I’m super late joining this fun A to Z Challenge, and I don’t know for sure that I’ll keep up (well, once I catch up), but gosh darn it, I’m going to try. I’ve never written flash fiction before and I think this will be the perfect way to share some scenes that happen beyond the pages of my young adult paranormal Kingdom Come series.
The People and Places of Shady Creek: Locales, Humans, Angels and Demons
An A to Z Kingdom Come Book of Flash Fiction
Shady Creek is a small town somewhere in Wisconsin. The town is spread apart, a main street on the east side where Julia lives with her mom and brother, an out-of-date golf course on the west where Julia’s family friend, Molly, owns a sprawling ranch, the bowling alley where Julia works in the north, and the elementary, middle and high school to the south. Behind the school is the Shady Creek Woods, the hub of demon and angel activity.
The most southern tip of the woods houses the entrance—or portal—to the ethereal forest training ground for Powers—Angel Warriors, led by the Seraphim Prince and Archangel, Michael. The most northern tip of the woods, the side that butts up against the school grounds is where the demons come and go from.
Because Julia’s family is the only line of Hybrids to ever exist, and the Devil is jealous of all things he isn’t and can’t have, he’s made Shady Creek the central location for his demon armies. Because he wants the powers the Hybrids have, he’s set his sights on claiming Julia and her family to use as pawns to destroy Heaven and Earth.
The scenes for this challenge will all take place before the first book in my Kingdom Come series, When Ash Rains Down, before Julia meets any angels, demons, or knows anything about being half-angel herself.
Enjoy this fun peek into Julia White’s Shady Creek world where humans, angels, and demons come together…whether they’re aware of one another or not.
A demon with a head like a spider–black, hairy, and covered with eyes–and the arms of an octopus drops from the school’s ceiling. Its fangs are bared and dripping with ichor as if it’s just devoured one of its own. Crouching down on the shoulder of an unsuspecting girl, it unfurls a forked tongue and sticks it into her neck. I lock eyes with her guardian angel, who, due to his charge’s unique situation, is also a warrior angel.
Invisible, he strides across the hallway, summons his weapon of choice—a spear–and jabs it through one of the demon’s eyes. The monster erupts into a million pieces of char and ash that drift down, landing in a heap on the linoleum floor. The heap disappears into a plume of smoke that no student can sense. Off the demon goes to the dimension of the cosmos where demons are chained in detention units.
The warrior angel steps back against the wall of lockers, spear still in hand, and resumes his watchful position, guarding the girl who will soon be not only his charge, but his trainee.
As if in sudden pain, the girl, in the middle of a current of students walking through the hallway, drops her text book on the floor. Nobody stoops to help her. They just walk over and around it as if she’s not there at all. She heaves a sigh as if the world is on her shoulders—and in a way, I suppose it is, only she doesn’t know it yet. She reaches a hand over her shoulder to rub her shoulder blade, probably due to the recent appearance of a demon.
Her wings won’t stay hidden much longer.
“We’re going to have to tell her soon, Azarius,” the warrior calls to me where I sit welcoming students outside my classroom.
My spirit that rests in this human form, invisible to my students, replies, “I’m not the one you have to convince.”
Eventually the students pass her by on their way into my classroom and she’s free to pick up her book. Then, she, too, heads in and takes her seat. I wheel myself through the doorway and take my place at the front of the classroom, just under the circular clock that keeps Earthly time. It’s 8:03. The girl looks irritated and impatient.
“Time to begin,” I tell thirty humans, some looking at me, others at notes they write to friends, others at the floor or the wall behind my head.
She’s meeting my eyes, her hand poised with a pencil, ready to take notes on a fresh page in her notebook. Her tapping foot keeps time with the second hand of the clock. I smile at her. Oh, Julia, I think, it certainly is about time for you to begin your training, and I hope you’re as ready to learn about becoming an undercover angel warrior as you are about the content of this course.
Something about the way she’s fighting her wings tells me she’s not going to be easy to deal with, however.
“Good luck to you, warrior.” I laugh, looking at the angel who followed me in. “You’re going to need it.”
Thrown in to a classic battle of good versus evil, eighteen-year-old Julia learns that the world is more complicated than she thought, and she’s caught in the middle. In order to protect those she loves, she will have to battle her greed and determine on which side she belongs.
When Ash Rains Down is a contemporary paranormal novel for readers who enjoy stories with strong protagonists and epic battle scenes. Fans of City of Bones and Unearthly will be captivated by this unique take on angels and demons