Caelum Sky Chapter 37
We talked for some time; Raziel never asked about any of the "big picture stuff." He didn't want to know. Seemed to be okay with a whole line of ends that didn't meet up, of explanations that provided more reassurance then answers. That anger for where we were and what I did, it disappeared; so I'm not entirely sure how he reasoned all that out in his head, but he didn't want my answers. So instead, we talked about the weird subtleties of what had happened in the past, little unimportant things. Where I went back in that gymnasium being invisible from everyone else, educated him on the whole demon subsystem that took about five minutes total, being the same as up top; it was a little worrying that he didn't care for knowing more than elaborations on what he already knew. No matter, with Palug's return, I'd be explaining a lot more whether he was okay with it or not.
Sitting there, playing cards, we were both enjoying the rest from constant movement, from the over-stressing situations I managed to get into on a fairly predictable basis. Listening to the gentle waterfall, to the solitude of all the perks of a Japanese sand garden with half the lighting; our peace didn't last long.
Suddenly, as if on cue, my stomach hurt. It was a dull, anxious sort of pain, far away and subtle at first. I tried to shake the notion off, tried to chalk it up to other matters until I saw Raziel doing the same thing, coughing into his closed fist with his other hand to his stomach. I sat straight up, watching him as the pain dulled away for a moment before brightening back up in a horrible little jolt. Raziel coughed again, frowning in sync and trying to pass it off as nothing, like I was.
"What's wrong?" I questioned intently, putting down my cards. Raziel shook his head like it was no pain whatsoever, grinning for a second and waving his hand.
"Nothing, feels like indigestion" He looked up, eyes locking tightly together as that wave of pain hit us both. "Or
driving a knife in my chest
" This couldn't be some tether problem, if he and I were both feeling it
Oh no. There was a knock at my door, something rushed.
"It's Cempe, open up, we've got problems!" No no no no no
Immediately I grabbed Raziel by the wrist, leaping towards the door; the smoke was already wafting by my ankles as we bust through the threshold, storming past Cempe with her hand raised, ready to knock again. She scrambled up next to me as I popped back into full form, the full nine feet tall, dragging Raziel along like a child. A wave of pain hit us both again, stumbling my walk just for a moment.
"It's Paul, isn't it?" I looked to Cempe as the fate nodded quickly, all joking aside, serious. Looking back ahead of me, I picked up the pace. "Figured so, we're both getting sympathy pains"
"Sympathy pains? You call this a sympathy pain? " Raziel said behind me, tugging back quickly, " Who the hell is Paul?" Looking back he pulled his one hand away with the stain of blood on his fingers, red spot just above the heart on his shirt. Cempe and I both stopped instantly, looking to one another.
"You didn't TELL him?" She practically ripped off my ear, scolding me as I teetered off center.
"He didn't wanna know big picture stuff!" I elbowed Cempe in the ribs, "He was going to figure it out eventually!" I looked to Raziel, frowning at the blood on his shirt. It was a dirty trick, a dirty, dirty foul little trick. I snarled, turning back towards the exit.
"God dammit!" I snagged Raziel again and jumped into a run, turning back as we exited out the far door, back amongst the lava pools and dead river corpses. Without a crowd to appease, only the helper-monkey stood there, confused as I dragged my previous victim along gingerly.
"Nona, what is
" He pointed to Raziel and back to me as I let go of the ex-angel.
"Paul's Continuum." I said quickly, fixing my gloves and craning my head back,"Colus!" Algo
or whatever his name was, immediately bowed to the angel out of respect. You could see the black smoke begin to swirl loosely around the lava platform in a broad tornado rushing towards me in a more skilled, artful way. I kept my eye on it, attention purposely focused elsewhere.
"Sorry for previously, Sir, I had no idea!" The demon smiled politely to him, perhaps even more jarring then the bow; Raziel's head snapped to me, and then back to him. The smoke slammed together from both sides, flaring and rushing out in full demonic majesty, wings unfurled, ready to launch in a hurry. Now in the body of the full-grown Colus I leapt from the platform, from the hall of fates, heading towards the surface in a mad, mad dash. I could feel where he was, I could practically see Palug in my head, find him amongst this darkness. As those crosshairs lined up, something jabbed the side of my neck angrily.
