Loading...
Menu
Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Fantasy  ➡  Romance  ➡  Fantasy  ➡  Dark

Lucifer's Symphany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUCIFER’S

SYMPHONY

 

Movement One

THE LOST KINGDOM, AMARYLLIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L. W. BROOK

Copyright © 2016 AMSER STUDIOS

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 1539017303

 

 

 

 

 

Please Note:

Amser Studios is a collection of works that connect by following the “Amser Studios Timeline”

See the full timeline:

www.amserstudios.com/collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This work is a part of AMSER STUDIOS and falls within “LUCIFER’S SYMPHONY”.

(A Four Movement Piece)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated

to the lost, the broken, and those

we’ve forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

 

 

I would like to send a shout out to all of the amazing artists out there who have created work for Amser Studios! I love seeing their beautiful artwork around the internet/on DeviantArt!

Also, I’d like to acknowledge my family. You are all amazing and I couldn’t keep writing without knowing you’re there to support me.

In addition, I’d like to thank everyone reading my work. Your support is greatly appreciated!

I hope you enjoy the first movement of “Lucifer’s Symphony” and ask that you please rate and review when you finish!

Any errors are admittedly my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

Homes are built from wood and pieced together by iron nails. Towers of stone stand tall above the common households. Each hall has been lined with windows to look down upon the citizens of the Southern Italian Kingdom, Amaryllis.

The land is hushed. Silent. It grows quieter the further one gets from the groups of housing and shops until one reaches nothing but the wind rustled farmland.

It’s a small kingdom, not known to many.

But it makes a living, survives.

The sky clouds as the sun threatens to rise above the horizon and awaken those who lie asleep in their warm beds.

That warmth quickly vanquishes, however, as the cloud cover moves at an alarming rate. Before the blink of an eye, sunlight fades until all that is left are the darkening clouds above.

A chill runs through the air, then, and many startle awake. Children cry and adults scurry outdoors to watch this strange phenomenon.

Within moments, a flurry sets in and peace takes over. The city watches in awe at the first snow of summer.

However, that awe is quickly broken by a harsh wind, followed by a treacherous fall of snow.

People struggle to fight the winds, hurry inside, and close their doors and shutters.

There’s screaming, but it cannot be heard over the roaring of the snow storm outside.

At the edge of the city, an old farmer sits on his porch. He watches this process with the wondrous eyes of age and wisdom. Such a thing is unheard of.

He looks up at the sky and winces at the penetrating sunlight filtering in through the array assortment of clouds that thicken over the majority of the city. His jaw drops and eyes widen as he watches something small fall from the clouded sky and plummet just within the start of his property.

There’s another noise, and so the old man turns in his chair. From behind himself, he witnesses a ball of fire fall from the unclouded portion of the sky. It crashes at the other edge of his land where the city’s neighboring village begins. Within the minute, houses are aflame.

Red and orange light reflect within the old man’s dark brown eyes.

“What in the devil…?” He breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

ONE

 

 

 

Snow falls with a steady, nonthreatening rhythm from the gray clouds above. The flakes float down from the heavens to cover the crops of the farmland.

Unripe tomatoes rest along the ground. Their leaves shake with the gentle toss of the wind. A figure as white as the snow, itself, lies with them.

From beneath the still body, a dark red soaks the ground. It trails along the frost bit crops and taints the otherwise pure snow.

There’s a stutter of breath that breaks the silence.

Red eyes shoot open and the corpse inhales. With a blink, the red in the stranger’s eyes fade down to the thinnest ring around the pupil. The rest of the iris turns a startling light blue and the body exhales a cloud of white.

In an instant, pure white strands of hair darken until they’re as black as night.

Blue/red eyes look around tiredly as the snow drifts toward the ground. They stop, however, when they land on a white, feathery object falling with the ice crystals. The white feather darkens until it looks as though it belongs to a raven.

In a heavy motion, the injured struggles to reach up and grab the feather.

As the feathers shift colors, it becomes more obvious as to what is snow and what isn’t.

The stranger’s eyes prickle at the sight of the falling feathers.

This being is like no human on earth. It’s very existence lacks a defining gender. The lean, cloaked body could be that of a feminine male, or masculine female. All that is certain is that the pale, fairly average structured stranger has a gentle facade about them.

With a cringe, this creature pulls the feather to it’s chest and weeps without noise.

After a moment, there’s a crunch of ice covered vines beneath booted feet. The fallen stranger startles a look behind itself. Off guard, is the wide eyed look this being portrays.

“Whoa. Sorry.” An old man wearing a blanket over his head barks with a step back. A farmer, is what the dirt stains and callouses define this man as. Religious, is the assumption one makes upon noticing the cross around his neck.

The injured eyes him without so much as a breath.

The man stares back. He looks down around the broken body at the unusually dark blood. It’s everywhere. Absolutely everywhere, tainting the snow.

“Your…” He stutters a breath and gestures toward the stranger. “Injuries… They’re from your fall?” He asks. His skin is an olive color and hair a patchy gray. He sports heavy work boots, worn pants, and a loose shirt that may have properly fit the man at a younger age.

The fallen dares to unclench it’s jaw, but no words escape the parted lips.

“Child-” The man begins with a look to the sky, then back at the young, gender-less being on the ground. He shifts. “How is it you came to be with the clouds?”

There is no response.

“Did you bring this foul weather?”

Again, there is no response.

“The flame.” The old man licks his lips and tries a step closer. “There was another who fell…”

The fallen struggles to sit up. The old man takes two steps back and winces at a cold wind.

“Are you associated with that who has brought flame to our people or are you here to stop this devil that walks among us!?” The old man has to shout over the whistle of the wind.

Upon sitting up, one can see the stranger’s back is a dark red mess of raw skin and two gaping injuries at either shoulder blade.

The gender-less being grabs at the cloth around itself and stares widely back at the old farmer.

He turns, and the stranger follows his line of sight to a far off point across the land where smoke rises into the air.

“A witch has summoned the beast.” The old man bites out before looking back into the unusual eyes of the fallen. “I ask… Are you our savior?”

The stranger opens it’s mouth and gapes. After a struggle, a whispered, “Yes.” is managed.

—-

“I knew a day like this would come.” The old farmer mutters as he walks around his home collecting blankets and ointments.

There’s a fire in the fire pit. It struggles to stay aflame as the stranger sits upon a wooden stool and stares at it.

Longing.

The stranger longs for the warmth the fire gives.

The old farmhouse creaks with every step the old man takes. The home is barren, poor. He owns little more than what is necessary, and what he does own hasn’t been new in years.

The faintest aroma of mulch has been dulled by the cold, dry air.

“Those who speak with the devil don’t know what they’ve gotten us into.” The old man tisks as he exits the main living space to duck into a dark room. After a second he comes back out, his arms full of old, ratty blankets.

He’s breathing in white gasps as he sets the blankets down beside the stranger. “What do I call you?” He asks with a pop of the ointment cap.

The injured tilts it’s head to look at the old man. Upon meeting such a gaze, the farmer stills.

Wind howls against the shaky exterior shutters of this Italian, 15th century farmhouse. It creates a loud whistle that breaks through the silence.

“Lucifer…” The fallen angel breathes as though the ghost of a word were a struggle to get out.

“You’re no devil.” The man bites out. He begins to fiddle with a roll of bandages. “I’ve seen the devil fall, myself.” He nods. “The flames of hell surrounding his accursed nature of sin-”

“Flame is pure…” Lucifer gets out, a smile ghosting it’s lips. The smile fades, however, as blue/red eyes drift over the weak, open flame before them.

The farmer eyes the stranger. “Not even the purest of flames could save the devil’s soul.”

Lucifer stares at the flame as though it’s heart has just broken.

“Come, now, child.” The old man says with a toss of two raggedy blankets onto Lucifer’s lap. “Let me see those wounds.”

Lucifer closes it’s eyes and gently sways it’s head to the left. It humms, as if to a voiceless melody.

“You are kind…” Lucifer looks up at the old man. “But your ointments cannot cure what ails me…” The fallen angel looks back to the fire, a dark colored feather gripped tight within it’s pale white fist.

The farmer stills, then stutters out a quick nod and sets his first aid equipment down onto an old wooden table that’s been chipped and scratched from many years of use. “Your choice, then.” He huffs with a plop onto the chair beside Lucifer.

“Dare I say it’s colder in here than it is outside?” The old man says through a smile. With shaky motions, he pulls a heavy blanket over his shoulders. “The fire can barely stay alight.”

Lucifer twirls the feather in it’s grasp, then stuffs the object into a pocket of it’s dark cloak. With no rush, it then grabs the nearly frozen blankets in it’s lap and sets them upon the table.

The old man watches silently as the blankets stiffen from the stranger’s touch. His eyes avert back to the fading flame.

“A touch like ice to save us from a devouring flame…” The farmer begins. He looks over to his creaking window where wood shutters struggle to stay in place. “Tell me, stranger with a name of our devil…”

Lucifer peers over at the farmer, it’s bright eyes practically glowing in the weak fire light.

The old man stares back. “How are you to save us?”

There’s a creak as Lucifer inches forward in the old chair. The farmer instinctively leans back and the flames give way. It’s heat has been absorbed by Lucifer, whether the being meant to, or not.

Dark eyes dart to the white smoke in the fireplace before landing back on a multicolored soul.

“By bringing forth an end.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

TWO

 

 

 

Flames engulf the small village at the end of the Amaryllis kingdom. Homes are alight by orange/red flames that breach the sun rising sky and offset the dull gray color of smoke surrounding the streets.

A single woman walks through the roar of flame. Her bare feet step casually in hot ash.

There’s a trail of dress behind this woman that knots around her right hip and then falls behind her left leg. It slides across the ash, the material the same color as the destructive flames and sun colored sky.

Red lips remain passive as dark eyes set forward. The woman’s dark, spiral curls toss in the wind while the towering flames around her flicker. She stills.

The woman dares a heavy, threatening look over her shoulder.

“Better be an ally.” She drones, her voice choppy and pitch wavering. Her words slur with an uneven Italian accent.

From a shadow of flame, out walks a tall, dark man in a uniform the color of blood. A cap covers the man’s head as he stares back at the woman without word.

“Magec.” The woman breathes. Her red lips threaten a smile as she turns to face the man before her. “Followed me down here, did ya?” She asks with a bold grin and raised brow. Her arms now cross before her chest.

Magec stares back.

The woman’s smile fades.

“We may not have been made to speak, but… As the fallen, we no longer sit perched on anyone’s shoulder, ya know.” The woman explains while popping out a hip. “It’s no longer time to listen, Magec.”

Magec parts his lips to speak. After a stuttering exhale, he closes his mouth and looks away. After a beat, he closes his eyes and tries again.

“Others.” He gets out shakily, his voice both heavy and strong. “Th-there are others.”

The woman lets out a shaky breath, herself. “And Lucifer?”

“I am uncertain.”

The female nods and glances over at the kingdom’s distant castle. She eyes the snow storm.

“Strange, don’t cha think?” She asks.

“Should not be possible.” Magec says, his posture perfect. “Not with so many fallen flames in the area…”

The woman looks back at Magec.

“Not with the brightest, strongest, most beautiful of flames in the area, no.”

“Armageddon…” Magec tries, and Arma looks away. “Just because you’re the only one lighting villages on fire does not mean Lucifer didn’t make it-”

“Luci isn’t like me, ya hear?” Arma barks. “I’m not expecting a burnt down city to tell me where Lucifer is, just…” Armageddon looks back over to the distant storm. “That snow storm is making me nervous, is all.”

Magec looks to the storm. His head tilts in idle curiosity. “Most unusual, yes.”

—-

Lucifer stands before frosted glass. It stares wide eyed out at the snow covered land, followed by the burnt down village in the distance. A hood from the fallen angel’s borrowed cloak is now draped over a head of short, thick hair that’s been brushed chaotically to the side. Several strands dip before pale skin and bright, blue/red eyes, threatening to block the creature’s vision.

There’s a curiosity there, in the stranger’s eyes. Curiosity and awe, like a child trying to analyze the mysteries of the world.

The old farmer watches this from beside his shaking doorway. It struggles to stand against the harsh winds outside.

He’s draped in numerous blankets, but still he shivers.

“Is it coming for the rest of us?” He asks.

Lucifer eyes the crimson color on the horizon. “I recognize that smoldering red flame anywhere.”

The fallen angel turns to look at the old man. It’s eyes shine brightly from beneath the shadows of the cloak’s hood. “Armageddon is upon us.” It turns back to the window and breathes, “She knows not what she’s done. What she’s doing…”

“But you-” The farmer begins. “You will stop this? Stop us- from burning in the fires of hell?”

Lucifer steps back from the window. The weakest of flames in the fire pit flickers from the movement. Like the prior, it’s clear this fire isn’t going to last.

Lucifer smiles and lets out a breathy laugh. “Fear not.” The floor boards creak with the weight of an angel as it dares a step forward. The fire flickers once more and dims until it’s neared extinction. “This is all a misunderstanding.”

The words flow with an odd sense of elegance from Lucifer’s lips. Likewise, the steps it takes are almost graceful despite the ungodly noise it sends through the old house. “I am here to stop this torture.”

Lucifer pinches a smile and looks to the dimmed fire. It extinguishes.

There’s a sudden stillness in the air both inside the home and out. Blue/red eyes stare at the white smoke escaping burnt wood, the gentlest of smiles from earlier now faded.

From beside the door, the old man sucks in breath after breath in puffs of white. He, too, stares at the unlit fireplace.

In a beat, the farmer’s eyes dart to Lucifer.

The angel glances at the old man, then at the ground. It pinches a forced smile and forces back a sting in the eyes.

“Like the fire, you’ve dimmed…” Lucifer whispers in the quiet.

Outside it has stopped snowing. But still, the cloud cover remains.

The farmer glances at the fire pit, then to the stranger he’d let into his home. “Armageddon, you said…” He’s out of breath. “H-how is it you know this devil by name?”

“This devil-” Lucifer lets on an amused smile. “Is my dearest friend.”

The old man shakes in his seat. He chokes out a noise through his throat. “Oh lord, where is our savior?” He mutters to himself.

The fallen angel stares wide eyed at the farmer before darting down in front of him. The old Italian’s mouth drops, and his face turns pale.

Lucifer grabs at either arm rest and shifts closer. Blue/red eyes search wide, dark browns that glaze with a light-less color.

“I am your savior. Don’t you understand?”

The old man drags his line of sight over to the fire pit where nothing remains but white smoke.

“N-no.” He bites out while looking back to Lucifer. “Y-you are no devil- no savior, either, y-you...” He whispers, his features fading to white. “Y-you are death...” He exhales with his last breath.

The farmer doesn’t slump and his eyes don’t close, but one can tell… He’s gone.

Lucifer stares back at the old man. The room is silent, as though there were no life left within it.

The fallen angel stutters back to the moment with a blink and a whisper. “Sir?”

It grabs at the old man’s arm and the corpse turns as stiff as ice from the touch. “Sir?”

A frost climbs up the man’s right arm where Lucifer has made contact, and then continues up his neck.

Lucifer promptly lets go and stumbles back. There’s horror in the fallen angel’s eyes.

It lets out a broken scream, followed by a clumsy retreat into the corner and another cry of terror.

From the wall at Lucifer’s back, the room begins to spread an icy layer of frost until it covers the entire farmhouse.

