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Author's note: i'm a senior in high school and wrote this for nanowrimo.
I awoke in the corpse of a church. My head throbbed and lights seemed to dance in front of my blue eyes. Sunlight that was shining through the gap in the roof made my cheek warm. My whole body ached like I had been run over a thousand times. Sharp pains stabbed my chest with every breath. Every single feather on my folded up wings ached badly. Without trying to move too much, I looked around a little. The whole place had clearly been abandoned for many years and was in disarray.
The pews looked as though a bird landing on them would make them crumble into dust. Speaking of dust, the substance was everywhere. Including on myself. Cobwebs were in every corner, too. The wallpaper was peeled off in large chunks. A large hole and a few smaller holes, probably caused by termites, were eaten through the floorboards. There were evident signs of small animal life. It was more than a little disgusting.
Between the pain and the smells I felt that I would be ill. My head was foggy and possibly concussed. The room around me seemed to spin around… and around… and around. The dizziness was too much and I emptied my stomach onto the floor nearby.
I could hear a thing pace back and forth from the front of the church. I could see the dust rising from the direction of the sound. The footsteps were light, the creator was definitely lightweight and small. I could see a figure towards the front of the church, around where the pastor would preach. The child sized being was clearly of human nature and made worried muttering noises. I'm pretty sure it was worried about me. How did I get here anyway? I thought to myself. With the force of a building landing on me, it rushed back to me.
I was falling through the clouds. Wind was whipping at my body and my face. It felt like needles of fire and ice were tearing me apart. The ice-cold rain pounded into my body like bullets and soaked me to my very core. I thought to myself, so this is how I die? And then I was screaming, screaming as hard as I could. I couldn't even hear my screams though. The sound of the rushing wind was too much. It sounded like it was laughing at my struggle to escape its grasp. My wings felt like they were going to be ripped from my shoulders. The wind was so powerful I couldn’t fold them up or attempt to fly and so they were just dead weights. I could swear I could hear the echo of a cold, cruel chuckle beyond the wind and I knew the origin of that. In the midst of it all I couldn’t see either. My eyes were squeezed as tight as I could make them to protect them from the laughing storm.
I felt like I had fallen forever. Suddenly, I heard, and felt, my body hit into the rained softened earth with a hard smack. I looked up at saw the night sky from where I had fallen and there wasn’t even a sign that I had fallen from up there a few seconds ago. My body was battered, broken, and bruised. The pain caused everything to feel like I was being burned alive. I fought to stay conscious but to no avail; my vision slowly faded until I was only seeing darkness. Before I passed out all the way all, could hear the swampy cicadas chirping and a possibly imagined faint squish of steps in the mud.
I sat up slowly, careful to not move my aching limbs too much. The small creature that was pacing must have been who had brought me into this building. I wanted to chuckle at this, but didn't dare in case of broken ribs, which I more than likely did have. How could such a small thing drag me all the way here? Although I could have fallen just outside the church but there was no way to be sure.
My head was still throbbing and my body hurt more than words can describe. There was a good thing about this. It meant I was still alive. This was good. Very good. This meant I could still get my revenge on the dirty scum-sucker that is the traitor that caused this tragedy onto me. More memories rushed into my mind of the moments before I fell.
In front of me stood the Council of the Arches. They were the top leaders of all the angels. I didn’t know why they had wanted to speak with me, I was merely a soldier, but I had been told it was urgent. I felt nervous and clueless. Whatever it was, I knew it wasn’t good. They rarely talked to anyone outside of the Council unless it was to report decisions that they made regarding the war against the vile demons.
“Angelus Devion Celestine. The Council has called you here today to discuss something very important,” said one of the members. He was the tallest and wore a simple silver mask, like every other member did, but his had vines of gold etched around the black holes that were his eyes.
“Yes sir?” I replied dumbly as I did a clumsy bow.
“Yes. You have been labeled as a traitor for working for the demons. A reliable source has given us proof of your wrongdoings. What say you?” he replied. His cold words hung in the air and stung my ears.
‘Me? A traitor? Never…’ I thought as I tried to collect myself from the shock. Bile felt like it was rising in my throat but I managed to choke it down.
“I have never done such a thing! I’ve spent my whole life as a soldier, why would I betray anyone?” I carefully said, fearing to make matters worse.
“Your general says otherwise. He has given us proof that you have indeed been giving information to the demons. Now why would one of our Seraphs lie? They are some of the most regarded officials and the consequences would be a thousand times more severe should they do anything as sinful as lying to the Council,” the leader spoke as if the decision had already been made before this little trial. I knew who he was speaking of… Rowan Draven. He looked a bit like me but longer hair and eyes the color of steel instead of sky. He was also the cruelest general out of all of them.
I muttered softly, “I do not know why he would do such a thing sir…” I knew there was no way out of this. It would be my word against Rowan’s and I knew who the Council would believe.
The councilor glared at me with a cold look and smirked, “well then I think the decision has been made.” As the words fell from his mouth, I was lifted by two very large guards. I didn’t even bother to fight back. I knew it was pointless and would make my punishment worse. I let my head hang low, my chin touching my chest and hair falling over my eyes. I heard the footsteps of someone else entering the room.
