Williams arms were outstretched, eyes trained on the ice below his feet. Indistinct shouts came from the shore of the pond.
A half dozen classmates had chased him onto the ice but dared not step across lest they fall.
William had weighed his options and decided that the ice was less dangerous than the classmates that despised him so much. Triumphant, William turned to grin at the cowards.
The last thing he saw before plunging into the water was his classmates jeering and laughing.
The cold hit him like a brick to the lungs. He let out a gasp as he submerged, and water rushed in to take the place of air.
He sunk lower into the murky depths, thrashing and clawing at the retreating surface. All clarity had left him and he shut his eyes. There was no way his classmates would attempt to rescue him.
Just as quickly as he had accepted this, there came a sound from above the surface of the ice. He forced his eyes open and saw shadows passing over head.
He saw lights and directly above his head, a face. He thrashed more, intent on reaching the face. Hands plunged down into the water to grasp him fiercely, dragging him up and up.
The hands were not fleshy, but they seemed to be made of light itself. They were so warm it felt like fire but William did not have time to think about that yet.
His head breached the surface and was told to kick, kick, kick. He did so and soon he was horizontal enough to be dragged out of the water onto the ice.
He was told to drag himself farther away from the hole and told to stand. Then he felt warm arms wrapping around him, but it felt too many.
He finally looked up, vision cleared and mind warm enough to comprehend the being that had saved him.
He had no words to describe exactly what he saw, but what he saw was a terrifying image of a person. Many arms that seemed to change numbers with each glance.
A body of pure light and face made of eyes. No mouth, yet moments before it had spoken.
“Be not afraid,” they said.
“I’m not,” William replied which was true somehow. Perhaps his seven-year-old self was simply too young to be.
“Come home.” they said.
William nodded and the being, arms still wrapped around William, took him up into the sky.
“Are you an angel?”
The being looked down at him and a mouth appeared. A smile was splayed across its face and it nodded.
William knew in that moment that he would be safe, that no bullies would ever touch him again, that he was going exactly where the angel said he was going: home.
Authors Note: Thanks for 4000 followers! Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Let's make 2019 the best most writing-filled year ever!