VESPERS: A Never Prayer Story, Episode 1

Aaron Michael

3:13 p.m.
I watch Eladio Garcia sleeping, and though I don’t have eyes, I can see what will happen if I don’t help him. He and his girlfriend are destined to die at 5:13 p.m., in just a couple of hours. I can save them, but I’m running out of time.
If he woke, he wouldn’t see me. I guess I’m a ghost, or a guardian angel, or something. But I don’t know anything about that. All I know is this: I died centuries ago and I’m on the outside of things. I refused the light. I shunned the love of a might-be-probably-never-was God. I stayed as a spirit to fix this world. To fix the lives I find, that I’m drawn to. Always little boys with big sisters and dead parents. Always broken people crushed by despair. Always.
Is Heaven empty?
God, please, don’t let Heaven be empty.

It’s up to us, all of us, to be the angels and push things back into shape.
Without me pushing things right, Eladio Garcia will be in his girlfriend Fiona’s apartment in South Denver that day at 5:13 p.m. Fiona has bright pink hair and a tattoo on the back of her neck. It’s a heart fenced in with barbed wire and roses.
They love each other. But they aren’t alone.
Kendrick will be there in the apartment with them. He is a drug dealer, a loan shark, the broken soul who cuts people with the sharp edges of his shattered heart.
 It all will happen in two hours if I don’t stop it. 5 o’clock. Vespers. Screaming instead of prayers. Blood on Eladio’s hands. Kendrick will stab him. Kendrick will laugh. Fiona will sob. Kendrick will take his gleaming butterfly knife, dripping blood, swinging it, playing with her, whispering, giggling, methed and morphed into a villain. “Come on, Fiona. You gotta pay me ’cause Eladio can’t. And what I want, he don’t have. Only you got it. You know what I’m talking about.”
I can’t let that happen. I can see the clock on the floor, face spattered with blood. 5:13. I can hear the screams.

Read the entire first episode of this exciting new serial story in the July/August 2018 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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