www.whyville.net Dec 29, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Saving Grace: Part 2

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I approached the training academy as confidently as possible. I was still a little nervous because I was still getting used to being in Heaven, but I tried to convince myself that it wouldn't be that bad.

I walked up to the short, white, concrete building and in through the glass doors. I noticed a desk with a receptionist behind it.

"Welcome," she greeted me.

"Hi," I said back. "I'm here to train to become a Guardian."

"Ok. Let me see your hand."

I showed her my hand with the angel mark (since I figured that's what she wanted to see).

"Alright then. What's your name?"

"Liz Falkner."

She sifted through her files until she found my profile. "Go down the hall and to the left."

"Thank you."

I headed down the hallway feeling somewhat happier because I didn't have the job of a secretary. I knew I'd be bored to death if I was that lady at the desk.

I opened the door and found myself standing on a large deck looking out onto a large training field. Angels were all over the place. Some were taking archery practice and others were working with swords and such. I felt a little more comfortable because these things appealed to me more than pencils and computers.

A man in a white robe walked up to me and said, "Welcome to the academy. We'll teach you everything you'll need to know about protecting your assignment as well as yourself. Let's start with a quick tour."

He showed me around the place. He also introduced me to some of the instructors, all with impressive skills in some major categories, such as survival, fighting, healing, and magic.

After the tour, I got right to training. I came back day after day until I learned everything I possibly could (which took several years). I was pretty shocked when I walked in one day and my instructors told me I was done.

I was given a bow, a sword, and angel robes so I could be ready for any challenge that stood before me. I was a Guardian, and I was really proud of myself for making it so far.

Lance, the fighting instructor, told me to go to Angel HQ so I could get my assignment. I thanked him and headed on out for the HQ

I can tell you one thing; I knew right where it was.

Angel HQ was the tallest, most magnificent building in all of Heaven. It could be seen from miles away. Everyone knew where it was, really.

Before I knew it, I was being led through a giant hall of records by another angel. He seemed to know his way around pretty well, which was amazing because the whole place was like a giant hedge maze, but instead of hedges, there were bookshelves and file cabinets.

He stopped by a bookshelf that touched the ceiling. I saw a sign that said Assignments in fancy cursive writing. He pulled out a file and handed it to me.

"All you'll need to know about your assignment is in here. Take the rest of today off and go to the enclosed address at the time inside. Please examine it quickly to make sure it makes sense."

I opened the file and looked inside. "Isn't that address a hospital?" I remembered passing by it on one of my vacations.

"Liz . . . do you believe in destiny?"

"Sure. I guess so."

"Then you should understand that your assignment is yet to be born."

He said nothing more as he took me back outside. I walked to my apartment and pored over my assignment's profile. They sure knew a lot about this unborn child! I fell asleep that night on the couch with the file still in my hands.

When I awoke in the morning, I wasn't in my apartment anymore. I was lying down on a park bench. People that were passing by tossed coins at me like I was homeless. I wondered if they always did that, or if that was just because I didn't have a cup for them to put the coins in.

I stood up and hear the pinging of coins on the ground as they slipped off my torso. I asked one of the passersby where I was. It took me a couple tries to get someone to respond because they just kept saying, "Oh, you poor thing!"

I had to walk up to a Scrooge type of fellow to get an answer. I was pretty sure he wasn't about to throw coins at me.

He did give me a response, "Well, my dear, you're in New York City."

Well, that's good, I thought to myself. At least I'm in the right state.

I took a taxi to the hospital and arrived just in time for the delivery. I turned invisible and stood in the doorway. With the happiness I felt, it almost seemed like the baby was mine.


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