I admit, I struggled to come up with an idea for today’s writing prompt (as always, from Mama Kat’s Losin’ It) at first.
~~5. Write a blog post inspired by the word: mistaken.~~
I kept wanting to write about a one-night stand and then they see each other later but only one remembers said incident. But come on, that’s just… well, not the makings of a great story. Maybe some D-actor, straight-to-DVD movie, but not what I was after.
Instead, at the advice of my very valuable critique partner, I decided to write a story that looks at the characters of Virtue of Death twelve years before the book takes place. I shudder to call it a prequel. More like an introduction.
Sera stretched in the uncomfortable trundle bed and wiped the sleep from her eyes. Her best friend Cheryl was still asleep, a look of confusion on her otherwise peaceful face.
“Wow, you must have had an intense dream too,” Sera said. She threw the covers back and padded to the bathroom to brush her teeth.
In the bathroom she tugged her shirt up to check her back. Nothing had changed.
Okay, so the dream was just her imagination going crazy on her. But it felt so real.
Analyzing herself in the mirror, her fingers lost their hold on the toothbrush. It clattered in the sink and she spit the mouthful of toothpaste on top before she ran out of the room.
“Cheryl, get up. Get up,” she screamed as she shook her friend who was so dead to the world one might mistake her for being in hibernation.
Cheryl’s eyes flew open. “What the? Are you mad?”
“Perhaps. But my eyes are not the same color they were when I went to bed last night,”—she paused a peered into her friend’s eyes—“and neither are yours.”
“Now you’re talking crazy,” Cheryl said as she sat up. She grabbed Sera’s chin and looked into her eyes. Her hand dropped. “Your eyes are blue. Bright blue. Like mine.”
“No, that’s where you’re wrong. Yours are an even brighter green than mine were. How the fu…” she trailed off, unable to finish the word. She tried again but no sounds came out. She cleared her throat. “How did that happen?”
Cheryl’s dad, the mayor of Virginia Beach, burst into the room and wrapped his arms around his daughter. “Happy birthday, my angelic baby girl!” He turned to Sera and pulled her into the embrace. “You too, birthday twin. Welcome to eighteen—and your whole new life.”
Sera pulled away. “Sir?”
He stood up and large blue wings unfurled from his back and glittered just like his eyes. “Did you two not meet Michael in your dreams last night?”
Sera closed her eyes and dropped down to the edge of the bed, the dream from the night before filling her thoughts. She clutched her chest. “I thought that was just a dream. Holy sh—” Once again, the word just would not roll off her tongue.
Mr. Brigham laughed. “It was a dream. It’s how the angels communicate with us earthbounds. But he should have told you the rules, one of which is that you can’t swear.”
Mr. Brigham shot Sera a look that could kill and turned his attention to Cheryl as he intently stared in her eyes. “Green. My dear, you are a virtue. Congratulations. You get to perform miracles.” He turned to look at Sera. “Are you ready to watch that vicious tongue of yours?” Sera nodded. “Michael, whom you met in your dreams last night, is your boss. Our boss. He will teach you everything you need to know about the newfound powers you have, and how to fly.”
“Fly?” The excitement caused Cheryl’s voice to raise two octaves, close to only-dogs-can-hear-it.
He nodded. “Yes. But first you must accept it. It looks like someone here is having a hard time processing.” Sera leaned into Cheryl who gave her a hug. “Why don’t you head home and think about things, Sera? I think these new rules by which you have to live your life will leave you… tongue-tied.”
Later that night, Sera was sitting around a bonfire on the beach, her arms wrapped around herself. She had been quiet most of the night, lost in the cyclone of confusion that tore through her mind.
Her boyfriend and former quarterback of the football team, Matthew, shot her a smile from across the fire. He reached into a cooler and pulled out a bottle, popping the lid as he walked over to her, a seductive smile on his lips. She did love the way his lips curled up like that.
He dropped down in the sand behind her and held up the wine cooler as his legs wrapped around her. She smiled. She had been with every member of the football team over the past couple years, but she definitely saved the best for last. Matthew was different. He was so attentive, passionate, and oh so hot—she was going to miss him when he left for college in August to play ball for Virginia Tech.
She grabbed the bottle from his hand and immediately dropped it. “Ouch. How in the he—” Seriously, this—whatever it is—interfering with my speech is ticking me off. Even her thoughts were censored.
“What happened? Did the bottle break?”
“No, it was hot. It burned my hand.”
“That’s not possible, I just pulled it out of the cooler, babe. Maybe I need to take you home and put you to bed.”
Sera closed her eyes and thought about it. She didn’t want to be around other people anyway. She couldn’t get a thought out without being censored by something she didn’t understand and she sure didn’t want to risk touching that bottle again. “Yes, that’s a good idea,” she said as she stood and ran her hands across her backside to get the loose sand off the bottom of her denim Daisy Dukes.
He walked with her, his arm wrapped over her shoulder, which made their walk more like a sober stumble. How she longed for it to be a drunken stumble—maybe the insanity of the past 24 hours would make more sense if she was drunk.
When they reached her back porch, Matthew leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her lips. He pulled away and ran his fingers across his mouth. “You’re warm. I think you’re coming down with something.” He gave her a hug and jogged back to where the rest of his teammates and their flavors of the month were dancing around the bonfire far off in the distance.
Sera looked up at the sky and then down at her feet. “Perfect. Just perfect.”
A soft voice that she had heard before, but couldn’t place, came from behind her. “Yes, Sera, you are.”
She turned and was face-to-face with an angel, complete with halo and golden wings. She took a few steps backward and fell to her butt. The angel placed his hand out to help her up.
“Now that you’ve realized that you can’t swear or drink, just like I told you last night, maybe you’ll believe me when I tell you that you are an angel. It’s rare that I communicate outside of dreams, so I suggest you listen to me.”
Sera shook her head. “You’re mistaken. I’m no angel.”
The angel in front of her laughed softly, his halo bouncing with the sound. “We don’t make mistakes. I assure you, your behavior and foul mouth notwithstanding, you are an angel. And I expect great things from you.”
Do you want to see what great things happen for Sera and Cheryl? The Earthbound Angels series is being published by Hot Tree Publishing.
Virtue of Death