L. Angel

This is part nine of the continuing saga, The Last Grain of Sand, which I began via a prompt at Bluebell Books’ Short Story Slam several weeks ago. The eight previous parts are available by clicking on the links at the bottom of this post. This segment is not being posted to any other web sites at this time, due to my pal, Kellie being on VACATION! Perhaps I’ll post part ten on her Free Write Friday next week, and folks will just have to catch up then. This segment is titled L. Angel. I hope you enjoy it.

L. Angel

We stayed at Lilly’s house that night, and packed two more backpacks with food and various supplies before we went to bed. The house was warm, but tolerable with the windows open. As I lay on my back staring up into the darkness, I was aware of the complete silence. No bugs, no dogs barking, not even the creak and pop you normally hear in old houses like this one. I drifted into a dreamless sleep, and awoke just before sunrise. The dim light of dawn was sneaking across the wood flooring as I swung around and put my bare feet on it. I heard the screech of a spring—the back door—and quickly slipped into my boots.

I stepped quietly down the hallway, and saw Ben, still sleeping soundly in the guest room; Lilly’s room was empty, her bed neatly made.

At the back door, I peered through the rusty screen; Lilly was standing with her back to me, arms resting on the top rail of a tall wooden fence near the barn. The sun was glowing through the trees, and I swear it made it look like there was a halo above her head. She didn’t turn when the old spring on the door complained as I pushed the door open.

I stood beside her, and she said a quiet good morning; almost a whisper. Something about the tone of her voice caused gooseflesh to rise on my arms and my neck went cold.

“You okay?” I asked.

She turned her head and looked at me; her eyes were clear, so I assumed there’d been no recent tears, but the sadness in them was deep. “I’ll be fine,” she said, returning her gaze to the sunrise. “I was just praying we could find them; my parents, the boy’s gram and gramps, and whoever is left.”

“Praying?” I said, a half grin on my face. “The city of Houston—three, four million people are dead from… who knows what, and you think there’s a God to pray to?”

There was fire in her eyes when her head snapped around and she looked at me; the sun hit them at an angle, and flames seemed to shoot from them. Again with the gooseflesh, and I backed off a half step.

“I know there’s a God,” she said. There was no anger in her soft voice, but the tone was tight and sure.

I wiped the smile off my face and held my hands in front of me in a gesture of surrender. “Okay,” I said. “Okay… I just…”

She interrupted me. “You’re not a Christian?”

“Well, technically,” I shrugged. “I was baptized when I was twelve. Let’s just say I’ve been away.”

Her lips curved into a smile, but her eyes were still flashing—like heat lightning on a hot August night. “Well,” she said. “You’re not away anymore. God’s going to need every angel He can round up, and I’m here to help Him.”

I started to smile—thought better of it—then said, “Are you an… angel, or something?”

She looked back to the sunrise as the glow of it burst above the treetops. “Yes.”


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Previous parts of this story:

Part one: The Last Grain of Sand

Part two: Hope

Part three: Like a Fairy Tale

Part four: Then There Were Three

Part five: Cinnamon

Part six: L. Aliens in the Morning

Part seven: Dearest Wife

Part eight: Dearest John

Part ten: The Books

Part eleven: Play Money


  1. terri0729 said

    ooooh, now I have goosepimples!!!! Great addition. loved it much! smiles, Terri

  2. ~L said

    This is full of such talent and beautiful writing. I let my 12-year-old read this… she writes short stories about telling people about Jesus. She was so inspired by this, she is writing right now:) This was beautiful and I really believe this is your calling! 🙂


    • Wonderful! I always tell Sherry that maybe it’s not me that’s meant to be the writer, but it’s me who’s meant to inspire the person who is!
      I reallyt hink I’m on to something with this story, though. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. Lot’s of good comments.
      Thanks, L! I appreciate you! Tell your daughter I’d like to see some of her writing. Email it to me!

  3. elizena said

    You’re absolutely right, I do love it!! This is not just a story of disaster, or even just about finding loved ones. It’s about finding the way back to God and knocking down any obstacle that stands in the way of a relationship with Him.
    Maybe I’m over thinking things, but this is what I got from reading this segment. It was wonderful!! I’ll be back for the next one. Be blessed! 🙂

    • I knew you’d like it. Thanks for reading and leaving the great comments, Elizena!

  4. sherry mashburn said

    I knew it!

    • How come you didn’t tell me? It woulda been a lot easier to write if I’d known!

  5. Taylor said

    special and handsome…

    great story.

  6. marit said

    Great work on a long piece! I’ve always found longer writing to be especially challenging! Good for you!

    • Thank you, Marit. I’ve actually been practicing writing shorter pieces. I know most people don’t have time to read longer ones, so I try to keep my blog posts as short as I can. This one is a bit longer than the previous segments of the story, but I have reached a point where I feel I might go on with it and write a novel, so I am starting to let the segments lengthen. I figure those who are into it at this point will read, and those who aren’t won’t.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  7. InnerDialect said

    This is real time reading…. absorbing, just the book I need NOW 🙂 Tx for the share

    • I wish it was ready now! I think it’sgoing to be a good one!
      Thanks for the awesome comment!

  8. Kirsten said

    ohhh…very nice.

    Thank you for this book Charles. It is such a pleasure to be able to read a couple of chapters each day…it’s my oasis 🙂

    God has given you a gift!

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! Not many like to read something like this, and I sometimes have a hard time getting motivated to continue. Although, with this one I think I’ve gone too far to stop now. The characters would gang up on me while I sleep, and demand I continue!
      Thank you for the encouragement and kind words, Kirsten. You don’t know how much they bless me!

      • Kirsten said

        The funny thing is that I think you’re right about the characters 🙂

        Us writers need to stick together. If you ever have any extra time stop by my new blog The WordSmith Project. There is a link for it on my this blog. I made a 365 day commitment to write every day for at least 10 mins.
        You were my inspiration because you’re so faithful in writing daily 🙂

      • I don’t write the way they teach people to write. I violate most every rule in the book. I don’t do a lot of describing–they call it character building–I just kind of give the basics, and let the reader fill in the blanks. It would be fun to sit with several people who had read one of my books, and let them describe the characters to me and the others. Better yet, talk to them one at a time–get each description–then talk to them as a group. Ha! That would be interesting!
        I’m glad I inspired you, and I will check out the Wordsmith Project!

  9. Kirsten said

    Maybe you could do a web conference type thingy (I’m sure there is a technical term for that :-)) And you could listen and be amazed at the plethora of unique answers. Because I think we all perceive characters through the unique lens of our lives and experiences.

    That’s what make books soooooo cool!

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