Monday, September 3, 2012
Telana pushed her fringe back from eyes as she scanned the shadows. The back of her neck tingled as she sensed the presence of another unnatural. As it dissolved, she breathed out, thankful she didn’t have to face whatever it may have been. The glittering lights of Las Vagas’s infamous strip reflected blindingly in the puddles formed in the dips of the road.She walked resolutely on, her collar flicked upward to protect her from winters final gasp of cool night air.
A group of drunken boys called her over, grasping their desperate hands towards her. She smiled and shook her head, scanning their auras. Nothing a few years of sensible living with a mortgage and kids would fix.
Under a street lamp, she flicked open her fob watch, immediately glancing up at the bar across the road. As she entered, she spotted the one she’d been looking for, alone dirty with guilt and downtrodden. He sat at the bar, ill at ease with his eyes shifting about the room. A half full bottle of scotch sat beside his glass. Telana smiled and glid into a chair beside him, ordering a glass of wine. She undid her coat and slipped it off her shoulders, revealing a glistening white mini dress. The hundreds of embroidered mirrored beads caught the disco lights, swirling iridescent colours around her lithe body. Folding her coat into a ball on the bar beside her, she then spun in her chair nursing her drink, careful to appear to ignore him as she glanced about the dance floor. He was captivated by her every move.
Telana placed her glass on the bar beside him, tipping and spilling a small quantity on his hand. With a practiced banter, she apologised, blushing perfectly and tenderly wiped the moisture from his hand, dabbing the sleeve of his shirt.
He spoke haltingly, barely believing that he had a beautiful young woman sitting beside him. She listened intently, hanging on every word until he reached his hand out, stunned when she didn’t shirk away.
“You’re too pretty to be here on your own accord, alone. I know you come with a price tag.”
“We all come with a price tag, Robert. Some are more prominent than others.”
“What’s yours? Without being too blunt.” He flushed. “I’m sorry, that was rude. I know you must get asked in a lot of ways and a lady of your, I dunno, classiness, doesn’t come cheap. I just.” He faltered and looked away.
“Its ok Robert. Its been taken care of.”
“Lets not worry about that part of the transaction. We were enjoying ourselves up until money came into the picture.”
“Aint that the truth.”
“You know, Money is”
“The root of all evil? Thats a misquote. Its the love of money thats evil, not the money side of it. God doesn't want you to be poor. I’ve always believed that.” He flushed again and swirled the melting ice in his glass.
Telana smiled warmly. “I know. Shall we go?” Her fingers lingered on his shoulder and she traced it down his arm. A tingle shot through his body at her touch. He left his drink at the bar and followed her through the gyrating masses. She flung her coat at his chest, pushing him away as a fist clawed its way from the crowd towards him.
“Leaving so quickly Angel?” A heavily muscled blond man towered over Telana.”Leave that jerk and come with us.” As he lifted his arm to grasp her, a body barrelled from the sidelines, knocking him over. Her rescuers cowboy boots landed a heavy kick into the blond mans prone state. Telana hid a smile as she grasped Roberts’ hand and led him out onto the street.
“Ahh, what was that - trouble?” He stammered looking back into the bar.
Tracing her finger on his cheek. “Nothing we need to be concerned about. Shall we? I have a room next door.” She guided him toward a boutique hotel, tucked into a side street.
The hotel clerk held a key toward her as he continued to read the newspaper. Robert stumbled behind Telana, his heart hammering in anticipation and fear. A man past his middle ages, he had long lost the battle for his college football star body. She undressed slowly, allowing him to fumble awkwardly at her body. Her encouraging tone and smiling face belied her distaste for this part of her job. Telana thanked her creator for the small mercy that Robert was both out of shape and at such a heightened state of arousal, their love making lasted scant moments. She kissed his forehead, sending him into a deep sleep. Although she had powers of attraction available for her disposal, she had learnt the many tricks of her trade, not to have to use them. Instead, she reserved her powers for instant sleep in order to get her true job done.
Telana carefully slipped out of the bed and went to the bathroom to scrub herself clean. She padded naked across the room and fished out a small bundle from her coat pocket. She rolled out the soft leather case onto the sheet beside Roberts’ sleeping form. Exquisite scalpels, tiny elongated forks and small knives make from crystal caught the bedside alarm light, sending tiny stars onto the ceiling. he held her hands out over his body and tugged at his aura, pulling at the invisible chains of guilt, loathing and hate which trapped his soul.
She fought back tears as she stripped away his earliest hurtful memories. A mother who dies too early, father who resented the presence of a child, constantly reminding him that his wife was long cold in the ground.
Robert’s beginning was so alike hers. She stroked the memory of his mothers smile watching it glow and shimmer, placing it straight into his heart. His face softened as he slept. His soul awakened, yawning and stretching upward.
Telana continued to cut slithers though the chains around his body. Dark patches of jealousy shrouded his judgement, spite smothered empathy. She carefully separated the darkened chains from the tiny glimmers of hope until the floor was covered in tendrils of oozing hate. Telana picked up a tiny pearl from her kit and threw it into the midst of the swirling dark emotion. A crack appeared in the floor, sucking the negative energies into the deepest realms of hell.
