Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Vignette: COCYTHUS

Smoke was thicker than sin in this place

Her white wings were stained into a dull ash gray. Her soft nimble fingers were raw and bleeding. Her dainty toes and smooth feet were now raggedly scarred with bleeding lines of cuts and sliced flesh. And her eyes; they have lost the long coveted innocence that they bore.

She was an angel, and among her kind she was one of the weaker ones. Barely a wisp of light compared to Afriel who was the protector of children and young animals. Or to Ardousius who helped midwives during the acts of childbirth. Even Bath Kol who preached thruthful communication in prophecy, Ecanus who inspired writers and allowed the flow of inner expression or Liwet who presided over inventions glew a hue of sunlight more potent than hers. She even found it ironic that the twins Hariel and Hayyel, who watched over the domesticated and the wild animals respectedly, were a dazzling brillance of shimmer compared to her faint and feeble light.

"You shouldn't have come," his voice hissed from the mist, and she turned towards the direction of it half-expecting to see the apocalyptic visage of the first among the fallen to be already standing behind her. Instead, she saw the two points of amber light that stared at her shocked face from the rolling fog. "You're place is not here. Not along the river where pain and forgetfulness are kinsmen."

She wanted to speak, but instead shook her head a gentle no.

He laughed, voice hopping like a hyena calling for its pack, then emerged from the smoke as a shadowed figure of a man that crumbled into ashes as the winds tore into its collapsing shape. Voicelessly gasping, she drew her now ashen wings around her to protect herself. She acted just in time.

The ashes surged into a flash flood of dark swirling dust and slammed into her feathered wings with the force of a hurricane. The impact buffeted her off the ground and into the somber and indifferent sky. She fought back against the vertigo, spread her wings and tried to balance herself in the air. But he was not done with her.

"Is this what you want? To be here in my kingdom. My prison?" he screamed as he became present in her senses once again. This time, he was a horrible rolling storm cloud that breathed lightning that arced with firey tongues. The shifting cloud bore upon the angel and enclosed her in its swirling arms. "You are now mine, pretty angel. Your wings are burning. Your skin is flawed. Your eyes no longer innocent and your tongue has tasted the tang of envy, jealously, anger and fear. You are mine, to do as I wish, to play with as I desire."

She bit her lips closed as he ripped her wings into shreds of burning feathers. She wrapped her hands over her face even as he seared her breasts into smoldering things that clung heavy and dark upon her body. And she fell, plunged into the murky depths of Cocythus, and rose from its inky void with tears rolling from her eyes for now unremembered reasons.

"So it ends, Angel," the cloud spat and erupted open to reveal a shimmering and beautiful man whose eyes beguiled those who witnessed their depths. He grinned his perfect smile and offered her an outstetched hand.

"Amen," she replied and the clouds suddenly tore away to reveal the brillance of sunlight and moonglow. The first of the fallen screamed as he leaped backwards, averting his eyes from the novus face of the Almightly and crouched against the nearest shadow he could find.

And she rose, back towards Heaven, with her wings reforming and her body washing away all wounds and pain. A bitter and painful reminder to Lucifer that the Lord forgives any who asks for forgiveness. Lucifer screamed once again as the light began to fade, tears upon his eyes as he felt the urge to call after them both. He felt the urge to leave this place. To no longer be the ruler of a pitiful and darkened kingdom. But then he stared at his reflection upon the dancing waters of the river and realised that he had come far too far to lose everything now.

"Til your next visit her, Angel. Next time," he hissed as his body coiled into itself, concentric patterns of scales adorning his flesh, "I'll remember to tear your innocent voice away before everything else."

Nikki Alfar
Tobie Abad
Gabby Lee
Andre Mischa Cleofe
Cathy delos Santos

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