A down-on-her-luck massage therapist who speaks to angels finds herself trapped in a corporate clark

"I talk to Angels.

And boy, do they talk back. I’m telling you, Angels are full of opinions whether you want to hear them or not. Once you get them talking, it’s hard to get them to shut up."

Excerpt from Chapter One, "Grow, Grow" in MARIGOLD by Will Clarke. Reprinted with permission from the author.


*language advisory*



I talk to Angels.


And boy, do they talk back. I’m telling you, Angels are full of opinions whether you want to hear them or not. Once you get them talking, it’s hard to get them to shut up. They’re always like, “Marigold. Girl. You sure you should be drinking that whole pint of Fireball?” Or “Marigold, see that guy over there? The one in that Spiritual Gangster T-shirt. Go talk to him. He was your milkmaid in a past life.” And I’m like, “Are you guys freaking kidding me? I’m not going over there and saying that!” And my Angels are all like, “Suit yourself, girlfriend. Your loss.”


As amazing as talking to Angels sounds, I’m nothing special. Really, anybody can talk to their Angels if they believe hard enough. Fact is, divine beings are as real as atoms and gravity. And just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist, or they aren’t more powerful than you could ever imagine. There are plenty of invisible forces that are here to guide our planet’s evolution—Angels being just one of them, and my Angels don’t care if you believe in them or not. But most people I meet think this is batshit, and they like to make fun of me, and sometimes that hurts my feelings.


Bitches in prison could be real mean, especially with the name- calling. They used to call me “Angel Humper” and stuff. At first, the girls in my cell thought I was insane for talking to my Angels all the time. Tiffany and Samantha would be like, “Marigold, after all the shit you been through, you still think you got stupid Angels looking after you?”


And I would say, “Fuck you. Don’t call my Angels stupid unless you want something real bad to happen.”


Then Tiffany and Samantha would shut their ass faces for like a second or two because deep down—maybe not on a conscious level but on a soul level—they knew Angels are not to be trifled with. So then Tiffany and Samantha would say sorry and go back to reading their People Magazine or whatever dumb shit Fifty Shades Of Grey book they got from the library. And then my Archangel, Uriel, would remind me that “Kindness is the currency of God,” and so he would compel me to smile at them and say:


“Look, you got Angels, too.”


And then Tiffany and Samantha would stop being dicks because everyone loves to talk about their own Angels when they find out they got them. Might not like to talk about my Angels or my dreams, but when Tiffany and Samantha found out they got their own Angels and that I can see and talk to them, then they were all like, “Marigold, what’s my Angel’s name? What’s he saying? What’s he look like? Is he sexy? When’s he gonna bring me a man?”


And I was all like, “Angels are not even like that. First off, they don’t have junk. So, no, they aren’t sexy. And Angels aren’t freaking Tinder. So go find your own man.” Pisses me off how people don’t know shit about Angels. Which is real sad because Angels are our most important ally in our fight for survival on this Earth Plane, and everybody’s got at least one who’s been assigned to them.


How’s that old poem go?


“Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’”


That’s from The Talmud, which is basically the Bible. So if a stupid little blade of grass has an Angel helping it, you can bet you have at least one looking after you. I personally have twenty- two. Sometimes, when shit gets real, I’ve had like thousands surrounding me, lifting me up, and singing my name. Let’s be real clear, though: Angels are not like these cute little baby butts flying around. They are fierce. Like, they do not play around. And you do not want to make fun of an Angel or piss it off.


Trust me.




Marigold: (The Secret to Manifestation)

Will Clarke

Middle Finger Press

Hardcover, 436 pages

August 14, 2022


Will Clarke grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He is the author of several works of fiction, including The Neon Palm of Madame Melançon, Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles: A Spy Novel (Sort of), and The Worthy: A Ghost’s Story. His novels have been selected as The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and Kirkus Review’s Best of the Year. His short fiction has appeared in Texas Monthly, D Magazine, The Oxford American, and Best American Fantasy. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife and family.