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Authors: Greg Curtis

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BOOK: The Nephilim
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The girl did not look pleased to be standing in his home. He guessed he could understand that since she'd only recently been stolen away from whatever she'd called home before by Cassie. And this clearly wasn't her home nor, he guessed, similar to whatever she was familiar with. No doubt she felt like a fish out of water. He also figured that that feeling applied to more than just his house as she tried to make sense of the fact that a strange woman could simply arrive from out of nowhere, grab her and transport her somewhere else in the blink of an eye.

 

It wasn't easy being a nephilim. Not even for those who were lucky and lived a more privileged life. This girl obviously hadn't been so lucky. If he had to guess, she'd come from a broken home and had only recently discovered the gifts her heritage bestowed upon her just in time to be told that she couldn't use them. It was a common enough story among their kind. Very few of them could use their gifts in public, and those that could had to be incredibly careful.

 

“You going to say something kid?” Garrick asked when she continued to say nothing. After all someone had to say something. And he knew Cassie hadn't brought her to him simply because he had a truck. The kid was here because Cassie thought he could do a good job of explaining the rules of life as a nephilim to her during the trip.

 

“Why am I here?”

 

“Well I guess that would be because Cassie decided you were making too much trouble. Apparently you were using your gifts in a way that isn't permitted. So she brought you to me so I can deliver you to our people and a school where you can learn how to keep out of trouble. And how not to abuse your gifts.”

 

The girl glared at him angrily. “I don't want to learn anything! I was doing all right until that bitch showed up!”

 

That, Garrick thought, was a matter of opinion. She'd obviously been living rough for a while, though clearly that had not always been the case. Her clothes were soiled, but they were still decent quality garments. That suggested some sort of fall in life. The bitterness though he understood. No one liked it when angels simply turned up and started ordering you about. Unfortunately for a nephilim, there just wasn't much you could do about it. That was simply part of their life. And the sooner she learned that the better he figured.

 

“I'd lose that attitude if I were you. Cassie is not the sort to tolerate insolence, and she will be watching you from now on. And what she says, goes. You don't get a choice in the matter.”

 

Though it sounded tough he had to warn her before she got herself into any more trouble, though no doubt she saw it as him siding with the angel. That the two of them were a team ganging up on her. She didn't understand. Not yet anyway. So he decided to put things into perspective before she got too angry with him. The last thing he needed was a hostile teenager in his home.

 

“Look, allow me to explain the basics of life for you. It comes down to four simple words,” and for effect he held up his hand with the fingers extended and then counted them off in front of her. “We're nephilim. We're screwed.”

 

In truth it was probably a little harsh, a tiny bit more pessimistic than it needed to be. But over the years he had come to accept it as the basic rule of his life. Of all their lives. Probably from the day when Cassie had first come bowling into his life. When he had discovered what he was. And why his mother was the way she was.

 

He'd been a kid, a few years younger than his guest in all likelihood. And he'd been getting into trouble. It had been a difficult time. Living in a rough neighbourhood with a mother who had been having psychiatric problems, and with no father around, it would never have been easy. But he had made it worse by hooking up with the wrong people. Then Cassie had turned up one day from out of nowhere and his world had been turned upside down. Much as this girl's world was about to be.

 

“Nephilim?”

 

She didn't know the word and that surprised him. She obviously hadn't been watching a lot of movies. And clearly her mother hadn't told her about her father either. But then by the looks of things she'd been living rough, so maybe she hadn't had the money to go to the theatre. As for why her mother hadn't explained the unfortunate facts of the matter, there were a lot of reasons that might have happened, and none of them were good.

 

“You know. From the Bible. When an angel and a woman get together and have a child the child's a nephilim.”

 

“Angel.” She stared at him, her eyes accusing him of lying even if she hadn't yet said it. But he was sure that was coming.

 

“Afraid so. What did you think Cassie was? How else did you think she could do what she can do? And how else do you think you can do whatever it is that you can do?”

 

Which was something else he should probably ask about. It was best to know how exactly she could shatter the laws of physics and reality before she misused her gift on him. Not for the moment though. She didn't seem to be in a very cooperative mood. “Your father or your grandfather was an angel.”

 

“But not my mother?” Her voice was absolutely dripping with sarcasm as she said it, something that he thought was strange considering how she'd been brought here. Clearly she wasn't having a bar of it. Still, she should at least hear the facts before she dismissed them.

 

“Probably not. That doesn't happen a lot as far as I know. Angel women are more … discerning. And in any case if it ever did happen the offspring would be nephilim like us I assume, but we wouldn't see them. I can't imagine that the mothers would ever abandon their kids to live here with the rest of us.”

 

He didn't know that of course. He hadn't asked. And maybe angel mothers were just as useless as the fathers. But he'd never seen the offspring of such a union.

 

“So they get to live in heaven?”

 

“Don't know.” Garrick shrugged helplessly. He had no idea where angels lived, or if they called that place heaven. The Choir didn't tell them a whole lot about those sorts of things. They didn't tell them much at all, just to do as they were told. And then they wondered why they encountered resistance from their bastard children? But the kid would figure that out for herself in due course. He hurried on before she could ask any more unanswerable and annoying questions.

