Beware the heat below, burning with frozen flame. (Flash Fiction Contest Winner!)
|Most people think that Hell is where you burn for eternity. That's just a fantasy.
I would rather let my skin fry than endure a frozen Hell.
But that’s where I was; deep in the ninth circle, mulling over an empty bottle in my lap. The icy wind shrieks past, piercing frayed clothes like a frozen knife. Liquor helped with the chill, but I was fresh out.
It was far too cold to go out looking for more. I huddle on the park bench, bracing for the next blast of freezing air. It was going to be a long night…
The first snowflake fell.
Gently spinning, it floated past. A crystal feather of ice, lost from a winter angel. I see them, you know.
They fly above us, tenderly watching over the sickly and the old. I saw them as a boy, but the doctors made me take all sorts of pills until those winged spirits hid from my sight. But now they aren’t afraid of me.
One of them flies down from a cloud, diamond wings shedding a blizzard of feathers. I watch as she nears, an ivory goddess gliding with languid grace.
She smiles, blue lips parting like petals from a frozen flower. Her sapphire eyes glitter radiantly in the twilight. With another flap of her transparent wings, she drops soundlessly next to me.
Her silvery feathers drift on my face as I gape at the seraph sauntering towards me. “Why are you all alone?” She asks with a wafting whisper.
“I d-don’t have any friends.” I stammer.
“Poor boy.” The angel breathes, sitting next to me. “I’ll be your friend.”
Her embrace was the warmest thing I’ve ever felt.