Bewildering Stories

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I See Shadows

Ed Clayton

I have angels in my room.

They tell me, itís best to go this way, or donít take the train, or buy a newspaper today; things like that. And whenever I do as they suggest something simply fantastic happens to me. Iíve bumped into old friends - two guys from college who said they were only in town because they got kicked out of the army, charged with Ďinappropriately discharging their weaponsí; a little over a month ago, I found a silver broach in the field behind my flat - a beautiful object with a jewel in the centre made to look like an eye, which may be worth something when I get round to having it valued; I even quit my factory job at about the same time and now I work for a very large company, running tests on new medicines, half the work for double the pay. I donít know if they can see the future or what, but the angels in my room are certainly tuned in, tuned in to the world and the way it works.

They are in my room every night, three of them, a trinity, I suppose, and when I am out of the flat I can hear them. What do they sound like? They don't really sound of anything, itís just a feeling I get. I sometimes see a reflection of one in a shop window, or I see a shadow thatís not mine. Sometimes Iíll be talking to someone like Iím talking to you now and their head will just split apart and these lights will come out and they soar towards me; itís like ... a sign ... that Iím supposed to be here, that we were supposed to meet ... unless itís not light that comes out. If itís something else, I consider it a warning.

Take my old job for an example. Iím trained in toxicology, Iíve got a degree, but I ended up working in a shitty factory job, pushing buttons and pulling levers like a chimp. I always sent CVs to medical companies, but with few replies and no luck. As I approached the factory one morning, the windows on all three floors went black. I stopped in the street and my stomach turned. I saw the factory full of fluttering wings, slapping and scratching at the glass. I called reception from a phone box across the road and explained that I wouldnít be able to make it into work today, or tomorrow, or ever. Within a week I landed an interview for a major pharmaceutical company, I canít mention the name, but itís a top one. I didnít believe Iíd get the job, but when I walked in the interviewer simply stared at me for a long time and then went into this speech about what the job would involve. He said he didnít need to see any more, smiled, sort of, and asked me when I would be able to start.

I work in a pretty lax department; there are no cameras or security guards upstairs and I donít really have to see any work colleagues. I can do whatever I want as long as I clock in and out on time. Soon Iíll have enough money to move out of this little flat, like my girlfriend, Karen, wants me to.

She has already moved out, because sheís afraid. Sheís living with her parents. She still has her key, but she wonít use it. She wonít come up here unless Iím in, and rarely then. Anything remotely supernatural freaks her out; it always has. Any mention of angels, spirits or ghosts and she starts quivering. What she doesnít understand is that if I leave the angels come with me. The house isnít haunted, if you like, I am. But I think sheíll get used to it when she sees Iím okay. I think some of what is happening to me is going to rub off on her.

Iíve never been much of a believer in God before, but I canít deny the evidence of my own eyes. I go out these days in the knowledge that my footsteps are divine, that I am doing the work of something infinitely more powerful than myself. Iím being subtly but surely guided. My life has changed completely, because I feel everything I do now is in the service of a higher power. Every bite of food I eat, every breath I take; itís that intense.

Of course, Karen thought I was mad at first, but then she saw them; not like I see them, but she knows they are there. She talks about Ďthe one with the eyesí and Ďthe one with the mouthí to tell them apart. The other one has wings, but heís kind of reclusive. He pretty much stays in the kitchen. No, Iím not joking.

If you want evidence, look. On your left. By the chair. Do you see him? ...

No? .... But you said you were a sensitive?

Whatís he doing? Well, heís ... heís eating the arm of Ďthe one with the eyesí, and Ďthe one with the eyesí is watching.

Who are we to question them?

Especially when they look at you the way they do.

I just mind my own business.

In fact, I suggest you do the same.

Stay there. Iíll get your coat.

Copyright © 2002 by Ed Clayton.