Authors: Bryl R. Tyne
The Complete Zagzagel Diaries
By Bryl R. Tyne
Copyright 2014 by Bryl R. Tyne
Cover Copyright 2014 by Untreed Reads Publishing
Cover Design by Dara England
The author is hereby established as the sole holder of the copyright. Either the publisher (Untreed Reads) or author may enforce copyrights to the fullest extent.
Previously published in ebook format:
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This is a work of fiction. The characters, dialogue and events in this book are wholly fictional, and any resemblance to companies and actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Also by Bryl R. Tyne and Untreed Reads Publishing
The Secret Ingredient
The Complete Zagzagel Diaries
Bryl R. Tyne
Just do it…
Above the nineteenth floor, on the verge of his nineteenth birth date, he stepped up onto the ledge, steadied his balance. Perspiration and tears trickled evenly along his chiseled face. Eyes, once stunning blue, dulled with each spent teardrop.
Perched less than a shoulder’s width away, I listened. His most private thoughts were not immune to me or my prying. Lord
—meant with the utmost respect, of course—
the man was a work of art. Absolutely beyond compare.
As was his pain, or so he thought.
I had endured far worse, though not mortal, than anything he was capable of imagining. Agony and confusion engulfed him, inflamed his need for relief. Forsaken—he privately professed.
Obviously, I’d failed at instilling my fine wrangling spirit.
Feathers ruffled. My shoulders tightened. Apparently, my guidance wasn’t worth a flip these days. With a stretch and a snap, loose underlining flew in the air about me, fluttering, drifting on the breeze. Despite knowing the young man’s agony, his naivety sickened me.
Try living the pain of ten thousand lifetimes, I desperately wished to tell him.
What I wouldn’t give for an hour in his shoes, fifteen minutes inside that skin-tight material covering such perfectly honed thighs. He was so beautiful, so mortal, so intelligent—
“Just. One. Step.”
As his garbling knocked me from my reverie, his right foot slipped.
All right. I concede—he was a fucking moron.
Wings refolded neatly, I appeared beside his unsure legs and, with a stretch, settled, ass on the cool stone, feet dangling free over the edge. “It’s a doozy.”
His body trembled. With fear or anticipation, I wasn’t sure which. For such a young pup, he had balls of steel. I’d give him that. He didn’t as much as flinch at the sound of my voice nor turn to eye me as he asked, “What’s it to you?”
What was it to me? More like, what was
to me, though I’d never confess. That revelation, I must do everything in my power to ensure never left my lips.
From before he’d taken his first breath, I was there—as watcher, as guardian—ensuring no harm befell even one lock of his hair. Wasn’t my idea to pamper him though—to spoil the kid to—to this point of misadventure. If I’d had my way, I would’ve let him learn from a few tangles, maybe get bullied a time or two—you know, toughen him up a bit.
Fingers curled over the edge, I leaned to assess his chosen path. The expanse of reinforced concrete marked his landing—an empty courtyard in the dead of night, no witnesses, no one to care. Of course not, according to him, no one ever cared.
If only he knew….
Desperate for relief or not, he had wits enough to plan his perfect demise. If the two-hundred-fifty-foot-plus fall failed, the sudden stop would surely do the trick.
Maybe I shouldn’t have regarded the thought of Bret having never as much as having stubbed his toe as entertaining, but I did. Humans are a funny lot. Besides, I had simply followed orders; and I’d remind Big Papa of that too—should things go amiss tonight.
The determined set of his jaw showed in brief glimpses through his wind- whipped hair. Sometimes, even I questioned Papa and his motives. He thought he knew everything.
“What do you want?” With his outburst, Bret’s arms flailed and he struggled to maintain his balance.
Did I notice a hint of trepidation?
“I want you to rethink your decision,” I told him. Seemed like a simple request to me.
“Just go away!” He drug the back of his hand across his face as he caught his breath—a weak attempt to hide the moisture. For a second, I thought he may look my way, but he turned back to the night. Silent, once again.
In all honesty, I was forbidden to fully answer his questions. But to
just go away?
Well, I hated to inform him, but…
no can do.
I’d cleared my plans for the evening. And I’d feed Big Papa the usual appeasing line—nothing as entertaining as having a front-row seat to a quitter going through personal hell.
Yet, those were not my intentions. Not tonight.
Bret wasn’t a quitter; confused—full of assumptions and of himself—and utterly void of hope, but never a quitter. Not until now.
His rose-colored glasses, once rosier than any mortal’s to date, were now cracked, discarded, forgotten in the debilitating accusations thrust on him by his once beloved parents. Parents, whom Bret had chosen to forgo his senior year in high school to help support. Parents who once adored their beautiful child, now proclaimed to abhor him, simply for who he was.
No, I wasn’t going anywhere, not if I could rekindle one flicker of the hope that Bret once clung to like a lifeline. Hope enough for even the most jaded to catch a glimpse.
