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Authors: Victoria Zagar

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Wings of Destruction

BOOK: Wings of Destruction
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Book Details

Dedication

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Epilogue

About the Author

Wings of Destruction
Victoria Zagar

Society has collapsed, driven to madness after a great economic crash. Gangs roam the streets, taking any man, woman or child without a Mate for their own.

Martin is on the brink of despair, an asexual man who cannot keep a Mate. Facing a life he cannot bear, he heads to Spire Rock to end it. But when he reaches it, he encounters Anael, an angel sent to assess the world for destruction—and the first to accept Martin exactly as he is.

Teaming up with former gang concubine Sarah, they journey to the Tower of Elysius to end the world. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and some angels have plans of their own...

Book Details

Wings of Destruction

By Victoria Zagar

Published by Less Than Three Press LLC

All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission of the publisher, except for the purpose of reviews.

Edited by Jasmine Ang and Michelle Kelley

Cover designed by London Burden

This book is a work of fiction and all names, characters, places, and incidents are fictional or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, places, or events is coincidental.

First Edition October 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Victoria Zagar

Printed in the United States of America

Digital ISBN 9781620044414

 

 

 

 

To Jason,

for believing in me (and for the chocolate cake)

Chapter One
Falling

Anael stood at the highest point of Spire Rock, looking out over the destitute city of Ragnor. Since enduring total economic collapse, the world had shrugged off the chains of civilization and reverted to a life of savagery and poverty. Ragnor, once one of the great cities of the U.S. Northeast, now stood as a shadow of what it once had been. Grey skies dropped heavy rain over the skeletal frames of former skyscrapers. Landmarks stood in ruins, savaged by time and neglect. The rusty relics of former vehicles dotted broken and crumbling streets where nature was attempting to reclaim the urban sprawl from mankind’s abuse.

Anael flexed his brilliant white wings as he took in the ravaged world before him. Archangel Gabriel had sent him on a mission to Earth to decide if it was time to purge the world and start anew. In short, if it was time to unleash the Apocalypse and deliver the humans from their misery, as they had done with the dinosaurs billions of years ago. Back then, a meteor had thrown up dust that turned the skies black and blotted out the sun until all life was gone, but Man would require a more thorough cleansing. Their cities sprawled like a cancer on the world and nothing short of the Black Rain melting the humans and all their cities away would end the stubborn cycle of human life.

Anael had never visited Earth. He had looked down upon the suffering from Heaven with the cold emotional detachment that all angels had, but actually being on the ground was different. The feeling of long grass brushing against his legs and the tickle of ants crawling across his bare feet made him sorry that the world had come to this. He was sure that Gabriel had already made his decision on the fate of the humans, and that whatever Anael said would only be a final confirmation and affirmation of what he had to do. Even angels needed to be validated sometimes. With God slumbering on the Sabbath—one day in Heaven that spanned a thousand years in Earth time—it all fell on their shoulders to make the right choices about the future of this small planet that He had once taken an interest in.

*~*~*

Martin Farrow sat on a battered mattress inside the shell of an old house he had made his own. The rain steadily dripped into a bucket that sat in the corner. Martin listened to the rhythmic sound, his head in his hands. Strands of brown hair hung down too long, in desperate need of a cut. Bloodshot, blue eyes saw the world through his fingers and he closed them, eager to shut out the world. His mate had left. It was another relationship that he thought could work, but was ultimately doomed by who and what he was. Certainly, every man he had been with had claimed he could live without sex, but when it truly came down to it, it was impossible for a sexual being to live without physical relations. It always ended the same way, with recriminations and blame.

Martin ached with a deep exhaustion, the kind that could not be washed away with sleep. It was the fatigue of a man who had tried too hard for too long. He knew he could not go on beating his head against the wall. Martin wanted out of the miserable existence that was his life. He was tired of being asexual in a deeply animalistic and sexual world.

He’d thought about suicide on many occasions. Back in the Old World, folks had driven into the garage and left the engine of their vehicle running until they fell asleep forever, but such a neat and tidy death was not an option in Ragnor. In this new world, death was painful and came with prolonged suffering. There was the torment of thirst and starvation, and the agony of illnesses that lingered without basic medical care. There were murders that went unchecked without a police force to investigate and hate crimes that seemed to be just a way of life. It wouldn’t take much for Martin to goad a gang into violence against him if he wanted to take that route, but his death would be far from painless. Gangs had been known to torture and rape their victims before they killed them. Worse, he could become owned, a slave kept for the purpose of mating with the gang members.

So that left self-harm as a means to an end. Laying out his options, it seemed death by slitting his own wrists or jumping from a tall place were the best two options. Martin wasn’t a big fan of blood or the thought of dying alone in fear, so that left jumping. There were places in the city, tall bridges and broken skyscrapers, but it was Spire Rock that sprang to mind. It had been a popular suicide spot in the Old World as well, a pretty place where one could see a little of nature’s beauty before leaving a cruel world behind.

Martin set out on his final journey before he could let his resolve waver. It was a four-hour walk from his house to Spire Rock, but he moved easily without the encumbrance of belongings. The rain was cool on his skin and it soaked his clothes in a matter of minutes. He no longer had to worry about getting sick. He had made his peace with the hungry roar of his belly and the ache in his joints that marked his getting older. Thirty-five cruel years had passed him by with the urgency of a snail crossing the yard. He wondered if there would be some kind of afterlife, a God to question his actions in life and the manner of his death.

