The chill of fall hung thick in the air, while the sound of children laughing taunted the hearing. Gulls flew overhead, singing their cries, while the steady heartbeat of the sea thrashed against the shore. Her feet buried themselves in the soft, pristine sand, her lungs drawing in full breathes of salt tinged air. Her eyes were fixed on the horizon line, an endless stretch that seemed to be the end of the world. All around her, life went on, while she stood statuesque against the backdrop. She could not be seen, nor heard. Alone she stood, with the weight of the world atop her fragile shoulders.
"Mommy, look!" The thrill of a young child drew her violet ringed gaze, the gold around her iris expanding until only a sliver of royal purple could be seen. She smiled, her heart lifting as the young boy picked up a tiny shell. His eyes were bright as stars, his cheeks rosy pink. He held the little treasure out as if the world revolved around that precious find, and for a brief moment, everything was right in the world.
But as quick as the ever changing tide, the joyous scene melted away. Gone were the white sands and colorful sunset. In its place was a vile, dirty expanse of litter ridden shore, the sands black with tar and oil. Clouds thick as soiled cotton hid the sun from view, the blue sky a myth. Beneath her bare feet, she felt the sting of glass and sharpened metal, while vibrations from bombs ripped through the earth. Her lungs burned with ash and poison, her flawless skin yellowing. The boy and his mother crumbled in on themselves, until they were nothing but a pile of ash and bones, with bare fragments of cloth fluttering in a foul smelling breeze. The shattering betrayal of human kind closed in around her, the earth and all her splendor having been destroyed by war and greed.
The woman swirled on her feet, panic in her throat. The world was an empty shell, a desolate wasteland. A forgotten memory, the sleepy seaside town was now a hollow, empty hull. Tears formed in her eyes, crystalline in their splendor as the gold in her eyes shifted to give way to teal and purple. Like the waving ocean in front of her, the hues in her irises ebbed and flowed as her heart broke anew. With trembling fingers, she wiped beneath her eyes, glaring up at the clouded sky. Power spiked in the air around her, lifting her hair in an unfelt wind. On a great inhale, bands of color began an intricate twirl around her transparent form, shifting in time with her ever changing eyes. She saw what the humans had done to their world, and it infuriated her. They had killed the thing they should have cherished. All the beauty they once known, the life and the light, were gone, thrown away by the greed and power of the corrupt.
She closed her eyes, wanting to return to that world, but knowing it would never against be.
"Sir, she's reaching seventy percent." The words broke through, poisoning her passionate moment. Her eyes opened, but she saw nothing. Empty blackness had replaced the beachside scene, an endless stretch of darkness where no light could enter. "Her levels are dropping."
"Good, good. We need to increase her dosage. She doesn't need to wake." For a reason she couldn't fathom, this voice sparked a burning deep within her gut. It rose like a tempest, racing through her veins until her entire being was inflamed. She felt her heart in her chest, like a mad animal desperately trying to escape. She couldn't move her body, immobile and blind. "You will not wake, Seraphim. I have the key, and I say when your time will come. This is not it."
In that velvet darkness, she felt a rush of cold enter into her arms, and her limbs became heavy. Her mind struggled to remember who she was, and what she was doing, but the lull of sleep called to her. It beckoned seductively, whispering into her ear that it was time to sleep, to forget the world and its troubles, and escape to the safe haven of her dreams. The darkness of this broken world could not reach her there. She would be safe, and could forget this horrible place with its pain and tests. She could not see a reason not to go, and so, she slipped away little by little. On a sigh, the power that raged inside her, that marked her for what she was, died to an ember, nestling itself back into that special place in her heart. Just before she succumbed to sleep, she listened, knowing soon that the voice would be there. And sure enough, as if called upon by her very thoughts, she felt another mind brush against her own, feather light and loving. He was stranger and friend to her, a near constant companion in the prison of her mind.
Do not worry, angel. The voice whispered. I will come for you soon.
With his promise, she breathed one last sigh, and smiled. He would come soon, she knew. And then they would truly know the power of her wrath.