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Authors: Victoria Zagar

Tags: #Asexual romance, fantasy

Wings of Destruction (7 page)

BOOK: Wings of Destruction
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"I’m going to get you out of there. Hang on." Martin looked around for a weapon but saw only stalagmites rising from the floor. He pulled on one, putting all his weight into it and it snapped off in his hand, throwing him backwards. He stood up and grabbed the makeshift spear in both hands, attacking Sarah’s prison with it until cracks started to show. Finally the blue crystal yielded, shattering and letting go of its prisoner. Sarah fell into Martin’s arms, wet and coughing as if she had just been birthed from the cocoon.

"Sarah, we have to find Anael. He’ll know where God is being kept. We have to stop Gabriel and revert the world to its natural order."

"I couldn’t go along with Gabriel, Martin. Not even for my true body…" Sarah wiped the tears from her eyes angrily, composing herself quickly.

"Everything’s going to be okay. We’ll find a way to get your body back."

"We’re in Tartarus. I’m a fallen angel now." Sarah looked sadly at her black wings and shuddered as she saw her reflection in the next crystal cocoon.

"Anael has to be here somewhere. He’ll know what to do. Don’t give up hope, Sarah,” Martin soothed.

“Right." Sarah nodded, shrugging off her self-pity and taking Martin’s arm.

Martin helped Sarah to the cave exit and they continued on the long, winding path. At times the road was narrow and they had to walk single-file to avoid lava flowing beside the path. The red stone was hot in places and their feet stung as they walked. Sarah initiated conversation to keep their mind off the pain.

"Gabriel made every human soul an angel. He wants them to be part of his new world, so that he might rule them and become a god in his own right. Those who opposed him ended up here."

"We’re going to stop him, Sarah."

"It’ll all be for nothing if we can’t free God. If the natural order is disrupted, it won’t be long before Gabriel rules not only Earth, but Heaven, Hell and Tartarus as well. Angels are immortal unless they are killed by violence. Heaven and Hell will become stagnant. Nobody will be born and nobody will die. Nobody will learn from their mistakes or seek redemption. Gabriel has created a world that can only lead to self-destruction.”

"He must know that,” Martin said.

"He doesn’t believe it. He’s too arrogant." Sarah sighed, pulling the straps of her dress up over a chest that no longer filled it out. "I realized my mistake in destroying the world when he revealed his plan to me. I’m sorry, Martin. I killed Anael. His blood is on my hands. It’s my fault he’s down here."

"We’re going to find him." Martin marched forward and they checked another cave before emerging from the other side. He tried to keep the voice of despair at bay, the tiny voice that told him they might search forever and never find Anael, but he knew it might be right.

"There!" Sarah pointed ahead of them, where the rock formed a flat circle enclosed by lava. Fallen angels chanted and circled a cross where Anael was strung up, his head hanging limply on his chest. His wings were gone, shorn off by the Black Rain and left on Earth.

Martin moved to engage the demons, but Sarah pulled him back behind a rock and out of sight.

"Martin, you can’t go down there! Those fallen angels are not our allies. In time, they become demons, seeking revenge against God for their exile here. They must not know that God is imprisoned here, or they will seek Him out and destroy Him."

"So what do we do? I won’t leave Anael strung up and at their mercy."

"They can’t hurt Anael’s immortal soul. They can only inflict physical pain and torture. If we wait long enough, they will grow tired of their toy and leave him alone."

"How do you know all this?" Martin asked.

"Time runs faster in Heaven. I have been an angel for a very long time, watching Gabriel and gathering information as his rebellion grew. What was only days for you was hundreds of years for us. Time runs slower as you descend. Tartarus, lower beneath the Earth than even the human Hell we know as Gehenna, is timeless. No matter how much time you spend here, nothing will ever change above. Imprisonment here is true eternity with no chance for redemption. That’s why Gabriel imprisoned God here. If he cannot awaken, he cannot come back to smite the rebellious angels and create the world anew.”

They watched as the demons continued their satanic ritual, drawing a pentagram on the stone. A demon stepped up and pierced Anael’s side with a spear. Martin fought to hold himself back as blood gushed from Anael’s wound and he howled in pain.

"Do you love Anael?” Sarah asked out of the blue.

Martin closed his dry eyes and licked his cracked lips. He thought about the pain he had felt when Anael had melted in the act of protecting him, leaving only his wings. He thought about an eternity without Anael by his side, wanting and lonely.

"Yes, I love him." Martin’s voice was barely more than a whisper.

