Waves. They sweep across the fine, soaked sand and caress the bottoms of my feet. The coolness is almost refreshing – almost – and I can hear them crashing against the cliffs in the distance. My body feels heavy, in fact I can't even seem to gather the strength to open my eyes. But I can smile – smile because I've never felt so blissfully weak. It's nice to have an excuse to do nothing, to be nothing, even if it's only – hopefully – temporary.
But now other senses slowly start to return, and I gradually begin to realize that my clothes are soaked. It's freezing here. I should move, that thought punctuated by the cool water that now swallows my ankles. The tide is getting higher… Why am I here? Logic begins to question just what the hell happened to me. Why am I soaked to the bone and freezing on some beach? Shouldn't I be somewhere with her…?
And then it suddenly comes to me. The memory sends my mind reeling and jumpstarts my heart, but even with this newfound excitement I still can't find the strength to move. I can see her face, crumpled with disappointment because of my sudden summons. There aren't words to explain how sorry I am but I try anyway, only to have her turn her back on me and dismiss me. Deep down she knows, I know she does, that I have no choice but to respond. Logic never cancels out emotions though, and so I leave her to be angry with me as I walk out onto her balcony and spread my wings. I'm not sure when I'll return, maybe that's the hardest part for her to swallow, or if I'll ever return, and that part eats at my insides though I don't bother to tell her. And as I stand on the stone railing of her balcony overlooking the ocean scene I battle with myself; I do not want to look back. If I do and I behold even a fraction of the hurt that I know will swirl in her eyes I'll turn right back, comfort her and ignore the summons.
I look back anyway.
She's right behind me, looking at me with those gorgeous blue eyes that resemble the Mediterranean. So blue…god I want to drown in them. She takes my hand in her warm one and tugs down gently, forcing me to step down from the stone railing. Why fight? I want nothing more than to take her in my arms and fly off with her entangled in my embrace. But my sense of duty is much stronger than my desire to run, as it is for all of my kind.
She reaches behind me and lightly trails her fingers along the feathers closest to junction of my wing and shoulder blade. The action drives me crazy, and she knows it.
"Sabrina," I whisper into her blonde hair, "Please…don't do this to me…"
She doesn't bother to answer and her petting becomes heavier, sending shocks through my body.
"They're going to steal you away Adrian. They'll keep us apart somehow…someway…" Her voice is filled with grief and the only comfort I can offer is a mere kiss on the forehead.
"I won't allow them," I declare simply, "If my wings should be taken then it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. I'm not willing to fight a war that will never be won."
"Don't be stupid." Her hand falls away and her body temperature begins to rise, "If they request your servitude don't fight it. It would be a waste…"
"You're too venerable to be left unprotected! And I'm the only one of my kind with the capacity to care for you."
She fell silent, and so did I. Part of me wanted to apologize for my outburst, as it had more than likely offended her – she hated it when anyone alluded to the fact that she wasn't strong enough to care for herself.
Looking up to the sky, she frowned and met my eyes. "They're becoming impatient Adrian, you shouldn't keep them waiting…"
A smile spread across her lips, and satisfaction plucked at her delicate features as I struggled for the forbidden words that I hadn't said but once or twice. If I said them now, with the heavens watching so intently, they may steal her away from me forever.
"I know," She whispered while caressing my cheek, "Don't torture yourself, I didn't expect you to say anything."
She stretched up on her toes and sighed softly as her lips brushed against mine. For a fleeting second I was able to forget about the dark clouds that were descending over us and swallowing the light of the full moon. But her mouth was gone the next second, and the carelessness that had once consumed me vanished.
"Go," she whispered softly, eyes still closed, "Go now Adrian…please…"
I stepped back, stretched my wings wide and took one last glimpse of her. She still had her eyes closed, head tilted back slightly, pale pink lips beckoning me toward her again.
I beat my wings once and lifted my feet from the ground, turned, and flew into the darkness of the clouds before I could stop myself. I soared into the white patch repelling the awful black and I'm in heaven, kneeling before Cyrus – our leader. My wings drape over my back and the ground as I bow my head.
"Adrian, I have no doubt that you understand why you have been summoned."
He was deciding what to do with me, that much I could tell from his silence.
"Angels are forbidden to love. And not only have you broken one of our most vital laws, but you have betrayed us for an Outcast."
"With all do respect sir," I lifted my gaze until it found his own, "She has not been proven guilty of any crime. She is not an Outcast…"
"Yet." He finished for me before standing and pulling a book out of thin air. My stomach churned as he set it before me, opening it and turning to a specific page with a snap of his fingers. "An Outcast is defined as an Angel who has crossed over to Hades and come back again."
"She has no wings, Cyrus. She is not Angel, and she is not a Demon."
"But she is not mortal."
I bowed my head as he shut the book, lifting it and making it disappear.
"Whatever she is, she's most certainly a lover, and you must be punished. You will serve in the war for three hundred years as soldier." I looked to meet his gaze again and he sighed, "I will never understand why an Angel of your high standing would stoop so low."
"I refuse," I said softly, still staring at him, "I refuse to serve in this pointless war! You claim is it a war against evil, but you are only turning Angels against their own kind!"
"Those who have fallen are not the same…"
"You cannot turn a blind eye to this forever Cyrus. Angels will continue to die at your hands! You are turning siblings against each other simply because our brother…"
"Adrian, do not speak of Daniel in my presence."
"You cursed him to forever live in shame simply because he was looking after you!"
His hands clenched into fists, "If you have such a high opinion of those who have fallen, then you will join them."
He summoned the shadows which engulfed me, turning my once pearly-white wings black as ink. A collar was clasped around my neck and my blond hair turned dark. It felt as if everything holy was being ripped from me, everything that I held dear was destroyed in an instant. I closed my eyes as a single tear dripped on my cheek, and suddenly my screams of horror and pain were drowned out by wind whooshing by my ears.
The memory ceases there, and I'm back on the beach laying in my soaked clothes. The love that I had once held for everything in this world is gone now, in fact I feel almost void of all emotion. I am no better than mortal, in fact…I feel worse.
I am fallen.
Copyright © 2013 by Alisa Palmer
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or part in any form