A tax of angels parade through our school, glittering and bright. Not just any angels, but those from the Legion. Their robes are decorated with thick golden braids and, on their chests, an image of a red dove carrying arrows in its mouth. I have never seen warrior angels up close before. The one in front, with the largest wings of all and olive branches woven through his curls, sings his name.
Teacher kneels and we kneel and the entire tax sings out a blessing. Then Teacher motions for us to take our seats and we do and not even Tollum raises his eyes from his desk. We wait and when I think we can wait no more—someone will shift in their seat, but no one does—the holiest of the tax tells us about the Legion.
It doesn’t sound anything like I’ve imagined from Father’s few words. Before I can stop the thought, I think: the angel must be lying. Questioning an angel’s word is a lesser sin and I worry their black faceted eyes will spot my perfidy. But I stay still, very still, and keep my eyes down, and they don’t. I say a prayer of contrition and resolve to ask Father about what the angel said. Because despite what Mother’s family think of him, Father wouldn’t lie about the Legion and angels cannot lie (that is a Truth.) Yet both cannot be true. Can they?
H. L. Fullerton writes fiction—mostly speculative, occasionally about angels—which is sometimes published in places like AE, Daily Science Fiction, Freeze Frame Fiction, and PARSEC’s Triangulation anthologies.
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