Friday, 9 February 2018

Angela Stannon - "The Angel Mariah"

Martin Stannon loved his wife. She knew he did, because he'd looked after her all their wedded years - she'd never had to work, had raised their two lovely children, had a nice house to keep. But now Lizzy and Peter had moved out - Peter to university, and Lizzy was starting a family of her own, at different ends of the country, and the beautiful house had become a prison, yet every time Angela talked to Martin about the possibility of her getting a part-time job, he'd take her hands in his, look into her eyes, and remind her of his promise when they were 19 that no wife of his would ever need to work. He'd kiss the top of her head, cup her face with his hand, and that would be the end of that conversation. He would go to his chair, flick open a magazine or pick up his tablet, and she would scurry into the kitchen to make him a drink.

Scurry. The words to describe her were the ones you'd associate with a small rodent or a bird. Slight and fine-boned, with a sharp, beak-like nose, she looked like the wind would carry her away. Fair skin, grey eyes, straight, dark hair in a shoulder-length bob, dyed to hide the streaks of grey. Years of shrinking into the background had made her short, maybe 5' 3", maybe 5' 4". She tended to wear plain, flat shoes and slightly oversized clothes.

And she could never admit it, but she was bored.

And then, somehow, she fell through, faded through into the other world. And somehow, she survived - more than survived. She thrived. She made friends, friends who struggled to pronounce her unfamiliar name, and Angela Marie became Angel Marie and eventually, remembering a childhood friend and hero, the Angel Mariah.

The words you'd use to describe her changed: strong, sinewy. She'd never be tall, but she stood to her full height. Her hair had grown out, long and silver-white. Her armour was made for her, and when she wielded her sword, her eyes flashed with steel.

She was a hero, a healer, a defender of the weak and unrepresented.

She still thought of home, often, and hoped to find her way back... but if she ever did, could she survive there?


~~~


I've still got a lot to work through with her, mostly relating to the world she's fallen into. I need to figure out how she ended up there, and why; how she survived initially, who she met to help her; had she been there before, and if so when? What warning did she get before fading through? I feel like maybe she faded through a few times as a child, or someone from there faded to here and became her ('imaginary') friend, but I don't know who they are (I think a tall, slender man of indeterminate age dressed in green - not Drop Dead Fred in anyway, but fey, amused and dangerous nonetheless). Did they drag her through this time? I think she maybe faded through a couple of times and recognised what was happened ("Oh God no, I thought it was a fantasy"), so had time to prepare a bag for when she faded through and became trapped. I'm not especially interested in the family left behind, except in a distant way, but I like the idea of the confusion as the police and husband try to understand why she took the items she did - a couple of kitchen knives, for sure, but no significant amounts of money, and nothing that couldn't be kept in her coat or handbag.

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