The Death of Angels

“Where am I?”
“You are in Salem, Salem, Massachusetts. Do you know where that is,” Mom asked?
“I kind of know where it is, but I am more afraid when this is. You said something about witches, I’m hoping we are not back when they had witch trials there,” Glory said. “And just before I crawled up the mattress and stuck my head out, I was a boy.”
The Death of Angels
Chapter 1

by Jessica C.

Copyright © 2013 Jessica C
All Rights Reserved.


Image Credit: Picture purchased and licensed for use from The model(s) in this image is in / and are no way connected with this story nor supports nor conveys the issues and situations brought up within the story. The model(s) use is solely used for the representation of looks of the main character(s) of this particular story. ~Sephrena

Chapter 1
It was 1956 and I don’t know about you, but in our neighborhood there was this old creepy house down and the end of the block that was scary. With an old lady who lived there and stories that made her out as a scary old lady that it frightened people just to see her. Kids that regularly enjoyed frightening things wouldn’t even go near her house come Halloween. Unless it was to ring her doorbell and run away.

Like Halloween witches, she was supposed to have a crooked nose with a boil at the tip. Her fingers were said to be bony, crooked and had warts. Even adults say that she was old when they were kids, giving credence to the idea she was immortal.

For me, life was frightening enough just to go home when my parents were upset. I liked joking around and getting into this and that. Now and then that would get me into trouble at home and school. I didn’t see it as abuse to be beaten at home because it was normal for me. It seemed normal for me to accept it until I hurt enough to get away for a while. Lately, it was happening more now and the ramifications were more severe and violent resulting in deeper bruises, scab marks, and scars. Mom had complained once so now it happened mostly to me. Mom said my brother was the golden boy because he looked like our dad.

When things got really bad I would try to run to the woods and fields to get away to feel safe. One such place was woods in back of that old creepy house. I could have gone around the block and halfway down a long street to enter that way. But when I was hurting and I didn’t want to go an extra distance or spend the extra energy. I sometimes pretended to be a wounded soldier who measured out the last ounces of his strength and hoped beyond the odds to get to safety.


I was growing up in a community west of Philadelphia called Shalom. There were good schools, colleges and universities, history and culture, and good employment for hard working blue collar and white collar people. Being fourteen I thought I was pretty smart, though I wasn’t a great student with the grades, an athlete or anyone special. I generally just blended in and that’s the way I liked it.

Mom and dad were the best parents as far as I knew they were no better or worse than others. Lately, things haven’t been so hot and they began to fight more; which kind of meant one or the other sometimes both would easily get upset with me. Corporal punishment wasn’t anything special. My mom said as long as we were in the house we weren’t too big to live by their rules, thus receive punishment.

I don’t know who told dad I was too old for a spanking but I am not thrilled. He interpreted that to mean I was big enough to be hit, and get knocked down or thrown around; he knew if I left, I would be back sometime for more. It was mid-spring and school was done for the week, and dad was now upset with whatever I did wrong. Mom was already upset with me, so what I got, I got.

Well first I got in a fight with my bigger brother and I walked away from my mom talking under my breath. That was enough for my dad; he's not been happy with my mom but according to him I shouldn’t have walked away or talked back to my mom. I’m not that big in comparison to my brother, and between him and my dad, I’m not sure where the shiner came from, or the sore jaw. This time I'd been knocked down by both of them, kicked and stumbled out of the house gasping for air. I didn’t spit out teeth only blood.

I needed to get away and to the woods; it was cool enough that I’d be back tonight. I made it at least halfway across the yard of that creepy old house when I fell down by a bush waiting to catch my breath. The next thing I knew I was in a warm cozy bed, but it wasn’t mine or anyone I knew. The ceilings were high, the bed was old and the air was musty.

An old lady came in to see how I was and to tell me I was okay. It couldn’t be that old creepy lady in that creepy house, I knew that. She was nice; it wasn’t the biggest smile but it was warm. She was a bit bent over. She took time soothing my bumps and scrapes. Some of it stung, but it wasn’t because she was mean nor I was being poisoned.

