Author: greedmammon PM
Ten angels and ten demons fell from Heaven after the War between Lucifer and God. Now, Cole and Andrea find they are the only ones who can save the world from Hell's evils.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Spiritual - Chapters: 3 - Words: 14,465 - Updated: 02-09-12 - Published: 11-27-11 - id: 2974433
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As I walk through the reds, oranges, and browns of the park in the throes of autumn, a harsh breeze whips by me, sending a chill down my spine. Underfoot, dead leaves crack and break. I'm all alone. The pathway I'm on is lined with benches, and off to the side, I can see the bright plastic colors of a playground.
I know this place, but I can't remember where it is. It certainly isn't anywhere near Bastion, California. Although the town is very sleepy, its park is always full of screaming children and strolling couples.
The wind picks up again, pushing my short brown hair around. As it drops down again, I enter a small forest. The trail dwindles away into nothing, and branches start to hit my face. I duck below them and pick up the pace. The forest is eerily quiet, no crickets or cicadas. Usually I wouldn't complain, but something's off.
Now I am ducking and weaving around trees and their outstretched arms. The scenery starts to rush by. I'm going impossibly fast. My heart pounds and a branch hits my face. I wince and press on through the trees.
The branches keep coming, now impossible to dodge. They attack me, trying to dissuade me from whatever lies ahead. I push on persistently. No, now I'm being forced to keep going. Now the branches have formed a wall, tightly packed to keep me out back. I push through with all my might. It's close for a few seconds, but I manage to burst through the wall, branches falling away behind me.
I'm in a clearing that seems to have avoided the autumn coloring. Brilliant greens assault me from each corner. No leaves litter this place, only bright green grass, reaching straight up for the sky. In the center is a solid silver cage, made of swirling lines that don't seem to have a beginning or an end. Inside of the cage is a figure, obscured from me by a dirty white sheet.
I step forward, crunching the grass underneath my feet. The wind rustles the grass. As I approach the cage, the creature stirs restlessly, moving this way and that. I put my hand on the bars of the cage, and the creature rises. The sheet falls away, revealing a man with short black hair and bronzed skin. His face is turned away from me, but this provides me with a better view of the white wings sprouting from his back.
Slowly, the angel (for what else could it be) turns around. I strive eagerly for a glimpse of its face, sure to be handsome and pure.
But horror replaces my eagerness. I let out a scream and stumble backwards, away from the cage. The creature has no face, only two sickening holes for its eyes and another for its lipless mouth, and long scars wrapping around its face. Blood oozes from all of the disfigurements.
The creature lets out a scream and swings its arm at the cage. The silver shatters easily and the creature bounces out. I turn to run, but the creature barrels into me and I fall. I look up at the creature's horrifying features as it stares back at me. It raises one hand, which elongates grotesquely, and flexes its arm, showing its yellow nails. It lets out another cry, and then strikes with its hand. I scream before it all fades to black
I sit up in bed, sweating and breathing heavily. Morning light filters in through the blinds covering my window. My alarm clock sounds off, and I scramble out of bed to shut off its incessant whine. The terrible dream is already slipping away from me.
Another day... I hope the bad feeling in my chest is just first day of school nervousness. Even though I'm already a sophomore, so I even know my way around school. Nothing bad can happen. Except for the whole school part.
"Cloe!" Andrea's squeal resonates in the hallway. She throws her arms around me and laughs. "I…missed…YOU!"
"Not breathing…" I gasp out and she smacks me and releases me.
"I apologize for needing to breath. And for the last time, my name isn't Cloe! Can't you say Cole?" She laughs and sticks out her tongue. I sigh," So how was your summer?" I ask as we proceed down the already crowded hallway.
"Ugh. It was boring as all get out. I had to visit my great grandmother."
"That doesn't sound so bad."
"She has fifteen cats and lives in the center of the United States because of 'its karma."
"Never mind." I laugh as I find my locker, which is painted a hideous yellow color. "How's Mark?" Mark's her awful jock boyfriend. He hates me, which no one, not even Andrea, knows the reason why. Personally, I think it's because he's afraid Andrea will fall in love with me. Anyone who has ever seen us around each other, however, knows that it will happen after pigs willingly become bacon. Or after they fly. Whichever happens first. Personally, I think it's because I wouldn't be his twin for Twin Day back in the sixth grade.