"You know this is the part where I'm going to ask what the hell is going on, right?!" Raziel shouted at my head, grasping desperately onto the fur along my spine. "Who is Paul, and why do the demons suddenly respect me instead of wanting my blood?" My flapping started to get faster, started to blur those lines once more, pointed straight up at the pinprick of light.
"You sure you wanna know? It's big picture stuff."
"He's my other, my soulmate!" I turned my head to look Raziel in the eye as his face squished up, almost in distaste. I ignored it. "They're attacking him up top, that's why we're both feeling the effects!"
"But what does that have to do with me? Why am I feeling it? I've never met the guy!" I turned back ahead of me for a moment, only to turn back. Sorry Raziel, this information was going to come out whether you were ready or not. I prayed he was ready, that he would understand eventually. I clenched my teeth.
"Because you two are the same person!" I shouted quickly as both our faces blurred out of existence, darting through the fabric of space with Raziel's panicked response wailing out behind us.
This round, I my name was Maienca. I lived in the principality of Asturias, the oldest Christian establishment on the Iberian Peninsula in the Northeast section of what today is Spain. This round, I did not live in the middle of wealth, did not have that security net to fall back on easy living; it was all wretched poor, day to day living for me. It also didn't help that I grew up stubbornly, that I grew up a bit of a shit. I've always been that kind of rebellious spirit no matter where I went. That didn't help things here. Previous to really meeting Paul, this round Pere, you could say I was a brat. I'd say that too.
It was my first life done for the sake of a break, smack dab in the middle of the Crusades. Prior to then, demons enjoyed a fairly relaxed lifestyle; we were a loose collection of enigmatic and unfortunate souls. My sisters and I still had small competition from one religion to the next, things weren't radically different or anything really, still had opposition, but it came to be more that we were just the dead after life, not the hideous evil creatures from the depths of hell. There were still fights, but nothing on a scale seen in the Crusades. Souls desperate to continue that sanctimonious drive from life suddenly began conflict, arguments that began to result in fights, escalating to full uncontrollable warfare. Even with this push heaven was on today, it absolutely paled in comparison. With so many getting wiped out, with this brand new idea of having to lead others into rebellion, I couldn't take the endless fighting, the burden; escaping up top. Leaving in turmoil, I happened to arrive in turmoil, having a consistently crappy attitude for the first 14 years of my life.
We lived in the heart of the town, admits the hustle and fuss of the market place. I stole, constantly. This life was also where I got my penchant for learning how to break open a lock, a natural talent to me in any of my future lives in existence, this natural sway for breaking into things. Sleight of hand tricks as well, come to think about it. Either way, I was a pain in the ass. Loud, annoying, I only quieted down for a reason. My parents could barely handle me, the only child they dared give birth to. We were Christian; I had to be if I wanted to keep my tongue. Or fingers. Or an arm. The crusades were rough.
So they sent me off to help in the Monastery on the outer limits of the town; there they tried to teach me the gift of shutting the hell up during service, of doing what was asked of me, of trying to be civilized. I didn't take to it very well, feeling like I didn't fit into the situation, residual hatred and frustration from my demoning job outside of this life. With this rise of a new church, why the hell would I help out? Their solution was pretty straightforward; I found myself reading a lot of biblical text, stuck in the room with the giant paper bible that was supposed to beam some sense into me. That too didn't work very well. I wasn't ill treated in the least; I was just tolerated as one does a headache; give it a quick fix and hope the situation resolves itself. I felt alone, isolated.
Instructed one day to read nearly a fourth of the whole book in one sitting, I found my eyes glazed over the text, juggling the knowledge of offhand Latin I knew, trying to read the intricately perfect handwriting on every day; I found myself looking for inking errors instead, sighing out the window. I had the attention span of a gnat; it was non-violent torture.
Fingers racing over the text, I stopped. Face scrunched up, I picked up the fringes of a tune, of a soft, sweet melody. Like something out of a dream, I suddenly heard music from the entryway, something far away- a lute
well, it was technically an Oud, but it was a type of lute. It was enchanting, wonderful and mystic; not one of the biblical hymns I knew, nothing religious in any take, just a common song you'd hear every now and then in the marketplace. The gall someone had to be playing that in here--standing like in a trance from the book I began to walk down the long hallway, smiling more out of confusion then pleasure. My feet edged down the way quickly, racing faster and faster to find that music, that sound. As the notes changed, I stopped; the sound was just the other side of the door; my head snaked around the edge , curious.
