The fallen Angels:
Another boring day, every day is boring I guess, maybe I should take up drinking. Or something equally detrimental, the logical part of my brain always wins this argument, so why do I keep having it? It makes my day more interesting.
Maybe I should eat something. Or you could just inject yourself with the fat and cut out the middle man. I will go for a walk, there is nothing in the fridge anyway. I open the front door, exit the house and then lock it again.
I just walk, there are lots of places to get food around here, I just have to walk far enough. The voices are all quiet, I don't think I am schizophrenic, I just think of all the different parts of my mind as voices, the voice of reason, the voice of scepticism, the voice of sarcasm, there are a lot.
A bakery, that'll do, you'll just have to deal with it. I go in, the bell rings and someone appears out of the back of the shop. "Can I help you?" she asks, I always wonder if they actually have a script.
"Probably," I say. "You do work, here, right?"
"Yeah," she almost smiles, not sure if it is a joke or not.
"Can I get a beef pie?" I ask her. "And..." I turn to the drink cupboard, that is just what it looks like to me, it is a fridge, and pull out and iced coffee. ".. this."
"Sure," she says, smiling and getting a pie out of the warmer. "That will be six dollars fifty."
Seems like a lot to me, maybe the pie is good. I get out my wallet and get the money out. "Here," I say, she passes me the pie. "Thanks.
"Thank you," she replies, why do they always thank you?
I sit down and take a bite out of the pie, it is pretty damn hot, but the bit that doesn't burn my mouth does taste pretty good. I drink some iced coffee and just sit around for a while, letting the pie cool down a bit, and wondering where I got the two fifty dollar notes in my wallet.
I have another drink and poke at my pie to see if it has cooled a little, it hasn't. Five men walk in, they are all the exact same height, and wearing the exact same clothes and they all look almost exactly the same, except for the tattoos and the hair.
One has a tattoo of what looks like fire around his right eye and has short and very red hair. Another has a tattoo of what looked like a wheel, a few concentric circles that were connected with lines going through them around his left eye and has long black hair. The third has a tattoo of what could be smoke over most of the left side of his face and has medium length grey hair. The fourth has a tattoo of a skull on the back of each hand and what looks like a scythe on his right cheek and has short black hair. The fifth man to walk in, who looks like he is wholly in control of the other four has a tattoo of what could be an angel on his cheek and has short blond hair.
They are all wearing black, coats, pants, shirts, blazers and shoes. And every one of them has a rind on their right index finger that has writing on it, I'm not sure if it all the same writing or of they all have something different. And despite their appearance, they are not scary.
The bell rings as the door shuts, making me realise that I am staring. You are staring like an idiot, the voice says. I know, I tell it. I take another drink and test my pie again, seems cool enough, I take another bite and try not to stare at the five men who just walked in.
The girl appears from the back of the bakery, gasps at the sight of five pretty much identical and pretty damn frightening looking men I her bakery, but recovers herself. "Can I help you?" she asks them, there must be a script.
I take another bite and try to observe them inconspicuously, which isn't hard because the bakery is pretty small. The man who is obviously the leader makes a few gestures which I sort of recognise.
"Sorry," the girl says. "I don't know sign language."
That is where I recognise it from, I learnt sign language a while ago, pretty much out of boredom. Who learns sign language anyway? The voice asks. Shut up, I tell it, and take another bite.
"English," the man says, he has an amazing voice, deep and strident, extremely confident, it carries but isn't loud. "Apologies, we would like some food."
"Have a look around," the girl says. "There are a lot of different kinds of food here."
"Thank you," the man says, he glances around and makes a gesture at the others, who all shrug. "We will have five cheese and salad sandwiches," he tells the girl, reading the name of the little sign. He has a weird accent it doesn't make him difficult to understand but it is very strange.
"Would you like anything to drink?" the girl asks, definitely a script.
The leader glances at the man with the fire tattoo, who turns and opens the fridge and grabs five bottles of water, which is a bit weird, buying water, bottled water is actually not as good for you as tap water, at least in this city it is.
I take another bite and look away from them. Why didn't you bring your mp3 player? A voice asks. Because I didn't think of it, I tell the voice.
I finish off my pie and drink my drink. Then is stand up and crumple up the bag that my pie came in then jam it into my bottle. I see the man with the angel tattoo looking at me, despite the fact that he isn't actually frightening, he is pretty scary, and I decide not to ask.
I open the door and go outside. The bell rings as the door closes behind me. There are five men standing outside the bakery, or nearby anyway, they have a similar feeling to the five men inside but they are all different, except that they all seem to have a diamond tattoo on the back of their hands.