“How old are you boy,” she askes? I told her thirteen. When she told me whose kid I was. I told her I needed to get home, but she said, “I don’t drive at night and I don’t think you’re in any shape to walk that far. You just rest and we’ll check things in the morning.”

“I need to get home no matter what,” I said.

“Your folks would hate it if you made it half way and embarrassed them by the police bringing you home and asking questions.” She was right enough about that. My black-eye was on one side and my hurt jaw was on the other. That would be hard to explain and none of us had been in trouble with the police. It wouldn’t be good to hurt a family reputation even if it wasn’t true.

She had me sit up and fed me a bowl of soup with a piece of bread. Well, I was spoiled with soup from a can and crackers. I didn’t know homemade soup and baked bread was special. Hot tea with cream and sugar well that was like what a grandma would give, and she was that kind of age if not older.

When I woke up in the morning, I was still there in bed. But I felt a draft at my feet under the covers. I don’t know about you but I had a vivid imagination as a child. i.e. if you touched a wall at the right place at the right time you might find a portal to another time and place. One place I had thought was an ideal place for such a portal was at the foot of the bed, underneath the covers and between the sheets.

Well for some reason the breeze caused me to search under the sheets caused me to go and explore. So I made my way under the covers and the top sheet down to the foot of the bed. First I found an old sheet worn and stained with blood. I reached down further and found a pair of girls’ bloomers as well as the top for underneath her clothes down over the edge of the bed.

I thought that wasn’t so unusual I often stuffed some of my pajamas, socks and such at the foot of my bed. But then I reached down even further and felt the other side of the mattress. I squirmed between the sheets, grabbed the other side of the mattress and pulled myself up on that side of the mattress. I thought I would have fallen on the floor, but I didn’t.

I surfaced from under the covers. The downside was now up and the bed was still simple but the same, yet I was in a different house. I felt my head and I had on one of those head covering bonnets like a girl might have worn back in colonial times. I felt what I was wearing and I was wearing the bloomers and top I had just found under the sheet on the other side. I felt first my face and then my body. I knew I was not myself. By the bumps of two breasts, I knew things weren’t the same.

A woman came into the room and said, “Hi Glory.”

I found myself saying, “Hi Mom”, even though neither I nor the girl had seen the woman before as Mom. The woman had an unreal glow to herself. I knew she was as much spirit as in life after death and maybe an angel not quite human save in appearance.

“Mom, how can you be dead when I need you,” I asked?

She responded, “I know it’s not fair but they killed me as a witch thirteen years ago.”

“They can’t do that you’re an angel, you’re not a witch.”

“God told them not to pull out the tares less they also pull out the wheat as well,” she said. “But people tend to think they know better than God. They think that they are right in their judgment. They justify their hate though they were only ‘dead right’, which is not right at all. They tend to judge and sometimes kill what they don’t know.”

I asked, “Where am I?”

“You are in Salem, Salem, Massachusetts. Do you know where that is,” Mom asked?

“I kind of know where it is, but I am more afraid when this is. You said something about witches, I’m hoping we are not back when they had witch trials there,” Glory said. “And just before I crawled up the mattress and stuck my head out, I was a boy.”

“Two hundred and thirteen years ago I gave birth to you my daughter in this bed and pushed her down to the end when they came for me.” Abigail continued, “The bleeding from childbirth was part of their evidence I was a sick witch. I had given protection to another woman accused to be a witch, but she turned me in because she knew I was not.”

“She was sure they wouldn’t punish an innocent person and most certainly would not kill me. But she went free for repenting and I was beaten and then drowned in a dunking chair.” She went on, “I called to God, asking how this could this be? But I heard a voice.”

“They killed my son and the prophets before him, justice comes at a cost. Innocent people die in every war, your nation has killed many native Americans who first called this home. Are you surprised or did you just expect it to happen only to others?”

