pastel angel
An original fic by Scott K. Jamison
chapter one: angel rising
Recently was pointed to the the Transgender Stories Archive ( An amazing unity of theme there...anyhow, it "inspired" this...comments and MSTs welcome....

      Mitch turned the key and opened the tiny door. He stuck his hand inside, and felt the presence of an envelope. Please let this be a check. Please please please.
      He took the envelope out of his post office box and was pleased to see that the return address was Bell Publishing, and even more encouragingly, the window showed the aqua color all Bell's checks were printed on.
      Mitch tore open the envelope, then took a few moments to savor the sensation. His name, Mitchell Cole, on the "Pay to" line, and on the amount line, "Fifteen Hundred Twenty Eight Dollars and Ninety Two Cents." The "Notes" line had the word "Royalties", and handwritten, "Good job, Mitch!"
      He smiled. Life was finally looking up. The third Mark Thyme paperback was selling even better than the first two. Sure it was just a drugstore rack pulp novel, but it was a popular one. The series was his breakthrough, and soon he'd be able to publish his serious novel. Heck, he might even stop having to take grunt jobs to earn a living!
      Of course, it was those grunt jobs that had inspired him to write the Mark Thyme books in the first place, listening to his co-workers' fantasies. Mark was everything Mitch wasn't; rippling with muscles, possessed of ruggedly handsome features, and expert in all forms of armed and unarmed combat. He was the consummate man of action. Plus, Mark got laid at least once a book by a gorgeous woman.
      Mitch, conversely, had "gotten lucky" exactly once, with a woman who'd been just as desperate as he was. Neither of them had been thrilled with the results, and they'd broken up immediately thereafter.
      He'd always had trouble finding women willing to date him, so Mitch compensated by making Mark into a babe magnet that women begged for sex. It was cheesy and kind of misogynistic, but the target audience of young men ate it up.
      An elderly man bumped into Mitch from behind, muttering about the Trilateral Commission, which roused the writer from his reverie.

      Mitch blinked in the sun as he came out of the post office. It was a lovely late spring day in downtown Minneapolis. The grateful people of Minnesota had shed their cumbersome winter clothing for the brighter and lighter clothes of warm weather.
      The pink and blue skyscrapers reflected the afternoon sun, and workers and tourists swarmed through the skyways above Mitch's head. The streets themselves seemed cleaner today, perhaps because of the previous night's thunderstorm.

      Mitch had deposited the check and was on his way to the library to research fish (the girl-of-the-week in the next Mark Thyme book was going to be a marine biologist) when things went seriously wrong.

      At first, no one really believed it when the monster appeared out of thin air on Block E. After all, twenty-foot-tall octopi with bat wings and three mouths bristling with fangs simply did not exist. And they certainly did not suddenly materialize on busy city streets. The more imaginative people assumed they had somehow been slipped hallucinogens.
      Thus it was that the creature was pointedly ignored until the first pedestrian was picked up off the street and slammed back into it. The splattering blood convinced the humans that the monster was indeed real.
      They immediately went into panic mode.

      By the time Mitch realized what was going on, the monster had already grabbed two more people in its tentacles and tossed a car into the largest concentration of humans. Its peculiar high-pitched warbling mixed with the screams of the dying.
      Oh shit was Mitch's first reaction. People were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, often into each other or directly towards the monster. A woman in a security guard uniform was vainly trying to explain to several hysterical men that she wasn't a real police officer and didn't have a gun.
      Not that the cops are going to be able to stop that thing, thought Mitch. Maybe the National Guard. Several more cars went flying into buildings, and the monster began shambling towards the heart of downtown.
      What Mark Thyme would do in a situation like this is grab that sheared-off lamp post, jump onto the creature's head, jam the sharp end in its eye and ride it like a bronco until it croaked.
      It was too bad Mark Thyme wasn't there, because Mitch couldn't even lift a lamp post, let alone handle the rest of the plan. But somehow he knew he had to do something. He was a man, he should be able to be the hero!
      Mitch's paralysis finally ended when he saw a teenaged girl in baggy jeans get clipped in the head with a piece of flying masonry. He might not be up to fighting monsters, but there was no way he was going to leave that girl to be trampled by the fleeing crowd.
      He ran up to the girl, brushed back her hair to see that the wound didn't look too bad (scalp wounds bleed a lot) and started carrying her towards a nearby alley. Mitch was soon panting with the effort. I have got to get in better shape.
      He could hear pistol shots behind him, followed by a particularly ugly scream. Mitch shuddered and tried not to think about it as he checked the girl. His minimal first aid training couldn't find any other sign of injury, so barring concussion, she'd be fine when she woke up. He ripped his shirt to make a crude bandage.
      Where's that music coming from? Mitch was hearing what sounded like a choir, almost drowning out the police sirens in the background. He looked up to see a glowing light appearing in midair.
      There was a woman inside the light, a tall woman with chestnut hair spilling down her sides, and wearing a white gown that went below where her feet should be. Given the filthiness of the alley, it was perhaps for the best that she was hovering in midair.
      At a guess, Mitch would have placed her in her late forties or early fifties; her face showed no wrinkles, but the woman had a definite matronly air about her, and...what was that word? Yes, a Junoesque figure. He thought he saw something behind her, but the light made it impossible to discern.
      Mitch met this latest affront to reality with all the wit and eloquence his female acquaintances had come to expect of him. "Uh, hi."
      As if reading a prepared speech, the woman began, "Greetings, child of the Human World. I am Klintara, the Bearer of Light. You have been chosen as our champion in the Human World, our warrior against the creatures of the Monster World. Will you accept this grave responsibility?"
      Mitch hesitated a moment, staring at Klintara. He'd never been too big on comic books, but he'd read enough of them to know there was no turning back. If he accepted her offer, his life would never be the same again. Then again, who wants the "same" life? I'll be good-looking, superpowered, and fighting for a worthy cause. Heck, it might even improve my luck with the ladies!
      With that thought, Mitch straightened up and said, "Sure! Er, I mean it would be an honor, milady."
      For the first time she actually looked at him. Klintara looked positively shocked. "But you're--I mean--this isn't..." There were more screams, and her face settled into a grim mask. "Well then, we'll just have to make do with the materials at hand."
      She raised her hands vertically in front of her chest, about a foot apart, and began chanting in a liquid-sounding language Mitch didn't recognize. A light formed between her hands, even brighter than the one behind her, but Mitch found himself able to look at it without discomfort.
      The chanting was almost hypnotic, and Mitch stepped closer.
      Klintara switched back to English. "To receive the power, child of the Human World, say 'Angel Rising!'"
      "Angel Rising!" Mitch felt, rather than saw, the light pass from between Klintara's hands into his body. His eyes were dazzled by colors, his ears filled with driving music, his nose and throat were drowning in peach nectar, and his entire skin tingled. But the most intense sensation was at his back, where it felt like something was trying to rip its way out of his shoulders.
      Mitch gave a long, shuddering gasp as whatever it was tore free, exquisitely painful, but at the same time a release. His eyes cleared, and he saw the tips of something with huge white feathers. Mitch shrugged slightly and the things flapped. He had wings!
      Klintara smiled. Was that a touch of pity? "You'll need to make some...adjustments. For now, let the power guide you." She faded from view. "Good luck, Pastel Angel."
      Mitch barely noticed; the power was urging him to join the battle. But first, he touched the unconscious girl again, and a bit of power healed the scalp wound. His skin tone looked a bit off, but this wasn't the time to think about that.
      He flapped his wings, and Mitch enjoyed the thrill of flying for the first time. There was no awkwardness, no loss of balance; the power had it well in hand.

