The Fallen Angel

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Chapter 1

Submitted: June 11, 2019

Reads: 109

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Submitted: June 11, 2019

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The familiar pain in her back struck again, the agony blazing across her skin like wildfire through a bone-dry forest. Images of snow-white wings and blood red eyes flashed through her mind, leaving her gasping for breath on her filthy sleeping mat.

Seraphina lay in silence on the hostel floor, the crowded rooms occupied to the brim with demons. She was no one in this world of sinners, trapped in this unending dimension like everyone else around her.

In Hell, no one had any sense of privacy or ownership. All demons had were the mats they rested on in between their ventures into the human world for the precious souls that granted a few more years of Afterlife until the inevitable fate of Oblivion, the dimension where the forgotten would go, caught up with them eventually. Only the Devil himself seemed to have stayed a few steps ahead of it.

“Morning pains again?” Lux, the demon that had slept next to her since the day Seraphina had died ten months ago, asked. There were no mornings in Hell. Perhaps giving the endless flow of time a name that dictated its start and finish was a form of comfort for the sinners of the underworld, one of the few things they could control. Seraphina could never understand why the other demons would say things like “dinner” or “breakfast”. No such thing could ever exist here.

“Yeah, but don’t worry about it. I have had them for as long as I have been here so I’m used to it.” She responded lightly, daring not to reveal to anyone the peculiar visions that came with the aches. Seraphina ran her fingers through her shining black hair, a noticeable contrast to the matted, mousy brown hair that all the other demons had. It was her one pride in this hell hole, what set her apart from the monotonous gloom of the underworld. It was the one quality that sometimes made her feel as though she was the odd one out, like she didn’t belong here. Then again, many people didn’t belong in Hell.

“We are heading to the portals soon. Hopefully, we’ll snag a few souls today. The number of humans is dwindling by the second.” The demon that went by Cora hoisted her up.

“Maybe I can check on my great grandchildren today. See how they are doing.” Lux murmured distantly. She was one of the few demons who could remember what had happened during her human life. No one knew how or why. She just did.  

Seraphina shivered, the wrinkles on her skin becoming more and more apparent by the day. If she was not fed soon, her body would disintegrate into nothingness. She stole a couple of glances at the skin Cora had hidden beneath her rags, so leathery and corpse-like. She would fade soon. Seraphina simply looked away, feeling no remorse or sadness. One less core to sustain. In these dark times, with such limited resources to go around, one less demon would do everyone good.

Seraphina sprinted toward the glowing aura of the raw soul, already slipping out of the old man on the hospital bed, his body finally giving into whatever disease was currently plaguing the humans. This one is mine. This would be her first catch in months and it could mean the difference between Hell or Oblivion. Hell it is.

She extended her net, a flimsy yet effective tool for trapping the cores of the dying. This in-between dimension of life and death was where demons like her spent most of their time, desperately trying to catch souls if it meant one more day in Hell, as ironic as it sounded. It was called Sigma, a name some random demons decided on one day and it had just caught on.

A foot stopped her net, Seraphina almost toppling over from the force. She pivoted her gaze to find Cora intercepting her rightful catch. Seraphina didn’t even let herself be surprised. This was a common occurrence in Hell, betrayals following each other regularly.

“Don’t you even think about taking it.” Seraphina bared her teeth, her grip on her net tightening, poised for attack. She didn’t want to hurt anyone if she didn’t have to. But there were no friendships, no comrades in this cruel w0rld, just yourself and only yourself.  

“Sorry honey. Nothing personal, but you are gonna have to go.” Cora took out an obsidian dagger, the deadliest of all weapons aside from hadean flames. Seraphina’s blood froze into ice as she realized she was inches away from something that did not belong in the possession of a lowly demon like her. How the hell did she get her hands on that? Only certain demons had access to such inventory.

Cora side stepped before swinging the dagger towards Seraphina core, her face completely emotionless, those lifeless eyes showing no signs of remorse. She has probably done this a million times, murdered dozens of others like herself. Seraphina just cracked a chilling grin as she narrowly dodged the assault, bringing her leg up in a swift, well-timed kick. Cora shrieked, her weakened state leaving her at a disadvantage. The obsidian dagger dropped from her hand and Seraphina caught it in one fluid motion.

“Nothing personal.” Seraphina stabbed the blade savagely into Cora’s core, watching in perverse satisfaction as the sheen left her brown eyes. She smiled quietly to herself that night as she headed back to Hell with a soul in her net and a new, lethal weapon in the folds of her grimy pant pocket.

“Wow, lucky catch. That’ll keep you here for a few more months. You better visit the Vault before someone snatches it away.” Lux marveled, though Seraphina caught the envious undertone of the statement. Time to sleep somewhere else tonight.Can’t risk being stabbed in the back again.

“Yeah, heading over there right now. I’ll see you around Lux. Stay in Hell.” Seraphina would almost miss the company of Lux. Almost.

The Vault was enormous, even larger than she recalled since the last time she was here. Its halls were bustling with famished demons like her who hadn’t been fed in months, all eyeing one another cautiously, afraid someone would rob their precious catches.  

“How many?” The bored-looking Keeper’s face immediately lit up as he snatched the pulsing soul greedily from her net.

“Only one.” Seraphina tapped her foot impatiently.

“The core looks a bit ruined. I’m thinking you only get five doses of  the aura.” The aura of human souls was what was fed to demons to sustain them, to anchor them in this dimension. One dosage promised only one month of youth. Gatherers like Seraphina received the lowest amount, being at the bottom of the hierarchy. Keepers got more, for they preserved and shipped the cores to the Artisans who then created new demons based on the appearance of the human when it was alive, only much uglier and cruder. Everyone started as a Gatherer, the trash of society. And Seraphina was getting so very tired of it.

