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Earning my wings
It’s 3011, January 13. I have been alive for exactly 14 years. Although they tell me I’ll live a lot longer. But maybe I should tell you the whole story. It all started one year ago.3012, here in the republic. But you are from the past. And they tell me they are sending this to explain what you have done. It is my mission to stop you. 100 years or so ago, you guys, started a nuclear war. And everything from there on out in fact was hell. But so is war the fact of the matter, no wait scratch that, everything because of you is hell. Oh, and worst of all looks like you all predicted wrong; the end of the world is scheduled for 3012. That’s one year away. And, if you don’t die from your own self-destruction, you die from sun’s destruction. So sit back relax and enjoy while I see if your generation can unscrew your sucked up life. Enjoy the ride I’m your hostess, the angel Kic.
But first here’s something’s to know:
Three misunderstood facts about heaven
1.everyone is an angel. Wrong! You have to be special to be an angel. This is why they choose me. No I’m kidding. I suck.
2. You meet god. Sadly no. The big man up top is apparently resigned to a schedule, which is what Gabe told me. You all know Gabe. Ya know, Gabriel, the angel. The guy that told Mary she was knocked up. Yep. That’s my main man.
3. Pearly gates. No there are not any gates. You know what, this rumor is stupid. The gates are not pearly at all. In fact, the ‘gates’ are actually an electro- magnetic force field to keep mortals out, like a dog fence.
Chapter one- how I fell up
Once upon a time, 100 years from now to be precise, we screwed the world, and yes, I said we, I wasn’t always an angel. Well the Mayans were right about one thing; we pretty much ended all civilization, as we know it. When the U.S. now the republic joined with Canada and France and china and Mexico, yada yada… To form an alliance against Russia, Korea, Japan, Iran, the rest of the middle east and parts of Africa. In case you were wondering how that played with the rest of the world, well, let’s just say this: it isn’t pretty. Most of our world is war torn and unprotected. And while the future is awesome with all of it’s hover cars and floating TVs and what not, life for anyone over 14 is miserable. Here are a few reasons why my life sucks:
You must enlist in the army and or armed forces on your 14th birthday. Everyone must. No more of that stupid sexist crap.
Those who enlist have a survival rate of 40%. Let’s just say those guys over in Japan, yes the ones that you called nerds. They like the big guns.
Those who survive: you are most likely to be injured severely. And land in the hospital for the rest of your life or if they find you totally useless, be killed. This is where our story takes place
“Kic, Kic, can you hear me?”
I open my eyes into the blinding light. Ugg. The light. It feels so cruel. I blink; my vision is ruined with sunspots and ow, what the hell is that?
“Kic?” the voice is yelling at me now. “Can you hear me?”
“Yes I can. Now please shut up!” what time is it anyway? Could it really be time for school? Already? It feels like I just fell asleep. It was my birthday last week. Wait, s***. My birthday. I try to sit up only to be jerked back onto the bed, something is pinning me down.
“Sorry Kic, I can’t shut up until we do a few exams don’t try to sit up please.”
Exams! What do they mean exams? With a sinking heart, I realize where I am. The hospital. Hmm… what a shame, I always hoped I’d make it a month before I landed here. But then again, I should be happy to be alive. I open my eyes once more. Someone has turned the light away. I see that person is a middle aged dark skinned woman with blue eyes and a white uniform on.
“ Okay. Kic, let’s start with the basics. How old are you?
I take a moment to answer, to be honest, I really don’t know. “Uh, fourteen?” I half ask, half state.
“Correct” the woman in the white coat, says. “Full name?”
“Kic Elton Reynolds” that’s easy. I don’t really know many kids named Kic. Plus she’s been saying it a million times anyway.
“Right again. Where are you?” she asks not taking her eyes away from the hover board chart in front of her face.
“Okay, duh the hospital. But what is this? One of the those old-style game shows?”
She peers at me with intensity, scowling. “No, please focus. I have about 50 other patients to see.”
“Fine.” I scowl right back. I always think a person with a sense of humor is best. Evidently, she doesn’t.
“Wiggle your fingers, she commands. I obey.
I twitch my fingers around on the bed, walking them around like people, doing my best with sound affects. I am only met with another scowl.
“Are you sure your fourteen?”
I laugh. “No why?”
She finally is smiling. “Because you don’t act it.” The woman walks over to the bed, holding a syringe suspicious.
“Okay this might pinch…”
Ow! She plunges a needle deep into my arm, which for the record is already full of tubes and wires. ”What the hell was that for?” I yelp clutching my sore arm and cradling it in front of me. She ignores this staring down at the little syringe full of my blood.
“Well that’s good. No shrapnel, mercury or lead in your blood stream.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I yell. For an old lady her muscle’s got some bite to it.
“It means” she says glaring down at me, “that you didn’t get knocked out by a gun.”
“Well, hell lady, you could have just asked!” I say flustered, Her face is blocked by that stupid-wall-screen again, “Do you just randomly walk up to people and stab them with needles? It’s a rude habit you know.”
