The rain fell in swift drops of frigid water. They felt like a shower of sharp rocks against Lux’s delicate porcelain skin. Lux shivered, hunched over, wearing just a black sweater and jeans. Her feet were bare and had become sore and bloody from walking on the concrete all day.
Lux looked up, black hair clinging to her cheeks and forehead. It was dark outside- around 2 o’clock A.M. in human time. Streetlights made little difference in the heavy rain.
"Lux!” An urgent voice whimpered from an alley. “I found her!” Lux broke into a run towards the dark space, stopping next to two figures. One of them, the one who had called to Lux, was hunched over the other, who was lying limp on the ground.
“Kenzie, lift her up.” Lux spoke softly, trying to sooth the young girl’s panic. What if she’s hurt?” Kenzie’s voice rose in fear, and her hands shook as she lifted the limp figure into a sitting position.
“Alexie?” Lux knelt down and placed the girl’s face in her hands. “Alexie, wake up honey.” Her voice flowed smoothly, and a soft glow came from where Lux’s hands contacted with the Alexie’s skin.
Alexie’s eyes flew open in shock, her mouth parted in a silent scream of pure terror. She flung herself backwards and hit the side of a building with a sickening thud. The sound of tearing echoed in the air.
Kenzie gasped and Luz bit her lip to stop from doing the same. Alexie was down on one knee, both hands on the ground to support her. Two black shadows loomed around her, menecing yet elegant at once.
Wings, spanned twice her body length, with black feathers that shimmered in the rain like a dark flame. They stood rigid, slightly angled down in a defensive position.
“Lux…?” Alexie looked up, shaking despite her threatening posture.
“Yes, Alexie, I’m here.” Lux fell to her knees, followed by Kenzie.
“Alexie!” Kenzie cried out and flung her arms around the winged girl, who relaxed as soon as they touched and returned the embrace, burying her face in Kenzie’s long hair.
Lux silently gazed at the scene. The asphalt was slick from the relentless rain, a giant black puddle that, to Lux, looked as though it would suck you down into the deep darkness forever at any moment.
It was all so new, so harsh. Lux's back still ached with the pain of a fresh tattoo, the ultimate reminder of what had been lost. Her grace.
Kenzie, Lux, and Alexie all bore the tattoos. Each had been given to them while they were in free fall, etched into their skin with the sharp bones of their own wings, which had been torn from them and soaked in their own blood instead of ink.
The tattoos were of the very wings that had been torn from their backs, heartbreakingly beautiful depictions of the elegantly feathered structures of purity, soul, and grace. Each girl's tattoo was different, reflection on their souls.
Lux stood and turned towards the street, watching a car pass by. The tall buildings around them seemed to reach up endlessly. This entire world was a dark cesspool in Lux's eyes. Even the air in her lungs seemed heavy and impure, like she was nearly choking on this world's darkness.
One thought rang clearly in Lux's mind, like her soul itself was sighing in defeat. I am a fallen angel.