Inside that small room was a boy, roughly my age, sitting precariously over the lute, eyes furrowed, figuring out the notes he played as they came out. He was one of the 'junior monks' I suppose, in training, under just as much stress and expectations to learn these texts, and here he was, fiddling around with a lute. I wasn't a bold woman that time, I was shy despite being a pain in everyone's ass, wary of those around me; but I just found myself already walking into that room, drawn to him. It was like something I couldn't control, it wasn't an option to ignore this and go back to my own quarters. The boy jumped as I practically stood over him, smiling and laughing already.
"My apologies" he said quickly, hand over the strings of the lute like he intended to put it away. I stood, dumbfounded, forgetting how to smile and react as just being around him was an experience in itself.
"Please," I stumbled on my words, "Keep playing." The corners of my mouth tugged slightly, walking to the other side of the boy as he looked uncertainly to me, smiling once more and leaning back over the instrument. As he started playing once more, the way he played, it was like I could see through him, could feel that energy, that serene peace. It was something I didn't have, something foreign in these years. Staring at Pere was like seeing all facets of that tresillo soul, all at once, like experiencing the past, present, and future in one smile. Basically, I was struck.
"Maienca" I said out of the blue, no regard to spit out this kind of information at a proper time, like a break in the song, or when he might've asked for my name. Pere/Paul/Palug stopped, laughing again before shaking his head a little back and forth.
"Pere" he said quickly, eyes snapping up to me before back down to the instrument. He played without interruption for another hour, until his mentor came back and shooed me from his room.
There's a notion that people carry, that some romantic dunces believe that the entire purpose of life is to find the other half of yourself, to discover the other part of your existence. I had never been that type of person, I worked diligently to lead the others, I worked to fight back, I worked with half the thought that with all these lives lead, I actually would meet my other half. Knowing as much as I did, I figured a "soul mate' was just something made up by people, that it was just a word. But just sitting in that room not only awoke that type of love, that bond, but it jarred all factions of my soul. My past and future soul, left behind in Hell as a loose collection of thoughts, ideas, a churning mass of shapes and black, hazy forms; began to buzz with life. Life that I wasn't leading, that I wasn't in control of, those other parts knew something was going on. It definitely put Cempe and Aisa on alarm, almost in fear, watching non- choreographed parts of myself freak out, swimming with colors other then the same, dull, hazy grey. In my own existing life, it translated to some serious emotional heart fluttering. I just couldn't ignore that drive to see him, to meet with him again, to just be around him.
For seven months, while he was supposed to be studying up, supposed to be working towards his eventual move into sanctimonious part of the monastery, while I was supposed to be having the love of God change my heart or else, we were inseparable. If I wasn't sneaking around to visit him, he was sneaking around to visit me. Obviously, being stupid half-adults, we were caught, over and over again, it was no secret what we were doing and our annoying young love was tolerated as much as I had been tolerated in the past. You hope it goes away. You hope it fades out; rests, disappears or some small argument tears that devotion apart. That never happened. And as we got closer to Pere's indoctrination, it began to cause more frustration and annoyance. They began to pressure him, pressure his devotion to the word, their tones changed towards him and me, this terrible bout of uncertainty.
Four days before he had to make up his mind, I found him standing just outside my doorway early one morning. Heaped over the wrinkled bible, asleep, I yawned and stretched out, smiling, already happy to see him. His face had been clouded with worry, he looked frightened and exasperated, an unusual scowl that pretty much dropped as our eyes met, back to that ever-dependent smile.
"We're going to leave." He said quickly in embrace, whispering over my shoulder, "I came here to find direction in life, and I have. But it's not with them." I couldn't speak, couldn't reply, holding him close. So we left. We walked out of that monastery with the unkind words at our back, with the stigma and shame nothing short of being exiled. We were so happy we just didn't care. I figured a happy, beautiful life lived with that other half was worth whatever years I could get out of it, that it was the only thing that mattered.
