What's Worth Dying For

Avalon Burge knew why she shouldn't like Gabriel Woods. But she couldn't help herself. It's not like she knew before they became friends, but she'd seen the signs and chose to ignore them. Their types weren't supposed to mix, but something about Gabriel was different. Start reading to find out about the demons and angels in all of us, what happens when they form a forbidden friendship and what they experience when their true natures start to burst through. Please comment your thoughts and some of your own stories! I will read them!! :)

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2. Chapter 1: Living

  The darkness was soothing. She was cradled in it. A white light grew into focus, swallowing her in its brightness. And then only blackness once more. But she dreamt. Swirling images if Ben, transforming into a red creature, hunched over on all fours. Alex screaming. The red Prius barreling down her road. She saw herself, laying, unmoving, on the road. Blood dribbled down her face, leaking from a gash on her temple. Her blue eyes glassy and unseeing, wide open, staring at Ben's house. Her mouth screeching a silent scream. Her hair soaked in her own blood. Her arm bent  behind her at an impossible angle. Her chest unmoving. She gladly let the darkness overcome, relieving her from her nightmare.
        Light ripped her from her peaceful nothingness, not unlike the light she'd encountered earlier. But Stella could feel her body and along with it a throbbing like she'd never felt before. Her eyes flew open, she gasped for breath, gulping in air. She bolted upright in the bed. Pain spiked in her skull so strong that she nearly fell into darkness again. She blinked rapidly, the pain subsiding into a dull pulsing. A white room, windowless. A white bed with white sheets and a white pillow. And a white door.
        She looked down at herself. She wore a white nightgown. Stella instinctively reached for her temple, the image her on the road, bleeding, flooding her thoughts. She felt no gash. Her arms, she inspected them, bending and squeezing them, feeling no pain. Stella swung her legs over the side of the bed and gently lowered herself to the floor. Her bare feet touched the freezing floor, sending a chill through her. She spotted a mirror on the wall and cautiously shuffled over to it. She placed a hand on the wall to steady herself, feeling slightly dizzy. Stella peered into the mirror, unsure of what she'd see looking back at her. She saw a thin, pale face, her large eyes staring out at her and her wild mass of curly, red hair the only color in the room. She frowned and the Stella in the mirror frowned back, too. Where was she? What day was it? Where were her parents? As a torrent of thoughts streamed through her head, she heard the squeak of a door and immediately spun around.
          It was a pretty African girl, who couldn't have been more than twenty. Stella took a step back, until she was up against the wall. She couldn't bring herself to speak. "Stella," the girl spoke softly, "It's okay, I'm here to help you. I know you must be really confused right now, but I'm going to help." Stella's eyes darted around the room, looking for another escape route, besides the one this girl was blocking. She couldn't help but notice that the girl also wore white.
        "I want to go home," Stella stammered, a tear slipping down her face. The other girl moved towards her. Stella took a sharp intake of breath and squeezed her eyes shut.
        "I promise it's going to be okay, Stella," the girl said, "But you're going to have to trust me."
        "Who are you? Where am I? What day is it? Where are my parents?" Stella let out in an exhale of breath. "Tell me now."
        "I'm Angela," she replied, "And... We are in heaven. We don't keep track of days here and your parents are living on Earth. You died a long time ago, Stella, and you are an angel."
        "You're crazy! I need to go home!"
        "I didn't think you'd understand."
        "You're right, I don't."
        "Come with me, Stella."
        "Oh I don't think so. I'm going home."
        "That's not an option anymore. You're going to have to follow me, one way or another." Angela's stern voice told Stella that she wasn't kidding. Stella was afraid to anger this psychopath, so she gave in with a sigh.
          "Okay."
          "Thank you." With that, Angela swiftly turned around and walked out the door. Stella scrambled to keep up but stopped, poking her head through the doorway, confused by the seemingly endless hallway in both directions. She then turned to the right to follow Angela down the corridor. Angela and Stella's footsteps echoed down the hallway, the only sound. Suddenly Angela stopped and opened a door on the right. How must she remember which door is which? Stella thought quizzically, they all look the same. The smell hit her like a brick wall and her stomach growled hungrily. She hadn't realized how hungry she was until she saw all the food lined up in neat rows.
