“A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.” –Herbert Clark Hoover
IN A NEPHIL’S WORDS: A HOLIDAY INTERVIEW WITH ROSE
The Yuletide beckons! With winter’s chill comes twinkling lights, the smell of pine, and the warmth of the hearth calling us home to share the season with family and friends.
Whether pagan or Christian, the dark half of the year brings a sense of beauty and mystery; we somehow become more aware of, and in awe of, the Universe.
To celebrate the season of angels, I felt it only appropriate to welcome a guest who carries the celestial lineage in her very genes. Please welcome Rose, the Nephil daughter of one of Heaven’s finest warriors. Please make her feel welcome; she is usually a loner, and tends to be wary of those she doesn’t know.
DANI: Hello, Rose. Welcome and happy holidays. Thanks for taking time out to chat today.
ROSE (nodding abruptly): You’re welcome.
DANI: I see that your boyfriend, Skriker, is with you.
(Rose rolls her eyes. Skriker waves excitedly, grinning.)
ROSE: Yeah, he insisted on tagging along.
SKRIKER: This here’s Dani, baby. She’s a cool chick.
ROSE: I know who she is, Skrike, thank you. Look, there are cookies over there—go check them out. (sighs) Sorry, Dani, please continue.
DANI: Tell us about yourself, Rose. You are half angel, correct? Also called a Nephil. Word on the street is you are the last Nephil on earth.
ROSE: That’s right. I’m the first Nephil born in millennia; there were other Nephilim born way back, a whole wave, but they were destroyed. I am a very…strange creature.
DANI: Your father was a warrior in the Holy Army, correct?
ROSE: That’s right. He was banished…Jesus…I don’t know how long ago. Centuries and centuries. I think it was during the Crusades, but I don’t recall for sure. Anyway, he was given a chance to go home, to earn his wings back…and he would have to kill my mother to do it.
DANI: Your mother, Psyche. She was an artist?
ROSE: Yes. A wonderful artist—talented far beyond her years. She was like magic in my father’s eyes because of what she could create. He fell for her hard and gave his wings up a second time for her, accepted every condition that Heaven threw at him so he didn’t have to leave. They loved each other so much…it breaks my heart that he was allowed to be with her so little after I was born. It’s a long story, and someday it’ll be told, but that’s me in a nutshell.
DANI: This blog post celebrates the beginning of the holiday season, a time that most folks look forward to immensely. How do you celebrate Christmas or Yule, being half angel and all? Is it a big deal for you?
ROSE (her mouth twisting): Truth be told I’m not very big on the whole Christmas thing. I hate being in churches, or anywhere that there are lots of angel images or states, because it makes me feel like their eyes are on me. Like my Heavenly ‘family’ is staring me down and judging my every move. Angels are not as fluffy as all the Christmas cards make them out to be, and there are too many of them around this time of year for my taste.
DANI: So you never celebrated Christmas with your mother, or with Skriker now?
ROSE: I celebrated with my mother before she died. She loved Christmas and I loved it then, too. But I was just a kid…after she died, it was never the same for me again. I do celebrate with Skrike, because he loves it, and because I love him, but it’s more for him than for me. Strange, I know.
DANI: That is strange. Skriker’s half demon.
ROSE (chuckling and blushing): I know, go fig. He loves churches, as all demons do, and I hate them. I told him that if, IF, he can ever convince me to marry him, I will not do it in a church.
SKRIKER (his mouth full of cookie): I’d do it in a church.
ROSE: You’d do it anywhere, Skrike, and I hear that you already went the sex-in-a-church route before we met. Shush.
DANI: How do you and Skriker celebrate Christmas or Yule? I take it you don’t go to mass or the local bonfire…
ROSE: I don’t. Skriker tries to when he can—his mother raised him Catholic and it still sticks to his ribs, I think. Yeah, I know…a half Swedish, half demon guy who is also Catholic…it’s all irony with him. Anyway, if I can’t convince him to go on a hunt with me during Christmas, we usually spend it at his apartment. I go with his flow…he’s big on decorating. So was my mother, so I guess that’s why he can get me into it. Sometimes Harry, Skrike’s patron and adopted father, and his daughter, Gretchen, swing by for dinner. But usually it’s just the two of us. Skrike’s the cook and the maid in this relationship, so he takes care of everything.
SKRIKER (winking): My Rosie just lies around and looks pretty under the lights while I do all the work.
(Rose blushes again, smiling)
DANI (laughing): What a crazy holiday gathering! A tattooed half demon cooking and cleaning, a half angel lounging under the tree, and two werewolves popping in with the champagne. I love it! What is your favorite meal at these holiday feasts?