Most souls live their lives without knowledge of when it's their turn to pass on. Most of the time, it's not planned; neither me, Aisa, or Cempe have any real control over that life span of any other person beside our own. We know that we can't take too much time off, and generally, we plan on each life lived to be as long as our fictitious age demands it to be. That's why my lives all fizzled out before I was 28, why Cempe's never lived past 38 and why Aisa has never broken 50.
I wasn't supposed to live past twenty, this time around. Four years into our marriage, right on cue, I grew sick. I got a bug like everyone else around us, and I grew gravely ill. Just when it looked like I was due to pass on, like I was about to see the end of it and call it a day, I got better. It wasn't supposed to happen. I wasn't 'supposed' to live past that day, but I did. I fought against that planned death, struggled and practically ranted, somehow managed to break my own death date. It was the only time I had, and I honestly think it was because I didn't want to leave Pere, that I didn't want to split from him ever again. I wasn't being rational, hell, love is never rational. But I as far as I could control, as I could influence and pull that from my other bits of soul, I wouldn't leave, not on my own terms.
Exactly a year after that first illness, I grew deathly sick again. I survived. A month later, diagnosed with the incurable ailment. Cured. Little odd occurrences started happening after that, life and 'the plan', ironically, trying to resolve itself, trying to make good. Trying to kill me off. I was shot with an arrow. I 'accidentally' fell down a steep rock face. Kicked in the face by a goat, part of our little meager house collapsed on me, I mean, I survived it all. Pere began to think the world was conspiring against us, but of course, he said it with a smile. Our life was in perpetual drama, surviving one thing and overcoming another; I managed to get three more somewhat good and often painful years out of that original sentence, until that fall of 1287.
Apparently seething with annoyance and frustration, it was Cempe that came to retrieve me. There was no rhythm to how the stray warring soldier came to our tiny little farming stand, how she managed to pick the time when Pere was traveling to town for supplies, how she knew just where to find me. The Fate inhabited and controlled the soldier with about as much grace as a child does with a broken puppet. Stumbling up to our front entrance in a strange, jumbled mess, she didn't even bother trying to make up something believable.
"Enough of this, Nona, we're done playing around." I remembered the male soldier calling out an a strangely effeminate tone, eyes half-focused and half-closed. Pinned against the back wall I reached for whatever iron we had, bracing it in my hands like I had done it a thousand times before. It felt like the other parts of me were flaring up, were reacting to this, surrounding me, sentient on their own. Full of this uncontrollable need to protect this life, to keep guarding my health and survive yet another obstacle, to stay with Pere, I fought back. In that life, Maienca was never a fighter. Ever. Loud, yes, but never raised anything heavier than a sack of potatoes towards anything worse than an open fire. I guess that was a fairly ironic life, but fighting at that time was just something I seemed to understand, to know what was going on.
Real shame, before our big battle even started, before I ever set out and tried my first attack, I was struck dead. Lightning. Without a cloud in the sky, indoors, in the middle of the day, Cempe managed to kill me off right on the first try with a damn lightning bolt. That doesn't even qualify as a cheap shot. Cheap shots at least require effort. By you. That was an assist, at best- gather as many demons to pool around one point beneath me and it gathers enough negative charge in the atmosphere. Coupled with help from Aisa and Cempe together, and they struck me dead.
Sprawled on the floor, without giving that obligatory five minutes to let my soul separate from the body, I suddenly popped to life, arms out, battle ready once more. Cempe was gingerly stepping out of the soldier's possession, poor guy confused and delirious from the five miles Cempe had stormed in anger to get to my isolated house. She gave me a dubious look, shaking her head back and forth as Maienca's soul was already to kick her ass, as it didn't bother questioning anything else.
"Grow up" she said coldly, lip curled up at me.
"Grow up? You don't even know the meaning of the word!" I hissed back in not only the voice of Maienca, but of the hundreds of other women I had been previously, all lined up and harmonizing with the same anger, an auditorium fighting back. Cempe's eyes flared up before squinting to tiny things, taking just a few short steps to tower over me, still that fragment of human soul.
