My training droned on until I felt like I would be able to walk into a bar where Dracula was and not immediately run back out. Fear was still a big problem for me. Gabriel grew frustrated because as someone who’d been killed in so many ways, he thought I should have built up some sort of fearless tolerance to death. But, exactly the opposite happened. I really am afraid to die… again.
“Perhaps you need a break to gain a different perspective.” he said as he sipped a glass of cool water and looked at me from the corner of his eye.
“That sounds like such a guy thing to say Gabriel. You can do better than that. You’re an angel, an archangel at that.” I told him as I let the failure of my own emotions sink in.
“What does that mean?” he said surprised.
“I don’t know why you’re surprised. You can hear my thoughts.” I retorted.
“Listen, I know you are frustrated. But, I still have to play by certain rules. I can only hear your thoughts when God allows me to and he doesn’t allow that invasion of your space unless it’s necessary for us to communicate silently. Also, I am a guy… sort of.” he explained.
“It just sounds like you’re breaking up with me in a way. It’s not you it’s me and we need space is what guys say to girls all of the time. I feel like you’re giving up on me because I’m having a hard time conquering my fears.” I said almost in a huff of disappointment.
“Oh, I see.” he said pensively. “You know, most people don’t die a bunch of times then come back as an undead monster hunter. I understand if you need some time to adjust. I’m not giving up on you at all. I think I may be pushing you too hard because I know what you’re going to be walking into and I don’t want you to get hurt because I didn’t train you well enough. There’s no guarantee I’ll be sent swooping in to rescue you.” he explained.
“So, you’re seriously just concerned and not anything else?” I asked as relief washed over me.
“Yes.” he said and stood. He seemed to be listening hard for something I couldn’t hear. “Wait here.”
“Ok.” I stammered. I worried, but then I remembered he is an actual angel so things should be fine.
He does have a pint. I have been through a lot. I should give myself a break. I’m just scared of having to go back to heaven again before I actually accomplish anything. I felt like sich a failure and a loser for having died young and leaving my daughter t o grow up without me and all of those deaths didn’t really make me feel any better. In fact, they make me feel tremendous anxiety about not screwing up my last chance to make something of myself and do something I can die saying I was proud of.
I can’t face monsters. Can I? Am I that person? I did face horrible people, but they were people not actual monsters. I mean Leatherface is a real problem and you want me to go into a lair of cannibals? I wouldn’t have even thought of that if my sister hadn’t told me to die imaginatively. I need to remember to chide her for that suggestion. I’m freaking undead because I listened to her. And she was right, I should have spent more time with dad before jumping back into Carl’s program. Both my heavenly father and my daddy who will probably just shake his head when he hears what I’ve gotten myself into.
I waited for Gabriel for an hour and then decided that “Wait here” meant don’t leave the house. I went to the bathroom and then back to the parlor to watch a little television. It held no joy for me though. I felt like I was wasting time. Borrowed time at that. I want so badly to get things going, but not to go hunt monsters. Couldn’t I just be a nice vampire accountant somewhere for a while and be proud to have… oh who am I kidding? I’d be bored out of my mind. I’m psyched to hunt something evil and rid the world of it, but terrified of getting hurt.
As I drummed up action movie sequences starring me doing angel kung fu and manhandling blood drinking baddies I feel asleep on the sofa and when I woke up, the sound of waves and the crackle of the fireplace alight made me forget for just a moment that I was not at home, with my child asleep in her bed, and I’m not on my sofa after trying to stay awake to watch the show I recorded because she watches the little back yard singing animals a hundred times a day.
It was nice to feel lost and at home for a minute.
I looked around to find I was in the room alone. Well, at least I didn’t have an audience if I was snoring. Then again, snoring is one way to clear a room. I got up and washed the sand out of my eyes, vowing to write the latest writer of vampire books and correct some of the lore that made it into movies, but were not real. Vampires do to sleep, and was don’t get to cheat and drink animals, and we can go back to being human, and I bet that would just put me on Primus’ radar wouldn’t it?
Maybe I should just write a book myself, about my hunts and exploits, and add those details then. My niece would have loved that I was writing. Like I have time for that. A girl can dream and pretend to be alive and normal for a minute, right?
I roamed around after washing up only to find a still form standing on the back terrace looking out into the waves. Her hair wafted in the breeze and her shape suggested a curvy, solid, sassy brat I used to have to change diapers for. My niece is here.
“Rachel?” I asked expectantly.
“Auntie.” she said and spun around to face me. She looked just as I remembered. Long dark hair, big blue eyes, sweet smile, sass for miles.
“How did you get involved in all of this?” I asked as I half leapt across the terrace to meet her halfway and hugged her.
“It’s a long story. But, Gabriel says you’re taking a break from your training, so I’m sure you’ll have time.” Rachel said smiling.
One thing about my niece, she loves to talk and every story is a long one. I distinctly remember my parents paying her to be quiet for five minutes at a time when she was a child, a chatty child. But, I’ve missed this.