An Angel's Mark

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An End to All Normalcy

“You will find the exits, here, here and here” The flight attendant announced in her insanely perky tone whilst carrying out the safety instructions.

When all the necessary demonstrations had been made, the pilot made his final announcements before take-off.

“This is your pilot Joseph Martin speaking. We will be taking off shortly on this 22:00 British Airways flight from Accra to London, Heathrow. We are expecting to arrive in London at 5:30am. Flight attendants please make your final checks in order to make sure that everyone is safely buckled in and then take your seats.” He said.

Cora wasn’t sure whether it was her overwhelming exhaustion due to their late night activity or the fact that their stand against Lucifer was fast approaching. Either way whatever the cause, as she checked she was buckled in she felt an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. Looking to her left and then to her right and finally down the row at her companions she couldn’t help but sigh.

A year ago she had been so worried about ensuring that her last year of school ended in academic excellence. In her eyes, it had all been figured out and she had known exactly what to do to succeed. Her future success acting as a representation of all the hard work she had put in over the years.

To say the year hadn’t turned out how she planned was an understatement. Her initial reaction had been to wait it all out, with the hope that she would wake-up one day to find that it had all been some kind of strange supernatural dream. However, it had quickly become apparent that God could make even the most extraordinary events a reality.

In the past few months the feats she had both achieved and seen had surpassed even her wildest dreams but that didn’t mean she wasn’t still absolutely terrified. Her fears were further supported by how drastically her life had been transformed. She was the kind of person who believed in waiting for the dust to settle before taking action. She couldn’t help but think about all the different ways that this confrontation could go wrong.

Not to mention the fact that their whole mission had been shrouded in a kind of secrecy that made her more than a little uncomfortable. Apart from Miss Lee none of their other guardians had the faintest idea what was actually going on. Their cover story had been that Afriel was treating them all to a vacation at his home in London as a reward for them all successfully finishing their A levels. Which hadn’t been all that difficult to pull off because it seemed Afriel could charm just about anyone into believing just about anything. Since he always knew what to say but the plan obviously required him to accompany them as their chaperone, in order to make the story seem much more feasible. Only Constance Lee understood the danger she was letting her niece walk into and the true gravity of the situation. The other parents and guardians who had been afforded the luxury of true ignorance, were able to calmly see the young people off with some not even turning up to the airport at all. To them it was just another holiday and they could expect to see their children sometime in the very near future. When in actuality there was a possibility that they would not return at all.

For Cora, there had been a cloud of misery that shrouded her and her family as they dropped her off at the Airport before meeting up with the others. They were a family deeply rooted in loyalty, trust and most importantly their love for one another. Cora like the others had decided not to share her recent life changes with them for fear of them not believing her or thinking her insane. They were atheists and the events that she had recently experienced wouldn’t even reside within the realm of possibilities for them. For a family so close it had placed an invisible wedge between them and her excusing herself from their annual trip to their ancestral home in Verona, in order to go on what they believed to be a vacation with her friends had widened it to the size of a vast cavern. The reaction had been highly emotive, especially that of her parents. Her father ranted and raved about how out of touch she was becoming with her family and all her mother could do was silently cry. She had no real explanation that she could provide them with and thought it better to protect them from the truth until the dust had truly settled. However that didn’t stop her worrying that she was compromising too much of her integrity in order to carry out her destiny. The God she now knew stood for truth, love and understanding and yet she was lying to her own family.

She had internalised all this worry and pushed it deep down within her but there was angel that could see through the cracks in her fortified walls.

“What is going in that gorgeous head of yours?” Michael asked. He was sat comfortably next to her but found the intense gaze the younger woman had as she stared at the headrest in front of them deeply concerting.

“Nothing much. What about you?” Cora replied quickly. She had always found it so easy to be the patient one when listening and having conversations with others but she for some reason she found it hard to expect other people to do the same thing for her. She never wanted to burden or waste their time with her thoughts but Michael always seemed to have a way of getting it out of her anyway.

“I am fine.” Michael said. He didn’t look convinced by her response but at the same time he wasn’t the type to pry.

“Actually you know what I am not fine. I get overwhelmed when I think about what we are about to do, even though I have known about some of the wonders of this world for thousands of years. I can’t imagine how all of you must be feeling, especially since I know how close you are to your family. I think that you are absolutely amazing for being so strong through all of this. You shouldn’t feel guilty about keeping this from your family, when the time is right you can decide whether or not to explain all of this to them. After all, it is hard enough to accept all this when it is your destiny. ” Michael stated sternly, in an uncharacteristically firm tone that suggested that he wanted her to heed his advice.

