The time for NaNoWriMo is upon us! National Novel Writing Month celebrates the writer in all of us by helping to free us from road blocks and “I can’t possibly be good at this” and instead focuses on the experience and just getting the words on paper (or in 0′s and 1′s).
Although I am not participating in NaNoWriMo this year (too many insane plans), I would like to encourage you to give it a try!
Would you like to know more about NaNoWriMo? Check out these posts:
- National Novel Writing Month: Introduction
- National Novel Writing Month: Getting Started
- National Novel Writing Month: Pre-Launch
- National Novel Writing Month: Making Newbie Mistakes
- National Novel Writing Month: Road Block
- National Novel Writing Month: The End
And I have kept up with what I wrote last year. I have moved it all onto Google Dirve and work from Google Docs now. I have a few beta readers who read my work as I fix it up and write more. My story/plot has changed, and so has my prologue and first chapter.
The Angel’s Guardian by Rhianna Ulrich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. You cannot copy, use, modify, change, doodle, stare at too long, email, mail, hand deliver, orally relay, gossip, fax, interpretive dance, eat, etc. this work at all ever. Don’t be an asshole. Thank you.
The Angel’s Guardian by Rhianna Ulrich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
The woman’s red and grey hair shone in the firelight as she gathered her children close and huddled them into the warmth of the blankets and furs. The youngest, Willie, ran up clutching an old worn book to his chest. The cover was long faded and many pages had fallen out only to be haphazardly placed back in.
“Which one shall I read, then, laddie? The one of the Pirate Noel? Or perhaps the story about your Great Auntie Reverence?” Picking up Willie, she tucked him into her lap and opened the book for them all to see.
“Momma, momma; I want the one about Grandad!”
“No, read about the Angel of the Lake!”
“I want this one, momma.” Little hands and voices struggled to overpower the others before she sighed loudly and shut the book, pinching tiny fingers lightly.
“Since you canna get along, I will read the story I want tonight, hellions.” There was a collective grumble of discontent amongst them.
“But momma, you always tell the same one,” came a whine from beneath the blanket, but they all settled down and stared up at her face.
The book was opened once more and flipped to one of the first few pages. They were easily the most worn and someone had sewn and waxed the pages back in with care. The children snuggled in, and a few closed their eyes.
“Long ago there was nothing, save for the sun and the land.”
“Not a thing: no water, no mountains, no animals, no flowers.”
“Not even a biscuit with honey?”
“No, Willie. Not even a biscuit with honey. Hush now.” She gave her youngest one a squeeze and then continued. “There was only the sun and God, who spent His time traveling.”
“But He was lonely.”
“Indeed He was. He longed for a friend. So, one day, He took his heart and split it into two. He kept one for himself and the other he planted in the ground for ten years. When He came back, Lilith arose from the ground, and so did the moon.”
“Lilith was bad!”
“Hold your whist, child. I am getting there.” She paused to see if there would be any more interruptions before continuing. “God and Lilith were happy to have each other, but were still lonely. So, together they mixed their tears and planted them in the ground as well. After ten days, plants began to sprout. Overjoyed at their creation they tried again. This time their tears became the fishes in the sea. Next to be born of their tears were the animals and then, finally mankind. God, delighted with their creations, became friends with mankind.”
“But that made Lilith mad, right momma?”
“Willie, stop ruining the story!”
“Hush to you both. Yes, lad, Lilith was jealous of the time God spent with their mankind creation. In her anger, she caused a great flood which killed many of the people God was friends with. Saddened, God split his heart once more and forged Lucifer to help keep Lilith from destroying any more. Together, God and Lucifer turned Lilith into a spirit so she could no longer hurt anyone.”
“And that is why the moon only comes out at night! Because it was sad that Lilith wasn’t there anymore!” The eldest spoke up to finish the story for her mother proudly.
“Ah, but there is more!” She turned the page carefully to depict a great warrior with wings wielding a great sword. The delicately painted and inked drawing had a few spots of water damage, but it did not take away from the grace of the angel.
