Fallen Angel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Emile overhears that there is to be a hunt to kill a large bird that is thought to be slaughtering sheep. Emile knows differently, but will she be in time to save him. My entry for Ever A. Darling's Interpretation Contest.

Submitted: May 13, 2016

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Submitted: May 13, 2016

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Fallen Angel.

Emile wrapped her cloak tightly around her shoulders but did not stop to put on shoes. She ran down the staircase as fast as she could, trying not to trip in her candlelit haste.
Once the last stair was behind her she picked up speed, her bare feet slapping against the floor. Had the hallway ever seemed so long to her before?
She had to hurry. Her father had said that the hunt was leaving at dusk and already the sky was darkening. How could they be so stupid? So misguided?
Sheep had been going missing from the neighbouring farms and complaints were being made to her father. It was only by chance that Emile had heard them talking, that she knew what was planned. Did she have enough time to prevent the tragedy that she was certain was about to take place?
The heavy oak door was bolted and her hands struggled to move the grey metal back. Each second wasted was like a stroke of doom. If only she could have the time to warn him!
A bird, they said, a gigantic bird that would swoop down from the clouds and carry their sheep away. Emile knew that this was nonsense. It could be the dogs again but she was sure it was a story put about to cover one of the neighbour's thieving ways. It almost certainly meant that he had been sighted. He should have been more careful.
Now, it was in her hands to try to right the mistake. She had to succeed or her angel would be no more.
Finally outside and on the grass, she ran again. She went as fast as her legs would allow, as fast as her lungs would stand. Her wet feet alerted her to the rain that was falling, soaking her hair, making her cloak next to useless against the cold. She did not care. Emile kept on running.
As she reached the drive she heard the bark of dogs, the clop of the horses hooves. They were preparing the hunt. A shudder of fear ran through her but she did not falter. At least she knew that they had not already departed.
The large iron gates loomed ahead of her. She would have to find another way to leave or her father would know that she had left her room. The wall to the left of the gate had a thick patch of ivy spiralling up it. Emile knew that there was a low piece of wall behind it; she had scaled it many times before.
The stone scraped against her bare legs and feet, hard enough to draw blood. The stems seemed so much thicker than they ever had before but she could not pause. The horses were starting to make their way down the driveway. The hunt was catching up with her.
With one last wrench Emile was free, up and over the wall, running for all she was worth.
The hedges would be her only cover. It would be quicker for her to race straight across the field but she would be in perfect view. They would hunt her down in minutes and then she would be forced to go along with them. Emile would be forced to watch the slaughter and she knew that she could not bear it.
The hedge was thick and tall. It's darkness should provide her with cover enough to stay hidden from the huntsmen's eyes. But did she have the strength to keep running the rest of the way. She would have to find the energy somehow.
Emile had forgotten the patch of tall nettles. She plunged headlong into it. The stings of the nettles were agony to her arms, her legs, her feet; but nothing to the agony she would feel if she were to fail in her warning.
It was only then that she noticed her cloak was gone.  She must have let go of it in her haste. How stupid it was of her to let it fall. She could only hope that it had landed in shadow, that none would spot the grey material laying on the ground. The dogs might pick up its scent and  give her away but there was no time to go back to retrieve it.
If she could just keep going it was not too far before she would be within his range of sight. Emile would signal a warning and he would take flight and be free. They would find a way to meet up again.
And there he is, her angel. Standing tall at the top of the cliff, looking the wrong way, facing out to sea. She finds herself screaming, yelling out a warning. The sound of the sea would hopefully drown out the sound from reaching her father's ears. She knew her angel had perfect hearing and yes, he is turning towards her.
Emile is too far to see the smile light up his face but it is there in her mind, so clear. She knows she is screaming. She raises her arms to frantically gesture that he should fly away. But why hasn't he gone? Why is he waiting? She carries on running towards him, waving out in panic.
Then slowly he unfurls those wings of his, so white in the darkness. Turning once more to glance towards her he steadily rises into the air. Emile both sighs with relief and cries with sadness at his departure. The pain of his leaving is so much less than would be the pain of his death.
The horses are thundering towards her. The hounds are baying and the men are shouting. Emile is sure that her angel is safe.
Why did the sky choose this moment to clear? Why did the moon appear in it's silver glow lighting up his flying figure for all to see. The men dismount and raise their rifles. The guns boom out around her. They are not the best of shots, she knows this from the hunts they go on, often returning with nothing.
Emile cannot bear to watch but she cannot tear her eyes away. She cannot breathe. Her angel will make his escape. He has to!
But as that thought forms she sees his flight falter. One of his wings will no longer bear his weight. Emile screams as the bullet plunges into his back, forcing him to contort and drop towards the sea. She falls to her knees as she sees his body plunge into the dark and roiling ocean.
Something flutters down in front of her. It is one single feather, all that is left of her angel. She stands and turns to face her father clutching the feather between her hands. She looks into his eyes and she steps backwards to join her angel in the cold depths of the sea.

 

 




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