Thursday, February 23, 2017

Satanica -Installment 1-

Prologue // Jarek

He caressed the child with such gentleness and sincerity, the scene looked like it belonged on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The angel’s wings were folded around them like a downy blanket, his blonde hair cascading in thick waves to his shoulders. Jarek could see his dark blue eyes searching hers - equally as blue - as she cooed in his right arm, her rounded pink cheeks casting soft shadows that touched the corners of her upturned lips. If it weren’t for the circumstances, he would have thought the moment beautiful - a bestowment of God - but it was the angel’s left hand, reaching behind his back for his sheathed sword that destroyed its brilliance. Hot rage pooled behind Jarek’s eyes and settled somewhere in his throat.
He pressed it down into his stomach, his voice low and cautious, “Michael, please. You don’t have to do this.”
The angel lifted his face to Jarek. His cheekbones were set high in his skull, a piecing feature enhanced by his natural golden illuminance. His lips were parted, soft and drowsy, complimenting his sharp nose and hard eyes. Even from the distance at which he stood, Jarek could make out every long eyelash that brushed the bottom of his prominent brow-bone. He had the face of a warrior - Jarek couldn’t help but imagine his angelic likeness cold and unphased, sprayed with a fine mist of blood.
“I’m only carrying out His orders, Jarek. You must understand,” he reasoned in a calming manner. Michael began to reach for his sword once again, his gaze returning to the child.
Jarek chanced at bravery. “Don’t you dare lay a finger on her. By all that is good, Angel, I would suggest you turn away and leave her unharmed.”
“Archangel,” he said pointedly, brushing Wren’s cheek with his thumb in smug defiance. She wriggled in his arms, gurgling from his attentive touch, “and I have no intention of abandoning the word of God for a man. True, I possess a great respect for your kind, but I have no intention of honoring every request that becomes of me. I wouldn’t be in The Lord’s highest favor if I allowed such trivialities.”
Michael, with a final determination, unsheathed his sword from it’s leather holster. The air around it seemed to scatter, as if the atoms themselves were wary of being divided by its edge. Michael gently displaced the wool blanket wrapped around the infant’s pink body and situated the blade against her bare chest, allowing the tip to fall just below her chin. Wren, ignorant to the danger, toyed with a loose feather on Michael’s tucked wing, a throaty giggle escaping her lips.
“Please,” he brought himself to his knees and bowed his head as if in prayer, “I beg you, please, let her live- she’s only a child.” Then, meeting Michael’s galvanized gaze, he added, “She’s all I have, Michael. She is my only purpose here.”
“You know that isn’t true, Jarek.”
"She's done nothing to deserve this!"
"You are fully aware of what The Prophecy entails."
“To Hell with The Prophecy!”
“You dare not blaspheme His word, Jarek!”
“Then I’ll kill myself.”
“You’ll do no such thing.”
“You underestimate me.”
“Then you will burn for your sin.”
Michael’s forearm visibly tensed as he gripped the hilt of his blade, the pommel pressing into his wrist. His features wrinkled as he maintained a perfect gaze with his innocent casualty; this behavior stunned Jarek. The angel felt no consequence, only apathy. It was with this realization that the room went dark. A cold wind crept up the back of Jarek’s neck and stuck there, draining him. His tongue tasted of poison.
“What…?” Michael breathed.
The new presence at Jarek’s side undulated with a raw intensity. The atmosphere bubbled and cracked with pure static as the two supernatural energies battled an unseen and unspoken engagement on some higher plane of existence. Every hair on his arms stood pin-straight, and yet the gravity of the room seemed doubled; a magnetism that both attracted and repelled. The dark figure beside him was scholarly: a button-up shirt, blazer, wing-tipped shoes. He stood straight, but not too straight- his left knee pointed at a diagonal that suggested a nonchalant posture. It was with this demeanor that Jarek recognized him as Azazel, demon of Hell and embodiment of sin.
“I come alone. Alone, but not without purpose.” Azazel, tall and slender, stepped further into the room with a dominating presence. Adjusting the cuff of his jacket, he imposed himself. “Michael, I don’t expect you to understand - blindly following God is in your nature, as free will belongs to man - but I cannot allow you to kill that child.”
Michael, perturbed by the demon’s presence, lifted his chin in provocation.
“I will see His word through, demon. Your attendance, though unexpected, will be but a negligible hindrance. If the world and it’s non-corporeal counterparts should remain as we know it, the girl must die. It has been spoken by the Prophet of The Lord, and through him, God Himself.”
“What a know-it-all.”
“He’s omniscient.”
“Shut the hell up, Michael,” retorted Azazel, losing a touch of his original refinement.
“Now, now, Azazel. No need to get testy. I understand you’re incapable of seeing what I see. You, being spawned from the most evil of marriages, have not felt the Grace of God upon your afflicted soul. You wouldn’t have the slightest knowledge of what great darkness this child will release onto the world if she were allowed to live.”
“I am well aware, Michael; however, where you see consequence,” Azazel shrugged, “I see progress.”
It was with those words that Azazel sprung into action. The demon was at arms with Michael before Jarek could comprehend the shift in atmosphere. Azazel, in one swift movement, removed Wren from the angel’s grasp while simultaneously throwing his elbow into Michael’s chin and driving his heel into his left knee, causing it to buckle. Wren was in Jarek’s arms before he hit the floor, the angel’s wings crumpling around him as he struggled to regain his composure.
“Hurry,” Azazel urged, meeting Jarek’s gaze, his eyes alight in frenzy. He pushed the child deeper into Jarek’s chest. “Go! Go!
Panic surged through Jarek’s veins as adrenaline battled paralysis. So shocked by the sudden turn of events and confused by the demon’s apparent concern, he was victim to slow-wittedness, unable to withdraw his scrutiny from the scene before him. Fear finally assumed itself as Jarek turned away from the two supernatural entities, coddling the infant closer to his heart. It was then that a great string of crackling white light struck Jarek in the back. He folded backward; his eyes melting in their sockets and dripping like candle wax. He fell to the Earth, his flesh bubbling like molten rock. Michael was on his feet with his arm outstretched, small sparks of electricity jumping between his fingers like an unnatural webbing.
“I will not allow this, Azazel,” Michael warned, lowering his arm. “Turn away, accept His divinity, and drag yourself back into that filthy pit of a realm where you belong. You have no business here.”
Azazel, observing the now-weeping bundle swaddled in her father’s cooling flesh, reflected for a moment, as if considering Michael’s order.
“Why didn’t you just smite her like you did the man?” He asked, “Wouldn’t it have saved you the trouble of having to deal with me?”
“You know I don’t have that kind of power,” Michael sneered. “There is a reason I wield this sword.”
As Azazel turned to face Michael once again, he realized the angel had unsheathed his weapon while his back was turned. Aware of the carnage that awaited them, Azazel allowed his human form to disintegrate. His features crumbled, splintering apart to reveal his truest self. Iridescent silver shadow oozed from his prior anatomy, gathering - or rather, congealing - into the silhouette of an imposing, brutish monster. Light refused to touch him. He was everything Michael was not.
“And for the record,” Azazel’s abstract form uttered from a space beyond the human dimension, “My soul is not afflicted.” The room darkened as the demon repelled whatever light attempted to creep through the hastily-boarded windows of the humble nursery. His inky presence suffused into all corners. “I have no soul.”

Prologue End.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, I loved hearing your story in class yesterday. Great concept. I can't wait to hear or read more.