"That's what they all say." She put one giant foot on the top of my head, shoving my soul feet first into that hellish slop below, just beneath that house. My soul; at least the rest of it. It was like molasses, like a choking, strangling feeling that burrowed through my ears, seeped into my skin, sunk into my brain and wormed around, struggling to find where it was supposed to go. Confused I thrashed around, trying to scream, trying to get away, scared and uncertain as that black cloud of gelatinous smoke put back all bits of my soul in the right order, as I grew those extra inches, as I became, time and time, life and life again, that same Nona with another life- notch on my belt. Stubbornly, suddenly, I was spit out, decked out in the horns, the gear, the clothing, the foot-wraps like I was now, everything just as it was supposed to be, but just very very disorientated.
There was no twenty minute slow-restart of the brain, there was no waiting time to get all my memories back in check, it was just like jumping back in where I left off, yet more relaxed, more laid back, more focused like how it was supposed to be. Sitting there, eyes wide on that cold hard ground of the inner workings of hell, Cempe slowly descended alongside me, laughing and giggling like it was all one big joke.
"Thank the stars we've got you back, Nona, you were being completely ridiculous, trying to fight against us in that weak human form. Did you manage to learn more about Christianity?" Braced against the wall, she checked around her nonchalantly, waiting for an answer. I couldn't give one. She assumed all that work, all that love was just a human thing, a human fluke. That maybe as I was back to normal now, that'd disappear, it'd fade back to nothing and I could just resume doing the same work I was doing before. Those feelings
that drive and desire, if anything, it was worse now. Dead. I was dead, separated. Slowly putting a hand to my heart, my breathing began to get fast, my eyes began to constrict back, I began to panic. Looking around frantically, I looked back to the surface, breathing hard and without a word; I stumbled back on my feet. I couldn't stay here. I was dead. Gone. Separated from him. Breathing quickly and without a word I shot towards the surface, scrambling to get back to him. I left him. I was gone. Cempe yelled out behind me, startled. "Nona!?"
Pushing, working, digging through that earth, I couldn't even figure to use the Colus to get there faster. Couldn't think of anything else. Pere, Pere please
Light began to peek through my frantic digging, my struggling, my desperation. I'm sorry Pere, I won't leave you, I couldn't abandon that bond. My teeth clenched together, faster, faster, back to that life I had snapped apart from. My fingers were almost to that light, just
Already, I could hear him.
Busting through that last layer, that last bit, I pulled myself from the dirt anxiously. My eyes were immediately on Pere in that house, holding onto my lifeless Maienca body, cradling it. I couldn't move, hands shaking, half of me still submerged in the ceiling of hell.
no!" Pere's frame shook from across the room, a slow, torn sobbing coming from the man who never seemed to stop smiling. "This
this can't be happening."
Pere!" I shouted behind him, dead voice reaching and breezing past the man as nothing more than a static cry, inaudible. Tumbling through those last inches of dirt, my only thought was getting back to him, was to consul, to keep being there. "Pere!" I shouted out, voice shutting down as something grabbed a hold of my ankle. Cempe.
"Nona, gods, what's the matter with you? Get a hold of yourself!" It was one of the first times I saw real fear on my sister's face, a bewildered, confused look. I thrashed to get away anyways as she clung tightly to my leg, "Nona! Stop it!"
"It's your fault!" I yelled out, wild eyes turning back to focus on her like the enemy. "You think I was fighting for no reason? That I was disobeying my sentence for fun? I found something to live for!" My voice escalated to a petrified screech.
"I found something better, more honest then all this, and you took me away from it!" Other foot secure on the floor, I yanked my sister through the dirt like a spoiled vegetable, the two of us bristling at one another amidst that tiny shanty of a room, heads scraping the ceiling. Wiping off her face, she kept her frame low.
"Snap out of it!" She darted for me, meaning to strike me upside the face. We locked hands.
"This isn't something to snap out of, Cempe!" It felt like the edges of my soul were frayed, unsteadied, hazy things as my strength was already waning, emotionally drained. "My life with him was more important than some stupid fictitious Fate duties, then this pointless fighting, it's more important than anything! Why can't you understand that? Why don't you get it? " Her face contorted instantly, putting in all her force to throw me back away, toss me across that room. I crashed against the table, breaking the poorly made thing in half as Pere suddenly jumped to his feet, startled. We all were. This hadn't happened before-not since the golden ages, never had we been able to affect anything in the physical realm until that very moment. Ignoring that fact, Cempe stood tall in the far end of the room, teeth clenched in anger.
