Monday, September 20, 2010


They gave Bel a small room with a bed, a bathroom, and a desk to write on, as well as a notebook and dull, felt tip pens- so as not to harm anyone, including himself. He would draw, write rhyming verse, and wait for them to bring in food, complete with plastic utensils, no knives. It would be the same three assistants.

There was the morning angel, a woman with the pale blond hair who would give him either pancakes or hash browns with a side of watery juice, monotone face like the wall of a polished bathroom. There was the lunch angel, a boy who was all sorts of terrified, and looked about Bel's age, maybe less. Oh, there was also the evening angel, who was older, perhaps physically forty, who looked at him with great disdain as he picked up his older clothes and towels from the morning.

Bel didn't speak to them, at first, being scared himself. After the failed execution he wondered why they didn't bother to do it again, spending the first few days falling in and out of consciousness, the only thing he recalled being the various states of undress he was in, eyes closed with burning lights through pale red lids. He felt hands, heard echoes of people, and stinging. When he woke up, he was here.

Where "here" was located, Bel hadn't the slightest, but he did know it was very cold, even though they let them keep his orange jacket, which he wore over the white linen shirts and pants they offered him. He counted the hours by when the servers would come in to feed him, and the days by his sleeping patterns. By day seven, he had gotten into a schedule that he had written down:

-Wake up and shower and change clothes
-Eat breakfast (avoid eye contact with morning angel)
-Write and draw in notebook
-Eat lunch (smile an noon angel)
-Free period
-Eat dinner (avoid eye contact with evening angel)
-Brush teeth
-Maybe cry

Day ten came, and he found himself crying in front of the noon angel, who was setting the tray on the table. Bel found himself unable to stop, despite having gone through the previous days without incident, a thin sheet of calm over his mind that had by now clearly worn down. The noon angel, who had only seen his smiles and silence, looked at him, seemingly alarmed.

Bel, slumped on the desk table that doubled as a nightstand, looked up at the man- no, more like boy, really, and begged.

"Please, kill me. What do you want from me? Why am I here? I have nothing I can possibly offer you!"

"We can't, we don't know how to and we're not allowed to-" the boy began, and stopped, clamping his hands over his mouth as soon as the words spilled out. The server ran for the door, closed the first one, closed the second one over the first one. No answers.

In the soundproof room, Bel couldn't hear anything beyond his own heart and breath, looking down in futility at his lunch. No answers. he took a bite of the rice and the meat. No answers. He ate half of the apple and laughed at the brutal irony. No answers.

The plate they had given him today wasn't paper. Was that a slip-up? It was harder, made of china or some other ceramic, and thin. Once his food was finished, he took it in his hands and smashed it against the table, leaving little pieces on the ground that were sharp and strangely beautiful in his eyes. fingers reaching to take one, he stabbed one end into his right arm, and made a precise sawing motion down the length, the gash a dark mark on his paper pallid skin.

"Ah," he said to himself, watching.

The doors opened again. Two angels came in, now four, now seven - none of whom he had seen before. They took hold of his waist and uninjured limbs, some picking up the remainder of the plates, one moving to cover Bel's mouth with a perfumed cloth that left him out like a light.

What day was it now?

Morning. It could have been morning. Bandages on his arm, different room. He rose to a seated position. This room had windows, with glass and wood. There was a weight- no, a chain on his left leg. The blanket over him was navy blue. It smelled lived-in.

An angel was standing at the other side, in front of a wall of books. He was very tall, with white hair and yellow eyes, and had a youthful appearance- relatively. Thirties? Late twenties? Ambiguous.

His robes were a similar hue to the blankets- which Bel pulled around himself as he continued to stare at the man. By normal circumstance, this would have been rude, but Bel had ceased to care by day four in the quiet room.

"I know you have some questions," the angel said, voice crisp.

Bel said nothing. Terror crept in, hurting far more than the dull throb of his right arm in the wrappings.

"I have no intention of answering them, but I am here to watch you."