“I was under the water when I said goodbye to you, my daughter. My spirit survived and I was assured so did she. The Spirit told me, ‘You will see her when she is a young lady, so I came today in the hope you would be here.”

I, as the boy, thought back to school and a celebration for the birthday of Gloria Peace. Everyone knew she was adopted, but no one knew who her parents were.

“But I am not her, I was not even a girl,” I said in a voice that wasn’t mine. “At least, I wasn’t before. How can this be?”

Abigail asked, “Did you ever ask if you could be or said you wanted to be one?” I thought and I decided she already knew the answer.

“Yes, when I wanted to play with some girls and was told I was foolish because I was a boy and could do better things. I said girls have nicer looking clothes and usually more toys.” I said, “Even their dolls have better clothes than I do.”

“So God answered your prayers, are you surprised?” she said.

“He doesn’t answer prayers like that!” It's a girl’s voice but I was speaking.

“She can and she does if it is her will,” said the woman. “How come you call God a 'he'?”

“Well, the Lord’s prayer invites us to call him, ‘Father’.” I knew I had her there.

“You are surprised that men disciples saw God as a father. I am not surprised they related to him like that. Can you think of women like things God did?” the Angel asked.

I said, “There are a lot of times, even Jesus seemed more like a girl in his willingness to forgive or turn the other cheek. I often thought like if he were a real man he would have been a superman. I would have liked to have seen the peoples’ eyes if he pulled his hands and the nails of the cross. He should have been able to beat those Pharisees and even the Roman soldier and Caesar.”

“Not only he died but maybe you died, how did you like that, especially if you are or were an angel?” I asked.

“You know I didn’t, but now I suspect Glory is alive someplace and you too had your prayer answered. I think you need to live here and be Gloria to these people. I will tell you, you should go to the church a mile west of town. It’s called a peace church that is part of the ‘underground railroad’.”

“You mean the ‘underground railroad’ was real,” I asked? “I read about that but it isn’t seen as special. It seems killing people is better than helping them. So am I here to make sure they kill only the real witches?”

Mom said, “May your womb cause you to cry if you do that!”

“Yuck, what a disgusting thing to say to a boy, I don’t even want to imagine what that would be like. Why should I have a … I can’t say it, sick?”

“You wanted to be a girl to be able to play with girls. Hopefully, by thirteen you know girls have a womb,” she said. “You already realized you have breasts.”

I said, “Well, yes but that is until I change back. Now that I know, I will change my prayer.”

“Sometimes God answers ‘No’.” She helped me out of bed and showed me a peg where my dress was and encouraged me to get on with my life. I wanted to try to go back under the covers and seek to come up back in my other world. Somehow I felt for now I should stay.

I wasn’t sure how I knew which way to turn or when my mom in this life left me. I turned to ask Abigail something and I saw another woman. Aunt Susan was walking with me and we were going to town. “I am glad you are feeling better Glory, would you like to celebrate your birthday tonight?” she asked.

“Am I old enough that you can tell me more about my mother. I feel bad that I don’t remember her or what she looked like,” I said.

“Well, use the mirror at the general store, add about four years of maturity and she is very much like that,” Susan said. “Your mother died some 200 years ago, I’m not sure why you are here now, I suspect it is a trial of a different sort.”

It made me think when she said that. ‘I sure hope I don’t become a girl only to die and be buried in a dress.’ We lived on a small farm south and west of town close to a river for our cows. Aunt Susan said “We cannot waste too much time as we have milking to do when we got back. “I am glad you are up and well so that I will have help this afternoon.”

I heard a voice coming as we came to the crossing of two trails. It was Abigail, my best friend coming from the west. She and her mom were going to town as well. “Glory, you have your color back how are you feeling?” she said. “Do you have anyone sleeping under your bed tonight?”

Susan looked to the woman, “I sure hope the trail does not have ears. I wish Abigail would not be so reckless.” Abigail like me was between being a girl and a woman and today she was bouncing around like a kid. My own demeanor became more like hers, hopefully, I was catching the giggles and not a more severe cold.