Sarah nodded. "Then I’ll create a diversion. Don’t worry about me. Focus on Anael. The whole future of Heaven and Earth depends on you and Anael. Find God and wake him. Restore Him to His rightful place as Creator and I will be freed." Sarah stood up, walking out from behind the rock. The demons looked at her with hungry eyes that made Martin feel sick to his stomach. The demons turned from their ritual and surrounded their new prey. Sarah blew them a kiss, her black wings twitching behind her as she led them to a nearby cave. He smirked as he heard the pained howl of a demon. Sarah could take care of herself until he freed God.

Martin hurried forward, kicking over the candles and disrupting the red dust that the demons had lain down for their ritual. He unstrung Anael from the cross, holding him in his arms and supporting him as he led Anael back to the safety of a cave. He set Anael down softly in one corner of the cave, the light from the imprisoned angels bathing Anael in a blue glow.

"Anael, listen to me." Martin stroked his cheek gently, staring into his eyes. "God is down here somewhere. Do you know where He is hidden?"

"Martin, what are you doing here?" Anael’s head lolled back, a dozen wounds bleeding from his chest and side. "You shouldn’t be here."

"Anael, this is important. Have you felt Him at all?"

"I did feel His warmth, if only for a second. I thought it was a dream..." Anael fought the pain, trying to concentrate. "Yes, I do feel Him, though His warmth is faint."

"Can you take me to Him?"

"I think so." Anael looked up at Martin’s face. "I don’t know how you got here, but I’m so happy to see you again. I never thought..."

"Sarah is holding off demons for our sake. We need to hurry.” Martin squeezed Anael’s hand, telling him in one swift motion that all his feelings were reciprocated.

Anael got to his feet, leaning against the wall as he gathered his thoughts and traced the holy aura of God. "Follow me."

Anael led Martin through a twisting maze of pathways and caves that seemed to go on forever like a giant beehive. Each cave held thousands of angels. Martin wondered how many Gabriel had sent to Tartarus for disobeying him.

"Wait." Martin pulled Anael back behind a rock as two demons passed by. Their yellow eyes spoke of evil deeds as they spoke with one another in the demonic tongue. Martin and Anael held their breath as the demons made their way into a cave and disappeared out of sight.

"God’s presence is awakening them from their tortured cocoon state." Anael leaned heavily on Martin’s shoulder. "In here."

They entered a massive blue cave where the roof was so high that it was out of sight. Set into the wall were millions of crystal cocoons, each one housing a fallen angel that would awaken as a demon once their torment was complete. In the center of the cave was a giant cocoon that glowed brighter than the others, its light giving off a white light that was so pure it hurt Martin to look at it. Martin stumbled over to it while shielding his eyes, Anael in tow.

A young boy was set into the crystal, his face innocent and sleeping. He was perfect in every way. Martin felt a sense of peace looking at the boy.

“You look upon the face of God," Anael said. "We must free Him."

Martin broke off a piece of crystal jutting out from the wall and began to attack the cocoon. Other cocoons above them started to crack and break open as they worked. Martin looked up with frightened eyes as demons started to emerge from their captivity, hungry for blood.

"I’ll hold them off," Anael said. "Free God and awaken Him. No matter what happens to me, you must free Him.”

"Anael, there are so many things I never got to tell you,” Martin said, working on God’s crystal prison with renewed strength.

"There will be time to speak of our feelings later. I have faith that we will be reunited when God is restored to His rightful place.”

The demons started to dive down from all angles. Anael fought them with his bare hands, tearing the wretched creatures wing from wing to keep them from Martin. Martin redoubled his efforts to break the cocoon with the crystal shard. Blood sprayed in every direction, and Martin felt tears roll down his face as he saw the demons overcome Anael.

“ANAEL!” Martin screamed.

 Martin broke through the crystal as the demons finished tearing Anael apart and rounded on him. He grabbed God by the shoulders, shaking him as though he was a normal human boy who was running late.

“Wake up!"

The demons were upon Martin, all over him, tearing at his body. Martin thought he had failed as they tore away his arm and the face of God remained still. He was impaled on sharp claws and lifted up, his blood dripping on the serene face of the boy beneath him.

God opened His eyes.

Chapter Eight
Awakening

The cavern was filled with a light so bright that the dying Martin was permanently blinded as his retinas burned away. He felt warmth and love wash over him along with anger. He heard the demons screech and sizzle as the righteous power burnt them away.

