|Mortal Heart Volume I: Above
Author: LoveLiesBleeding2 PM
Lilith was a practical girl - she didn't believe in ghosts or in god, and she most certainly didn't believe in love. So why is her faith in that practicality being shaken by this crazy man claiming to be her guardian angel...and madly in love with her?Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Romance - Chapters: 40 - Words: 381,084 - Reviews: 481 - Favs: 286 - Follows: 96 - Updated: 03-03-13 - Published: 06-16-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2533050
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Recommended Listening: "My Immortal" by Evanescence
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
I held a little boy's hand as he died today. I felt his spirit relinquish its grip upon the shell of his body to stand beside me, so insubstantial and yet so potent.
He asked me where we were going and I told him the truth: that we were going home. He asked me if his mother could come along. He would miss her, he explained, and she him, but I had to tell him no, to which he remarked – with some chagrin – that his mother would not understand. I assured him that she would in time.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
This is not unlike the assurances I so often ladle out to ease their worries and consol their loss. Yet there are days when I wonder if I am right, do my charges understand what I am or what I do, why I do it? Do they understand that I am much more than a mere symbol of what comes to them once their mortal clocks run down?
Do they understand that I am not the heartless creature they imagine me to be? That I suffer the pain of their loved ones, when they come to me, as though it were my pain? No. How could they?
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
The Reaper, they call me. I have seen the pictures the artists scratch into life with their expensive charcoal and fancy, chromed ink pens. They see me as a monster, a cold, cruel, hungry creature wielding an iron blade with which to cut them down.
I have heard the tone with which they whisper my name, as though fearful they might call down the wrathful thing of which they speak, casting terrified looks Heavenward. It has been so since the beginning. I know. I was there.
He restoreth my soul.
My maker says to pity them. "Pity the mortals with their jaded fears and desperate need to define the undefined," she says. "They know nothing else. They feel you, the presence of that which they cannot see, and it alerts them to things they cannot comprehend. This frightens them, child. You must pity them for their inability to understand you and your element."
Though I cannot scorn them for their fears, their natural suspicion of the unknown, nor do I pity them. Envy is nowhere near pity.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.
Cold, they call me. Cruel. I am cruel because I make certain they receive something that I will never have? I am cold because I do not shed tears upon every frozen hand I touch when bidding each soul to walk with me?
Hungry they call me…and I do hunger, but not for what they seem to think I do.
I am not the monster they name me. I do not feast upon the souls I reap. No, I hunger for what mortals were gifted with since the dawning of their race.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…
Truthfully, I have come to believe that the gifts they have received from the Almighty is one beyond their comprehension. Mortals have no idea how precious their existence is. Even the churches, of every faith, with boasts of piety and truth do not think to examine their so-called sins.
So focused they are on the path, as though they are incapable of understanding that the destination is the same regardless of faith or distinction. It is horrible to witness, the wars waged in the name of ideas that make no fundamental sense and cause such devastating harm, powerless to stop it.
For thou art with me.
I have walked beneath the mantle of Death for so long that sometimes I no longer remember what it is to live. It is an endless cycle, stretching unto an eternity that I cannot help but dread. An eternity of this: offering mercy and rest to human souls who cannot appreciate it, with no peace to claim for myself.
The emptiness sinks into the white of my bones until it leadens my wings. It grounds me and my purpose with wanting that our creed would tell me is sinful. And I am tired, so very tired.
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
My kindred are a loving species by nature. We feel compassion; tenderness, sympathy, and a distinct fondness for the mortals we supervise and guide, yet these feelings are never more than that of a guardian. We serve as a guide and a helpful, comforting presence in everyday life, but there is little solace in compassion when that which I crave is so much more material.
Mortals call me hungry, and I cannot deny this. I cannot lie and claim that I do not envy the human race their freedom to know a love other than one of guardianship.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.
I am, in a rough definition of the term, immortal. I have watched countless centuries pass, hundreds of ages and eras rise and fall, begin and end. I have escorted millions upon millions of souls to their final dwelling place, dragged kicking and pleading for mercy or silent and resigned alike. But I have never once, not once in all my long existence, known the touch of love.
I do not mean the maternal care of a mother or the friendly companionship of a brother. This I have in unending quantity.
I see the affection that passes between a human who has chosen a single match, a partner, a mate in ways deeper than those of nature's simpler beasts. I have seen the things done in the name of this element that has remained so dear and yet so strange to me. And I find, when the weariness abates, that I wish I knew what it felt to know such a powerful bond.
I want to feel warmth inside this accursed heart, if it must feel at all. A warmth that will never succumb to these all-consuming shadows. I want to know what it is to be willing to give anything and everything for the sake of another being, and to know only joy in doing so. I want to feel the weight of another mind tied to me, the comfort of another body beside my own. I want to feel alive again.
Thou annointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.
And I have a confession to make. Not as some fearful Catholic schoolboy would to his priest, for no mortal shall ever hear the words "forgive me, I have sinned" fall from my tongue. My confession is to my own kind, to my brothers and sisters and to my maker herself.
I have lost myself, surrendered my purity of mind and heart to the yearnings of mortal men. I am in love with a human woman. A woman of such gentle nature that she pulls at the binding of my heart.
Whoever would have guessed I would grow to feel thus for the ward I took beneath my wing upon a whim? Certainly not I. And yet she was a small, timid light I had guarded in the darkness of a twisted world, a source of empathy from the part of me that could still feel. Perhaps it was inevitable.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
I am both delighted and ashamed to feel as I do. While this spark of adoration is clearly evidence that I am not yet lost to the good in myself, it has been long since I knew such potent emotion and I am unsure of what to do with it. I want nothing more than to care for her, know her, to give her happiness…yet she is such a cautious thing, I fear to frighten her. She is not one to listen lightly to the declarations of a stranger's heart.
All the same, I will do what I can to earn her trust. My heart is hers. Whether she will cradle it or crush it, I know not. Yet so long as I may have the pleasure of just once looking into her eyes and hearing her voice shaped for my ears, I will consider myself content.
And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.