Time had started to become an illusion.
An endless vortex of pain and silence; so deafening that it vibrated in my ear drums. I was unable to move.
A peculiar sensation ran up my limbs and through my body. It existed within my blood stream. Light flashed beneath my closed lips and I snapped them open. All around me black broken feathers are making their descent toward the Earth... and ultimately our destruction.
The searing pain begins again at the apex of my shoulders and running vertically down my back. They are here. They surround my back.
Hands grappling at flesh, muscle, bone, feathers.
The Archangels have no mercy against those who sin or commit something akin to murder. Can what I have done be put in either of those categories though? Is what I did so bad that I deserve to be stripped of who I am? Or what I am? I have seen generations of humans come and go. Had the visions that tell me when, where and how these people will die. I have guided their spirits to heaven so they can be at rest. After all this I am here. A thousand years I have lived in my domain. A scream erupts from my throat against my will. I welcome the darkness.
When I awake red is the colour before me. Surrounding me. Consuming me. I am able to move at last. I drag my blonde hair off my sticky back and notice that the ends are dyed a black as dark as midnight. A single black feather is entwined within the strands. Realisation dawns upon me like a tycoon engulfs a town. I have been cast out. My wings are gone. Pulled out from the roots. The roots that reside deep within the muscles in my back. A place where they are bound with magic, which once disturbed turns into blood. Black blood. Which is smeared in my hair and liberally across the expanse of my back. I reach my around my back. Breathes whistling in and out of my mouth. My hand trembles as they reach around and follow the upside down V shaped scar on my back. The ends of the scar are puckered and sore. Black liquid still flowing out in places. I feel as if I've lost half of myself. My hands scramble trying to touch the leathery softness of my black wings, but I only grasp empty air. Sobs break forth from my body, yet still I grapple with the air beneath my back.
'STOP HERE!' Bodies surround me and restrain me. My eyes lock with a pair of green eyes. As deep as an oak leaf, yet as endless as the heart of a forest. I know you.
'Don't do this Demetri! Why are you doing this?' Tears ran from the corners of my eyes and seep into my hair line.
Tears cloud his eyes and he lifts my chin up to his, 'I do what I must Princess. I am your Avenging Angel.' With his last word he presses a golden feather against my lips and glides away. The currents from his wings beat against my face and cause my hair and black gown to billow around me. So much emotion. Too much emotion. My eyes cloud over once more and tears cascade down my cheeks. Demetri. An Avenging Angel . I had worked with him many an occasion and now he was here to avenge something that I had done. What had I done? My mind spun in circles. Fighting the effect of the drug. Pushing through the fog trying to engulf my mind. Useless. The feather at last dissolved from my lips. My mind submitted to shut down. No will power was left within me.
Heat. Scorching hot. Close. So close to me. Smothering. Consuming pain. Black blood. Demetri. I am so hot. I am... on fire! I scream but no one hears. I feel like I've been branded. My back spasms as acute pain begins at the bottom and gradually becomes greater than a Titans whip along my torso. I know what they have done. They have sealed the skin along my back together using the flame of Hades himself so that my muscle shall never repair and the magic never again possess my body. My wings shall never regrow. A long black scar now is all I possess on my back. A scar that shall never fade with time. No matter if centuries or millennia pass. A scar that relates me closer to Lucifer than to mine own father. I am the daughter of an Archangel. The highest ranking Angel among all of the heavens. Quite ironic really. The Princess becoming one of the... one of the... Fallen. My memory is returning. For better or worse no indication exists.
A hand caresses my back with a feather. Magic still saturates the single fibres within it. I can feel it sweep along my skin, trying to re enter my body and find no purchase. The sensation disappears. Nails scrape against my arms. Teeth. Digging. Drinking. Drawing everything out of me. Fog edges my vision. A pair of eyes. Eyes that were often described as the personification of death itself.
'Ah Angel. How lovely of you to grace me with your presence down here. It is a rare occasion.' I hear a faint click and the ripping sensation abruptly vanishes. 'However I see that it is not by choice that you seem to find yourself in my domain. Naughty girl.'
'Satan. What...is happening... to me?' My vision flashes and burns like the swaying of a candle flame in a gentle breeze.
'You are becoming me.' With that he dug his nails into my back. They were like talons. A scream unlocked itself unbidden from my throat and he laughed. On and on it went on. Demetri... brother... please help me. A mind pushed past my mental barriers and evaded. A presence engulfed everything within me. It was.. familiar and not unkind. Rest and do not reawaken until you remember who you are. I shall shield you from the pain... sister.
Images and memories from my past crowded within my mind. Too many. Too much had happened in my past. My role within the hierarchy and my job did not help, it hindered. Sounds. Colours. A chorus of voices. Sensations beyond a homeosapians wildest dreams. I had experienced it all. Yet something had always been missing. I saw the memory drawing closer and realised why I had tried to forget it, forcing my mind to bury it and hide it from everyone. Including my family. I got sucked in.
The vision had hit while I was in my own chambers. A woman with hair as red as an orchid and eyes the colour of melted caramel. She was the one who was going to die and I had to help guide her spirit up to heaven when her time came. I had been told that the reason I was given my position was because I had a gentle, serene look which put a humans mind at rest and went against the stereotypical look. So I decided to descend upon said place and see what this woman would be losing, something I did with all my new acquaintances. I took my Avenging Angel and brother and found the small house where she dwelled with her family. Shock rippled through my frame when I gazed through the window. A man stood with the woman in his arms. A look of happiness that was only revealed within my world was placed upon his face. His hair the colour of coal, cut short but still held a slight wave. Eyes the colour of the eye of a whirlpool. Hard, unyielding, yet held a gentleness to take your breath away. His build was slender but his biceps bulged under his thin cotton shirt. He stood a good three inches above my six foot. I flew. Not even explaining to Demetri why I had left.
