There was a soft gasp and the man before her crossed himself. "An angel." He whispered as he stared at her wide-eyed from the floor next to his bed. He had been laying in his bed, drifting between the planes of sleep and consciousness when she'd arrived. But in his panic at seeing movement in the dark he'd ended up on the floor. She waited, as patient as ever with her clients as he composed himself and regained the ability for rational thought.
It came then, maybe thirty seconds or a minute later. "What do you want with me?" He asked, a hint of fear touching his voice, making it waver a little the semi-darkness of the man's bedroom. She'd had worse clients before. At least there wasn't any shrieking or crying. Yet.
"Business." She replied enigmatically as she flicked on his bedside lamp in order to see him better. He was probably a handsome man with his olive skin and chestnut curls. In his late thirties, by her estimation with a look about him that would no doubt have exuded confidence and arrogance if he weren't cowering on the floor in front of her.
"You have business with me?" He asked. "What would God have me do?" His thoughts traced their way back to his childhood, to hazy memories of Sunday School and Church services. To the story of Noah, who was bidden to build the Arc or to Mary who was given the task of bearing God's son. She could see the thoughts, floating hazily above his head like shadows in a fine mist.
"Not everything with wings works for the Lord above." She quipped, annoyed with the assumption. It was always like this. They always assumed she was good, a heavenly figured sent down with a task from God above.
At this, the man clumsily shot to his feet and backed himself against the wall, raising his fists as though to defend himself - or attack her. She sighed lazily and sat down on the end of his bed, her mottled feathered wings spreading out around her.
"Please, sir. We have business to attend to and you are not my only client for the evening." She tried, gesturing to an armchair next to his closet – the back of which was draped with a multitude of different colored ties.
He glanced at the chair for a moment before turning back to her, eyes cautious and mistrustful as he continued to stand. "What do you want with me, demon?" He demanded.
Always with the name calling. Always with the assumptions. Just because she didn't work for the Lord above, didn't mean she worked for the Lord below either. But humans had no comprehension of such things. Nor of the thriving trade between the planes they liked to call Heaven and Hell. She let it slide this time, deeming that the correction would expend too much effort on her part. It was unlikely that he'd even remember their encounter after all and she was on a tight schedule.
She pulled a manila folder out of the satchel she always carried with her and opened it, clearing her throat once before she began to read. "You are Mr. Carl Pierce, correct?" She began, but didn't wait for him to answer. "On the night of February fourth, 1993 you cursed your business partner, Jacob M. Brown, to Hell upon learning that he had sold his half of your business to his ex-wife, Marissa Harmon, a woman you believed had no business sense. You said, and I quote, 'God damn you to Hell, Jake.' followed by a long litany about the faults of Ms. Harmon, which aren't really important to our purposes here.
"I am here to inform you that your request was put under review and has been decided upon in your favor. Congratulations." She said as she looked up from the folder for the first time since opening it.
"What?" The man asked in disbelief.
She smiled enduringly at the man, patient as ever. "Mr. Brown died tonight and, as per your request, has been sent downward." She said, pointing towards her feet.
The color drained from the man's face as he collapsed into the chair he'd previously refused to sit in. "Jake . . . Jake's dead?" He asked, astounded. "No, I don't believe it. He was only forty. How? How did this happen?"
"Not that it really matters . . ." She mumbled under her breath as she looked back down to the file in her lap and flipped through a couple pages until she found the cause of death clause. "Ah, heart attack."
The man shook his head. "This is a dream." He muttered before he pinched himself on the back of his wrist. He swallowed nervously when he felt the pain. "But I didn't want Jake to go to Hell." He said terrified. "He was one of my best friends. We went out for beers last week! Why would I . . ." He trailed off as she began flipping back through the pages to the night of the February fourth. She tapped the passage meaningfully when she found it. "But that was years ago!" He shouted.
"Whether or not it was years ago or yesterday afternoon," She stated, "you still submitted a request. All that's left to do now is to come to terms with the issue of payment."
"P-payment?" The man gaped.
She sighed again, this time in annoyance. "Honestly, mortal. You can't think the Lords would allow you to decide upon the fate of your peers without some just recompense, do you?"
"But I didn't mean -"
She cut off his protests with a glare. "It really doesn't matter what you meant. All that matters is what you did. And what you did was send Mr. Brown to Hell. Now, about your payment."
"I wont pay." He hissed, though he looked terrified by his own boldness.
She cocked her head to the side to examine him. "Are you aware that by refusing to pay you are damning yourself to Hell? Not that I can't guarantee you wont end up there anyway, but if you refuse to pay for services rendered it will be guaranteed."
He was silent for a moment, hands shaking in his lap before he looked back up to her. "How much? I have a couple thousand in savings, but I don't know if -"
"You think we want your money?" She cut him off incredulously. "What on earth would the Lords do with your money? Flimsy scraps of meaningless paper."
"Then . . . what? What do you want?" He asked nervously.
She looked at him very seriously then. "Mr. Pierce, what is the one thing dearest to your heart?"
His hands jerked in a nervous fidget as his heart began racing as fast as his thoughts. Again, she could see the smoky images flit, faster and faster, through faces and items before settling for a second on the face of an elderly woman that shared his eyes. His mother. Then raced hastily on to a sleek and shiny black car.
"My Mercedes." He croaked.
She smiled sweetly at him as she rose to her feet, wings draping gently behind her like a feathered mantle. "I wonder, Mr. Pierce, if you know that I can see your thoughts?" She asked. "I have everything I need now. Good evening."
His jaw dropped for a moment before he struggled to his feet. "No! Wait! Leave my mother alone. You leave her out of this! She hasn't done anything wrong."
He made a wild lunge toward her but she was already gone and he collapsed in a pile on his bed, sobbing in a way he hadn't since he was a boy.
So this was kind of inspired after watching Constantine. I'm debating whether or not to write more. Maybe a series of one shots featuring the different clients of the nameless angel/demon thing. If you liked it, please let me know. Reviews are wonderful to recieve and a wonderful tool for constructive critism and encouragement. Thank you very much for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.