The prompt at Writer's Island this week is Clarity
Clarity was an angel - I realised that the moment I first saw her walking past me through the park, her bare feet rustling gently against the fallen leaves covering the ground. A strange light came from her, enclosing her within it almost like a shroud, a shroud of radiance. She sat down next to me on the bench, carefully draping her beautiful wings over the back so that their feathery softness would not be disturbed by the reality of the cold autumn evening. Even though it was evening - twilight actually to be precise - the silver light shone from all around her… I worked out eventually that it came from her hair, which was silver like tinsel, this amazing silver stuff streaming down her back until it became lost beneath her wings. I must admit to being rather gobsmacked - she took my breath away, and for several moments all I could do was stare stupidly. She didn’t seem to be aware at all about any difference about her; shaking back long strands of silver hair from her face, she smiled only very gently in an abstract manner, as if preoccupied with some other business. I swallowed nervously and cleared my throat. I was aware that anything I said now would sound just plain stupid… but still I had to say something.
“ I - I haven’t seen you round here before, if your forgive me for saying so,” I stammer, aware suddenly of the icy sting of autumn air against my lips as I spoke. I turned up the collar of my Lumber jacket, feeling the deep softness of it against my bare throat… I had shaved off my beard some weeks ago for some reason which I had no knowledge of. It seemed an incredible thing to do at this time of year, when a man needs every strand of hair to protect himself. I glanced quickly at Clarity’s thin, shimmering sort of gown and bare feet - which were blue with cold, hardly surprisingly. “Your feet must be absolutely freezing.” Clarity glanced down at them, seeming surprised by their colour.
“Well, I suppose they are… it’s a bit colder down here. Heaven’s such a warm place, you know - that’s one of the best things about it.”
I could almost hear the leaves fluttering down to the ground all around me, though I was unable still to take my eyes from the angel herself.
“Well why did you come down in the first place? Why not stay with the heavenly ghosts?”
Clarity laughed very softly, the sound becoming visible as vapour in the cold air.
“Oh, I had to… I was sent down here. I had no choice in the matter - when the Almighty speaks, we have to obey.” She shrugged indifferently, her wings raising and falling with her shoulders. “That’s the way it is up there, so that’s why I’ve come down. I don’t know why though there must be some reason I suppose.”
I shook my head wonderingly, basking in the gentle radiance from her hair… from her whole self in fact, her angelic self that is.
“I’d like to see Heaven for myself… I’ve always thought it sounds pretty boring though. Is it?”
Once again, the shrug - the wings moving with it, the feathers also.
“I suppose it is really… not much goes on there. But it’s the only place I’ve known, so…” she broke off suddenly, shaking her head as if to clear it. I became aware of a buzzing, a vibration in the air. I frowned; I felt uneasy, searching for some sort of explanation, some insight into Heaven and how angels work, some sort of clarity. Her eyes became unfocused a frown creasing her delicate brow. “Wait a minute… I’m just getting a message… this might be the reason we’ve been looking for. Some sort of light is being thrown on the subject of my actions, I hope.”
I stared at her, feeling the light intensify around her along with the vibrations so that the two were linked, they went hand in hand, side by side. Clarity stood up abruptly, her bare feet shuffling against the fallen leaves on the ground. She held out her hand to me, and all I could see was the light surrounding it.
“I’m afraid I have to go… that is, back there. I’ve just been told - and I can’t argue with that one. But you’re coming with me, you know… I’ve been told to bring you. So come on, get to your feet and let’s be off… oh, by the way I ought to introduce myself properly to you - the name’s Clarity. Clarity by name… clarity by nature.”
Her light was becoming more and more intense as every second passed… I seized her hand, I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to see heaven for myself. As I got to my feet also, I saw the golden staircase taking shape against the gloom of twilight… I followed Clarity towards it, trying not to trip over my own clumsy feet in haste. I walked side by side with the angel, her silver hair still streaming down her back until it was lost in the feathers of her wings. The lights around her hair became so bright and intense I became anxious… and yet at the same time so excited.
“I suppose this is what they call seeing the light,” I cried out breathlessly.
Beside me I felt Clarity smile by the movement of the air.
“Yes, I suppose it is… you coming? You coming then?”
We began to climb the stairs, moving both our feet in perfect unison.