I sat with my head down, my hands wrapped around a mug of hot coffee in the Concrete Angels’ clubhouse, wondering when the hell I’d stepped into the Twilight Zone.
Torch turned into a fuckin’ dragon. And Karma became a scary death angel thing. And Michael…
I couldn’t finish the thought. He’d sprouted silver-black wings, bigger than any bird, even the prehistoric ones. What the hell is he? And who was I to him?
I shot a look toward where he sat in brooding silence, his gaze lasering into me. Yeah, right back atcha, buddy. I didn’t know what to think or do. I was only human, a trait I’d taken for granted. Sure, I’d made mistakes, that was the nature of being human. But my whole world had turned upside down and it turned out I might have been the only human in the whole place.
Michael, Karma, Torch, Flint. Hell, there’s even something weird about Attila. And don’t get me started on Loki. I sucked in a breath quickly. What if he’s the real Loki?
My heart quailed at the thought. That meant other gods and goddesses might be real. Vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein’s Monster. Holy shit, what if all the stories in the tabloids have a shit-ton more truth to them?
“Hey, Haley, how are you holding up?” Calhoun settled beside me, biting her bottom lip in concern.
I laughed, sounding suspiciously like a sob. “How am I holding up? Let’s see. I was snatched off the street by thugs, engaged in a hardcore car chase and shootout, and then the guy I’ve been fucking turns out to be an honest-to-whoever angel with a huge fucking sword. How do you think I’m doing?”
“Yeah, I can see how that’d be a lot to take in.”
I barked an unhappy laugh. “A lot to take in? Are you fuckin’ kidding me? The mythical creatures from fairytales are walking around here and you’re acting like it’s no big thing. How are you okay with all this?”
Calhoun shrugged. “I dunno. I guess I just figured hanging out with cool people was all good. Yeah, so some of them could bench press a Mack truck, but physical strength doesn’t equate scary. Or bad. What’s your big problem with them?” She narrowed her eyes. “Is it that the mythical beings are real? Or that you’ve been lied to all your life about them?”
I opened my mouth to reply but closed it again as I thought about what she’d said. What was I really upset about? Wasn’t it cool that I’d being hanging out with angels and dragons? Yeah, it totally threw my world into chaos, but how was that different than usual?
“I think it’s that everyone I ever trusted lied to me. How could my friends and family not know?” I grimaced. “Or was it a secret pact that only the privileged were in on?”
“You may put the blame on me, Haley.” Michael stood before me, his expression full of ancient sorrow. “The Elder Races of this world are far safer when humans are ignorant of our existence.”
“Because humans kill or destroy what they don’t understand.”
He nodded. “And they don’t deal well with paradigm shifts.”
I sighed and sipped my coffee. “So what now? What happens to me? I’m only human, after all. Will you kill me to keep your secret?”
Agonized sorrow etched his features as he knelt in front of me. “I’d sooner destroy all the art in the Denver museum. But some secrets are meant to be kept. The question is, can you keep this one, Haley?”
That's it for me this month. Check out my fellow authors' Once Upon A Tune Flash