They landed softly in a field that Josh had been to plenty of times, it was at the park by his school. Her feet had touched the ground so smoothly, it was as if they had settled on top of the clouds. She then handed him the large purse like bag that held Jackie and said, “Release her.” Josh shook his head from side to side, clutching the bag tighter. He looked down at Jackie’s shimmery green neck and pale blue-grey feathers. The birds head bobbed up and down. Then she said it again, only, this time, more sternly, “You must set her free.”
Josh gazed up at her radiant face and bright cherry hair, “But I love her so much.” His eyes pleaded with hers as he peered into her face.
“I know,” the angel said, “but you must set her free, she will come back,” she said. “You will see my son.”
Josh turned the knob and opened the clutch of the case he had just closed. He gently lifted Jackie out of the handbag and held her close to his heart. He rubbed his hand tenderly over her feathers. He looked intently into the angel’s face, “Why do I have to let her go? She’s all I have now.” He lowered his head, “My daddy’s gone and my friend Walter is gone, and I am supposed to be taking care of her for him.” He held Jackie tighter.
The angel smiled at Josh and her eyes sparkled like crystal. He thought he’d never seen eyes that kind and that loving. Her voice was like the sound of china tinkling. “Now Josh, you must release her and set her free, trust me, Josh. She will come back, but first, we need her to complete her mission.”
Josh lifted his hands that were cupped into the air and held them as high as he could and then he felt a rustle of wings and a flutter of feathers against his skin. Then as soon as Jackie was soaring above him, he wished he could take it back and he began to scream, “NO, no, no!” Just then Bradford was shaking him and asking him if he was alright. Josh looked out the window and realized he had been dreaming. The sun was setting in the sky and he was covered in sweat. The Jeep was parked in the driveway and his mother was unbuckling Tabitha from her car seat.
“Where’s Jackie?” he said frantically, as he climbed up abruptly to look over the seat.
“She’s fine,” Bradford said, opening the door and lifting her cage out of the back.
Josh was greatly relieved to see her, but he could still hear the voice in his ears, the voice that sounded like a tinkling of glass, “You must release her and set her free.”