No one noticed the arrival of Cyril Rum into the old dilapidated house at the end of the street. It was one of those old places where neglect had been its most recent visitor. At that end of the street the rail line ran close to the houses and was probably a reason for no one wanted to live there.
Cyril was all settled in and had the place looking a treat before anyone really had time to take in that the old place was now occupied.
He wasn’t a standout sort of man. In fact he appeared to be on the downward side of middle age, was balding and slightly rotund. He kept pretty much to himself, tended his garden and grew the best crop of potatoes seen in the street for many a year.
There was a reason for Cyril choosing the house and location. Cyril was an angel. Like all angels he’d been a round a long time and over the course of eternity, which Cyril would remind other angels was an awfully long time, the day to day wear and tear even on an angel had taken its toll.
So in an effort to rejuvenate and reinvigorate himself he had taken a leave of absence to spend some time by himself to try get his angelic nature back in shape.
He had chosen our street as it was a very ordinary street and who would ever suspect the old run down house at the end of the street to be occupied by an angel.
He blended in well in that he appeared to be just an older man living as we all did, minding his own business and looking after his place.
He even acquired a dog, a small furry dog that he had sleep in a basket at the foot of his bed. This was his only companion and he seemed content in having that way. Though we did wonder why in his back yard there were always two chairs facing each other. Some said they saw him out there at night chatting to some imaginary figure in the other chair. Other said it was because he wanted people think he did have visitors.
About three months after his arrival I did venture down to his place. He invited me in and we sat out the back in those two chairs and talked about the neighbourhood, gardens and growing things.
We’d have to stop as the coal trains rumbled past and in that time I could see him scrutinising me. When asked about his past and where he had come from he answered enigmatically. He’d been around he said and now he was looking to spend some time taking it easy.
As I left that day he did ask me one thing that bothered me…..what is it you fear most?
I had no answer and said so. He replied that I was just a man and that being so I had to be scared of something. He was right my daughter had a cholesteatoma in her right ear and I did fear that she would lose her hearing if the operation planned the next month didn’t work.
He patted me on the shoulder as I left and said he would say a prayer for her.
It was that night that the phenomena of the burning angels began.**
**Here is a link to the burning angels: