The Curse Mark: Chapter Three.


“Is it nice down here?” The young angel asked Lennox Vanderwerken as they touched down, the feathers of their wings ruffling as though to shake of any dirt they may have gathered during their journey from the upper skies to the hardened earth ground.

“Your father has never brought you here?” Len asked her, turning his gaze to that angelic innocence that was familiar with all young angels.

“Oh no, he felt it was…corrupting, the influence of mortals, felt they were too emotional,” she said in a voice that was like honey.  It was a lovely voice, suitable for singing, being a little low but not alluringly low.

Lennox huffed, so corrupting, yet they still assign you to me for the mere purpose of eliminating the emotional tendencies you’re already showing.  “I would not like to contradict your father’s words, for they are very true.  As protectors of such delicate creatures, we cannot be excessive in our selfish desires.” He scanned Riverton’s grand fountain.  In the night, it was alight with the lights that edged the circular stone base.  “However, Kisa, he can be incorrect sometimes.”

“Incorrect?”    Kisa asked, a frown creasing her forehead.  Len had heard all about her history when she had been assigned to him.

“Yes, incorrect,” he said as he turned his head, spying a cosy motel for them to rest.   “Come, we must find some accommodation.”

“Accommodation, we must…rent?”  Kisa’s eyes were wide in surprise at this new understanding.  Len frowned, she did not know? She did not understand? Or was it because she had never actually rented before?

“When you were travelling around the world, did you not rent places with your companions?” He said gesturing with one hand for them to walk over to the motel he had seen.  While Kisa was wearing a thin white dress looking relatively modern, Len knew he looked out of place.  Carrying a large blade on his back, he was wearing a set of white robes, the kind that was popular in heaven.

“Um, not really,” she said, running a hand through her hair.  The sleeve of her dress slipped down her upper arm revealing a patchwork of white and light brown scars.  Len made no comment about the scars, he had been instructed to slowly uncover the story of her year away from home piece by piece.  It was amongst one of the things he had to attend to in order to mentor her properly.  She was not…like all the other angels anyway.

Truth, “I see, well since it’s too late to find the real estate, it is the more appropriate option.  Tomorrow, we will be moving in, in a manner of speaking, into the home that has been organised for us.”  Lennox pushed the door of the motel office open and looking faintly blank, he pressed the bell on the counter.  Next to him, he noted the way Kisa’s nose wrinkled in disgust at the quality of this office.

Lennox had often made frequent trips down to Earth for a variety of different reasons but he had never stayed more than a night so he had gotten used to checking into whatever motel was available.  Pleasant or not, he wasn’t bothered.

Smiling faintly at the manager who walked into the office, yawning and looking as old as their hair, grey and lined, perhaps mid-fifties?  The man’s eyes roamed over Lennox taking no note of anything unusual except the blade strapped to his back before looking over at Kisa, who certainly held more of his attention no doubt for her wavy blue-turquoise tresses, before his eyes dared to trail down.   Kisa too immersed in staring at her surroundings left it to Len to defend her honour.  He wondered if she even noticed, wearing a dress cut as low as hers was (albeit covering everything perfectly), revealing the line of five blue gems set in her chest.  The teardrop shaped gem in the centre, right below the joint of her collarbones.  One each side of this gem, set two smaller gems that lined the collarbone.  Now, Len knew the story behind the gems, they were related to her parentage, but he was to pretend he didn’t know anything.

Shifting, Len stood in front of Kisa, and looked directly at the man’s face, and said, “one room for my sister and I.”

Disappointment, then embarrassment crossed the man’s face looking at Len, and realising what he had been doing, he nodded his head.  “Of course.”  He turned to his left and attended to the computer there.  It was a good thing that no one had asked Len to use one of those things, because no matter what, he would never understand the processes of such a complicated piece of human technology.

“Thank you,” said Len politely, even though he was an angel, it wasn’t as though all angels were good and kind.  Such an understanding about life, a black and white view, is a misconception which many creatures preferred to retain allowing them the element of surprise.  Creatures of all kind had misconceptions of each other, however, with angels, there were two things that was true all round, and that is, one, they cannot lie, and two, they are individuals who do not entirely understand the meaning of human emotion.

Riverton though, was a mini city for the convening of nearly all manner of creature-kind.  It was one of the few cities in the world that had this many creatures living in one spot and it was also a safe zone.  In Riverton, one cannot attack another individual without suffering the consequences.  It was also widely known amongst the citizens that this was a place where the supernatural existed.  However for new travellers, they generally find out the hard way.  The Watchers, the unknown society who ensure the safety of the safe zones such as Riverton, are always aware of who comes in and who leaves.  If they sense an antagonistic individual, then they are more than likely to sound the warning, a single ringing in every citizen’s ears, and then, once they have your attention, they will whisper the instructions to you.  Every citizen of Riverton (and any other safe zone) is aware of this, and should already know the procedures for when they hear such a warning.

When the man was finished with whatever it was he did on his little computer thing, Len received the key amicably (despite how offended he felt about the many looking at Kisa in such a way) and guided Kisa out of the office.

“This way,” he said, as they walked through the driveway into the motel car park.  Standard to any kind of motel, the rooms covered double stories and were in a horseshoe formation around the entrance of the motel.