 

“What I do know is that male angels are for the most part dead beat dads. The last word in them actually. As they grow up angels get to spend a little time on Earth. They play around for a little bit. It's sort of a rite of passage before they take their vows or whatever. And after that they're gone. They come, some of them have their way with a few local women, knock some of them up, and then they leave. For the pregnant woman left behind there's absolutely no support provided, no visits to the child, and the kid doesn't even get a surname out of it. We have no fathers. It's just the nature of the beast. The mothers and their kids get left behind to struggle.”

 

“And I do mean struggle. It's not easy for the women. Actually it's harder for them than for most others in their shoes. Often the women are psychologically damaged from the encounter. Apparently the encounters are intense although “emotionally traumatic” is the term the therapists use. Most can't handle it well. Some really can't handle it and end up in institutions. To make matters worse, the women are all virgins. Don't ask me why, I don’t know. But they don't have a lot of life experience to help them deal with things.”

 

“The doctors call it post traumatic shock, and the effects can be devastating.”

 

Of course he was glossing over things there. In time, when she accepted the truth of what he was telling her, she would understand that. She would have the memories of her own mother's suffering to tell her the truth. And then she would have to deal with the anger as she realised that her mother's condition wasn't natural. That it had been caused by another. By an angel. From that would follow the frustration as she realised there was absolutely nothing she could do about it. That was the thing that angered him the most.

 

In his case his mother was better now than she had been. Years of intense therapy and time had helped paper over the worst of the cracks. But he still remembered seeing her pain when he'd been younger, and how frightened it had left him. It was the sort of thing that stayed with a man. He hadn't known what was wrong with her then. He hadn't understood her mood swings and panic attacks. He'd had no idea what obsessive compulsive behaviours and depression were. But he'd known something was wrong, and when she'd been the only person in his entire world that had been a difficult thing to deal with. It was still a difficult thing to bear.

 

“And then after it's over the women usually can't move on.”

 

Some claimed it was simply because they could not find a man to compare, but in Garrick's view it was more fundamental than that. The experience was so traumatic that they never wanted to be with another man again. In his own mother's case he was sure that had been the truth of the matter. She'd never spoken about it – not to him. And for the most part he suspected that the only way she held herself together was by not even thinking about it. But the way she looked at men told the sad story. Her only lover had ruined her life and that angered him. Even more than the fact that he had abandoned them, the understanding that his mother had been damaged by him set his blood boiling every time he thought about it.

 

But of course there was no possible come back. He had no idea who his father was. His mother had never uttered his name and he suspected that she didn't even know it. Nor were any of the Choir likely to tell him. But even if he had known, what could he do to an angel? Nephilim might be bad boy warrior angels in the bible, but the reality was that they were simply people with a few minor gifts. They weren't warriors. Contrast that with the power of the Choir which was immense. They were powerless against them. Life had taught him a few hard lessons, but none harder than that. Still, he had learned it well. Life was a bitch and all you could do was deal with it. His house guest would have to learn that lesson too.

 

“So the mothers not only don't have fathers to help them raise the child, they also don't have boyfriends either or the prospect of a happy marriage ahead. Being a single mother is not an easy thing in this world. When you're dealing with post traumatic stress or whatever it's harder. And when the child is gifted as we are, it becomes damned near impossible.”

 

Garrick figured she understood some of that. She might not understand a lot else –  yet – but she understood that she was different. That she could do things other people couldn't. And that it had caused problems. It probably had something to do with why she had been living rough.

 

Still he realised that they were getting off track. That he was telling her things she probably didn't need to know yet. It was time to return to the stuff she did need to know. The practical stuff and what lay ahead for her.

 

“So kid, I don't know what's happened in your life. But I assume it's been tough. And I can't tell you that it gets that much easier. The only thing I can tell you is that you aren't alone. No matter how tough you think you've had it, you aren't alone. There are tens of thousands more of us, many of us dealing with exactly the same problems you are. Broken families, mothers with emotional problems, no fathers to speak of. The place I'm taking you you'll be able to share your pain with them. It helps.”

 

Mostly though it just helped to put things in perspective, or at least it had in his experience. His mother was still in and out of various institutions, even now that she'd retired to Florida. He still had to live with that. And with the anger he continued to feel for his father – whoever he was.

 

“That's -.” She tried to argue, no doubt to tell him he was talking crap, but she stopped when he held up his hand.

 

“ – Messed up, but there's more I'm afraid. Because as if all that isn't rough enough, there are also some rules that we have to follow.”

 

“Rules?” That she heard, and she might even have believed him, if only because Cassie had mentioned them.

 

“Oh yeah, rules. There are always rules.” If he sounded a little bitter it was only because he was. He had every reason to be.

 

“The angels may be a bunch of dead beat dads who simply like to spread their seed about and don't give a toss about their victims or their children, but they still set us rules which we all have to follow. Nephilim that is, not the rest. We're just lucky that way.” The bitterness in his words was well earned.

 

“Why?”

 

“Because we can do things. Because we know things. And because we have their blood in our veins. They expect better of us.”

BOOK: The Nephilim
9.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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