Authors: Annie Dalton
First published in Great Britain by Harper Collins Children’s Books in 2008
This updated and revised edition published by Lazy Chair Press in 2013
Text copyright (c) Annie Dalton 2001
The author and illustrator assert the moral right to be identified as the author and illustrator of the work.
This ebook is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be leant, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the author’s prior consent in any form (including digital form) other than this in which it is published, and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Love and thanks to Terry Hong for taking time out from a busy life to advise me on aspects of Mel’s twelfth and final adventure. Also a huge thank you to undercover angel Sophie Panuthos for her insights and suggestions.
rainee angels have a saying: if you want the Universe to laugh out loud, tell it your plans! Set these lyrics to a funky beat and you’d have the perfect soundtrack for my life.
I had a ton of stuff planned the day after my thirteenth birthday: hook up with my friends in a nearby mall, check out the new pancake place, catch a movie, eat a LOT of M&Ms. Nowhere on this To Do list did it say: get hit by a stolen car and turn into an angel. Yet, on that happy sunny morning in July, somewhere between my home and Park Hall shopping centre -8AM.’ - I got an unexpected cosmic upgrade. Mel Beeby, the human schoolgirl, was history.
world I was history. But there’s SO much more to this vast shimmery Universe than humans! Remember in The Wizard of Oz, when the dreary black and white picture suddenly explodes into Technicolor? Arriving in the Afterlife feels a bit like that, except it’s not just colours, but unearthly scents, sounds, energies…
After the first shock wore off, Heaven felt deeply familiar. It felt, actually, like coming home; like, once upon a time, this luminous world of Love and Light was all we knew, but then, in the full-time craziness of being human we somehow forgot.
I still miss my friends and family, but these days I don’t much miss being human. Going back now would feel, well, just
; kind of like a butterfly trying to turn itself back into a caterpillar. Yet, until recently, I always had this gigantic question mark hanging over me.
Out of all the hundreds of kids heading for the shopping centre that morning, what made the Angel Academy award me a place on their spangly new training programme? If my teachers even knew, they weren’t saying. I just had to accept that I’d probably never know why the Agency wanted me on their team.
Then strange sequence of events led to me solving this riddle once and for all. I finally found out why the Agency picked me for their fast-track cosmic training scheme. Better still, I found out what I’m meant to be doing from now on.
It started when I came back from my mission to India where I had to watch over a very special four-year-old boy, a future buddha, destined to be a world peacemaker. This mission was only the latest in a series of humongous, life-changing experiences. I’d just had my first cosmic upgrade, which is pretty humongous in itself. Ideally you’d need weeks of peace and quiet to adjust to all the whizzy new energies swirling round your system. I literally had like, two hours! My upgrade party was just getting into full swing when I was told I had to go back to my old school to save my human friends from the Powers of Darkness. THEN my cosmic upgrade properly kicked in, sending me totally bonkers, and I found myself going through a harrowing angelic ordeal known as The Test.
I kind of understand now why trainee angels need to go through this gruelling initiation. Being an angel in Heaven is a doddle, let’s be honest! In Heaven, everything constantly reminds you that you are a luminous being of Love and Light. Unfortunately angels carry out most of their missions on Earth where, as you know, things are a teensy bit less loved-up.
Go to any city in my century and you’ll see humans just barely surviving, living as if they have no soul. This is NOT how things are supposed to be, and they didn’t get this way by accident. There’s a cosmic war going on - and I really hate to scare you, but the wrong side is winning.
The Powers of Darkness WANT you to think life is depressing and meaningless. They want you to feel so overwhelmed at how grim life on your planet is becoming that you have to tune it all out and basically sleepwalk through your days like a zombie. Sleepwalking zombified humans are MUCH easier to control than feisty, wide-awake ones.
The Agency, that’s the cosmic outfit I work for, beams Love and Light at your planet 24-7 to remind you who you are and what you were put on Earth to do. In contrast, the Dark Agencies, aka the PODS, go flat out to cause chaos, destroying everything and everyone that is beautiful and good.
