Christmas Moon Chapter Eighteen

I was flying over Orange County.

The wind was cold, but my thick hide kept me comfortable. I was above a smattering of clouds, and far below, Christmas lights twinkled endlessly. From up here, it was very obvious that Californians were very much into the Christmas spirit.

I angled a little higher, caught a powerful jetstream, and was hurled along at a glorious rate. My thick, leathery wings were stretched taut, and a part of me wanted to just keep on flying, endlessly, to continuously trail behind the setting sun, to live in perpetual darkness forever.

A guardian angel had professed his love for me. I suspected it was a misguided love. I suspected he was already well on his way to the dark side, that he had only used me to help facilitate the process. Whatever that process was.

And yet...

And yet, I felt his love for me. It had been real. I had seen it in his eyes, and heard it in his voice.

You can't fake love.

Or can you?

Yet, he could have gone about it a thousand different ways, a thousand better ways. Any of which would have gotten a better response from me.

We are destined to be together, he had said.

The San Gabriel Mountains appeared in the north, and I followed the contour of the ridge-line, rising and falling with the peaks and valleys, just a few feet above the pines and snow-covered cornices. Yes, even southern California gets snow, four thousand feet up.

I suspected that Ishmael had to break his connection to me, whatever that connection was. I suspected that, as my watcher, he was bound to me as my guardian.

But once I became immortal, all bets were off.

I angled up, followed a mountainous ridge, and when the ridge dropped away, I kept angling up, flapping my wings harder and harder. Up I went, surging through vaporous clouds, blinded, until finally I broke through.

Above me was the half moon, shining brilliantly. I flew toward it, higher and higher, until ice crystals formed on my wings, until all oxygen disappeared in the air.

And there I hovered, briefly, at the far edges of our atmosphere, pondering destiny, until finally I tucked in my own wings and dove down, speeding through the night, faster than I had ever flown before...

After all, Christmas was over and I had a killer to find.

The End

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