      Mitch flinched when he saw the carnage the monster had caused so far. There were at least a dozen visible corpses, three in police uniforms, and probably as many more buried under the rubble. It was pretty amazing; he wouldn't have guessed even a twenty-foot-tall creature could have torn down a parking ramp that fast.
      The SWAT team had arrived, not that it was doing much good. Even the heaviest caliber rifles did no more than annoy the monster. Its warbling had taken on a distinctly hostile tone, and it was shambling directly at the barricade.
      Mitch felt nauseated and not a little afraid, but the power within him radiated confidence and fury. He let it flow, and words came to him.
      "Halt, abomination! You shall cause no further harm!" Amazingly, the monster stopped and looked up at Mitch, whose mouth continued to move as if of its own volition. "Such creatures as you are not welcome in the Human World, so I, Pastel Angel Pink, will send you to the Netherworld instead!"
      There was something off about that speech, but Mitch wasn't in a mood to think much about it. The monster extended three of its tentacles towards him like telescoping spears, and Mitch fluttered out of the way. Wings were fun!
      He dodged several more blows, which allowed the SWAT team to bring a harpoon gun (borrowed from the river police?) to bear. That hurt the monster. With the creature momentarily pinned, Mitch knew it was time to finish the matter.
      Mitch gained some more altitude, and began spinning like a top as the power built up inside. Then he raised his hands above his head and shouted "Peach Blossom Hurricane!" A pinkish glow flooded from his body in a spiral pattern, with tiny flecks in it that looked for all the world like flower petals.
      The glowing spiral struck the monster, which warbled in pain as the "blossoms" tore it apart. Just when its volume was becoming too much to bear, the creature dissolved in a cloud of foul-looking smoke.
      There was a moment of stunned silence, then a ragged cheer went up from the survivors.
      "Yes!" crowed Mitch, pumping his arm in the air. "I did it! Me, Pastel Angel...Pink?" With the destruction of the monster, the power inside him was ebbing, and his thoughts were clearing. Something's not adding up here.

      He flew over to a building that still had its mirrored facade mostly intact, and looked at his reflection. Strike that. Her reflection.
      The person who had to be Mitch, since there was no one else flying around up here, flapped her large white wings lazily. Mitch was pretty sure that several laws of physics were being broken. She was obviously in her early teens, no more than five feet tall, not counting the wings, with a boyish figure. She had long straight black hair, tied back by a huge pink ribbon, and a vaguely Asian-looking face that Mitch instantly classified as "cute".
      She was wearing a white blouse cut to emphasize her small bust, with short pink puffed sleeves. A gold belt held up a pink pleated miniskirt with white lace at the hem, and golden sandals with pink laces to the knee completed the ensemble. All in all, she would have been very pretty, if it weren't for that distraught look on her face.
      I'm a girl!? What did that bitch Klintara do to me? I can't live like this!
      At that moment, Mitch heard from below, "Hey, you're right, pink panties. I owe you twenty." He flushed bright red, and flew off towards a less traveled part of town.

      Mitch looked around and didn't see anyone under the railroad bridge. He threw himself against a wall. How the hell am I going to explain this? No one's gonna believe I'm me. I want out of this stupid angel body!
      There was a flash of light, and Mitch stumbled as the weight of wings was suddenly off his shoulders. Even better, when he looked at himself, his male body had been restored!
      "Thank you, God!" He began the long walk home. That was kind of fun, for a bit, but I'm glad it's over.

      Elsewhere, something sniffed the air. Something green.

Copyright reserved 1998 Scott Jamison []

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