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A Flock of Angels

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"The problem with angels," Old Woman Josie says, "is that they're terribly opinionated, and they insist on sharing those opinions with you."

There is a chorus of disgruntled screeching from the flock of angels arrayed in her bedroom.

Old Woman Josie puts on her purple bathrobe and holds out her arms. "Better?" One of the angels, Erika, she's sure, nods its sharp beak, eyes glowing red. "Everyone's a damn critic," she mutters, grabbing her cane and hobbling toward the door.

There is fluttering and flapping behind her, and when she stops and peers over her shoulder, they are all just standing around uselessly. Their halos shine gold, highlighting the strange geometric patterns.

"More trouble than you're worth," she growls. She just needs to run a few errands, and everything the angels do is such a production. They all have to go with her, and by the time they get their feathers unruffled and groomed—

Erika caws, and Old Woman Josie sighs. "Well, c'mon, then. Ralph's closes in a little while, and I need to get some more bird seed." The angels are more high maintenance than she'd been led to believe as a young girl attending church. They eat a tremendous amount of food, and they are rather demanding; they will only eat the more expensive fruit and nut seed mix.

"Damn." Old Woman Josie remembers that she needs to get another plastic wading pool. In the summer she fills it with water and the angels use it for bathing, splashing water at each other noisily. Last week's sandstorm had destroyed the one they'd had. "Let's go, let's go, let's go." This is worse that herding kids.

The angels shriek and chirp and cluck as they file out of the house and into the street. Several employees from the car lot look up as Old Woman Josie carefully locks the door. "If we get all of our errands done quickly, maybe we can stop by Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex."

The angels stride down the sidewalk, claws clacking on the cement, heading toward Ralph's. "Well, that certainly got them moving," Old Woman Josie says, smiling.