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M and N Media
When I was alive, I had totally the wrong idea about Heaven.
Each time I heard the word, this spooky film. footage came up on my mental screen. I'd picture myself wandering ankle-deep in little fluffy clouds through a vast empty waiting room, Apart from the heavenly Muzak playing over the PA system, there wasn't a sound. No swoosh of traffic, no pounding hip-hop beat, no chatting, laughing or crying. Nada. Omigosh, I'd think, if this is Heaven, what must that other place be like
Then, twenty-four hours after my thirteenth birthday, I was knocked down by some youth in a speeding car and bam I was checking out the heavenly facilities for. real.
Not only that, I had been talent-spotted to be a trainee angel I have no idea how that happened 'and I don't really care. The good news is you can all relax. There is no cloud-filled waiting room.
I live bang in the middle of a big, buzzy, beautiful city, filled with shops, cafes and the loveliest gardens you ever saw. The beach is like, minutes away. Lola and I go there constantly.
It's weird to think that if I hadn't died, Lola and I would never have met, because originally she's from the twenty-second century. Her full name is Lola Sanchez, also known as Lollie. We met on my first day here and I'm not exaggerating, we are total soul mates. We love the same fashions, the exact same music, and are both deeply dedicated shoppers.
I've shocked you, haven't I? You had no idea it was possible to go shopping in Heaven But like Lola says, "Well, duh Who do you think Invented shopping malls in the first place "
Don't go thinking my new life is one long heavenly beach party. I still go to school,remember. The sole purpose of the Academy is to train us to. be celestial agents; -angels in other words. This means the Agency (that's like, Angel HQ) is constantly monitoring our progress. Plus my teacher, Mr. Allbright, doesn't let- us get away with a thing. I have never studied so hard in-my whole existence as I do in that guy's class.
To be honest, I never saw the point of school when I was alive. My teachers made everything so boxing. Even history, if you can believe that. The Angel Academy takes a much more hands-on approach. We don't just memorize dates and read books. We genuinely experience history.
Yes, I'm talking actual time-travel This is not mere time tourism, okay? We're training to be celestial trouble -shooters, so we have to do everything the professional agents do. Lola and I are now so, hooked that we signed up to study Earth history as our special subject. It's like I finally found what I was created for.
And yet ... I still didn't totally believe I was an angel.
Oh, I looked the part When I checked in the mirror there I was, glowing with that rosy angel glow, in my favorite school casuals with the cool Academy logo. I had my new ID in my wallet. I had my official angel name (it's Helix). Plus I already had several -angelic missions safely under my belt.
But somewhere inside I still thought of myself as the same old Melanie Beeby, -the insecure girl I used to be, before that joyrider booted me out of t he twenty-first century into the Afterlife.
Then something happened which completely changed my attitude.
Lola and I were in our favorite department store on an urgent mission to buy her the ultimate pair of biker boots. We sailed up theescalator, yakking away, when with absolutely no warning, the entire store started rushing away from me; sort of like a tidal wave in reverse.
In the blink of an eye, all the shoppers, bright lights, and displays of cute celestial handbags were miles below, looking exactly like a pretty pattern in a kid's kaleidoscope.
My actual body was still traveling up the escalator. I could feel my fingers, clinging on to the handrail. But my inner angel or whatever stared down with interest from its new perch in outer space.
Snatches of conversation -zipped past. There was a gale of girly laughter, so dose it tickled. Someone was plonking out a- tune on an oldfashioned piano and someone else started singing, "Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon." And the whole time, I could feel this unknown force pulling and tugging at me.
Then like a cosmic rubber band, I pinged back, to the department store. I staggered off the escalator, totally weirded out.
"Boo, are you okay?" Lola was asking anxiously. I don't know why she calls me Boo. Lola is constantly giving her mates weird nicknames.
"I'm great," I gulped. "We'll find you those biker boots if it's the last thing we do I"
Lola shook her head. "Change of plan, babe."
She steered me firmly toward the down escalator. Minutes later we were sitting at one of Guru's outdoor tables in the sun. Mo brought our smoothies, waving away my ID. Alt's on the house, ' he insisted. 'You look like you- need them. I bet you skipped breakfast, am I right?
I gave him a feeble grin. "Yeah yeah, it's the most important meal of the day."
'You said it, ' called Mo and he disappeared into the kitchen.
Guru's strawberry smoothiesare really something else. After: a couple of sips I felt new strength flowing through my veins.
"That's better," said Lola. "You had me worried, Boo. You went white."
"Don't be such an old lady," I growled. "It's like Mo, said. I had low blood sugar or something."
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