As the angel’s story came to a close, we felt as though we were returning back to our bodies, as if we’d drifted away, becoming insubstantial ghosts as we watched the angel’s story unfold.
I was the first person to shake off that feeling. “Ugh, that storytelling ability you all have is really annoying when you stop talking,” I complained. “Always feels like a hangover when we have to push our way back to reality…”
The angel shrugged without any sign of understanding. But even as I groaned and rubbed at my temples, I heard Father Helms also waking up. He blinked a couple times, but didn’t seem as thrown by the abrupt return to reality as I felt.
“How do you feel, Father?” I asked quickly, before another one of these angels could open his mouth and ruin things again.
The man held still for a moment before answering. “I’m not quite sure,” he finally replied.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, on one hand, I think I feel a little bit better about not understanding everything, after hearing that story,” he tried to clarify, nodding at the angel, who was slowly trying to sidle away. “But now, I’m starting to lose some faith in whether these angels truly serve a higher purpose.”
I had hoped that the other angels would keep on moving away, that they wouldn’t be eavesdropping.
Unfortunately, these hopes were in vain.
“Ugh, don’t talk to me about purpose,” snorted one man standing far to close to the table. He leaned over, spilling a few drops of his coffee (which definitely smelled like it was a fair bit stronger than just espresso). “The whole thing’s a scam!”
I looked up at the angel, my eyes narrowing. I officially didn’t allow “fallen” angels into my coffee shop, but I didn’t often care much about enforcing that rule. This angel wasn’t quite at the point of sprouting horns out his forehead, but he definitely looked ready to pull on a leather jacket and start waving a switchblade at an old lady in a threatening manner.
“No one knows what they’re talking about!” he insisted, taking another pull of his drink. “And here, I’ll prove it!”
And with that, the half-drunk “falling” angel (“down on one knee” angel?) slipped into the booth across from us, and started to tell us his tale…