"He's fine! We went out a couple times. He tried out for varsity and he's pretty sure he made it, so I gotta go to all his games and cheer him on, and –"
"Andrea, I don't want his life story." Andrea sticks out her tongue at me and flounces away in a huff. I sigh, and twirl the combination into the lock. As it swings open, I get rid of all the binders, notebooks, and other such school supplies that I don't need until lunch. I pull my schedule out of my pocket. My first class is… Reynolds, room 18.
As I set off down the hallway, a wave of nausea passes over me. My vision violently tilts to the side and my stomach rises. This happens every so often, like once a year, so I'm pretty used to them by now. Except for the time that accidently punched Kaitlyn Rhiner in the nose. But that was pretty awesome. She really deserved it.
The world slowly falls back into normal position. I shake my head slowly and head off to class. Then, I hear a beautiful song. It's high and lilting and really sad. It sounds like a river trickling through the woods, but at the same time, it's like a lament for a lost love. I have plenty of time before the late bell, so I try to find the singer.
The first place I look is the auditorium. Maybe the choir teacher, whose name I've never learned, is holding auditions for the advanced choir a bit early. As I step into the dimly lit room, the volume of the song increases. In the center of the stage is a girl with a spotlight on her. All I can tell from the other side of the room is that she has short black hair. I have no idea who she is. This must be her first year.
All of a sudden, her song comes to a stop as she sees me. She lets out a sharp gasp of surprise and runs off the stage, dashing down the steps off the stage and out a door.
"Wait!" I call out as I start to chase after her. Is it so wrong to have an awesome talent? She was really good. However, there's something about her that is just kinda… off. So I'm nosy. I don't wanna hear it.
I go out the door just in time to see the girl ducking through the door to the school garden. They probably thought it was a good idea to give us a nature shock. Unfortunately, no one ever has the time to go out there unless they're skipping.
The garden is filled with bright reds, yellows, and browns of autumn. It's well maintained, by a janitor who everyone calls Steve, cause no one knows his real name. He doesn't talk much. Anyways, the trees line the walls and various plants are in neat, orderly rows. Several benches sit in various places around the open area. The girl is sitting on a bench on the far side, head in her hands.
"Are you okay?" I call out to the girl. She doesn't respond, but her shoulders start heaving. Great, now she's crying. "Excuse me? Miss?"
I walk over to her," Are you okay? I'm sorry if I startled you." The girl stops crying and looks up at me with a big, toothy grin. She's very pretty. Then I hear the whistle of something falling quickly. I instantly recognize the setup. A senior prank. Great. I leap to the side, expecting a water balloon to smash into the bench where I was sitting. Maybe it'll be filled with mayonnaise.
But instead, a scaly claw destroys the bench. I scream and scramble away. Another claw flies into me and pins me to the ground with lots of pain. I get my first look out the thing. It's like a giant purple snake, reared up with a human face. No, three faces, each cruelly contorted by a beak in the middle of its face. Out of its sides, hundreds of arms grotesquely reach out for me. It opens its mouths and lets out a terrible scream. It sounds like thousands of dying creatures wailing and a car engine being revved. Suddenly, the monster lunges at me with its left head.
Luckily, it moves its claw and I manage to roll to the side and the creature whirls about, glaring at me with yellow cat eyes. It screams again, this time with enough force to send me flying into a window overlooking the courtyard. The glass shatters easily and I fly into the room.
I scream in pain as I feel glass pierce my skin. Fear gives me the strength to stand up. I'm in the library, somewhere very far in the back. Deep brown shelves hold the impressive collection of books. Normally this place is a place of comfort. But as the creature burst through the wall, I take off, ignoring the pain in my back.
I weave through the aisles, hoping to lose the monster. But it just bashes through them. A claw flies at my head and I duck, and it flies into the wall, embedding itself deep into a poster of Twilight I don't even stop to savor the small victory.
