Early one morning, as dawn broke the blackness in two, I was three sheets to the wind and the sky was four shades of pink. Five minutes later, my sixth sense warned me of the angels who flew in from seventh heaven. Eight of them, not enough to fit on the head of a pin, were bound for the nine circles of hell.

“The ten commandments have been ignored,” said Zacheus, eleventh Malakim to God. “Twelve nights and thirteen days of darkness will be your punishment.”

He struck me fourteen times with his clawed hand and disappeared. Fifteen feathers floated to the ground in his wake. I took a sixteen-beat breath and counted my prayers–seventeen in all–before remembering where it all began.

I was eighteen the first time I knew with certainty that our dimension was nineteenth in an infinite number of realities. My ignorance killed twenty people that day, twenty-one if you counted the death of my own innocence. Twenty-two years later, I still could not shake the angels.

My case of Coors had twenty-three empty cans. I popped the top on the twenty-fourth, thinking that I would need more beer to get through the next twenty-five days.

Though fantasy is her first love, Kim McDougall writes anything from children’s picture books to horror fiction. She believes that genres are crippling literature. A story takes on what ever form it needs. She doesn’t set out to write a fantasy or a romance. Rather, she writes a story as it demands to be written and then tries to fit it into a category only for the sake of convenience. Needless to say, some of her stories fall through the genre cracks. So she has created her own genre. Read Between the Cracks fiction at

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Every Day Fiction