‹ Prequel: Eyes of the Devil

The Angel of Death

Chapter Fifteen

I stared out the window at the gently falling snow. Time barely passed in the silent, shadowed room. I had remained invisible for some time, but I finally allowed myself to fade into view once I realized no one was going to go inside. The faint light crawled across the floor, disappearing in the darkened, dusky corners. I tried not to focus on the familiar scents and sounds pervading the air, but it was impossible.

I wasn’t sure how much time had passed since Holly’s death, but I guess that since it was still cold outside, it couldn’t have been too long. Her room had been cleaned up, but a thin layer of dust coated the furniture, giving it an aged look. Everything had faded to dull tones and shades, almost limited solely to black and gray. I sighed and watched my breath materialize into a long trail of silver frost that hovered in the air for a long, lingering moment.

A brilliant flash of light set the room aglow, and I raced to the window to see what it might be. I couldn’t see anything, so I unfurled my wings and flew up through the ceiling and into the sky. A beam of pure white exploded from somewhere near the ground and shot straight up to Heaven. I glanced down at the source and saw a haze of gray hovering around a house. Frowning, I flew towards it. It wasn’t fog or a regular cloud; I could sense the energy emanating from it. I descended into it as quickly as I could, careful to keep myself from being seen.

“It’s time you show me what I want to know.”

Gerard placed his hands on Bob’s shoulders and shocked him with a web of spidery red tendrils that crawled across his skin.

“You don’t know what you’re doing!” Bob shouted. I wanted to stop Gerard, but before I could think to move, he did the same thing two more times, and Bob collapsed to the floor. They vanished seconds later, swept upwards in a gust of cold wind. I ran outside the house and stared up at the sky to see what had happened to them, but they were gone.

The snow stood out against the blackening sky as the clouds grew ominously dark overhead. I shivered as my shirt became soaked with frigid water made colder by the surrounding air. The wind rolled in around me, occasionally swelling into blasts of invisible ice that sent the snowflakes sideways in their continuous descent. I tried to wrap my wings around myself to keep warm, not wanting to leave just yet in the hopes that I could see what was causing the strange shift in the weather, but the wind attacked me again with a direct dagger of air that sliced through my body and nearly brought me to my knees.

I struggled to keep my eyes open as I looked up at the source of the chaos. The sky itself seemed to be slowly starting to spin, churning into a thunderous mix of rain and lightning. It spiraled into an enormous cone, and a sea of black spilled from its center, hurtling towards the earth at an alarming rate. I couldn’t risk flying in the storm, so I ran as close as I could get, and I realized the mass of black was really hundreds of thousands of demons falling out of the sky. Bits of fire exploded from their hands and mouths as they attacked each other for no real reason, clawing at everything they could reach. The wave of heat that followed them helped dissipate some of the chill in my body, bringing life back into my fingers. I stepped back a little as they began to fall outwards.

I heard a loud crunch as yet another one lost the fight with gravity, but when I looked over at it, I gasped.


I ran over to help him. When I saw what had happened to him, it nearly made me sick. Two long, deep slashes down his back could only mean that he had once, very recently, had his wings ripped off. A shudder went through me as I imagined the pain that would go along with that, and I instinctively made my own wings disappear.

“Are you okay?” I asked as I knelt next to him. He wasn’t moving at first, but he slowly curled into a ball and stood up. If he was in any pain, he didn’t show it as he faintly smiled and started walking away, fresh blood still dripping from the open gashes.

The funnel cloud gradually slowed and finally stopped once the last of the demons had been expelled from Heaven. The clouds rumbled quietly as they began to spill rain onto the earth, and though the falling water was warmer than the snow, it still sent a chill running up my spine.

I dove beneath the ground and into Hell, letting my wings carry me as I drew several deep, shuddering breaths. I still hadn’t quite figured out what was going on, but I had an unnerving feeling that it had something to do with what my mom had told me. I scanned the floor of the endless caves and caverns, looking for any sign of my dad, but it seemed he had disappeared once again.

Broken chains of sound floated up to my ears. The skeletons and souls of the dead wandered aimlessly through the rocky labyrinth, and a few attacked each other out of their primitive instincts to survive. I frowned and made my way to the throne room. Normally, other demons kept them in line and controlled most of the chaos until my dad got his chance to torture them. Though I hated associating with him, I knew Ray would be aware of what was going on, so I set out to find him.

I landed in front of the black castle and ran inside.

“Your father is not here,” said Ray from the other end of the open room.

“Where is he?”

“It is not of your concern.”

I tried to approach him, but his voice had moved. “Tell me. Now.”

Dark laughter filled the air behind me. “You never would have been strong enough to take his place, child.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked as I turned around. He was gone again. “I wasn’t planning on it.”

“I’m not surprised he hasn’t said a word about his plan to you,” he continued. “It’s not as if you would understand it. You would let everything go wrong.” He suddenly appeared in front of me, smirking. “Just like you let things go wrong with that girl.”

“Shut up.”

He instantly backhanded me across the face. “You may be his son, but you hold no precedence over me. Things are going to change very soon, and when that happens, you won’t dare be so disrespectful.”

“I don’t answer to a low-class demon like you,” I shot back.

“That is quite enough.”

I recognized the click of perfectly shined shoes on stone as my father approached at his usual patient pace. An unfamiliar feeling of warmth filled the air at his presence, and I could feel it when he put a hand on my shoulder. It seemed like he needed to do that just to keep standing, but I couldn’t be sure.

“Let’s go.”

