So, yeah. This isn't good. I needed a break. I'm falling apart. I can't remember if I posted this, but if I didn't, I was recently raped and more recently taken out of therapy. I'm not doing well. I wanted to write about angels. I think I'm going to pick up either Gun or Obsession after this…

Halo

Kenny had never understood why he, of all people, was one of the chosen to receive and redistribute the love and power of God. It made no sense. He was crude, inappropriate, perverse, crass, all those other words the school counselor was fond of over 'a total dickhead', but now, he understood. It made sense why it was him. Being an angel hurts like a sonuvafuck.

Imagine. Seventeen, unnaturally tall and thin, skin like porcelain, eyes like gems, hair like spun gold, fingers long and graceful, lips thick and expressive, everything about him perfect in an androgynous, unearthly way. He donned longsleeve shirts, hoodies, tall socks, long pants, boots, gloves, scarves, sunglasses to tuck it all away, hiding a bell tone voice beneath layers of clothing. He kept it all hidden from outside eyes.

The girls and boys he slept with spread rumors of disfigurement being the reason he kept the lights off and blindfolded his conquests. They spread fast, almost as fast as the rumors of his talented tongue, and he didn't mind at all. He thought it quite the game.

He was casually religious at best. No one would guess that he was a messenger of God. But here he was, being fucked over for it all the same, feeling the repercussions of the endless power and beauty he'd been presented with. Skin splitting, blood coating the ground beneath him as he panted and groaned on his hands and knees in a secluded alleyway, dirt and rocks indenting his palms. His skin felt like charcoal, hot and dry and disgusting, and hot, burning, burning-he ripped at the layers upon layers of clothing- scarf, hat, parka, jacket, sweater, shirt, tank top, gloves, boots, socks, pants.

Sweat and blood smeared his skin and soaked the coarse grey dirt as he collapsed into the grime of the dark, filthy alley. He shivered, feeling his skin push open farther, feeling the muscles of his back stretch, dislocate, snap, bulge, grow, feeling his ribs shatter and shift and piece back together. Dismally, he remembered being told the process of getting your wings is beautiful. And maybe it was, the slimy, gore and blood coated feathers tearing from his back like some sort of alien parasite. Maybe it was beautiful.

They felt heavy, he wanted to let them rest but he didn't know how. The sound of his bones cracking and flesh tearing made him moan in agonized nausea, made him jerk and a flutter of movement from his new muscles shot through his back as the wings shifted. Eventually, things began to numb and fade in and out and he knew death was near and he embraced it.

OoO

Damien was a man of few words and fewer facial expressions, which was something I could appreciate, almost as much as the irony of being sent to Hell after dying while receiving my wings. I was exhausted and sore and quite unamused with everything as I lounged on my chest on his bed, broad, edging on luminescent feathered appendages stretched over each side of his deliciously soft bed to rest on the floor, each six or seven feet across, about as long as I was tall.

I drew the sheets up further to hide more of my naked form, feeling Damien's red gaze like fingertips against my newly sewn together skin. The great appendages fluttered and I cringed at the alien sensation of new muscle. I couldn't help but lament that I hadn't expected the intense gaze of the antichrist so focused on me. Generally, I was nearly ignored, but generally, I was layered up, too.

"Damn." he muttered. I fixed my eyes on his, ignoring the trickles of fear and confusion licking at my spine. It was something you got used to, eventually.

"Hmm?" I asked lazily, stroking the dark, silken sheets beneath me slowly. He watched the movement of my fingers by my face with a catlike intensity, eyes unblinking and blank and red and glowing.

He approached the bed and leaned his hip against it carefully, putting his hands in his pockets deliberately as his long, thin tail prodded at my shin through the covers, spike menacing as it scratched at the cloth. "You're beautiful." the son of Satan admitted grudgingly. I groaned at the compliment. I'd much rather be 'sexy' or 'rugged' or 'masculine', not beautiful or pretty like my sister says. Offhandedly, he remarked, "If you were anyone else, I would rape you."

My stomach lurched. "Good thing I'm not anyone else." I sighed. Damien chuckled darkly.

"Don't push your luck. I am a man of little self control." he told me, an evil smile in place. I shut up quickly, quite aware than I was weak, injured and vulnerable. Damien rolled his eyes at my reaction, trailing his manicured fingertips across my iridescent feathers. It was a nice sensation-one, I suspected, similar to what a cat feels when petted. He reached to the buttons of his crimson silk button down, smoothly undoing them and revealing his solid torso.

"Hey!" I protested, only half joking. "I thought we agreed no rape!" The Prince of Darkness snorted, shrugging the cloth off his broad shoulders and letting it fall carelessly to the ground. He let his eyes slide shut and his fingers twitched for a moment before his body jerked suddenly and two large, leathery, batlike red wings burst from his back, sans the blood and gore. I gasped, but the surprise only lasted a few seconds. If the angels get wings, why shouldn't the devils?

"Let me teach you to fly." He insisted with a smirk. "After, I'll help you make your halo."

OoO

My little brother has night terrors. Like, really bad. Ike wakes up almost every night, usually between one and three. The panic I feel when the shriek first pierces my ears has never faded, even after all these years. Adrenaline bursts in my veins and I tumble to the floor, scrambling to my feet to make it out the door and across the hall.

By now, he's already calming down. Some nights, he'll fall straight back asleep and have no memory of the nightmare. Tonight, his eyes are open wide and filled with tears as he reaches for me. Sometimes, he expresses that he's a big boy and at ten years old, he's "nearly a man, Kyle!" But this is not one of those times. He clings to me like a baby to a bottle, sipping comfort from my warmth as we settle down again. It's hard to go back to sleep for me. The rush makes me alert and decidedly conscious. Typically, Ike's breathing will lure me back to sleep, but not tonight. Tonight something feels off.

I wait for what seems like hours before I decide that Ike is safely back in dreamland. Shifting slowly away from him, I pray that he'll stay there as my feet hit the floor. He seems undisturbed so I take my leave, turning the knob before I close the door so that it doesn't click.

Upon opening the door, it seems unnaturally cool. It only takes a moment to see why-my window was open. A spike of fear strikes my heart-did I leave it open? Or...

Grabbing an old metal baseball bat from where it leaned against my dresser, I approached my closet slowly. I threw it open, prepared for a battle, only to come face to face with... The inside of my closet. I sighed. Hit the floor to check under my bed. Nothing there, either, except for a lonely sock and a shoebox. I couldn't remember for the life of me what was in it, but I disregarded it, climbing onto my bed to shut the blasted window. I must've opened it earlier. Before I could, though, I was hitting soundly in the middle of my forehead by a pebble.

Blinking in shock, it took me several moments to process what had happened, and by then, another pebble had landed in my lap. I stuck my head out the window to glare down at my brightly colored assailant, his gloved hand poised to throw yet another icy cold pebble into my window.

Kenny cocked his head to the side in question. "Come on!" I whisper-shouted, trying not to let my anger into my tone. I DID tell him he's always welcome in my home... And he is, I just wish he didn't need to come so damn often. I can't begrudge him that, I supposed as he tumbled onto my bed.

"Are you the one who opened my window?" I inquired, yawning. Ken blinked his owlish cerulean eyes at me, confused and shivering just slightly despite all his concealing layers. He shook his head, asking if there was something wrong.

"Nah..." I mumbled, going to shut the window. My exhaustion was finally settling in. I silently thanked the Gods that the today was Saturday. Saturday. My eyes shot open. "Oh, happy birthday, Ken!"

Kenny's muffled laugh made me smile. "Thanks, Ky. Hope you don't mind me crashing here." He looked sheepish. I waved him off with a 'not at all' sort of response, bouncing over to my still-open closet. From it's depths, I retrieved a small, simply wrapped present, sky blue with a silver bow.

