adventure / sci-fi / drama / romance

Flatiron Angel: Part Six

N NIGHTFALL CAME; AND WITH IT, THE SHADOWS and creatures that operated within them. A man shrouded in darkness stole another glance at Rose’s front door. She hadn’t left since arriving earlier that morning and he was beginning to wonder if she was ever going to leave at all, at least, on her own free will that is. He figured the others would arrive soon enough to deal with her the same way they had with her father. The lights in the house began to flicker off one by one. She was getting ready to move. The man scanned in each direction before stealing across the way and crouching against the wall of Rose’s home. He thumbed the blade in his pocket while he waited; it had been ages since he’d had to use it. Not since Earth. But the gliding movements were muscle memory for him at this point and he never turned down the opportunity for a good brawl. He chuckled to himself as he remembered it was that penchant for fighting that got him up here in the first place. A hush fell over the house until all he could hear was the faint chatter of insects singing their nightsongs. Rolling onto the balls of his feet, he prepared to strike.

Rose stood inside the entrance of her home with a bag slung over her back and a pounding inside her chest. She’d spent the better part of the last hour simply trying to ease her nerves. What was once a steaming cup of tea had long since cooled, and beside it, a half-drank glass of whisky that had taken its place. There was no plan, not a real one at least. The Council lived in a large house perched on a hill north of the city. To her knowledge, nobody had ever been in there, aside from the Sons. Her best guess at this point was that if her father was alive, he was somewhere in there; chained up and beaten was the image that kept playing over and over in her head and it made her blood boil. A rotation of angels patrolled the grounds from a bird’s eye view day and night, a fact she planned to deal with on an as needed basis. Rose wiggled her fingers as the warm tingling she had been waiting for began to work its way through her bloodstream. The door handle felt cool in her hand and the roots of her wings burned with anticipation.  Now or never, she thought to herself, and with a turn of the knob, she stepped out into the dark. 

She hadn’t even made it one step before a hand flew over her mouth and the cold edge of a blade pressed against her throat. A hooded man stepped into her, the blade spurring her backwards into the wall. The warm sensation of blood dripped from her neck as the knife pressed deeper. Her hands fumbled for a blade of her own but he was quick and a heel tucked behind her legs sending her tumbling to the ground. 

“You fool!” he hissed at her. 

Rose skittered back on all fours creating as much distance as possible. The man closed the door behind him and flicked on a light.

“I would’ve thought Benji had trained you better than that.” 

The sound of her father’s name from a hooded stranger holding a knife sent a new wave of adrenaline pumping through her veins. She grasped at a nearby chair and hoisted herself to her feet, careful to never take her eyes off of him. Her hand lingered on the wooden frame as she attempted to ease her nerves. Through ragged breaths she asked, Who are you?

“I’m a friend of your dads.”

Rose shook her head.

“I would recognize you.”

He clicked his tongue.

“Okay fine, I worked with him,” he said. Then added, “We were work friends.”

Rose put the chair between the two of them with one hand, the other quietly reaching for the knife pressed against the small of her back. He shook his head.

“Don’t do that. I’m not here to hurt you.”

She loosened her grip.

“Could’ve fooled me.” 

He flipped the blade in the air and presented it to her handle first.

“It was only the dull end.”

She rubbed her neck where a blade had been only moments ago. Not a drop of blood came off on her hand. Not even a scratch. It had all happened so fast. She glared at him nonetheless. 

“Okay, so who are you, really?”

“My name is Logan.”

The name didn’t ring any bells, nor did the scar on his face. It was only now, as her breathing returned to normal that Rose noticed the Irish brogue in his voice. Rose peered around him.

“You’re not an angel.”

He grinned. 

“Is my human showing?”

Rose’s roots were starting to burn again, like fingers around a hot cup of coffee. 

“Humans don’t work at the Capital.”

“I never said I worked with your dad at the Capital, I said I worked with him. Did he ever mention The Dark Well to you?”

Her ears perked up at the sound of her father’s final words to her the night before but her focus was waning. The burning in her back was getting worse and beginning to cloud her mind. 

“So he did.”

She winced at what was now a pain she couldn’t ignore any longer and reached back to rub her shoulder. His eyes grew wide.

“Are your roots burning?”

How had he known that?

“Yes, how did you-”

He closed the gap on them in an instant.

“I thought we’d have more time, but right now, you need to run.”

Rose searched his face. Was this a face her father had trusted? The fact of the matter was, he could have hurt her and he didn’t. That was all the information she had to go on for now. 

“Why?” she asked.

His jaw tightened.

“They’re early.”






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Joe Shields