You cannot force him. His soul is his own. No matter how tempting it is to take over, do not. The higher powers do not take kindly to an angel who controls her ward.
You have been his guardian for six months. His needs are more than physical. Jack is young, yet his life is filled with apathy. His gray eyes are clouded with depression. Tall and thin, he drags himself through the house towards the kitchen, his blonde head down.
You flow behind him, sad, thinking about your own difficulties. He is so hard to reach. Your world is astral; you live in a sea of fire, wind and light. You are a being of spiritual energies.
His vision of life does not include the spiritual. A scientist, he is strong willed and pragmatic. Jack has rejected mysticism, closing his mind to you.
The aroma of the brewing coffee reaches into your plane, gracing it. You drink in the scent as if it were a liquid. You watch him search through the pile of dishes on the drainboard, until he finds a cup and washes it. Jack pours the strong coffee and sips it. He shows no pleasure in the taste or aroma you find so heady and satisfying.
When he first left school Jack was excited about science. His life was filled with hope and expectation. Now, eight years later, he lives his life like one of his robots. Jack goes through a programmed set of motions without caring. Life has disappointed him. He no longer dares to dream.
His spirit withers. He needs an awakening, before he kills it.
His rejection of the astral world has robbed you of paths into his mind. How do you reach a man who strangles his spiritual awareness? Your wings of light flutter in distress, stirring the atmosphere around you. Rainbow-hued sparks shower from their tips, then fade. In Jack's world, a curtain stirs as if responding to an unfelt breeze.
He is blind to even this. Past failures tell you that it is useless to enter his dreams. You can plant an image in his mind, but he will only ignore it.
Jack goes into the drab living room and turns on his radio. A small black box, it sits on the shelf like a dead memory, yet today he listens to music. Perhaps he can be inspired.
You fold your wings of feathered light and allow your body to loose definition. Your energies coalesce into a shimmering pulse of electricity. You slip into the radio, trying to find the source of this music.
It is remote. A powerful tower of art and science, it harnesses the energy of lightning and transforms it into music. You can sense it in the distance, but the path is unclear.
Hovering above the current of sound is easy. You follow it away from his home. Jack's music stream joins others. Soon you float above an ocean of waves, washing over this city. Jack's shimmers beneath you like an surface current lit by the sun's touch. It leads you to a radio tower.
Angelic energies are creative and versatile. Yours respond to the music, growing in strength. You focus to the task at hand. Your plan takes final shape as you choose the song to send him.
You penetrate the tower, traveling into the steel. You flow down its length like a vibration. At its base is a series of devices you analyze. The music is removed from human contact at this point, so you follow it from the radio tower to another building. You make connection after connection, altering your energy flow as needed and invading machines, wires and cables. You follow the trail to a crowded sound booth. The song has changed now, but still Jack's need anchors you. He sits at one end of the twisting, fluctuating wave. The human that will help him sits at the other end, and you will find him.
The booth you enter is gray and cluttered with machines. Papers are tacked on the walls and litter a counter. A woman sits in a cheap leather chair behind it. The counter is her desk, boasting a display of buttons, knobs and flashing lights. She tends the sound waves, organizing them and ensuring that they flow.
She is older than Jack, and has no guardian. Her mind is more open to you than Jack's. You can feel her emotions; her thoughts are like whispers in your mind. As you drift around her like a swirling cloud of vapors, you read her.
Her name is Lisa. She is a shorter human than Jack, of slender build where your ward is tall and wiry. Her hair is soft and falls in waves to the nape of her neck, and her eyes are startlingly blue. You drink in these touches of beauty, and your spirit quickens with pleasure. You look around the room. A photograph of a smiling man and two older children sits on the counter where she can see it. Her scent drifts into your world, soft like summer rain.
A host of images and sensations pervade your being. You can use these to reach Lisa.
In your own way, you have become music. Restlessness beats an underlying rhythm deep and strong within you. Lisa senses it. Her body tenses and she leans forward, dropping her clipboard onto the counter and rubbing her neck.
Frowning, she jerks open a drawer beside her and rummages through it. Her hand lingers over a row of shining cds, undecided. You alter the music of your being. A high note creeps in, clean and pure. Hope, expectation, excitement; a call to action.
Lisa looks up as though something has startled her. A song, Jack's song, comes into her mind at your bidding, but she hesitates. She mutters, "It's not on our playlist."
You sense a cord of discontent deep within Lisa's mind. Something about limitations; she hates the playlist. Her voice edged with contempt, she mutters the word, almost growling. It leaves a sour taste in her mouth.
You strengthen the feel of confinement and send it to her. Lisa's back stiffens. Her jaw sets. Her eyes narrow and she reaches into the drawer, pulling out a disc. For a moment Lisa stares at it. You deepen the bass thrumming of restlessness in your music, and introduce a new element. A chaotic guitar riff, wild and free, speaks of independence and rebellion.
Lisa laughs, an exuberant sound. She pops the disc into a slot and flips a switch. The small room, crowded and dull, suddenly feels larger and brighter to her. She pushes a button and Jack's song, the one you wanted, pours out of the machinery and enters the airwaves. It fills the room, washing over Lisa.
She pushes her chair back from the desk and puts her feet up on its cluttered surface. The tension fades and her body relaxes. She leans back in the cheap leather chair and closes her eyes, smiling.
As Jack's song floods the room, you silence your own. Lisa hums the tune.
You leave her. Slipping into the current of sound, you follow it toward Jack. Swimming in the tide of music excites you. You revel in the feel of it, a tingling, electric sensation. As it carries you back to your ward, you come to understand the song.
Reaching the house, you flow through the radio and into the room. Jack is sitting on his dingy sofa, the morning paper grasped in his hands. You are one with the music, washing over him like a wave. You invade him and sow your seeds there, using images and emotions.
You sow energy, confidence and hope.
Desire. Something Jack hasn't felt for a long time.
You flow through Jack's mind, planting your seeds, and the music quickens them. Then you leave his body and linger, a shining being of power standing next to him. Your wings glitter in anticipation. Jack leafs through the pages of the newspaper, his hands shaking. He turns to the back section, and finds the job listings. "I can do this one," he mutters.
He rises, nudging the coffee table in his haste. His movements are energetic, his head up high. Jack fishes his car keys out of his pocket and walks toward the door. You go with him, always.
Susie Hawes is a new writer. She lives in Texas and drives her family insane, writing short fiction and reading it back to them. Susie has been accepted for publication in Quietus magazine and Neo-opsis magazine. She has a story, entitled "Scales of Justice", in the August issue of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight magazine.
She is pleased to publish a small semi-pro magazine, Crossroads Magic ezine. You can view this publication at www.crossroadsmagic.com.
Published by permission of the author.