"Why are your wings black?" She asked the angel.
He turned to her, and his eyes were dark and sad, but also wise.
"I am in mourning." He told her.
"What are you mourning?"
"The loss of a childhood." The angel said and his voice was tired, as if he had walked the world for centuries.
"Who's childhood was it?" The girl asked as she stood at the foot of the stairs which led into the unknown.
He watched her, her wide eyes reflected her childish innocence. Though she stood on the brink of womanhood she held to her youth, and he felt envy, and he felt a great sadness.
"I didn't know angels had childhoods." The girl said, but for the first time she saw the scars, which marred his skin and which stood for all the evil, and all the terrible things in the world.
Then he grinned, his smile was radiant but there was no truth to it because inside he was bitter and aching with his lost innocence, which shone so dearly out of the girl who was sitting only steps away from him, yet they would always be miles apart.
"I'm not an angel." The false smile faded from his beautiful face. He spread his great wings, with feathers like those of a ravens. "Maybe one day I was, but that was a long time ago."
The girl gestured to the stairs, she looked very small standing next to them. "What comes next?"
The angel who was not an angel at all considered this, watching the stairs that led neither up nor down but simply away.
"Not what you expect." He told the girl who would never become a woman.
She watched him simply, unsure what it was she expected. "Does it lead to Heaven?" She asked.
"You've already experienced heaven." The angels face was grave.
"Does it lead to Hell?"
"You've already experienced Hell too."
The girl shrugged, the innocence which would never get a chance to fade pulled her forward. "There's only one way to find out."
The angel smiled his sad smile once more. "Go on then."
He watched her start to climb, one step, two, three. As she climbed she faded, becoming a ghost, and then a shadow. When she was nearly gone, not to the other side of the stairs of course, but gone from the only world she'd ever known she turned back.
"Does it lead to God?"
And the angel said, "There is no God."
But it was too late for the girl to turn back.