Bam. Bam. Bam. The firing of guns echoed in the distance. Crimson, auburn, and gold exploded onto the scene and rained down like fire from the sky. Screams filled the landscape in a horrible, eerie lullaby to woe one to sleep. But this sleep, was death.
Andy Miller laid on the hard earth, pain ricocheting through his body faster than he could count. His left arm was bent at an unholy angle, and any movement he made caused a cry to escape his throat. Should’ve known not to take that chance…he thought, remembering what caused him to be in this position in the first place.
He and the rest of the fellows in the patrol, had heard there was an opportunity to break through in the lines. And like any young fool, they decided to take the chance.
It was the worst decision of his twenty-four-year-old life. Everything had gone horribly wrong. From the moment they had bulged through and began fighting, Andy knew that the odds of each one of them going home alive, were slim.
Tears streaked down his ashen coated face, creating streaks down his skin. God, I’m sorry I was such an idiot. Please take care of my family…prayed Andy mentally, thinking about his parents and siblings. What would they do when they heard the news? Because as much as he would like to believe, that he would come out of this alive, in all truthfulness, Andy Miller realized that would not happen. He had an arm that was barely hanging on, ribs likely broken, and who knew what other kind of internal damage he might have?
Celeste looked at the poor man in sorrow. War…such a dreadful, horrible, terrible, completely unnecessary thing! And at Christmastime no less! thought the angel sadly, tender heart breaking at the scene before her.
Remember what you have to do. I know you love Christmas…and matchmaking, but try not to get distracted.
“Yes, sir. I’ll try my very, very best!” Celeste had just completed the Christmas Angel program, a very important program. It was the same one that the angels who appeared to the shepherd’s had gone through.
She took her job quite seriously. And now, she was about to appear to her first Christmas assignment.
“Fear not, fear not, fear not,” Celeste chanted as she began to appear. She could not mess this up. And how could someone mess up saying two words? Well, Celeste supposed, that she would be the first to do that.
Andy had pretty much resigned himself to the fact that his end would be death. Not exactly what someone wants to think about…during the Christmas season. But then again…Suddenly, his eyes – which had been partially closed – fluttered open.
What on earth? Is that – ? It couldn’t be. Wow. I really must be dying…thought Andy Miller, as he looked at the figure bathed in shining light.
She had white-blonde hair, in a slew of unruly curls, and was currently bouncing on the toes of her feet. A brilliant smile rested on her face. Behind her, rose a pair of beautiful wings, matching the angelic appearance.
Angelic. Land sakes, that’s an angel!
Celeste had just appeared before the injured soldier. The man looked absolutely dumbfounded, and with what little movement he could make, seemed to be in a great deal of shock. Oh! Poor dear! So close to death around Christmas – of all things! But, he will not be dying today! thought Celeste triumphantly, then reminding herself to focus.
“Fear not,” she began, squealing inwardly at not messing up the words. Holly berries and candy canes! I did it! Praise you, Lord! cheered her mind happily. “Even in such a dismal place, you – Andy Miller, are not going to die. This is the month of our Lord’s birth, and He has graciously given you a second chance at life. Tomorrow – ”
All of a sudden, a voice croaked out, “Are you an angel? Or am I just hallucinating?”
Blinking, Celeste stared at him for a single second. “A hallucination? No, no. I am one-hundred-percent real. Nothing pretend about me!”
“Alright, if you say so.”
Celeste sighed. She would not let this deter her! And, to be fair, soldiers had experienced hallucinations before, so it wasn’t too crazy for him to be thinking that. Especially, in the state that he was in. “Well, anyway, tomorrow you will be rescued by a platoon,” she hoped that was the correct term. All of these army words got mixed up in her already scattered mind. “You will see me again, between now and the time when you will return to the U.S.”
Then, she disappeared.
True to Celeste’s words, Andy Miller did not die that day. He was rescued, as told by the angel, and instantly taken to a hospital. Because of his dire condition, Andy’s left arm had to be amputated along with some broken ribs which had to be wrapped and treated. There were a few other injuries, but none as severe as the amputee.
