Anthony and Eli

The stained glass imploded and the man sitting in the front pew turned towards the heavy wrought iron crossbars as they were wrenched apart by powerful, invisible hands.

“You do so love your entrances,” he remarked blithely.

The black cloaked figure descended, shiny pointy shoes making two little clicks as he settled to the floor. “But of course,” he replied. More tiny clicks from his heels as he made his way towards the seated man.

Anthony rose from the polished wooden bench and followed Eli up to the altar, dark curls shadowing his face. As they sat and settled themselves on the carpeted steps, Eli’s nose wrinkled at the overpowering scent of incense and, what the hell was that, lilacs? He shook his head with a grimace of distaste. He looked up, about to speak, and saw a tear drip onto Anthony’s silk shirtfront, the damp splotch spreading like a blood stain across the dark material. Anthony glanced down at it himself, and slumped over in a heap.

“Stop being so melodramatic, Anthony.”

“Oh, shut up Eli! God, you’re so boring these days,” he mumbled this last part, face pressed into the carpet. He rolled over and propped his head on his hand. “I’m tired,” he offered, by way of apology.

Eli shrugged. “They never really gave us a crash course on what exactly was meant by the job title Guardian Angel. I might have tried out for a different rank.”

“Yeah, well, we didn’t and now we screwed everything up, and we’re not ever allowed to go home again! Fucking Aslan guarding the pearly gates for Christ’s sake.”

Trying and failing to contain his laughter, Eli let it loose until he fairly shook with it. “How the mighty have fallen, you blaspheming angel,” he hooted. “Besides, it’s not like we got a healthy dose of free will mixed in with our angel DNA.

“It’s not funny! These damnable creatures don’t even want our help anymore. They call modern day wizards called Life Coaches now.” He switched topics abruptly. “Do you know a teen-age girl tried to seduce me the other night? After she asked if I wanted to smoke some weed with her.”

Eli waited a moment. “And…” he prodded.

“Well, shit. Her self proclaimed ‘bodacious body’ was…lush, but her face,” he waved a hand distractedly. “Vacuous. Vapid.” He shrugged. “Haven’t you ever looked at them like that, though? Seen something more in their faces, seen more than the sheep we thought they were?”

Eli sat silent for a few seconds. “Those are dangerous words, especially to be spoken aloud here.”

“I’ll say what I like, when I like, wherever I like,” he replied indifferently. “How could they punish us beyond banishment? Truly though, you’re telling me that you’ve never had a moment where this human you’re with becomes nothing a purely carnal creature, you no longer care what brought you there in the first place, you don’t remember what she suffers or what she needs, because she’s so close to you and you know you could just reach out and touch her?” He was crying again.

“No, Anthony, I haven’t.” Eli dropped his head into his hands. “You’re speaking poetry. They are not there to help us, you know this.” He pulled a handkerchief from a hidden pocket in his cloak and leaned forward with it.

Anthony shoved the hand away and drew backwards. “I like my tears just fine where they are, thank you,” he said petulantly. “You’re the one who wanted to meet anyway, so why don’t you start talking.”

“I don’t know if I can make you understand, because as you seem to grow closer to them every day, so I grow more and more dissatisfied at the end of each mission.” Eli glanced around furtively, as if the boss himself were present. “I don’t like them, they’re pointless and they’re boring. Nor do I care very much what happens to them. I find myself wanting to sabotage their meager little lives for my own petty enjoyment.

“Now who sounds like a madman,” said Anthony sarcastically. He stood and straightened his jacket, pinched the crease sharper in his pants, and lit a cigarette that had materialized between his lips with a lighter procured the same way.

“So, what do you say we give them what the really want?” Eli asked, an evil grin splitting his face.

“Let’s give ’em hell,” Anthony smirked back.

They ascended together, through the window that repaired itself behind them.


