I thought it would be cool to share the prologue to Lost Wings with you all (coming out September 22nd, 2017), to sort of “whet your appetite”.
At the end of the darkness were the hands.
The concept of hands touching her, grasping at her, hurting her, was new. Her skin felt as if it were on fire, as if she would burn up.
Her mind reeled, a mind that was used to being a part of a larger consciousness. She experienced being alone for the first time since she had been given form so long ago, in a time before the mind of man was even conceived.
Where was God?
Where were the Seraphim?
She was being held down on a cold, hard floor. Darkness was all around, the very air a great weight on her chest. Then there were voices, murmuring to each other in awe. She could make out snippets of sentences over the rushing in her ears.
“Jesus, Jeet, we really got her.”
“Demarco, man, you did it!”
It hurt to breathe, and she gasped for air. She felt heavier than the Earth itself, unable to lift even a finger. She was used to feeling as weightless as a beam of pure light, or a thought. Then it hit her: she had been captured. But that was supposed to be impossible! God would never allow it.
“Turn her over, man!”
The voices were a scourge across her skin. She was lifted off the floor and turned over onto her face. She experienced smells for the first time, and her stomach churned. They were sharp, bitter, filled with disease and decay. How was any of this happening? It was supposed to be impossible for humans to come near her, much less hold or bind her. Any human would be immolated, turned to dust unless she allowed the contact to be made or render herself visible to their eyes. If a human were to see her as she truly was, they would go blind, their eyes burned out of their heads. But now? Now she struggled, but it was as if the hands that held her were stone: unbreakable and unmovable.
Then another voice spoke in the darkness, and she understood. This voice was unlike the others. It was deep and resonating, filled with an evil power she was familiar with, for she had been at war with that power since before the dawn of time.
“Give me the saw,” said the voice, and for the first time, she knew panic.
Her heart raced, threatening to break through her ribs. And her wings, her beautiful, white feathered wings, flapped desperately.
“Hold her down, God damn it! Get her wings under control, asshole!” A sharp pain stabbed her in the back. She struggled wildly, but it was useless. She was a butterfly, caught on a pin.
“Look at it, bitch,” said the powerful voice. A huge, heavily tattooed hand pushed a rusty saw into her field of vision. It was an evil-looking thing: the sharp, bent teeth seemed to leer at her. “See that?” the voice grated. “This is what’s going to take your stupid, fucking Grace.” She tried to crane her neck to see the speaker, but it was impossible.
“You will be cursed for all time, if you do this!” she said.
A higher pitched voice chimed in, mocking her. “You will be cursed! For all time!” It then broke into a cackling giggle.
“Welcome to the shit,” said the powerful voice. The saw disap- peared from her field of vision. Then there was a tearing and ripping on her back, on the bones that supported her wings. The pain shot down the bones, white hot, and into the very fiber of her body. Her eyes seemed to burn, and the world turned upside down. She shrieked, an explosion that made her throat burst. There was the sound of glass shattering, followed by someone yelling, “Christ man, my ears! Get a fucking gag!” A fouled piece of cloth was shoved into her mouth, choking her. The air filled with the sound of the saw, ripping and shredding its merciless way through her. The pain filled her mind. She was falling into a cauldron of boiling lead. There was a roaring in her ears, louder than the clash of the Thrones’ wings. Her vision dimmed, and she wondered if this was what the approach of death felt like for the ones she guarded. She didn’t even feel the saw stop its terrible, devastating path through her body.
“That’s one,” said the powerful voice, like a doctor removing an organ from an unfortunate patient. “Now, the other.”
Then it began again, but she had passed beyond it, her body unable to hold the pain; the first pain she ever felt. Silver tears, like little drops of mercury, formed in her eyes for the first time, then fell to the dirty floor where they pooled and were forgotten. At the last moment, she gathered her few remaining beads of energy and sent out a lightning bolt of thought, straight to God. She knew He would hear her, would feel her desperation and despair. She focused every last shred of energy into that one, final plea for help.
“Hurry, man!” the higher pitched voice said, “I think something’s coming!”
“Shut up, Jeet.”
“I know something’s coming! I asked for a saw, not this butter knife!” Then: “Done!”
She spun faster and faster, over and over, end over end… falling at the speed of light. It was as if everything she had ever known or had ever been was stripped away, leaving only the thought that she was truly apart from Him now. Alone. She closed her eyes against the pain and sorrow that enveloped her.
“Put ‘em in the sack and let’s get movin’. Hurry, you assholes!” “But what about her? We’re not supposed to leave–”
“Don’t you think I know that? No time! Move, damn it!”
There was the rumble of distant thunder, and she felt the atmosphere around her turn warm and then hot. The air hummed with electricity. The insides of her eyelids turned red, and she opened her eyes. The room was bathed in a fierce, white light, her skin feeling like it would blister from the intense heat. There were screams of agony and pain all around her.
He had sent aid.
It felt as if every ion had suddenly been charged exponentially. There were more screams, and she thought she heard someone begging for mercy, but she couldn’t be sure. The world lurched around her, and then she was receding down a long tunnel away from the light, the voices, and the pain. She had a faint impression of a woman’s soft voice, praying. Praying to her, beseeching her for help. It continued for only a second, but then she knew no more.
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