InOut

March 19, 2010
By
The boy appeared at the door of the cabin, looking lost and confused. He had pale skin and dirty blonde hair, but I couldn't tell if it was really dirt in it or all natural. His feet were grimy, as though he'd been walking for days. He wore green baggy sweatpants and a plain white T-shirt, both were torn and dirty. But what struck me the most were his eyes; the irises were gold, pure gold, just like mine.

"Nemamiah..." the boy whispered, before collapsing forward. I caught him gently against my chest and carried him inside. After laying him on the couch, I went into my bedroom to grab some spare blankets I had. When I tucked him in, I moved to the kitchen to put on a kettle of tea.

I've got so many questions to ask him. How did he know my name? Where did he come from? Why does he have the same eyes as me? Who is he? I glanced over at his sleeping form. Each breath was shallow, as though it hurt him to breath. That could be a while. I sat down across from him on the recliner and observed the sleeping boy. What's going on?


I was startled awake by a loud whistling. My eyes snapped open and the first thing I noticed was that the golden-eyed boy was missing from the couch. Lifting my head, I could see he was in the kitchen pouring the steaming kettle pot over two cups on the kitchen table.

"What are you doing?" I asked. I must have startled him because he jerked the kettle, sloshing scalding tea on the floor.

"Oh, I-I'm sorry. I just saw you sleeping so I thought maybe I should..." He looked down as he spoke and noticed the darkening stain developing. "Oh, I'm really sorry. I'll clean that up." The boy frantically searched the kitchen for paper towels or a rag to clean up the mess. By now I was already in the kitchen. I smoothly took the kettle from him, set it on the table, and placed my hands on his shoulders.

"Calm down, it's fine. Just sit down and I'll take care of it," I said. He looked at me apprehensively before finally sitting in a chair. I opened a cabinet and pulled out a roll of paper towels. They had puppy prints on them. I began to wipe up the spilled tea.

"Th-thank you," the boy said quietly.

"For what?"

"For taking care of me."

"It was nothing. Don't worry about it." I threw away the sopping towels sat down on the other side of the table, so I could properly look at him. I could tell now that he hasn't eaten to well in a while. He was paper thin and his skin had a ghostly pallor. A few minutes passed while we sized each other up. Finally, I broke the silence.

"Why are you up here all by yourself?"

"I was running." Instantly, his entire demeanor changed. He shrunk down into his seat, almost like he was trying to hide. A strange sense of dread washed over me.

"Running from what?"

"Hum-" The boy was interrupted by a loud bang on the front door. We both jumped and he let out a small whimper. "Oh, no. They're here," he whispered.

"Who's here?" I got up from the table and quietly walked to the large front window. I could see numerous silhouettes moving through the curtains, lit by the waning sunlight.

"No, no, no, please don't go any closer. Please," the boy cried. Tears began falling down his cheeks. I glanced back at him; his eyes were pleading with me.

"Alright, I won't." I slowly worked my way back to the kitchen table; something in me warned me to be as silent as possible.

All of a sudden, a loud earsplitting screech sounded from the other side of the door. Whatever was out there began beating on the door and the window. The boy couldn't hold it in any longer. He began to scream and cry loudly and the beating and screeching became more fervent. I knew then that we needed to get out of the cabin.

"Who are you? What's out there?" I demanded from the boy. Unexpectedly, he stopped crying and stood up. He seemed taller now, just a few inches shorter than me, and his skin seemed to almost glow.

"My name is Cassiel, the Angel of Temperance, of solitude and tears. Right outside your door are humans, who want to use my powers for their own sake, and yours as well." He was definitely growing now, standing a full head taller than me. He became impossible hard to look at.

"What do you mean, 'yours as well'," I shouted over the growing din of beating and wailing, "What are you?"

"I am an Angel, as are you brother." I managed to see through the dazzling light and saw that he had now sprouted wings. Suddenly, there was this strange sense of relief, as though a great weight was removed from my shoulders. I began remembering things, things I didn't know even existed: a golden palace surrounded by white fluff, golden seraphs flying all around, a long table in a great hall filled with food. But then they turned into nightmares: horns blaring and many screams, fighting, brute monsters storming the golden citadel, nets that burned to the touch, then darkness.

