DYING FOR AN ANGEL
Nathalia counted the rainbows as they appeared on the dew drops coating her eyelashes. Her brother Tomos swiped at clouds with extended sweeps of his wings; the Dulux white feathers contoured and shaped the delicate masses of vapour into conical swirls.
The burning fireball sat still. Surrounding blackness penetrated by flickers of orange wisps.
-It tinged the peaks of Tomos’ clouds pinky and red.
Robes shielded their bodices but no one knew why.
With an anguished yelp, Tomos fell through the sky; falling and falling, his wings obliterated, tearing apart. Debris of feathers scattered and blotted the twirling sight of his sister as he moved further away. Like a determined finger poking a rubber duck through bath water, Tomos plummeted straight and true; like a magnet attracting its polar partner.
Dumbstruck, Nathalia floated numbly; wings outstretched, multi-coloured dew drops turned subtly to tears. She was beautifully silhouetted by the distant fiery tendrils as the fireball attempted to lap at the sky; it’s reach too short, Tomos had fallen too far.
Searing wind, intense heat; the body of Tomos accelerated until it reached terminal velocity and his futile gaps of breath brought in little air. The heat was painful; it burnt his insides smoking his innards like a salmon in a wood kiln.
Reaching out, helplessly, looking towards the light; the flailing body of Tomos plunged to the Earth.
There was no crater, no sound or impact; instead somewhere, somewhere far away, a child screamed as it was birthed into the world.
Grieve stricken and overcome with despair, Nathalia soared, venting her emotion through powerful flight.
The clouds sought to restrain her, to comfort her: they tried to hold her back. Strained with distance, thinning at the exertion, the overpowering force of flight tore the clouds clean apart. With an invisible Snap! the clouds hold gave way; free from distraction, Nathalia wept into her palms.
8 billion Angels had so far fallen.
8 billion souls having needlessly perished.
8 billion of God’s faithful.
-All gone, ceasing to exist.
The Citadel of Eternity had become a sombre place, the once bustling palace now a sombre relic of its majestic former self. It had been home to bustling activities, conversations and laughter, now deserted and eerily quiet; the sculpted pillars Nathalia’s only companions. The shadowed faces of stone danced in her imagination, causing sharp spikes of anguish; she saw Tomos’ face in all.
Devout to the last, never doubting or questioning, with all that had come to pass Nathalia helplessly wondered: “Why? Why have you forsaken us my Lord, why?”
She had seen many fallen and had wept her own tears alongside distraught mothers and daughters, fathers and sons; her warmth a comforting shelter to those that sought her care. It was draining; the emotional toil at times feeling almost unbearable. Hearts have a limit, they can tolerate so much; but throughout the ordeals, the weeping and the consoling, she stayed devout. When the unjust impeded the justly; she had stayed with the grieving, willing herself, forcing to stay devout. As family and friends sadly fell from her world; she wobbled in her faith. Testament to her power she stayed true despite the ferocious battle that raged conflicting within.
“He has a plan” she would chant obsessively, “His actions carry a meaning…” – pah! Who was she fooling?
As a young Angel Nathalia was too young to see the Creating, though she often played near The Source relishing in its warmth. The light emitted was different to that of her realm, it had a vivid plethora of colours that outmatched the purity of divine light, so she thought. It was enchanting and beautiful and filled her soul with meaning.
Days had been cruel since then.
Today; today had been especially cruel and Nathalia needed answers, reassurances; understanding and a feeling of worth.
Legend foretold that one had fallen.
Cryptic teases left stamped by time of what had once been.
Time foretold Legends.
-It was the Legends that were falling.
The thousand step staircase that led to the belfry was ancient yet pristine. No dust under hers toes, Nathalia’s delicate footsteps autonomously climbed, her wings drawn in, embracing her tightly.
Rose lips trembling, muttering gibberish; words lost through despair, the ghosts of meaning divulging nothing; they kept her secrets secret.
She had never been one to question or rebel, always innocent and loving, empathetic and honest. Stout and devoted; yet here she was: climbing the tower where for millennia her Father, the Father of all, sat guarding the world as she thought all Fathers did.
Spiralling up, climbing ever higher, heart beat increasing as the reality of her audacious actions became an assertive gnaw on her nerves.
The temporal chamber door neared.
The door that was made out of everything was within sight of her sore eyes.
-She doubted, hesitated.