Suddenly, the librarian, Mrs. Woods, a forty year old woman with fancy eyeglasses and a slight lisp, rears the corner, eyes blazing and ready to catch whatever wrongdoers have dared to cause such troubles in her library. She sees me and raises an accusing finger, but it stops and trembles as she see the monster chasing me. A choked gasp escapes her lips. The monster beholds her for a second, and then grabs her with lightning speed. She screams as she is observed for a second that lasts forever. Then the monster throws her aside, sending her smashing into the walls. Blood flies from her mouth and I take off running, trying to draw the monster's attention.
I loop back around and jump out of the window, ignoring the scratches from the glass. The garden holds no hiding places, but at least it's empty. Before the monster can follow me, I duck behind the supply closet. I'm praying that the thing doesn't have an amazing nose. It's almost too much to hope for though.
Suddenly, I hear the crash of the monster coming back through the wall. I hold my breath as it moves around the courtyard. For a few heart-wrenching seconds, I don't hear anything. But then, the sound of flapping wings reaches around to me. I wait a few minutes before looking out at the empty courtyard, newly accessorized with two giant holes in the school walls. I don't have much time before someone finds the destruction, so I run across the courtyard and open the doors back into school.
Suddenly, I'm grabbed from behind and yanked up into the sky. A triumphant screech comes from the monster's beaks. The school quickly dwindles away beneath me. I don't move. This thing wants to kill me, and I can get away once I'm back on the ground. Up here, I'm helpless.
But suddenly, the thing dives back down and for a second, I can only feel the wind cutting into my face. But then, the thing rises back up into the sky. I look around for the reason we fell. In another claw, right next to me, is Andrea. Her face is shocked and she looks around wildly. When she sees me, her eyes widen and she's about to open her mouth when the thing screams again. She looks up and sees the thing. She gasps and closes her mouth, fear etched into her face.
For a few minutes, I only know the feeling of movement. I don't look down, so I have no idea where I am. But then, we descend again. This time, bile rises in my throat and I can't help gagging on the sickening taste. With a thump, we land on the ground. As I'm released from the claws, I stumble towards Andrea and pull her away from the thing. I set her against a tree and say," Stay there."
She looks up at me and says," No freaking way."
"It's only after me," I say," if you can get away, you'll be safe."
"If it's only after you, why did it take me?" she says defiantly.
I start to yell at her, but I hear the screech and Andrea tackles me to the side. The claw splits the tree in half. As we stand up, I see the monster standing over us and it screeches in triumph. It lunges forwards and I jump to the side… right in the way of the second head coming at me. It knocks into my stomach and I feel my ribs crack. I hear Andrea scream my name as I'm thrown backwards.
Lying on the ground, I get my first good look at where we are. It seems trivial, I'm sure, but I didn't feel any pain for some reason. We're in a picnic area, somewhere deep in a forest. I don't think the trees are native to California. It certainly isn't anywhere in Bastion. Luckily, we're the only ones there.
As I lie helpless on the ground, Andrea dodges one of the heads as it lunges at her. Then the thing screams and she is thrown back. For a few horrifying seconds, the thing stands over her. But then it slithers away. I breathe a sigh of relief… until I realize the thing is coming towards me.
But before it gets to me, it lets out a wail as an arrow pierces its side. It lets out a wail and wheels around to face the new attackers. I have a good glimpse of our rescuers. I see a black SUV with a girl standing on the hood, dressed entirely in black. In her hands is a bow with another arrow already loaded. As I watch, the car's doors open and three more people stream out, two more girls and a guy, all similarly dressed. Each holds a weapon. The guy holds a sword, one of the girls has two twin pistols, and the other carries a slim rapier.
With a shout of anger, the thing lunges towards the group. With eerie calm, the girl on the trunk fires off another round of arrows at the thing. They all hit, but the thing keeps going towards the car. The other three start attacking as well. The guy jumps at the thing and cuts off one of the thing's arms. The girl with the guns starts to calmly fire at the three heads.
The other girl runs over to me and quickly looks me over. She checks my pulse and, when she sees that I am still with the living, picks me up and carries me over to where Andrea lies. Andrea smiles weakly at me as I am lain down next to her. The girl takes off her black backpack and starts to pull something out when she suddenly stops. She opens her mouth to speak, but freezes. Blood spurts from her mouth as the thing removes its claw from her back.