“Worried that she may return again and destroy His humans, God and Lucifer mixed their tears together and planted them in the hopes that they could create defenders for them. After a time their tears sprouted into two beings: one with wings like a bird and the other with wings like a bat, but both with the body of a man. These became mankind’s first safeguards against Lilith.” She turned the page once more to show another man, this one with wings that seemed to be made of the softest leather and a tiny set of horns on his head. He was posed in the midst of nocking an arrow in his large golden bow.
“There was harmony for many generations, until both Lucifer and God began to notice mankind showing malice towards one another. After all, they had been created by God and Lilith. Studying them, Lucifer noticed that not all people showed the influence of Lilith. So, it was decided that God would take his Angels up into the sky and watch the humans from above. From there, he would make sure that those who had pure hearts would be rewarded. Lucifer took his Demons down into the ground to watch from below. His demons would ensure that those with corrupt hearts would one day understand the hurt they cause upon others.”
She closed the book softly and told her children the rest from her heart.
“And that, my little ones, is why we are so important. Every once in awhile God sends down one of His Angels to make sure Lilith stays asleep and to make sure we keep our hearts full of love. When He does, we take care of the Angels so the Angels can take care of us.”
“Is that why Aker lives with us?”
“That’s right. He’s our Angel.”
“Can I have an Angel, too, momma?”
“Not until you are older, Willie. God makes sure he picks only strong grown men who eat their vegetables to get Angels, so you better start gobblin’ up your carrots.”
“Yeah, Willie, eat your carrots,” someone taunted.
“What do you do with an Angel? Does he stay outside with Smokey?”
She gave Will an exasperated look. “Now, boy, does Aker stay outside with the dog? No. You be treatin’ all Angels with respect or your pa will be tanning your behind. We take the Angels God gives us and help them live, son. We help them thrive when they are here; it is a lot different than heaven, you know. We become their family. A sacred bond.”
I was on fire. As in – the burning of 10,000 suns scorching along my back – on fire. It had finally happened: my good ol’ rust-can Betty had kicked the bucket and was going down in a fiery fit of blazing glory. I swerved off the highway, unbuckled my seatbelt, leaped out of my 2-door P.O.S. car, and dropped fluidly into a roll. Mom would have been proud to see the grace I just showed after 25 years living as the resident cliché bookworm butterfinger. I would have to try to remember to let mom know that she was lacking the correct motivation when I was younger to get me to be a dancer; fire melting the skin off my body worked wonders.
Attempting the whole stop-drop-and-roll thing left me falling down the slope of the shoulder and gathering up every piece of dead grass on the way. I briefly wondered how much worse the dead grass would make the fire (it is amazing how much thinking one can do while on fire) before realizing that I had hit the bottom of the hill and my back didn’t burn anymore. Rolling a few extra times just for good measure, I finally stood up and hesitantly reached an arm around to touch my back and assess the damage. I was imagining a steamy, gooey mess that used to be flesh, and possibly some hard crunchy charred areas. A small condolence would be that my long brown hair would be saved since I had it up in a ponytail.
I couldn’t feel anything but the cotton of my shirt and bits of dead grass. Doing my best impression of a dog chasing its tail I did a few complete turns before giving up and just taking my shirt off completely. From what I could feel my back was whole and had no burned areas on it whatsoever. I could hear my mom now enjoying that, although I was on fire, I was at least lucky enough to have an entire shirt to cover me up, even if it wasn’t doing it’s job right now. We won’t go over what she would say about me being sans-shirt on the side of the road with dead grass in my hair, though.
I ran my hand along my back – smooth skin. Thank God. But how? I trekked up the hill I had rolled down and checked out Betty; she was flame free and just fine. I used her side window to check out the reflection of my back.
What the hell?!
Nothing but smooth, unblemished skin. Well, I guess I couldn’t exactly say unblemished. I now sported an intricate angel wing tattoo that ran between my shoulders. It hadn’t been there five minutes ago.