“Of course not,” she says taken aback, but her wolfish grin suggests otherwise. “Do you remember anything about the battle?”
“Well not really” I say, but I stop when I see her pull out two more needles from her pocket. “I mean I remember a little, I guess.
“Like?” she asks trying to persuade my memory to come back.
I squint trying to remember. My memory is fuzzy. Why is it so hard? Suddenly it comes out in this huge flood of realization. I boarded a plane on the eve of my 14th birthday. Waving goodbye to my little sister and mother. Both are crying. I’m trying my best to blink back tears. I’m only a kid. I don’t deserve to die like everyone else. I take my seat. Then the doors close and the light leaves with the world. When the plane lands we’re in Iraq -the it place those old-styles started the war a hundred years earlier because of oil, before things got so stupid.
We leave the plane and enter the dessert and the general is warning us that not all of us may make it on this walk alone. I grab a gun. A gun I only learned how to use an hour earlier before walking out into the sand. We hike for an hour. That is where they started attacking. I could hear the screams and the world were filled with blood we opened fire and everything around us turned to hell. Hey there’s that word again. Nothing struck me. I don’t know how, but something, pierced my leg. My leg. I remember thinking as I sunk to the ground and everything went black.
“Like,” I said blinking back to reality. “ I know I didn’t get shot. I think I passed out from a dart or something.” I say looking at her. She looks for the first time enthralled in what I have to say. “We were ambushed,” I repeat my memory slowly. It still doesn’t seem possible. She nods vigorously, pleading me to continue. “And for the longest time nothing happened to me." But I got knocked out, and my leg-“
“What about your leg?” she cuts me off, her eyes suddenly widening. Quickly hurrying to my bed. “Which one?” I point. And she rolls up my cameo. Army uniform I received only days earlier. She looks at it frowning.
“Move it.” She says franticly. I do.
“See it’s fine. Anyway-“ still not looking at her wall screen. I look into her eyes. They look watery. Panic erupts in my chest. Then I look down at it. Still moving it. I am aren’t I? But why is it not moving. No! This can’t be happening. Oh god. She sets her fingers on my legs bare skin.
“Can you feel this?” she wonders intently.
I stare blankly up at her. Slowly I shake my head no, my sandy blond hair flying in my face.
“What does it mean?” I ask quietly
“You can’t walk.” She says breathlessly. I look past her. Staring at the blank white wall, ahead of me. “I am so sorry,” she says not holding back her tears anymore. Taking my free hand, to comfort me, but I shake it off. “I am so sorry, I-“
I ignore her sympathy. “When?”
“Pardon me?” she asks. But I am not in the mood for games.
“You heard me.” I say. Look ahead, I tell myself. Avoid her gaze.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” she says trying to cover up her dark lie.
“Game time is over” I interject. She looks downward staring at the white tile floor. “When?”
She sniffs. “Tuesday.”
I look into her cocoa colored skin. Today was Sunday.
“I am so sorry.” She collects herself before she leaves my room slamming the door behind her. In case you didn’t catch any of that, the number one reason my life sucks: the hospitals with the war and all don’t have much space, in other words, they need the beds. I lay my head back on the pillow. Considering my chances. I had two more days to live until my own country killed me because my legs got paralyzed in there own stupid war. So I did the only thing I could do: I laid my head back, closed my eyes and prayed.
Chapter 2- I don’t know why I believe
I prayed. And I prayed. I didn’t know who or for what I was praying. I just knew it was what I had to do. Most people by now have found that religion was pointless. Other than for the ceremonial aspect of it, science can really explain everything. But my prayer wouldn’t be answered. Nothing could be answered. Life is just a stupid little maze of twisting corners and no matter where you go they always lead to a dead end. I didn’t care. I was going to die. I was going to die. I was going to die. I was going to die. Die. Die. It kept ringing in my head. It never left my thoughts. It was always there. Everything I did reminded life was hell. Everything I thought made me miserable.
It was like a dream. Knowing you were going to die. I used to think this kind of thing was unreal. It felt that way. I sat the little white room with all of its stupid hover screens and monitors and alarms that would go off anytime I tried to move. I had tubes all over my skin and wires too. The doctor came back every once in a while, to remove them, seeing as I wouldn’t need them anymore. She did her business quietly and efficiently. The hospital wouldn’t even let me call my parents. They already had, to tell them I had died with the rest of the soldiers in the dessert.
They didn’t even bother to bring me food; they stopped dripping me with pain meds. They thought I was a waste of time; or rather the world seemed to. In their eyes I was simply a selfish 14 year old who was wasting possible lives there fore should die because he could no longer serve the republic. It was awful. Sometimes the guilt, boredom and anger were so bad I almost wanted them to stop waiting. I thought a lot. I thought about how the world was messed up. I thought about how if god really did exist then why wasn’t he helping us. I thought about war. I thought. A lot. But never once did I stop praying. I didn’t even believe. I just wanted a miracle. Sometimes I thought I should die. From all the news feeds they started showing, showing all the kids my age and younger dying. They DID need my hospital bed. But surly they could make me walk again. They could back in the old-style days.