“You got all that from looking at my face. I really need to learn to not be so expressive it must get worse when I am tired.” Cora replied rather embarrassed at her obvious lack of self-control. It was clear that Michael had managed to infer a lot of what he had just said, simply from looking at her.

“You don’t need to change a thing it’s perfect” Michael replied cautious of causing Cora an additional unnecessary stress.

“I mean your face is perfect. Not that the rest of you isn’t perfect. I guess what I am trying to say is, there is no expression you could make that wouldn’t be absolutely charming. I like that I don’t have to try too hard to figure out what you are thinking because contrary to common belief I am not actually a mind reader.” Michael said stumbling over his words.

“That is really kind of you to say but I am pretty sure I can make some pretty grotesque faces” Cora replied chuckling as her cheeks reddened at result of his rampant compliments.

“I am yet to see them but I will take your word for it. I think one of my favourites has to be the one that appears when you are intensely thinking about something. I think it is absolutely delightful.” Michael unintentionally gushed.

“I don’t know about that but it is definitely giving me some early wrinkles” Cora replied trying to end this streak of compliments as quickly as possible, before she literally burst into flames.

Michael responded by leaning in and gently brushing the pad of his thumb across her forehead. Leaving a fiery path of heat and a rather flustered Cora in its wake.

“I don’t see or feel anything. I think you are good on the wrinkles front” Michael replied a naughty twinkle lighting up his pink eyes, hinting at the fact that he knew exactly what he was doing.

“Good to know” Cora replied and even though her cheeks remained bright red, she was proud of herself for at least coming up with an answer to the angels antics.

The plane then started making its way down the run way and as it took off, Cora felt her worries melt off her shoulders.However, the feeling was short lived and once they got about half-way into the flight they returned again with vengeance.

“There is that intense stare again that I adore so much. At this rate you might actually develop premature frown lines. Now you have to tell me what is wrong.” She heard Michael’s soothing voice tease and as if by hypnosis she immediately began to spill her guts to him right there and then. The fact that everyone else was asleep probably helped and this time she felt like demons had been well and truly extinguished.

“I just feel like I should have got all this under control by now. I have had enough support from all of you, I just don’t know why I am still so worried.” She lamented.

“It is only natural. It just means that you understand the gravity of what we are trying to accomplish. I am sure each and every one of us, myself included are undeniably scared but it is important that you own the fear. I think that part of you also worries about everything that you have sacrificed to be here. If this doesn’t all work out then it will feel like you have caused all this tension in your family, for nothing. Trust me I get it, but one strength you and I share is our unending patience. You have to afford yourself the same courtesy, in terms of you emotions. OK?”

“I guess” Cora replied unconvincingly .

“Well you leave me no choice” Michael replied.

“Do your worst” Cora replied convinced he was joking but sure enough he began to mercilessly tickle her. She tried to muffle her laugh conscious of the fact that the other passengers were trying to sleep, whilst at the same time realising that was probably why Michael had chosen this form of torture in the first place. It was because he knew she would eventually give in so as not to disturb everyone around them.

“I am a very patient being, I can keep this going for the rest of the flight beautiful.” Michael teased and Cora could tell that he was deathly serious so she succumbed, promising to be less hard on herself. Finally convinced Michael relented lifting up her hand and pressing a gentle kiss to it before wishing her a good night’s sleep.

Now looking to her left and then to her right and finally down the row at her companions she couldn’t help but smile. She and Michael were sat on the far left in the central seats with Michael sat next to the aisle. There were four seats to the right of Michael on the other side of the aisle and Archon was sat right next to the window with his arm nestled protectively around Lillian, who was cuddled right into his side with the blankets covering both of them. Next to them Nathaniel and Adele were far more reserved, though they weren’t physically wrapped up in one another their hands were in fact resting on top of one another on the joint arm rest. Sablo and Faye on the other hand were all over each other in the most comical sense. Faye who was sat right next her had her legs sprawled across Sablo whilst he had his head pressed gently against her stomach with the pillows squashed between them. It didn’t look at all comfortable but the serenity on their faces told a different story. Ever the picture classic couple, Celeste who was sat next to Faye in the centre had simply laid her head on Daniel’s shoulder and he had returned the favour by placing head on top of hers. Cora could also see the other four in seats on the far left of the row separated by the aisle. Where Mae and Micah just slept with both their hands wrapped up in the others, Mae had angled her body slightly towards him in order to make the action easier for them both. Next to Mae, Geneva and Ramiel sat rather conservatively but a closer look further down from the blankets resting on their laps revealed how intimately intertwined their legs were.

After taking one last look at her friends, she was able to shut her eyes and drift off into a peaceful slumber. At peace with the idea that the time had finally come to meet their destiny.

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