Sabotage, mayhem and destruction are what the Dark Agencies do best. They’ll do every low thing they can think of to trip up a newbie angel and throw her off track. All those weaknesses (yes, even angels have weaknesses!), all those dark little secrets we try so hard to hide - the PODS have it ALL on file, and when the moment comes, they’ll use it. The question is, when the PODS start piling on the poo, what kind of angel will you be then?
That’s what the Test is designed to find out. The Test, you see, is where you finally get to meet your Dark Side face to face. Totally alone, with no cosmic support of any kind, you will be taunted and tempted by the Powers of Darkness like you would
I survived. I even came through the experience a smidge wiser than I went in. Hopefully it has made me a stronger angel. There was no time to rest on my laurels though. Only days after I got back to Heaven I had to rush off again, to twenty-first century India this time, to deliver the special little boy I told you about to some monks.
All these experiences coming so close together had left me with a LOT to think about as you can imagine. To pile on the stress, I’d come back to a massive backlog of school work. Every angel kid over the age of twelve has to go on missions at our school, and we’re
expected to keep up with assignments. Considering our teachers are angels, they show no mercy whatsoever!
My punishing daily routine now went like this: shower, dress, jog down to the beach to send dawn vibes to the Universe (my new resolution), then rush off to school where I spent my day either a) in class b) in the library, catching up on coursework or c) on class field trips to deeply depressing time periods as part of Mr Allbright’s ongoing module on human prejudice.
After school (assuming I wasn’t too depressed by the witch trials in seventeenth-century Salem, or whichever it happened to be that day) I’d fit in an hour at Angel Watch sending vibes to trouble spots on Planet Earth. I’d seen too much human suffering while I was in India and this was my v. feeble attempt to make a difference.
OK, that last bit is
completely true. I did genuinely want to make a difference. But it’s also true that I was constantly putting off the tricky moment when I had to be all alone in my room. I couldn’t exactly hang out at Angel Watch (or my fave cafe, or the school library) until morning, and believe me I’d tried! Sooner or later the moment always came when I had to force myself back to the school dorm to squeeze in an hour’s revision for the end of term exams, and (oh, yes!) being outstared by a several billion-years-old Creation angel.
Ah, now t
the part that wasn’t supposed to happen.
he night the angel first appeared, I’d just got back from India so it was a shock, but it was an Indian kind of shock. A visitation from a seven-foot-tall, golden-eyed angel fitted right in with all the mystical happenings of the past few weeks.
This angel hadn’t been taking care of himself at all. His hair hung in matted locks like Indian holy men, and he gave off a truly desperate vibe, like street people I’d seen in India, as if he’d been pushed over some invisible edge and couldn’t see a way back.
He said he’d come to thank me for taking care of the child buddha we’d been watching over. Then he asked me to save the world. He didn’t use those actual words,
“I want you to save the world, Melanie,” but we both knew that’s what he meant.
I said, “But I’m just a kid.” He can’t have thought that was a good excuse because after that he came back every night.
Just so you understand how weird this was, I should explain that Creation angels are seriously anti-social beings. They don’t mix with other types of angels - they don’t even hang out that much with other Creation angels; they’re such pure, supersensitive beings they prefer to keep in touch by telepathy as they go about their work. Humans don’t seem to realise, but Creation wasn’t some one-time-only special deal that happened with a big flourish of trumpets back in the day then suddenly like, stopped! Creation is
. If you were able to see Earth through our eyes, you could spot Creation angels at work all over your planet, transforming cosmic energy into moss or trees or giant daisies, watching over life forms from little shiny beetles to huge, chest-thumping gorillas.
Creation angels love Earth the same way a mother loves her new baby or an artist loves her painting. They love it so much that it’s actually physically distressing for them to leave.
A Creation angel coming back to Heaven, attaching himself to me, a lowly trainee angel, literally demanding my help. It was totally unthinkable!!