Martin found himself floating, his pain a distant memory. He watched God open a portal and walk through, seeing with a vision that was not from mortal eyes. His mortal body lay below him in the cave, a pool of blood flowing out from it. Martin felt sorrow wash over him as he realized he had finally succumbed to death. He had wanted it in many ways, but now he had achieved death, all he felt was a growing sense of hopelessness. He had abandoned all hope of a better life with the finality of its end. He looked at himself and saw a ghostly image of his former self, the avatar of his soul now that his body was gone.

A blue light materialized beside him and the ghostly form of Anael took his hand. Another light entered the cave, pink in nature, from which the ghostly visage of Sarah appeared. They stepped though the portal, following God’s unspoken command.

They arrived on Earth, four figures appearing behind the group of rebellious angels at the exact moment Martin and Sarah had been thrown into the portal.

Gabriel turned to greet the newcomers. The sword of light fell from his hands and impaled itself in the bloody sand as he saw God standing before him, a boy with eyes of vengeance that made Gabriel’s smug expression melt in terror.

YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME FOR THE LAST TIME, GABRIEL.

It was a scream as much as a voice, a sound felt in every bone of every being present. Many of the angels fell to their knees, sobbing and begging for forgiveness.

Anael reached for Martin’s hand. "You might want to close your eyes."

"No, I’ll watch."

God raised His hand and Gabriel exploded in a sea of blood that splattered the faces of nearby angels. The other rogue angels followed, popping like kernels of popcorn until their rebellion was quashed. Martin suspected their souls would linger in Tartarus until they chose to repent.

The trio dropped to their knees at once before God, awed and shocked by His power.

RISE.

They stood, Martin holding Anael’s shaking hand and Sarah standing with her head lowered, unable to meet the gaze of the Almighty.

YOU HAVE SAVED ALL CREATION. THE WORLD WILL BE RESET TO THE AGE BEFORE GABRIEL’S MEDDLING CAUSED THE GREAT FINANCIAL COLLAPSE.

NOW CHOOSE YOUR PATH. ANGEL OR HUMAN, DEATH OR REBIRTH. GUIDE SOULS ALONG THE PATH OR WALK THE STREETS OF THE WORLD. TO YOU I GIVE THIS CHOICE, RIGHTEOUS HUMANS.

Sarah stepped forward first. "I want to be reborn as a human." She closed her eyes. "Female, if that’s possible. Not that I didn’t appreciate the challenge of my former life, but—"

UNDERSTOOD. IT SHALL BE DONE.

Anael looked at Martin with sad, longing eyes and let go of his hand.

"You were always meant to be an angel. Regain your wings," Martin said.

"I want to be an angel again, my Lord and Master." Anael fell to one knee.

I HAVE ALWAYS APPRECIATED YOUR SERVICE, ANAEL, ANGEL OF LOVE. SPREAD YOUR WINGS ONCE AGAIN.

Bright white wings spread from Anael’s back and a glowing sword appeared in his hand. His wounds disappeared, all traces of his ordeal wiped from his body. Martin smiled to see his angel restored to his former glory. Love filled every vein in Martin’s body as he looked at Anael.

AND YOU, HUMAN. WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

All eyes turned to Martin, who looked up at God with confidence.

"I want to be with Anael. I would have followed him to Earth and I’ll gladly take his side in Heaven as an angel, on one condition—"

SPEAK YOUR CONDITION, MORTAL.

"As long as I might love him in the celibate way that I know love and spend Eternity by his side. As long as such a love is not forbidden. If I cannot love him by your rules, then I forfeit my soul. I do not want to exist without Anael."

Sarah and Anael gasped, turning to Martin.

"Martin, you do not understand what you are saying!" Anael gripped Martin’s arm.

"I know exactly what I am saying." Martin stood firm.

SUCH A LOVE IS A BLESSING. YOU SHALL HAVE YOUR WISH, MORTAL. YOU SHALL REMAIN IN HEAVEN BY ANAEL’S SIDE FOREVER AS AN ANGEL, FREE FROM THE PRESSURE OF HUMAN DESIRE THAT HAS TORMENTED YOUR LIFE.

"Thank you." Martin fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face as wings sprouted from his back. Anael drew him to his feet and they held hands as they looked down at the Earth. The world below was transformed into a magnificent place with a wave of God’s hand, with trees, rivers, parks, and cities sprouting where before there had only been bloody, blackened soil. Men and women walked the streets, heading to and from work as cars bustled by.

BOOK: Wings of Destruction
5.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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