“We need to get Glory something to wrap her blossom as well as a summer/spring work dress as she has shot up too much over the winter,” Susan said.

“What happened to discretion and the trail having ears?” I asked as I blushed. Abby pinched my breasts and ran and I let out after her. Her Mom called to us, “It would be nice if both of you acted more like young women and not big babies.”

The town as we entered was a decent size and bigger than I expected. Samuel’s General Store took up half a block on the square. Mom said I was to get a work dress or smock, a pair of bloomers and a dress with some darts as I'm beginning to blossom. Joanne thought it was quite a bit until Abby reminded her it was my birthday.

“Has she become a woman yet?” Joanne asked. I didn’t want to hear this discussion but I was not sure why.

“She said she had some bleeding last month but by the time she mentioned it, there was nothing to see. So I suspect if she does as I did, this month she will have a good flow of blood,” Mom said. As I put two and two together, I figured out why I didn’t want to hear it.

“God when I said I wanted to play with girls this is not what I was asking for,” I said loudly in what I thought was a quiet prayer. Mom pulled me back to say something. I was severely reprimanded for using God’s name as I did.

“We should get some white cloth and straight pins to use so you don’t ruin your new clothes.” She said it to me, so I would remind her. It was embarrassing to be at this table looking at girls’ underwear, with unhealthy teenage boys closely looking on. I liked the lacework at the top but wondered who was to see it. When I chose a dress as well as the smock, Mom pushed me behind a curtain to try them on.

I said, “They look good we should take them.” That was not good enough for mom she wanted me to come out and show her. “Only if those boys are gone, will I come out. I am not showing off what I am wearing in front of those boys,” I said.

Mom laughs, “If you don’t come out on your own, I will have you come out and show me your dress to make sure it fits. Good, I like like the padding and the room for growth. I could have pulled you out as my mother embarrassed me.” I did not hesitate in stepping out, I could not remember Granny off hand but I knew she had enough vinegar to do it. The work dress was a pale bluish grey, was long but not to where it would drag in the dirt and mud. I could wear it alone or hurriedly put it over a better dress. “Mom, can I get two sets of ribbons for my hair?” I asked.

“Two sets will be fine, but let’s not get vain and carried away,” she said. Vain, some girls in the 1950s had a small drawer full of them.

We went to a small restaurant to eat, but the menu was written on a board or told by the waitress. I would have a plate of beef, cheese, and vegetable with a small glass of milk. Our bill for two people was just over a dollar.

We hurried home after 2:00 p.m. and mom said I needed to hurry and change then get the cows in for milking. I changed into my new work dress and as I came out I called for Laddie our dog. Laddie ran out to the field seeking to bring in the cows. I went in to help Dad in the barn to ready the three stall we would use to milk. I didn’t know how I knew what to do. When I came back out nine cows came walking up to the barn but Laddie and one black and white was not there.

I got on Ma’s horse and rode out into the pasture field in the direction where Laddie had gone and soon I heard him barking. Soon I saw the cow blocked in her path by a large fallen branch. An incline behind her made it difficult to turn around so I used the horse and some rope to move the large branch. It was from an old tree and the branch was the size of most tree trunks. I was able to move the branch out into the field and Laddie forced the cow to walk faster up to the barn.

Back at the farm, I was in time to clean the second cow and set in to milk her by hand. Dad would milk two cows to my one but I would feed the cows and send them back out to pasture. During the second group of cows came in Mollie entered instead of Dau. Dad was upset as Dau was a finicky cow who did not give her milk easily if she did not come in order. I tied up Mollie and opened the door for Dau to enter. She went into her stall and all was well.

Come, the end of the third round I got the last cow in and cleaned for Dad. Dad would finish milking and then go into the parlor to free Mom to cook supper. I had to clean out the stalls and put the clean straw back down. Then I check to make sure the cows had enough hay to feed on during the night.