Lucifer cradles it’s head in it’s hands and cries with dry eyes.

Outside, it’s silent.

The frozen farmland is void of noise as the cloud cover overhead darkens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

THREE

 

 

 

The city of Amaryllis is blanketed in snow. The homes are old and creaky as men, women, and children walk carefully outside onto their ice covered streets.

They appear enchanted as they look around themselves.

Wide eyes.

Dropped jaws.

It’s hard to believe this is happening.

From within the city’s towering castle, up in the king’s quarters, several men gather around.

They stand in one of the most beautiful rooms of gold and silk within the castle. A large bed fit for only the king of Amaryllis fills a large portion of this over sized space.

The scent of clean linen is masked by the musky scent of man, for many have gathered for conference with the king. Their boots dirty the red carpet and polished floors beneath them, but the matter is too important to take in such trivial details.

Most wear the wardrobe of a warrior, a knight. Their garments are topped with steel and swords rest dutifully at their hips. However, one wears no armor, but instead the finest silk in the kingdom with a solid gold crown to match.

This man, the king, stands before his chamber’s window, his eyes cold as he looks down upon his frozen city.

“We seek out a witch. A powerful one… And with her head, the snow will melt.” The king of Amaryllis preaches. He turns, then, to his best warriors, his captains and chiefs.

“Marrian.” The king calls, and the young leader steps forward.

The young leader is just a boy. Perhaps even the youngest in the room. But he stands tall, his shoulders squared.

“Yes, sire?” He asks with just the slightest bend at his waist. He holds eye contact with the aging king as he does this.

The king can’t help but smile. He looks back to the window. “I grant you control on this matter. Temporarily… all able are at your command.”

The king stares off in the distance where snow turns to ash. His venomous, deep blue eyes don’t blink at the suffering.

“This city does not sleep until our serpent witch is found.”

—-

Lucifer is crumbled before a frozen corpse of the man who had dared offer the injured stranger shelter. The fallen angel rests it’s head against the unoccupied arm of the farmer’s chair, it’s sights set dead on the ice laced walls of wood.

The cloaked back of the stranger is bloodied, but dry. The injury has long since stopped it’s dripping.

A silence has settled in.

Lucifer’s mind has gone blank.

There’s been a pause that’s lasted nearly an hour now.

Finally, it’s broken by the sound of distant cries and screams, followed shortly by an uproar from the city’s center.

Lucifer sits up and wipes at it’s eyes. It glances at the open mouthed corpse before standing and walking steadily to the window. Blue/red eyes drift over the sight of the city as small homes go up in flames.

They’re different this time, Lucifer notices.

The being shifts closer to the frosted window. Pale fingers reach up to touch the glass and slide over the newly ignited flame.

“You’re no angel…” Lucifer whispers, an inquisitive look turning shocked as the glass freezes over in an instant before shattering at it’s fingertips.

Startled, the angel jumps back and stares down at the broken shards. Several are laced with an almost purple shade of blood.

Lucifer looks down at pale fingertips now sliced open and bleeding out a dark, red nearing purple color.

A sound chokes at the back of the angel’s throat before it balls it’s fist and looks painfully out the hole in the wall.

Homes begin to collapse as people scurry about the burning city.

—-

Knights, guardians, protectors in Amaryllis uniforms torch their own people’s homes in search for she who resists the burn. She who has brought the devil to Amaryllis.

A knight drags a young girl from a shack of a home and tosses her out into the street. She falls and scrapes her knees on the uneven path below. Her younger brother comes running out after her. He screams and hits at the soldier of the kingdom.

“She’s not a witch, she’s my sister!” He cries, and the knight pushes him back.

Another in a matching uniform walks up to the home with a torch in hand. “All who practice the dark arts will be burned at the stake! All who refuse to submit themselves for trial will be burned where they stand!” The man shouts while waving his torch around like a sword. People run passed one another and retaliate against the knights who burst into their homes and drag out the women of the household.

From a distance, in an old, worn out blacksmith’s workshop, Armageddon and her followers watch the happenings around them. She leans against the window, distaste in the snarl of her lips and bend of her frame.

A knight walks passed the workshop. The torch in his hand flickers before going up in uncontrollable flame. The man drops it and runs away in a panic toward the larger crowds.

All in the area scurry from the open flame.

“A witch.” Arma scoffs. “Is that what I am now?” She turns to the handful of men and women at her disposal. “Witches? Sorcerers?” Her voice cracks, and with it comes a wide smile.

“I’ll give ‘em somethin’ to panic about.” She growls. Her voice has dipped an octave lower than usual.

Magec, who stands before a table of welded pieces of metal, shifts his weight. He takes a look at the five other men and women standing in the room with him. The five other angels who have given up their rightful place in heaven to follow that of whom they could not seem to find.

“I do not believe we should be drawing attention to ourselves so soon after the fall.” He says this as a fact, despite it being suggested as an opinion.

Armageddon deflates and falls dramatically across the window ledge. She sighs. It’s heavy and breaks in pitch. “You’re right, of course. I’ve already made quite the mess, haven’t I? Enough to get Luci’s attention, if he’s around…”

She looks out the window and watches the flames spread over to the building next door. Within moments, the side of their hideaway has caught fire.

“The city is on fire, and yet there’s still this chill in the air…” Nirvana, a tanned young woman with cropped, jet black hair brushed over dark, unwavering eyes whispers from across the room. She steps forward, toward Arma.

Fire eats away at the wood of the workshop, but no one pays it any mind.

Flames cannot hurt angels, fallen or otherwise.

“Could it be our death is waiting for us?” Nirvana asks. “Here? In the city?”

Armageddon lolls her head back against the window and grins. “Could be.” She looks to the flames eating away at old, gray wood through the corner of her eye. In a beat, her dark brown gateways to the soul take on a crimson glow. The flame crackles before entirely engulfing the room.

No one within the workshop’s walls so much as flinches.

“If that’s the case, I sure would love to see those little snow flakes try to burn out our flames, wouldn’t you?” She laughs and looks back out the window. “I mean, it would be adorable to watch.”

—-

Lucifer walks across frozen farmland in huffs. The angel walks on shaky legs and covers it’s head with a cloaked hood that threatens to blow over with a sudden thrash of wind.

Scabbed finger tips reach up to catch the garment, then Lucifer stills and takes a quick look around.

Not a hundred meters away are burning homes and screaming children. It’s chaos as the citizens of the city fight a losing battle with the knights who swore to protect them.

Several men in familiar Amaryllis uniforms ride around on tall steeds. They watch as their orders are carried out and shout some more when they feel dissatisfied.

Lucifer’s eyes catch on a young man riding a tall white horse. The pale green eyes of the boy, Marrian, stare boldly into the strangest eyes he’s ever seen.

Blue/red orbs go wide at this distant staring before diving down to the ground to break the unwanted contact. Lucifer reaches up to pull down it’s cloak’s hood in an attempt to hide it’s face from the knight’s view.

A strongly built man on the footsteps of an old home dares to throw a cooking pot at Marrian. He misses and hits the chief’s horse, instead.

The white steed lets out a whine and jolts forward. Marrian grabs at the reigns to steady the animal.

“How dare you look down upon us- watch this madness go on under your order!” The man shouts up at Marrian.

People run by screaming, but this man holds his ground.

“You, sir!” Marrian calls. “What is your name?”

The man steps forward, and the horse startles once more.

“What does it matter at a time like this!?” He shouts in anger.

Marrian pulls out his sword from it’s sheath and stares coolly down at the man. “I prefer to know all names of the men I dispatch in the honor of our great king.” The boy gets out calmly with the smuggest raise of his brow and upward quirk of his lips.

The man’s anger depleats and he steps back.

With a smile, Marrian looks back over his shoulder at where Lucifer had been approaching the city, but it’s gone.

Whatever it is, it has vanished.

Green, confused eyes look around in search for the surreal blue/red eyes of the stranger. By the time the chief looks forward again, he finds the man he was about to dispatch has also taken the initiative in pardoning himself from their conversation.

Marrian lets out a heavy breath that ends in a hitch when he sees his breath fog and feels the temperature drop.

Even his heavy armor is doing little to fight the bite in the air.

Shouts fade as the area is evacuated, the people no doubt making their way toward a sufficiently guarded castle. Fortunately for those inside, this was the expected, if not encouraged reaction. After all, the women would be taken to the castle for trial, and it would be meaningless without an audience to fear both the sorcerers and those who are to defeat such beings.

Marrian shivers, then cringes at the invasive, lowering temperatures. With a heavy set frown, he looks up to the sky above and watches as snow flakes begin to fall from the dark cloud cover.

They flutter lazily down to melt against Marrian’s exposed flesh.

It’s an unnatural feeling, the prickle of melting snow.

Marrian brushes the water droplets off of his skin, then shakes the odd, white flakes out of his hair.

Afterwards, he flicks the reigns and barks, “Hyah!”

The horse he’s seated upon kick starts to life and rides down the burning streets of the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

FOUR

 

 

 

A cloaked figure tip toes passed those who decided not to follow the mobs toward the castle. Most lie crumbled in the streets, children and older men crying and cursing on their knees.

Lucifer moves swiftly only to stutter upon coming within close proximity to another living person. It halts and falls back when this happens, the stranger careful to stay within the shadows.

There’s a home on fire not one street down. Lucifer eyes it while stepping back against the wood of an old shed.

The fiery mess of what used to shelter a family crumbles and cries shout out. People run to avoid the untamed flame.

Lucifer can hear breathy wines, shouts, and curses.

It pulls it’s hood further down to cover the eyes that undoubtedly give it away.

They are not the eyes of a human.

Nor an angel…

The fallen’s strides are quick as it moves toward the burning wood that had once been walls and a roof. However, as Lucifer nears the flames waver with distress.

The being stops, and not thirty feet away the flames die down at a steady rate until the ashy wood lets off nothing but smoke.

Lucifer’s lips part in awe at the display, as do many of those close enough to have witnessed the flame’s death.

The stranger’s mouth snaps shut upon noticing the handful of civilians who have steadily gathered around. All of their eyes focus then on the unusual intruder.

Lucifer’s jaw clenches, and it moves forward, passed those who don’t dare follow.

Those nearby stare wide eyed at the stranger as a shiver runs up their spines and their breaths fog before their eyes. All the while, Lucifer keeps it’s back to the people now speechless in the creature’s presence.

—-

People shout at the gallows the soldiers have brought their female population to.

The women of all ages stand side by side, their hands cuffed at their backs by rusted iron.

Wrists bleed from the rough material against delicate skin, but none dare complain. Instead, they duck their heads or stare wide eyed at their surroundings, their reddened cheeks laced with salty tears.

Marrian stands upon the castle terrace overlooking the city square. Beside him, the king and queen walk up. Guards allow them to pass without question.

The queen walks to the left and places her hands gently upon the stone railing. She looks down passively at her people, then focuses heavily on the long stretch of women aged thirteen and over.

“Brings back memories…” She breathes. Her voice lacks emotion.

The king stalks up directly beside Marrian and peers below. He raises a brow and returns to his neutral position beside he who has been granted control of the city’s defense.

“Is this all of them?” He asks.

“All potential threats, yes.”

The king glances at his wife. When she looks back, he turns from her.

“I am not so sure…” The king breathes.

Marrian looks to his majesty through the corner of his eye, then stares out ahead of himself at the clouded skyline.

“There was… one… strange individual I came across on quest…” He says while staring at the clouds.

The king stares at Marrian with void, dark blue eyes, as though patiently awaiting an explanation.

Marrian looks back to the king. “It was the eyes...” He begins. His brow crinkles. “Blue- like yours, except lighter, and...” He stops to exhale. It's a frustrated little noise. Marrian looks away. “I could have sworn they had a ring of fire within them. And when I turned to catch a second look-” The young leader explains with a turn back to the king. He freezes, and tries to clear his thoughts. “The... individual... was gone, sire... Vanished like the devil.”

The king breaks the contact and slides his hands upon the terrace railing. He stares out at the scared, angry, and confused men and women.

“Find this devil of yours.” He says with almost passive distaste. “And I’ll find she who summoned it.”

Marrian nods and dares a glance at the queen. She appears disinterested in their conversation.

“Understood, sire.” Marrian confirms. He then pardons himself with a bow and turns to leave. Without word, he walks passed the guards and makes his way toward the exit.

There’s a silence between the king and his wife.

After a moment, the queen sways in her husband’s direction. With one foot in front of the other she makes smooth, steady motions until she’s directly beside the king.

“I fear our negligence, Anthony…” She whispers as they both focus on the happenings below. “We should have burned the remains…”

The king scoffs. With a half grin, he looks at his wife through the corner of his eye. “You are foolish to fear she who lies beyond the grave.”

The queen looks to her husband with a poised sense of anger. “I fear not the dead, but the friends one may make in hell, your majesty.” She bites out with sarcastic wit.

After a beat, the queen turns her back to her husband and walks back into the castle.

The king stays stationed upon the terrace. He exhales a long, winded breath of doubt.

If their daughter were the cause of this… Their kingdom was sure to burn.

—-

Armageddon and her handful of fallen angels stand outside a burnt structure. No one is within sight, however, several cries and screams can be heard in the near distance.

They never truly fade out.

No matter how far you get from the city’s center, there’s suffering.

“Look at this dump!” Arma shouts with a screech as she gestures to the burnt down home.

White ash settles upon the ground, but still the air remains thick.

“I find this insulting, ya know?” She asks for agreement from the others.

All stand with their hands folded behind their backs like proper soldiers. Arma sighs and kicks at a smoldering piece of wood with her bare foot. A chunk of it breaks down into ash.

“Burning down their own homes…” Arma tuts. “Bit pathetic, I must say.” She squeaks, her voice unable to hold a single tone for any length of time.

“They fear us.” Magec explains, his posture never faltering.

Arma grins and looks around at the mess humanity has made for itself. “I’m thinkin’ they should be a bit more concerned about their brothers and sisters than a few strangers lookin’ for an old friend.”

Magec looks to the ground. He pauses, then looks up to the clouds above. Thick and heavy. Every now and again they’ll even let loose a few flurries.

“It must be hard for them to focus, think things through…” He says in his usual soothing baritone.

“Stop making excuses for the pigs, Magec.” Arma snaps.

She takes a breath to calm herself. It ends in a lazy smile. “I’m tired of wandering aimlessly around, ain’t chu?” She asks.

“Shall we set up a smoke signal, Arma?” Nirvana asks. She tilts her head in question and holds Arma’s gaze.

Armageddon grins. “If by smoke signal you mean bonfire? Absolutely.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

FIVE

 

 

 

Lucifer holds it’s head high upon two sturdy shoulders.

The fallen angel is walking the perimeter of the kingdom’s city center. It’s looking for answers. Answers no one but the creator can give.

Lucifer stops advancing and ducks behind one of the thankfully still intact homes of Amaryllis. A young woman runs down the alley Lucifer had been using. She looks paranoid as she glances repeatedly over her shoulder.

There’s the sound of hooves, then, loud and clear.

Lucifer pinches concerned lips, lips that yearn to plead for answers and speak an unfiltered mind.

A man on horseback cuts the woman off just before the home Lucifer has hidden behind. The angel frowns as the woman screams for mercy and falls to her knees.

She’s crying on the floor when the man leaps off his horse and pulls her up by the hair. With his free hand, the warrior of Amaryllis pulls out a steel set of cuffs.

