Their Angelic Understanding

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In Their Angelic Understanding (2013) the player character lives in fear as the enemy of angels, whose visitations are not heavenly but tortuous violations. She has been scarred and wounded by an angel, and no one came to her aid. She is unconsoled, deeply conflicted, feeling somehow complicit in her own violation: “… I finally woke up, stupid stupid stupid, no one will save you, no one cares./ No one cares when an angel touches you. / I realized what I had to do./ I had to sacrifice my desire to be thought of as a good person.” She lights off on a surreal journey to confront those who have hurt her. At one point she has to clean the streets of amputated hands that fall ceaselessly from the sky, covering every surface. She has to play a cruel game of endurance in which she and her opponent must clutch red vampire tiles that cut their flesh and suck blood from their hands. The writing is suffused with a sense of displacement that seems related to a sense of being born in the wrong body, such as “i keep my hands in my lap where i can see them/ and the other moms will never know/ how much I want to rip their wombs out/ and fix my big horrible problem.”

(Source: Electronic Literature by Scott Rettberg)

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Ana Castello