Happy Birthday, Jewel-of-athos! Enjoy!

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Jewel was angry, and that didn't happen easily.

She was a writer, and she had just come from her publishers' office, a dozen of her latest manuscripts slung over her shoulder in her bag. She had spent a good deal of time writing these stories, most of her extra time in fact, and she hadn't published one.

She couldn't understand it; all her friends said that she wrote really well, and she used all the proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, corrections, and everything. She'd even made sure to keep her stories and characters original.

So why couldn't she get a story published?

It wasn't that she didn't trust her publisher, they'd know each other for years. He'd always been supportive of her writing, even going as far as to sand some copies to other authors. But for some reason he said that he couldn't publish her stuff.

He'd told her he'd always like her stuff, that they were good in their own way, but that they didn't quite reach passed the bar. His personal belief was that he should publish a book unless he really thought that it would become a best seller.

"It's really for the authors," he said. "Trust me, the minute I read something of yours that pops, it'll be on shelves before you can say 'National Best Seller'."

She thought maybe she would go sit in the woods for a while. She felt she'd written her best stories there.

Today, however, wasn't one of those days.

After about an hour of writers-block, I decided not to force it. I climbed into a nearby tree and sat on one of the branches, letting my right leg hang down freely.

I sat like that for about another thirty minutes before I started to fall asleep.

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"Excuse me, Lady?"

I jerked awake, almost falling out of the tree, startled at the voice that had suddenly appeared.

I looked down and saw a little girl, maybe about seven or eight, standing underneath the branch a was sitting on. She was holding a stuffed bear that had angel wings and a halo.

"I'm Angel," she said, "what's your name?" Angel, huh? I thought wryly. She definitely looked cute enough be a little angel.

"I'm Jewel," I said, dropping out of the tree. I looked around but saw no-onen else nearby. "Are your parent around?"

"No," she said simply, "it's just me and my F-...my brothers and sisters."

"And where are they?" I asked.

"They're around here somewhere. Don't worry, I never get lost."

"Oh, OK," I said, not quite believing her. Feeling a little awkward, I asked, "I don't think I've seen you around here before, do you live here?"

"No, just passing through." Her eyes seemed to scrutinize me for a second, then she said, "You're a writer."

"Yes, I am." As I wondered how she knew that, I remembered all the notebooks I was carrying.

"That's a lot of notebooks, don't you have a computer?"

"I do," I replied, "but I like to write things down by hand first. I mostly use my computer back up what I've written, in case I loose a notebook."

"That's cool," she said. "My brother has a computer, only he doesn't write like you, he has a blog. It's very popular." Suddenly, sadness creeped onto her face, "You have gotten many books published, have you?"

Was it really that obvious?

"No I haven't," I told her. "The publisher I go to has very strict standards about what they publish, and apparently my books are just one over par."

"Huh?"

"Sorry, it a golf term. What I meant was that I just can't get that one thing my writing needs to put it over the top."

"Can I read some of your stuff?" Hey, what did I have to loose?

"Sure," I said, digging through my bag for just the right one. A minute later I found it. "Here," I said, handing it to the girl, "it's a bunch of short stories I wrote a while back."

She browsed through it, occasionally stopping to asked me what certain things meant. Eventually she put the book down and said, "You're really good."

"Thank you," I said sweetly. She really had no idea how much I needed to hear that.

"Angel!"

I jumped, and let out a startled cry at the sight of a young man standing ten feet away from us. OK, I was absolutely sure that there wasn't anybody there two seconds ago.

He was very tall and thin, (and about eighteen years old, unless I miss my guess), and looked like he was about to blow a gasket. He's probably Angel's brother, I surmised. Only he doesn't really look a lot like her. Maybe they were adopted.

"Where were you?" he said, clearly talking to the girl at my side. "We've been looking for you everywhere."

"I was right here," she said, so sweetly that you couldn't help but take her at her word, "with Jewel."

"Hi, Jewel Caprican," I said, holding out my hand, "and you are?"

"'Caprican'?" the boy asked incredulously.

"Oh, it's my alias I use for my writings. I hear you have your own blog, is that right?"

"Yeah," he said simply, still looking like he thought something was going to jump out of my skin.

"Don't worry," I said, "I'm not going to turn into a werewolf and eat you or something like that." He just stood there, his cold gaze fixed on me.

OK, I totally didn't feel awkward right now.

"Your sister found me asleep in that tree behind me; I guess we kind of hit it off. Um, I don't think I caught you name, Mr...."

"Nick, and we're leaving now." He grabbed Angel's hand and started leading her away. "Come on, everybody else already left, and if Max doesn't give you what's coming, than-"

"Wait a minute," she said, breaking away from him and running back to me. She held out my notebook in front of here. "Here," she said, "you can have this back now."

"Thank you," I said, "but you keep it, I've got a back-up, remember?"

"Angel, let's go!" Nick shouted.

"Bye!" she said, and suddenly I started to feel sleepy. I tried to stay conscious, but I could hold it and I had to sit down. The last thing I can remember seeing before I blacked out was...Wings?

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"Jewel," the publisher said, "I think you've hit pay-dirt here."

"Really?" Jewel asked.

"Absolutely! I can get 500,000 copies in stores easily."

"That's great!" She was ecstatic, but held it back. Only her face betrayed her real feelings.

"By the way, how did you come up with this idea?"

"I'm not quite sure," Jewel answered. "I remember falling asleep in the woods, then waking up with this story swirling around in my head. I can't explain it."

"Don't try, just keep writing more of this. If we're lucky you could probably turn this into a series."

A series, huh...

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Six months later...

"What'cha reading, Nudge?" I asked.

"Oh, Hi Max," she said cheerfully. "It called 'The Archangel series'. It's about this girl, and she meets this guy and his younger sister, Michael and Angel. They have wings by the way, only she doesn't know that they have wings until they all get attacked by this werewolf creature and the guy, Michael, has to fly them all to safety. And then, she finds out that Michael and Angel were created by these really sick people using magic, and they have to go rescue Michael's other sister, Celestial. (Celeste for short.) And..."

"Nudge," I said, stopping her before she could go on any further, "doesn't that sound a little too much like our story?"

"I don't know, maybe," she said, and then launched right back into her rant. "And then they have to fight all these other half-human, half-animal creatures, and..."

"You just keep reading," I said, knowing that she couldn't really talk when she was reading. I also noticed the name of the author, Jewel Caprican, "I'm gonna go find Angel. I'm sure this has something to do with that writer she met last year."

"OK," she said, and went back to the book.
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I'd just like to point out that the Jewel in the story is not a carbon copy of the Jewel in real life, although they both bear similarities to each other.

To everyone else; If you like Angel, check out my other story, "Angel's Story". It's really good, trust me! Don't let the warning I wrote for it completely deter you from reading it. Later!