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Guardian Angel

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    It was a quiet night. Mako and Ai had pushed their beds together and were fast asleep side by side. Impmon had been sleeping between them, but his tail had gotten squished between the two beds. He was awake now and sitting in the windowsill. The sky was cloudy. He couldn't see the stars, so he watched the lights of cars passing by. It had been awhile since he'd gone out at night. Ai had been having nightmares, and he wanted to be there if she woke up and was scared. The doorbell rang. Impmon startled. Ai and Mako's mother worked at night. Perhaps she could have lost her key. Still, his tail twitched nervously. Ai sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes.

   "Did someone ring the doorbell?" Ai asked.

   The doorbell rang again, three times without pauses in between.

   "Stay here," said Impmon. "I'll check who it is."

   There was a loud, angry, banging sound. Someone was kicking the door.

   "That's not mommy," said Ai.

   Mako was awake now too. He clutched his sister's arm.

   There was a crash as the door was kicked down. There was a loud, unmistakable voice cursing and shouting. Mako and Ai's father had returned. Mako clung to his sister. Ai looked at Impmon, her eyes wide with fear.

   "It's gonna be okay," Impmon said. "I'll take care of this."

   Impmon evolved. As Beelzemon, he had to stoop to avoid hitting his head on the ceiling. He folded up his wings and squeezed through the doorway into the hall. In the kitchen, the father was still yelling obscenities while slamming open cupboards and rifling through drawers. Beelzemon entered the kitchen, and spread his wings as much as he could.

   "Are you lost?" Beelzemon said, with a sneer.

   The father dropped the papers that he'd been going through. He froze in fear and confusion. Beelzemon picked him up by the neck of his coat.

   "Get the fuck out of here and don't come back. If you come near any of them again, you're dead," Beelzemon said.

   Beelzemon dropped him to the ground. The father scrambled to his feet and ran away. The kitchen was a mess. The chairs were tipped over. Things were scattered on the floor. The front door was on the ground. Hopefully, this was the last they'd ever see of him. It most likely would be, Beelzemon couldn't imagine him coming back after this.

   "Is he gone?" Ai asked.

   Beelzemon looked over his shoulder. Ai and Mako were peering out from their room.

   "Yeah," said Beelzemon. "I don't think he'll come back."

   Mako and Ai ran and jumped onto Beelzemon, hugging his legs. He picked them up.

   "It's good when you are big because then we can be holded," said Mako.

   Familiar, friendly footsteps were coming closer.

   "It must be mom!" Ai said. "Quick, be small again!"

   "I don't know how too," Beelzemon said, panicking.

   The children squirmed out his arms and onto the floor. Ai pushed him towards their room.

   "You can go out the window!" Ai said. "I'm sure it must be mommy. Hurry up!"

   Beelzemon went into the children's room and opened the window. He waited a moment to be sure. He heard Ai and Mako's mother's frightened voice, and them excitedly reassuring her. Then, he took off into the night. In the morning, he would come back home.