For previous editions of this love story, go here.
There was a time when I couldn’t tell his fingers from mine.
There was a time when our breath was one, laying side by side on never-ending white. My head nested into the nook of his shoulder, his fingers tracing the softness underneath my arm. I kissed his jawbone as his lips brushed against my head.
There was a time when I knew nothing but happiness and my only thought was of love.
And then the time came when I realized this was only a dream or a past memory.
“So how’d you do it, Creepy?” Slammed against the wall as a demon that looked like a molting rooster laced my hands behind my back, I pulled out the only weapon I had left: sarcasm. ”Do you have evil telekinetic thoughts or something?”
The demon raised his hands, squawking. ”You said to bring me to your father. You said nothing about telling Samantha. I did as I said.”
“You stupid liar”– Lucky yelped as Samantha’s black leather boot connected with his jaw. Digging a heel into his back, she leaned forward, ignoring his squeaks.
“Leave him alone!” I reared back, wrenching out of the rooster’s grasp. Driving my head into her shoulder, I knocked her off of lucky into the steel door. ”If you’re going to hurt anyone, hurt me!”
“Oh, I will.” Samantha spat blood, wiping a scarlett streak on the back of her hand. ”Don’t worry about that.” She shot me a nasty grin as she roped a iron chain around Lucky’s tiny neck. She tugged, laughing as he yelped.
“Samantha!” I strained at my bindings, my shoulders aching. ”Stop!”
“That’s enough,” Creepy scolded, blocking her attempts to roundhouse the poor dog huddled under his angel wings. ”You know what Herself said. The dog and human are not to be harmed.”
“I’m not harming them,” Samantha sulked. ”Just playing with them. Besides, it’s not like she’s going to have much fun later.”
“What’s happening later?” I swiveled around to Creepy. He shrugged. ”That’s for Herself to decide.”
“When I get your soul, I’m going to”–
“You know that’s up to Herself! Not you!” Creepy scooped up Lucky with one claw, the poor angel-dog dangling mid-air. His feet pedaled helplessly, his wings cramped with chains. ”Now let’s go. We’re late.” Slamming on a stone with his fist, a panel slid back to reveal a tiny elevator.
“I am not going up a dumbwaiter.” I jerked out of the other demon’s grasp and shook my head. ”I hate small spaces.”
“But this is the only way to get to Her chambers.” Creepy’s mustard orbs blinked.
“I don’t care.”
“You promised you’d come.”
“And you promised you wouldn’t trick me.”
“I didn’t trick you!” Creepy protested. ”I simply told Samantha when she reached out to me.”
“Reached out to you?” I ducked out of the slimy rooster’s grasp.
“It’s an angel thing. Or in this case a demon thing.” Samantha smirked. ”You wouldn’t understand. It’s like instant messaging mind to mind.”
Creepy stared at me, his long bony finger quivering towards the dumbwaiter. ”You promised.”
I looked at Lucky. His paws and tail drooped as he swung through the air like a furry mop. ”You might as well,” he sighed. ”There’s not much we can do. We’re under their laws. And I don’t have enough energy to fight all of them. And you don’t either.”
“Fine.” Raising my chin, I crawled into the dumbwaiter. Creepy placed Lucky on my lap, then started to slide the panel shut.
“Wait! Aren’t you going?” I peered through the diminishing crack.
“We’ll take a shortcut.” Samantha’s laughter seared through as the panel slammed shut. Lost in the darkness, all we could hear was the clicking and grinding of iron chains as the small box descended.
“What is their deal with iron?” I grumbled, resting my chin against Lucky’s head.
“Iron is for dark angels what air is to real angels. They can bend it to do what they will. As it is a natural element, good angels can not fight it if imprisioned here.”
“What do you mean, natural element?”
“If it comes from the Earth, an angel can not destroy it. We can only destroy what man has made, for it is not in His image. So if we get stuck in iron chains”–
“You can’t break them.” I sighed. ”I hope Mom and Delaney are ok.”
His answer made me feel smaller than a cockroach. ”If this goes how I think it will, it won’t.”
The elevator bottom thunked and the panel slid open. Blinking in the darkness, Lucky jumped off my lap. I unfolded my legs and forced my screaming muscles to stand, shuffling around a corner.
All I saw were his blue eyes. Each wrist was chained to a grate and he hung like a crucifix, his body sagging in the middle. His wings had been nailed to the wall, ruby streaks staining the pristine white feathers.
“Gabriel!” Stumbling forward, I sprinted towards him, hobbling as my wrists slammed against my spine with every step. ”Gabriel!”
Before I could reach him, dozens of demons grabbed me and dragged me to the center of the room. “Gabriel!” I screamed. ”Gabriel!” Twisting in the demon’s grasp, a flash of white blinked in the corner of my eye. I jerked my head around and sucked in my breath. My father hung from the opposite side of the room in Gabriel’s mirror image, his head lolling across his chest. ”Dad! Dad!”
A ball of black smoke spiraled before me as a laughing voice inquired, “Let’s make a deal, Ariella. What do you say?”
Once again, I was going to make a deal with a devil.
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! A new ode tomorrow!
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