Size / / /

In the event that you are bitten by an angel,
immediate steps must be taken to
prevent the infection from spreading. If
the angel bites an arm or other extremity,
a tourniquet is advised to arrest
blood flow until proper treatment may
be obtained. If you are bitten on the head,
neck, or torso, it is imperative to seek
professional help immediately. (It is
recommended that the patient approach
a secular authority, as ministers, shamans,
and gurus may have divided loyalties
in the matter of angels.)

If you are unable to consult a trained
metaphysician (if, for example, the bite
occurs on a camping trip, or while deep-
sea diving, or, as so often happens, while
wandering in the desert), take as many
of the following steps as possible:

Rub a paste made of wood ash and urine
into the wound. Scour the bite marks
with sun-warmed sand. Remember your sins
in vivid detail, and whisper them into
the indentations left by the teeth. Ask
someone you despise to lick the wound.

In extreme cases, amputation may
be the only option. If so, the removed
limb should be burned before it begins
to fluoresce or attains a separate
consciousness.

If left untreated, angel bites often lead
to transformation. Victims may be
consumed by inner light, or melt into
a faintly honey-scented mist, or become
semi-conscious whirlwinds. Other effects,
more profound, have been reported
but not substantiated.

As always, prevention is better
than any cure. If you encounter
an angel, do not look upon its brightness.
Try not to attract its attention. Do not engage
it in philosophical debate. Stand very still
until it passes by, and the thunderous sound
of its beating wings
has entirely subsided.

 

Copyright © 2003 Tim Pratt

Reader Comments


Tim Pratt is editor of the poetry journal Star*Line and co-editor of slipstream 'zine Flytrap. He lives in Oakland, California. His previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. To contact him, email timpratt@sff.net.



Tim Pratt won a Hugo Award for his short fiction (and lost a Nebula and a World Fantasy Award), and his stories have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Year's Best Fantasy, and other nice places. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife Heather Shaw and son River. For more information about him and his work, see his website. To contact him, send him email at tim@tropismpress.com.
Current Issue
3 Aug 2020

By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
The convoy appeared in a cloud of dust against the Martian dawn atop the eastern hills...Were they bringing food, or were they bringing more war into the chapel?
the freedom offered by thrashing four limbs, by holding your mouth perfectly ajar like a grotto spitting bubbles
By: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Krishnakumar Sankaran
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Krishnakumar Sankaran's “This poem is a dead zone” with a reading by the poet.
Podcast: My Love, Our Lady of Slaughter 
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Christine Lucas's “My Love, Our Lady of Slaughter.”
Issue 20 Jul 2020
By: Ranylt Richildis
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: JD Fox
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kimberly Kaufman
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Jul 2020
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Load More
%d bloggers like this: