Christa Kinde

Head in the clouds. Feet on the ground. Heart in the story. Christa Kinde is a cheerful homebody whose imagination takes her new places with every passing day. Making her home between misty mornings and brimming bookshelves in Southern California, she’s been writing for more than a decade, but the Threshold Series is her first foray into fiction. Learn about Christa’s books, Bible studies, short stories, weekdaily serials, and more at

Christa Kinde

Angel Unaware

Part One: Wannabe

Jedrick stepped through the door and into swaying reeds. Eddies of light swirled overhead, confirming that he’d entered a safe haven on heaven’s fringes. Still, his hand drifted to the hilt of his sword as he scanned the sea of deep grasses. Anything could be hidden here. If the songs were true, several things were.

“Stand down, Captain,” a voice off to his left drawled. “This is a friendly neighborhood. And I can vouch for any strays and layabouts.”

Turning to the angel who’d served as way-maker, Jedrick struggled to hide his surprise. The long copper hair tucked behind pointed ears—fairly typical. The brown leather jacket, snug jeans, and motorcycle helmet—definitely not.

The Caretaker offered his hand in human fashion. “I’m Aleff. Thank you for taking time away from your Flight to audition.”

Jedrick gingerly clasped the other angel’s hand, which was dainty by comparison. “Let your thanks go to God, who guided me here.”

“So!” Aleff’s grip tightened. “Why you?”

“Who can say?”

“Don’t be coy. Impress me with your qualifications.” The Caretaker squeezed harder. “Have you ever been a mentor before?”

“I taught in the enclaves, but no. I have had no apprentice of my own.”

“And you’re a Flight captain. Lots of names under your hand. Do you really think you can give a cherub with special needs the attention he requires?”

Jedrick chose to ignore Aleff’s posturing. He calmly extricated his hand. “You have voiced my two greatest concerns. Even so, God Most High has placed a choice before me.”

“Take him, or leave him?”

“I would prefer to meet him. May I?”

Aleff’s lips quirked into a humorless smile. “Turn around.”

Jedrick pivoted as a scrawny boy scrabbled onto the roof of a hut—the only structure in view. In denim and sneakers, he looked human enough. But as he took a running start, light blossomed around his shoulders, and wings unfurled in hues of cream and yellow. After an initial dip and wobble, the young angel righted himself, catching an updraft to carry him higher. Jedrick eyed the boy’s progress critically. His wingbeats were completely off tempo, and he struggled too much against winds that should have been his support.

The Garden Gate

“He doesn’t know you’re here,” Aleff said. “Otherwise, he’d never own up to these antics.”

“What is he doing?”

“Trying to be good enough.”

“Goodness has little to do with skill.”

“I wonder if he would agree,” Aleff mused.

“Has he been taught anything?

“Oh, the usual. He’s good at history, middling in the sciences, and a shockingly bad speller. His teachers always want to see him more involved, but Marcus is a complete slacker where extracurricular activi—”

“No. I meant in the enclaves.”

“He’s never set foot in one of your enclaves." Aleff warbled, "We never let poor Marcus join in any cherub games!”

How could this angel make jests? Jedrick felt the stirrings of annoyance.

“On the bright side, he knows more about being twelve than most twelve-year-olds.”

Jedrick tracked the boy’s progress as he wavered through a turn. “He was never given to an angel of his own order?”

“Marcus has been with me since first sneeze, and it pleased God for him to be brought up as a human. He and I never stayed long in one place, but we’ve been at it long enough for him to think and act like a typical kid. Only he’s not, and that’s starting to cause problems.”

“What problems?”

“He’s a cherub, Jedrick.” Aleff drummed his fingers on the motorcycle helmet. “Marcus was made for war. He wants to dress up in armor and bash at things with pointy sticks.”

“Then let him.”

“That’s the general idea. But not without proper oversight.”

Jedrick turned his attention back to where Marcus flew in artless circles. Faint snatches of a song reached him. One of David’s psalms by the sound of it. “What do you know of me and my Flight?”

“I’m afraid tales of your renown haven’t reached us here.”

He cut to the point. “I have experience with Grafts.”

Aleff’s eyebrows arched. “Shouldn’t you have mentioned that a tad earlier in the interview process?”

The Blue Door

“You asked about me, not my Flight.”

“You have a former Graft in your Flight?”

Jedrick took great pleasure in answering, “One former. Six current.”

“Sly boots.” Aleff actually looked miffed. “You’re overqualified.”

Without another word, Jedrick unfurled emerald wings and leaped skyward.

Aleff’s voice touched his mind. Are all cherubim this impetuous? Scratch that. I already know the answer. But there’s something you should—

The warning came too late.

As Jedrick swept into tight formation with Marcus, just under the boy’s left wing, Marcus’s voice vanished with a squeak, and he attempted a backward scramble that killed his momentum. His wings crumpled like tissue paper.

Jedrick dove after the plummeting boy, catching Marcus by one arm and towing him out of danger. Very little effort was required. Was there ever a cherub so small? If memory served, even the newest of newfoundlings had more girth. Aleff must have tampered with Marcus’s physique so he’d pass as human. “I apologize for my sudden appearance.”

“You’re a Protector.”

“I am.” Jedrick was amused that this seemed to impress the boy. “So are you.”

“How did you know? Did Uncle Al tell you?”

Marcus’s voice was light as a child’s, but his gaze was too guarded to belong to an innocent. Jedrick was used to teaching reckless newfoundlings to think before charging into battle. Here was caution in need of encouragement. “I knew you just as you knew me. We are cherubim.”

“Guess so,” he mumbled, looking away.

Landing amid endless grasses, Jedrick set Marcus on his sneakered feet and drew himself up to his full height. Folding powerful arms over his chest, he weighed the consequences of his next words.

Marcus also straightened, for all the good it did. He was barely half Jedrick’s height, but his bearing was a match for any angel of their order—fierce, direct, combative. And endearing. Jedrick made his choice.

“Why’d Uncle Al let you in?”

“I wished to meet you.”

“How come?”

“I am called Jedrick.” Offering an upraised palm, he asked, “Is this not your name?”

“No way.” Marcus edged closer and touched the letters newly etched into Jedrick’s skin. “For real?”

“Your name is under my hand; your life is under my protection,” Jedrick declared. “My strength and my sword are your support.”

The Hidden Deep


“There is no mistake.”

The boy fidgeted. “Uncle Al!”

Aleff immediately appeared. “Problem?”

Marcus blurted, “My name’s on his hand.”

“Under,” Aleff gently corrected. “Your name’s under his hand.”

“But … is that okay?”

“He’s a magnificent specimen of cherubic prowess. Isn’t he what you’ve always wanted?”

“Yeah, but don’t I need to go to school and stuff?” Marcus stuffed his hands deep into pants pockets and hunched his shoulders. “You said you found a new spot for us.”

“For you." Aleff shook his head. "I’m not going with you this time.”

The boy’s expression barely changed, but Jedrick responded to the sudden tension in the air by letting his wings ripple forward. Would Marcus understand such a subtle reminder that a mentor’s wings were his apprentice’s shelter?

Marcus didn’t even notice. “I thought you were joking about putting me in an orphanage!”

“I was.” Aleff rolled his eyes, but he also stepped close and stroked his charge’s hair. “I think you’ll find these plans aren’t mine. They’re God’s … and therefore good.”

Marcus only nodded, but Jedrick found himself on the receiving end of a cautiously curious gaze.

“It’s okay to be happy, Mr. Truman,” Aleff said. “You should be ecstatic. Not many captains take on apprentices.”

The boy’s eyes slowly widened. “The captain of a Flight?”

Since his first offer of support had been too subtle, Jedrick chose a bolder course of action. Unsheathing his sword, he gave it a twirl and drove its point into the ground. Tapping the blue gem set into the hilt, he said, “See for yourself.”

The Broken Window

Marcus soon found his own name carved alongside the other members of Jedrick’s Flight. After a thoughtful pause, he asked, “Are they all Protectors?”

“You and I are the only cherubim.”

The boy relaxed.

Aleff jumped in. “Splendid as this may be, I need to cut things short. If we don’t leave now, Marcus will be late.”

“For?” Jedrick asked.

“Endless paperwork and awkward introductions!” Aleff made a scissoring motion with his fingers. “I cut most of the red tape, but your new apprentice still has to jump through certain hoops.”

Slightly bewildered by the human lingo, Jedrick said, “Which means …?”

“Change! In one fell swoop, young Marcus has gained a mentor, a captain, a Flight, and—newsflash—a foster family.” Aleff elbowed Marcus. “Which will be your undoing, do you think? Swordplay? Or sisters?”

Next Month: Angel Unaware, Part Two: “New Kid”