Bridget grew up hearing legends of the stone angel that guarded the graveyard, but she’d never needed her help until now.
Draped in a flowing robe with wings outstretched in a righteous fury, her gaze dared passersby to disturb her solemn stewardship. Her stone form had remained flawless for as long as the oldest town residents could remember. Everyone had theories on where she came from: perhaps she’d been a mother who’d begged to be able to protect her infant’s body after his death before baptism. Perhaps she was a healer — Uncle Tom even claimed she cured his aching hip.
Or maybe, the realists would interrupt, it was just an old statue that someone built years ago for their overly religious town.
But the rumors have to have some truth to them, Bridget reasoned. After all, who else could help me?
She knelt in the snow, her jeans quickly soaking up the moisture. After a moment, her eyes turned skyward to the angel above.
“Bring my mom back,” she pleaded softly. “She just didn’t see the black ice. Please, she didn’t deserve to die.” Not after those drives to Bridget’s 6 a.m. swim practices. Not after using her own sleeve to wipe Bridget’s snot and tears after her break-up with her best friend of four years. Not after holding her for hours when her dad died of alcohol poisoning, setting aside her own distaste for her ex-husband to support Bridget in her mourning.
It was just one missed patch of ice after a long day of work.
But the statue stayed silent; the world kept spinning, the snow kept falling, and there was no sign from God. Bridget rose, too disappointed and tired to be angry.
The angel watched her go, a drop of melted snow trailing down her cheek like a tear.
Sydney Beal is a student studying English at Southern Utah University. She has published work in the anthology Band of Misfits: Adventure on the High Seas by Owl Hollow Press as well as works in Kolob Canyon Review’s 2020 and 2021 editions.