"Wha-what was that?" I asked. My knees were going weak and I felt faint.

"No time brother. Transform, I need you now. I am no fighter, but you are. Transform, brother." He sounded urgent.

Transform? Transform into what? I was dazed, my legs were shaking and my head was pounding.

"Release yourself, brother!" Cassiel shouted but his words were drowned out by the front door slamming in. Dark forms hustled into the small cabin.

They looked about my size. They had hair like me, noses and lips, ears and eyes, two arms and two legs attached to a torso. But they were sinister looking. Their skin was transparent-like, their teeth were rotted and most were missing. Their eyes were all bloodshot, sunken in as if they haven't seen daylight in weeks. A horrible stench, similar to death and decay, oozed off them. There was about twenty of them and they each were holding various weapons: a bat with nails driven through, a sledgehammer, and crowbars. And they were all staring at Cassiel.

"Brother! Help me!" Cassiel cried. His voice seemed to have broken them out of their daze for they all began growling and making other odd noises, like wolves that just scented their next kill. Then they all leaped.

There was a heart rendering wail, it made me want to cry and vomit. Cassiel was crying out for me, imploring that I do something, as the humans beat their weapons onto his body. His glow began to fade, the color leaving his golden eyes and wings.

"Brother...help me...they want my power...for themselves...don't let them get it," Cassiel said, and although voice was fading with each word, I could still hear the pain he was suffering. "Nemamiah..."

The moment he said my name, something clicked. I knew who I was. I was Nemamiah, the Angel of Just Causes, protector and defender of the defenseless. With that realization came the power. I could feel it coursing through my veins, like liquid fire. There was an itching sensation as wings grew from my back. I knew that if I wanted fire to erupt from my feet, it would. I looked at my fallen brother, his attackers beating him mercilessly.

"You shall pay for the heinous crime you have committed here." There was power in my voice; I didn't know where the words were coming from. "Perish now; go to Hell, where you belong." I waved my hand, as though I had done it many times before, and the humans around Cassiel burst into flames. They howled until they were nothing but piles of ash. I knelt by Cassiel and lifted him off the ground. He weighed no more than a feather.

"Heal, Cassiel, heal and be free from these scars." I gently blew upon the fallen angel in my arms. A golden light enveloped him and just as soon, vanished. In my arms was a healthy, smiling young boy.

"Thank you, Nemamiah. I knew you could do it." I set him down gently. When we both stood back up, I was a whole chest taller than him.

"But how did you know?"

"I had faith in you. It also helps that I broke the curse set upon you by the humans."

"How come they were after you?"

"I'm an Archangel, very powerful. They wanted to capture my power and use it for themselves."

"Why didn't you get rid of them yourself?"

"I'm not a fighter. I can do no harm, whereas you can, O'Mighty Defender."

"Then maybe you should stay with me from now on." I was hoping he would say yes. I wanted to learn more about this Angel business.

"Alas, I'm sorry to have to decline. I am needed elsewhere."

"But you said you can't defend yourself. What if they come back?" I was nervous for my newfound brother.

"You'll always be here. I know I'm safe." A large grin was plastered on his face.

"That's not good enough!" I shouted and his smile slipped from his face. I don't know why, but I was becoming angry that he wasn't taking his safety seriously. "I need to know that you'll always be safe."

"Nemamiah, calm down. I will be fine." There was a note of finality in his voice and he turned to leave. "Thank you again, Nemamiah."

"You won't ever have to thank me, not after this!" I yelled as an orb a blue light zoomed toward him. There was a flash and a bang, and when I regained enough of my eyesight, I saw him standing in a cage.

"What have you done, Nemamiah?" Cassiel asked, horrified.

"See here, brother. If you're trapped in there, I'll never have to worry about you getting into danger again because I'll always be right here to guard you," I said, releasing a maniacal laugh.

"Let me go, Nemamiah. This is absurd."

"NO! You're going to be locked away, where no one can reach you. Don't you see? You'll never be hurt again," I said. I quickly snapped my fingers and Cassiel began fading away.

"Brother, don't do this!" Cassiel cried, one final plea, before he was completely gone. I smiled lightly to myself and turned toward the open door.

Thank you, brother, for releasing me from that curse. And with you locked away, no one can harm you again. You'll stay locked up until I purge this world of evil.





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