Tuesday, February 13, 2024

“Equally Long and Differently Wide” • by Susan Cornford

Marnie’s rotation stopped short. Humans never made allowances for wings in their sleeping arrangements. 

Gently she tugged her trapped appendage from under Brad’s heavier form and tried to resettle herself. Angels could sleep as much or as little as they liked, but when paired up with humans, they tried to fit in with their partner’s habits.

She must not have been as careful as she thought because she felt Brad shift onto his back and take a deep breath. “Hon? Are you awake?”

“Yes, sweetheart. Can’t you sleep?”

“I’m okay. How do you feel?”

“Well, I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel because there’s never been a pregnant angel before.” She thought back to the wave of nausea she’d felt yesterday. “But morning sickness is normal in humans, so it only makes sense that I would have it too. Don’t you think?”

“How about now? Are you hungry now? I could make you some dry toast. That’s supposed to be good for upset tummies.”

Marnie sat up and sighed. “No, but I could use a drink of water, please.”  She smiled at him winningly. Brad shot out of the bed and headed for the kitchen, where he gave an extra wipe to an already clean glass and filled it carefully with the most expensive imported spring water. Only the best was good enough for his beautiful angel and their precious cherub to come. While he was there, he went ahead and made her some dry toast, just in case she’d changed her mind by the time he got back. You never knew with a pregnant wom…, um, angel.

Bearing his gifts in both hands, he returned and found the bedroom empty. With a little hunting around, he found her in the area that they had decided to use for the nursery, musing on the as yet unpainted walls. “I’d like to make them blue but, since cherubs don’t actually have a gender, maybe we should choose something else; we wouldn’t want it to feel we were disappointed about not having a boy.”

Brad wrapped his arms around her, wings and all, and murmured into her long, silky hair. “We are both going to love this little one so much that it will have no doubts that it’s perfect just as it is.” He led her gently back into the bedroom. “Now, drink your water and eat some toast if you feel like it. Then I’ll sing you to sleep.” Marnie sipped and nibbled and then lay down. It was Brad’s singing that had drawn her down from Heaven when she was doing her rounds of the various church choirs in the area she was designated to oversee.

Marnie snuggled down and Brad quietly began to intone Rock of Ages. As she drifted off to sleep, the child inside her pricked up His ears to listen. He knew that He had made the right decision about the way He had chosen to come back into the world for the second time.



Susan Cornford is a retired public servant living in Perth, Western Australia. She/her has pieces published or forthcoming in 365 Tomorrows, Ab Terra Flash Fiction 2022, AHF Magazine, Akashic Books Fri-SciFi, Altered Reality Magazine, Arzono Publishing Presents The 2023 Annual, Fudoki Magazine, Granfalloon Magazine, Theme of Absence, The Were-Traveler, and Wyldblood Magazine.



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