Collapsing back on my bed, I tossed it into his lap, watching his eyes light up as he picked it up, cradling it like something precious. It was half adorable, half just sad. "For me?" he checked, visibly restraining himself from opening it. I nodded and he emitted an excited half squeal, half shout, tearing into his gift eagerly.

"It's not much." I warned him. He flipped the box open, paper forgotten on the floor. I knew what was inside-a silver military dogtag engraved with his name on one side and a birdwing on the other, sitting atop a stack of individually wrapped chocolate truffles. It was a quiet poke at two old jokes-one that if he gets lost, he'll need a nametag so people can find his owner, and one that if he were any more lost in the clouds at school, he'd fly away. He immediately put it on, holding it admiringly in his hand. He turned it over and for a second, he tensed.

"Angel wing?" he questioned casually.

I shook my head. "It was supposed to be a bird. It COULD be an angel though. Your sister is always talking about how you and her and Kevin have a guardian angel, after all." I stopped abruptly, suddenly feeling awkward about my girly gift. "It's okay if you don't like it or whatever-"

"No!" he interrupted, dropping the tag against his chest and leaning over to hug me tightly. "It's perfect. Thank you."

I hugged him back just as tight. "Happy Birthday."

OoO

Ken started acting weird after his sixteenth birthday. Skittish almost. He scurried off after school more often than not-unusual considering his habit of raiding my fridge. Come to think of it, it seemed like everyone was acting weird. Cartman had become calm and quiet. Stan had been notably more aggressive than usual. Even Ike's spastic humor was leveling out.

Is this what growing up looks like?

Am I falling behind?

I suppose it doesn't matter. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as granny always says.

My thoughts continued to circle as I exchanged the contents of my locker with the contents of my backpack. Vaguely, I celebrated that I had theater first today. Complete knockoff class, other than the occasional projects. In ninth grade, she made us paint these huge flats. Mine sucked. Surprisingly, Cartman's was amazing. The bell rang. Off to class I went.

As though I had jinxed myself, written on the board when I sat down in theater was the work "PROJECTS!", written in pink chalk with a yellow exclamation point, as thought it were something to celebrate. Today was going to be a long day.

Technically we were supposed to sit three to a table, not four, but by now the teacher had quite given up. I didn't blame her, honestly. I'd give up too. We sat in the same seats every day, back of the class, Stan and I facing the board and Ken and Cartman on the other side of the table.

Like usual as of late, Kenny's gaze, brilliant blue, was fixed intensely on me. Used to all sorts of weird behavior from my small collection of friends, it didn't bother me much.

The teacher, a short, young playwright/actress with a no-nonsense, distinctly motherly face and red hair, took the front of the room and fixed us with her patented you-better-fucking-pay-attention glare. "Alright, guys, let's get this out of the way. I'm assigning a project." A chorus of groans rose from the assembled group. "I'm going to give each of you a sheet with a genre and a list of possible characters and you're going to write a fifteen to twenty minute play and perform it. This will be counted as your final."

I perked up. Shit just got real. I glanced longingly over at the table with Token, Wendy and Nicole as a few students moved to form groups but stayed put with a sigh. I'm nothing if not loyal. The teacher began to pass out the papers. In the back of the class, Clyde let out a woot of "FUCK YEAH, aliens!" and Tweek shrieked in horror. I took the page politely from my slightly smirking teacher with a grin.

My smile faded for a second as I read the paper before I burst into laughter. "We're writing a... haha... a romance." I informed the group betwixt my giggles. The character options were Schoolgirl, Prostitute, Best Friend, Father, Sister, Football Captain, Rich Middle-aged Man, Moral Angel, Moral Devil, Widow, Jealous Ex, Nerd, and Pet Cat.

The theater teacher, needless to say, was quite the character. She stood once more at the front of the classroom. "You will need to design costumes, gather at least a few props, write the script, memorize your lines. You can see why I've given you a month and half to do this. You will have the rest of the period to work out three BASIC plot ideas. You will hand them in to me, I will pick the best one and that is the story you will write. I suggest you start!"

