Since I was a child, the secular world had escaped me. My mother taught me that the grass was greener on the other side, but I had seen Heaven, and there was no grass. Only black weeds and smoke so thick my eyes watered. How inane she must have been, my mother.
I don’t remember much of her—only her constant smile, never unraveling. Even with tear-stained cheeks, she smiled. It kind of sickened me, to be honest. With a trident protruding from her waist, blood swelling around her on the black ground, she smiled. At least, that’s what my father always said to me. But something always told me her death was much more unpleasant, and her smiles must have been replaced by screams and staggering breaths as she realized her life as Queen was ending.
I am a morbid person, or so I am told. So if I am to believe my mother died smiling like an idiot, I should very well be allowed to hate her for it. She left me to my own devices. As Father prepared to rule over Paradise (a name I was sure was created in effort to fool its citizens of its degradation and filth), I was sent to the House Tutors so I could fill a role I planned to resist as soon as it was offered to me.
Guardian Angels were what they called us, but I witnessed firsthand what really went on when they were sent to the human realm. Some tried for the first few years before giving up. Some willingly sold their charges to Lydians to do whatever they pleased. But the worst of them all were the Guardian Angels who never showed up. They drifted in and out between realms, allowing the humans to devolve into mass civil wars and subsequent chaos.
Humans were regarded as precious creatures that needed preserving. All I saw was a horde of animals fighting for alpha status. Every corner of the world erected their own places of worship, but when I listened to their prayers, all I heard was selfish request after selfish request. The humans never changed. Their technology and communication may have improved dramatically over the centuries, but the three elements still ruled them: money, sex, and power.
I’ll be honest, Paradise isn’t much different. I believe Father started this journey in earnest, but I suspect now he has relished a bit too much in his established dominion.
Tomorrow, things will change. I will turn the legal age of five hundred and be summoned to assume my role as Guardian Angel. What no one is prepared for is the rejection and prompt usurpation of the throne. Paradise will never thrive with a demagogue stroking the crown, nor do I plan to give it a rightful King.
I’m a much simpler man than that. I plan to send Paradise into anarchy – if it is truly the Angels who should rule, let them prove it.