The desert can be a cold and dark place, even in the light of a half moon. Off in the distance are the lights of a town. Devon Carter is standing and watching as the man digs a hole in the ground. Devon looks to be about 12 years old or so. With light brown hair and green eyes. He is dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Devon stands there, quietly watching for what seems like a real long time. He doesn't know where he and the man are, just that it is in the desert. He doesn't feel the cold much, just a kind of numbness throughout his body. For some reason he can't seem to move or say anything. After a final shovelful, the man stands up and climbs out of the hole. The hole is about two feet wide, five feet long and three feet deep. He sticks the shovel into the pile of dirt that he has thrown to the side of the hole. He walks over to the nearby van and opens the back. He lifts something wrapped in a blanket and throws it over his shoulder. He walks back to the hole and drops the blanket wrapped bundle in the hole. Devon sees this, but says nothing. He is afraid of the man and can only look at him with fear. The man stops for a moment and sticks the shovel back into the pile of dirt. The man jumps down into the hole and starts to unwrap the blanket. In a short time, you see brown hair followed by the face of a preteen boy turned to the side. The boy's eyes are closed and he looks asleep. The man reaches down to the boy's throat and unclasps a small silver chain that is around his neck. When the man does that you can see a bruise all around the boy's neck. Devon gasps, but the man doesn't seem to hear him. The man takes the chain and puts it in his pocket.
"Just a little something to remember you by, sport."
He laughs a little as he covers the boys face again, and gets out of the hole. He grabs the shovel once again and starts shoveling dirt back into the hole. When the first shovelful of dirt hits the boy's body, Devon seems to feel the cold and he shivers. The man fills the hole, then for the next hour he spreads the leftover dirt around the area and then rakes the dirt over the hole. He then takes some loose dirt from another area and sprinkles it over the grave. Every few minutes he turns on a flashlight and looks the area over until he is satisfied that the grave is well hidden. He lights a cigarette when he is satisfied. He puts the tools away and goes back to stand by the grave right next to where Devon is standing. A smile comes to his face as he takes the silver chain out of his pocket and looks at it. He chuckles a little as he puts it around his neck. It is a little small, but it doesn't choke him, since it was a little big on the boy's neck. Devon just looks at the man silently. When the man has it on, he takes another drag on the cigarette and looks down at the grave.
"Well sport. I should probably say something, but who the fuck cares. There is nobody here who cares. Hey, you were a lot of fun for a few days, but as they say all good things come to an end. Besides nobody will miss you, you're just some orphan boy. A drain on the taxpayer's money, no one wanted you, but I did, maybe not the way you thought, but it was fun, for me anyway. Anyway kid, you're probably better off now. Bye sport."
He takes a small electronic device out of his pocket and pushes a few buttons on it. He puts the device back into his pocket. He looks down one more time at the shallow grave then walks away to his truck. Devon stares in shock at the man. The man gets in and looks back this way, then yells.
"See ya kid!"
He laughs and drives away. Devon starts to run after him, yelling.
"Hey, where are you going? Why are you leaving me out here? I'll die out here."
Devon starts getting a cramp as he runs after the truck. He then trips on a rock and falls, he starts crying as he watches the truck's rear lights get farther away. He can see the lights of a town in the distance as well. He drags himself up from the ground and walks back toward the grave. He drops down by the grave and cries for what seems like a long time. He starts to feel the cold seep into his bones and he starts to shiver. He lies down, closes his eyes while lying next to the grave and just sobs quietly. After awhile he becomes aware of a warm glow near him. He figures it is dawn and opens his eyes. The first thing he notices is that it still seems to be dark, except for the glow behind him. He quickly flips around and sees a boy about his age sitting on the ground a few feet away surrounded by this glow. The boy is dressed something like Devon only he has on a light blue polo shirt instead of a t-shirt. He looks to be about the same age as Devon, about 12 or so. The boy is smiling and Devon sits up and starts to smile, but his smile fades quickly as he looks around.
"Wha...who are you? How did you get here? What is that light?"
The boy holds his hands up and Devon quits asking questions.
"Devon, my name is Justin. I'm here for you."
"What do you mean, you're here for me? Nobody wants me, that's what the man said."
"There is always someone who wants you Devon. You may not know for a long time who they are, but there is always someone who does care and wants you."
"But who are you. I've never seen someone who brings his own light with him."
"Well Devon, I'm here from someone who will always want you. I'm an Angel."
"An Angel! What d'ya mean you're an Angel. If you're an Angel, then why are you talking to me? I was doing bad things, the man said so."
"I know what the man said and no you were not doing bad things. Bad things were being done to you. Those things are not bad in and of themselves, but when you are forced to do them, then it is the person doing the forcing that is doing the bad things, not you, don't ever forget that. Devon there is a reason why I am talking to you, can you think of what it is?"
Devon screws up his face for a minute while the boy silently looks at him with sympathy in his eyes. Devon looks down and realization comes to him. He starts to cry again.
"Th...that's me isn't it. Down there, that's me. The man killed me and buried me here."
