The Fall

* * * The first 24 hours. That is when you really think the world’s about to end, that’s when you choose, to surrender, or to fight. * * *

Evie, had always thought of herself as painfully ordinary.
Until the night when the war begun and every angel, of heaven and earth began fighting to obtain her.

Moving through a swirling mess of chaos and pain, Evie must learn not only about her past but also of her future.

The balance was about to tip and along side Dante, a fallen angel with a difference, she must decide, will she surrender to her fate, or will she fight to stay in the light?

My entry for the 24 hours in the City of Bones competition!

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1. The frist 24

It was unseasonably cold for an early September evening in Seattle, a thick sea mist, whipped up  by the wind, was already rolling in towards the docks. Two figures, men from their height and build, appeared to be conversing at the edge of a thin jetty, their heads bent in urgent discussion. It was clear that the taller of the two was dominating the exchange, his broad shoulders flexed in irritation as he began to speak more animatedly.

“You will not question me on this matter again Dante”

The taller figure placed a strong hand on Dante’s shoulder, a final tone to his voice.

The slighter of the two men, now known as Dante bowed his head.

“Forgive me”

“We must all remember our place during this crucial time; he has vowed that any and all that stand at his side will be rewarded in this new era. It is time for earth to fall”

If anyone happened to be passing through the harbour at this hour they would have almost certainly seen the older man swiftly walk to the end of the jetty, a dense shadow growing around him, spreading like ink in water, until the shadow unfurled into huge unkempt black wings, and with one hard beat, lifted him into the night sky.
 

              * * * *


Evie woke with a start, her hair falling in limp, sweaty curls around her face. It was that dream again, the reoccurring nightmare that began on the eve of her eighteenth birthday.

 She was standing on the edge of a giant precipice, she couldn’t move or speak and all she could see was an oppressive darkness. The dark was cold and clung to her skin in moist droplets. Just as she believed she would stumble and fall to her death, a strong hand encircled her wrist, pulling her back. The fear in her stomach eased as she tentatively stepped towards the figure.

 A sudden pull on her ankle stopped her, she turned back toward the crevice to see a monstrous and evil looking creature scrambling at the edge, it’s slimy and sharp tentacle wrapped around her ankle pulling hard. Evie pitched forward, finally seeing that what she once thought was water at the bottom of the precipice was in fact a writhing mess of what could only be described as demons. The strong hand released its hold on her. She fell.

Evie rubbed her eyes with her palms in an attempt to erase the horrific images that had become almost burned into the back of her eyelids. She thought of waking her Grandmother, but knew she should not. She would only recite the same details that her grandmother already knew so much about from nights, much like these, where Evie had felt vulnerable enough to climb into bed with her in search of reassurance.

Evie was raised by her grandmother, Adelaide, and always thought they had kept no secrets, until Evie confided in her the time of which the nightmares began. Adelaide visibly paled and repeatedly asked her if she was certain. When Evie had asked why it mattered the older women quickly regained her calm and insisted that it didn’t.

Evie was startled from her memories as her cat, Jesse, slunk in through the open window. It was just a silly nightmare that was all it could be.

 

              * * * *

 

Dante stood on the small jetty for a long time after his superior had left; his mind consumed with what the older man had told him. He had known for years that an uprising was the ultimate goal of the fallen, he just never expected it to truly happen, or that he would be on the side of curses and shadows.

He was a soldier, before he fell; created to protect and defend this world from the heinous creatures he now fought alongside. He was foolish. He placed his trust in the wrong person, and as that traitor was condemned to fall from grace, so was he.

When he reached his destination he was greeted by several other damned angels, a dark skinned and quick witted one handed him a long and deadly double edged sword attached to a simple weapons belt.

“Do you know what the assignment is pretty boy?”

Dante nodded sharply, not in the mood for small talk. The assignments were always the same, command the monstrous army of hell, and inflict pain or suffering on an unsuspecting human in the name of a cause he didn’t believe in.

 

               * * * *

 

Evie finally placed her pencil down, her eyes lifting to her small alarm clock. 4am. She had sketched the figure from her dream, all blurred lines and strong hands, a flash of blue eyes. The quiet clatter of the front door startled Evie. Adelaide would never be awake at this hour. Her breath caught in her throat. That wasn’t the sound of someone opening the door; it was the sound of the locks being broken.

Ice cold fear rose up inside Evie, panic threatening to take over. She forced a slow breath. Panicking would do no good. She scooped up her mobile phone, the battery was flat. Every muscle in her body was telling her to hide, to climb out of the window and down the fire escape, but she would not leave without her grandmother.

Spurred on by an intense need to protect the one person she loved most, Evie tip toed towards the door, her eyes raking the room for a suitable weapon, if they were armed, nothing in this room would protect her. She stepped forward and opened the door.

The inner city apartment was quiet and dark, the only sign that anything was amiss was a dark smear along the floor leading down the hall into her grandmother’s room. Evie bit back the bile rising in her throat from the awful stench. Pushing the sensation away she skirted forward over the oozing mess.