Martin started to traipse up the hill that led to Spire Rock. For a rock, it was the greenest place in Ragnor. Scattered trees overlooked the grassy hillside. Spire Hill might have been a better name, but the reasoning of the Old World was a long time past. Mud and grass covered his feet, causing Martin to reach down and roll up his tattered jeans to the knees. The feeling of mud squelching between his toes was unpleasant, but he comforted himself with the thought that it would all be over soon.

Martin reached the top of Spire Rock and looked out over Ragnor. The view took his breath away, even if Ragnor was ugly and it was raining heavily. In the Old World, the view would have made good art, the nightmarish visions of a tortured soul who saw a dark, dystopian future. They would have been right. Ragnor was as close to Hell as the world could get, as far as Martin was concerned.

Martin made the mistake of looking down from the edge of Spire Rock and vertigo made him take a step back. Tears stung at the back of his eyes as he contemplated the end of his life, the dizzying fall that would dash his brains out on the rocks. It had to be better than life in Ragnor.

Martin stood at the edge for a while, convincing himself that death was for the best. He thought of the darkest moments of his life, the few months twenty-or-so years ago he had spent as a sex slave, raped by filthy men and kept in the darkness. The nightmares of that time still kept him awake to stare at the peeling paint on the ceiling. Death would give him relief from that torment. Quiet oblivion would replace his tortured existence.

He took a step forward. The edge of the rain-washed stone crumbled beneath his toes, tiny rocks falling into the abyss below him. The valley would take the offering of his body, and his bones would remain with those of others who had taken this route, sitting forever as a vigil to a broken world.

Martin jumped.

*~*~*

Taken off-guard, Anael raced forward out of the trees to grab Martin’s hand, but missed it. Without even thinking of his mission, he jumped over the cliff’s edge and forced himself into a dive until he fell faster than the man. He caught him and unfurled his wings, pulling them both clear of the blunt rocks that threatened to snap their spines. He flew back up to the cliff-top and gently placed Martin down on the soft grass.

Anael had watched Martin walk through the tall grass. He was disheveled and soaked through to the bone. His brown hair had stuck to his face and he’d looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few days. A tormented expression and the rings around his sad, blue eyes had made him look older than he actually was. Martin had walked to the edge of the cliff and looked off, stepping back suddenly with an involuntary noise that sounded like fear. He’d lingered at the edge, lost in indecision. Anael had realized with horror that Martin was contemplating suicide.

Anael had thought about stepping out from cover, but what would he have said? "Hey, I’m an angel, don’t kill yourself?" Why had this one life’s fate seemed to spark emotions in him that this wretched species’ destruction did not? All men were destined to die in the end, after all, whether it be by the Black Rain or the sad truth of their short biological lifespan. It was illogical to care about or change the fate of one man. It would put his whole mission at risk.

Martin finally seemed to come to a resolution about his fate and had stood at the edge, looking up at the sky as if hoping for a message from God. Anael had decided to deliver that message, loud and clear. He’d stepped forward and saved Martin from death.

Martin opened his eyes. His mouth fell open in shock as he saw the angel holding him in his arms. His lips moved as if to speak, but no sound came out. Tears flowed down his cheeks unbidden and he reached for words that wouldn’t come out. His lips moved soundlessly as he thought through his situation.

"Am I dead?" Martin’s voice came forth breathless and hoarse. "I must be dead. Angels don’t exist. Funny, I thought it would hurt."

"You’re not dead,” Anael soothed.

Anael stood up and Martin could see he was tall, muscular, and buck-naked. Not that there was much to see. Where his genitals might have been had he been human, there was simply a smooth patch of skin. There were definitely no female parts, either. The angel had no sexual organs whatsoever. Long, white hair flowed down to his waist and his eyes were a vibrant purple. Great white wings stretched out from his back, as tall as the angel himself. He was magnificent and otherworldly, entrancing and oddly beautiful.

"What on Earth is going on?" Martin sat up sharply, trying to process his situation. "Who are you?"

"My name is Anael. I am an angel who has descended from Heaven for a special mission. I cannot allow you to die. I need your assistance."

"You need my help?" Martin wiped away the tears from his face. "How could I possibly help you?"

"I need your help to destroy this world." Anael spoke without emotion in his tone. Martin’s mouth simply dropped open in surprise. His words died on his lips and the involuntary sound he uttered was carried away on the wind.

Chapter Two
A Mission From Above

"Destroy this world?" Martin backed up, edging closer to the brink of Spire Rock. Small stones crumbled beneath his feet, falling into the abyss below. "I thought angels were supposed to protect us.” He wiped wet hair out of his eyes and tried to still his shaking hands.

Anael grabbed Martin’s hand before he could stumble over the edge. He pulled Martin back onto solid ground. "We have failed in our mission. The people of this wretched world are no longer open to our existence or influence. There is no other recourse we can take."

Martin stood up on shaky legs and looked out at Ragnor. He was shivering, the cold biting into him in a way he hadn’t noticed before. The will to die had left him in the face of the angel’s revelation that the world was going to end.

"It is Hell here. But still—"

"You bear an attachment to this place?” Anael asked.

BOOK: Wings of Destruction
2.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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