If only I were allowed to answer his most troubling questions. I’m sure plenty haunted his mind as he stood defiant on that ledge.
Papa knew it would sure make things a helluva lot easier.
Of course, making anything easy was never Big Papa’s style. His sadistic tendencies often clashed with his benevolence. Many times I wondered exactly which side he played for.
Don’t say much, simply encourage—don’t supply definite answers, only hints—above all else, never
His list of rules went on for eternity. Typical.
Watching as Bret teetered, helpless to the young man’s stubbornness, for the first time in almost two decades I regretted taking him as my ward. Though I knew him and his needs better than anyone, including the
in all his stinking glory—figuratively speaking, my hands were tied. I hated my job, my esteemed position, this
Thanks to his wonderful parents, Bret battled the worst of two demons—rejection and loneliness. If asked, I’d tell him—rejection’s a rip-your-heart-out-and-force-feed-it-to-you-cold bitch. And loneliness? Well, that’s just a neck-deep wade in that bitch’s cesspool. Believe me, with all my knowledge, most of which I considered useless by the way, I knew.
I had known the sting of loneliness more often and more intimately than any mere mortal. Losing family and friends to bigoted misunderstandings, losing hope to irrational judgments.
Stronger men had survived her wrath too but—I glanced Bret’s direction, scanned his form—not tonight. Too inexperienced, he’d been too sheltered from the, more oftentimes than not, harsh realities of life. No, he would not be one of the stronger. Not without my intervention.
I’d been privy to his deepest workings. While his outward appearance screamed don’t-mess-with-me tough, his heart—his motivations—his dreams…well, he was a romanticist. Life was meant to go a certain way, relationships meant to follow a certain path.
Common sense dictated differently, of course.
But then that argument never fared well. Not even for me. I chuckled to myself. In reality, Bret wasn’t much different than his parents—or Big Papa.
“I’m doing this,” he said.
Inwardly, I sighed. Of course he was, or I wouldn’t be here now, would I?
Sent intact, with my infinite wisdom, to pick up the pieces, I was. Only,
pieces were never specified. I reiterated that arguing point to myself, strapping it in place with the rest of my accoutrements, as I shifted to a squat upon the balls of my feet. Despite Papa’s warning, tonight I would forsake his ridiculous rules. Anything, for Bret.
“Have you thought how Eric may feel?” I asked.
Bret’s self-pity let up—for a second. “Eric? My boss?”
“Yes.” Succinctly, I answered, hesitant on the details, not at Big Papa’s instruction, but of my own accord. Sue me; ignore me; don’t forgive me—whatever. I was jealous. “I know you’re fond of him.”
“Yeah….” But seconds later, Bret’s self-pity swallowed him whole. “Like he even knows I exist.”
“Do you know that to be fact?” I tried to stall the inevitable, knowing Bret hadn’t the foggiest notion his supervisor adored him. He’d never taken the chance to even drop a hint the man’s way. I drew back on my haunches, ready to bolt. “Always been fond of closure, myself.”
“Closure?” He scoffed, screaming through the snot and the tears. Over and again, his fingers clenched then uncurled as if pumping up courage. “You think I don’t know? He’s just like everyone else!”
At least I pulled an argument from him. We may not have to go through this after all. But no, he did not know that one person loved him more than life…loved him…more than I did.
Eric was not like Bret’s
Why couldn’t I just tell the boy? Again, I cursed Big Papa and his rules; or was my hesitance my own?
What it must be like to experience such an exquisite creature, take him in my arms, pull him to me, share warmth and love in nature’s most glorifying act… I could only dream as I studied those perfect hands imagining them roaming over me as mine basked in the feel of his exquisite flesh.
“I’m just saying—”
“I don’t care what you’re saying!” With his outburst, this time he spun my way. “Can’t you see? I have no one! There’s —?”
His clouded gaze drank me in, from my toes curled over the edge, upward and over my tensed thighs. Hesitating on my face, he assessed me; and, I was hopeful, my intent.
Can you see
in my eyes?
I prayed for him to see me, to read me, to know my longing, as, his footing more unsure with each shift in the breeze, he continued to study me, seemingly entranced with the view.
With curiosity and surprise, I’m sure he’d meant to hide, he asked, “A-an angel?”
“Zagzagel. But friends call me, Zag.” As I spoke, I made an effort not to move, not to startle.
“Heh.” Expression hardening again, he pulled away, stepped back. “Here to see me off? Make sure I end up
His parents’ words, I was certain. More to myself than to Bret, I said, “Awful bitter for one so young,” then chastised myself for speaking my thoughts when he turned away. I liked knowing his eyes beheld me. Damn me and my big mouth.
“Whatever. You don’t get it.”
Oh…but I did.
Only, my being immortal, I didn’t have the luxury of taking my own life, or I might have—tens of thousands of years ago. Truly, he hadn’t a clue to whom he spoke to with such condescension.