“Hello Angelus,” a new voice spoke. It was the general. He used his razor-edged blade to lift my chin and force me to look at him. I swallowed. My mind was racing almost as fast as my heart. If I was human I knew that it would have given out by now. “My, my, dear boy. What such trouble have you been getting into? Oh that’s right. You filthy traitor, you’ve been making deals with those warmongering demons. Isn’t that right? Oh yes. You’ve been caught,” he continued.
In my gut I knew, I knew that he was the one who was the true traitor. His cruel eyes told me the truth. I didn’t know what to do at this point. They had already made their decision; the only thing left was the sentence. I just kept quiet and tried to keep my face vacant of emotion. With Rowan’s sword digging into the flesh of my neck and the brutes holding me still there was no way to fight back or struggle. I could of course but there would be now way to escape and I would be immediately killed.
The head of the Council cleared his throat and remarked coldly, “your punishment has been decided. You are to be exiled. You may, however, keep your wings and powers. You may never return to Heaven or have any contact with your family or friends. If you do so, or if they attempt to contact you, they will also be tried as traitors and they will get your current punishment but you on the other hand… shall be thrown into the realm of Hell. Is that understood?”
I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer. My mother, Sophia, would be heartbroken to hear this news; she may have been a selfish hag but she was still my mother and knowing her she would be more upset that I disgraced her and our family. I know I was. Rowan looked enraged and drew his blade back from me and sheathed it.
“Why are you letting the traitor live? Why aren’t his wings being torn from him?” he growled.
“This is his first offence in all of his years in service. We decided it was enough to exile him from this realm for all eternity. From there he can do us no harm, even if he was working with demons. Now that he’s exiled they would most likely just kill him anyway. If you dare question our decision again you will be punished as well.” The Councilor snapped back. That really seemed to anger Rowan but he shut his mouth nonetheless.
The guards lifted me up so my feet weren’t even dragging on the marble floors below as they carried me out of the building. They took me to a building I had never been to before. It was tall and gray and resonated a dark aura. Rowan walked in front of me. No doubt to make sure I was punished. When we went inside, I was shocked at how windy it was. In the center of the stone floor there was a vast hole that seemed to suck the air out of the room. As I was pulled above it, Rowan and started to chuckle. I looked over at him and glared at him with the last of my strength. He merely smirked at my pitiful attempt to show him I knew he was the one who was truly behind this. All I could feel was the pain of betrayal. My body was numb and aching from it. And nothing had even been done to me yet. Somehow I managed to keep my face like that of a mask. I looked down at the gaping hole. I knew where it led, I had been on missions there before but I knew this would not be like those other times.
“Have a nice trip,” Rowan said, chuckling at me as he dug the tip of his sword into my back, right in between my winged shoulders. Without meaning to, I looked back at him and out the door. I could see my home from here. I could feel a warm tear drag across my cheek. I knew many things at this point; I had been betrayed, no one even tried to help me, and that I had just lost everything that ever mattered to me. And then…. He pushed me and the gales of the hole sucked me out and pulled me all the way down to the earth beneath.
Pushing those memories that seemed like a big nightmare to the back of my mind, I stood up even though it shot pain up my legs and the rest of my body. It felt as though a hundred needles were being stabbed into every pore. And that the needles were electrified till they were red with heat. It hurt. My head felt like it was splitting open. I grabbed a hold of one of the rotting pews to regain my balance and was pricked with some of the jagged splinters.
“Come out here,” I demanded of the little beast that had pulled me into the church. The small figure slowly slinked toward me in a very shy manner from around where the confessionals must have once stood. What I saw shocked me.
Looking up at me with large dark colored eyes was a small child. A little girl with dirt pancaked onto her ragged and faded pink dress. Smudges covered her cheeks and her hair was long and tangled. She definitely needed to bath and her dress was much to short. She was maybe six-years-old. The child was clearly worried and a bit scared.
“What is your name little girl?” I said softly in the kindest voice I could muster as I crouched down to her level.
“E-emily…” she mumbled quietly. She kept her eyes trained on mine but held herself in a shy manner.
“Well Emily,” I replied gently “I won’t hurt you. Ok? You see, I am an angel from heaven. Do you wish to see my wings?” Emily nodded at her eyes got wide as she looked at my back. She looked confused at first though because my wings weren’t there.
I chuckled at her confusion and explained to her that I can make my wings invisible to humans so I don’t scare them. Plus it makes it a lot easier to get in and out of doorways since when my wings are invisible they are also intangible to things like buildings and people.
It took a few seconds longer than normal, but after some concentrations my wings faded into view. Emily’s jaw dropped so low that she reminded me of a gaping fish. I watched her as she circled around me in disbelief. She slowly reached out one of her small hands and touched a single white, though dirty, feather.
“Wow…” she managed to gasp out.
“So Emily, where is your mother and father?” I said to change the subject while I had her attention.
She looked down and away from me as she replied, “Mommy and daddy left. I live here in the church now.” Sadness swept over her and her amazement and excitement from earlier left her as quickly as I had fallen. The sad look upon her face sent a pang to my heart. She reminded me much of my younger sister, before she had become a soldier like me and turned into an emotionless and relentless killing machine.
“Well Emily, I am here now. I’m Angelus… I shall be your guardian angel,” I said with a slight smile.