Of Ethereal Beings and Consumerism

Jisung's lost. In the shampoo aisle. He walks the length of it, peeking over the ends in hopeless search of his best friend. Sadly, his search is fruitless, so he sighs and wanders over to the next aisle. More hair products. Totally what I was looking for.


It's 3 PM and the grocery store is strangely empty. It's slightly surreal, just rows and rows of manufactured goods under the scrutinised gaze of harsh lighting and the overworked populace. Jisung absentmindedly runs his hands along the stainless steel packaging of canned fruits, creating a metallic melody as the promise ring on his finger clangs against brightly-colored surfaces assuring the organic nature of their products. He rolls his eyes with a disbelieving snort when he reads this. Stupid companies. Everything derived from nature is organic.


A few seconds later, he hears the telltale squeak of a trolley. Hopeful, he turns to the source of the sound. A tall woman stands with her empty trolley in the aisle next to his, reading the back of a bottle with such intensity it makes Jisung wonder what life-threatening allergies she might have. She places the bottle back and picks up another one, and Jisung's lost interest. Where the hell did Chenle go?


He walks on. Jisung's pretty sure he's covered the entire home & personal care section, and most of the processed foods, too. He finds himself at the cold cuts station, which is deserted. Okay. This isn't normal. He takes a step back, turns on his heel, and sprints to where Chenle is most likely to be.


The ice cream aisle is empty. The desert aisle is also empty. There's no one near the chocolates, and no one manning the checkout. Deep breaths, Jisung. Calm down. He gulps and strides back the way he came. Bare aisles are all he can see. His vision begins to blur, and he hears a hushed cacophony of sounds from the fruit and veg. Wait. What? He doesn't recognise the words, they sound odd and imperfect, unlike any language he's heard before.


When he scans his surroundings, there seems to be no origin of the sounds. Where…? Up. He looks up.


It's a mistake. Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw.


There are two beings, suspended in the air above the aisles of adulterated fruit, seemingly arguing. They have an unknown but alluring aura around them, one that says come on in, but don't let go of your dagger. That isn't what strikes Jisung though. It's the wings. Pristine, white, and feathered. And large. Abnormally so. They sprout from their backs and are probably as long as their bodies, if not longer.


He does the most intelligent thing he can think of.


“E-excuse me. You wouldn't have happened to have come across a boy? He's a bit shorter than me, dark hair, looks really stup-”


Chenle stares back at him. His best friend is an angel. A literal angel.


“Yes?”


Everything goes black.