Chapter 46

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“We are so screwed.” I sat down in one of the chairs in our room. Did not feel like getting back up.

First day back at The Academy, and already someone’s found us out.

“Maybe not,” Alex said, “Flutter seemed pretty willing to keep it a secret.”

“Only if she gets God’s permission,” I said, “Which she won’t, because we’re false prophets, and–”

“Don’t say it so loud. Someone could hear us.”

“No. All the rooms for prophets are sound-proofed, to make meditation easier. Nobody can hear us.”

“Quite a bit nicer than the room I had before.” Alex looked around at the wood-paneled room.

I guess it might technically be a suite, because it’s two rooms: a bedroom, and a sitting room with chairs and some basic cooking appliances (fridge, stove, microwave). All the furniture seemed to be hand-crafted out of the finest materials. It looked more like a chapel than a college dorm. Clearly, The Academy wanted to make sure their prophets are comfortable.

“She’s going to turn us in,” I insisted, “God’s going to tell her that we need to pay for our sins and…” I sighed. “Maybe we should just leave now. Get a head start on all the running-for-our-lives.”

Alex pulled up a chair next to me.

For several moments, he stayed silent, and just gave me a concerned look.

“You really think that’s how it’ll go?” he asked softly. “That your deity will just throw you to the wolves when you need him most?”


“I know I’m no expert on the subject, but… I thought he was supposed to be all about forgiveness. Compassion. Dying for your sins, and all that.”

“Of course. God is forgiving. Just…” I sighed. “Not towards angels. We’re supposed to be His mortal hand. His devout servants. We’re not allowed to make mistakes.”

Alex laughed.

I glared at him. “It’s not funny.”

“No. It is funny. Because if it weren’t funny, it would just be depressing and tragic. For thousands of years, angels like yourself have been told what they need to be, and they’ve accepted it all. Accepted their destiny to be enslaved to a deity that apparently granted them free will just to fuck with them. If you were supposed to be this perfectly obedient little angel who never questions orders, then that’s exactly what you’d be.”

“We’re supposed to–”

“Shut up. If you really were created by an all-powerful, all-knowing entity that cares about his creations, then it’s perfectly clear who you’re supposed to be: yourself. Nobody else.”

I blinked. “I…”

“I know for a fact that there’s at least one god in this room who wants you to stop worrying and accept yourself for who you are.” Alex smiled. “Also, he’s sorry for telling you to shut up, and hopes you’ll forgive him for that, and many other shortcomings.”

I couldn’t help but smile back at him. “You’re forgiven.” I put my hand on his shoulder, rubbing his wing gently.

He made a strong point. And I suddenly realized exactly why I liked him so much. Because he’s not perfect, and he makes no effort to hide it. And he accepts me for who I am. Nobody else has ever done that.

I hugged him tight. Crying.

If the Church was right about God–if He really demands that I be perfect, that I never question Him… that’s not the kind of God I wanted.

“So…” I asked Alex, “What’s your god like?”

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