The Coward. The angel says to the young man: “You have nothing. I can give you a chance to have something. Would you like that?” The man nods his head. The angel says: “This evening at 8:00, be at the intersection you know well. Stand there and wait. Then run into the flames. I will protect you. It will burn but you will save a life.” The man asks: “And if I don’t go?” The angel says: “You have free choice. I know that you are afraid.”
The man looks away to think. The angel is gone. The young man opens a beer, sits down. Restlessly, the hours go by. The noisy television may as well be in orbit. It is 7:50. He gets up and goes to the refrigerator for another beer.
The Mudshark. The angel says to the young woman: “The men you wanted don’t want you, so you go to those other men.” She says: “But DeShawn is fun and he can be really sweet!” The angel’s face clouds over and he says quietly: “Burying your talent is a sin.” He continues: “You can have a baby like you, except with hope. Do you want that?” She nods her head apprehensively. The angel says: “This evening at 8:00, be at the intersection you know well. Stand there and wait. You won’t see me but I will be there.” The angel disappears.
Her cell phone buzzes. Hours later at 7:50 she listens to DeShawn’s video game in the other room, she herself alone on his mattress.