Today’s story emerged from a writing exercise a few months ago, where we were encouraged to write with exaggeration and hyperbole. I think I managed it, in any case I hope you enjoy.
Gloria, a reluctant Guardian Angel…
Gloria is an infinite being, capable of existing across and within all dimensions, who has also been assigned the role of guardian angel to a group of humans on the planet earth. It is fair to say that Gloria is not entirely happy about this, as she has a bit of sass and attitude towards the humans and can think of any number of things she would rather be doing than watching over a raggle, taggle bunch of pesky humans.
Still she has been assigned, the work is there to be done and so she goes on.
Technically speaking, Gloria is as old as time itself and has no defined gender but chooses to show up on Earth, to the individuals in her group as a black, working class woman in her fifties. There is she feels an imbalance between power, gender and race, so she has determined to do her bit to redress this. There’s always a bigger picture with Gloria.
So, when it is necessary for Gloria to travel around on Earth, anything with an engine is preferable to constantly having to rearrange her molecules and squeeze them through interconnected dimensions. She considers this too much like hard work, much to the frustration and annoyance of her mentor Christine, who thinks that it is far too undignified for an infinite being to clamber about on Earth on a human-made machine. Especially the 1959, 250cc Simpson motorcycle that Gloria currently favours, which meets her needs and suits her tastes.
And today, Gloria is riding her red Simpson to see Rainbow. The one human from her group that challenges and tests her patience the most. And as the wind rushes through and around her, Gloria thinks back over their past encounters.
‘What do you mean, I’m not your only human?’
A surprising first question, thinks Gloria as she introduces herself with the usual preliminaries. It can’t be everyday an infinite being visits you in your home. One would have thought there would have been other, more pressing questions, still perhaps it’s the shock.
Gloria takes a breath to create the space she needs to collect herself. She is after all supposed to have infinite wisdom and patience, but the question and the way it has been asked has challenged her. So, she responds with:
‘How many of us infinite beings do you think there are? Of course, we have more than one human to look after. What books have you been reading?’
‘I suppose so’, is Rainbow’s grudging response
‘I’m your Guardian Angel, not your fairy Godmother. I don’t do wishes. Do you see a wand, a diamond tiara?’
Is Gloria’s incredulous response to Rainbow’s written list of requirements, presented at their second meeting:
Since our first meeting, I have had a chance to consider how we might best move forward with our working relationship. I think it’s important that we establish rapport and trust, so I want to know if you can help with some or all, of my most pressing issues.
I need to have found my life partner by the time I’m 28, this will make it easier then for me to have children and continue with my career.
To enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, I do need a marketing role, £38,000 a year, this will enable me to run a reasonable car, something around 5 years old. I also need to be able to buy my own property.
Levels of fitness, I know I need to put in some work, but if there is anything you can do?
Contacts for my career, if I’m not your only human you probably know the right people.
Smaller bum, not too small just a slight narrowing will do
With thanks and anticipation
Rapport and trust, wonders Gloria as she reads the letter a second time and asks, ‘what is this symbol by your name?’
‘It’s a smiley face, I didn’t think we knew each other well enough for kisses.’
Rainbow is more interested in what Gloria can do to help her buy her first home, get her first job, interview well and meet Mr Right and thought it would be helpful to present this list to Gloria.
None of which is of the slightest interest to Gloria, her purpose is to build and strengthen Rainbow’s resilience and ability to withstand whatever shit, life on Earth throws at her. Or as Christine, her mentor would explain it ‘support the inner work.’
It’s up to Rainbow to sort out all the other stuff and do the outer work.
‘Then what’s the point, if you are not going to make my life easier? Why are you here? If you can’t smooth my path through life, create opportunities, open doors, make the right introductions, why bother?’
Is Rainbow’s not unreasonable reaction, finishing with ‘what does a Guardian Angel do anyway?’
Gloria arrives prepared with an answer to Rainbow’s last question.
‘I am here to watch over you, be with you and help you weigh your choices and options. All the other stuff is largely bullshit. My job is to help you survive and thrive in the world you live in and this is not going to happen if everything is laid out on a plate for you.’
‘I beg to differ.’ Is Rainbow’s retort. ‘Can I get a different Guardian? What if I choose not to work with you?’
At this point Gloria rolls her eyes and takes a slow and considered drag from her roll up and answers with:
‘Doesn’t work like that, it’s one of those immutable laws. You get what you are given, and in this case that’s me, though you can of course choose to ignore my counsel. But I would suggest you pay me some heed, if only to reduce the amount of willy waving and fanny flashing you might come across.’
‘Oh sorry, the noise people make when they don’t have anything real to say.’
‘Oh, balls’ mutters Rainbow, as she realises that Gloria has had access to every thought and impulse she’s had since birth.
That’s just how Guardian Angels roll.
‘Gloria, doesn’t quite seem like the right name for a Guardian Angel, I’d have chosen something more….’
Rainbow’s voice trails off as she becomes aware that the sunlight has disappeared, and she appears to be staring down a black hole…’
There is complete silence as Gloria, fights to retain her composure reminding herself that it’s not good form to throw one of your humans into the void. That really would cause her mentor considerable stress. So once the impulse has passed, Gloria responds with:
‘My name has more meaning and significance than you could possibly know, and I choose it to honour all women, past and present. Besides Rainbow?’
Now that she is no longer staring into the void, Rainbow can reply with:
‘Well, yes, I suppose you have to work with what you’ve got. Changing tack, she continues with, ‘Will I ever become like you?’ as she looks critically at the DM booted, black woman standing before her.’
‘You’ll be lucky’, mutters Gloria.
The End, well for now.
Total word count: 1192