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A horrible sound is coming from somewhere, from someone. Heavy wet breathing, like a smoker with pneumonia. It’s horrible, the sound of someone dying. I wish they would stop. I can’t sleep with that sound. I take in a deep breath, my chest hurts so bad, sharp knife like pain, and the sound gets louder. It’s then that I realize the horrible sound is coming from me.
I open my eyes since there’s no longer anything to fear. The cave is lit in the warm glow of the sun outside; cool breeze gently stirs my tangled hair. Breathing this air causes an itch deep down in my fluid filled chest. When my body can’t stand it anymore, it coughs a croppy nasty cough. The taste of iron and rust fills my mouth. I spit it out and looking down I see just what I thought it was…blood.
I don’t have long now; it won’t be long until They come. I’ve been in this cave for two weeks now. At least I think it’s been two weeks, time goes by so fast down here. I still can’t believe They haven’t found me yet. They should have found me the day after I fell. It wouldn’t have been hard, the fall crushed every bone in my chest and from the way my lungs feel, I’m pretty sure one of those bones punctured a lung maybe both. It would have been easy; I could barely crawl let alone fly. If They don’t come in a day or two, I’m going to die here then animals are going to pick away at my rotting flesh.
How did I end up here? How did this all begin? Before I was given the highest honor an Angel can receive, I was simply a Gate Keeper, letting souls into Heaven. Then I became an Guardian Angel. Not all Angels are selected to be a Guardian Angel, we don’t even know how He chooses us, but one day you’re summoned to the White Palace and he says in His thunderous voice, “Congratulations you’ve been chosen to be a Guardian Angel.” With that you’re sent to get assigned a human. Once you’re assigned, you’re sent down to Earth until your human dies. I was assigned Tamera Ralling or Tammy as her friends called her. She was only two months old when I was assigned to her. She and her family had just been in a car accident, killing everyone, but her. I stayed with her for 89 years, always in the background, invisible to her. She died like all Angels hope their humans die, peacefully in her sleep. Letting her die was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long time. It went against my Guardian nature. I had to stand in the farthest corner away from her all the while fighting the urge to interfere with His work. Those tense moments were worth it, because I got to see the real her for the first time. My last act as her Guardian Angel was taking her to the Gate.
After that I returned to my old life. It was then I realized I loved earth; that I missed it, but I couldn’t go back. Angels are only allowed one visit every 100 years and mine was used up. I thought I could wait, but I couldn’t. I was addicted to Earth and I needed my fix now.
Why? Why did I want to leave Heaven? Where everything is white, perfect and radiant. Those are the exact reasons why. Life up there is too cookie cutter, it never changes. Also Angels don’t feel emotion. Sure we laugh, cry, fight and love, but we don’t feel the emotions that go along with them. Emotions are human and we certainly aren’t human. We’re taught that from the time we’re little. The only time we can feel emotion is on Earth with humans, because the longer we are on Earth the more human we become. Earth brings us alive, surprises us, changes us.
So a human year after I returned to Heaven I broke The Rule, leaving without permission. Doing that, I didn’t have His grace which meant instead of flying down, I fell...hard. All the pain and hurt is worth it. For the second time in my life I can feel. Feel the fear of knowing They are going to come one day or another. There’s no way I’ve left under Their radar. He always knows when one of His Angels leaves. When They do find me, I will be punished. There’s no beating around the bush, no pretending I don’t know my punishment. Because I do. My punishment is death. I will be killed in His mercy. That will be His last gift to me, an unfaithful Angel.
There’s no turning back now, I’ve chosen my ending. I’m not afraid either. All I have to do is close my eyes and focus. I will find the warm buzz of all the other Angel’s minds. We’re all connected through Him, another one of His gifts.
Now lying here in the waning light, listening to the lullaby of the wind blowing through the trees I relax as much as my body allows. Soon my eye lids become too heavy to keep open, so I give in to the darkness waiting for me.
I’m awaken sometime later by a crack of lightning striking the cave, causing it to shudder. Tiny dust particles slowly drift down like leaves caught up in the autumn breeze. Another crack of lightning hits the cave, bringing pouring rain with it. It’s this second strike that lets me know this isn’t an ordinary storm, because, as the old saying goes, lighting never strikes the same place twice. It’s a Tracker storm. Trackers are the Angels sent after the fallen ones to either punish them or bring them back. They use storms to locate us fallen Angels.