"We should do one with the schoolgirl and the old man." Kenny suggested immediately, a lecherous tone to his voice. I immediately tried to shut him down, but he protested. "We could make it this huge internal debate with the moral angel and demon. Little girl sitting on this man's bed, wondering if she's falling for a trick like other girls do or if his affection, money and support is something she can count on. Wondering if she's making the right decision. It'd be pretty solid."

I paused. It was a good plot. "Write it down." I mumbled grudgingly. Writing is supposed to be MY thing, jeez, Ken. "How about one about a widow who is being stalked by a crazy ex boyfriend from highschool? We can do Ex, Pet Cat, Widow and schoolgirl. The schoolgirl could be, like, her daughter."

"Like in Boy Gets Girl?" Cartman piped in. I shot him an odd look and shrugged.

Stan smirked, tapping the page with a calloused fingertip. "We could do a parody of a typical romance. We could have the girl, the best friend, the jock and the nerd. Underdog gets the girl and all."

"I'm not sure that it would come across as a parody... I guess we could make it painfully campy and be melodramatic. But how can we out-campy teen romance flicks?" I mused. "Whatever. Write it down."

As usual, we were miles ahead of everyone else. "Let's assign roles."

"I wanna be the pet cat!" Ken asserted immediately, bouncing slightly in his seat with excitement like the little goofball that he is. "Cartman should be the crazy stalker." Surprisingly, Cartman nodded slightly at this, and it took me a second to realize why. That was the only role that wasn't either a girl or an animal.

I eyed Stan. "Wanna be the middle-aged woman or the teen girl?"

He studied the page for a moment. "I'll be the daughter. I think she'll prolly have less lines. Plus I'll get to be pretty. You can be the schoolgirl if we do the one with the old man. I'll be the Moral Angel. Ken can be the Moral Demon. Cartman can be the creep again." The brunette merely rolled his eyes at the continued assault.

Stan threw in that if we did the parody, he wanted to be the douche jock. I hmmm'd. "I wanna be the nerd. I get the girl, right?" Stan nodded. "Good. Ken, you be the girl. No way am I going to use my awkward powers of nerd seduction on Cartman."

I scribbled these notes down and waved over the teacher. "Look good?" I asked as she scanned the page. She nodded slowly, lips pulling down into a thoughtful frown.

"Looks good. I'll tell you next class which one I want you to do." she muttered, taking the page from me distractedly as she turned her attention to the hysterically shaking Tweek in the back of the room, who was protesting that if he were an alien, he might leak and ruin more pairs of underwear, and between that and the gnomes he'd completely run out, and then what would he do, Craig? Craig appeared not to have an answer.

Ken stood and shuffled over to the group, laying a hand on Tweek's shoulder. "What's the issue, Tweekers?" he inquired with a playful nudge. The little coffee addict shrieked but, a moment later, seemed to start relaxing. He cried something about not wanting to be an alien and Kenny knelt beside him, looking him in the eye and smiling as he talked him through his anxiety.

"He's good at that." Cartman commented suddenly behind me. I reluctantly turned away from the pair of spastic blonds in favor of paying attention to my super best and my super worst. I nodded in agreement. A look of anger flashed briefly across the brunette's face but he seemed to shake it off. "So hey, Jew, what're you doing for your policy paper?"

"Haven't decided yet." I mumbled, suddenly quite downtrodden that my friends were acting so strange and mature. That's supposed to be my thing.

Stan had an answer. "I'm doing abortion." he told the fatass, sparking a genuine debate about the pros and cons of criminalizing abortion. I stared in wonder. As the debate progressed, Stan was the one getting flustered and angry while Cartman remained collected and thoughtful. Fascinating.

To be continued (eventually)…

Do me a favor and pick a plotline for me to write for the theater project. May or may not be based on an actual assignment. Either way, I'll post the script as a chapter.

QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, CONCERNS? REVIEW!