The Boy Who Saw An Angel
Written For Christmas Warriors
And this fits the prompt Child over at the Writers’ Toybox
Word Count: 1339
Disclaimer: Still Joss’
Warning: Child kidnap alluded to and matters pertaining to it. Rest assured that all is well. There is nothing to squick you out.
Jo, you’re a Goddess. Thank you for the beta. (I’m cheeky. I hadn’t asked you yet.) :~)))
Summary: A boy on the run encounters an angel.
The Boy Who Saw An Angel
The boy was light on his feet. He was running as if his life depended on it, and it did depend on it. The boy didn’t know that, all he knew was that he was running away from a bad man. He wasn’t sure the man was bad, but he remembered the lessons his mum and dad had drilled into him. Don’t talk to strangers, don’t accept sweeties from one, and don’t get into a stranger’s car. The man had caught hold of his hand, while he had been standing, looking in the window of a toy shop, watching the toy train go round and round. He had managed to wriggle free and was now legging it down the street. It hadn’t occurred to the boy to call out and bring attention to the bad man. A group of people had formed and were listening to a band of carol singers on the street corner. The boy had sneaked away from his Christmas shopping parents, girls’ jewellery holding no interest to him at all, and now he was in trouble. If only he could outrun the man, he could double back and meet up with his folks before they knew he had wandered off. But the man was determined and was catching up. The boy saw a narrow street ahead and turned the corner, hoping to hide somewhere. The man’s footsteps followed him into the alley and the boy’s hopes sank. Ahead, there was a fire escape. Perhaps he could scramble up there and leave the man on the ground. He knew a lot of grown ups didn’t like heights. He felt a tug at his collar, and stumbled.
Out of nowhere a woman appeared, snatching him up and into the safety of her arms.
“Leave him be,” he heard the woman say. He was able to catch his breath, safe in her embrace. And then the bad man spoke.
“Who’s gonna make me?”
The boy peeked out from the woman’s arms. There was another man standing in the alley. The boy could make out his shape in the gloom. The man was taller than the bad man. The bad man had spun about to face the other man.
He felt the woman’s chest vibrate when she said, “He’s all yours, Angel.”
The boy opened his eyes wide with shock. Had angels come to save him? Did that mean there was really a Santa? He felt the woman move. He was being carried away from the bad man and the angel.
The woman said, “You’re safe now. Let’s get you back to your parents.”
The boy squirmed about, trying to catch a look at the angel as they passed him by. Just a glimpse informed him that all the stories were true. The angel was indeed, beautiful.
The man stood, terrified, at what stood before him. Instinctively he knew that what confronted him wasn’t human. Deep down in the depths of his lizard brain, something was shouting at him to RUN. He couldn’t. He felt his knees lock. It was all that prevented him from falling to the ground. His bladder wanted to release its hold on the liquid within, and with a mighty effort he held it together. Before him stood another predator. He recognized it as such. Only this predator didn’t prey on little boys. This one was an equal opportunity evil.
The other was as still as death, and then it smiled. The bad man, a.k.a. Roland, caught a hint of fangs. His limbs trembled. He’d heard stories of such creatures, hadn’t encountered one till now. With a concerted effort Roland tried for bravado, and then he wondered why he thought the creature would care.
“It’s not what you think…”
The voice, when it came, was deep and soft. Roland had to strain his ears to hear.
“What am I thinking?”
“The boy was shoplifting. I was going to take him to the police.”
The head tilted to one side, its dark eyes considering him.
“I don’t think so.”
Roland decided to take a chance. He thought he understood why the creature had a woman in tow and why they had ripped his prey from him. This was a monster, after all. Monsters eat children. He held up his hands in a placating gesture.
“Alright. You got me. We can share.”
Hopeful now, Roland nodded eagerly. “You can have the boy. I have another one stashed.”
The hairs on the back of Roland’s neck raised on hearing the demon growl low in its throat.
“Take me to him.”
Roland wasn’t about to argue. He turned his back on the monster with difficulty, his nerves shot to hell, and led him away to his private place.
Buffy stood amongst the people listening to the carollers. She had her eyes on the boy as he ran to meet his family. By his posture she could tell that the boy was being given a scolding for running off and frightening the life out of them. The mother shooed away her husband and gathered her son to her breast. She gave him a hug, and Buffy could guess that she was telling him never to scare her like that again. The young lady, the boy’s teenage sister, stuck her tongue out at her brother, looking like the cat that had got the cream, relishing the fact her brother was in trouble.
The slayer smiled. All was right with the young lad’s world. It had been a close thing. If she and Angel hadn’t been out for a stroll enjoying the sights of Christmas and hadn’t spotted the man chasing the boy, the lad would have disappeared, never to be seen again.
Buffy shivered, and not from the cold. Demons she could deal with. They had no soul. But human monsters she detested with all her being. Her mind skittered away from the fate that could have awaited the boy.
Just then an arm crept about her waist. It belonged to Angel.
“Everything alright?” she asked, still watching the boy and his family.
When her boyfriend didn’t answer, she turned to look up at him. His face could have been made of stone. She knew that look. To anyone else, Angel looked indifferent, his face placid. His facial expressions were few. But to her, his features were an open book. Angel had a soft spot for children. He was very protective of any in trouble. It wouldn’t bode well for those that wanted to hurt them.
Her heart sped up. She knew he could hear it. She was an open book too.
“I hope you drank him dry.”
“I did.” There was a world of guilt in those two words.
“Good.” She gripped his arm and squeezed hard. “One less monster in the world.”
“We did okay, Angel,” she continued. “Look at them. A happy family. What more can one ask for?”
“You,” he said, and he kissed her.
“Happy holidays,” she said when she got her breath back.
The boy was tucked up in bed. His mother fussed with his quilt as she usually did.
As she reached for the light, he blurted out, “I saw an angel today.”
His mother withdrew her hand. “What makes you think it was an angel?”
“The lady called him that.”
“What lady? When did this happen?”
The boy fidgeted. How much could he tell her without getting into more trouble?
“It was just before I came back. When you were busy buying Linda her stuff.”
“I see.” His mother smiled. “Did the angel wear white and have wings?”
“No. He had on a long black coat.”
“Terry,” she said, and kissed him on his cheek. “I think your imagination has gotten away with you.”
“But it’s true!” he protested as she turned out the light.
“It’s true,” he whispered to himself, in the dark. “The angel rescued me from the bad man.”