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A Matter of Consequence

Consequences are a fact of life, as Cassiel discovers. Assigned a good-natured but foolish charge in response, he has time for little else. Except for maybe...muscle rub.

Cassiel braced himself, one arm on each side of the sink as he ever so slowly raised his head to look in the mirror. Dark circles under his eyes only served to further accentuate his bloodshot eyes. His normally clean-shaven face was taken over by stubble from more than one day of inattention. I look like I’ve been on a three-day bender, he thought as he took inventory of his appearance, or lack thereof.

The water faucet sputtered before coming to a full stream. Cupping his hands, he let the warm water flow over and around them before splashing his face. It’s going to take a lot more than water.

When he had taken this assignment, no--correction, when he had been ordered to take this assignment, he knew it was a chance to redeem himself from the last disaster. What he had no idea of knowing was that this assignment, his charge if you will, would be so incredibly, profoundly, and intensely clumsy, naïve, and just bloody well--foolish.

The mere thought of it sent a ruffle of indignation through his feathers. His wings flapped inadvertently, toppling anything and everything on the sink and the counter. Perfect, just PERFECT! One day I’m an officer of the esteemed Senior Divination Committee, and the next I’m sent hurtling to earth as a guardian angel. The way Ariel just sat there at the table, cutting her eyes as she quoted section after section from the policies and procedures manual, offering me up as a virtual sacrifice in her quest for my position. Okay, maybe I missed a meeting. Or two. But it wasn’t my fault that Abacus made an egregious calculation error leading to...never mind. That remained proprietary knowledge and highly confidential.

All of THAT led him to his current situation. Immaculate clothing existed only in dreams. Cassiel was lucky if he had the time to put on anything that wasn’t caked in grime or bodily fluids. Worrying about wrinkled garments was the last thing he had time for.

Dereliction of duty never crossed his mind until a solid month of guarding Felix. Oh, he had attempted to put in a vacation request. Which was promptly declined by none other than Ariel. He then requested in quick succession a sick day, a mental health day, a leave of absence. And in that order, it was declined, declined, declined.

One day. He needed one single day. All to himself. Preferably in bed, with food delivery from his favorite farm to table restaurant. The thought of it made him salivate. He had been living off quick service, ninety-nine cent heart attack sacks with zero nutritional value. All because of Felix.

Felix, Felix, Felix.

Felix lived as an inherently good-natured person; Cassiel could freely admit to that. The trouble arose when Felix was anything other than unconscious. A magnet for unintentional self-injury, an easy mark for those with less than the best of intentions, and a heart too big to be wary of strangers. On a constant state of alert, Cassiel removed hazards, protected Felix from attackers, and dispatched others to a place best not described.

A normal human required services every now and then. Felix was every…waking…hour. And sometimes while he slept too. After five nights in a row of Felix falling off the bed, narrowly missing the sharp corner of his nightstand because of you-know-who, Cassiel tore apart the nightstand with his bare hands. Sleep deprivation would do that to anyone.

Cassiel replaced the assorted bottles and toiletry items his wings had scattered across the bathroom. A notification from his phone dinged, an email from the Divine Resources department. Tapping on it with his finger, the subject read “The Importance of Self-Care & New Advisory Council”. Laughable, truly. Regardless, he’d volunteer for the advisory council. It could be an opportunity. One form field after the other was populated until he submitted it.

A hot shower would do him good. He turned the hot water on full blast, eager for his body to feel relief. Water streamed over his aching muscles, taut with overuse and stress. Exhaling, Cassiel closed his eyes and stood there, unmoving. Until his eyes snapped wide open.

Oh no. OH NO! Not there…please, for the love of God, not there!! Cassiel watched telepathically as Felix purchased two tickets online to a theme park. Weeklong tickets. To the happiest place on earth.

Cassiel was going to need a longer shower…and an industrial size bottle of muscle rub…and an appointment with Divine Resources.

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Charlotte A. Cason
Charlotte A. Cason
Jan 08, 2023

Cute story, we humans do need a lot of help at times.

Holly Bills
Holly Bills
Jan 09, 2023
Replying to


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