Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Short Story Saturday!

This edition of SSS is another story that I wrote for my creative writing class back in high school. It is a six-part series called The Purification of the Fallen, and here is part one:

The Fallen

The sun was setting over the far reaches of the realm most mortals thought of as Heaven, though if not for the overwhelming number of white-haired, white-winged, white-clothed angels one would think it were actually Earth. The architecture, however, was clearly not that of modern Earth; every building was built of white marble, with veins of various other precious materials making every wall glimmer.

The onyx streets were nearly empty by that dusk hour. Just within the gates of the realm sat an angel obviously different from the others. His long, flowing hair was black, not white, and the large wings sprawled about him were of that same, cruel color. The white robes that should have covered his body had been replaced by a worn-out pair of mortal jeans. He held his head in his hands, questioning himself over and over about what had happened to him.

“I knew it wasn’t wise to let you visit Earth.”

Naois lifted his sapphire eyes to see the angel before him. He was like the others; a Pure. Atop his head was a circlet of braided gold, the symbol of marriage that mortals mistakenly took to be a halo. Blazing blue eyes gazed at the sitting male with something between shame and embarrassment.

“Get up, Naois,” the Pure ordered.

Naois looked away, trying to keep his own emotions in check.

The other responded by grabbing his hand and forcing him to his feet. “If you’ve got to be a Fallen, at least be respectful,” he warned viciously.

Naois ripped his hand out of his grip. “Like you even want to help me, Conan!” he accused. “You’d just love to see me suffer!”

“Well at least you still have the same attitude!” Conan snapped back. “If you don’t master that, I’ll tear off your wings and throw you down to Earth myself! Damn it, Naois, how did you even get permission to visit Earth in the first place?”

Naois snorted. “It helps that my brother is in a pretty high position as an adviser to the Ruler.”

“I’ll be lucky if I keep that job after this!” Conan pushed him roughly, forcing him to start walking. “You have ten years to Purify yourself or you will be thrown to Earth. Understand? The Council’s already watching you, and I’m not going to lie to them when they ask me about your progress.”

For a long moment all that could be heard between them was the soft sounds of their footsteps on the onyx roadway. Naois was deep in thought, trying to comprehend all that was about him. He knew he was a Fallen, an angel cursed into darkness by sin, and that he first had time to change before his full punishment was given. But that was all he knew.

“Conan,” he asked quietly at last, “what did I Fall for?”

Conan gave him a sharp look. “You ought to know.”

“I honestly can’t remember,” Naois replied, looking away with a shake of his head.

His brother sighed. “You slept with a woman.”

Naois looked back at him in even greater confusion. “But that’s not a sin.”

“Without love it is,” Conan reminded him.

“But… I…” Naois didn’t know what to say. Why hadn’t he assumed that? After all, he did remember waking up in a run-down hotel room without clothes moments before realizing his wings were black. But, he knew that was something he wouldn’t sanely do. Something was missing.

“You probably felt left out with all those other young men talking about their women, and the pictures of practically naked men and women all over the place.” Conan gave him a sly look as he spoke.

They had reached their house, and Naois shot his brother an ungrateful glare as he entered. He slammed the door in his brother’s face and flopped down on the floor, lying with his wings spread out. It didn’t matter to him what Conan thought. He knew that whatever had happened to him hadn’t been his fault.

“Very nice,” Conan declared as he entered. “Slam the door in my face, when I’m the one helping you.”

“How are you helping me if you’re not listening to me?” Naois demanded, sitting up. “You’re not trying.”

Conan walked across the room, stepping over a long black wing. “I’m letting you live here,” he pointed out as he disappeared into an adjoining room. “And I’ll tell you how to become a Pure again.” He didn’t speak again until he reappeared in the room holding something black, which he threw at his brother.

Naois guessed what it was and let the light bundle of fabric hit his chest and fall into his lap.

“Take off those disgusting mortal clothes and put on your new robe,” Conan instructed.

Naois sighed and did what was asked of him, not caring if his brother saw him.

