by Buffonia

Elijah hadn't moved. His eyes teared to compensate for the lack of blinking and a rebellious shiver rippled the feathers of his wings. A tiny pop and crack came from his left wing, but that one always gave him trouble; a weak bone maybe, too small to be anything more than just annoying.

"Why did you bring me here?" asked Elijah. The stillness of his face was broken when he spoke, a worry line creasing his brow.

Billy shrugged from his seat in the corner and kicked a little pile of rubble at his feet. He wouldn't meet Elijah's eyes when Elijah turned to him imploringly. "Dunno. Seemed right. I used to come here when I was a boy."

"You played in crypts?" Elijah turned back to the statue. "That's kind of weird, man."

Billy shrugged again and took to halfheartedly flicking dusty remains of the pebble pile. "When I saw your... When I saw you. Saw them." Billy only glanced up to admire the wings for a moment, since Elijah's back was turned, but for only a moment. "It reminded me. I wanted to show you."

The angel stared, forced sympathy etched on its face. Three fingers were missing and, years ago, the crumbled hand might have held a stone instrument. Elijah couldn't be sure. "What is it?"

"An angel."

"No, I mean... Is it male or female? I can't tell."

"I think that's the point," said Billy, thoughtfully. "I don't think you're supposed to know."

"You never wondered?"

"I named it Brody." Billy paused in his pebble flicking. "If that helps."

Elijah grinned, moving away from the angel. The statue itself creeped Elijah out, all falling apart, alone in an empty crypt, kept company only by the random kids that came in to kick at the loose pieces and make a sport of destruction. But Elijah understood what Billy had intended by bringing him there. He was just doing what everyone else tried to do when they saw Elijah, and that was to make sense of him. Elijah never told anyone that there probably wasn't any sense to make.

"It was stupid," started Billy, getting to his feet, wiping the excess dust onto his pants. "We can go."

"No, it's cool." Elijah reached out and stopped him. "We can chill here for a while. I like it. Really." It was a lie, but he did appreciate Billy's perspective. Because it didn't come from fear or confusion, like almost everyone else's did. Billy was trying to relate.

Billy's shoulders relaxed a little. "Alright."

"Just," Elijah hesitated, not sure how to continue without sounding like a complete tool. His index and middle finger twitched for a cigarette. "You get that I'm not an angel, right?"

Grinning back the possibility for endless ribbing, Billy nodded. "Yeah. I know." He slid back down against the wall, sitting by his trusty mound of dust.

Elijah sat next to him and his wings folded flat, compactly resting between wall and spine. Billy didn't move when the feathers tickled his bare arm. They both watched the statue for a while.



"Can I ask you something?"


"Why'd you name it Brody?"


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