By Carol Holland March


The angel came out of the sea at two hours past midnight, three nights after the moon was full. Not what I would have expected.

I had driven all the way to a small town in Oregon in winter to get away from the ones who followed me, but when I walked out of the Heron Motel on Sand Dunes Road on the second day, there they were, huddled in a tight group, backed up against the towering sand dunes, all facing the same direction, silent and still like a bunch of robots waiting for someone to switch on their power. I didn’t look at them directly, just a quick glance, figuring the less attention they received, the better, and then I walked around them to the beach. During the trip across the country they had picked up some recruits; there must have been a hundred of them.

In the beginning, they had hummed. In harmony. I was living in the southwest then, and one day when I was walking in the desert, they appeared over a rise studded with fat juniper trees and spiny cactus plants. They stood there staring at me as I sat on a lava rock studying a petroglyph of a labyrinth that had been chipped out of the rock a thousand years ago. There were only six or seven of them, then. I thought they were a hiking group and made the mistake of waving. That’s when the humming started.

After that, I saw them every time I walked in the desert. They would appear out of nowhere, my strange entourage that looked too real to be a hallucination, but what else could they be? I had never been prey to hallucinations, but, then, how do you ever know? I pride myself on being rational, and my humming group was hard to fit into my world view. For a while I theorized that they were desert survivalists who had taken a liking to me, but then I happened upon some real survivalists one Sunday afternoon, complete with fatigues, rifles and complicated hand signals. They made my group look like a Sunday school choir. I got out of there as fast as I could and decided if I was going to be haunted, singing was better than shooting.

The group kept growing, and the humming got more complicated, but never any tune I recognized. Part of me knew this was not as much of a mystery as it seemed, but that part scared the hell out of the rest of me, so I quit my job and moved back to the Maine coast, based on the theory that the ones who followed me were attached to sand and creosote bushes.

For about a week, I was free of them...



Carol Holland March loves exploring the intersection of dreams, reality, and time, and sets her speculative fiction stories in places where the veil is thinnest. She has worked in corporate communications, education, and social service, and now, thankfully, spends most of her time writing and coaching private clients. She teaches Writing for Healing and Writing for Growth and Discovery at The University of New Mexico.

Her stories have been published in online and print publications, including The Colored Lens and Dark Visions, Volume 2. She recently completed her first novel, The Dreamwalkers of Larreta, and is working on a sequel. A collection of short stories, The Way Home, is available on Amazon. She blogs at and can be followed on twitter @cmarch555.