“Please, no!” She begs.

Lucifer can hear breathing. It’s own breathing, the creature soon realizes. Biting back the voice telling it to stay put, Lucifer steps forward and into view.

The man dragging the woman back to his horse does a double take at the hooded figure. He stops and the woman tries to steady her breathing. The tears, however, are relentless and blur her vision.

Please.” She begs, but she’s not sure to whom.

“Silence.” The knight bites out.

Lucifer stands before them now, back straight and fists balled at it’s side. “You do not wish to harm one another. You are merely confused.” The stranger explains.

“Who-?” The knight asks. His eyes narrow as they drag up and down the stranger in the heavy cloak. He realizes then that his breath has begun to fog.

Lucifer, too, notices this and startles a step back.

The Amaryllis knight catches Lucifer’s eye line and panics a draw of his sword. He lets go of the woman and doesn’t dare turn to watch as she makes a run for it.

The knight is just a boy when one gets down to it. A terrified boy with his sword now at the ready. “What are you, monster!?” He yells. “Is this you!?” He asks with a gesture around them and up to the clouded sky.

Lucifer looks up. It stills. “I…” It breathes. “I don’t know.”

Black brows crinkle above yearning blue/red eyes. The stranger looks back down to the knight, and the boy flinches. “I seek the truth. Just as you do.”

The words come out as a quiet, elegant string. Lucifer is nothing but passive as it stands back in a non-threatening manner. But still, the boy slashes his sword at the air.

“Lies!” He barks. The horse at his side lets out a whine and raises onto it’s back legs to kick at the air. “You have brought death to our people! Forced our hand!”

The knight of Amaryllis shifts his weight from foot to foot as though he were revving himself up to attack the devil. He shifts a half step forward and his breath turns white before his eyes.

The boy’s horse whines again. It’s loud, as though in warning.

Lucifer steps back and raises it’s pale hands in attempted surrender. “I mean you no harm.” It promises.

“Devil!” The boy shouts, his breathing now visibly erratic. “Satan! You monster of hell!” The boy sucks in air from behind clenched teeth. He’s fuming with fear fueled anger.

Lucifer takes another step back, it’s hands still raised. “Please. I am as lost as-”

The boy screams. He raises his sword above his head and pushes his body forward with as much momentum as he can manage. “To hell with you!” He shrieks at his highest volume.

Lucifer immediately moves it’s arms to a defensive position and cowers. “Please-!” The fallen angel shouts, it’s eyes now covered by a raised arm.

There’s the noise of a sword hitting the dirt ground. Not a second later, the thump of a paralyzed body follows.

The boy’s horse makes a dash from the scene, it’s saddle unused.

From the kneeling position Lucifer has cowered to, the devil uncovers it’s eyes. The stranger is practically shaking as it’s lowering arms reveal the paralyzed corpse that has fallen just a few paces away.

The boy’s dormant eyes lay open, the knight’s armor covered flesh turned a sickly, frost covered purple from having gotten too close to the devil.

Lucifer’s jaw twitches from words unspoken. A single syllable, “I-”, escapes before it’s mouth is closed.

The devil collapses in the alley, it’s fists clenched.

A noise hurls itself from the back of Lucifer’s throat. When it repeats itself, the hooded stranger shoots it’s hand up to cover it’s mouth and rolls back to stare upon it’s latest victim.

“No.” It breathes behind shaking fingers. “Not this...” It's lips twitch. “N-not again- god, please, not again-” Lucifer cries.

The devil curls up.

It moves it’s hands to the back of it’s neck and looks away from the boy’s unblinking stare. There’s ash residue left on Lucifer’s face, but it goes unnoticed. The two are now covered in the burnt substance that films the ground.

A whine strangles the back of Lucifer’s throat and it’s eyes squeeze shut.

Cold, heat-less hands rub at the devil’s neck.

From above, flakes of snow begin to fall again. They fall to the ground with a lazy sense of ease.

Lucifer cringes and grabs at it’s chest. Blue/red eyes burst open and the pupils hidden within the strangely colored iris’ dilate.

A sound of pain breaks free. When more arise, they’re strangled.

Lucifer’s brows furrow. It looks up at the falling snow.

Multicolored eyes catch and hold on smoke from a distance. Lucifer’s lips part and it’s body moves instinctively forward.

“Arm-ah!” It chokes out. It’s word ends in a shout and cringe. There’s a pain deep within the devil’s gut, within it’s soul. It feels as though something were twisting a knife through the inside of it’s abdomen. “Arma.” It tries again, it’s eyes focused intently on the newly lit fire across the city.

Help.

It needs help.

Lucifer forces itself up to a stand and bites back a cry. It’s body curls, unable to straighten itself out.

Shaky fingers release the material of the creature’s cloak. It’s almost surprised when it doesn’t find blood slicked over them.

Through a tremor, Lucifer steps toward the flames of Armageddon.

—-

Marrian rides through the city’s streets on horseback. Two of his men follow closely behind.

The burning city lies practically abandoned, but those who have stayed by their homes curse at the knights as they pass by. Marrian doesn’t so much as glance at these citizens.

The air is stale. It’s dry, cold, and smells like burnt wood.

Green eyes set forward on the fire ahead. It had gone up just as he’d left the castle.

The flames are a heavier crimson than the rest of the torched homes.

Yes, this flame is nothing like the ones his men have set.

Instead, it looks far more like the devil’s fire that had eaten their village, Amo.

As they draw near, Marrian slows his speed and makes a draw for his sword. He can feel the metal’s cold touch even through his gloved hand as he makes a grab for the handle.

“Shhhh.” He whispers as he pulls his sword from it’s sheath and slows his horse to a stop. His two companions follow his lead and do the same, their horses stationed and swords now at the ready.

There are distant cries and the crackle of fire, but otherwise the area is silent, abandoned, left for dead.

Marrian looks around in quiet calculation. He observes the frozen film of ice and ash that covers dirt ground, preserved plant life, and what homes were left untouched by flame.

He climbs off his steed just two alleys from the crimson hell fire.

“Attack on sight.” He whispers to his men as they, too, prepare to travel the rest of the way on foot.

“And what are we attacking, exactly?” One of the knights asks.

Marrian looks back at his two subordinates, each willing to give their life for the king and queen of Amaryllis.

“You’ll know when you see it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

SIX

 

 

 

Armageddon and her ex-soldiers of heaven stand wearily around the fire she’s set.

Magec has his arms crossed over his chest. He’s staring heavily at Arma’s crimson flame with dark, unblinking brown eyes.

His jaw is strong. It’s set in a very… characteristic way to show poise, and perhaps even loyalty. Obedience. He’s a biddable soldier through and through.

Nirvana sits on a porch step beside him, their bonfire just across the narrow street. Her back is straight and hands placed punctually within her lap as though “relax” were a term she’d never heard before. Her bangs are in her eyes, but she appears to be unbothered by them as she stares down the fallen angel’s fire.

A leg swings up and barely misses Nirvana’s head.

At her side, draped along the uneven steps to the porch, rests Arma. Her legs are in the air, walking on the clouds.

Idle snowflakes fall around them. However, the ice crystals melt long before coming into contact with any of the fallen angels.

Arma lets out a heavy sigh and drops her legs down upon the porch with an obnoxious bang. She then rubs at her face and groans. “Time is dragging.” She whines with a drop of her arms beside her head. “I’ll kill him. I swear I’ll kill him.” She adds, her voice a roller coaster of shrieking pitches.

“Someone’s here.” Magec mentions without so much as batting an eyelash.

Arma flips onto her side and holds the position. Her eyes glue to the alley to the left of the house beside their bonfire.

She grins. Her brown eyes begin to speck with a crimson color.

“Come on out and play, boys…” Arma coos.

Marrian walks out from the alley and onto the main street. Two men follow his movements like shadows.

He’s holding his sword at the ready and advancing at an angle, his steps slow and calculated.

“You must be the witch.” Marrian says while slowing to a stop. “She who summoned the devil.”

He smiles, and Arma’s grin widens.

Marrian bites his own lip. He looks over each of Arma’s followers one at a time. “These must be your followers. Worshipers of Satan.”

“Must have me confused with someone else.” Arma croaks while uncomfortably rising to a stand. Her eyes are practically glowing.

Her bare feet slap against the ash dusted ground, the ice having melted at her presence. At her advancement, Marrian swallows thickly and takes two steps back.

Armageddon barks out a laugh. Her hands fall upon her hips. “So afraid.” She sings.

Her smile drops. “So weak.” She growls.

Arma raises her right hand out before herself, palm down.

Marrian’s men shuffle steps back as they watch a cloud of heavy black smoke appear beneath the woman’s hand. Her eyes are fire as the smoke flares out before diminishing. In it’s wake is a crimson handled sword with a platinum blade. It shines in the glow of the fire.

The angels at her back don’t so much as glance at the scene. Instead, they stare blankly ahead.

Arma’s crimson speckled eyes fade back into simple dark brown. She swings the swords in her right hand and gives it a few testing slices through the air.

Marrian’s knights take two steps back before reaching forward to pull back on their commanding officer. “We cannot fight the devil, sir.” One of the men whispers while attempting to pull the stubborn chief away from an unwanted fight.

“We need more men.” The other bites out.

Marrian shakes their grip off his shoulder. He’s terrified. That much is written across his face.

But this just makes him angry.

“Enchantress! I will have your head planted upon the wall of my chamber!” He shouts at Arma.

Armageddon laughs. It’s loud and uneven.

The two men assigned to follow Marrian push at one another and take off. Their leader ignores the abandonment and instead snarls at the group of men and women.

“The rest of you, as well!” He shouts with a heavy swing of his sword. “You shall all be trophies upon my shelf!” Marrian boasts.

Armageddon’s chest spasms with amused laughter. She’s grinning ear to ear as she looks back at the others. She sighs.

“Ignore their disinterest, won’t ya? We’re kinda waitin’ on someone much more important than you.” Arma gets out through airy chuckles.

Marrian tightens his grasp upon his sword. “I know for whom you wait, you foolish wench.”

Arma’s grin fades into a passive stare. Her chin raises, and she looks down into angry, terrified green of a boy she couldn’t care less about.

“And who would that be?”

“That thing.” Marrian hisses. “The beast of hell!”

All turn to look at Marrian. Arma’s arm raises until her sword is pointed directly at the knight’s neck. “Lucifer?” She asks.

“You will all burn.” He promises.

The fallen angels who had taken to sitting now rise with their brothers and sisters. They stand at Arma’s back as dutiful soldiers.

Marrian’s eyes dart from one fallen angel to the next, his level of adrenalin dropping with each set of dark, dead eyes.

“You’re pretentious. Worthless, you understand?” Arma seethes through gritted teeth. “We live to burn.”

Crimson flakes light up Arma’s eyes once more. She steps forward. Marrian shuffles back. “Don’t chu’ dare talk about Lucifer like that.” She advances at a quickening pace, her steps growing shorter and faster the closer she gets to Marrian, who in turn stumbles backward until he’s off his feet.

“The only beast here is you!” Armageddon shrieks with a raise of her sword above her head. Marrian raises his own in a defensive position, ready to block the attack and yet still so unbelievably unprepared for the blow he doesn’t have any chance of stopping.

Arma’s blade swings down and easily knocks Marrian’s own blade out of his hands. She’s just about to slice the knight’s throat when the fire at their side burns out.

All movement slows to a halt.

The streets have grown dim, the cloud cover above lighting the space a dull gray.

Marrian’s breathing is erratic. His arms act as a makeshift shield. He’s too scared to open his eyes, so instead he holds this position, his breath now white and skin crawling with goosebumps.

A chill runs up his spine and he clenches his jaw.

Armageddon looks back to the others. She catches Magec’s eye, but they give off no answers. The sword in her hand is lowered to her side and she steps back.

She spins in a slow circle.

“It’s not you…” She mutters in reference to the knight upon the ground. “So who is it…?”

Arma stops turning and peers over her left shoulder. She holds this position until there’s the sound of approaching footsteps, boots smacking against roughly textured ice.

The fallen angel grins. “Our mystery snowman has decided to join the party, is that it?” She asks the alley beside what used to be a burning home.

Marrian dares to open his eyes. He begins to lower his arms, but freezes mid motion as another, more powerful chill prickles his neck.

Arma’s smile drops with the temperature. She twitches at the neck and her companions move to a more defensive position beside her.

All watch, then, as Lucifer emerges from the shadows, it’s head guarded by the hood of it’s cloak. A pale hand reaches up to touch burnt wood. The contact causes a layer of frost to spread across the left side of the home.

Immediately, Lucifer retracts it’s hand and tries to bury it in the cloak.

Marrian watches this in panic. He’s stuttering frigid breath after breath as he makes a clumsy grab for his sword and rises to stand. When he swallows the lump in his throat, he finds it burns.

“Devil!” He shouts with two steps back. He points the sword at Lucifer before remembering the fallen angels at his side. Marrian then switches his target and moves back some more.

Arma barks out a laugh and faces Lucifer. She spreads her arms out wide, and then drops them to her sides. “Devil?” She squeaks out in a high pitch.

She points to Lucifer with her sword and laughs again. It turns to giggles. “This?” She snorts and looks to Marrian. “This is your devil?”

Lucifer removes it’s hood and winces. It grabs at it’s chest in pain.

“This is nothing but an injured soul with frost bite, you infant!” Arma chuckles out.

Marrian looks between both evils, his sword at the ready. “If this witch has not summoned you-” He begins to ask Lucifer before quickly darting his sights back to Armageddon. “Who has?”

Lucifer tries a tired step forward. “Arma-”

Arma shoots her sword defensively up to level Lucifer’s throat. Her eyes glow a dangerous crimson as she looks heavily over the devil. “What are you supposed to be and how do you know my name?”

Lucifer startles a step back. It looks wounded, both physically and emotionally. “I-” It tries. It’s mouth snaps shut after the first syllable finds it’s way out. The stranger nods a look to the ground before meeting Arma’s eyes once more. “Arma-” It practically breathes through a weak little laugh. “Do you not recognize me?” Lucifer asks, it’s hand on it’s heart and blue/red eyes conveying nothing but hurt.

Armageddon holds the unrecognizable eyes of something she’s never seen before. She then stutters a look and half turn to Magec. Silently, he lowers his head.

He’s trying to tell her what she already fears.

Arma pinches her lips and shakes her head. She looks to Lucifer. “No.” She bites out. Her eyes close and sword lowers. “No- that's not-”

She laughs, her motions stuttered and uncomfortable. “You can’t. You can’t be.”

Lucifer steps forward, a hand still placed above it’s beating cavity. “Armageddon-”

“No!” Arma shouts. Her sword’s point shoots up to Lucifer’s eye level. She snarls at the stranger’s startled retreat.

Lucifer looks away. The fallen angel drops it's hand to it's side. “I... I cannot express the thoughts.. cycling through my mind... I don't understand what's happened, Arma, Magec-” The fallen angel tries to look at the others, but it's gaze falls short. “I've failed you- all of you, I-”

“You can’t be Lucifer.” Arma cuts in. She shakes her head in denial. “I can’t even identify your soul, I mean-” Her pitch heightens. “What are you?” She asks, her lips trembling and brows crinkled.

Lucifer glances to Marrian. The knight catches this look and points his sword at the devil in misguided defense.

