Fallen Angels

Harper Allen was an ordinary teenager, that is until very recently. Down in the darkest area of Seattle, Washington, in an old boat on the famous port is an army of 'Fallen Angels'; a group of angels from another world determined to take over our one. Armed with an injection that makes normal humans sprout angel wings, they are unstoppable. But once Harper gets turned into a Fallen Angel herself, will she have the power to be able to stop them? For the City of Bones competition.

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2. Duty

I woke up to the sunlight pouring through the window, streaming through the thin cotton curtains that separated me from everyone else in the world. I rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand and took a cautious glance out of the grubby, rain-splattered porthole. Despite the earliness of the hour, the port had been awake hours and was already in the middle of it's days work. The rocking of the boat made my stomach flip and I took a breath, my eyes closed. The throbbing in my right arm increased suddenly and, my teeth gnashing together, I rolled back onto my mattress, writhing with the pain. As long as I lived, which would now be forever, I would never get used to that. The ashy wings that lay curled up folded on my back quivered slightly as I shivered, and I stroked them. It was morbid to love my wings, knowing that they were instruments of torture, an apparatus that enabled me to kill and take away the lives of innocent people, just for this pathetic army. But I loved them, and that love was unconditional. I guess it was because, for the first time in a long time, my wings were the only things that actually belonged to me, and me alone. 

I stared at myself in the cracked mirror Dynasty had scavenged for me on her night of duty, and sighed. The worst thing about being an angel was the disgusting beauty that you acquired once you had been transformed. Months ago I would have killed for the type of looks I had now, but presently I had began to understand the implements of my recently obtained allure. It wasn't for any other purpose but to lure people in, to make them think you were good and kind just to slaughter their bodies with a knife and needle. My once plump figure was now willowy and sylphlike, though with bumps and curves in all the right places. My hair was no longer greasy and straggly, hanging down the side of my face like a dead banana skin, but was soft and shiny and the colour of freshly made coffee. My face wasn't scarred with spots and the blemishes of a typical teenager but was smooth and white, not a horribly pale colour, but the exact shade of whipped cream.   

"Harper?" Came a deep, scratchy voice from the other side of the cotton. It was Blake, it always was this time of the morning. Blake was the only other Fallen Angel that I talked to, partly because he was only one year younger than me, (the rest of the fallen angels were from the ages of four to fourteen) but mostly because Blake was the type of person who you didn't need to explain things to. Blake would know when to ask questions, and when to not ask questions, when you needed comforting, and when you wanted to just be left alone. If we weren't angels and stuck in this hellhole together he would be the sort of guy I'd like to date. He was sensitive but strong, and his looks weren't too bad either, however unlike me, Blake was attractive before he was transformed. Blake was soft, graceful; every movement he made looked like he was dancing on a cloud, and his hair was tousled and the colour of sandwood. He looked at me with his soft, burnt sugar eyes and sighed. "I guess you're on duty then."

Believe it or not, the constant pain in your arms wasn't the worst thing about being a Fallen Angel. It was the day that would come to every angel eventually; the day that you would be called upon to be on 'duty'. 

Blake looked down. "How long?" His voice was so flat that it barely even sounded like a question. Behind his beautiful eyes and face as pale as a piece of parchment paper with cheekbones jutting out like a Greek statue, I could see the pain behind his prepossessing exterior. Blake had already been on duty three times since he was transformed, and every time when he came home, it had taken him days to recover from the horrifying experience of causing a child unimaginable agony. 

Being on duty meant combing the streets; whether that meant stalking kids in the playground or the mall or scouring the dank alleys of Seattle in the evening for the teens who were poisoning themselves with dodgy vodka anyway. You would attract attention, normally this was by your good looks or your friendly manner, and when they were least expecting it, shove the ruby encrusted dagger every angel carried into their upper arm. 

You could choose which arm.

I moaned and flopped onto my side, trying to hide from Blake the pathetic tremors of my body. He just stood there, nervously fingering the pearly buttons of his gray flannel shirt, looking at me under his fringe. "How long does the pain last?" My voice was deplorably quiet and mouse-like, barely a squeak, but I had no doubt Blake had heard. He coughed drily.

"It depends on the age. The younger they are, the less it hurts. However," He sighed, a thread wearing thin from his busy fingers' work, "They are obviously harder to... Well, you know." Blake moved closer to me, his voice suddenly quiet. "Maybe don't pick a toddler for your first one."

I buried my head in my hands. "This is such a mess."

"We don't have a choice, Harper. None of us have a choice."

It had started raining again, and I heard delicate raindrops pulsing against the porthole like tiny feet. I stared into the drizzly Seattle morning, thinking about how easy it would be to use my iron fist and pound my way out to freedom. It was as if Blake had heard what I was thinking.

"Don't do anything stupid, Harper," he said. "The first one is always the hardest."

"It's fine," I reassured him, "I'm fine. Just... be here when I get home, okay?"

"Home?" He laughed, gesturing to the mouldy ceiling where I had optimistically hung a dreamcatcher. "Harper, you haven't been here five minutes. This place will piss you off soon enough."

"Thanks Blake." I said sarcastically, shoving past him and tugging on my navy sweater. "Thanks for all your support."

I didn't even look back as I climbed over the decking and stalked off to do my duty.

My bloody duty.

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