“Go where?” I asked, growing uneasy at the strange tone of his voice. He sounded much weaker than he ever had before, and I was almost certain that if he had spoken any further his voice would have trembled. He didn’t answer me before he flew up into the air, glancing back as if he expected me to follow. I did the only thing I could and went after him.

We ascended through the ceiling and out into the open air. Looking up at him, I noticed his hair had turned entirely coal black, and he wasn’t wearing the marching band uniform anymore. I wanted to ask about it, but I decided to wait until we arrived at wherever we were going. He paused for a moment upon reaching the low-hanging clouds, moving his wings just enough to stay in the air as he closed his eyes, cringing. If the very act of flying near the barrier between Hell and earth was bringing him pain, I couldn’t imagine why he ever would have tried to cross it, no matter what form he took.


“I’m fine,” he answered. He tentatively reached toward the beam of pure white light cutting through the clouds. I saw him flinch when his hand collided with it, but he didn’t pull away from it. Instead of disappearing and not reaching the ground, the light intensified and brightened. I couldn’t believe it. It was burning a hole through his hand.

“Are you crazy?!” I shouted. I tackled him with as much force as I could, but he stayed frozen by the light. His wings barely kept up their rhythmic motion to keep him in place as his eyes widened and dilated, though he was staring directly into the blazing glow. The light radiated outwards and surrounded us both, and everything I saw faded away into a blur of white, as if it was being covered by snow.

Solid ground appeared beneath my feet moments later, so I hesitantly dropped to the floor and looked around. Everything above me was a smooth, icy white field, while the floor couldn’t have been a darker void of black. The space between them was an evenly mixed gray. I took a few steps forward, but no sound echoed from the action.

My dad was gone. I couldn’t see him anywhere. I couldn’t even remember when we had separated. I wandered aimlessly, first walking, then running, and then flying, but no luck. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere at all; there was nothing to indicate that I had gotten any further from where I started.

A sense of desperation slowly worked its way into me. I was lost. I was alone. And I had an ominous, inescapable feeling that I would never see either of my parents again.

“I’m sure she misses you just as much as you miss her.”

It was the first sound I heard since arriving in the strange place. It was my dad’s voice, but with a dark, menacing tone similar to the one he had always used to speak to me until very recently. I flew as fast as I could toward the sound.

“Don’t worry too much, alright? I’m not leaving you completely on your own. Ever since we first met, I’ve slowly been giving you all my power. Once you go back to Hell, everything should fall into place.”

My dad was standing there, looking directly at Gerard. Both of them looked so different; my dad had black hair and an understanding smile, while Gerard had become a picture of what he used to be, the embodiment of pure evil. I glanced down and saw that Gerard had a reflection on the black floor, while my dad didn’t. Looking up, I saw that the exact opposite was true. I wondered what it meant for me to have no reflection on either surface.

White light burst from the ceiling and surrounded my dad’s black figure. I grabbed his hand just before he was pulled upwards, through the reflective pane and into a dazzling blue sky. Sunlight blinded me as we rose higher and higher. Clouds drifted past, and we started to slow down, eventually stopping altogether on a field of white tile.

“Gerard?” The word was barely above a whisper and sounded as airy as the clouds around us, but I recognized it right away.

“Hello, Lyn.”

“I don’t know what to say…I’m so sorry,” she said with a trembling tone. He stepped forward and hugged her tightly before she could say anything else.

“I understand.”

I still hated to see her cry. She was shaking in his arms, and every word she tried to say was unintelligible. I wondered if she had noticed me yet; she hadn’t seen me as anything other than a little kid. Even though I was interested to see what her reaction would be, I didn’t want to interrupt them. I could only imagine what was going through her mind.

“If only the humans could see this,” she said with a soft, musical laugh. “God and the Devil, embracing like old friends.”

“It would be better for them to remain ignorant, I believe,” he answered. He let out a sigh. “I’ve missed you so much, Lyn…I didn’t even realize it for the longest time.” He lowered his voice to nearly a whisper. “I never thought I was going to see you again.”

Something cold touched the middle of my back and began to spread out over my wings. I looked back to see what was happening, but it was difficult to tell. I couldn’t feel much of anything, either.

“What is it, Angel?” my mom asked, breaking away from my dad and walking over to me. She put a hand on one wing, and I shivered.

“I don’t know…”

The feeling disappeared all at once. I suddenly felt much warmer than before, and I could finally look over my shoulder to see why. Fluffy white feathers covered the black skin of my wings, and their batlike shape had become more rounded and angled to resemble the wings of a bird. I moved them a few times and was surprised when I was nearly lifted into the air. My mom smiled.

“You’ve grown up so much, sweetie,” she said as she pulled me into a hug. “We can finally be a family.”

I wrapped my arms around her, but the whole time I was watching my dad. He was standing with his arms folded, staring at the floor. I reluctantly stepped away from my mom and walked over to him.

“Dad…what happened to Fear and Regret?”

“You’re looking at them,” he said sadly, finally raising his eyes to meet mine. “I took them back.”

“So…they’re gone?” I asked. I didn’t want to sound too relieved, but I never had liked them. He nodded, and for the first time I could really remember, he smiled.

“Things are going to be different now.”

I stepped forward and hugged him tightly. I finally felt like I could stop being afraid of him every day of my life. I wasn’t worried that he was going to hurt me, I wouldn’t have to sit back and watch my mom fall apart without him, I didn’t have to collect souls anymore…

Things were going to be different. And I wasn’t complaining.
♠ ♠ ♠
The end.