Taking a moment to consider the question, Lucifer looks up to the clouds above. After a moment, it lets out a laugh and drops it’s head. It raises a brow and nods. “Lost. Very lost… As are the rest of you.”

Arma’s hands are shaking. Her face has turned red from attempting to hold back powerful, unfamiliar emotions. A tear runs down her cheek. “Wh-what-” She breathes. “What has he done to you?”

Lucifer can’t meet Arma’s eyes, and so the devil takes to staring down the line where it’s icy presence has turned to ash just around where Arma and the other angels have taken to standing. The fire of their souls, the fire of an angel’s existence, fights against Lucifer’s now infectious ice of a soul. Opposites. Polar opposites. The devil has no right to dare consider itself an angel.

Perhaps once, but not anymore.

Armageddon clenches her jaw and darts venomous eyes back at Marrian, who jumps back in response. He appears confused, afraid, much unlike the adrenaline pumped, know it all patriot she had first met. “What have they done to you?” She asks, her eyes holding firmly on terrified green.

With a sharp turn, Arma darts toward Marrian, her skin steaming. He barks out a scream and falls back, his sword raising too slow to hold a proper defense against the sudden attack.

Within the blink of an eye, Magec has disappeared into the shadows of the neighboring aflame structures. Then, he’s back again, his hand firmly around Arma’s wrist. But she’s snarling, her sword already burning the inside of an unsuspecting corpse.

Lucifer’s mouth is agape. It’s body stands petrified in place, it’s eyes glued to the startled look in the boy’s dead eyes.

Magec closes his own eyes, releases Arma’s wrist, and turns away from the scene.

Armageddon slides her sword out of the boy’s chest and the body collapses onto the ash covered ground.

The other angels stand void of emotion, void of thought, even, as though they were drones instead of living beings.

Arma’s breathing is erratic when she stares down upon her victim. She smiles, and her blood covered sword crumbles to ash within her hand. She looks to Lucifer. “Now.” She begins. “What do you say we set our creator’s favorite species aflame until the bastard finally decides to destroy us all for good, yeah?” She asks with a look around the group, her words pitchy and uneven.

Lucifer looks heavily from Marrian’s blood draining body to Arma. Blue/red orbs contain a mix of broken, unspoken, incomprehensible emotions that fly right over Arma’s head.

She’s smiling as she stares back, her chest rising and falling to a heavy, yet steady rhythm. With an exhale, her vocal cords shake out a breathy laugh. She looks back at the other angels.

Magec avoids the contact by keeping his head down.

“What?” She asks with the slightest quirk to her brow.

“This is not what I wanted…”

Arma turns back to Lucifer, her smile now dropped. “I don’t understand.” She points to the dead body. “It’s their fault, Luci!” Her bare foot kicks at Marrian’s leg and the body bursts into ash. “It’s the creator’s fault! He banished us, ya know!” Arma takes a step closer to the devil, and in that moment any fire alight shifts as though having been knocked around by a harsh wind. “What else are we to do!?” She gestures around them, her arms out wide. “We’ve been abandoned here!”

Lucifer stares heavily down at the ash upon the ground. As a breeze blows, the ashes are carried away with it.

“Well?” Arma barks. She catches the devil’s gaze. “You really want to live out eternity as an icicle? Never to so much as yell in the face of he who did this to you?” Her voice rises in pitch at the end of her question.

There’s a pause.

“Well!?” She barks again, and Lucifer flinches.

“I don't know, Arma- I don't-” It bites back. It looks away, unable to hold Arma's tempered gaze.

Armageddon snorts out a laugh. Her head shakes in denial, then in acceptance. She’s smiling when Lucifer’s eyes dart to hers. “You’ve changed, Luci… And it’s not just the heat sucking vortex the creator has made of your soul.” She shrugs. “As you said you’re lost. You’ve lost your passion, what made you you, Lucifer.”

The air is void of tension, as though Lucifer has no ability to fight back. It makes the conversation feel empty, the reality of their situation, empty.

Arma laughs again, and her eyes begin to water. She looks up to the sky and basks in what little sunlight has filtered through the heavy clouds above. She takes a deep breath. “Truly, I’m heart broken, Luci.” She chokes out through a tight throat. Arma wipes at her eyes and lets out another breathy laugh. “Didn’t know I was capable of feeling this kind of pain.” She shrugs. “Oh, well. It is what it is, right? Isn’t that your motto now?”

“The situation is fragile, complicated.” Is all Lucifer can think to say. The creature’s eyes dart from one of the fallen to the next, a crinkle in it’s dark brow from pain within it’s chest.

“Fragile… Complicated…” Arma echos with a fold of her hands behind her back and long, calculated step into what’s left of Marrian’s ashes. Her lips purse as she looks down to her ash soaked feet. “I don’t like those words. Do you, Magec? Nirvana? Marcus? Lorien? Vera?” Her head tilts to look back at the other angels. “No?”

She humms from the back of her throat and looks up to the castle set in the center of the city. Lucifer follows the look.

“Arma-”

She looks back to what used to be a mighty soldier of heaven. “Problem?” She asks, her brow raised.

Lucifer shifts in place. “Please-”

“Oooooh please-” Arma drones out from the back of her throat, her red lips twisted upwards. “So polite, Lucifer.”

Her hands raise to her hips. “What was it you said up at the gate? ‘Humanity is torture’? ‘Life on earth is nothing more than a twisted pit stop to paradise’?” She quotes.

The air grows cooler, and the clouds above begin to swirl with unease. “Creating more suffering won’t help-” Lucifer explains through a cringe. It’s hand rises to it’s chest and grips the fabric there tight.

Pain.

There’s so much pain.

Where is it coming from?

“Well. We’ll just have to see about that, won’t we?” Arma asks with a skip backwards and a burst of flame around them. The air is both suffocating and blistering. The flames blind the fallen angels from their surroundings.

Lucifer is a crippled mess on the ground when the flame suddenly disperses from a skyrocketing drop in temperature.

With sight restored, the fallen can now see Arms has disappeared and left a trail of fire in her wake.

The flame has been wiped out for blocks to come, but Arma’s path of fire can still be seen heading for the castle.

Angels are bent upon the ground, their features turned pale and uniforms dusted with frost. All look upon Lucifer’s weak form. The devil’s hands clutch it’s chest as it struggles to breathe. It’s mouth gapes for air, but none dare get close.

“Magec.” Nirvana calls, her voice weak and raspy.

Magec turns to her, his usually rich brown skin now a sickly color.

Nirvana’s bangs are askew. They hide her eyes when she darts a look from Lucifer, to Arma’s blazing trail, to Magec. “How do we proceed?”

Magec shakes his head and slowly straightens himself out. He brushes lightly at his uniform. “We have fallen.” He begins, his words tranquil, as though unaffected by the way things have played out. “We have strayed from the creator’s path. We…” His eyes wander over the horizon covered in both ice and flame. There are screams that emit from the castle as it, too, goes up in flame.

Dark, uncertain eyes then turn down to the leader of the fallen. The tortured soul has become a crumbled mess.

“Have no choice… but to each make that decision ourselves, Nirvana…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

SEVEN

 

 

 

The king and queen of Amaryllis stand upon their terrace and watch as the citizens below beg for the release of their loved ones.

Women of all ages are lined up around the city’s center, their hands and ankles bound. Knights who swore to protect this land guard these women as they are each individually scrutinized and then brought to stand upon the gallows.

The king averts his gaze from the dirty brunette struggling against a knight. Instead he looks around the balcony, followed by within his chambers. He does not find what he’s looking for.

Through the corner of her eye, the queen watches her husband’s antsy movements. “Marrian, was his name?” She asks, idly.

“Incredible soldier. Timely and good mannered.” The king sighs with a look back at the potential witch below. “Should have been back by now. My patience is wearing thin.”

The queen quirks a brow at the sight of the noose draping around a girl’s neck. She appears to be in her early twenties. The skin on her bones is unusually pale and thin given their kingdom’s minimal to moderate wealth.

“Perhaps he found the beast…” The queen muses. She shares a look with her husband. He’s not impressed.

Smirking, the queen tilts her chin up just a little further to watch as the last of the five nooses are wrapped around an older woman’s neck.

Five women now stand before the wailing crowds, their hearts in their throats as they await false judgment.

Anton, captain of the knights, walks steadily across the platform. His eyes fall upon each witch individually as he passes them by. When he reaches the end of the gallows, he slows and turns to look at his men. They struggle below with the angry crowd of citizens. “Judgment.” He calls simply, and the people’s shouts begin to die down.

A few, however, refuse to be silenced until their questions are answered.

These men ask, “Why my Rosette?”

“What are your grounds?”

And the like.

Instead of answering these questions, Anton turns to face the women hand picked by his men. They appear to be the most… unsettled, of the bunch.

“One of you.” He states, his voice loud and clear. “Or one of you…” He adds with a look to the women lined up around the city’s center. “Have brought the devil into our land.”

One citizen from the crowd argues, “False accusations!”, and the men struggle with all their might against the knights blocking them from their loved ones.

Their effort is pointless, however, as the knights are nothing if not the kingdom’s strongest.

With poise, Anton unsheathes his sword and points it to the old woman at the end of their line up.

At the threat, the men and children in the crowd settle.

Anton swings his sword up and away from the woman. His dark brown eyes watch it’s smooth slice through the air with idle bemusement. There’s a pause in the air as none dare speak. Instead, they watch the tall, olive skinned warrior inspect his weapon. With a quirked purse of his lips, Anton sheathes his sword.

His hand doesn’t leave the handle as he takes another slow step forward. “Anyone care to confess?” He calls out with a simple gesture of his left hand around them. “No?” He asks the unusual silence.

He humms. It’s accompanied by a quiet roar.

Anton’s brows knit at the barely audible noise. It grows in voice, as though it were fast approaching.

He turns and looks out at their land.

There’s a spread of wildfire racing toward the city’s center. Anton shuffles a startled step back and unsheathes his sword.

The others in the city look to the fire.

There’s a sudden panic.

Men and women scream while the protectors of Amaryllis prepare to take on the devil.

The air grows clouded by dark smoke as the flames settle in around them. People are running around the packed space, desperate to find an exit.

Anton points his sword down the line of women. “Which of you has brought this devil!?” He shouts over the screams of his people.

He darts a look to the women lined up, but most have been devoured by flame. Many of his own men, even, are out of reach.

All hell has broken loose throughout the kingdom of Amaryllis. What isn’t up in flames has either already been burnt to ash or, at the edge of the city’s heart, laced with ice.

Citizens and knights alike run through the fire and roll upon the ground. It’s suffocating. There is no escape, no breath.

Anton chokes on the air and raises his sleeve to his mouth. He struggles to breathe through the heat. “Which is it!?”

Women keel over, their hands bound behind their backs and heads forced down upon the wooden trap doors they have been forced to stand over.

The nooses sway to a gentle rhythm of chaos.

From the tower, the king and queen watch in a state of shock as all that they own is brought to a smoldering end.

There’s a wave of shock, a tremor, that vibrates across the land. The king and queen grab at the railing of their terrace. An aftershock hits and the tower collapses down upon those still in the city’s center.

Screams echo across the land.

The kingdom is crumbling.

Armageddon reveals herself from within the fire. To the destruction around her, she shouts, “Armageddon will be the death of your precious humanity!” She looks to the clouds and rising smoke above. “I will end your creation!” She screeches through the roar of red flames.

It’s her soul.

She is devouring the city.

And soon… She will do the same to the rest of the world.

A chill creeps up Arma’s spine.

She straightens out and releases a white breath. It blows the flames off of the city.

Snow falls overhead.

Pale, trembling lips part in awe.

A cold, blue hue has taken over the city’s center. Half burnt buildings fall apart with a crackle. When they hit the ground, they send a cloud of ash into the air.

Once beautiful architectural designs are now broken shells of what had been someone’s legacy.

Arma’s insides feel weak, frail.

With another steady exhale of white, Arma turns.

There’s a crease between her bent brows when she finds Lucifer kneeling on the ground behind her. The angel is all of five feet away, panting for breath.

There are distant screams as survivors flee the city, but all in all, the kingdom is filled with little more than the whisper of the wind.

Lucifer chokes out a scream and crumbles onto it’s side. It’s head shakes out a “No” directed at Arma.

Armageddon pinches a frown. There are tears in her eyes. “My Lucifer-” She chokes.

Arma drops to a kneel in her spot.

By now, they’re both covered in the flame’s chalky residue. She tries to crawl toward the other, but a drop in her soul’s core forces her back. Through wet tears she cries, “You are not an angel, my love.”

Other fallen angels appear from the shadows. They stand there with void expressions.

They fell for Lucifer, the angel, but… What was this before them?

Lucifer shakes it’s head to agree with Arma. It’s icy gateway to a conflicted soul stares painfully back at the angel. There’s almost a smile on pale lips when a huff escapes the being.

Any trace of a smile drops at the release of air. Then there’s a wheezy laugh in it’s place, and Lucifer’s eyes go wide with terror, with confusion.

The devil laughs, but it’s out of it’s control.

“Luci?” Arma asks. She raises a hand to reach for her love. When Lucifer rolls onto it’s back, Arma is sent flying backward with several other angels standing behind her.

Lucifer screams and snaps it’s head back.

The wind that releases from the devil’s cry laces the entire city in a wave of frost, including it’s loyal demons.

Arma gasps for breath upon the crystallized ground. Her lips and cheeks have turned deathly pale. She finds it’s hard to keep her eyes open.

Her soul is dimming.

She can feel it.

A heavy, repetitive chuckle breaks out. The noise brings on another chill that causes Arma’s skin to prickle.

Deep brown eyes wander up toward the noise. Through her peripheral vision, she can see several other angels attempting to do the same. However, the movement is strained, forced.

Before Arma kneels Lucifer. It’s got the tips of the fingers on it’s right hand ghosting the pale skin of it’s face, hiding it’s grin. With a stand, the hand drops and the smile pinches.

A huff of laughter rises like a wave through Lucifer’s body. It ends in another grin and series of chuckles.

Armageddon’s breath catches when their sights meet.

There is no longer a ring of fire around the angel’s pupil. In fact, there is no trace of angel at all left within this devil.

Lucifer’s eyes are a pale, nearly clear blue.

Lucifer’s soul… Is something else, entirely.

The devil looks away, it’s grin ever present.

“Hey-!” Arma chokes out with an attempt to stand. She slips on the ice and falls back into an awkward mess of limbs. “Hey!” She screams when the devil turns from her. “Don’t chu’ dare leave me!” Her voice cracks.

Lucifer peers over it’s shoulder, then huffs out another laugh and walks on, toward the burning village Arma had devoured upon her first arrival.

The fallen angel struggles to light her soul back to life, but it’s fruitless. The anger pooled up inside her melts, and the snow triumphs.

She grits her teeth at Lucifer’s back, then yells, “Get back here, you bastard-!” Her voice breaks and her head falls.

She can’t move, nor can she stop the tears that swell in her eyes. Forehead to the ice, she mutters, “Don’t you dare leave me, again…” She gasps for breath and feels the anger bubble once more.

With Lucifer’s distance, she can feel herself grow stronger.

“Armageddon.” Magec calls from a kneel across the ice laced street.

With a collecting breath, Arma looks up.

Lucifer is gone, but the other angels have stayed loyally at her side.

“Yeah?” She breathes. A puff of white escapes her lips. She watches dully as it disperses.

