There Were Two of Them There

by Zechariah James Towner

There were two of them there between the trees – a larger one and a smaller one -- and they were talking. You could have seen them if you looked.

“You’re sure it’s got to be this way?”

“Yes. That’s what he said.”

“But what if that’s not what he meant?”

“He only says what he means.”

The smaller one sighed. “Well that’s a shame. I quite liked those two – the woman and the man I mean.”

The larger one nodded.

“You’re sure that—“

The larger one gave him a sideways glance.

“Right,” he said with a sigh, flicking his tongue.

Neither spoke for a moment; the larger one staring at the trees ahead while the smaller one seemed to glare at the sky. The small clearing they were in was silent, except for the occasional breeze to drift through, rustling the leaves like a hand tickling your hair.

“You know I know he’s new on the job -- so we should cut him some slack – but…” the smaller one paused to glance around before beginning again in a lowered voice. “But sometimes it does feel like he’s making it up as he goes a long.”

The larger one shifted his weight uncomfortable with the statement, or perhaps just uncomfortable in general: he seemed unable to figure out where to put his wings; he’d only just got them.

“And you know what else?” continued the smaller one, moving into the sunlight. “I think he’s going to be mad at me.”

The larger one looked away, his blue eyes flashing in the light.

“I know it’s his plan and all but I keep thinking that after I do what he says he’s going to turn around and I’m going to get in trouble for this. I’ve just got this bad feeling about it. What’s the word for that?”


“The word for what I’m talking about. Do we have a word for that yet?” The larger one cocked his head to the side, and stared at the sky. “I don’t think so.”

“Well we should… he ought to get on that.” The smaller one opened his mouth to continue but paused as a cloud drifted away from the sun and the warm yellow rays peaked out. He closed his eyes and was still, only the little scales around his ribs moving to show he still breathed.

The larger one stared at him for a moment and then glanced around the clearing. It was a beautiful place they were in. Lush with green and full of life with trees far taller than he and gargantuous in comparison to his friend... or were they just companions -- two beings who happened upon each other’s company? Maybe that’s all friends were, he wondered.

The smaller one’s eyes flicked open. “He’s not going to, is he?” He was frowning as he said this, or doing what might have been a frown for one with so few facial muscles. “Be mad at me I mean?”


“After I do this he isn’t going to be mad at me, is he? I mean you’d know, wouldn’t you?”

The larger one coughed and straightened his robe.

The smaller one’s eyes bulged. “He’s going to be mad at me!? Why that little…” he broke off and glanced around. He tasted the air.

Around them the bushes were quiet save for the noises of the bugs and the other animals.

The smaller one crawled closer, eying their surroundings as he continued. “Have your other ones been like him? The others you’ve worked with, I mean.”

The taller one shrugged. “I wouldn’t know. He’s my first one.”

“This is your first world?”

He nodded.

“Get outa here… really? Well you got me. I thought you were a seasoned professional.”

The larger one shrugged and shifted his weight. “I just do what he tells me.”

The smaller one nodded. “Don’t we all. Don’t we all.”

They were silent. Some wind drifted through the trees carrying with it the faint smell of lilacs and the gurgles of a distant stream. On the other side of the clearing a rabbit appeared, pausing to examine the two. It looked at them with little black eyes, ears cocked, completely still for a moment, before turning and dashing back into the brush.

“When did you say he wanted it done by?”



He nodded.

The smaller one huffed, flicking his tongue. “Jeesh. Well I suppose I’d better get moving then. Where’s she at, anyhow?”

“By the tree.”

“Hah. By the tree. See he doesn’t even need me. She’s halfway there on her own. He just wants to punish me… I never should have made that crack about it taking him so long to make everything.”

The larger one gave a faint smile. “No, you shouldn’t have.”

“Oh well. It is what it is,” he muttered, shaking his head as he crawled off. “Hopefully he doesn’t punish them too bad.”

The larger one gave a small cough as his friend reached the end of the clearing, and the smaller one paused to look back at him.

“Good luck.”

It was hard to read the features of his face, and suddenly abashed the larger one looked down at the earth beneath his feet.

“Thanks,” said the smaller one at last. “Be seein’ you, Uri.” And with that he was off.

For a long time he stared after the place where his friend had disappeared. He was alone now. He sighed. So that was that. He would need his sword for the next part, and something called fire. So, after glancing around the clearing for a moment more, the Angel turned and was gone.