He studied the blue angel, as if staring at it would make it give up its secrets.
White angels he was familiar with. He’d been documenting them for over a year. The first couple had been on his bike route to work, larger than the stencil art he usually photographed and in white, not a common colour. They were traditional looking angels- wings spread, arms reaching skywards and a halo about their head- somewhat stylised by the restrictions of cutting a pattern from paper. He photographed them, uploaded them and later tagged their locations.
More angels appeared over the following weeks, but he didn’t blog them. Same design, different places, he felt the artist was becoming lazy. Until he made a connection. At least two of the angels marked the sites of murders- the kid who was gunned down in the park because of mistaken identity and the boy shot in a chippy several years ago. A little research confirmed that other angels commemorated other deaths.
Each angel signified a life cut short. Usually murders, most since the bad days of Gunchester, though a couple dated back to grisly 19th and early 20th century events and a few marked accidents and fires. When the “Angels of remembrance” tag became a series he started getting tips. Text and multimedia messages would arrive, alerting him to angels in areas he normally didn’t visit or avoided, giving him names and dates. They all came from two numbers, whether the senders were a tagging team, one up memorialists or the same person with two phones he didn’t know. Where possible he cycled out to the site and got a photo. Occasionally he had to use the tiny multimedia image.
In time the local papers caught on to the host of stencilled angels. He got mentions as their chronicler. There was even talk of a book. He sent messages to both his contacts about this. Would they come forward, or at least send him their manifesto, did they want any of the money or would they like to name a good cause? The tip offs had kept on coming but there was no response to his questions. He went ahead and signed the deal. It wasn’t a huge advance, but the publicity would knock on as increased traffic for the blog. All good.
He knew a lot about white angels. Blue angels were another matter. There had never been an angel any colour other than white. So why this unnatural colour?
And why right outside his house?