“We follow you. What is your order?” Magec asks.

Arma scowls and forces herself up onto shaky legs. She looks down upon her fellow angels. It’s beautiful, the red flakes of light that reveal her soul from within intricate gateways. The crimson color grows deeper, and with it alights the fire of her soul. She snaps her head back to the direction Lucifer had gone.

“We.” Her hand slices through the frigid air. “Do not leave her!” She hisses. “That’s Lucifer.” She blinks any excess tears out of her eyes, then wipes at her frail cheeks. “We follow Luci.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

EIGHT

 

 

 

High above the clouds, in a place beyond this universe’s reach, rests heaven.

Within this blindingly white paradise sits a single set of gates made from a gold-like metal that’s been twisted into a breathtaking design.

When they unlatch and fall open, the light overcomes the senses.

It’s beautiful, what’s beyond the gate.

It’s a kingdom in the center of clear watered ponds, a rich green forest, sandy beaches, snow peaked mountains, and a platinum palace where all are king.

Heaven is a slice of everything, with castles for each soul placed wherever their hearts may take them.

Is your paradise a garden filled with every flower and shrub in the universe? Beside a pond of coy, lily pads, a fountain and an arched bridge to give view to this beautiful display? Warm, white sanded beaches with the occasional gust of wind ghosting your skin? Thick wooded forests with mountain peaks so high they’ve turned white with snow?

No matter your vision of paradise, heaven has a place for you.

The sky, in heaven, is flawless.

There’s never a blinding sun or cloud to be seen. It’s just… light. Everywhere, all the time. It warms the souls collected there.

Within heaven’s forest scurries a soul of pure fire. An angel. She fades through the shadows left by the trees and races for the cliffs of heaven, the edge only angels can reach.

There’s a snag and a rip that stops the angel in her tracks. She appears from a white cloud of smoke with a frown tugging her bright red lips.

“Well, crap.” She mutters with a raise of her ripped gown. The soft fabric has been unevenly torn up her right leg to the mid-thigh.

The gown, itself, is of a thin, white material. It’s tied around her frame by a golden, rope-like belt that twists repeatedly around her torso.

Armageddon gives a quiet whine at the back of her throat, where no noise actually emits.

Angels are not meant to speak, but rather, listen to the problems of the humans they are destined to watch over. Still, her soul sings with an unheard voice.

White locks of hair drape down the angels back in loose curls that hold a sharp contrast with the orange/crimson soul her eyes showcase with pride.

“You’re completely ruined, ain’t cha’?” She asks the torn dress.

The sweetest, melancholy song of a familiar soul drifts through the forest. It reaches the angel’s ears with ease.

Arma grins at the faded melody and walks forward through the forest.

When she escapes the green plantlife and towering trees, she finds herself at the cliffs of heaven.

Standing at the very edge of this cliff, violin in hand, is Lucifer. The angel’s song sings loud and clear now that they’re close.

Arma pinches her smile and approaches. She does not say a word as she takes a seat beside the angel and allows her legs to hang over the cliffs of heaven.

This is the only place in heaven where you can see the universe made by the creator.

It’s all around them, now, the colors bold and beautiful.

There’s no longer a flawless light overhead, but rather distant galaxies that hold the most peculiar species.

Lucifer’s melody makes an abrupt end. It’s plain bow lifts from the white instrument and taps twice against pale, pink lips. The bow rests there for a moment’s pause.

Armageddon narrows a curious look up at the other angel. “Something the matter?” She asks.

Deep crimson eyes stare out at the universe from under heavy white brows. Soft, short, white strands of hair blow with a heavenly breeze, out toward the universe. “I’m troubled.” Lucifer mumbles against the bow.

Arma falls onto her back. She’s grinning as she teases, “And why is that, grumpy pants?” Her finger points and glides down the hem of Lucifer’s white pant leg.

The angel looks down at her with a softened red gaze.

Lucifer is by far… the brightest burning angel of them all. The original, many can protest.

At a sigh, the bow and violin fade into white smoke. The angel takes a seat beside Arma and falls back onto it’s forearms. It then rolls onto it’s side to look at the angel who rolls to do the same. She smiles and waits patiently for the other angel to explain itself.

Lucifer narrows a playful look into an orange-ish red soul it could recognize in a human heartbeat.

“The creator-”

Arma groans and rolls dramatically onto her stomach. After a mere moment, she then presses her forefinger into Lucifer’s black bow tie. “You need to let it go, Luci.”

Lucifer frowns and grabs Arma’s hand in it’s.

Armageddon’s soul flickers at the contact, then fades as the other angel releases her tender flesh. Her gaze drifts downward while the other shifts onto it’s back to look up at the universe around them.

Red eyes scan the galaxies one by one.

“He won’t see me, no matter how many times I ask. It’s important. Does he not realize this?”

“Oh, Lucifer.” Arma groans. “It’s one misplaced soul. Why can’t you just let it go?”

They meet one another’s gaze.

“It’s suffering.”

“But look at all the others who ain’t!” Arma challenges with a wide throw of her hand back toward heaven.

Lucifer frowns. “Here, perhaps. But what about the lives out there in the universe? They’re in torment, constant pain. Humanity is torture. Life, it… it’s nothing more than a twisted pit stop to paradise, isn’t it?

“It's a test- to see if they belong up here!” Arma defends.

“It seems…” Lucifer’s brows twist. “Excessive. Unnecessary.”

Arma quirks a smile. “Thoughts like that are gonna get chu’ into real trouble someday.”

—-

Lucifer stumbles over stiff limbs across the frozen tomato field of a farmer who met his early fate.

The red fruit doesn’t so much as crack when Lucifer’s booted foot meets with it’s skin.

Solid. They’re all frozen solid.

A cloud cover spreads overhead like the plague.

There are now snow clouds for as far as the eye can see.

Lucifer’s boot meets with another tomato. At the awkward step, the boot loses it’s traction and slips on the icy surface.

The devil falls to the ground with a thump. When it rolls onto it’s back, a sigh escapes pale, bluish lips.

There’s a laugh. It’s low and amused.

A grin runs across the human-like features of… whatever it is.

Lucifer raises a hand over it’s face. Still smiling, it asks the sky, “What have you done to me?”

The voice is much smoother now. It’s not quite as strained as those who have fallen.

The gift of a voice, it would seem…

In exchange for the loss of everything else.

It laughs again and drops it’s hand upon the slick, icy plantlife. “Truly, you’ve given this world quite the monster.” It chuckles out.

“I’m so scaaaary, aren’t I?” It’s head rolls back to look behind itself, toward the farmer’s little old house.

Lucifer chuckles behind pinched lips. It’s a breathy release of air. Breathlessly, it laughs, “The entire kingdom fled.”

“Oh.” It collects itself with a high pitched sigh.

“What could you possibly wish to come of this?” It asks aloud.

Lucifer sits up, crosses it’s legs, and tilts it’s head. “Do you want me to kill them? Kill your precious humans? Hmm?” It stands. “Want me to kill off the fallen angels? Is that it!?” It shouts with an uncoordinated step forward, toward the abandoned kingdom of Amaryllis.

“Well, it’s not going to happen!” It screeches. “I.” It points to itself. “Will not.” It prods at it’s chest. “Be.” Again. “Controlled!” It’s hand drops to it’s side, then raises to it’s face in an attempt to bury another inappropriate laugh.

It’s head shakes and hands drop.

Lucifer smiles at the sky, at the heavens.

“This torture, you-” It points upward, then does a little turn and step, then another turn and step forward. The devil’s grinning as it promises, “I will find you… And I will kill you.” It laughs. The noise is low and repetitious. “Then!” It’s hands raise out to the sides. “This will all end! You!” Lucifer drops it’s hands to it’s sides. “Will end.”

A beacon of light slowly breaks through the cloud cover. The sunlight pours over Lucifer’s face and threatens to blind the monster.

Lucifer lifts a hand to shadow it’s face. Dark pupils drown in ice blue eyes that dare not back down from the presence of this aura.

“Yes.” It breathes through a forward step. “Come down and finish what you’ve started!”

At the challenge, light breaks out in numerous spots along the city of Amaryllis. They tear apart the cloud cover Lucifer has unintentionally set.

The devil feels a skip in it’s chest and reaches for it. A fist grabs at the cloak around the monster’s sickly frame.

It smiles and nods it’s approval. “Send your army, send your angels… It’s too late.” It blinks through a heavy breath. The monster can feel the humm of it’s soul bursting to life. There’s an excitement drifting through the air. “An end is coming.” It laughs out. The hand not grabbing the cloak slaps across Lucifer’s smile. “Your end is coming!” It screams, and the rays of light fade to again allow the clouds to take control.

Lucifer humms and looks to the city.

It’s not quite as empty as it had been.

—-

Armageddon cringes a look up at the light filtering in through dark clouds. “What’s this about?” She mutters to the cold around her.

Magec takes a breath, and with it, he feels his soul warm back to life.

The temperature of the city has risen. The cold is giving in to something, he knows not what.

The other fallen angels feel it, too.

But then the light fades out, vanishes.

Yet the warmth remains.

Arma feels a flicker in her soul of flame. With a narrow look, she observes the shadows cast down around them. To her right, she feels a stuttering breath. “Down!” She shouts whilst falling backwards.

As she does so, a sword that would have decapitated her slices through the air. Bright, red, and pure are the flames that spit out a soldier of heaven, an angel of white.

With a slide across the ice, Arma swoops back toward her fallen angels.

An army of but five soldiers have successfully surrounded the group.

Magec lowers a helping hand, and Arma takes it without thanks. Now standing, she, too, allows a small portion of her soul to smolder into a crimson weapon.

“Well, hello, there, Gabe, ya sack o’ shit.” She greets the head of the party.

Gabriel grins at the demon.

He, like all others in the group, wears the white dress and confidence of an angel backed by the creator.

White strands of hair stick up from his head so as to not disrupt his orange-ish red gaze. He swings his sword through the air, then pinches his smile. “You’ve changed, Arma.” Like all angels, his words are fluent, unbroken, for he’s not actually speaking. If anything, his words skip through the air and instead embed themselves in the fallen angel’s mind.

Arma grins. The look she’s sending Gabriel is menacing, devious. It holds no innocence. No… She’s going to kill the bastard. “I think we could all use a little change, don’t chu-!?” Arma screeches with a lunge forward, toward the angel.

Sparks fly at the blocking clash of their swords. Both push forward, refusing the relent to the other.

“Where is Lucifer?” Gabriel asks. His tone is smooth despite the sweat collecting at his brow.

“Too busy for the likes of you-!” Arma screams with a winning forward swing that breaks Gabriel’s resistance.

The others stand still, waiting for order. Neither angels nor demons have yet to join the battle.

After taking two steps back, Gabriel uses the sleeve of his arm to brush off the sweat from his forehead. He’s panting from exertion, but so is Arma.

For the most part, they’re evenly matched.

They always have been.

Armageddon’s red lips quirk. She lifts her head high and narrows her eyes at the angel before her. “The creator send ya here to kill us off?”

“Something like that.”

Arma points a finger and wiggles it in the air through a shake of her head. “It’s not gonna be an easy task, ya know.” She twists her sword in the air, buries it in the ground, then leans her weight upon the handle. “This is a big boy’s job. Ya sure you can handle it, Gabey Baby?”

“Always with the weak jabs, Armageddon.” Gabriel breathes. He straightens out his posture and looks to the angels under his command. They’re somewhat short staffed for the task at hand.

“Afraid you’d break, otherwise.”

Gabriel slides on a tight smile and looks to his fellow soldiers. “You have asked for war with our creator… He has accepted.”

Arma pulls her sword from the gravel and slices it through the air. Her soul is burning.”Then stop the yappin’.”

—-

With so many angels carelessly moving about, it’s a miracle the entire city hasn’t burst into ash.

Armageddon and her fallen angels fight the warriors of heaven with all they’ve got, but it’s futile for both sides.

The city is slowly succumbing to flame. A result of fighting fire with fire.

Arma swings, misses, and steps back. There’s a cut on her left cheek, but it heals a moment later.

From a distance, the sun is setting. The orange color consumes the sky like the flames consume the withering city of Amaryllis.

Clashes of swords, drops of blood, the roar of fire…

At this rate the winner will be he who can stand the longest.

Arma stumbles a step back after another hit from one of god’s groupies and trips over a human corpse. It catches fire from the contact and she crawls backwards, away from it. The angel that challenges her, Amel, steps over the new pile of ash and raises her sword to Arma’s throat. There’s a red glisten in the angel’s eyes.

“You’ve let your guard down.”

“Well, shit.” Arma grins. “What cha’ gonna do? Decapitate me?”

“We are both aware such an action would be fruitless.”

Arma’s grip around her sword’s handle tightens. Her smile favors the left side as she coos, “Yeah, well, you could still do me the courtesy of trying, ya know.”

Amel is expressionless as she explains, “Demons are to be reassi-”

The angel chokes on a white cloud that emits from her mouth. Her spine bends backward, into the touch of death.

Arma stares wide eyed at the black blade that’s been pierced through the soldier’s gut.

With the raise of a scythe, Amel’s body flips lifelessly behind Lucifer, who flings the corpse off it’s blade like drandruff off it’s shoulder.

Amel, an angel, turns a discolored blue, particularly around the lips, nose, and wide, open eyes.

There’s no longer a light in this soul.

It’s gone.

Destroyed.

Permanently.

That shouldn’t be possible…

Arma snaps out of it and tries a smile. “Well, hello, there, Mr. Tardy-Pants.”

Lucifer grins down at the corpse.

It forces Arma’s smile to waver.

Gabriel, Magec, and several other angels stop their clashing of swords to burst from the shadows and cease their exchange.

Gabe looks down at his comrade in awe.

“How did you-” He begins to ask. His words catch on his tongue when he sees Lucifer is muffling a laugh. “What evil is-”

“I think.” Lucifer cuts in. It’s hand drops from it’s mouth to reveal the most amused little grin. Blue eyes dart to Gabriel. “Your creator sent you here to die, Gabriel.”

Gabe gathers his confidence and trust in his father. “On the contrary, we are here to collect your species. You are being reassigned.”

Lucifer swings a heavy black scythe over it’s shoulder. “Well, I’m here here to kill you.”

“There is no death for angels. My faith makes me immortal.” There is no waver in the angel’s tone.

Lucifer looks down and tilts Amel’s lifeless head up. “Looks dead to me.”

“Her vessel, perhaps.” Gabriel levels. “But Amel’s soul is safe with our lord.”

Lucifer’s smile is wide. It creates a discomfort in those who witness it. “I think. You’re wrong.” It laughs and drops the scythe from it’s shoulder to the ground. The blade embeds itself into the rich soil of Amaryllis.

A heavy boot stained with red blood steps forward while pale, sickly fingers dance over the long, sturdy handle of the scythe.

Lucifer grabs the edge of the handle and swings it’s body over the unmovable weapon.

Gabriel watches with a pained, confused expression as what was once a fellow angel swings itself atop of the handle while laughing like a lunatic.

Once Lucifer reaches the edge of the handle, where it peaks to the highest point in the air, it bends a knee and steadies itself.

It’s body leans toward Arma, toward Gabe. “I think I’m going to kill each and every one of you until your lord has had enough sacrifice.” It grins. “Then I’ll kill a few more.”