“To Purify yourself,” Conan explained as Naois changed, “you must either win the forgiveness of all the Council members, or find real love.”

“Don’t you mean ‘true love’?” Naois asked, smoothing out his new black robes.

“That sounds too unlikely,” his brother answered. “This love can also be in the form of friendship. I know you’ve never had a friend before. It’s your only option, because very rarely does the Council forgive. I have forgiven you only because you are my brother.”

Naois snorted and made for a nearby door. “I’m going to sleep. Go cuddle with your wife.”

He closed the door without hearing what else Conan was about to say. He was back in his room at last, and he dropped onto his soft bed with a groan. His confusion and worry left him as sleep dragged him away.

Minutes later he awakened to someone speaking words that he didn’t register. He opened his eyes drowsily, and jumped so severely that he fell off the bed, bruising a wing. “Who are you?” he demanded.

The Pure male who had been leaning over him gave him a curious look, which gave way to a sharp scowl. “Avichai. Conan’s apprentice. Who are you?”

Naois could read the bias easily. “Naois. Conan’s brother. What are you doing in my room?”

“I was given this room,” Avichai replied, violet eyes looking over the Fallen on the floor.

“Just take it,” Naois ordered, getting up. He wasn’t in the mood to argue, so he left the room and walked upstairs. There was a large sunroom that was lit by moonlight streaming through the windows. He climbed onto one windowsill and sat, one wing drifting out the open window. With a sigh he leaned his head back against the frame and gazed at the stars a moment before closing his eyes.

It wasn’t the dawn sun that woke him the next morning. He sensed a presence near him, and when he opened his eyes he saw Avichai standing nearby.

“Conan and I had some early morning work to do for the Council,” he stated, “filing reports on Earth-bound Fallens, and he told me about you.”

Naois looked out at the sunrise. “He probably increased your bias,” he grumbled.

“No,” Avichai replied. “He doesn’t seem the type to show his siblings how he feels, but he really is worried about you.”

Naois snorted. “He’s worried about his reputation.”

“But he’s worried about you, too,” Avichai argued. “He doesn’t want you to become fully Fallen, for your sake, not his own.”

Naois just shook his head, but was distracted by a group of three Pures on the ground below. The two men held small bows with dart-sized arrows, and the woman was cursing Naois. Before he could realize what was happening and get into the room, he felt three sharp pricks in the wing that had been floating outside, followed by one in his shoulder.

He flinched in pain and fell into the sunroom, knowing what was inside the darts he’d been shot with. It was Killdark, a poison used against Fallens. Avichai seemed to know it, too, as he instantly yelled for Conan before going to Naois’s side.

Naois tried to fight back his feelings of pain and fear. “I want to Purify,” he whispered, looking into the apprentice’s eyes, “not die.”

“Don’t move,” Avichai ordered, removing the darts. “Don’t make it circulate faster.” He rolled up Naois’s sleeve, revealing a slowly growing purple welt where the dart had been.

Sweat began to form on Naois’s forehead as his breathing grew heavier. He grasped Avichai’s wrist and winced at the pain surging with each beat of his heart.

“Relax,” Avichai reminded him.

“What happened?” Conan demanded as he entered.

Avichai looked away from Naois and held up a dart. “Someone shot him with Killdark.”

“Damn it,” Conan spat. “Ara!” he called down the stairs to his wife. “We need the Killdark remedy made, now!” He looked back into the room. “Avichai, we need to get as much of that out of him now or he’ll die before we make the potion. I need to help Ara. You need to draw it out of him.”

“How?” the apprentice demanded.

“Have you ever heard of a vampire?”

“Yes…” Avichai replied slowly.

“There you go. The poison has no effect on Pures.” Conan headed for the stairs as he spoke, leaving Avichai staring at the growing purple welt on the wounded Fallen’s arm.

Naois tried to speak, making Avichai look back at his face. No words came, but he managed to mouth a shaking “please.” Avichai nodded, and as he leaned his head to Naois’s arm, the Fallen lost consciousness.


April 23, 2011 - Posted by | Short Story Saturday

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