Sunday, October 26, 2008

"The Free," Demons & Angels, pt. 1, 388 words

David Arthur Freeh had been in the midst of celebrating his 31st birthday when the world came to an end.

***

"You humans," the demon rumbled, its voice ripping up and down David's nerves like a knife, "have the most unthinking, myopic views of your own religions." It leaned in closer to David, squatting over his numb legs so it could jut its face into his. Its breath reeked horribly of carrion and sulfur, and it was all David could do not to gag and retch right into the demon's face. It would kill him if he did it, though.

Then again, it would probably kill him anyway.

It went on, "You think that by invoking your God, you can hold us back. You think you can protect yourselves. You don't understand anything at all." Its lips pulled back from its teeth in a rictus grin, only accentuating the elongation of its jaw, almost a snout. So many teeth, David couldn't help but observe. So many teeth, each of them made to tear and rend.

"Our master does nothing without your God's approval. Of all the things you've gotten right and then so many of you thrown away, the Satan is simply there to challenge you on your God's behalf.

"Your God is my God," the demon finished, its grin even wider than before, if that was possible. "We all follow the same piper, but dance to a different tune."

***

The angel was glorious. Perfection made flesh. Easily eight feet tall, but with limbs and body in ideal proportion. Da Vinci would have wept, even despite the wings he'd considered foolish and unnecessary for the depiction of an angel. For the first time, David could understand how one might fall before such a creature in worship, or before the God that had crafted that creature for the mere task of messenger.

But no, this was no messenger. It was a killer, a hunter, a wolf in human shape, lean and long and muscular. Its coat was battered mail, its fang a dull and notched sword. Arms and armor of a life-long soldier, horribly incongruous on a being as fair as the angel. Wings as white as fresh snow, as a cloud on a bright summer day, except for the trailing feathers which looked to have been dipped in blood.

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