"Excuse me," one of them says as I put my bottle and paper bag in the bin. He has short black hair and is about six foot five, his voice is strangely similar to the man who spoke inside, but it is also very different. "Are there five or more men in there that all look almost the same?"
"Yeah," I reply, wondering what it is about his voice that is so different, he has the same authority, almost, and he has the same deep command. "Why?" it is just a reflex to ask that.
"People I know," the man says. "Does one have an angel tattoo on his left cheek?" he gestures, moving his hair away from his face, he has a very strange tattoo around his left eye, almost like a mouth coming out of his face.
"He does," I tell him. "One has fire, another has a wheel, possibly, the third has smoke and the fourth has a scythe," I tell him. "And a skull on each hand."
"That sounds fun," another man says, he has a look, extremely energetic and a little bit off centre.
"You idiot," another says, he has what looks like serpent around his neck, along with what is either waves or just squiggles. He hits the man who spoke over the head. "You know that he just described Raguel, Nathaniel, Michael, Paschar and Ezekiel, don't you?"
"That is the enforcer, the flame, the miracle, the illusion and death, isn't it?" I say, almost to myself, without thinking, I look up the strangest things on the internet, and remember it all.
"You know the angels?" the first man to speak asks.
"I look the strangest things up on the internet, so I know the names," I tell him, still not sure what it is about his voice that is so different.
"I don't suppose you would mind going back in there and paying for their food?" the man asks.
"Won't they pay?" I ask. "They should have already."
"They have no money," the man says. "I will give you the money to pay for them, but you need an actual reason to go back there."
"I could pretend to be on the phone," I say, not actually sure why I want to help him, but I know it is in his voice.
"They will hear, and be suspicious," the man tells me.
"I guess you could actually call me," I say. "But I don't really want to tell you my number."
"Not a problem," the man says, turning to a man who has not talked yet, this man is a giant, he is heavy set and he is at least seven feet tall. "Baal," I practically jump at the name, Baal is one of the fallen angels, and no-one calls their children after the fallen angels. "Give this man your phone."
Baal nods and pulls out a small, folding, phone and hands it to me, I take it with a small amount of reluctance. The other man pulls out a phone and presses two buttons, must be speed dial, the phone that Baal just handed to me rings.
I open it. "What do you want me to say?" I ask, into the phone for some reason.
"I have asked where you are, you have told me a bakery I have asked you for something, you go back in and you will ask what I want." The man says.
"Who are you?" I ask, it finally occurring to me.
"I am Lucifer," the man says, he gestures to the energetic looking man. "That is Abaddon" – he gestures to the man with the serpent tattoo, a sea serpent – "that is Leviathan" – he gestures past Baal, at another man I hadn't seen before, he is very thin and looks strangely upset, somewhere between depressed and enraged – "and that is Beelzebub."
"The fallen Angels," I say, again almost to myself.
"Not all of them, not anymore," Lucifer says, and I finally get what it is that I like about his voice, and is so different from Raguel in the bakery, he has no arrogance, and he has purpose.
"Alright then," somehow I know that these are the fallen angels, and the ones inside are angels, but I trust Lucifer more than I trust Raguel. "I am going in, I may end up calling you David at some point, David is the only person who I would bother buying something for, so..."
"Alright," Lucifer says.
I push open the door and ask into the phone: "So what do you want?"
"Um..." Lucifer says over the phone, his voice sounds completely different now.
"Come on David, I was just leaving," I say into the phone, I don't get exasperated, just impatient.
"Something with apple," he says.
I look around, there are a fair amount of things with apple. "Be more specific, apple pie, apple cake, apple pastry, what with apple?" I ask into the phone.
"One of those apple pies that have a lattice over the top, or are just round with icing," Lucifer says into the phone, sounding genuine, maybe he does want something with apple.
"You will have to pay me back for this," I tell him, partly because I am not charitable for my friends, and partly because he didn't actually give me the money.
"I will," Lucifer says seriously.
"Good," I say into the phone. "See you later."
Everyone is looking at me, which I don't appreciate too much. I close the phone and put it in my pocket, it bumps against my own phone. I look up, everyone is still staring at me, I am tempted to just ask, what?
They look at me for a moment longer then they turn back to the girl behind the counter. "You can just let us have this one free." Raguel says, almost forcefully to the girl.
"As I said, it is twenty two fifty," the girl says, she is intimidated but she is sticking with her job.