As of yet, Andy had not seen Celeste since. And in all honesty, wasn’t even sure if she was real or not.
Celeste squealed inwardly. She could not wait for this. Of course, there was no guarantee that her match-making would work…Shaking her head, she smiled. It would work. After all, it was the Christmas season! And Christmas was all about love!
“Stop one, check on Ella Collins. Then, go see Andy Miller. Lastly, lots of praying,” said Celeste to herself as she prepared for the young physical therapist to get out of her car.
Ella had cinnamon locks that were tied back in a pretty fishtail braid. Her blue working attire, matched her grey-opal eyes wonderfully. And, as an inside source, Celeste knew that Ella was exactly the same age as Andy: twenty-four. Perfect.
And, here we go! thought Celeste, appearing in front of the young woman.
Late last night, Ella had received a call from her superior that a young army veteran had been admitted. He had recently had his left arm amputated and was in need of physical therapy. Even though it was last minute, Ella was never one to turn down a challenge – and so she accepted.
But this figure with wings. Yeah. Not exactly what Ella Collins was expecting.
“Fear not, Ella Collins. I have come here to bring you wonderful news!” exclaimed, what a dumbfounded Ella could only assume was an angel, “the patient you are now going to see, is none other than your soulmate.”
Soulmate. Well, that was the most illogical statement Ella had ever heard. Sure, it sounded all nice and Hallmark-like (and she did love a good Christmas movie), but soulmates? That was just fiction. “I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong person.”
The angel frowned. “You don’t believe me,” she huffed unhappily, “humans. And in the Christmas season no less.” She furrowed her brow, thinking intently, before a happy smile came on her face. “Never mind, you will see that I am right. Have a merry Christmas!”
And Ella’s mouth dropped open as the angel disappeared.
Entering into the hospital room, Ella – who never tripped – had a sudden, humiliating experience. She fell onto the bed that her patient was sitting on. Horrible.
“I am so sorry!” exclaimed Ella quickly, scrambling upward as an awful blush coated her fair cheeks. She stole a glance at the patient, and was reluctant to admit, that at the very least, he was an attractive person.
The man shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”
A beam of light shot into the room, causing the two young people to instantly be on alert. But of course, it was only Celeste. The angel had a happy expression on her face as she came closer to the hospital bed.
“I’m so glad you two finally met!”
“Ohhhh dear, you were actually real,” mumbled Ella, eyes widening.
Andy, turned his head towards the physical therapist. “You’ve seen her too?”
“Yeah. Earlier, in the parking lot.”
Celeste grinned. “I am very real Ella, and she already knows, but I haven’t told you, yet, Andy. You two are soulmates!” The angel beamed at them.
With his right hand, he rubbed the back of his neck. “Do you believe her?”
“Of course not! That-that’s completely illogical!”
At that, Andy cracked a small smile. “Well, the fact that I am alive is completely illogical. She,” he pointed at Celeste, “appeared to me as I was dying, and told me I would live. Believe what you want, but as crazy as it sounds, at this point,” he shrugged, “heck. Anything could be true.”
Ella frowned, but could not find it in herself to refute him.
“Oh! Would you look at that? Mistletoe!” exclaimed Celeste innocently.
Great. She’s not going to be satisfied until we kiss. Well. I am absolutely not doing that, but if it will get her to leave…thought Ella, resigning herself to this situation. She leaned over – and what Ella meant to only be a kiss on the cheek – ended up being one on the lips, when Andy unintentionally turned his head.
And though both were too stubborn to admit it, they did not hate it. As for Celeste, she grinned happily as the tiny bell on the magical mistletoe dinged. “Oh! I have done it! It dinged, that means they’re destined for true love!” she clapped her hands together gleefully, “Save me a seat at the wedding…future Mr. and Mrs. Miller.”
Then, the Christmas angel disappeared.
©2016 Lanie Dean. All Rights Reserved.