"Phoebe!" the man cries out. A long gash traces the length of his arm. The two girls are unharmed. One raises the guns and fires round after round of bullets into the monster's back, but they don't seem to have an effect on the creature. It whirls around and charges forwards towards the girl with the bow. Before she can defend herself, the creature captures her in its jaws. With a sickening crack, it squeezes the girl inside in half.
Looking pleased, the thing drops what's left of the girl out of its mouth and turns towards the man with the sword. The man runs towards it and manages to cut off a few more of the arms before he is forced to retreat. The girl continues to fire on the creature, but as I watch, the thing lets out its scream and they are both hurled back, the man onto the car, the girl into the woods and out of sight.
With a triumphant keen, the creature finally comes back over to Andrea and me. It stares at me out of its six yellow eyes and I somehow see a faint trace of sadness deep within them. But it quickly disappears and the monster lunges down towards my neck.
But suddenly, a great flash of light cuts through the clearing and the monster is hurled backwards. As the light fades, I see Andrea standing over me holding a glass sword. Her face is surprised, yet determined. She charges towards the monster while it still reels from the light and slashes off one of its heads. The monster screams in anger and pain.
With surprisingly deadly precision, Andrea cuts through another one of the things heads. I watch in awe as the powerful creature is quickly brought to its heels by Andrea, a girl who has never even touched a sword, let alone use it to kill a monster. The last head wails piteously as Andrea faces it down.
To my surprise, she does not attack the monster. She takes the glass sword and drives it deep into the ground. The monster freezes, as though it knows what is coming next. The sword glows brightly as Andrea says," Arise, fair brethren. Be purified of all hate and wrongdoing. Return to the Heavens and rejoin your brothers and sisters."
The monster looks shocked. Then it starts to flicker, like a Pokemon evolving. Its monstrous form slowly fades away and is replaced by that of the girl I saw singing in the auditorium. It seems like forever ago. The girl smiles and throws her arms around Andrea. Then, she opens her mouth and a beautiful song comes out. It is nothing like the song she sang in the auditorium, the one of sadness and anger. It is a song of joy and freedom and tears stream down the girls face.
After a few seconds, the girl stops singing and steps back from Andrea. She glows brightly for a few seconds, then two pure white wings stretch out of her back. More tears of joy stream down the girl's face as she beholds the wings with wonder in her face. The wings flap slowly, and then start to pick up speed. The girl slowly rises up into the air. As she continues to fly upwards, a beautiful voice echoes in my head. "Thank you." The girl says as she vanishes in a flash of beautiful golden light.
Andrea is bathed in the light for a few seconds, and then she collapses to the ground. I try to move to her, but my side erupts in fiery pain. But the pain vanishes abruptly and I cautiously pick myself off the ground and run over to Andrea. She's asleep on the ground, her face closed in a serene expression. The glass sword has vanished out of the ground.
"What the heck was that!" a girl's voice yells. I turn and see the girl with the guns limping out of the woods," How did you…?" Her fiery green eyes glare at me, like it's my fault Andrea managed to ... something the creature. Her hair is short and brown. Her guns are tucked into two sheaths on either side of her hips. She turns away from us and runs over to the man's crumpled form, still stuck on the car. In a few seconds, she has revived him and speaks to him angrily in low voices before leading him over.
"I don't believe it. How can she be the one?" she says. I flush, feeling invisible.
"Maria, you treat this like it is a bad thing! If she truly is the One, then we will finally be able to end our task." The man sounds shocked at her anger.
"Then why is that here?" she says with disgust as she points to me," He does not have the blood or we would know of him by now. He is just an average human."
The man starts to respond, then freezes as the blood drains from his face," Maria. Look at his arms." I look down at my arms. My shirt has been rolled up, revealing twin tattoos of a black scythe embedded on my arms.
Maria freezes," Him! Why has he been-"
The man cuts her off," We must take them away. Soon the authorities will come."
Maria glares at me as the man picks up Andrea easily and carries her to the car. "Come on!" she snaps as she walks back over to the car. As I follow them over, my old life officially ended and my soul no longer became mine.