Again it seems like a lot, but the pie was nice, so maybe the sandwiches are too.
"I have no money," Raguel says, forcefully this time, the girl steps back but she doesn't give in.
"Then you can't have anything," she says.
"I could get it for you," I say, sounding almost casual, about how I sound whenever I offer someone something without expecting something back, I feel a little bad that I am loosing something.
"I cannot pay you back," Raguel says.
"If I wanted you to pay me back I wouldn't offer when you just said you had no money," I point out calmly. "The only people I refuse to be charitable towards are my friends."
The man with the flame tattoo, Nathaniel, makes a few hand gestures. It isn't quite the sign language that I know but it is pretty close. He says, 'anyone offering charity is a friend' as best as I can tell.
"If you wish to pay for us then I will not stop you," Raguel says, the arrogance in his voice makes we want to hit him but hitting an Angel would be a bad idea, probably.
I step up to the counter. "If you really want to pay for them it is twenty two fifty," the girl tells me, thanking me with her eyes for getting rid of the jerk.
"Can I also get two of those apple pies, the little ones with icing?" I ask her, trying to be nice and make up for Raguel.
"Sure thing," she says, getting out two of the pies and putting them in paper bags.
"Thank you," I reply.
"That comes to twenty nine dollars," she tells me.
"Lucky I have randomly appearing fifties then," I comment, pulling out my wallet and opening it up, I get one of the notes out and put my wallet away again.
"Thanks," the girl says, giving me the change.
"Thank you," I say back, taking the two apple pies and jamming all the money in the pocket with my phones in it.
I exit the bakery again and walk over to where the Fallen Angels are standing, I hand Lucifer the apple pie. "Thank you," Lucifer says. "How much did it cost?"
"Twenty nine dollars," I tell him.
He pulls out his own wallet, opens it and extracts twenty nine dollars, which he hands to me. I put this into my pocket with the rest of my money, I pull out Baal's phone and hand it to him.
"Thank you for doing that for me," Lucifer says.
"As far as I know it was no problem, but why did you get me to do a favour for them?" I ask.
"We are not evil, despite what you are told," Beelzebub says angrily.
"As frightening as having a fallen angel angry at me is," I say. "That is not what I meant, and they think you are evil, don't they, or they are at least opposed to you."
"They are," Lucifer says. "But this way you will not be hurt in the fray."
"Isn't it more likely that I will be hurt now?" I ask. "Considering that I just did you a favour."
"No," Lucifer says. "Because you used your own money, mostly."
"At least I won't be hurt," I say. "But what fray are you talking about?"
"This fray," Raguel says from behind me.
I turn, his angel tattoo is glowing. Nathaniel's fire has turned red and is moving like a real fire, the smoke on Paschar' face is moving, the wheel on Michael's face is spinning, faster and faster until it just looks like circles and the skulls on the back of Ezekiel's hands are gnashing their teeth.
I glance at the Fallen angels behind me, the diamonds are all glowing purple, the mouth over Lucifer's eye is snarling, it is very obviously a demon of some sort. Leviathan's sea serpent is diving in and out of the water and there appear to be spiders crawling up Beelzebub's neck. But the strangest is Baal, his eyes are glowing, and there are strange characters going round and round his wrists and neck.
Abaddon is grinning maniacally, his teeth look sharp, he did seem a little unstable before but he now actually looks evil, maybe he was cast out for a reason.
"You are coming back with us," Raguel says.
Maybe they weren't cast out, why are they the fallen angels if they were cast out, they should be the disgraced angels or even the cast out angels.
"We aren't going back there," Lucifer replies. "The old man can just go and fuck himself."
Somehow an angel swearing messes with my head, even a 'fallen' angel.
"How dare you," Raguel yells it and runs at Lucifer.
Raguel swings, Lucifer moves slightly and the fist goes right past his head and smashes his fist into Raguel's stomach. Raguel is lifted off his feet a is airborne for almost two metres before landing on his feet and sliding back to his place in front of the other angels.
"If the old man really cared then he would be here himself," Abaddon says, his voice distorted by his sharp teeth.
"He sent us, there is no need for Him to deal with you," Raguel says, slightly more calm now.
There is a tearing sound, Baal seems to have grown, his clothes have torn off him, he is not naked, he still has underwear but all of his clothes have split and are falling to the ground around him.
"Yahweh sent only you?" Baal asks, he sounds like he hasn't spoken for a long time, it sounds like it pains him. There are metal rings all around him, the letters are flowing across them all. "Yahweh will regret his decision."
