Pair of Secrets
[WP] A demon disguises them self as a human, in the following years they meet their now roommate and become good friends. Four years later they take you to a private area to have a talk. What’s their secret? They’re actually an angel.
The drive is quiet but the same can’t be said about his mind. His thoughts are spiraling and chaotic. He hadn’t been this disoriented since before he lived as a human. “What’s going on with you, Bericho?” He checks his phone to see that it’s approaching midnight. The roads are lonely this side of town. The only activity here is from the fog that is filling the ditches and building at the base of passing hills. It occurs to him that there would be almost zero time to react to any kind of animal running from out of the fog. His mind continues to bounce between the possibility of this close encounter with animal kind and the cryptic phone call that he received from, Bericho.
“Hey Kip, could you meet me some place?”
“Ugh, I suppose. Why? What’s up?”
“The county fairgrounds. You know them, right?”
“Yes? —but the fair’s not in town, is it?”
“Just, come alone.” Dial tone.
Kip had never been a boy scout but after hearing their description, he started thinking of Bericho in that way. He was always straight forward, always prepared. Morally, he was like a Chuck Norris arrow. Most arrows bend around the arrow-rest when fired but that’s not what happens with a Chuck Norris arrow. When you let one of those go, the arrow-rest moves out of the way, and that’s who Bericho is. He didn’t do whatever this cryptic mess was. He’s a boyscout. If he wants to tell you something, he tells you. The end.
Kip pulls into the field to find Bericho’s truck still running and his lights shining across the field. He parks next to him, then follows the headlight beams to see a figure standing across the field. He leaves his car running as well, climbing out to see the figure not approach to meet him. He pulls his hood over his head, then wears his pockets for gloves as he begins his walk.
“Hey buddy,” Kip calls out. “Everything alright?”
Bericho is facing away and continues to look up at the stars. “Beautiful, aren’t they?”
Kip looks around to the open field, scanning out of habit. “What’s that?”
Bericho finally turns around as Kip approaches. “I missed you friend. I hope I didn’t cause you much trouble, bringing you out here?”
Kip shrugs. “It’s no problem, just unusual, you know?”
Bericho nods. “How long have we known each other?”
Kip bounces a bit and rustles his hands in his pockets as if to settle a chill and appears to contemplate.
1,358 days, if we’re being exact. “I guess it’s been about four years, right?”
Bericho nods. “About that but if we’re being exact, it would be 1,358 days.”
Kip’s eyes narrow. “Ok? That seems astute. Creepy, but astute…if it’s true, that is.”
“We’ve been friends a long time and for me, I’d say you are the best of my friends.”
“Thanks buddy. You’re alright too.”
Bericho smiles but it melts away as he becomes lost in his thoughts. He finally meets Kip’s eyes with the directness that Kip had come to expect from him. “What do you think about the afterlife, Kip?”
Kips takes another look around the field before answering. “Did we really have to come all the way out here for you to talk about that? We could have done that some place warmer, you know? Like maybe the dorm room we share?”
Kip shrugs again. “I don’t know man. I just don’t think about that sort of stuff. I leave that for other people to worry about. Me? I just try to focus on right now.”
“I think about it a lot—constantly actually. It’s always on my mind.”
“And that’s fine. That’s what being human is all about right? Each of us doing what we feel is right?”
“Human,” Bericho chuckles. “That’s my hang up Kip. You know, angels aren’t so different from humans, demons either for that matter. Books never seem to get those sorts of things right.” Kip begins squinting again, becoming more aware of Bericho’s every move. “Angels are actually identical to humans as long as their disembodied wings are ethereal and concealed. Their wings are actually weapons and remain invisible unless we…err they…the angels want them to be seen.”
Bericho sighs, drops his gaze and nods. Kip starts to glance around again as speckles of light start to move through the air on each side of them. These slivers then become like steadily shinning fireflies, moving around to cause streaks of light. As Kip watches, it’s as if the fireflies are moving across an invisible etch-a-sketch, painting a brilliant image while using light as a color. Eventually, four independent wings stretch twenty yards to each side of Bericho. The details of the feathers can’t be seen and there are tendrils of energy that writhe, weaving through the spaces concealed there.
Kip casually looks each direction with his fists still in his pockets. He doesn’t show a reaction but the creases within his clinched fist begin to glow an intense red. It’s Bericho’s turn to squint as he looks Kip up and down. “I always knew you to be accepting Kip, but this is a little too nonchalant, given the circumstances.”
“Tell me something,” Kip says.
“Do you have any powers of compulsion?”
Bericho nods. “Yes, but I’d never use them on you if that’s what you’re afraid of.”
Kip exhales, nodding. “I hate it when others mess with my mind. I just want to make my own decisions, you know? I’m no one’s puppet.”
“You know something of us, don’t you? Who—what are you?”
“Answer me something first. Why are you telling me this? Why now? Why at all?”
Bericho turns away from Kip, but the wings don’t turn with him, remaining stationary as Bericho looks back up to the stars. “After we graduate, I’m going back. I’d always hated having to be dishonest with my classmates but with you, it was always the worst. Lying to my best friend time and time again, it’s been a growing burden, one that I couldn’t bear to carry back into Heaven. So, I needed you to know.”
Kip snorts, then laughs. Bericho turns back to look at him and Kip begins to laugh even harder. Kip raises a hand to wave off Bericho concern while wiping at his eye with the other. “We’re some pair, you know? Who’d have thought?” He shakes his head and continues to smile. “I wanted to be sure my feelings were my own, but I know I needn’t have worried.” Bericho arches his eyebrow then Kip’s hood starts to billow as a red light intensifies within its recesses. An unfelt wind seems to buffet Kip’s clothes while a slow crack of red creeps across the air above him. A greatsword then falls from the crack, driving into the ground behind Kip as cracks of magma splinter away from its earth sheathe. The blade is three feet across, and the visible portion of the weapon is still 2.5 times Kip’s height.
Bericho smiles and shakes his head. “I guess this make us enemies Kip.”
“Looks that way bud.” A moment later, Kip’s infernal powers fade and blow away as dark smoke. “You’re still leaving at the end of the year?”
Bericho’s wings burst into thousands of glowing insects, winding away from one another, then vanishing. “Yeah.”
“I plan to stick around, do some living, you know?”
“And if you’re still here for Armageddon?”
“I’ll stay the hell away from you, that’s for sure.”
Bericho laughs then. “I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to fight me either.”
“It’s not like that,” Kip says, extending his hand. “You know what I mean.”
Bericho looks at the hand only a moment then reaches to clasp it. “Yeah, I couldn’t fight you either. Thanks Kip.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just don’t fire up the waterworks on me. I’m going to head back to the dorm. Don’t be out too late, yeah? I hear demons can be found out this way, so you best be careful.”
The two turn their backs to one another, showing a trust only ever found on the same side of battle fields. Kip walks back to his truck with thoughts no calmer than they were on the drive here. He silently curses, realizing that Bericho just gave him another reason to dread Armageddon.
JT, this story had suspense that made you want to keep reading!