I had been worried about what I would do without TV and electric lights tonight, but I was now tired enough that sleep looked really good. Mom was cooking soup and I could smell the bread baking. I cleaned up which included changing out of my boots back to shoes.

The soup and bread were together. Dad had brought some fresh cheese curd over for dinner. I talk to Mom about whether she believed in witches. I was surprised she said “yes”. I asked if that frightened her and she said “No. The one I know well, she is a close friend. We don’t understand the motivation of beliefs of the other, but we have seen enough of the goodness of each other to walk away from the friendship.”

Mom says, “She does not introduce me to others as she or they are worried I would out them and cause them trouble.” Christians in the town churches give me a reason to pause. While many are friends I am not a fan of their zeal to define or label others, even one another.”

“Mom, if I am truly a male in one life but God granted my prayer to be a girl does that mean God blesses Ron’s desire to be a girl?”

“Glory, God has blessed Ronnie and God does not withdraw the blessing. What about unconditional love causes too pause?” she said. Then she drew me in for a hug, “You have imagined correctly Gloria Peace is an ancestor of Glory and Glory stayed alive here as are you now. But it isn’t for you to know and understand all things, just to live out being you.”

“So am I stuck here or am I to go back and live where I was,” Glory asked? Susan just said “Yes.”

“Glory, please place a lit candle in the front and side windows of the house before it gets dark. Then we can sit down and eat our supper.”

“Do you mean our house is an underground stop?” I asked as I knew of the single candle’s significance from history.

“It means we welcome the sojourner as well as love our neighbor as God has loved us, without condition. The night your mother was taken, she had so welcomed someone into the house. She was helping your mother up to just before others came.” She was not talking about the person who turned Mom in.

“You are saying this has been a safe house for a long time,” I stated. “Where would one hide in such a small house? They must have had a barn back then too.”

“They did hide here Glory and no one was ever taken from their hiding place.”

“How do you know so much, is it written someplace?” I was riveted with the feelings of Glory for her Mom and her heritage.

“I am Abigail’s sister; I was with her but not in body. God would not leave her alone and besides God, I was allowed to be there.” Susan gave me time to take in what she was saying, before she said, “You are not her daughter Glory but you are now a descendant. Today you became her great, great, great, great, great-granddaughter.”

I hugged Mom/Susanne and knew Susanne and I were not alone tonight. “So I am a descendant of an angel, neat?” I paused and thought about it, “I think.”

“You are right to think about that,” she said. Then she told me to get ready for bed and then I could read.

As I got undressed and ready for bed I noticed a spot of blood and told Susan. She brought the kettle of hot water and poured it in a basin in my room and told me to wash well. She got out a cloth belt I had never seen. I put it on and Susan pinned a bulky piece of cloth to it, between my legs and pinned it back again to the belt. I put on my night shirt and while others could not see it I could feel its presence.

You will need to check it and we will need to change it a number of times during the next few days. I was getting a taste of what it meant to be literally ‘on the rag’. I was glad she did not tell Dad.

I read a book with the letters of Abigail Adams the wife of John Adams our second President until I was ready for bed. Though most of the notoriety is often given to his portion of letters; Mrs. Adams showed she was well educated, strong in thought and good in expressing herself. She had indeed influenced his thinking as well as encouraged him to have the courage of his convictions, knowing her support.

If I get back to Ronnie’s life I will have to check this out; it would make for a great paper.

When I went to bed I wondered as I did several times during the day; if I go under the covers tonight and down past the foot and down that side of the mattress would I be back in my world. I decided I dare not try as I did not want to find myself there as a bleeding heart (?) girl. Nor did I want to chance ending my time as a girl right now.

I am tired and would love to rest and wake to a new day as Glory…

To Be Continued...

If you enjoyed my story, please consider leaving a comment. Comments, no matter how brief, are much appreciated. I also welcome any constructive criticism to help improve my writing. ~Jessica

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