an innocent girl plastered forever in the memory of the stoney statue. The Second Angel's expression was full of overwhelming sorrow. The witness of the death of beloved friend, held in the non-existant heart of an un-real angel. The Third Angel's expression of vengence and morbid joy. The murder of an enemy, hatred and love clashing in a wave of reality. But the Fourth Angel's expression was calm and peaceful. Its smile kind and caring. An angel to watch over all who wandered into the cemetery, so that none would suffer as in the past.

The Angel of Past.

The Angel of Present.

The Angel of Future.

And the Angel of the Thirteenth Hour.

Author's Note: Wow. My second story finished! I liked this one more than The Shattered Mirror, I just think it was done better. The Shattered Mirror's ending didn't really satisfy me, but this one did. I liked the way it ended even if it was a little cheesy. ((dances in circles)) I finished it!! Yay!!

Thanks (again) to Tim and Bittersweet1991 for reviewing! You guys rock!

Luv, S. A. Hereatta
True Child of the Xenu