Justin just nods and Devon starts to cry again. Justin gets up and walks over to Devon and takes him into his arms. Devon grabs Justin tightly and holds him with all the strength that he can muster sobbing loudly. Justin murmurs to him and strokes his hair as he holds him tight. Devon eventually quiets down. He looks at Justin. Justin just smiles and pushes the hair off of Devon's forehead and out of his eyes.
"Devon. I am here to bring you home. You're time here is done. You will never know pain or suffering again only peace and happiness. You will see your parents again and your little brother."
Devon smiles as he looks into the smiling face of Justin. They both stand up. Justin stands up and puts his hand down for Devon. Devon takes it and they start to walk to a light that is starting to grow, still holding hands. They reach the end of the grave and Devon's smile drops and he pulls his hand out of the Justin's, and he stands there. Justin takes another step, then stops and turns around to look at Devon in surprise.
"I can't Justin. I just can't go. I want to go so bad, but I just can't, not..not yet. I have to do something. I have to stay here, for a while at least. Somehow I have to stop the man. He will do this again, if I don't do something."
"But what can you do Devon. Like I said, you're time here is done. I was sent to take you with me. You have to go!"
"I thought we all had free will and were given choices, at least that is what I learned from my parents."
"Yes, He has always said that free will is important for all people. People have to make choices and live with those decisions. Most people make good choices and have a good life and are rewarded when it is their time. Others do not make good choices and they suffer for it. But why wouldn't you want to make this choice to end all your pain and suffering and go to where there is no hurt, only love and happiness?"
"I know, I know and I want to so bad it hurts, but the man has to be stopped. More boys will be hurt if I don't do something. Can't you ask someone about this? Can't they make it so that I can stay and help stop the man in some way?"
"I don't know. This is really unusual. I've never had someone not want to come with me."
The light behind Justin gets brighter and a larger shape slowly appears. It is a young man in his twenties. He is dressed in a white collarless shirt and sports jacket with white slacks and tennis shoes. He is well built with long blond hair and bright friendly blue eyes. He looks almost seven feet tall. He is smiling as he comes up behind Justin and he gently puts his hand on Justin's shoulder. He smiles at Devon.
"Devon. I am Michael. What you ask is very unusual."
"Maybe, but I don't care, it is my choice if I can make it."
"I know and so does Our Father. This is a serious choice that you make. It could have far ranging consequences to you."
"I don't care! The man is going to hurt other kids and someone has to stop him. I don't know how, but I have to try!"
Michael moves forward and puts his hands on Devon's shoulders, looking down at him. Devon looks up with determination on his face. Michael smiles down at him and Devon starts to smile in return. Michael lifts Devon gently and holds him. Devon puts his arms around Michael's neck and wraps his legs around Michael, laying his head on Michael's shoulder. Devon closes his eyes and he feels something feather soft surround him. He opens his eyes and lifts his head away so that he can look Michael in the eyes and sees Michael smiling gently at him. Michael kisses him on the forehead. Devon's eyes widen as he realizes that he is surrounded by a pair of beautiful soft pure white wings along with Michael's strong arms. Michael smiles at him and nods.
"Yes, Devon, I am an Angel."
"Are you...are you the Archangel Michael?"
Michael laughs and it makes Devon feel very warm. It is a laugh full of warmth and love. Behind Michael he can hear the higher pitched laugh of Justin.
"No I am not he. I know him, but we just have the same name."
"Can you help me? I have to stop him. I have to."
"I know honey, I know. This is a hard choice. You must be sure of such a choice. Justin is right. Your family is there and you would be able to be with them forever, knowing all the love that they have for you. That is a lot to ignore and stay here. You will feel heartache and pain if you stay. You must be very sure. You may not even be able to accomplish what you want to do."
Devon looks into Michael's eyes. He sees love and sympathy in them. Devon can feel it all. He can feel what he would be throwing away. His eyes start to tear up. Then he remembers that pain that the man had made him feel, and the tears start to fall down his cheeks. He gets a determined look on his face. He takes a deep breath and looks in Michael's eyes.
"Yes sir, I want to stay. I don't care what happens. I can't let anything like that happen to another kid if I can help it. I have to do everything I can to stop him and this is my choice."
Michael smiles at him with love and a little sadness.
"As you wish, Devon. You may stay and do what you can. It will be very hard, because you are just a spirit now. With luck and time, maybe you will find a way. I hope you do. Your road will be long and hard, but I wish you well. Goodbye and good luck."
Michael puts him down and Justin comes over and gives Devon a hug.
"I wish I could help you, Devon."
Devon nods as Justin ends the hug and steps back beside Michael. Michael's wings are spread wide behind them as he puts his arm across Justin's shoulders. They both smile at Devon as they fade from sight and the desert once again gets dark. Devon looks down at his grave and looks around. In the east the sky is starting to lighten. He can see the lights of the town in the distance. He shrug's and starts walking toward the town. It's as good a place as any to start. The dawn is breaking behind him and his life, as it is, begins a new day.