Some years ago
I was on my knees, my wings stretching out, my hands braced against my thighs. The elders, three on each wing, gripped my feathers. I squeezed my eyes shut at the feeling of being ripped apart intensified as they pulled the feathers out, one by one. There were no tears, there was no pain. When I became a fallen angel I lost the ability to feel, everything was pretty much numb, but I can’t feel the numb either. I could feel, at least mentally, the tugging as the elders ripped my winds out, actually separating them from my being.
When they finished they kept a feather, an ash gray feather turning black. Markus, the eldest, tucked in his robe. His eyes were heavy, showing his sadness. His white wings wilted as he spoke. “I banish you, Dante. You are not allowed to return.” With that, they all turned their back and the clouds opened up below me. I was suddenly falling.
My hair whipped around me, standing nearly straight as the hair whooshed past me. My white robe was turning to ash as I fell and I was left naked. The ash flakes floated up to the cloud that was beginning to close. I watched it as I fell, not knowing where I would land. I watched the ashes simply disappear and watched my skin grow red from the air, but I felt nothing. I’d never feel anything ever again.
My eyes were trained on the cloud, and I realized gone were the blue irises. They would be replaced with dark colors now, never again lightening to the blue they were the day I was born, into my human life. I closed my eyes and imagined myself back in my mother’s arms. She was with the elders now, being told what had happened to me. She would be torn apart, I was sure.
I toppled over a tree, but landed unscathed on the ground. I was in a cemetery. A feather floated down and landed to my right. It was pitch black, meaning it was mine. I grabbed for it and held it to my chest. My feather, my life line.
I felt a tear escape and cursed. I whisked it away and stood. I was stark naked, and in the 17th century. Walking to the nearest house, I peered in. Everybody was asleep. I snuck in and grabbed the first pair of men’s clothing I could find. It was my lucky night, ironically, because the clothes fit.