So ends my submission for the wonderful Grammar Ghoul Press, Challenge Numero SIX already: Go here, read the things, write the things, vote the things, appreciate the awesome Ghouls that populate the page:

This piece was completely inspired by the prompts for this week – the word bodacious and this really cool painting by Rene Magritte, titled Homesickness


Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Anthony and Eli

  1. Sort of gives a whole new meaning to “Touched by an Angel,” doesn’t it? 🙂

  2. More please? I’ve been “touched.” 😉

    • Oh, there really is a whole world of possibility that follows them out that window, isn’t there 😉

      • oh yes, but I know how it is if you don’t feel that way. I have tons of stories that I considered complete that others asked for more of.

  3. Michael took the words right out of my mouth! But seriously, fallen angels are one of my favourite things. I love their complex nature – and I love the way the interaction between Eli and Anthony is light on the surface, but much darker underneath. Great take on the prompts, Shannon! 🙂

    • Well, thank you so very much 😉 I pulled this out of a scribble box I’ve had since high school, where I just throw ideas – all it said was ‘Anthony & Eli are bad angels’, and as soon as I saw this prompt I got so excited to finally use the idea. For completely different reasons, they are most definitely up to no good.

  4. There is so much more behind, before, and after this story. I definitely would love to read more 🙂

  5. It seems like Eli arrived to be the voice of reason for Anthony, who’s clearly become too emotional for the job. The frustration of both is palpable. I guess that’s why they chose to act against their angelic nature in the end. You provide a real feel for the frustrations and the contradictions the angels must endure. This has a lot of depth. I love that Aslan is guarding the gates. Awesome touch. A fascinating read!

    • Ha, I’m glad you appreciated the Aslan shout out 😉 He was always one of my favorite characters growing up, and my brain could not see that Lion as anyone else. Your insightful thoughts really give me such food for thought to take with me into the next things that I write, I truly appreciate the time you take to read and comment here.

  6. Oh, I like this one a lot! What a surprising juxtaposition. Good writing!

  7. I like that even though these two have motives at odds with one another they still decide to cooperate. In the end I feel that this will be a problem for them though.
    Good read.

    • Thank you 🙂 In the end, I’m fairly certain that this will be a problem for themselves, and for everyone that they come in contact with…

  8. Pingback: Grammar Ghoul Press » GG Challenge #6 Winners and Challenge #7 Prompts

  9. What a wonderful story! I love the theme and the setting – the fallen angels meeting in a church has such a wonderful richness to it! Reminds me of a more luxurious Dead Like Me (if you ever watched that?). The complex mix of humour, sarcasm and disillusionment in these two characters is really what holds the reader’s attention, though. I do hope you have a chance to return to them – I’d love to know where they go next. And I have to say, that this idea came out of an idea box left over from school is very cool!

    • It’s really awesome that you take the time to breakdown what you like, it’s insightful and thoughtful, and very welcome. Um, I am a HUGE Bryan Fuller fan, from Dead Like Me to Pushing Daisies to Hannibal, so I have to admit that that comparison gave me a full on smile :p

      • Good!! I actually really love Mandy Patinkin so that was part of the selling point but the show itself was brilliant.

      • AH! My guy and I were watching Homeland the other night, and I confessed to him that I had had a crush on Mandy Patinkin since The Princess Bride 🙂 You have wonderful taste!

      • As do you 🙂 He’s my favourite in Homeland too.

  10. This reminded me of a film called “Wings of Desire” in which angels on earth struggle with the complexities of life there in a similar way. I particularly enjoyed Eli’s entrance and the detail of the shoes – like him, I also enjoy a dramatic entrance 😉

  11. I wish I could be like you on the entrances – I’m more for dramatic exits, but that’s mostly just because, while graceful playing sports or dancing, walking in a straight line frequently ends in injury for some reason. No joke, broken toes, split eyebrows, it’s ridiculous 😉 Okay, I’m going to have to check that movie out this weekend, hopefully they have it streaming on Amazon.

    • Oh this is something that I sometimes do – when replying to the last comment on the page I end up making an entirely new comment, and then the person doesn’t get sent the message. So, I was under the impression you might have been quiet for a while.. But, now I know that isn’t the case, let’s have a read through your latest posts 🙂

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