Happy New Year!
This’ll be a quick one, as I should actually be partying it up right now for New Year’s Eve. If you’ve been keeping up you know that I’m currently on vacation in Florida. We’ve been doing a bunch of driving around and a couple of days ago we drove to Orlando. It was a couple of hours and so I passed the time writing the piece you’ll see below. I meant to post it sooner, but just never got around to typing (forgive any typos – I kind of rushed it) it up, since I wrote it out by hand first. Sometimes the words just flow better by hand – even if it’s while I struggle to remain legible in the car.
As usual, this post comes as courtesy of an online prompt from Our Write Side – this week’s Master Class prompt!
Prompt: Shattered Precipice
This time, the prompt serves as kind of inspiration and also the title.
Marcus clearly doesn’t want to stick around after his explanation. Rather than disappear, though, he simply walks away. Is he giving me the option to follow, the chance to have some comfort in the form of his company? He walks in silence, hands held behind him. I can’t remember the last time I went for a walk. It begins to rain, prompting parents all over the park to begin gathering their children. Neither of us flinch at the drizzle, though. My body is only just now beginning to unwind from the danger rush, and the droplets feel nice on my face.
“What happens if he notices?” Instead of looking at Marcus when I speak, I keep my eyes on the ground, going out of my way to step in various puddles.
“The boss likes to use our weaknesses against us. He gets bored – needs to find ways to entertain himself. If he finds out you have a knack for compassion, he’ll find a way to exploit it until you stop caring.”
“Is that so terrible?” How bad could it possibly be? “It’s not like my life is perfect already. What’s one more thing?”
“It won’t be just ‘one more thing’ – it’ll be the thing that finally breaks you.”
We’re long gone from the park by then. Our surroundings change – we’re in the middle of some woods on the other side of the park. The ground is soft, and for a second I think about taking off my shoes.
“Is that what happened to you?” I’m not sure where the words come from.
“Yes, more or less.” He’s stopped a few feet behind me. “Just take my word for it.”
When I turn to look at him, though, his expression changes. Even with his glasses on, his eyes begin to go black, the inky blood spilling out the edges. I want to ask what’s going on, what’s happening – but I can feel my own glamour fading away. My eyes immediately shoot down to my hands. They’re bloody again, the liquid seeping through in between my fingers, mingling with the heavy rain but never washing away. Marcus’ eyes, though completely overtaken now, are more expressive this way. They focus on some point beyond me to my left.
“Long time no see, Marcus.” The voice comes from somewhere beyond the trees. “Training another pawn?”
They appear before us, but I feel them before seeing them.
I feel breathless for a moment, completely overwhelmed by the presence.
“Always a pleasure, Ash.” Marcus crosses his arms, leaning against a tree. He motions for me to come closer, so I do. As soon as I’m under the cover of the tree, his stance shifts and he’s slightly in front of me. It almost feels like he’s protecting me – or trying to. “Are you here just to bother us, or did you need something?”
Ash simply laughs. They’re taller than anyone I’ve ever seen before, and their hair is pulled back into an elaborate braid that seems completely unaffected by the rain. There’s a halo-like headband adorning their temple. The silver plait lays straight down their back. I’ve never heard laughter that sounds so pretty – like wind chimes. “Aren’t you going to introduce us?”
They walk over to me, eyes darting to my hands. I do my best to hide my marks. Marcus shifts again, placing himself a little more in Ash’s way.
“Videl, Ash. Ash, Videl.”
“What a pretty name.” Their eyes dart back up to mine, and for the first time, I notice they’re a strange purple. Well, any purple is odd for an eye color. “So you’re the new pawn?”
Marcus reaches behind himself to grab my hand – trying to stop me from speaking. Ash notices, reacting with a perfectly groomed, raised eyebrow. I don’t pull away, but I also don’t heed his warning.
“I’m nobody’s pawn.” At my words, Marcus releases my hand. It comes away slightly stained, but the mark fades almost immediately.
“That mark says otherwise…” They nod at my hands.
“And what the hell are you, exactly?” I try to just ignore the blood and cross my arms, pushing past Marcus in the process.
“I like her, Marcus – a shame Luci got to her first.” Ash turns to look at me again. “I’m guessing no one’s taught you much, have they?”
“Taught me what?”
“A little bit of politics – how our world works.” Their stance relaxes, hands resting on hips as they walked around us.
“You know my orders by now, Ash. Only so much I’m allowed to hold her hand through.”
“And I’m willing to bet that bugs you more than it should, if this little display is anything to go by.” They wave a hand around, gesturing at us. “Does Luci know?”
Marcus’ silence is more than telling.
“I’m guessing he suspects. Interesting.” They shrug. “Have fun with that.”
I know I should be embarrassed or at least worried, but at this point I’ve just reached peak levels of annoyance.
“If you came here just to taunt us, go find your fun somewhere else.” I place my hands on my hips. “We have more important things to do.”
“Show some respect, pawn.” Ash takes me by surprise and slaps me across the face. I stumble back, eyes furious. I’m ready to lunge myself at them but Marcus won’t let me. My face burns where their hand made contact.
“Who the hell do you think-?” Before I can finish, a second presence appears in front of me, facing Ash. This one is similar to Ash in height, but is of slighter build and has much shorter hair. Like Ash, though, they also wearing a halo-looking headband.
“Go home, Ash. Or would you like me to tell Father you’re defying orders again?” Unlike Ash, their voice is softer, kinder – despite the threat.
Without much more of a fight, Ash is gone. They disappear in a flash of light.
The other one remains, turning around to face us.
“Marcus.” They even have kinder eyes. Instead of a cold purple, they’re a warm orange. “Forgive Ash. They can’t help themselves sometimes.” Max directs their next comment at me. “Angels aren’t all as obnoxious – I promise.”
“You’re an angel?”
“Yes. Ash and I are Seraphim.” They bow. “I know you’re knew to all of this, but please, should you ever need anything – let me know.”
“Why do I feel like that’s a disingenuous offer?”
“Because you’re a demon.” A smile. “Marcus will tell you, though, I don’t pay much mind to such a petty designation.” They look at Marcus, but the demon in question doesn’t say a word. “I’ll leave you to it, then – can’t be caught out and about for too long.”
When Max disappears it’s in the same flash of light.
“Max is right – they could be much worse.” As Marcus turns back to me, his eyes are already going back to normal. My hands are clean again.
“So our marks…?”
“Yes – they can’t be hidden in the presence of divinity…”
Let me know what you think!
Hope 2016 kicks off awesome for everyone 🙂
As always, think happy thoughts!