Armageddon stands, her weapon firmly within her grasp. “Quite devious all of a sudden. You don’t sound quite like yourself, Luci.” She squeezes out through an uneven pitch.

“I think this monster’s voice is clear.” Gabriel hisses with a forward step and raise of his sword.

Arma steps before the angel, her platinum blade now raised to Gabriel’s neck. “You’re gonna keep your dirty little hands off my Lucifer, ya hear?”

Gabriel’s eyes glisten something akin to anger. “I’ve had enough of you.” He steps forward, knocks Arma’s sword out of her hand and cuts into her left arm.

She barely winces at the wound. For a moment red, human-like blood pools down her arm and drips to the ash below. It heals itself a second later when she steps back and fades into one of the many shadows brought on by the flames around them. Her sword, now upon the ground, fades with her.

Gabriel doesn’t even have to glance behind himself to know she’s reappearing at his back, her sword in hand and smoke smoldering off of her illusion of skin.

His hand touches out a cross in the air and he chants, “Evil spirit, may thee find peace in another realm.”

Arma again drops her sword and collapses onto her hands and knees. Her left shoulder is blistering, eating at her skin with a heat even angels cannot contain.

She screams and falls forward. Her hand reaches for her shoulder, but at the contact it burns.

A loud, agonizing shriek escapes the fallen angel’s lips. Her body is falling apart on her.

Magec tries a step toward Arma, but is stopped by a blade he just barely manages to block.

Now that Lucifer’s been found, it’s time to banish the fallen.

“Stop fighting it, Armageddon.” Gabriel tells the demon.

Lucifer watches the fallen angel shrivel upon the ground. From it’s perched position, the monster takes to idly swinging it’s right leg over the end of the scythe’s handle.

It’s lips purse in amusement when Arma shakily forces herself up onto her knees. She reaches for her sword, and Gabriel turns to actually bother a look at her.

“Don’t you dare…” She chokes out. With a lung forward and burst of her aura, she screams, “HURT MY LUCIFER!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

NINE

 

 

 

Lucifer sits on the cliffs of heaven, the angel’s mind a stressed mess.

Deep red eyes narrow in concentrated thought as it stares sightessly out into the universe. So many colors, unique souls…

The forest breathes at Lucifer’s back. The push of air alerts the angel of another presence.

Lucifer peers over a white vested shoulder. “Armageddon?” It asks.

There’s no response.

Heaven has once again gone still.

Red eyes scan the space for any angel, familiar or otherwise. There’s nothing.

After taking a deep breath, Lucifer looks idly back out at the stars.

It’s then the full disturbance of this soul takes effect. A harsh wind pushes at Lucifer’s back, sending the angel forward.

Terrified, Lucifer spreads wide, white wings and kicks away from the cliff.

Again, Lucifer looks back at the forests, this time through raised arms. It takes everything not to fall back any further.

“I pray to my father for strength, so that this evil may be banished-” Lucifer chants under it’s breath. The angel raises it’s right hand to touch both shoulders, head, and chest. “For only the pure of heart may enter through heaven’s gate.”

Lucifer pulls a white, fog emitting sword from it’s chest cavity. An extension of the angel’s soul, this weapon is. A part of it’s pure heart.

It takes two hands to wield the jeweled, white gold sword, but Lucifer manages it with little difficulty.

The wind stills.

A crinkle forms between colorless brows. “Show yourself.” Lucifer commands.

Again, there’s nothing.

Cautiously, the angel lowers it’s feet to the ground. Truly, there is nothing to be seen.

For this presence has no form.

The space is deafening. It creates a quiet ring at the back of Lucifer’s mind.

After a moment, that ringing bursts to an ear bleeding volume.

It’s exploded the angel’s eardrums.

Lucifer drops it’s line of defense and crumbles to a ball on the ground. It’s hands shoot up to cover it’s ears through a scream it cannot hear.

White wings break near the base. The snap makes Lucifer’s spine bend backwards and jaw pop. Plain white feathers shed from broken wings and down over the cliffs of heaven.

—-

Armageddon is listening to a man of faith plead for rain when she hears it.

The cry of an angel.

And not just any angel… Lucifer.

Arma turns off the farmer’s prayer and steps away from the old Italian.

She looks up and winces at the hot sun beating down on her and this poor old man.

The sound of Lucifer’s cries have yet to fade out. After a beat, her soul steps back into the farmer’s shadowed porch and she disappears.

—-

By the time Arma arrives at the cliffs of heaven, the space is crowded by other angels.

Everyone has heard Lucifer’s cries. And yet… They’re all just standing around.

Armageddon pushes her way to the front of the crowd only to still at the sight before her.

Lucifer is crippled just beside the cliffs of heaven, it’s wings snapped clean off. It lies lifelessly there, before what looks to be an artificial gate of heaven.

The gate is both misplaced and open. Beyond it is nothing but blinding light even the purest of angels cannot see through.

“Lucifer!” Arma screams across the quiet cliffs.

Lucifer forces it’s eyes to look over at the other angel. The angel’s lips move, but no sound comes out.

It’s voice has been revoked.

So instead it mouths, “Stay back.”

Tears fill Arma’s eyes and she sprints forward. She gets not five steps before she’s flung back by a force she’s never felt before.

The creator.

This force can only belong to he who has created them all.

Arma’s body skids against the twigs and grass just within the forest, where all have taken to observing this punishment play out. From the ground, she begs, “Leave him alone!”

Magec and Nirvana appear at her side. Their expressions, like all others, are flat. They don’t know what to think of this.

Wisdom speaks at the back of the angel’s minds. It’s a gift, knowledge. It fills in the gaps, answers their questions…

The creator, in his own way, is speaking to the angels.

“Lucifer plans to kill the humans…” Nirvana breathes in understanding. There’s a disbelieving look in her orange/red eyes. It fades to disappointment when Lucifer drops it’s gaze from their direction.

“That’s not as bad as it sounds.” Arma tells no one in particular. She forces herself up onto her knees and looks out at where she can only guess the creator is resting. “Luci just wants to stop the suffering.”

“You knew about this?” Nirvana asks. Her white, awkwardly cropped hair falls into her eyes, blocking Arma from view. She releases a breath, then tucks several strands behind her ear. “I suppose the thought may have crossed my mind after an eternity of listening to the species weep…” She dully admits.

“Lord, ya gotta understand. Ya gotta listen!” Arma begs. “This is just…” Her eyes fall to Lucifer. It’s broken wings stick out painfully from it’s back, unable to properly close.

A strong push of air forces the angels to hold their ground and remain silent. Lucifer, however, on the edge as it already is, has no ground to stand and instead falls back, off the cliff of heaven and through the open gate.

When the wind stops, Arma’s body slacks. She stares wide eyed out at where the creator has just pushed Lucifer out of heaven. Banished… and sent god knows where.

Two tears slide down the angel’s flushed cheeks.

A creak sounds and this new gate begins to close, locking Lucifer away from her forever.

With a wipe of her tears, Arma shoots upright and sprints for the gate. The light is blinding as she approaches, and creates a shadow at her back that she easily slips into.

“Armageddon!” Magec calls, but she’s already gone.

He looks to the angel at his side, Nirvana, and they disappear into the shadows. Within a beat, several others do the same until finally, the gate slams closed.

With a click, it seals.

Free will.

It’s an optional gift only a handful of angels chose to take. The others stare in awe at the closed, golden gate of heaven, where their brothers and sisters will never be able to return.

Just what is an angel banished from heaven…?

They’d have to give them a name.

For they were certainly no longer the purest of species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

TEN

 

 

 

Arma huffs breath after breath. Her left arm up to her neck is blistering, but still she stands guard before Lucifer, who sits back on it’s scythe with a little smile across pale, colorless lips.

If the devil had a tale, it would be wagging.

Joy.

It’s enjoying this.

Gabriel steps back with a blank expression. There’s a cut across his cheek, but it’s shallow and heals with ease. He wipes the excess blood away with his sleeve. It taints the white material.

Behind Gabe, his followers have successfully encircled the five other fallen angels.

The space in unnervingly quiet until slow, sarcastic clapping sounds out.

Unable to go on, Arma drops her sword and crumbles to the ground. “Shit.” She hisses through clenched teeth. Her eyes have gone teary.

“Very nicely done, Armageddon.” Lucifer claps. “But you may rest now.” The beast hops off of it’s scythe and pulls the weapon out of the ground with a single, swinging motion that ends in the bottom of the handle tapping the ash dusted ground.

Arma stutters a breath as Lucifer walks passed. She tries reaching out to grab at the devil’s pant leg, but a warning shock of cold forces her hand back. Her teeth grit, and Lucifer ignores her.

There’s someone more interesting standing before it.

Lucifer takes two more forward steps before Gabriel has to back away from the overwhelming drop in temperature that comes from approaching this new species.

It smiles, and Gabriel steps back, into his shadow. He disappears, and for a moment, all is silent.

Lucifer roughly pivots it’s scythe right. There’s a loud clash of metal, then a startling trail of smoke that flies back against the burning building across the street. A cloud of smoke bursts from the collapsing building.

Lucifer’s smile quirks.

The surrounding angels feel their hearts lodge in their throats from the look the devil is giving them. Then they feel a drop in temperature start to set in.

It overpowers the blistering heat caused by nearly a dozen angels. Above, the clouds thicken. They’re readying for a storm, for what’s inevitably to come.

Flames die out around them with a single blow of wind. What’s left is a blue tinted darkness and fading sunset off in the distance.

Blue eyes only seem to glow brighter in this new found darkness.

“Lucifer, wait…” Arma pleads from the ground. “This isn’t you. Your head’s being toyed with, you understand?”

The words fall on deaf ears, for a soft, steady beat has stuttered to life in the back of Lucifer’s mind. It can hear it’s soul’s gentle humm loud and clear.

Intoxicating, is one word to describe the pull of strings.

Lucifer’s eyes flutter closed and head tilts. The beat is just so… Calm. Steady. Peaceful.

The solders of heaven disappear from sight and send a stutter through the demonic souls of the fallen. They can feel the movement, the flicker of a nearby angel, but can see nothing.

Useless eyes remain closed. The rhythm none can hear but Lucifer takes a sharp, breath catching drop in tempo.

A clash of metal rings loud and clear, followed by another, and another. Lucifer listens to the change in tempo and grabs both hands onto its scythe.

It can’t keep up, can’t travel through the shadows like an angel or burst into flame, but it can feel their movements… Anticipate their actions… And counter with ease.

For Lucifer, an angel is slow.

The approach of a flame, ghost of a breath, swing of a sword? It’s all in slow motion.

The devil dances with ease. It trusts in the rhythm to block and counter the three angels attacking it.

And it does.

Lunging forward, Lucifer knocks an angel out of the shadows and sends it’s body tumbling backwards. When it’s movements stop, it doesn’t get up.

One simple touch. That’s all it takes to lose one’s soul to the devil. To death.

A moment later, another angel falls prey to a similar fate.

They’re no match.

Lucifer can blow out the light of their existence like they’re nothing more than a single flame atop of a candle.

The chord drops, turns flat, and Lucifer opens it’s eyes. A brother, Ariel, stands before the devil. Smoke sheds from bruised and ash rubbed skin. He’s screaming as he crashes down on Lucifer with all he’s got. Orange eyes flicker with crimson specks, but the fascinating colors do little to hide the undoubted fear within his eyes. He’s scared, terrified.

He’s afraid of Lucifer.

Lucifer falters in it’s defense. For just a moment it doubts it’s actions and stills, it’s scythe frozen in mid-air.

With it’s defense dropped, the devil takes a flaming sword through the gut

At the impact, the flame goes out and the melody of Lucifer’s soul ceases.

Silence befalls the devil.

Calm. Steady. Peaceful.

Silence.

“Lucifer!” Armageddon screams from the ground. There’s smoke everywhere. It drifts up through the air to the clouds above and eventually disperses into the atmosphere.

Lucifer and Ariel stare back at one another, both equally shocked.

Then Ariel releases a breath of white and chokes on what should have been his next breath.

He falls to his knees.

Lucifer reaches for him, but the touch only blows out the light in Ariel’s eyes.

Ariel’s terrified eyes.

With the angel’s drop, the sword in Lucifer’s gut vanishes, leaving a gaping hole in the devil that doesn’t take long to mend itself.

Creaks, crashes, and bangs sound from the building Gabriel had previously been thrown into. The angel pulls himself upright and walks shakily out to the streets where his brothers and sisters have fallen.

Their cold, lifeless bodies have begun to crystallize.

Four angels in total lie dead in the streets of Amaryllis. Four of the purest, most loyal species in creation.

Lucifer looks back at Gabriel as though the angel were a ghost.

A slaughtered being out to haunt the monster.

“You…” It breathes. “See what you’ve done!?” Lucifer screeches with a full turn. A burst of blue light disturbs the space around Lucifer and reaches out around the kingdom.

What soon follows is a heavy crack and drop of the ground beneath their feet. For a moment, it feels as though they’re about to fall through the Earth. Then, it settles. Again, the ground beneath their feet is solid.

Any fear of Gabriel’s is hidden behind uncontrollable rage. His knight’s sword fades in through a burst of smoke that peels off of his human skin. From his back, white wings break free and spread behind him.

“Evil spirit, may thee find peace in another realm.” Gabriel chants.

Lucifer’s abdomen begins to burn and sizzle.

The devil welcomes the heat and grins at the angel.

The fallen angels make haste to fade into the shadows and break for the edge of the kingdom.

Arma, however, stays behind, both unable and unwilling to move.

She looks to the heavy clouds above. It’s too cold to snow.

Through an exhale, her breath turns white.

It’s getting colder…

Magec pops up beside Arma and pulls her into his arms. She hits at him. “No! Leave me!” She tries her best to crawl away and looks over at Lucifer.

Gabriel and the monster appear to be at a stand still. Both await the other’s first move.

Magec ignores Arma’s wishes and lifts her into his arms. The clouds have extended beyond the horizon. It covers all natural light from the sunset and leaves Amaryllis drowned in a subtle blue.

“No-!” Arma pushes at Magec’s head and shoulders. “Lucifer-!” She calls, but it goes unheard.

There’s a maddening pulse pounding in Lucifer’s drums.

Magec falls back and forces Armageddon to come with him.

At long last, Lucifer and Gabriel are alone in this crumbled mess of what used to be a great kingdom.

Gabriel shifts to get a better grip on his sword. And like that, he’s attacked.

Lucifer charges full speed ahead and makes a swing to take the angel’s head off. Gabriel ducks and tries a slice at Lucifer. His blade makes just the slightest skim across the flesh of Lucifer’s ankle, who in turn throws it’s scythe down on Gabe.

The angel disappears, then reappears at Lucifer’s back, it’s wings spread wide and sword ready for the kill.

A melody sets in.

Lucifer feels the soundless tune guide it through the attack, then all the ones that come after.

The ability to hide can only get you so far when you’re up against the devil.

—-

The second they take human form, Arma hurls herself out of Magec’s arms and onto the ground. Her fellow demons stand beside her, their sights set forward on the main city of Amaryllis.

A blue light beams out across the land. A moment later, the city falls several more inches below ground level.

Arma trips over a frozen tomato and hits her nose on the ground. It starts bleeding.

She licks the blood away.

Iron, just like a human’s.

A cackle sounds, but it’s not from the sky. The ground splits beneath Arma and the others. It cracks, spreading out from the heart of the kingdom.