By the Monday night I was ready to give up. I was ready to give in I lay in my bed, my stomach growling, my hair was wild, feeling battered and bruised. The florescent lights I noticed hadn’t been replaced, I noted, and the harsh white light that spilled through the over-heads and hover monitors all contributed to the hospital feel. My eyes were closed. I really didn’t see the pint in dieing while you were tired. It’s not like I could ask for my time, smiling at my own joke. I can always appraise my humor.
My grin fades as I hear the door slide open and someone approach me. Have they decided not to wait? I can hear my pulse quicken through the monitor, panic invades my vision like living on adrenalin. I squeeze my eyes shut. Hard. Biting down on my tongue, so feverously I taste blood. My muscles freeze into place. I can feel time slow.
“Kic Elton Reynolds?” a male voice says above me, but I keep my eyes closed. “Kic, I know you are awake. Really, It’s fine. I am not a doctor.” Liar! I jeer in my head. I don’t open my eyes. Please, please I pray again. Please save me.
“Kic I am here to save you, please Kic, we have to hurry through.”
“How the hell did you know that?” I spluttered ultimately startled enough to open my eyes. The man standing before me was defiantly not a doctor. He had gold hair, like gold, gold hair. It was metallic gold hair too and his face was so flawless it almost immediately sent a wave of jealously through me, Stupid chick magnet. His eyes were so bright blue they look well, like the sky. I couldn’t help but gaze at him in awe. Then realizing my mouth was open I almost punched my self.
“Kic,” he says ignoring my thoughts, “you have a lot to learn, but firstly I am here to make an offer with you.”
“You probably know I’m going to die tomorrow, just hope you know that, I’d hate for you to get ripped off on what ever stupid bet you’ve got on me.” I yell at him sarcastically at bringing up my death.
To this the man laughs, “listen Kic, I know you’re probably well mad, and scared he says gesturing to my frustrated expression. “But- if you take up on this offer, and trust me I would consider you well I don’t like to say this but, a fool, not to do so,” he smiles, “if it helps you can look like me.”
I think I kind of blew my roof just then. “Listen to ME, you stupid pretty boy, you want me to look like you? Huh? How ‘bout I come over there and make you look like me? Would you like THAT? Huh?”
“Okay, Kic. Calm down. Just let me get straight to the point.” The man looks around, takes a deep breath and begins his offer. “Kic, you know the old religions right, you studied them in school.” I nod, not sure where exactly he is going with this. “Well, you know the story of Jesus right? The story of Mary and Joseph and” – a smile- “Gabriel. You’ve learned about Heaven and hell and demons and the angels. What if I were able to tell you all of these things were real.” My jaw is wide again, I don’t even bother to close, either he’s a total nut job or he’s totally right. “All of that is real. But there is a ‘tweak’. You see angels don’t just look over the humans; it is still our job to protect them. And well with them doing such idiotic things these days, we’ve been short on our angels and well, since you were about to die; I thought you might want to be one. It will save your life. All you have to do is come with me to heaven, right now. But first you have to answer one question”-
I couldn’t hold it in anymore, “hang on, you want ME to be an angel?” I laugh in spite of my self. I can assure you, I am the least angelic person you will ever meet.”
The man does not think anything is funny however. “This is a situation between life and death, Kic. If you leave right now not only you will be saved but whoever needs this bed can be saved and the people you will saved will be spared when you learn how to do things. If you stay, no one will be saved. We need you Kic. But if it makes you happy I will leave you here.” He opens the window, and looks like he’s about to jump out
I almost scream in frustration, “ no, no I’ll do it! I’d loved to do it, I’m just shocked, what was that question?”
The man turns from the window, “ very well, and by the way call me Gabriel.”
“Right, Gabe, got it. Do I have to sign something?” I said wanting to leave soon.
Gabe looked highly amused. “Gabriel he corrects. No, no signing, just answer the question, in order to be an angel, you must be pure, and the most important element to being pure is believing, so Kic, do you believe in god?
Everything about this now seemed to seem ten times harder. It was like having some person come to you on your death bed offering ten more free years then telling you to tell them your favorite color when you had like 20. Well it was kind of the same thing minus the colors and ten years. No bad focus Kic. Do I? Science doesn’t explain everything, and this guy had a pretty convincing answer for a crazy guy. I had just been praying for the last day and a half, and it looked like a huge coincidence that this guy had shown up at the right place and right time.
What did I have to lose? It was an easy enough question. I had never gone to church. I had never attended a mass. But did I believe in somebody out there looking out for us? In a crazy way, I kind of did, “Gabe, I’m ready. I do. I want to help the world.”
Gabe reached over to my bed and rests his arm on my shoulder. Smiling, he sounds like he’s reading some old-style book, “Kic Elton Reynolds, do except your duties as a new arch angel and promise to serve to your purest highest will you can. Will you always do what is best for the people, the world and the lord”?
That sounds a little cheesy, don’t you think?” I say. “But I accept.”
“Good,” he smiles coolly, “by the way it’s Gabriel.”
TO BE CONTIUED.....