"Oh good, friendship!" He found himself saying, despite himself, and laughed, tears stinging his eyes. "We can talk about hugs and teddy bears and how many human girls we want to have sex with and memory wipe later! Oh gosh, oh gosh! This is going to be so much fun... I'm so alone... Thank you."

"Are you done?"

Oh, this one was a shocker. "I don't know, am I supposed to be done?"

"When you were in captivity, we were putting more and more poisons into your food, but to no effect. Even before that, we were giving you injections in your neck, none of which had worked. We had ceased to give you said poisons past day seven."

There were no words to say. What could he have possibly said?

The angel continued. "When we had attempted your execution, the blade disintegrated as soon as it touched your skin. We haven't tried that again with other weapons, but we have tried various implements when you slept, which had not worked at all."


"So when you had injured yourself effortlessly, we had almost wondered whether to let you die, but chose against it. You will remain here."

"But why?"

The angel, who had taken steps closer to Bel until they were within a few feet of each other, looked down at him with great contempt.

"If you'd like my opinion, I think it will be a matter of time before you stop your act."

Bel raised an eyebrow and got out of bed, the navy blanket not unlike a shroud on his skinny frame, awkwardly mirroring the angel, with his broad, powerful silhouette and robes that were almost far too formal for someone merely assigned to guard duty.

"I- I have no idea what you are, or what act you can possibly be alluding to, but if you can only pin me down and hurt me instead of kill me, that must really be inconvenient for both parties. And you're probably not going to humor me."

He let out an empty chuckle. "No worming your way into your cold heart either, huh? What's your name?"


"I think that's a friendly name. When do I get to eat?"

"We're not feeding you for the next three weeks. We want to see."

"You guys are assholes," Bel said quietly, sighing.

Remy did not reply. He was less than three feet from Bel now, and the younger closed the distance until he could hear both of them breathing- funny. Angels breathing. Bel smiled.

"What are you doing?" Remy asked, and Bel had taken a hold of the man's left arm, fumbling around the robes.

"How tall are you Remy? I'm only 5'8" and it sucks-"

"What are you doing?!"

"You're not going to answer my questions, and I won't answer yours."

Remy pulled away his arm, and with a smooth motion, punched his captive in jaw, leaving Bel tripping over the blankets and onto the ground.

"Ahaha!" Bel's laugh was awful and loud.

"You got an arm on you Remy! Why're you here to guard me anyway? You look like you should be in those prissy angel meetings or on a Christmas card."

No response.

"You angels are no joke, are you." He had fallen on his bad arm, and had only now noticed that they had confiscated his orange jacket, nowhere to be found on the bed. Calliope had given him that jacket when they were in their early teens.

He bit his lower lip. All those days alone were nothing now.

"Get up," Remy said.

Bel did as he was told, the blanket in his hands.

"We will be interrogating you within the next few weeks. If you comply, you will be rewarded."

Rewarded? With what? Food? Dog treats? Sympathy cards? Certainly not freedom.

"OK," he said, nodding weakly. "What do I do now?"

"No interrogations until this afternoon. The bathroom is the second door on the left, and the closet is the right one. We will be sharing this room."

"Wait- what?"

"I am not permitted to leave you alone."

Remy backed away, and seated himself on the love-seat couch by the windows. The sound of a third door opening rang in his head, and inside came an angel with a silver rolling cart, serving toast and coffee.

Bel looked down at the ground. The long chains on his left leg were tucked under the bed, and he became acutely aware of everything he could feel, from the hunger in his stomach to the smell of Remy's coffee, which the angel was currently downing with bread.

Shaking his head, he walked to the bathroom, making a point to ignore the smell of food. The chains prevented him from fully closing the door- another small sorrow. He cupped his hands together and swallowed tap water from the sink.

He looked at the bathroom mirror, greeted by uncombed brownish red hair that went a little past his shoulders, eyes that were a dull gray and framed by bags, and a gaunt, overall appearance.

"...This is going to suck."

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