“Hell no! The rule is Gatherers get ten doses. You can’t rob me like this!” She could barely contain her fury, her hand itching for the dagger that would easily change his mind.

“Sorry. It’s five or nothing. You don’t want me reporting this to the Devil himself, would you?” Seraphina clenched her teeth, her vision turning red as she imagined driving this man into Oblivion. But she had no intention of meeting the most feared man in the entirety of the Afterlife so she kept her mouth sealed shut.

“Fine.” She wished so bad to tear this demon apart piece by piece. The Keeper’s laugh was merry in his triumph, sending a wave of bitterness down Seraphina’s spine. He gestured for her to follow him to the feeding chambers. After he finished extracting the meager five doses into a vial, Seraphina snatched it, spinning on her heel before she could do something reckless. Damn him, damn everything!

As she drank, she felt her strength return in full force, admiring the claws that grew back and the smoothness of her locks shimmering once again in the hazy, perpetual twilight.

Perhaps she had made a wrong turn or had lost track of her direction, but Seraphina found herself in a long hall, completely empty and barren except for one lonely door at the end of it.

It was calling her.

As ridiculous as Seraphina knew it was, the door seemed to be alive, chanting her name, tugging her in its direction. Or maybe she was riding the high of the aura, its effects still lingering on her mind. Either way, her body seemed to glide on its own toward it.

A few lockpicks and a hard push later, the door parted for her, revealing a stone table.

And a winged creature that wasn’t supposed to even exist strapped onto it.

Seraphina let out an audible gasp, her hand traveling instinctively to her dagger. The creature lifted its head, crying out in pain as the nails drove deeper into its fantastic, feathered wings. Its eyes were a fierce amber, nearly glowing in the dimness of the room. The hair was a dusty blond, the gold streaks catching in the faint light.  

“Oh look who decided to stumble in.” Its voice was like velvet, softer and finer than any of the unpleasant croaks of the demons. Seraphina still could not seem to find her voice, only able to gape as she held up her blade.

“Look, sweetheart. I’m not going to hurt you. Even though your kind completely eradicated us and dragged us into the fiery depths of hell with you for no reason, I got no hard feelings. Just free me and we’ll pretend like we never saw each other. And I’ll steal a couple of vials for you. I know that stuff is like drugs to you guys.” Seraphina suddenly grew alert at this.

“How are you alive?” She dared a step closer, her courage extra plentiful today.

“I don’t know how long you have been here, but in case you didn’t know, no one here is alive. Now if you are asking how I exist, that is because I escaped from that little prison the Devil likes to keep us Evangelics in, but I got caught and I have been down here for a decade or so just rotting away. You know, the usual.” The angel certainly loved the sound of his own voice as much as she did.  

“There’s more of you?!”

“Yes. Now if you could free me, I could resume my search for the Fallen Angel.” Seraphina’s eyes widened. This entire time, she had thought the Fallen Angel was a myth, a legend, a beacon of hope that the desperate cling onto. She had heard rumors about the Fallen angel, the one person who held the key to Heaven, the only one capable of undoing the curse bestowed by the queen herself before she perished. It was a story demons liked to tell when they were bored or depressed or both. But if it was indeed real...  

Seraphina cracked a wicked grin.

“If I free you, promise me you’ll sneak me some more vials and you’ll let me help you find the Fallen Angel.” The creature’s face grew uneasy, its mischievous, lopsided smirk transforming into a frown. Still, it was marvelous, its blinding beauty as entrancing as ever.  

“Woah, woah. Slow the Hell down. Pun not intended, but I can’t just bring you along.”

“Yes, you can. Doesn’t look to me like anyone else is about to save your ass.” She challenged his frustrated look with a pleading one, running her slender demon fingers through her ebony hair in a pathetic attempt to appear less demon-like.

“Okay. Okay, you caught me in a bit of a pickle, she-devil. Just pull the nails out from my wings and untie the ropes.” The angel relented with a sigh. Seraphina loosed a nervous breath as steadied her hands, trying to ignore the blood seeping from the wounds. She began untying the rope earnestly, eager to leave such an oppressing place as soon as possible. The rope stung her hand, causing her to hiss vehemently.

“Careful. It’s covered in acid.”

“Next time, let me know before I touch it.” Seraphina snapped as she tried to ignore the acrid burn of it. A couple of bleeding fingers later, he was fully untied, rubbing absently at the permanent marks that had developed on his porcelain skin. But his wings still lay pinned to the stone. Seraphina would have pitied him if it weren’t for the dangerous, cunning glint in his eyes. She was comforted by the presence of the blade digging into her leg. If worse comes to worse, just stab him. Hopefully, angels bled like demons.

“I don’t think the nails are going to come out.” Seraphina breathed, exhausted at the multiple failed attempts at extracting them. The angel let out a colorful string of curse words, some she didn’t even recognize. She paced back in forth in silence, contemplating if striking such a deal with an angel was a smart idea after all.

“Help me rip them out then. If I’m to be stuck with you for the next century, might as well.” His words were nonchalant, but it was the sincere sorrow in his tone that made Seraphina pause her pacing.

“You want me to rip the coolest thing someone could have out! Are you crazy! Will they even grow back?” A phantom pain began crawling up her back as Seraphina tried to process his words.

“Maybe. I have never seen this done before so I wouldn’t know either. But you better hurry up. That stupid bastard always checks on me every now and then.” The angel extended his arms, a gesture that told her he was serious about this.

About tearing his damn wings out.  

 


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