Hey all! I’ve been working on this novel for ages and am finally working towards getting it published. I’m planning on posting it chapter by chapter and hoping to get all of the feedback I can. I love reading as much as I love writing and am always happy to swap stories and give feedback, so let me know if you want to trade. Happy Reading everybody!
There is a tale about dark angels. Most of them were white angels once. They flew high above the clouds with the sun on their wings, and a duty to protect their charges. But there are dark times, when something happens to those angels. They become troubled, no longer weightless, burdened with dark thoughts and selfishness. When they give in to these vices and they wish and want for more, their wings grow heavy with greed, and they fall. Down and down crashing through the trees, branches break and tumble after them as they go. But they don’t stop when they hit the rocks. They keep falling, down into the fire that gives off no light, down into the flames that burn their very soul. It is then that they watch their wings burn, and become as black as their cold hearts.
A little gruesome, I know, but we live our lives by this standard. It has been taught since the first angel fell. This verse was told as a bedtime story to keep our children in line. It used to scare me when I was younger, and I would pray to God never to hear these voices that darkened the mind. But as I got older it only became more confusing, raised more questions. When angels fall they become dark angels, and there are many of them. But what happens then? They live in an abandoned world, not hell, they tell us, not quite, that is a place for human souls, but they are cast away somewhere where they can never return home here. They must live a life there. A tortured life maybe, shaped by their own terrible thoughts and actions, but a life nonetheless. So logically some angels must be born there, and what of them? Are they born dark, evil, plotting for revenge like their ancestors before them? Are they even given the choice? They didn’t fall like their parents did. They can’t all be so cold, right? What if they don’t all want for chaos and destruction? What if? It’s a common question in some circles, maybe, but where I come from you get your feathers plucked for having such ideas.
I was born here, in the Upper Realm, with wings as white and soft as spun silk. My mother would fuss over them for hours when they first came in. My father would catch her bragging to the neighbors and scold her, threaten to dirty my wings, to singe them or cut them to stop her boasting. The Upper Realms is not a place for boasting, or vanity of any kind. On Earth, humans would call this place Heaven, however I regret to inform you, it is not like your books will tell you. I was 17 in the Earth Year 2012, and still only an “Angel In Training,” in the program that schools the Dispatch Angels. Not all of us go into this career, but we are all taught the same lessons. This was where we learned about ourselves and how the humans differ. We learned of our history, and theirs, how to interact with humans on the job: kindly, so that they trust us, and forcefully, so they know they must follow our lead. This is where we learn to fight the sins that humans often give themselves over to, to guide them back to the right path. In a short, but spine-chilling lesson in our early years, we learn about the Fallen Ones. Our angel cousins, the ones who abandoned their posts and cast aside their morals. They were often described as having fallen victim to the humans, allowed the other species to taint them and their good morals. We are never to interact with these angels. It was dangerous, they would say, they were dangerous. We were urged to keep this lesson in mind, but to speak little of it, as if even the consideration of their existence would darken our souls.
I used to think about those things a lot, sitting tucked away in an overgrown, rundown garden, staring into the Pool of the Lost. Despite its unfortunate name and it’s many warnings from the Elders to stay clear of it, it was the most beautiful place, perfect for letting one’s mind wander. I used to revel in the way the willow trees sagged, as if full of heavy secrets. Little did I know how true it was then. I’d fall asleep listening to the grasses, pulled by the wind as it whispered past their stalks. At times, it seemed almost to whisper to me.
“Laaanii. . .” it would call. “Laaannniiiii. . .”
And this is how my story began.