“Are we upstairs or down?” She asked, sticking close to Len, but also not too close.  There was a sense of reservedness around her.  Not surprising, since she had self-imprisoned herself inside her room for at least a year.

“Up,” Len replied.  It had crossed his mind over and over the question of why out of all angels, he had been chosen to watch over her.  He had not the reputation of other angels that would have been more appropriate as a mentor.  Angels who were more in league with the accepted values.  It wasn’t as though Len did not have those values, it was rather that Len had misdemeanours that should have put a black mark against his name and made him seem unsuitable as a mentor.  Len was not proud of the acts he had committed in the past, for they were not always the best of choices, but while he may have wished to redo each act, in truth, he believed, truly believed, he had made the right choice.

The stairs were concrete and thankfully dry.  The weather was rather dry, so it wasn’t surprising they were dry, but in a few months when winter cast its arrogant head in Riverton’s direction, these stairs could be murderous.  Locating their door, 506, Len inserted his key and unsurprisingly was required to jiggle the lock a bit before it swung open with a creak.

“Very…chic,” said Kisa poking her head in, her hair tumbling over her shoulder.

Len patted her head and said, “I never said it was a nice place.  But as an angel, you shouldn’t care.  You should be grateful for having a place as comfortable as those beds to sleep tonight.”

“I’m not ungrateful, merely commenting on the quality,” she replied taking the first hesitant steps into the room.

Len followed in after her, dumping his key on the counter, and said, “pick a bed and go to sleep.”

“Go to sleep?” She asked, her eyes wide in surprise.

“Yes, did you expect something to happen, or something?” Len asked shutting the door behind them, not worried about anyone entering unexpectedly.

“You’re my mentor, aren’t you? Aren’t we supposed to be learning something?” she asked confused.

Len sighed, and leaning against the counter, he folded his arms across his chest and looked at her sternly.  “Kisa, do you know why you have a mentor in the first place?”

She opened her mouth, but then closed it and shook her head in a meek manner.  Staring at her, Len looked serious, however yet, he knew that neither his emotion nor how Kisa was currently acting, was normal.  Kisa, apparently, had been much brighter and more excited while also being world wary about everything.  Running away had been a way of breaking norm and doing what she wanted, being adventurous.  Len knew how…suffocating life in heaven could be if one was not entirely born as an angel like Kisa.

Kisa blinked.  She seemed a little slow, and if she really was, then that would be a problem.  But he had been told that she was actually a very bright girl and had a rather witty mouth too.  Not that Len could see that on her right now.  She seemed, if anything ‘out of it’ to use slang.

“Not entirely, no, I don’t know, father just said I had a mentor, but he didn’t really explain why,” she replied.

A standard answer.  Len blinked, she wasn’t telling him the full truth.  He knew.  It was natural instinct of an angel to be able to sense when they were being lied to.  Indeed, Kisa hadn’t lied outright to him, but it was an evasion of the truth.  Her father had told her, but she might have thought he didn’t really explain it clearly, or that she hadn’t entirely understood, or was it…she hadn’t wanted to?   If he had told such a side-truth, he knew he would have felt a backlash, a repercussion of having evaded the truth.  He was an angel, he could not lie.

“I don’t believe you,” he murmured.

She flinched and fidgeted with her tassels some more, and said, “frown enough and that permanent frown won’t even be removable with laser surgery.”

“You’re evading my question,” he replied, looking serious.  He could be an easy going guy, but that wasn’t like him usually.  Len worked business.  It was as simple as that.  The difference between him and stereotypical stern businessman was the fact that he could actually smile quite decently.  Sighing, he said, “I cannot lie, no angel can.  So I tell you, I was assigned to you because of your actions over the last few years.”

Her eyes widened naively.   Len felt a good portion of guilt standing there and reprimanding her.  She was a young angel who had decided to be spontaneous and go out in the world and experience it.  Kisa Kevser probably knew more about the world’s technicalities than he did, yet she was somewhat inexperienced.

“But I didn’t do anything…” as her voice trailed off.

“We all think we did nothing, but someone thinks you did,” he replied simply.

She said something too quiet for him to hear in return.  Catching the way her eyes looked to the side, Len asked, “Did you say something?”

“I said, does the Almighty really think what I did was bad? Or was it the others who say that I am bad?  I do not think I have done anything—”

Len cut her off then.  In one split second, her eyes had widened and become sharp with intelligence.  She might not have been naturally attuned to complex or political analytical thought, but Kisa was intelligent.  She could not be easily deceived even if she kept her thoughts to herself.

“It is not your duty to question, this is not the way of the angels,” he replied sharply.

“Not the way of angels?” She asked quietly, folding her hands in her lap, “what is the way of the angels? I know we are supposed to do good, and to follow and believe in what the Almighty requires of us but how can we do so if we ourselves cannot feel what they do?”

Len blinked in surprise, then sighed, and said, “You should leave those for the normal angels.  You are not a normal angel.  You’re one of the Power and Authority.”

Click Here:  Chapter One: The Devil’s Children/Cara de Vries

Click Here:  Chapter Two: A Moon At Stake/Adrienne Cynzia

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