. selfish brat!" Cempe spit at me. Wood crumbled under my touch as I pulled my head from the wreckage. "You think this is all about you? The world's conspiring against you and whatever stupid love you've baked this time?" She looked as if she meant to say more, stuttering, confused. Turning back to Pere, then back to me, then back towards the wall, she held up her one arm up by her face. It was the only time I could remember my sister shedding a tear.
"You disgust me, you know that? Go ahead! Have fun! Watch him fall apart, watch him suffer, watch him move on without you and die like all the rest, you worthless, scrap of a human being!" And she was gone. Silent.
My eyes slowly panned across the room, holding my head tiredly, seeing my dead body out of the corner of my eye. Clenching my eyes shut, I turned away. Shuffling my legs off the side of the splintered table I tried to collect myself, tried to make sense of this stubborn refusal to get back into the swing of things. It scared me too; I almost wanted to forget it all, to move on, but this bond with him, it wouldn't let me. Burbling out a quiet groan of dismay, I pulled my knees closer, keeping my head low. What a mess. My own dead, flat eyes glared at me, accusing. Hurt. What now?
There was a buzzing sound, a warbling static, white noise as I could feel myself waiver, skin wiggling. It was a horrible little feeling; sitting up immediately I threw myself back against the table, horns scraping and propping my head up. It was Pere standing in front of me, his hand outstretched, face wrinkled, trying to understand. Slowly, he leaned forward, following my movements like I was as visible as anything else. This wasn't real. Pere was as normal as anyone else in this world and anyone before it, not since that Golden Era had we actually made contact with anyone. People just didn't believe in us anymore; our influence was a dead and forgotten thing, but maybe with my other half
he was staring straight into my eyes, locked to me as he continued to lean forwards, hand outstretched.
Looking down to my own hands I looked back to him, sniffling and holding the one hand up. He stopped, looking to it, then back to me, once over to the body and back to the hand, cracking the faint bearings of a smile.
"Maienca?" He asked uncertainly, hand hovering just a few inches away from mine. "Please
if that's somehow you
" Loose smile on my face as well, I leaned forward, grabbing for his hand; I could see the hair stand up on his arm instantly as the man jumped, choking out a disbelieving smile. How he explained it, that it was like seeing me, but not, knowing I was there without so much as a few hazy details. He took it as a sign from God. Unable to really tell him otherwise, unable to speak to him, I could only stand alongside him, continue to be by his side. That's how we lived out the rest of his days.
Once my corpse was buried and laid to rest, I'd rarely leave that house. It was a sort of imprisonment that I didn't mind, I had to stay with him, to almost guard him. I couldn't talk to him; he couldn't understand a word said, I was only able to vaguely influence any dreams that were open for influence, which wasn't often. But he knew I was still there, and it kept him happy. I knew the recesses of hell quite well; I knew that it wasn't my favorite place to go, so the trade-off was something I could tolerate. My sister Cempe didn't speak to me again for those fourteen years that Pere had left, Aisa visted on occasion, gently trying to persuade me to come back with the rest of them, but I refused. Time spent here seemed to be the only thing that mattered, I couldn't leave him alone.
Driven by these thoughts that God had somewhat spared his wife, had granted that small favor that allowed me to stick around by him, even after death, he went back to the religious side of things. Disqualified as a practicing Christian minister of the times, he became a type of healer, read from scripture, taught the lessons on his own. That went on for nearly seven years, until he was informed that the religious take on the afterlife left behind was not a kind thing, that spirits roaming about were always evil. He didn't believe it.
It was always just something natural, for me to be there. He knew I was there, I could obviously still sit around, boring as it was, and just enjoy being in his company. There was never that notion that we wouldn't be together, and I figured when he finally did pass on, that it'd be a relief for both of us. Not that I wished harm and death on the guy, not in the least. But the idea that we'd be separated never crossed my mind. Soon his life began to wind down; a few years of general solitude with him, Pere eventually succumbed to a disease himself, one of the first very short, quick waves of the Plague back in 1301. I waited patiently, stood in agony, unable to help or reassuring him that this was all for the better; that we'd be together finally, that it was a happy time, try and keep positive. With the fall of his last breath, we inadvertently split ways. Separated. He went to heaven, a good soul.