Armageddon watches loose dirt fall into the deep cracks of the land. How far it falls, she cannot see. “What the hell is going on…?” She asks.

—-

Gabriel crashes to the ground. His right wing is broken from the impact, he realizes. They’re of no use to him now.

Long, beautiful wings of white fold and fade into the human form this soul has been given.

Lucifer does not wait for the process to finish before it leaps over a heap of burnt wood and hits the angel’s defensive swing. Again, Gabriel falls back and Lucifer chases after him.

It’s like a chase of cat and mouse, except the cat is smaller, faster, and more cunning than the mouse. This isn’t a hunt, but rather a game.

A game Lucifer is purposely prolonging.

Gabriel hits his head against the ground at his latest fall. It discombobulates him. Instead of one, there are five Lucifer’s coming at him. They all wear the same excited, child-like grin.

The soldier of heaven raises his sword in the general direction of Lucifer, but he’s weak, tired. His sword of a shield flies easily out of his hand at the impact and renders him defenseless for just the briefest of moments until he calls it back.

But it’s too late, took too long…

Lucifer spins it’s scythe in the air. The handle lines with it’s forearm and the head buries deep, through the angel’s abdomen, up to his heart.

There’s a stutter in Gabriel’s last breath.

He can feel his soul fading out.

For the first time in his existence, he feels doubt.

“This is…” Gabriel’s words choke on thick red blood. It climbs his esophagus and pools out through the corner of his mouth.

Lucifer releases a slow breath against the nape of Gabe’s neck. Bright blue eyes are wide and mad. Through a relieved cry, it finishes, “An end.”

Tears swell in the devil’s eyes as it feels Gabriel’s body grow heavier, lifeless. It releases a silent scream when the heat has all but vanished from the angel’s corpse.

The once pale, flawless skin of an angel has turned off colored. Veins can be seen through a thin, blue sheet of skin. They pop against the confining flesh.

Lucifer and the corpse drop to a kneel. The monster clutches Gabriel’s breathless body firmly against itself and weeps.

A blue wave of light emits from Lucifer’s body. It crumbles the edges of the city, breaking it off from the surrounding farmland.

—-

Arma watches from the ground as broken edges of the city fall into a mote of a dark abyss that traps Lucifer inside.

It’s then she notices the burns on her arms have started to fade, to heal.

Gabriel, the angel that condemned her, is no more.

She pushes herself into a run, and with what energy she has left, summons the wings from her back.

“Is she really going after that thing?” Marcus asks with a tired breath. His loyalties are flimsy. At least… compared to some.

“If she touches Lucifer, she’ll die.” Nirvana points out with a subtle look to Magec. He’s watching the demon take off instead of following after her.

It was a new development Nirvana found interest in.

When he doesn’t respond, she, too, looks after Arma and her wake of smoke.

Marcus wipes ash from his dark brow and falls back against the ice slick farmland. He releases a slow breath and looks up.

Rays of sunlight have begun to drift through the clouds. “Beacon of hope, or…?” Marcus smirks a look over at the other demons.

Another one’s gone missing.

Nirvana, too, decides to take a seat in Magec’s absence. “We’ll find out.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

ELEVEN

 

 

 

The ground shakes beneath Lucifer’s knees. There’s a light drifting lazily over the beast’s back, but it cannot feel it’s warming touch, so it does not know it’s there.

The melody that torments Lucifer has slowed. It’s patient rhythm mocks the death it has caused, has inspired.

Bare feet melt the ground’s thin layer of frost on contact, as well as much of what’s around it.

Again, the ground shakes, and more of the city’s edge falls into oblivion. Arma retracts her wings and walks over the unsteady ground with ease.

Her eyes harden at the sight of Lucifer clutching a stone cold Gabriel. Dead, glazed over orange stares back at her from over a cloaked shoulder.

“Ready to get out of here, or are ya still pitying yourself?” Arma inquires. Her lips quirk curiously at the end of her question when Lucifer stiffens, as though it hadn’t heard, seen, or felt her approach.

“Arma?”

She laughs at the name’s familiarity.

“And just which Lucifer am I addressin’?”

Lucifer grins against the corpse. However, it quickly fades with shame, concern, then fear. “I-I don’t know.” It breathes.

Armageddon nods through a huff, then plops into a cross legged seat beside the devil. “Yeah, well… Tell me when ya figure it out.”

Shakily, Lucifer releases Gabriel’s body and allows it to fall limply upon the ground.

Another blue light and quake shakes the ground.

From this close, Arma can feel her soul repel the heat sucking soul of Lucifer. It shames her, and so she looks away.

“This place is gonna collapse, ya know.” She says, as though she were making idle chit chat.

Lucifer stutters a look around itself. “I… I see.”

Arma peers left. The devil’s wide blue eyes are staring right at her. For a moment, she’s almost inclined to flinch.

Immediately, blue eyes dart away and the devil’s throat clenches.

Shame…

Neither feel comfortable in one another’s presence. In fact, both of their souls are protesting the proximity.

A soul of pure fire.

A soul of heat sucking ice.

While one is weak, the other devours.

There is no equilibrium in a balance like this.

“Should probably get out of here.” Arma grins, then stands. “We’ve got humans to slaughter!” She squeezes through an awkward pitch.

“No.”

The denial catches Armageddon off guard. “Excuse me?” She thought they were over this.

Lucifer stares blankly before itself. Another shock vibrates the ground beneath the pair. “The humans have done nothing wrong. They were created imperfect.”

“Are you serious?” A crease forms between Arma’s brows. “Wasn’t your whole speech about how those morons shouldn’t exist in this form, or somethin’?”

Lucifer nods. “Death only brings more suffering. We need to remove all middle ground surgically, painlessly.”

This time, Arma does flinch at the strong willed look the devil sends her. It’s fighting insanity with each word. She can tell.

The only thing holding Lucifer together is will power.

Lucifer grins up at Armageddon.

“We’re going to kill Time and bring an end to the middle ground. There will no longer be life or death, just…” The grin turns almost sweet. “Paradise.”

There’s something not right about it, this Lucifer. It’s not the angel in heaven, nor the murderous beast that has just slaughtered an entire army of heaven’s soldiers. It’s something new, something different.

Something at the tip of the breaking point…

“And the creator?” Arma challenges.

Again, the smile turns mad. “We kill him, too.”

Armageddon has no problem matching the madness in her own cheeky grin. “Now, that’s what I wanna hear.”

Cracks break through the earth, this time within the fallen city. “The ground is giving up on us. We better get going, hun.”

Lucifer stands and faces Armageddon. Wide eyed, it watches Magec fade into view behind her.

Another wave hits and Lucifer looses it’s balance. Above, the clouds give in to an overwhelming white light that clearly isn’t coming from the sun.

The ground directly beneath their feet crumbles. Instinctively, Arma’s wings come to her rescue, as do Magec’s. It’s not until she lifts off the shattering ground she remembers Lucifer’s handicap.

Arma reaches her hand out toward Lucifer, and for a moment, the devil almost reaches back before remembering-

A blue wave of light pulsates from Lucifer. The wave carries a cold burst of air that catches upon Armageddon and forces her back into Magec.

She steadies herself and finds the city of Amaryllis falling from ground level, Lucifer included. “Luci-” She pushes forward, only to have her arm caught by a warm, familiar hand.

“You can’t.” Are the only two words Magec offers.

Arma tries prying her arm out of his grasp, but it’s to no avail. “Screw you!” She screams. She releases a sharp burst of energy that does little to faze Magec, then tries again to pull away.

Crimson flaked brown dart down to the hole where Amaryllis used to be. She can see a bright red glow at the very center of the pit and screams out a panicked cry.

Magec tries to calm her by getting a better grip, but Arma hits and kicks at him until her energy drains and she gives in.

Salt water falls from her eyes and brings on a runny nose.

Directly below, the red flaming pit of Lucifer’s tomb bursts up toward the surface with a new, blueish glow.

A frightful drop in temperature bites at the angels and fading light above.

White, tiny flakes of snow then fall from above and melt before getting anywhere near the angels.

Arma pulls herself together and looks down at the now blue flames below. “Lucifer?” She breathes.

A frost sets in over the space Amaryllis used to be. It acts as a tarp that covers the hole to where Lucifer has fallen.

Arma slaps Magec’s hands away and touches down on the layer of frost. When it doesn’t melt, but instead grows to a heavy layer of ice, Arma falls to her knees and hits at the surface. “Stop it!” She cries in frustration. The ice is only getting thicker. It numbs her knees, toes, and fists.

With a whine, Armageddon slams down on the ice, splitting the surface.

After a beat, the ice gives in and Arma falls into a body of water.

She screams at the contact, for it’s burning her skin.

Magec reaches down and pulls Arma out. Her skin is blistering, just like it had been after Gabriel chanted her banishment.

Dark wings close and fade, forcing Magec to carry both of their weight away from the body of water.

It’s deep, this expansive new lake, but it doesn’t reach wherever it is Lucifer has been taken.

The water ripples with tiny waves that reflect the new found light of the moon. Deep blue glistens with a white light that was once hidden behind thick clouds.

But the clouds are gone now, and so is the frigid temperature that accompanied the presence of the devil.

It’s now a warm, summer Italian night.

Magec touches down at the edge of the farmland where the other fallen angels are waiting. They saw what the water did to Armageddon, so all make sure to stay clear of the water’s reach.

Arma immediately falls to her knees. Tomatoes squelch from her weight and squirt red juices out over her gown, knees, and feet.

From behind the demons, the small village Armageddon destroyed upon her initial arrival is lit with many small controlled flames, much unlike the ones she had set alight many hours ago.

Arma clenches her fist around one of the warm tomatoes. It bursts in her grasp, so she throws it away from herself with an angry scream. Her eyes are watering.

She can’t have that.

Long, clingy lashes brush against the skin of Arma’s shoulder in an attempt to rid herself of the tears within her eyes. It works, if only a little.

The bright yellow flames in the nearing village cluster together, then advance out toward the farmland, toward the fallen angels.

Nirvana stares at the approaching yellow flames. “Humans are coming this way.” Her eyes flicker with a crimson glow. “Should we dispatch them?”

“No.” Arma barks. Her head shoots up to look at Nirvana. She’s barely got control over herself, yet she instructs, “Keep it together. They’re not who we’re after.”

“And who is it we’re after?” Marcus inquires.

Arma grits her teeth and pulls on a shaky grin. “The big guy upstairs, of course. These pesky insects aren’t worth our time, ya hear me?” Arma straightens herself out. Head tilted forward, she scans the approaching souls. They’re angry. It’s a mob. A hunt. And they’re the prey.

“Are we running?” Nirvana asks. Her gaze is dead, emotionless. She cannot convey fear or concern for the mob’s advancement.

“Nahh.” Arma squeezes out. “We ain’t gonna find the creator out here. There’s no point in sticking around without Lucifer.”

The blank stares she receives are expected.

Voices, shouts, are called off in the near distance. Shapes of people holding torches, swords, and make-shift weapons are advancing toward the small group of what they believe to be witches.

Arma snorts at the terrified faces coming their way. “So scared… So weak…” She muses through a sneer. “They’re what Luci is so determined to protect?” She twitches and looks back at the lake behind her. Red lips fall back to a neutral position.

“Witches and demons be gone!” A man, a priest, shouts at the head of a slowing group. They’re afraid to get much closer.

The fallen angels wince at the words and fall back in line beside Armageddon when the old man pulls out a cross. “May the lord have mercy on your souls.”

Marcus shuffles a step back only to trip and fall into holy water. He screams at the burning sensation and tries to spread his wings, but the water has crippled him.

“Marcus!” Nirvana calls, an uncharacteristic alarm in her voice. There’s a flicker of flame within her soul, a warning that she’s about to lose control of herself.

“Don’t-” Is all Magec can say before the priest fixates on him and repeats, “May the lord have mercy on your soul.” Magec bites back a cry and drops to a kneel at the lake’s drop off of an edge.

Dark eyes wince at the sight of the crucifix in the old man’s hand. He doesn’t understand why it’s causing him so much pain.

Behind the angels, Marcus has gone quiet. From under the water, his blistered body sinks to the bottom of the lake.

Nirvana glares a look to the frightened crowd and tries a step forward. All but the priest shuffle back and point their weapons at the woman. It’s a decent sized crowd of men, but they’re weak, tired, and above all else, scared.

After Nirvana’s intake of breath, the torches within the hands of the lost kingdom’s citizens blow up in flames with a cloud of smoke and burst of sparks.

Many drop their torches and in an instant the crops are aflame. Screams of panic fill the night as the fire spreads around them.

“Nirvana, stop.” Armageddon grits.

Nirvana lifts her head high and peers down her nose at the weak old man holding a cross out before himself as his only source of protection. “Be gone, witch!” He cries. Beads of sweat roll down the folds of aged skin.

His breath is raspy, for the air is being eaten by the fallen angel’s soul.

She winces, and steps back in place beside Arma. But still, the flames persist.

People scream, run, and eventually pass out from the concoction of chemicals in the air. It’s choking them, killing them.

“Nirvana.” Arma warns, and immediately the flames die down to but simple piles of kindle here and there.

Those who are still on their feet run back to the burnt village across the farmland. The motionless, however, spread across the vegetation turned ash.

The holy man swallows a lump in his throat and moves his cross down the line and back until it lands on Armageddon. “By the power of god, I hereby banish you from this land!

Arma feels a jolt run through her body and gasps. It ends in a steadily spreading grin sent toward the priest. “You think you’re so brave, so powerful with your little god backing your fancy words.” She sneers. “But it barely stings in comparison to the power of Lucifer.”

The old man shakily steps forward and Arma’s right foot dips into the lake of holy water.

It burns.

She’s quick to place it back against her left.

“Your creator has made his final mistake, you hear me!?” Armageddon screams. There’s sweat now at her own brow from fighting an outburst that would surely kill this petty human.

The priest steps forward and Magec’s body gives out on him. He falls back into the holy water and immediately starts to sink.

Nirvana wastes no time in reaching down to pull him up, but the second her hand touches the water, her flesh peels from her bones and she’s forced to retract it with a scream and fall onto her own knees.

“This is your final mistake!” Arma shrieks.

“By the power of god, I banish you from this land, serpent!” The old man shouts with another step toward Arma.

For a moment, she blacks out.

When her eyes open again, she realizes she’s fallen into the lake. She’s certain her skin burns, for it’s blistering, but her senses have numbed. She can’t feel a thing.

Her head turns to the side and she finds her loyal angels have fallen with her once again. All look lifeless as they sink steadily into the darkness, away from the moonlight drifting in through the surface.

Arma blinks and looks up again. She can’t so much as attempt a breath.

Above, she sees the moon, full and luminous. Against the water, it creates a light that’s oddly… blue.

In a word, it’s beautiful.

She reaches for the light, but her arm barely manages to move. She’s lost control over her own body.

When she blinks again, her eyes don’t reopen.

The red, fiery light of her soul fades out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER

TWELVE

 

 

 

Dark brown eyes flutter open. What they see first is blue flame that flickers beside steel bars. The color burns brightly, shadowing the cage Armageddon’s been thrown into.

The demon’s eyes narrow at the torch that carries the blue flame. It’s been perched up beside the bars that lock her in… whatever this is.

She then darts a look to the other side of her cell where an identical torch has been placed.