There is the sound of bending metal as his muscles all expend. All the angels kneel and close their eyes, mouths moving incredibly fast and perfectly in sync, the fallen angels all look at Baal, all smiling at him, what did I find about Baal?
He is... he is... he is Yahweh's rival. But the worshipers of Yahweh won in the end. There is a woman, there wasn't before. "Are you coming back, Baal?" she asks, her voice is captivating, she isn't beautiful in the way it is conceived now, she is big and wearing what is effectively a bag.
But she is beautiful, like the moving trees in the sun are beautiful, like the world outside of the city is beautiful, like Nature is Beautiful.
The bands all split and fall to the ground, a rain of ringing metal. "Are you coming back, my dear?" Baal asks, it no longer sounds like it pains him to speak.
"I am leaving, Baal," the woman says, I know who she is, but there is no name.
"We are all leaving, my dear," Ball says, his whole body is glowing now. "But I fear I must stay to confront Yahweh."
"Yahweh will not come," Nature says. "Yahweh is weak, and Yahweh is a coward."
Michael's eyes widen and his face contorts with rage, he says nothing but he leaps up from where he is kneeling and charges at Nature. Baal, steps in front of him and grabs him. "Michael, you will not harm her, ever." Baal tears the angel in two, there is no blood. There is nothing, no sounds, no smells, nothing.
Michael's eyes close and he smiles as he vanishes.
"Yahweh only helps those who help themselves," Baal says, he, Nature and the fallen angels all laugh.
"It has been good knowing you Baal," Lucifer says.
"It has been a pleasure," Baal says. "But I am leaving now, I can stay no longer."
"I am sure we will meet again," Abaddon says, looking a lot less deranged.
"We will see," Nature says.
Her body starts to glow until I cannot look at the two of them anymore. The glare on my eyelids fades and when I can look again they are gone. Two gods, disappeared from this world, it is a shame that the god that stays is the one that is worst.
Who said he was the worst? The voices ask me. I did.
"Seems like we are even now," Lucifer says. "At least in numbers."
"We are not even, Lucifer," Raguel says.
"But that is not your fault, Raguel," Lucifer says, then he smiles. "I was made to be more than you."
"Your sin was pride, Son of the Morning Star," Raguel says. "And you will repent for it."
"My sin was compassion," Lucifer says. "My sin was vision, I will not repent for it."
"He has compassion, immeasurable," Raguel says.
"Compassion is not measurable, it is not immeasurable," Lucifer says. "Yahweh is jealous God, he does not see it in himself to let humans live by their own rules. Yahweh's compassion is immeasurable in that it is lacking."
"You cannot judge Him!" Raguel screams. "Only He is fit to judge."
"Yahweh is the only one who is unfit to judge," Lucifer says.
It seems to me that this fray is more sedate that advertised.
Raguel runs at Lucifer again, but this time the others follow. Abaddon grins, again the maniacal grin that shows his pointed teeth. There is fire in Nathaniel's hands and Paschar has vanished, as you would expect. There is a scythe in Ezekiel's hands.
It occurs to me that I might be too close to the fray. I take a few hasty steps away from it and find myself at the curb, I manage to not fall over it and keep my feet. Lucifer sidesteps Raguel and trips him, Abaddon appears in place and smashes his fist right into Raguel's face.
Leviathan steps right up to Nathaniel and grabs him, snakes coil from his hands and envelope the Angel with amazing speed. Nathaniel explodes and the snakes go flying, Leviathan leaps back, out of the way, he extends his hands and the snakes all return.
Lucifer elbows Raguel in the chest as he falls and the angel smashes into the ground. Ezekiel leaps into the air and pulls the scythe back to swing at Laviathan. Beelzebub leaps into the air and grabs the scythe with both hands, he swings his body around and smashes both knees into Ezekiel's chest. Ezekiel makes a loud noise and just looses momentum. Beelzebub shifts and pushes Ezekiel down with both feet, leaping higher into the air.
Ezekiel smashes into the ground, breaking the pavement into a crater, Beelzebub lands lightly on the ground. Paschar appears right behind Lucifer, his hands in the shape of knives, he looks like he is about to stab Lucifer.
But Lucifer is the son of the morning star, the strongest of Yahweh's angels, until he left. He moves with incredible speed and grabs Paschar' head, his hands begin to glow and Paschar screams, and screams and screams, smoke rising from where Lucifer's hands are pressed against his head.
Raguel gets back to his feet and Lucifer tosses Paschar away, turning to Raguel, Abaddon dashes after the discarded Angel.
