Dark Skies

From the Story Arc: Finding the way home

Previous Story in the Arc: Lost by Arch Angel X (Thursday, June 16, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Choosing Sides by Arch Angel X (Monday, June 20, 2005)

(posted Thursday, June 16, 2005)

The sky was black and fouled thick with the soot and smoke from the village behind him. Cinders hung in the air and danced on the fiery breeze, ash fairies, and their beauty mocking the horror that had given birth to them.

The room began to spin violently tossing Xavier from wall to wall like a he was a doll. He staggered like a drunk as the dizziness caused him to throw up.

He reached out to support himself finding only a cold cement wall. His eyes slowly opened as he gazed upon seemingly endless walls of grey. The bright light caused him to squint as his eyes needed time to become adjusted to the day.

“Where the hell am I?” He began touching his arms and his face, “still in one piece”

He toppled over crashing into a garbage bin toppling it over trash littered the alley way and rats scurried in opposite directions as if fleeing for their lives. He waited at the perch of the roof top, gazing at the passers by, waiting…waiting for the right opportunity to feed.

Xavier could hear them in his head, the man and women as they screamed and begged. They moaned and wailed cries of pain and terror. He clutched his ears to block the sound of their harrowed voices and shut his eyes tight.

Blood lined his lips and drained out his mouth along his neck.

“God, what have I done? Please save me from this horror”. In began to rain ‘God’s tears’ he thought as they landed on his face, washing the blood away. Xavier quickly hoisted the bodies above his shoulders and carried them down the abandoned alley way. Holding them with just one arm he used the other to open the dumpster lid. Then doing the un-thinkable he rid himself of the bodies letting them lay in the man’s filth. He knew they should be buried to return to their creator, to return to God, but he couldn’t.

Xavier knew all too well there was only one way to end his relentless torment. He climbed to the highest peak of the tallest mountain he could find. Trudging through the heavy snows he crawled his way to the top. The heavy winds blew and bitter cold iced over his skin. The thick clouds and snow blocked his vision but he knew where he was as reaching his foot out he felt no solid ground.

“This is how it ends, I will not allow you to control me like this”. He took a deep breath clamping his fist to his chest just over his heavily beating heart. “A leap of faith”.

His impact upon the rocks shattered his bones and ruptured his organs. The wind born ash swirled and fell upon him like snow, ash and blood mixing thick upon the stone. He gazed upon the heavens and cried. Death was a temptress, offering absolution and the end of troubles, a harlot that smiled and opened her arms wide, then laughed and fled when he sought to seek comfort in her embrace. Bones mended, organs healed. Xavier moaned and rolled to his stomach, then pushed himself to his knees. His curse still held. Death, the eternal tease, still eluded him. He groveled in the blood and ash and sobbed. His ghosts had silenced, but they would return. The sin that had gained him immortality assured they were never far from him.

The night sky was three shades of gray: an opaque yet wispy, dingy gray, hovering near the bottom of the horizon; a thick, smoky, coal gray sweeping across the middle heavens and an ominous, heavy elephant gray looming above, as if to smother us.

The air is laden with moisture and it clings to the finest hairs on his skin. Inside this damp rat hole he can’t escape the nasty feeling or the musty dankness that envelops him.

It was especially troubling since he was so far from Eden. The birds had stopped chirping, and he had not seen a single forest creature since he left his keep. As he traveled farther and farther through the woods, the ominous sensation increased. His service as an Archangel had taught him to listen to his intuition. It had grown into an uncanny sixth sense, and he knew this dread all too well. Xavier stopped in a small clearing.

In the open fields of this nameless place, he is left with much time to squander his day watching the flies sent by the demons to observe me. He sits motionless so as to give them no clues as to his motives, although he knows theirs. They seek to discover his powers so that the demon tribes can discover the Seraphim. But he won’t give them any hints to his capabilities or how he gleaned them – “I won’t yield my secrets to these grown up maggots”.

In the blink of an eye Xavier found himself back atop the tallest building in Paragon. The colossal city was full of life as the huge clock in the town centre struck mid-night... Xavier sat there vigilantly like a Great Horned Owl hunting for his prey, unsure of how long he’d been here, he began to ponder the change of leaves from vibrant, full green, to orange and red, to brown and finally to nothing.

His long, blood red cape billowed around him as he turned from the scene. He was branded with the Devils Horns upon the back of his right hand to show he was a demon. Long, tattered white hair, draped, over his shoulders hid a dagger, its sheathe, entwined in his hair.

“I must find you” Xavier whispered into the night air.

“Perhaps you already have”. Xavier turned and glanced upwards from his crouch. Seraphic Flame stood just behind him.

To be continued…