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Jet Black

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Ever since 2013, the world has been blessed with Angels. Things from the bible – the ones you’re supposed to bow down to. Wings with different colors and shades, amazing powers and abilities, human faces. But, the world did not see them as a blessing. It saw them as something different – something strange, interesting, and peculiar.

At first, Angels took the upper hand. They used their power and fought back against the human’s measly weapons. But somehow, the humans got the upper hand. Soon, Angels had collars riddled with symbols so they couldn’t escape. Circus’s introduced them to their show. Archangels were being shown off in zoos like wild beasts.

Dean Winchester was against it all. He remembered the night he thought the stars were falling just like yesterday.

There was a clap of thunder, a strike of lightning, and then small yellow orbs began falling from the sky. It simply looked like a meteor shower. Until big, winged creatures landed on the soil and engraved deep holes into the ground still there today, covered over with grass.

The market Dean used to go to as a kid was full of life and excitement, old couples selling the veggies and fruits from their farms several miles away from town, kids running around playing with a few dogs, free samples of ice cream in the hot summer heat or hot cocoa in cold winter air. Now, a bitter chill bites 38-year-old Dean Winchester’s nose. He pulls his coat around his body a little bit tighter, hoping to keep a little warmth to his bones as he walks through the empty outdoor tables of the farmers market.

He walks up the stairs to the indoor tables, and rubs his dry hands together when the warmth hits him. He glances around. Almost every booth has an Angel chained to the table, collar on. They all look like abused animals, but no one is saying anything because typically, that’s how you’re expected to treat an Angel. They’re treated just like slaves.

He glances down at his list, scribbled on a napkin – things for spaghetti – tomatoes, garlic, some meat, a couple loaves of Mrs. Sally’s homemade bread. Dean loves to cook things from scratch. He sighs and makes his way into the halls of the markets.

One of the first booths is the tomato stand, filled with all different types of tomatoes in various shapes and colors. He picks up a large heirloom and looks at its greens and reds, checking for bruises.

“It’s $5 a pound,” the old man grunts, looking up from a newspaper. Dean smiles and nods. He grabs a paper bag and puts a few into it. He goes to lay his bag on the small scale but a worn hand grabs his bag before he can do it.

“Let me.” A shaken voice demands. Dean looks up at the Angel who had been sitting on the floor behind the booth. It’s a woman, with brown hair and green eyes. She looks very tired, and hungry. Dean nods at her, and lets her. It weighs just over a pound, so he pays for it. In the back of his head he wishes he could buy another and let the woman eat something healthy, but as soon as he takes his bag from her hands, the man jerks the leash attached to her collar and makes her sit back on the dirty floor.

Dean has nothing he can say. People who treat Angels like actual people are frowned upon. There are only a handful of Angel safety homes across the whole globe, and the closest one from Lawrence, is New Hampshire. He thinks there might be one in California, too.

Dean finishes shopping. He can hardly stand being out in public much anymore. The abuse towards Angels has only gotten worse. He doesn’t understand it. Even the friends and family he has disagrees with him. They barely believe they’re actual Angels – more like they’re some misconception between the Mothman and a human.

He slides back into his Impala, and starts it. She rumbles to life, and the heater comes on. He sits and lets his fingers warm up before he grips the wheel and pulls out of the parking lot. The drive home is long enough for him to think about how he’s going to make his famous spaghetti before he pulls into his driveway.

His house is nothing special – three bedrooms, a single bathroom, a roomy kitchen and a living room big enough for a sectional and a coffee table. He lays all his groceries on the bar between the kitchen and the living room, shrugging his jacket off and laying it over one of the chairs. He’s got several friends and family coming over for dinner tonight. It’s a Sunday, when everyone he knows gathers around just to enjoy each other and talk. He thinks his mom might crash in one of the guest rooms for the night. He sighs.

He starts on the food. He’s gotten so good at this complicated recipe that it’s easy now. It doesn’t take him long to get everything prepared and the noodles boiling. He smears some homemade garlic butter on some rolls and throws them into the oven. By the time everything has no more than 10 minutes left, a soft knock hits the front door before it opens.

A gust of cold air hits the warm insides of the house. Mary Winchester smiles shyly; blond hair curled every so slightly and the lightest dusting of makeup across her cheeks. She carries a pie, and hands it to Dean with a smile.

“Took it out of the oven just before I left the house, so it’d be warm for you. I knew you’d want a piece before dinner.” She winks. Dean grins – she knows her son too well. “Your dad is outside taking a business call.”

“Thanks, mom.” He pecks her cheek as she enters the doorway, and shuts the door behind her. “Dinners almost done. I figure everyone else will be here in a few.”

Mary nods her head, and heads to the kitchen. Dean already knows she’s going to take dinner into her own hands. And it doesn’t surprise him when she comes out with plates, forks, and knives –the whole nine – and sets up the dinner table without a word.

Dean has enough time to pick up around the house before the rest of the crew barges into the door.

Charlie, and her girlfriend Dorothy, Sam and his wife Amelia, with that round belly protruding between her unbuttoned coat. His dad comes in last, beer bottle in one hand and two six packs clinging to the other.

Dean gives everyone the hugs they’re all looking for when they come through the door. Amelia gives a soft side hug, with her hand around her stomach.

“How’s Emma doing in there?” Dean asks, gesturing to Amelia.

She smiles, “Getting stronger everyday. My doctor thinks I might have to have a C- section before my due date.” She shrugs, “I don’t care, as long as she’s here safe and sound.”

“That’s the spirit,” Dean nods, giving her a pat on the back. “Well, lets get some food in you both.”

Dinner goes smoothly, unsurprisingly. John consistently talks about how Dean needs to call Mr. Crowley about setting up his own office. Dean lets it slide off his shoulders.

John Winchester works at a business that is top notch at selling and receiving Angels. He makes big money, trading one Angel for another, and helping clients find the perfect one for whatever it is they had in mind. Dean finds it sickening. The world doesn’t care what you need your Angel for or why. All it cares about is the money it brings in. Mary doesn’t particularly agree with the business, either. They don’t talk about it often.

After dinner, everyone migrates to the living room to keep talking and watch reruns of the football game. Dean picks up here and there until he ends up with two full bags of trash. He sighs, and ties them up.

“Be right back – just running the trash.” He mentions as he slides out the door. He groans when he realizes it’s down pouring the rain.

The trashcans are at the end of his driveway, right behind a few groupings of bushes. He makes it about halfway down the sidewalk when he hears the scuttling and rummaging coming from the bins.

He swears, “Damnit. Fucking raccoons,” he drops the bags where they are and marches to the cans, and kicks one, “Get out of here!” He barks, and just as the can falls over, he’s met with something much different than the pesky raccoons. He wipes the water from his eyes.

Dark hair. Skin and bones. Jet black feathers. An Angel.