The prompt at Writer's Island this week is Courage.
I sat on a coil of rope just at the edge of the water, watching the Torpoint ferry make contact with land; all around me the bright lights lingered and flashed intermittently, red, yellow, gold. The night yawned and stretched, enjoying the solitude. Everything seemed to be completely still and silent… at least, almost silent - for the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the harbour walls became a musical background to my thoughts.
At first I thought the bright white figure moving towards me was another light from the ferry, then I realised the figure wasn’t walking across the water after all, even though it became obvious to me pretty quickly that the form wasn’t a human but an angel, with massive great wings trailing behind him. I watched with some interest as the angel moved noiselessly towards me… only his wings made a slight dragging sound, as the feathers trailed along the ground behind him. My eyes hurt to stare at him, he was so bright. I’m afraid I can’t remember if he had a halo or not… such details don’t matter, do they? I got to my feet very slowly as the angel approached - I thought I should show him some form of respect or simply civility. Although the angel’s face showed no expression, it seemed to be set with a gentle smile, almost sculptured in marble, shining marble. He held out his hand towards me, and I took the map from him wordlessly… don’t ask me why I wasn’t surprised, I just wasn’t . I unfolded the parchment carefully, and stared at the markings upon it. When I raised my eyes back to the angel’s shining face, I felt confused.
“I - I’m sorry… I don’t understand,” I said, feeling truly stupid. “What is this?”
The angel gazed at me patiently folding his arms. He may even have sighed - I wouldn’t like to say.
“It’s a map of course - it shows your destiny. You gonna follow it or what?”
I noticed immediately the angels cockney accent… which seemed completely in keeping with the strangeness of the night even though Torpoint was nowhere near London. Still, I felt I had to speak to the angel.
“I didn’t know - I didn’t know angels could have cockney accents,” I said, taking the hand he offered, for I felt I could do with something steady to hold on to. “I thought angels were meant to be ethereal, above such things.”
The angel’s smile widened slightly as he raise his hand and pointed upwards, ahead of him into the black night sky. Perhaps a star twinkled there, perhaps not.
“We’ve got to go up… when you’re ready - are you ready?” I could hear the waves lapping against the harbour walls… and the sounds spun away , entangling themselves with the stars, the images of destiny. The angel coughed and tutted impatiently. “We should get going right away, then… we have got to go up very high… right up amongst the stars. You ready?”
I felt his hand pull on my own, drawing me towards the light. I swallowed down my nerves.“Ok, I’m ready… lead the way,” I said with perfect confidence.