Nathalia nervously tidied her long dark hair with quivering hands, fingers acting as a makeshift comb absentmindedly pat her simple white robes, smoothing them down her breasts and torso; the repetitious actions doing little to diminish her anxiety. The trembling had invaded her respiratory system. Black dots danced around her periphery vision; she thought she was going to faint.
Her feet kept climbing.
Tentatively reaching for the door, expecting it to be locked, it swung gently open on invisible hinges.
The room was dim, devoid of wondrous auras. Brilliant white cosmic light; where had it gone?
Stepping forth unto the room a sinister fear engulfed Nathalia, a primeval fear that screamed in her bones, rang blasphemous in her ears and throttled at her throat: He’s not here- GET OUT! A voice in her called out.
Panic cascaded throughout her entire being, tremors a fever that nourished on her shivers, a sense of a debilitating dread that could not go unnoticed. Paralyzed cortex, synapsis firing blankly; senses she yearned to rely on became hindered by the hurt.
Eyes widening unnaturally, pupils dilated to circumferences like her nans favourite saucers; she stared into the monster.
Realising her fate just as the floor beneath her vanished…hurtling down she went;
She fell before she could stop him;
-that Devil in the belfry.
Atop a tall shiny building lit up like a tree, nestled deep within a metal forest, layered concrete slabs supported Mateus as he stood unprotected to the elements on a rooftop; he was looking up to the Heavens; again.
A plethora of specks mesmerized him through a gap in the thinly veiled clouds, so many of them, impossible to count. So how did he know that there were two hundred and twenty two hundred billion trillion of them in the patch of space his thumb covered with an outstretched arm?
Not a guess: he knew.
Mateus frequently ascended these manmade structures; not to get away from the overcrowding, the diseases, the famine and the despair that savaged civilization below: he felt drawn to the skies, an urge in him he often obliged.
A contrasting streak soared through the black night sky, illuminating its own manifestation to those that cared a passing gaze: a shooting star!
Mateus had seen many of these. Eleven through his current blue eyes, countless many more throughout his uncountable forever’s.
The blue prints of Creation tell us, amongst other insightful details:
Each ray of light has a source.
Every source has a birthplace.
All birthplaces are bathed in cosmic light.
-So why are the lights dying?
Mateus knelt on his knees, precariously near the edge of the rooftop where the cool breeze extenuated its presence. He wanted to pray; optimistically to the God he hoped was listening.
He always listens; at least that’s what was preached, down there; down there among the desolate, the crestfallen and the dispirited. He hears all and see’s all; so why are they suffering?
Mateus found himself spending more energy these Godforsaken days fighting these corrupted thoughts than anything else. They stirred his emotions, questioned his faith; his faith was his everything, this worried him to the core. He felt as though he was losing his mind; the sin a taunting bosom.
The prayer he chanted was always the same. It helped to re-affirm. A prayer that’s not a prayer, he had long forgotten where it came from; if it indeed came from anywhere other than his tortured, playful mind.
Day and night, time after time; despite repeated exposures the words never faltered. Only the tone of Mateus’ breaking voice, unsteady in pitch, cracking and collapsing, gave a clue to his state when he dictated at the skies. He felt a lifetime worth of prayers mocking him, burdening him; making him a fool; he hated these feelings, they stole away his impetus.
Still he prayed.
In vain he still prayed:
Imbedded in all evil, there is shocking blight.
A flaw that causes weakness, an affliction in chaliced hearts.
In all evil there resides this infection, an evil truly corrupted;
a blemish, a blot, a ghastly scar in its impurity.
Repent; for no evil can root with such an affliction.
A safeguard in place, a crack to manipulate;
Cunning, the Lord God our saviour;
He gave evil his full might.
-Another shooting star; that’s two in two minutes?
Rising to his feet precariously on the precipice of the tower, he hoped his prayer had been transported, delivered to his God; he had clenched his eyes shut tight, blind faith willing for it to be received.
Breathing in one last taste of the chilled fresh air, Mateus Temporal shifted; phasing from the solitude of the open rooftop to the bustling base of the sky scraper where pedestrians stampeded their way unceremoniously through one another.
The air down here was heavier, ranker; used.
Sirens blazed from roads behind; first world problems running amuck.
A shot in the dark momentarily stunned the masses to a peaceful hush, fractionally, as self-preservation began to take hold.
Another shot was fired; piercingly loud it intrudingly demanded the crowds’ silent, un-abided attention.
