The Change. Short Story.

He pulled himself off the ground using the nearby dumpster as a hand hold. He gingerly placed his foot on the ground, winced, hissed, then rested some more weight on it. It was sore, but it would hold. No one had come to investigate yet but he didn’t know how much longer his luck would hold. He needed to get moving, before it was too late. He limped out of the alley, no one noticed him as he walked around the corner and away from the large crater that he had created. He stumbled through the streets, working his way through the milling crowd as they headed home from work. He stopped outside a small restaurant and hobbled in.

As he sat down he sighed in relief, his ankle wasn’t getting any better, and he had no doubt that it was swelling severely. He stretched it out and onto another chair, hoping it would reduce the swelling. He ordered some food and a soft drink, while he waited, he tried to figure out what the hell he could do. He looked around the diner, it was so bright, with so many colours.

He ate slowly, enjoying the food, he had never eaten anything like this before. He supplemented the meal with sips from his soft drink, marvelling at how everything tasted. When he finished, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the correct change. He grinned. It was fifty-fifty on whether or not it would work. He placed the money on the table and sipped his drink.

He walked down the street, his ankle was feeling better but all this walking was starting to tire him out. Using legs was incredibly strange. He missed hovering. He stopped outside a hotel, then moved on. He still wasn’t far enough away. He stepped towards the road and hailed a taxi.

After a thirty minute ride, he paid the fare and stepped outside, then he entered a large lobby. He approached the desk carefully and requested a room, after paying cash up front, he moved towards the elevator. In his room he lay on the bed and stacked pillows under his hurt ankle. His feet ached slightly. While he waited he turned on the TV. After a few minutes, he dozed off.

He woke an three hours later, feeling fantastic. He knew that others would soon be joining him, but for now he had peace and quiet. He wanted to stay off the radar and enjoy himself for as long as possible. With what he knew, he could avoid detection for at least ten years. By then people would know what was happening, of course. There’d be tabloid exploits and novels and chat show visitations, but he would be able to avoid all that. He could warn people, but what would be the point? That would only cause panic. They were here to cause hope. At least inspire it for a short while. He turned on the news and watched as the reporter explained that an unconscious man was found at the centre of a large crater in the middle of the road. Witnesses claimed he fell from the sky. The man was unconscious. It showed a picture of a tall man, dressed in a black suit, similar to his own. It was Tony. He hadn’t landed right. Big surprise. Tony was never graceful, always screwing up. They would find everything out sooner than he expected. It would still take a few weeks. By then they’d have done their blood tests, body endurance tests too no doubt. They’d discover some very, very interesting things. He wondered how everyone would react. It wasn’t every day that angels fell from the sky. Of course, it had been happening for years, it was just usually done in a more subtle fashion to slightly nudge events in the right direction. Now there would be thousands. And they all carried a terrible, terrible secret.

Heaven was closed.

The announcement had come yesterday, all of the human souls that had already entered would be contained in bliss, while the angels were rejected .No one else would be entering heaven, not now not ever. They didn’t ask why, they weren’t given the chance, even if they were they wouldn’t have been answered. That wasn’t Gods way. He directed, they acted. They didn’t know what the plan was, why he made his decisions. He didn’t really care, now he wanted to enjoy himself, at least for a little while. He had enough to keep himself going, the others might not be so lucky, but then he had helped himself to a few things before he was kicked out. Why shouldn’t he? He had spent billions of years being perfect, in a job for all eternity with everything he could want, then he’s suddenly booted out onto his ass. No. He wanted a little something for himself.

He didn’t know what would happen to the souls of humans now. Hell had been taking in souls last he heard, but that could always change. After all, God ran that too, in his way. They could be used for energy of course, endless, perfect energy. They could teach humans how to harness it, but was that morally ethical? No one knew what the souls felt in that state. A soul could do one thing and one things only. Run a light bulb for ever or power a TV, not both. Once a task had been assigned, it couldn’t be changed. Of course there wasn’t extensive testing on their part, that wasn’t allowed. Humans could probably do so much more with their terrible, amazing imaginations.

He turned off the TV and went towards the bathroom, he always wanted to try a shower. It seemed so novel, hot water, pouring down. They didn’t bathe, there was no need. He’d need to get used to that, deodorant as well. He would smell naturally good for a week or two, maybe more, but it would eventually turn sour.

After the shower, he towelled himself off and dressed in his suit. He’d need new clothes, preferably comfortable ones. He looked around the rooms, gathered his things and stepped outside. The world was large and he had seen a lot of it, but he had so much to explore.

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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