Sunday, October 22, 2006

DKA Story: "Damage"

A new story just been added to the DKA October issue. Whether you will hate it, like it, or love it...well, that's subjective.

I don't normally post on our webzine's stories. (Maybe I should.) But I thought I'd mention this one, an angel story, because it's the only story I've seen, in my less-than-a-year tenure at DKA, make all of the reviewing editors weep. (Granted, we're all gals, and women may be particularly touched by the theme, but I suspect some men may get teary-eyed, too.)

Please drop by and read "Damage" by Jane LeBak.

Jane was the runner-up in our first annual fiction contest with another angel story, "Even A Stone." You may have read that one. She had another, shorter piece pubbed at DKA called "Rent-an-Angel." If you want to read a gently amusing story, you should click over to that one.

But first, please, consider reading "Damage."

Here's the opening, which may seem confusing, but stick with it. Ambiguities clear up:

I'd been a guardian angel for all of ten seconds, and already I hated it.

This thing was only four cells big, and I was supposed to stay nearby for the next what, eighty years? So yeah, I could do my job on it--my real job--and make sure its soul dropped like a concrete balloon into Hell. But I'd rather see one of the wretches end up in Heaven than be shackled to a prison of flesh. It had to die.

A thousand years ago, another demon claimed God had muddled up which angels were which, and as a result he'd been enchained to the human he'd have guarded if we hadn't escaped Heaven. He thought he was important because Origen documented it; and ooh, the condition even had a big name, "apokatastasis."

He recounted the tale with relish. No one tells campfire stories like we do around the big campfire ("Most demons yoked this way are never heard from again!" Boo.) Scariest was that when it got older, he could feel its emotions, sometimes even heard it praying. He urged his revolted audience just to kill it while it's small.

In a way it was a fascinating entity, and I found myself staring at the viscous soul as if it were a carcass in the woods. It would have been mine if things had worked out differently.

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