“Mabel? What’s wrong? You sounded urgent on the phone and now you look as white as a ghost.”
“Sheila. Quick. Come in.” Mabel ushered her sister into the hallway and quickly checked left and right up and down the street. She looked at the bus stop in front of the house. “Were you followed? Was anybody in the bus shelter?” She closed and locked the door.
“Er…no” Sheila replied.
“Good. Now, I want you to go into the front room, and don’t panic.”
“Can I take my coat off?” Sheila was starting to feel concerned.
“No time. No time. In a minute.” Mabel pointed to the living room door, which was closed, and gestured Sheila to walk through it.
Gingerly, Sheila pushed open the door and stepped through. Two armchairs were the first things to see in the room, and sat in one of them was George, fast asleep. A tray sat on the other chair, with a teapot, a jug of milk and three empty cups, and a small plate of biscuits. “What’s going on? Is George alright?” Sheila looked back at Mabel, who continued to gesture her into the room. Sheila stepped into the centre of the room, looking at George. “Is George OK?” She asked with a little more urgency.
“Oh, he’s fine, Sheila!” Mabel said, slightly exasperated. “The sofa. Look at the sofa!”
Sheila turned herself around and looked at the sleeping figure on the sofa, who was covered by a pale peach crocheted blanket. “Oh, I like that blanket, Mabel.”
“Never mind about that now, our Sheila. Look under her head.”
Sheila looked at the way the young girl was propped up on the sofa. “Who is she?” she asked, as she looked at the pillows behind her head. “They don’t look too comfortable them, May. Why have you folded them like that?”
Sheila noticed the feathers. “You should’ve said, May. I could’ve brought a couple of pillows if you’ve only got these old ones.”
“Ooh, Sheila. Look! She’s an Angel. They’re her wings!”
“Don’t be daft, Mabel. An Angel! Who is she?”
“I don’t know. I thought with you working on the reception at the police station, you might’ve heard of any missing people or anything… or heard of anything fallin’ from the skies last night.”
“Falling from the…?” Sheila smiled. “Mabel, I don’t work at the police station. I work on the reception at the plumbers across the road from the police station. I keep telling you that! Now, what’s going on? Who’s this girl, and why have you really asked me to come here at half eight all flustered?”
“It’s her! She fell through our shed roof last night. Me and George managed to get her in here and onto the settee, and she went out like a light. She’s been like that ever since. And then he” Mabel thumbed over to her husband, “fell asleep there shortly afterwards. I made us all tea, but it’s cold now. I can microwave it up if you want some.”
“No ta, I’m fine…” Sheila looked again at the figure on the sofa. “How’s she an Angel? She’s just a girl.”
“Well, them wings are stuck to her good and proper if she isn’t an Angel. They won’t budge!” Mabel explained. “I was hoping you’d have heard something about this.”
“No… well, I wouldn’t. You’ll have to – does she need an ambulance?”
“There isn’t a mark on ‘er, she’s just slept all the way through. She was groggy when we brought her in, but she walked OK.”
“Walked?” Sheila pondered. “Maybe her wings are broken.”
“Broken?!” Mabel brought her right hand over her mouth, shocked. “I hadn’t thought of that. And here was me tryin’ to pull ‘em off! Should I call a vet?”
“A vet??!” Sheila burst out laughing. “She isn’t an animal.”
“But she’s part bird. They may be able to help.”
“Mabel, she’s a girl with glued on wings. Don’t be daft.”
The girl on the sofa sat upright, and instantly starting flapping her wings ferociously, creating a strong wind in the room. She kicked the blanket to the floor, and leapt off the sofa.
“Ooh, ‘eck!” Mabel shouted, as she shut the door with a slam. The winged girl knocked a couple of ornaments off the mantel with her beating wings. “Me squirrels!”
Also panicking, Sheila picked up one of the ornamental squirrels without thinking. “They aren’t broken, May.” She said. “What are they? Marble?”
“Sheila! We need to try an’ calm ‘er down. She’s going mad!”
Sheila held up both her arms, palms facing the girl. “Calm down. Now calm down…” she offered.
“Ah do rat clack” The girl screamed. “AH DO RAT CLACK!”
“Ah do rat clack, love!” Mabel said in as soothing a voice she could muster.
“What the bloomin’…” the commotion woke George. “Mabel, get ‘er some bread! Quick!”
“Bread Mabel! Now!”
“George Green, don’t you speak to me that way! Why bread?”
Sheila raised and lowered her palms, hoping the girl would know she wanted to calm her and meant no harm. The girl sent another ornament crashing to the floor with her wing. “Oh, that one’s broke, Mabel!”
“Bread! She might be hungry.” George shouted, and Mabel ran to the kitchen, returning a second later with a loaf. She handed it to George. George took out a slice and broke it into pieces, scattering it across the floor. Sheila joined Mabel inside the door.
“Ah do rat clack!” the girl said again.
“George Green! She isn’t a bird!” Mabel argued. “Stop throwin’ ‘er bread!”
The girl stopped flapping and sat herself cross-legged in the centre of the room.
“Ah do rat clack!” she said once more, looking at Mabel with a pleading look across her face. She picked up a piece of bread. George motioned to his mouth, suggesting she could eat it, which she did. And another. And then another.
“She was only hungry, Mabel.” George said, offering a full slice.
This is the second instalment of my fan fiction tale based on the DC Comics character Dawnstar. The first part can be found here. Dawnstar was created by Paul Levitz and Mike Grell. All other characters are of my own creation.