They know where I’m at. They’ll be here any minute now.
In the distance I hear the wet slop of someone walking through water. Someone big from the way the water is splashing. A small shadow appears far off from the mouth of the cave, steadily getting closer. When I first woke up from the fall I thought I would readily give myself to Them when they found me, but now there’s an instinctual need to fight. Even though my body is crushed and broken, it still wants to get up and kick some butt like only a Guardian Angel can.
As I struggle to sit up the shadow is no longer a shadow but now it’s a male Angel standing in the mouth of the cave dripping wet. He’s beautiful like all Angels and just like all male Angels he’s tall, broad and built like a god. His hair and wings are a true black, with blue highlights. If he had the gift of transformation he would surly turn into a crow or raven. He would be the perfect pick for Death. His dark look, pale skin and crystal blue eyes scream Dark Angel.
“Looks like you’ve had a rough couple of weeks Natalie. I’ve made it just in time,” he sniffs at the air, “I’m surprised some hungry scavenger hasn’t come and taken you.” His voice is a deep rich baritone, it moves over me like melted caramel.
“Ya, well, there were a few of them,” I have to stop half way through to cough up more blood, “but I scared them away.”
His eyes brighten a little and his nose flares, “I’m sorry. It took me a while to convince Him.” His voice is enchanting, it sings to me, pulling me closer.
“Convince Him fo what?” I ask.
He emits a dark chuckle. “I could tell you or I could show you. Either way you can’t stop me.” He has moved closer, closer than he was before.
His humorless laugh echoes off the cave walls, “Just what I need.” He’s right next to me now, crouched down, leaning over my face.
How did he do that? He must be moving so fast that not even my advanced eye sight can detect it.
Before I can voice a protest, he captures my mouth in a sinful kiss. It sends an electric shock through my body, awakening it. Just as quickly as it began it ends. He hovers a few inches from my face, looking at me intensely. Like he’s waiting for something.
Just like he was expecting an earth shattering feeling of aloneness consumes my body. It eats at my connection to the others, ripping away their love, warmth, and comfort. Leaving me raw and aching. The place I could always find my connection is nothing but a massive black hole. Aloneness hurts so much more than falling. I want to scream and howl at the sky while beating the ground with my fist. However what I want isn’t what my body does. It is all ready hurting enough so it picks a less painful option to express my feelings.
Unsuspected tears well up in my eyes and spill over. “What did you do to me?” It’s hard to talk, because my body wants to wail.
“I had to take away His gift, so I could give you mine. Don’t cry you won’t feel this way for long.”
“I don’t want your gift!” The heavy breathing of the crying fit has stirred up a coughing one. Each cough sends pins and needles throughout my chest.
“You don’t have a choice. He has already given you to me.”
“No! He would never!”
“I’m afraid so. He doesn’t have a choice either.” He wipes my tangled hair out of my face, “See Natalie, soon there is going to be a great war on earth; between good and evil, Angels and Demons. He needs you and I to be his soldiers in this, because regular Angels can’t stay down here too long, they become more human. He needs His Dark Angels or demonized Angels to fight.”
“Yes, demonized,” he smiles, showing two long glistening fangs. “You don’t have long. It won’t hurt if you don’t fight it.” He leans down into my neck. Without a warning there’s a double sting, as his fangs bury themselves into my flesh. He drinks until tiny black dots dance in my vision. Leaning back he says, “Everything will be the same as it was before, except you crave blood and you move extremely fast.”
“kay.” For some reason I’m really sleepy now.
“You’re now one of His soldiers. I am your Maker, your Master, and your Leader. You only answer to me and me alone. You’re no longer His, you’re mine. From this point on I’m your whole world. Welcome to the Dark Angels.”
The last part seems to fade off as I fall into the dark tunnel his venom is dragging me through. I know when I crawl out of this tunnel everything well be changed, but I won’t fight it. I’ll embrace it with open arms, because I get to stay here forever.