Make your own free website on

A Writer's Journey

My Writing

Publishing Credits
About Me
My Writing
Writing Links
My Writing Friends
Contact Me


Angels With Dirty Faces

 The wind whistled through buildings, snaked around

street corners and invaded even the warmest of coats. Mac pulled

the collar of his jacket tighter around his neck in an attempt to

block out the January cold. It wasn’t helping much so he picked

up his step a little and hurried towards St. Anthony’s.


     He hadn’t been there in years; not since his grammar school

days when he and his best buddy Jeff spent most of their time in

Father Mulligan’s office. They hadn’t been bad, just mischievous,

and the good Father had tried his best to curb their adventurous

natures by making them altar boys.


     Mac reached the steps leading up to the church and took them

two at a time, much as he had done in his youth. He didn’t know

why he felt he had to come here today, he just knew this is

where he wanted to be. He pulled on the handle of the big, wooden

door and cringed when the squeaking hinges beckoned him inside.

Mac stepped through the entrance and shrugged out of his coat. He

started down the center aisle, leaving an ice trail to melt

behind him.


     He found the pew that he and his family had shared all those

years ago, the third one on the left, right in front of the

angel. She hadn’t lost her beauty over time. He sat down, and out

of habit, slid off the edge of the seat to his knees. He didn’t pray, not now and not when he had been a small boy. Mac just stared with boyish fascination at the statue in front of him.


     How many times had the angel saved him. When he lost his

father at the age of eight, he’d cried out his sorrow at her

feet. Whenever he’d needed to make a decision in his youth, he’d

come to her. Mac had always felt uncomfortable praying to God,

but the angel had been his listening board and in his little

boy’s way of thinking, she delivered his prayers straight up to heaven.


     As a child he had dreamed she would one day take him in

her arms, wrap her wings around him and make everything okay.

Hadn’t he been told all his life that we all have a Guardian

Angel? Well, he was still waiting to meet his.


     Life had definitely not turned out the way he had planned.

His career was over, he had lost most of his money to gambling debts and his wife had finally had enough and left him, taking his daughter with her.  That had been the final blow. He was alone now and couldn’t find a reason to go on living. Mac supposed this was his final act of desperation; his last ditch effort to find salvation. It was silly he knew, but now more than ever he needed his angel to enfold him in her snow, white wings.


    “Hey mister, why ya crying?” whispered a small voice to his



     “What?” Mac questioned, looking over his shoulder to find a

small boy sitting there.


     Reaching out his finger, the boy ran it over Mac’s cheek

then held it up for him to see the wetness there.


     Mac looked at the grubby little hand that was attached to

the finger. It was hooked to a skinny, little arm in a shabby,

torn jacket. On further inspection he also saw that it belonged

to a dirty, little face with a gap toothed grin. The boy couldn’t

have been more than seven, but he looked at Mac with green eyes

that spoke of experience beyond his years.


     Mac looked around for someone who would have accompanied the

child there, but he saw no one.


     “You here by yourself?” asked Mac.




     “Aren’t you kind of little to be out by yourself?”


     The child grinned from ear to ear and lifted a hand up to

his runny nose. He rubbed back and forth then wiped his hand on

his jeans near the hole in the knee.


     “Why does my angel make you sad?” he asked, kneeling down

next to Mac.


     “Your Angel?”


     “Yep, she’s my best friend. When I come in here to get warm,

I always talk to her. Aren’t her wings pretty?”


     “Yes they are.”


     “So why you crying? Ain’t nothing that bad that you got to

cry in church about it.”


     “Well my life’s pretty bad right now. I don’t have a job, I

owe a lot of money and my wife and daughter are gone.”


     “Are they dead?”


     “Oh No, just left me to live somewhere else.”


     “Your lucky then, my daddy died last year. Mommy has to work

now, so I’m alone a lot, but I spend time here at St. Anthony’s

so she’ll know I’m safe. I wouldn’t want her to have to

worry about me,” the boy said as he sniffled and wiped his nose



     “Well, I guess we all have our problems huh?” asked Mac, his

throat getting tight.


     “Not me, I’m okay. You’ll be okay too mister, you just can’t

give up,” he declared as he reached over and patted Mac on the



     He only left his arm there for the smallest moment, but to

Mac it felt like he had been enveloped in angel’s wings. Looking

up to the statue, his heart felt lighter than it had in weeks. He

looked around to talk to the boy, but he was nowhere to

be found.


     Mac let the tears fall; healing tears that would cleanse his

soul. He’d waited his whole life and it had finally happened.

True, it wasn’t what he had expected. He hadn’t realized that

angels were everywhere. That they sometimes come wearing ragged

jeans and shabby jackets; with dirty faces, runny noses and

skinny, little arms that feel like angel’s wings.


"Reach High, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream preceeds the goal."