The cursed demon stayed on earth, waiting, left behind.
Confused and bewildered, I watched that beam of light take his ascended soul. I immediately tried to follow it, racing high into those skies with the Colus I had ignored for almost 14 years, racing into the stratosphere, dizzy and far from the earth, falling back down. Nothing. Nothing was up there. I looked for their heaven, nearly tore this world apart for answers; days, nights, searching, fighting, crying, desperate. It HAD to be there, he had to go somewhere, had to exist. Nothing but blue, vacant skies as my will would falter, fall back to earth. The notion, 'It couldn't be possible" possessed me to keep up the search, to keep trying for many long hours at a time. No luck.
It was almost twenty years before I realized heaven was more a state of mind, as a feeling and an understanding, not as a physical place you could travel to; the breath of that idea unlocked many new things, took what was physical and real and changed it. Screaming for the skies I slipped through, managed to stumble into that world of theirs, broken and afraid, looking for my long lost Pere. I didn't know what had happened to him, yelling out for him, storming across those fluffy white clouds of paradise like I was looking to have it demolished. My time spent with him in the mortal realm taught me civility, grace, taught me how to act like a real person; but with time spent away, with the mounting frustration of failure, of loss, I was the same as ever. I needed to see him. I needed closure if he wanted to stay; if I had been forgotten.
Stomping around the pedestrian streets, there were very few warrior-grade angels around; their tactic at the time was keeping most of those around on earth. My angry tirade was rattling that peace; eventually, Pere, now angelically named 'Paul' for the occasion, found me. He had been practicing healing tactics like most of his life, looking for a way to heal me into heaven. I came to him first, seeing his face more youthful, more classic, that beacon of understanding in the ongoing panic and chaos. Everything was just as it was, even after all those years apart. Nothing was lost.
Without a lot of fluffy back-story, we left heaven on our own terms without any more violence then that. The story must've evolved on its own, how I ripped the skies apart and beat up heaven on the way just to tear one soul from the glorious light, sinking my claws in deep on an unfortunate man. There was no real routine method of "falling' yet, no ceremony with this segment of the religion still rather new. So we just left. All three souls each. Scared the living hell out of people and took off, mirroring our previous lives. We were good at that.
Back underground, after seeing what hell does to a full angel, we did our own version of 'falling'. It wasn't scripted or pretty, but paring away that future soul, we threw it back into that re-birth pool. Paul took to demoning easier than anyone I've ever seen, and we've spent our times together since. But your mind wanders to just what becomes of that future soul, sent back a little unorthodoxly into life once more, what it evolves to.
Enter Raziel, that last little angelic third of Paul.
There was a twitching, electrical sense coursing through my veins. I had to reach him in time; with Raziel grasping tighter at the top of my shoulders, he was feeling it too; that drain, those sympathy pains. The Fleur de Lis had to be involved, this abhorred little sword blessed by enough cardinals and priests to set a monastery on fire with its blasphemy, it was a soul killer, through and through. I knew it existed. I've been around long enough to be attacked by it myself more than a few times; it tore at that original soul, the original three your life was cobbled out of, one stab radiating out to anyone tied with you at any point. Strike old enough in that web, and you'd find yourself giving an achy sort of indigestion with half the population. That's what made it an annoying little sword to everyone.
Paul knew as much as I did about this life, he was generally immune to most unkind deaths like myself if he kept his spirits up, kept his faith in what was pretty much indefinable in the first place. It's not a great system, but it's one that works. His faith must've been shaken. Broken. After enough angels tell you how very dead your other half is, how they finally kill the unkill-able, his faith must've waned, must've doubted. Worse than that, he might've done this on purpose, accepted a new death. His soul would be segmented, dispersed, scattered. It'd never be the same, not unless I wanted to take up polygamy.
Narrowing my eyes I pushed just that tiniest bit faster. Please, hold on.