“You’re a first class, grade A, jerk Thomas Wilcox! I never want to talk to you again!” screamed Calla Paramoure, forcefully shoving her prom date.
“Hey, Lane kissed me but if you want to make a big deal about it I’ll take you home,” smirked Thomas, making a grab for her arm.
Calla sidestepped and he overbalanced, falling onto the graveled drive. She curled her lip at the blond jock, “Thanks, but I’ll walk.”
“Bitch!” snarled the football player, watching his former date disappear into the mists at the end of the drive.
* * * *
“Okay, in retrospect this was not one of my better ideas,” mumbled Calla. She’d been walking for a while and her feet were tired. At first there had been cars passing along the road, stopping and asking if she was alright. After all, a girl walking on the side of the road in a prom dress at one in the morning attracts attention. But even those had stopped now. Her anger had long since burned out and Calla felt cold and alone.
She approached the old bridge and shivered. The steel structure was shrouded in fog and looked distinctly creepy in the moonlight. The teenager rubbed her bare arms before leaning against the metal railing of the bridge. She kicked off her heels and sighed at the feeling of the cool pavement on her sore feet.
Calla jumped, clutching at her chest. Her eyes widened taking in the man leaning against the railing next to her. His light New York accent told her where he’d originally come from. He looked to be in his early thirties. His long dark hair was streaked with purple and pulled back neatly in a ponytail. As expected he wore a small silver stud in his nose and was dressed all in black. When he made eye contact with her Calla was startled by the color, dark green and flecked with silver.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. It’s easy to sneak up on someone in this fog,” he grinned reassuringly.
“I guess so…but I could’ve sworn-”
“I mean, you could be right on top of a person and not see them until it was too late,” continued the stranger, staring at her intently.
“Yeah, I-” Calla turned her head at the sound of a soft splash. “Did you hear that?”
He nodded, “Suicide.”
“Oh my God! Do you have a phone? Shouldn’t we call somebody?” Calla peered over the side of the bridge.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s too late to help.”
“You sound so certain.”
Calla found herself strangely drawn to the peculiar individual. There was an air of sadness about him. “Why are you out here so late?”
“I could ask you the same question,” he said, removing his long coat and placing it around her shoulders.
“Well I…I had a fight with my boyfriend and I decided to walk home from the prom. It wasn’t one of my better plans.” The teenager looked sheepish.
“No, it wasn’t. So, you walked home in the fog and you got as far as the bridge…” he prompted.
“I got as far as the bridge and…there was…a car. I could see the headlights coming but it was moving too fast. I couldn’t get out of the way and-” Calla let out a quiet sob, tears running down her face. “I didn’t make it, did I?”
The stranger shook his head, “Thomas didn’t take it well. After the funeral he came here and jumped off the bridge. That was two years ago today.”
“Two years?” Calla squeaked. “I’ve been out here for two years?”
“You’ve been scaring people along this stretch of road for two years. You’ve become a legend, Calla Paramoure. But tonight the legend ends.” The man fixed his green and silver eyes on her.
“Who are you?” she whispered, reaching out to touch his cheek.
He backed away from the gesture. Making the sign of the cross in the air between them he murmured, “Go in peace.”
The spirit of the teenage girl became suffused with a bright glow and transformed into a small golden orb. The orb hung suspended in the air for a moment before vanishing completely.
The stranger sighed and leaned against the railing again. He stared down at the fog obscured water, ignoring his coat which had crumpled to the ground in the wake of the departing spirit.
“She reached out to you and you panicked.”
The man grunted, not even glancing at the new arrival.
“Seth, what am I going to do with you?” lamented the newcomer, sweeping his long white-blond hair behind his shoulders. His violet eyes were even more striking than Seth’s green and sliver ones.
“Well, I’m against torture but if you feel it’s necessary let the flogging begin,” Seth replied, finally stooping to retrieve his coat. “I’m no stranger to punishment as you know, Gabriel.”
“That’s not what I meant,” said the angel, his tone sharp. “You didn’t even try with the boy.”
“He wants to punish himself for his girlfriend’s death. He doesn’t want redemption and I have none to offer. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my work is done here.” Seth turned on his heel and faded into the mist, leaving a scattering of black feathers to mark his passing.
Gabriel continued to watch the spot where the ‘man’ had disappeared, “Oh Seth, he wants redemption as much as you. But yours, unlike his, is coming very soon.”