I buried myself into everything I could over the next few days to keep my mind occupied. Although when I came to her file I felt an unfamiliar emotion ripple through me. Jealousy. She was to die next Thursday. Three days time. Then he could be mine. I began to plan. As the third day dawned I began my descent to earth alone as was my custom and approached the lake where she was going to drown in any moment. I pulled the scroll from my gown, ready to enter her mind. I felt her presence. She lost control. Entered the water. Her life force wavered. I engaged her mind:
'Caroline. Do not be scared as I am here to guide you to your new life. No more harm will befall you again, I promise. Take my hand and you can begin this new journey with me. Forget your past life and embrace the new one. Come.
I can't see anymore. I can't! It wasn't my fault I didn't mean to do it. I was blinded by all these new sensations and emotions that racked through my body. But the memories didn't slow, they continued to flow through my mind.
Caroline took hold of my hand and I began to guide her up with me. Only to stop short of the first layer, turn on her and bind her in chains. 'You shall never have what you want as I can neither have what I want. Its all your fault. ITS ALL YOUR FAULT!' I slapped her across the face. I dragged her down. Down to the fiery depths of hell. The heat from the flames buffeted our bodies but still I dragged her. I found an empty cage standing open in the heart of the flames. I looked at Caroline, fear the dominant emotion on her face. Fear? Open terror. A smile twisted onto my face. A shadow of my former one. 'As they say in your country girl, Au Revoir.' I whipped my arms around and threw her into the cell and locked the cage. I took the key and threw it into the fire and watched the metal melt and ingrain itself in the ground below. 'You are forever lost... bitch!'
'He shall never love you, you know. I saw you looking at us that night and knew what was coming.'
'Never say never.'
I heard her screams all the way up to my room. Echoing in my ears. For all of eternity.
What have I done?! But no one knew I had fallen in love with a mortal! So did I really deserve all this pain and suffering? 'Demetri?' My mind once again gave in to the blackness that permitted my mind.
Wings wrapped around me and shielded my body from pain. The familiar sensation of wings as soft as the underside of a doves caressed the side of my face. My vision blinded by the pure white of them. As white as the oceans spray when the powerful water collides with a cliff or rock. His soul I knew represented this. Yet his nature was as gentle as a blooming flower. 'Demetri' this was said like the wind calls the leaves from a tree.
'Sister.' The gentle beating of his wings soothed me. I felt like I was warm and safe back home. I snuggled closer against his bare chest. 'I am going against father's wishes by doing this. But... I had to see you one last time. Before I am bound to work alongside who ever fills your old position and I am forced to swear never to see you again, or I else I too will share your fate. I don't understand why, but I suppose I never shall, but know... that I will always love you.' He once again lifted my chin up to his and placed a gentle kiss against my mouth.
'I love you too, little brother.' A feather light touch against my brow. A sensation I would never forget. Another feeling to grace my presence was the feeling of my descent.
I was alone. Cold. Damp, but not wet. A memory stirred within me from a lifetime ago. The spongy yet resilient texture of the surface under me. I reached my hand out in front of me to grasp a few strands. My eyes opened and darkness no longer permitted my vision. A large moon engulfed the azure sky. Definitely a few hours after dusk. This world, so different from my own, yet a world I had lived in a long time ago. So similar yet different. I am human. No I shall never be again. My hand reached up to touch my vibrant tresses and felt the horned crown wrapped around my head. I am a Fallen Angel. Never again to grace the sky with my presence. No more interaction with the souls of the dead at rest. My friends or family. Loneliness will be my only company. A man walked up the hill and laid a bouquet of red roses upon a gravestone. A graveyard. How fitting. I looked up from the ground I lay on and saw the rough carving of a marble angel above me. In its arms was a bundle. Baby. Not a very convincing statue of an angel. It looked forlorn and sad. Make the most of it my kin... you never know when you are never to see it again. Why have I been left here of all places? My mind reeled, presenting me with ideas so farfetched I was no longer sure they had come from my mind. A sudden realisation dawned that I was lying on top of a grave. I looked at the headstone. Caroline Russell. My heart stopped...again. It tried to escape my throat. To leap out and run. What kind of sick joke was this? A black feather floated down next to me. My last one. My eyes lingered on it like a mother looks at her first born child, no recollection of pain, just the overwhelming joy. I picked it up and ran it over my body and face. Pure pleasure kaleidoscoped inside me. Underneath the letter a note was attached. I turned it over in my hands recognising the substance being that of Angel Ice. I read it through again and again trying to change the meaning to no avail. Tears gathered in my eyes and spilled over blurring my vision. But between the blinks I could disconcert the words written under the name on the headstone. Realisation shot through my bloody stream. Hot. Like liquid fire. Here lies Caroline Russell... and unborn child. The note fell from my nerveless fingers. The feather a timeless symbol of what I had been, what I had become and what I would never again be.
'Where you lie is where you shall forever be bound. A place of filth and suffering. Your greatest sin is before you. Realisation shall dawn on your face before the night is nigh. Before mornings first rays shall grace your face, you shall deem the cardinal sin you have committed. An Angel of Vengeance you shall have no chance to become. But a shadow of your former being awaits you in this life.
My love. My traitor. My daughter. My Angel of Death. Your end is finally upon you.'