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, 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.