          "Where is everybody else," Stella wondered aloud, taking in the room. To no surprise, everything was white. There were tables and chairs on one half of the room and counters of food on the other.
        "It's not mealtime," Angela replied, "Meals are at nine o'clock, twelve-thirty and six o'clock."
      "Well, what time is it now?"
      "A quarter past two."
      "Can I please eat something, Angela? I'm ever so hungry." Angela gave her a slight nod of approval and Stella grabbed a plate. She picked up two slices of wheat bread and piles it high with roast beef, turkey, ham, mayo and cheese. She slapped on the last piece of bread triumphantly. She also got some french fries and ketchup. Now that Stella had her food, she wasn't sure what to do, so she awkwardly walked over and sat down at one of the tables. Without waiting for Angela to come sit, she dug in, easily inhaling her sandwich. Angela had come and was silently watching Stella, her eyes curious.
          "Stella, I know this is kind of a personal question," Angela began slowly, "But I was wondering how you died." Stella dropped the fry she was holding and it landed on her nightgown, getting it stained with ketchup. "You don't have to answer." Hearing Angela ask that suddenly made it all seem very real to her. Stella was dead and she knew how she died.
          "I... Umm," Stella gulped, "I got hit by a car, while I was playing with my friends." Angela frowned.
          "I'm so sorry, Stella."
          "Me too." Stella picked up the fry and placed it back on her plate, no longer hungry. "Will this come out?" Stella asked, examining the blob of ketchup on her nightgown.
          "I think so," Angela answered kindly, a smile playing at her lips.
          "So what now, Angela? Where is everyone else? What do we do now?" Stella considered that maybe they were the only angels, but quickly discarded that idea. There had to be more, right?
          "You must move into your dorm, meet all the others. You will start your schooling tomorrow. Are you finished? It would be easier for you to settle in before the others are back from school."
            "Yeah, I think I'm done," Stella said. She picked up the paper plate and walked over to put it in the garbage. "Okay, let's go."
            Angela led her down the seemingly endless hallway and abruptly stopped at a gray door. It stood out against all the white, making it impossible to miss. "It helps the newbies to remember where their rooms are," Angela said, as if she could read Stella's mind. Stella nodded, her mind racing. Who else would be here with her? How old would they be? Would they like her?
            They entered through the doorway and were now in another short hallway with five doors. "There are two angels to a room, and at this time, you make the sixth. Do you want your own room?" Stella thought for a moment. Did she want privacy, alone time to cope? Or did she want someone to talk to, to help her sort things out?
          "I don't want to be alone," Stella decided, "Will they be mad that someone has to share a room with me?"
          "I'd think not. It always helps them to talk with someone, to talk things out. I think Kate needs a friend. She was fourteen when she died and I think you'd suit her well, because you both were young," Angela finished uncertainly, afraid to hurt Stella's delicate emotional state.
          "Were? As in I'm not young anymore? You know what, I don't want to know, don't answer that. Which room?" Stella turned in a circle as she spoke, pointing a lazy finger at each of the doors. There was three doors on the left side and two on the right.
        "That one," Angela answered, motioning towards the second door on the left.  So Stella walked into that room and surveyed what she saw. Two white beds and two white desks, white walls, a white carpet, two white closets, one open, oozing with colorful clothing, the other closed. One white bed was unmade and the desk on that side of the room was covered in notebooks and colored pencils. It was a relief to see that she could where colorful clothing, she knew well that white did nothing to help her pale skin.
            "Oh." Stella turned around at the unexpected, high pitched voice. It wasn't Angela who'd spoken.
            It was her sister, who'd died of cancer four years ago, when she was only fourteen. Stella sank to the ground, her legs unable to hold her up any longer.

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