portion of the artwork for Ian Sanquist's fiction
Ian Sanquist

Maria said I’d feel better after I’d had a good night’s sleep, but I don’t know. She doesn’t know anything about my childhood. She hasn’t seen my medical records.

Maria believes there are people who can see into the future, but she doesn’t think she’s one of them. But I don’t know. I think she might be. She has the loveliest pair of wings I’ve ever seen sprouting from any woman’s shoulder blades.

The thing about Dennis is that all he really liked to do was hurt people’s feelings. This could manifest itself in many ways, but the worst was when he’d been drinking, or snorting cocaine. Then he’d take out this long knife that he said he’d strong-armed from a pimp, and he’d tell you he was going to set your house on fire after he tied you to your bed. He was a terrible person, truly, no one liked him, but Maria said I’d only be doing him a big favor if I stood up to fight.

Maria could wrap her wings all the way around me, and sometimes she held me so tightly in them that I couldn’t even shiver. Then I’d ask her to tell me what was in the future, and she said we’d always be free if we went to Brazil. I asked her what she’d do when the man from the government called and said it was time for her to go back to Virginia. I don’t know, she’d say. There are people who see into the future, but I’m not one of them. We’ll always be free in Brazil. Nothing’s as permanent as it seems in science fiction.

Well, we had money to buy plane tickets, so we decided to go. Everyone stared at Maria in the airport, but I don’t know, it seems to me an airport is the first place on Earth I’d expect to see an angel.

At the last minute, the airline made us buy another seat for Maria’s wings. It was only fair, I guess. I charged it to the credit card, and we took our time walking down the jetway, although it may have looked more like a dance to anyone who was watching.

Maria held my hand as the airplane took off. She asked me what was in the future. The plane isn’t going to crash, Maria, I believe I said. Don’t worry about anything, dear. The plane isn’t going to crash, Maria. The plane isn’t going to crash.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 36 | Spring 2012