Nathaniel swings at Leviathan but he dodges, and grabs Nathaniel's arm, The snakes coil around the Angel's arm and bite into his flesh. Nathaniel's mouth opens wide but no sound comes out, his entire arm bursts into flames and he swings and Leviathan again.
Leviathan flies back, airborne for almost three metres, he lands on his feet and slides another four metres, easily, before charging at Nathaniel again. Blood drops down Nathaniel's arm and pools on the ground, the blood slowly changes colour, turning black.
Leviathan smiles and he has fangs, he didn't before. Nathaniel swings at Leviathan again but Leviathan just moves out of the way and strikes, sinking the fangs into Nathaniel's neck. Nathaniel screams, again silent, his mouth wide as his body convulsed.
Paschar dodges Abaddon's fist and vanishes again. Abaddon closes his eyes and concentrates, obviously trying to work out where Paschar went. Paschar appears right in front of Leviathan and shoves his hand right through the fallen angel's chest.
Snakes poor out of Leviathan, covering Paschar in bites. Leviathan doesn't scream, he doesn't make a sound, but Paschar screams silently like the others did.
Leviathan and Paschar disappear.
Lucifer's hands glow again and suddenly Raguel goes flying, at least eight metres, Lucifer looks sad. "Another comrade, sent back to where we do not belong," He says.
Raguel looks like he will speak, but instead he crashes into the ground, leaving a furrow at least twelve metres long.
Ezekiel pulls himself to his feet and Abaddon flies at him. The scythe leaves a trail in the air, slicing the fallen angel in half.
"And another," Lucifer vanishes, but it is not like Paschar, he appears at almost the same time, about three metres above Raguel, who is trying to get up.
Beelzebub appears behind Ezekiel and grabs him by the head, I can't see the expression on Ezekiel or Beelzebub's face, but I can see the blood leak down the sides of Ezekiel's head and Beelzebub pushes his fingers into the angel's brain.
Raguel pushes himself backwards, landing on his back, he rolls himself over onto his feet as Lucifer crashes into the ground where he had just been. Raguel looks like he will fight, but only for a moment, he turns and charges at Beelzebub.
Beelzebub is facing the other way, so for a moment I don't think that he has noticed Raguel. But as Raguel is almost on him, Beelzebub spins and lands a fist solidly in the side of Raguel's head. The enforcer does a strange sideways flip but recover's his feet.
Raguel hits Beelzebub in the face, the fallen angel rocks back, but is not knocked down. Raguel hits Beelzebub in the stomach, forcing him to hunch over, and then knees him in the face. This time Beelzebub is thrown over backwards.
A knife materialises in Raguel's hand as Beelzebub lands on his back. Lucifer charges, amazingly fast, but he is too far away. The knife plunges into Beelzebub's heart as Lucifer reaches then and grabs hold of Raguel's arms.
Lucifer pulls the knife out and throws it away, the knife disappears.
Lucifer throws Raguel away and collapses to his knees. "They are all gone, you stole them all away from me," Lucifer says, staring at the ground. "You took them from me." Tears fall from his face, falling to the ground almost like rain, but this is sad, rain is too happy.
"They have been returned," Raguel says, getting to his feet. "They have been returned to Him so that He can judge them for their sins."
"He cannot judge," Lucifer says, still kneeling, he doesn't even look up.
Raguel steps forward and kicks Lucifer in the face, the son of the morning star is thrown backwards, landing on his back. Lucifer does nothing, he stares up at the sky and tears trace their way down his cheeks.
"You stole them all," Lucifer says, a bit louder this time.
"I sent them all back," Raguel says, knife appearing in his hand again. "Just as I will send you back."
"You stole them all away from me," Lucifer says, even louder this time. "Without them I have no purpose here."
"Then return to where you can from," Raguel shouts, bringing the knife down.
Lucifer is gone. "You stole them all," he shouts. "You will have no more."
Raguel charges at Lucifer, swinging the knife. "I will return you to Him," Raguel shouts.
"I will show Yahweh the weakness of his servants until he comes for me himself," Lucifer says.
"He does not need to come for you," Raguel says. "His servants are willing."
Lucifer vanishes again, appearing not so far from me. "You stole them all," Lucifer says, his voice deadly. "You will pay for all those who followed me."
"I will send you to Him to be judged," Raguel charges again.
Lucifer blocks him and leans right into his face. "I will show you your weakness over and over until you can bear it no more."
Lucifer's hand glows and he shoves it right through Raguel's heart.
Raguel makes no sound as he vanishes from this world.