She slumped into the chair under the window, exhausted with the effort this repair had taken. Robert shifted in his slumber, a small giggle emitting from his lips. Telana often wished she could see what happened after she had left; but knew that once a soul had been repaired, it found the true light and would follow in the path toward God.
Her fob watch glowed and vibrated. She flicked it open to reveal a compass face and physically groaned when she saw her next assignment. Telana swiftly collected her instruments and wrapped her dress about her, securing it at the waist. She picked up her shoes and coat, sliding out the door silently.
Shiny cowboy boots polished within an inch of sparkle tapped impatiently outside the room. Her heart skipped a beat. “You’ve missed your chance Twain. He has been saved.”
“Why do you always assume the worst with me?” He pushed himself off the wall and smiled revealing perfect white teeth. His elongated canines pressed against his lower lip.
“You are damned Twain. With no soul and no redeeming features.”
“And yet you always take the time to speak to me. I like that. The ever positive angel, always trying to poach another one for her boss.”
“Can we not have this conversation so publicly?”
“Sure. My truck is parked across the road.”
Telana hesitated. “I owe you my thanks. For stepping in back at the bar. They took me by surprise.”
A toothpick twirled in Twains lips. “Couldn’t let one of those Greek boys muscle into your catch. Coffee?”
“I’ve got another job. I want to get it done before - “
“The Greek lads do? Don’t you think Vegas will get to him first?”
“I shouldn’t be talking to you. I need to go.”
“I’ll take you. The least I can do for holding you up.”
Telana allowed herself to be led to his pickup truck and climbed in. She wriggled into her coat and slid her feet into her shoes before buckling up.
Twain cocked an eyebrow. “You’ve been down here too long. Gone native.”
“Its against the law not to have a seat belt.”
“If we have an accident, its not like its going to hurt you.”
She crossed her arms and fumed. “I knew it was a mistake to let you talk me into giving me a lift. I can’t think when I’m round you. You drive me crazy.”
“I thought angels had more patience than a saint? Or is that just a saying?” his tousled hair hung in his eyes as he winked at her.
She refused to look at him, unable to guarantee she could control her true feelings.
So where can I take you in this big ol town? Twain negotiated the truck out onto the road.
She flicked her fob open. “Caesars Palace”
Twain gripped the wheel dropping his casual front. “Look, I know you think we are on the opposite sides of this war, but take it from me, you don’t want to go in there on your own like - “ he gestured up and down at her. “The Gods of Olympus have a stronghold in that place, and you’ll get eaten up; literally.”
“Why should you care?”
Twain changed lanes and stared at the road ahead. His jaw twitched as the internal argument raged inside. “I’ve been a soul seeker for longer than you have been an angel. Don’t try and deny it. I doubt you’ve even gotten your silver wings yet.” he checked her response, the side of his mouth jerked momentarily as she flushed. “Do you realise that this is the longest conversation we have had in the five years we have known each other?”
Telana uncrossed her arms. “I’d hardly say we knew each other”
“More is the shame.”
Damned straight she shrieked silently. “Twain, I shouldn’t even been talking to you. Being this close to you. Soul Seekers are plain evil beings.”
“Why do you think you aren’t allowed to know about Soul Seekers? What my kind do?”
“Just when I thought we cold skirt around our differences, and be civilised, you have to bring it up. Are we nearly there yet?”
“Telana, we do the same thing. Our methods may be different, but ultimately, its the same”
Her lip upturned. “It would be un-angelic of me to sneer, but really? Your kind kill and feed on humans, trapping their souls and enslaving their bodies. Everyone knows that.”
“and thats the sort of tripe Hollywood and the church will keep perpetuating.”
“Then tell me. Make me understand. What you do?”
“Like you, I sent humans free from their chains. We let them choose their destiny without influencing them with silvery sparkles.”
Telana glared at him. “I don’t use my powers to influence anyone. They are healed and come to me of their own accord. They then find God on their own accord.”
“And thats why you and I should work together, against the real enemy.”
“I can’t work with a vampire. Your kind are all evil.”
“And Las Vagas hookers are hardly saintly.”
Telana opened her mouth, but had no words. Tears sprung to her eyes. How could she ever expect to know real love, to have a partner who could care about her after the years she had spent doing this job?
Twain pulled up opposite Ceasars Palace. “Many truths make us who we really are to our Creator.” He slowly reached over and put his hand on hers. “What matters is inside. Our enthusiasm for the job we have. Do you think I have always been this way? It has its advantages, but hell, its got its disadvantages too.”
A tear slid down her cheek. “I do what I do because its my job. When God asks you to do something, you don’t question it - even if its being a hooker in Las Vagas.”
“I remember sunshine. I can smell it in your hair. I gave up so many things so I could serve a great force. Something bigger than just me.”
“So, we both freeing humanity?”
Twain pulled the toothpick out of his mouth. “Yep, one at a time, so that they can choose independently. And we use our powers to do so enthusiastically.”
“Enthusiasm as a hooker?”
“Did you know it comes from the greek word, ‘theos’?’ as in ‘in - theos’ - in God? You do what you do with Gods blessing.”
“Want to go and kick some Greek butt and free a few souls?”
Telana applied her glossy lipstick and puffed her hairstyle up again. Linking arms with Twain, they strode into Ceasars, not knowing what would happen, but that at least, they would do it together.