They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But some book covers attract and fascinate. Browse Amazon, or look on your bookshelves and choose a book you haven’t read that has a cover you really like. Now, you’re going to steal that cover for your own story. Okay, not really “steal” — just borrow. Write a story of your own that would go with that cover…
I chose the cover above, and YES, I did buy the book even if this is just an exercise I felt I owed it to the author, and it sounded kind of interesting….
I met and angel once. No one believes me, but I really did. No, I am not taking drugs, I’ve been clean for 6 months now, Damnit.
I wasn’t always like this, you know? I was once a normal kid like you. Yes, you are kid, shut up and let me finish telling you how I met an angel and how it changed my life. I must have been 16 at the time. I ran away from home the summer before. Daddy was drinking again and Mama never did anything that didn’t involve a casino or bingo. That bitch would bet on anything, and I do meant anything, I remember her getting into a fist fight with the neighbor’s 70 year old grad mother about whose kid had grown the most in the last 6 months. I would like to say that they missed me and maybe even looked for me, but that would be a lie. I wonder how long it was before they even figured out I wasn’t there anymore. Or if they did.
But that isn’t the story. Yes, I know I got sidetracked, but you need to listen better, pup. Like I said, I was 16 or there abouts. I had been staying at the rail yard in Clinton County, you know the one, the cops don’t care if you are there as long as you don’t go into town.
Yes, the one with the big oak tree on the west side. There is also that creepy old building, think it was a nut house or some shit back in the day. That’s what the bums always said. Said it was haunted too, but no one had the balls to go up there and see for themselves.
No, I was not a bum, I was still a minor so I counted as a runway. Now I am a bum. Get your facts straight.
It was getting on toward Christmas and it had got real bad cold. Tommy “The Nose” had died just a couple days before. The coroner had showed up and taken away the body, though we didn’t know how they knew. Still don’t for that matter, but maybe it was the angel.
Like I said, it was bad cold, and about to snow one day and we were plumb outta stuff to burn to keep warm. None of us felt like walking to the city dump, it was a couple miles away, but we all had had some kind of fever and a cold and were not feeling well enough for the walk. We sat around bickering about who should go for what felt like forever. The little box car with the blue tarp door got colder and colder, so I finally just gave up and told them I was going up to the booby hatch to see what might be left. I would bring back some coal or furniture or something.
I remember how the sky looked like dirty cotton. It wasn’t smooth like a steel gray sky, and it wasn’t a pearly gray neither. Filthy old cotton, like the stuff stuffed in my shoes where the shoes were about gone. I walked past the oak tree, its branches creaked in the wind and I watched the last leaf flutter to the ground. Though I guess there were still some leaves up there, I saw a squirrel’s nest way up high, just a dark blob against the sky.
No, that is not necessarily important, but for some reason I’ve never forgotten looking up at the sad old nest, lonesome up there in the top of the tree. Made me feel melancholy, even more so that living in a box car with 7 half dead men with no food or fuel to burn. Who knew it could get worse?
There was the stereotypical stone wall with the locked gate, but that was really pointless since it was easy to just wrench the whole gate down. That’s what I did, I just grabbed the rusty old bars and gave them a tug. Damn things came right off in my hands. To say I was surprised is a bit of an understatement.
The drive was more weeds than pavement and it made a strange crunchy sound as I walked up the drive. It looked like it was turning back into limestone dust right there under my shoes. Freaky shit, let me tell you.
You would just have to see. Now stop interrupting.
I went right up to the main doors, thinking that it had been so easy to pull the gates open that this would be the same, but I was wrong. Those doors were shut tighter than a nun’s legs on Sunday. I tried pulling them, and I tried pushing them. I even tried kicking them, but nothing. I finally gave up and threw a chunk of that decaying pavement right through a win down near ground level and crawled in that way.
It was still afternoon, but it was damn dark in there and I tripped over a bucket and a mop and clunked myself right in the head with something hanging from a rafter. I thought I might have made a bad choice, but the stumbled around and found a door. This one weren’t locked, but it was hard to open. I remember that feeling of being trapped somewhere unsafe. I had visions of me being stuck there until I starved to death. No one would ever come looking. Ike I aid, even my folks never missed me.
I got out into this long hallway. The creaky old floor boards didn’t have any of their polish left on them and there was chunks of plaster and ceiling tiles all over the place. The windows along the north side had been broke out and leaves and twigs had blown in, making the floor look like a cross between a forest floor and a demolition site. I should know, I’ve slept on both. I noticed a few of the windows looked like that had not been just broke by a rock or a foot, but seemed to be blown in like by an explosion. What kind of explosion would do that I wondered and picked my way across the minefield that was the floor. I hoped that I could find a storeroom or something with stuff we could use, but it seems that fate had something else planned for me. I was stopped to look at yet another blown in window when I hear this voice behind me.
“You cannot go home tonight, Tommy.” I spun around so fast I actually got my legs all twisted up and fell down right on my ass. There, standing in the middle of the decaying building was an angel. She was tall as the ceiling and wore all black.
Yes, black. Who told you angels only wore white? Well, whose word you gonna take, your dumb twat of a Sunday school teacher or me, the person who saw the angel? That’s what I thought.
Her hair was black too and she was surrounded by this pretty white light.
“You cannot go back home tonight.” Being me, I just had to go ask why not, but she just gave me this creepy sad smile and shook her head like I had asked something obvious like it a bear shit in the woods or something.
“You need to go north, Tommy.” She didn’t sound upset or anything, just stating a fact. Well now, you and me both know that north is not the direction any of us want to go in the winter, but when an angel tells you too, you do it. So I go and try to get myself picked up off the floor, but when I get my feet under me she’s split and I’m left standing in the middle of the hall like a fool in the dark. The sun had set just like that, or maybe the angel did it, I don’t know.
I know she said I needed to go north and not to go home, but I still had an extra shirt and back in the box car. I had been using it as a blanket, but if I was heading up where it was even colder, I would need it. I got back to the box yard before the moon even came up, but I didn’t need any light to see that something bad had gone down. Found out later that the skinheads had gone through the camp early in the evening. Guess they thought it would be funny to kill some bums. Every last one of them was dead when I got there.
I took off running like the devil himself was behind me and didn’t stop until I got to Canada.
Why am I back here? Well, the angel didn’t tell me I had to stay gone, now did she?