They screamed and ran disobeying in blind panic as preservation took hold.
An MK held aloft in each hand, ammunition strewn across shoulders and waist, a wanderer strolled delighted down the quickly deserting street. Satisfaction etched on hollowed cheeks, long tangled hair knotted with grime hung heavy to a scalp, weathered and lined.
Mateus examined the shooters soul: It had once held beauty. It was once innocent and pure, now its state lay warped; vile, putrid and decayed. All hope was lost, the darkness too engulfing; its light had long departed; the switch had been turned off.
Dejected; a strange emotion, an even stranger feeling; weighed abstractedly on Mateus. Overwhelmed with melancholy he stood unmoving, as the crowd rushed past him, all elbows and bags.
The metal penetrated easily, the flesh a flawed malleable safeguard. The wound began to weep; scarlet tears flowing fast, a sticky down pour of pain brought a shielding hand to dam the hole.
Brought down to one knee, Mateus held onto his chest, the wound a savage blow debilitating and fatal.
No repentance in the assailant’s eyes, no snicker or a smile. No emotion worth noting, no sorry or goodbye.
Fallen, lying spent on the curb, Mateus’ hazy eyes witnessed the massacre; a horrific blood bath that chilled, horrified and disturbed, turning his empty stomach to sickening mush of bile.
His passing wasn’t easy as his heart began to cry.
Heaven seemed empty, not a soul in sight.
Mateus wandered lonely, no cherubs in the sky.
The ruins of timeless structures desecrated rubble on the floor, dust a coy coating, clinging to no wall.
A shadow emerged and engulfed him, careful not to touch, as the sooty shroud mocked him it sadistically laughed:
“The Angels have it so easy; until the day they die…”
In the beginning there was nothing indiscernible, nothing to captivate imaginations or write of in books.
A genie in a bottle, a whisper in the void, vastness from the bottle, uncorked and let out: The Universe of God was let lose to scatter about.
Scale developed a meaning, a weight and a promise, expanding fields of magic spread far and wide. Clusters of mutually attracted anomalies drifted and roamed; divine creation occurring.
Seven days later:
The Universe was brimming; set alight with wild conjuring it was hatching endless life. With vistas washing existence, igniting countless stars, it soon became apparent that there was…something…not quite… right.
As the shroud untangled, passing like a mist, Mateus found himself inhabiting an all too familiar chamber:
The Room of Life; where that bottle was once opened –a mystery so mysterious it was surrounded by a cryptic enigma.
Prowling the room feeling uncertain, cautiously gazing, actively keeping from focusing on the reflective translucent membranes that encased the whole room in a pocket, protecting it from Time; Mateus sought his captor.
Movement flickered quickly, turning Mateus clean around.
In the gentle coloured membrane a faint resemblance blinked by, registering something, something on his inner mind’s eye. “Who are you? Show yourself to be true!” demanded Mateus, adopting a defensive stance.
The membrane coating the room subtly pulsed extraordinarily as the Universe glided by outside.
A voice in the room answered freely, “You know who I am; why I’m rather fond of- you!”
Staring into the membranes colourful surface Mateus swallowed anxious breathes as he examined his captors face. Eyes fixing on minuscule detail; he began to see his own. A cold unnatural sweat erupted on his surface, pinpricking, chilling his neck and spine; the devil slipped from within him, transit moistened from trembling lips.
The face foretold a story; neither knew to be a lie. A truth an honest fable that haunted endlessly; forever a speechless truth:
“I’m the reflection in the mirror, your little white lie…”
Mateus froze in fear-
The Devil continued calmly, “I’m the beast that hunts so freely as you turn away your guise.”
Collapsing in a nova, sinking into an abyss; the heart and soul of Mateus realised the truth as the Devil stated softly:
“I’m in you and you made all, how does that make you feel? You opened the closed door; a masquerade for all.”
Mathew Deane lives with crazy imaginings inside his head; he tried to paint them out, and for a time that worked, now he endeavors to write them down and give an external life to the internal visions that keep him entertained.
Having recently started writing as a reaction to stigmas attached to Dyslexia; Mathew feels that society often perceives dyslexic people to be incapable of acts synonymous with non-dyslexic people; this simply isn’t true.
Mathew enjoys thinking, imagining and tries his best to express the stories within him through varying mediums; he loves to write and enjoys the release of making physical an abstract, lonely part of his inner self.
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