Armageddon sits up to find a blank wall made of stone set out before her. In fact, all three solid walls are built from stone. Cold, gray stone lit blue by exterior torches.

She spins to face the cell bars that lock her in, then stands. A layered, crimson gown pools behind her left leg with a forward step. It’s the same dress she’d been given after the fall, except cleaner.

Gently, warm fingertips reach out to touch the metal bars locking her in. Instead of growing cold at the touch, the metal sucks in the heat and warms itself to match her temperature. She quirks a brow, then peers out beyond the bars.

Across from her is an identical cell. Inside it sits a dull yellow light.

A soul.

A human’s soul.

It’s broken and distressed, if not demented at it’s very core. It sits in agony across from her.

Armageddon takes another step closer to the bars and sticks out her tongue to glide over her upper lip, then sets it on the roof of her mouth in thought. These rows of cells appear to stretch on forever in either direction.

“Well, that’s boring…” She mutters under her breath after taking a disappointing look down this narrow, empty hall.

Most, if not all of these cells appear to hold a single yellow soul, aside from her own.

Arma humms, then pushes at the locked gate holding her in. She gives it a shove and the hinges break. With a satisfied smile, Arma steps back and watches the door fall forward with a startling shriek and bang.

“I really hope that wasn’t actually meant to keep me in.” She snorts.

Carefully, the fallen angel steps over the weak cell door and out into the narrow hall. Bare feet slap against the stone.

It seems she’s the only one making any noise.

Yellow souls around her don’t perk up at the silence breaking noise. Instead, they appear caught up in their own, bland little after lives.

After lives…

This is an after life, isn’t it?

The torches of flame blow toward Armageddon’s right as though they’re trying to guide her to something. When she doesn’t immediately start walking, they twist with a sensationless wind and blow out.

A moment later, when they relight, Armageddon is gone, vanished within the shadows of the flickering flames.

In one of these many cells sits the devil, it’s cold blue soul being all that lights the darkness of hell.

It sits motionless against the back corner, it’s head hanging low and mouth agape. Pale blue eyes glow in the shadows, much like the startling gaze of a yellow eyed cat.

Lucifer, or Death, as humans now believe it to be, has lost it’s cloak and scythe. Instead, it’s new vest, collared shirt, trousers and boots sit tight across the being’s frame. In a way, it’s a cross between the two forms of dress Lucifer has been dealt in the past.

Dark colors with formal attire…

It’s a mix of the two lives it has lived.

But this clash of elegance and ruthlessness appears to lack a soul as it just… sits… wide eyed… in a post-death prison cell.

Waits… for nothing to end.

The flames beside Lucifer’s cell flicker, but the devil ignores the disturbance to continue staring off at nothing in particular.

“So this is, what? Hell?” Arma barks out an obnoxious laugh. “I thought that was just a bullshit name for a black hole, like crap. Time really is one sick, twisted fuck, ain’t he?” She sighs and relaxes against one of the stone walls Lucifer is tucked within. “Damn…”

Bold, beautiful, blue light illuminates her skin and orange/crimson gown. It threatens to set the garment off color, but finds it can do little more than dull the bright color that matches Armageddon’s soul.

Lucifer says nothing. In fact, it doesn’t even acknowledge the fallen angel’s existence.

It’s too far gone… too used to the nothing it has been surrounded by for an immeasurable length of what does not exist in hell.

Time.

Arma prods her tongue against the inside of her cheek, then sighs through a cross of her arms.

“Back to the silent, confused Lucifer, are we? Gotta say I much prefer the crazy over the silence, Luce.” She coos down at the devil seated beside her.

Lucifer stutters a breath and leans it’s head back against cold stone.

“Anyone in there?” Arma asks through a crooked smile.

The devil closes it’s eyes and tries a pinched smile. “Do you hear it?”

A silence befalls hell.

Armageddon tries her best to strain her ears, but she hears nothing. Not a breath, not a step…

Lucifer drops it’s head left, toward Arma. After a beat, vibrant blue darts up to peer within the fallen angel’s soul. “It speaks, but it’s not my voice…”

Again, what follows the devil’s words is silence.

Dead, still, silence.

“It’s a weep, Armageddon. It cries and cries… and cries…” Lucifer’s words fade into a whisper. When it’s voice cuts off, Arma can swear she hears ringing left in it’s wake.

Lucifer snorts out a laugh that’s quickly followed by a light chuckle. “It needs to stop.”

Arma quirks her lips as though she’s thinking on this. Really thinking on this. Eventually, the corners of her mouth twist upward into a twisted grin. “This hell isn’t built for us…” She darts a look down into the crazy eyes of what she can’t help but love. “It shouldn’t be too hard to crawl out.”

Lucifer matches the smile she’s sending it, then peers out at the cage across from them. Inside is a yellow, tortured soul.

The smile pinches.

With a huff, Lucifer forces itself to stand and Arma tries, as subtly as she can, to shuffle away from the devil’s suddenly overwhelming presence. It causes a massive flicker of blue light and even a frigid bite at Armageddon’s soul.

“It doesn’t have to be this way.” Lucifer decides with a forward step. It looks back at Arma and she forces a weak smile back at it. “Hell should be beautiful. It should be paradise.” It smiles something pure and breathtaking.

Lucifer.

That is the Lucifer Armageddon knows and loves.

“You got a magic wand you’re gonna start waving around, or what?” Arma teases with a step up behind Lucifer.

“No.” It’s brow lifts, then drops with a twisted smile. “This is…” It takes another step and touches the cool metal bars trapping it in. “This is me…”

A gentle, single note rings low at the back of Arma’s mind. For a breath, it startles her until she recognizes where it’s coming from.

She grins at the voice of Lucifer’s soul and closes her eyes. Her head leans to the side at an added note and she twirls.

It’s beautiful.

God, it’s beautiful.

When she stops to breathe, she laughs at herself, for breath isn’t necessary.

Her eyes open to see Lucifer has taken a part of it’s soul and materialized it into the violin it so longs to play.

It’s not white like it used to be.

Not pure…

But it’s still Lucifer.

The soul of hell plays a smooth, flat chord that is as agonizing as it is gorgeous.

Armageddon grins at the noise and sways in place.

The vibrations of her ears overpower the shift she feels when hell visibly brightens with blue light and opens up.

The walls crumble.

Curved stone railings and walkways materialize a new found center fire of hell while the slab of stone Arma and Lucifer are standing on sheds it’s entrapping walls and rises high above this blue fire of hell’s center.

A thick railing wraps around this circular platform as it passes up the now numerous levels of hell that circle around it’s center.

Arma humms at a particularly low dip to the music and falls back against the railing in bliss. Below she can see the cold grays and blues light to life as hell grows into a hollow, detailed paradise stacked with levels upon levels of what she cannot wait to explore.

Directly below, blocking the view of hell fire are numerous platforms, much like the one they’re on, spreading out above the hell fire. Most are off centered and connect with the rest of hell by stone walkways without rails.

The platform they’re on slows to a stop in it’s journey upward and Arma practically groans she’s so upset it’s over. The disappointment, however, is quick to fade as she turns to Lucifer, the violin still being played within it’s hands.

Beautiful.

Arma pushes herself upright and looks skyward to the gold decorated ceiling being drawn in above her. After a moment, her jaw drops as she realizes there’s glass now separating them from their view of what’s above.

The universe.

The entire universe.

Clusters of stars, planets, life can be seen just up above her. It looks as though, if she tried, she could reach out and grab any galaxy she wanted.

At least to Arma…?

This view is even more beautiful than the cliffs of heaven.

Dull yellow souls brighten around the levels of hell with curiosity and excitement. Those deemed demented and unworthy of heaven cautiously admire the work of the devil, for this is not what they were promised.

This is something new, something amazing…

This truly is paradise for the broken.

Magec, Marcus, Nirvana, and the other fallen angels stand dutifully along the uppermost level this platform belongs to. They wear uniformed red, including caps that shadow most of their human-like faces.

These demons are expressionless on the sidelines, but if one looked closely they could see the tiniest inkling of joy within the souls they each posses.

With a finalized note, Lucifer stops playing the music of it’s soul and looks up at the stars above.

They shine down upon hell, most unaware of their own existence.

Wide, curious eyes fall down upon Armageddon as though looking for approval.

She finds that even with the chords at a stand still, she can still sense the faintest of melodies radiating around her. It plays without an instrument, for hell is, and shall always be, the interior of Lucifer’s soul. Where Lucifer may never truly leave…

Armageddon beams and gestures around them with a dress lifting twirl of a movement. “It’s perfect.”

Lucifer smiles at Arma’s excitement. Pleased by her approval, it’s eyes then wander up to the universe above.

The universe where souls are suffering and will continue to suffer until, eventually, their time runs out.

The thought weighs down Lucifer’s smile.

“It’s a start…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PRINCESS OF AMARYLLIS

An Amser Studios Short Story

 

Warmth. Heat. It’s everywhere in Amaryllis, beaming down on the Italian people from the sun above.

A handmaiden of the Amaryllis royal family peers up at the sun with a look of distaste. With a snarl, she turns from the princess’s window to look over the chambers.

On her bed lies the princess of Amaryllis.

She’s smiling at the sun illuminated skin of her favorite handmaiden, Gilda.

Kind, bold blue eyes trail over the ratty haired brunette in stained garments. “Why does the sun displease you so?” She asks with a bite of her lip.

Gilda looks over the nightgown wearing princess with dark green eyes lit pale by the sun. Enchanted, is the best word to describe the look she’s sending the other woman.

The princess buries a smile in one of her many large, oversized pillows.

She’s resting atop of the covers in a thin white gown meant for sleep. The soft material of her blankets tickle her exposed legs and bare feet.

With a bite of her lip, the princess pats the empty space beside her.

Gilda makes a dive for the empty space, then wraps her arms around the warm flesh of her lover. Gently, the princess brushes back fallen, dirty strands of hair behind the maiden’s ear.

“Won’t you come away with me?” She asks.

A dark brow lifts. “And leave all this behind?” Gilda asks. “What, have you lost your mind?” She bends down to kiss the top of the princess’s naturally curled strands of brunette.

The princess hits her lover’s shoulder. “I mean it.” She promises. “I want to be with you… And not just in my chambers.”

Gilda smiles a look around the brightly lit room of stone, silk, and velvet. “But we have-” Her grip tightens around the princess’s fragile frame. “So many good memories-” She shifts again and tries her best to force back a smile. “On this bed-”

The princess of Amaryllis smacks Gilda once more, then fights back a giggle by kissing the side of her lover’s neck.

Gilda humms and bends her neck at the touch. She tisks. “Alright, alright.” She starts. “I’ll give up my hay and bucket for you.”

A breathy, choked laugh brushes against Gilda’s neck and she smiles.

She’d give up much more, if she could.

—-

Night has befallen the kingdom of Amaryllis. Torches light the city while the surrounding farmland and wildlife are left shrouded in darkness.

A full moon sits upon a clear sky of stars.

It’s beautiful.

But there’s no time to gawk.

Awkward, uncoordinated steps fluster against the uneven terrain of the surrounding wildlife.

There’s breathing, gasping as the young women sprint from the sound of galloping hooves. The trackers are hot on their tail.

The princess trips over her gown and lands face first in the dirt turned mud from the past night’s rain. She cries and pushes herself up only to fall back down again on shaky knees.

Gilda reaches for her lover’s hand, but she does not stand.

“It’s my ankle…”

The handmaiden kneels beside the princess to take a look. Even in this poor lighting she can tell it’s swollen a dark red.

The knights of the kingdom are already upon them after having tracked their footsteps.

Damn.

Looking up, Gilda can see the fast approaching lights of the knight’s torches.

With a grit of her teeth, Gilda throws the pack off her shoulders and kneels down in front of the love of her life. She grabs frail, flustered cheeks and plants a gentle kiss on cherry red lips. Pulling ever so slightly back, she whispers, “I’m so sorry…”

Knights on steeds encircle the two women. There are five in total.

After they’ve slowed to a stop, Marrian climbs off of his horse and pulls the maiden back by her hair.

Gilda barks out a cry that the princess matches.

“No, please-! Let her go!” The princess screams with a reach out for her lover and an attempt to stand.

Two other knights dismount their horses to pull the princess up into an awkward stand. “It’s my fault! This was my fault!” The princess shouts at the man her father was determined to make her marry.

“Running away with another woman, your majesty?” Marrian asks for confirmation as he pulls out the sword from around his hip. The blade glistens in the white light of the full moon.

The princess screams and thrashes against the men holding her back while Gilda holds as still as she possibly can in the spine bending, hair yanking position Marrian is holding her in.

“Gilda, was your name, wasn’t it?” Marrian asks with a raise of his sword to Gilda’s neck.

Green eyes dart to the bright blue of her lover’s. Breathlessly, she gets out, “I love you, Agnese-”

Agnese stares motionlessly back as Marrian slices through the throat of her lover.

“I-” The princess chokes at the sight of Marrian tossing Gilda’s lifeless body upon the ground.

Red, wet blood soaks the clothing of the maiden and the ground around her body.

Agnese feels as though she should cry, but the tears stop at the prickle.

An emptiness has consumed her.

She drops to her knees, the knight’s arms still firmly around her as she just… stares… at what shouldn’t be.

Marrian sheaths his sword and makes a rounding gesture with his hand.

There’s ringing in Agnese’s ears as she’s pulled into a soldier’s arms.

—-

Agnese stands upon the gallows, her hands bound behind her back while rope scratches at her neck.

Around her stands the majority of the kingdom. They boo and shout profanities, but she cannot hear them.

For the briefest moments, Agnese glances up at her parents, who stand upon their castle’s terrace. At the contact they avert their gaze.

She is no longer a princess of Amaryllis.

She is an example of what is to become of people like her in their kingdom.

Her eyes flutter a blink, then look out over the citizens to the moon above.

It’s gorgeous.

“Do you have any last words?” A priest of the city asks, his bible in one hand and cross in the other.

Blue eyes shift from the moon, to the stars, and back. There’s a stutter in her breath, followed by a single tear as she whispers, “I love you, too.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please Note:

Amser Studios is a collection of works that connect by following the “Amser Studios Time Line”

See the full time line:

www.amserstudios.com/collections

 

 

 

Lucifer's Symphony Movements Two, Three and Four are under production. To get updates on their progress, please follow L. W. Brook on Twitter @AmserStudios

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE AUTHOR

 

 

 

Hello,

I would like to thank you for your support! I do hope you liked the novella and ask that you please leave me a review on Amazon/Goodreads/Ect. It would be most appreciated, if you could.

At the end of this book, you may have noticed the short story, THE PRINCESS OF AMARYLLIS, a quick little blurb that opens the gateway to the To- Be- Released novel, SOL.

If you’re new to Amser Studios, welcome! All of the works by L. W. BROOK take part in this Science Fiction/Fantasy universe! To learn more, please visit www.AmserStudios.com

If you’re looking for more work from the studio, please take a look at the Fantasy/Mystery/Scifi novelette series ASSEMBLY OF PLANETS, the novella THE FALLEN ANGELS OF HELL, the science fiction/apocalyptic series UNBELIEVE, or the Detective/Scifi novelette series, HOPE.

Thank you again and enjoy the rest of your day!

-Legend W. Brook

 


Lucifer's Symphany

  • Author: Legend Brook
  • Published: 2017-05-10 01:35:15
  • Words: 24527
Lucifer's Symphany Lucifer's Symphany