The dim moonlight cast the room into an almost unrecognizable pattern of light and dark. Evie strained, willing her eyes to adjust and find the intruder, her eyes shot towards a small humped shadow in the corner of the room. She ran to her grandmother, her heart constricting at the sight of the poor women huddled against the wall.

“Grandma, are you okay? Grandma?”

Evie spoke in urgent whispers as she knelt beside the older women. Adelaide looked up towards the young girl, her eyes full of tears.

“My precious girl I have failed you, they have found us”

The resignation in her grandmothers eyes and the mention of ‘they’ grated on Evie’s nerves, was she hurt? Were they still here?

“Grandma, who has? Are you h-“

Evie’s sentence was cut short as a huge shudder rocked the building, the sounds of cracking concrete and twisting metal assaulting her ear drums. The panic spiked again in her blood, she quickly turned to retrieve the telephone from the dresser, her fingers hammering in 911. The line was dead.

“Evelyn, we must leave. Now.”

Evie bent down to hoist her grandmother to her feet, a protective arm encircling the older women’s waist. She steered them toward the front door of the apartment as another screaming shudder rattled the building. Evie reached out a hand to pull open the door. Her hand froze on the handle as an oily black shadow slunk forward from beside the door. Evie gaped at the familiarity of the deformed and monstrous shape. It was nearly identical to the creature that had been plaguing her dreams. The strange surreal sensation of being in a dream arose as her mind rapidly began telling her what she was seeing couldn’t be true. The sensation was shattered as a white hot pain lanced through her arm, the shadow creature’s long sharp appendage finding its target.

Evie screamed out, comprehending nothing but the pain, she watched the skin slice and her bright red blood flow down her arm as if it didn’t belong to her. She was snapped from her daze by a woman’s scream. Through the pain Evie had not realized that the creature had pulled back again for a second strike, this time aimed at her heart, or that her grandmother had pulled free of her grip. The sight of the repulsive creature spearing her beloved grandmother in the chest made Evie wretch. Bright blood and dark ooze, poison? leaked from the wound in Adelaide’s chest. Evie dropped to her knees at her grandmothers side, holding her limp hand tightly the shadow creature bristled, enjoying their pain, and begun to advance on them.

“No!”

Evie whipped towards the monster in a snarl, tears staining her pale cheeks.

“Get away from her!!!”

A blinding and iridescent light filled the small hall, Evie scrunched her eyes closed, pressing her body down onto Adelaide’s in protection. The light dimmed and, as if by the will of her words, the horrific creature was gone.

She had no time to mourn the loss of the woman who raised her; the quakes that rocked and moved the building were becoming more frequent. She moved quickly, closing her grandmother’s eyes and resting her lifeless hands to hide her wound. Evie had no idea what was happening, where that creature had come from or if it was even the shocks of an earth quake that rocked the building, yet some part deep inside her had started to take over, filling her head with purpose and calm. Within minutes Evie had changed into jeans, a sweater and her old leather jacket, the long gash on her arm dressed as best as she could.

The sight that met Evie on the street outside was worse than she could have ever imagined. Many of the apartment buildings had begun to collapse in on themselves, the rubble raining down onto the sidewalk. In the near dawn light she could see hordes of the same shadow creatures, all charging in and out of houses and shops, many dragging women off into the shadows, Evie’s head swam as she witnessed one of the monsters drag a young woman towards a tall man in the center of the street, the man shook his head and with that the monster slashed at the women, cleaving her head off.

              * * * *

Dante watched from above as Samael dispatched more and more lesser demons into the surrounding buildings. He watched as hundreds of innocent lives were ended. He also watched in amazement as a heavy brick hit Samael square in the back.

Samael whirled toward the direction of impact. Evie shuddered as his black eyes fell on her. Within seconds he was upon her, a razor sharp curved dagger to her throat.

The man was twice the size of her, easily pinning her back against a crumbling wall.

“You are foolish to think you can fight back, little girl, even if you are the prophesized warlock”

Evie flinched away from the man’s foul breath, his words confusing her. Samael laughed a low and menacing sound.

“Yes I know who you are Evelyn Rivers, even without that amulet”

Evie’s hand shot to the amber pendent that hung low around her neck, it was the only thing she had allowed herself to take from the apartment, her grandmother had always worn it.

“Let go of me you monster”

Evie spat out the words like venom. Samael’s face darkened, the amusement melting from his features.

“I’ve never understood how a stupid half-blood could tip the balance, but let’s find out shall we?”

He smirked, pushing the blade against her skin, blood beaded along the knife’s edge.

“Samael! Do you forget our orders? We are not to harm the girl”

Dante landed close to Samael’s side, his plush midnight wings dissolving into inky smoke and shadows.

“We will win this war, and without this abomination!”

Samael lifted Evie high, tossing her away with ease. Her back smacked into the side of a parked car, she couldn’t breathe. Without a second thought Samael raised the dagger, sending it sailing through the air towards her heart.

The blade buried itself deep into Dante’s back as he dived towards the girl. His beautiful midnight wings unfurling around her was the last thing she saw before she blacked out.

Evie clung to the image of those wings and the striking blue eyes as she fell into darkness, one simple thought her only anchor.

If this was the end of the world. She would fight.

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