ROSE: I don’t really eat. Being half angel, it’s not really necessary. Skrike eats like a pig, on the other hand, so I let him cook what he wants. Usually he does the whole Swedish meatball and lingonberry sauce thing. I usually just drink lots of champagne and leave it at that while he and the weres eat up.
DANI: Do you exchange gifts?
ROSE: Sometimes. Skriker usually goes all out with his bottomless wallet.
DANI: What’s the best gift he’s bought you so far?
ROSE: My own Harley. My Ducati Monster was wrecked on our first hunt together and he bought me a new bike for our first Christmas together. Sweetest thing ever.
SKRIKER: Of course, I prefer her to be perched behind me on my saddle with her crotch squished against my ass, but she’s an independent gal, so I can’t fault her that she needed her own ride.
ROSE (jabbing him playfully, giggling): Skrike, you moron.
DANI: One hell of a gift! I’m jealous! Now, a big question I’m sure all of our readers have on their lips is: would you/do you kiss under the mistletoe? Anything else under the mistletoe?
(Skriker snickers. Rose shoots him a nasty look.)
SKRIKER: Oh, Dani, you have nooooo idea, baby—
ROSE: Shut up, Skrike! You already had your interview at Paranormal Romantics, so for the last time, hush! My turn now!
DANI: Ooh, a little tension here! Moving on. You say your mother loved Christmas. I hope this isn’t touching on too sore of a spot, but do you have any favorite holiday memories?
ROSE (sadly): That’s okay. It’s a good question. Yeah, I do have a favorite memory, from the last Christmas that my mother was alive. I was five years old. My mom had been raking in some nice money from selling her artworks—finally—and so she wanted to give me the biggest Christmas she could afford. It was just the two of us, of course, but she did so much for me. She decorated like crazy: silver and blue and purple glass balls, silver tinsel, a million white lights like a fairy world. I remember levitating the tree ornaments, laughing as I watched them float, and she never once told me to be careful. Having a child who could levitate things didn’t even phase her at that point, you know? The funniest thing was when she went to put the angel tree topper up. I must have looked at her like she was nuts because she asked my why I didn’t like it. I told her it didn’t look like a “real angel”, that a real angel would look like my father, who was rarely permitted to be with us. And you know what she did? She made a new tree topper, just for me. A dark-haired male angel topper with red feathered wings. She presented it to me on Christmas Eve and I was so happy I almost squealed. We sat under the tree with my mother’s handmade topper looking down on us, and I remember saying, “Now daddy can watch over us from the tree.” I woke up in the middle of the night and saw my father there, by the bed, looking down at me, before I fell asleep again. We didn’t see him again until just before my mother was murdered, so that whole Christmas is something I still treasure.
(Rose wipes a mist of tears from her eyes. Skriker hugs her and kisses her cheek.)
ROSE: Thanks, honey.
SKRIKER: No worries, babe.
DANI: Wow. That’s a beautiful memory, Rose.
ROSE: Yes, it is. I hope it stays with me forever, especially because I’m immortal.
DANI: Absolutely. Do you look to any spirit guides during the Solstice?
ROSE: If I’m going to look to any guide, it’s going to be my father. We may chew each other’s heads off half of the time, but he’s got my best interests in mind and can swing power that Skrike and I can’t even touch. Plus he’s my Guardian (sighs and rolls her eyes) so keeping him off my ass is an impossible feat.
DANI: Your Guardian? As in ‘guardian angel’?
ROSE: You got it. Usually Lailah, the Angel of Conception, assigns the Guardian. But my dad was bonkers when I was born and insisted that no angel other than him was worthy of Guarding me. The bastard doesn’t even have wings anymore and he still manages to stick his nose everywhere. Really, really annoying.
DANI: How does your dad feel about Skriker?
ROSE (snorting): How do you think my father reacted when he discovered that I was screwing a half-demon punk?
DANI: Gotcha. Well, it looks like Skriker ate all the cookies, so that means we’re about out of time. Anything you’d like to say to our readers today?
ROSE: Treasure your loved ones…you never know what may happen to them.
DANI: Excellent advice. Thanks for joining us.
ROSE: You’re welcome, Dani.
SKRIKER(waving): Bye, Dani! Love ya, baby!
DANI (laughing): You, too, Skrike! Kiss, kiss!
Danielle D. Smith is an author of dark fantasy, horror, and erotica novels. She is also an apprentice tattoo artist in San Diego, CA.
To learn more about Danielle D. Smith and her books, please visit her website, her blog, or check out her previous author interview here at From the Shadows.
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