Scraps of Wings

Just a scene I wrote for fun for some future story of mine a loooong while back. Uber melodramatic. Got some action and blood in it too. Yay.  All the giggles and mocking.

Wings stretched high to the eye-tearing blue sky with feathers as white as the clouds. He reached for the sky with his hands too, his fingers spread like his feathers as though reaching to embrace a much taller parent. Tears leaked from his eyes as he stretched and stretched, an overwhelming sensation of home overcoming him. How had he ever thought these wings a curse of a demon? When had he ever begun to see the sky as his enemy? For now he knew it had only ever been his friend.

Arms still outstretched, he brought his wings down with an all mighty pump. As he flapped once, twice, again, the sky begun to reach down for him as well, welcoming him. He called out for it, weeping. Then he was rising. His wings were strong, though he had never yet flown. He only desired to rise and grow closer to the heavens.

Excitement sent his heart fluttering. He brought his arms down to ease his flight, ever rising. Clouds drifted towards him.

“Hey! What are you doing?”

But he could finally feel it now, that presence that had lingered at the edge of his mind for the past month. The presence that had led him from the darkness of the prison, to the barn of Kathleen, and finally back to the light. Was this the God he had been searching for? A loving Father of the heavens?

Clouds surrounded him in a realm of heavenly white. He could feel their wet touch upon his skin like the noses of fond hounds to their master. But he kept flapping, higher and higher. He had never felt so light! How could this be demonic? Euphoria as he had never known rose within him, bubbling out from his mouth in a joyous laugh. He lifted his wings, angled himself, and dived through the mists of clouds.

Wind screamed past his ears and yanked at his wet clothes and hair—and he loved it. The land, far below, looked closer than it actually was nonetheless. The grass of the prairie had turn velveteen and he could see the small figure of Kathleen next to the horses. He experimented with his wings, he turned, he dived, he rose once more and sung to the clouds that now followed him. Winds from the north and south collided, breezes of the east and west uplifted him, and ever the warm presence of the sun watched him. This was where he belonged.

Then the startling question returned, more forceful than ever before. His heart stilled and something all too familiar and heavy dropped into his stomach. His song to the clouds died away. His feathers stilled.

What was he?


Water dripped somewhere in the emptiness of the cathedral. Cayden felt the chill of the rain all the way to his bones, pressed deeper by his apprehension. He clenched his hands and rustled his soggy wings. Stone faces of saints watched him from their corners. His eyes drew up to the darkened alter at the end.

Star?” he called out. His voice sounded reedy—hoarse.

A dark form stirred at the crucified Christ’s feet. His heart jolted, whether in anticipation or fear, he didn’t know. A faint, emerald glow lit up the familiar, pale features.

Your stupidity has reached an all time low, sky boy. Coming to your assassinator.” She giggled a wiry sound.

You won’t kill me.”

Oh really? And what is the reason to this…thesis.” her voice hissed, like a snake’s. It sent a shiver up his spine.

You’re not a killer.”

As you have told me. But, as we both know, this logic is weak. You don’t know me.”

I know enough.” Cayden took a step forward, forcing himself to seem solid and strong. Morning Star simply chortled her thin laugh once more.

Trying to be brave? Trying to have faith? Oh, this is pathetic.”

I know this is not who you want to be. I know this is not who you truly are.”

The young woman got impatient. He could see it in the tensing of her eyes and how her black feathers prickled out from her back as she tensed her wings. The soles of her leather boots slapped against the stone. Each step sounded like a loud snap of a whip, putting him on edge. He didn’t have a clue what he was doing. All he knew was the sense of rightness. He had seen the pain in her eyes. It couldn’t have been an illusion. But as the lithe, slim, and deadly form of the blank angel came into the faint moonlight, all thoughts were wiped clean from him. She was beautiful…so beautiful…

I will show you who I truly am.”

Stones cracked beneath his feet. He reeled backwards. Vines bristling with thorns slithered out from beneath him, reaching to wrap their stinging tendrils about his limbs.

With a cry he gave a mighty pump of his wings, flinging water in a great shower about him. Vines writhed at the contact and Star scowled. As he stumbled back, trying to catch his footing and his cool, Cayden smiled weakly at her.

Storm water.” he said. “Who knew?”

She nearly sneered and her soulgem glowed a more brilliant green, bringing forth more wicked vines and branches from all around. They broke through windows, struck through stones, and filled the open mouths of the saints. Cayden frantically flapped his wings, flinging off as much storm water as possible as he backed toward the cathedral’s front doors.

Gotta get outside, gotta get outside, gotta get outside!

The sky was outside. He could feel it reaching for him even as he flapped and banged his wings against branches and vines. He could feel the thorns stabbing through his feathers. In a moment of horror he could feel their teeth around his ankles before he came crashing onto the floor, wings hitting against pews and branches. More vines snaked about his body, tightening about his neck.

The slapping of her boots came towards him. He could just see the tips of her ethereal black wings behind her legs.

Wow, what a glorious battle. And to think your name means ‘warrior’.”

He strained against his bonds, biting his lip to stop himself from crying out as the thorns bit deep into his flesh. His cheek scraped along the broken tiles and feathers tore off as he fought to flap.

“And now I will kill you.” she said coolly.

A vine slid tighter around his neck, pressing its long, blade-like thorn against his jugular. He choked as he felt the prick.

The sky was reaching desperately for him now. He could hear it. The gray light of the moon faded away, plunging them into darkness. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

Seconds ticked by. Still, the thorn had yet to slice his throat. Cayden struggled to look up at Star, but he couldn’t make out her face without getting a row of needles into his neck. His breathing quickened with shallow breaths. Could she be hesitating? Though Cayden didn’t dare say a word.

Lightening flashed in the window. A ground shaking boom of thunder followed quickly after. Cayden caught her tip-feathers shaking.

“So, this is how you fight back? A pretty thunderstorm?” He thought he could hear her voice quavering. “What are you going to do? Strike the roof down with lightning? You’ll kill us both.”

Yet he hardly heard her. The sky was so close. He concentrated, reaching up mentally. The glow of his blue soulgem brightened. The vine about his neck tightened and he gasped.

“No! Please, Star, don’t do this.”

“Why? And have you do something crazy?”

“You are not a killer—listen to me, Star—“

“By gods, you’re annoying!”

Now the thorn was in. He couldn’t hold in a strangle noise of pain, trembling as thorns across his body punctured deeper into his skin. He now gagged for air, each breath sending the thorn deeper. Another flash of lightening, this time with the thunder roaring along with it. The cathedral shuddered. The webbed chandeliers creaked threateningly.

“No! Star, please, don’t, I didn’t mean you any harm! I just wanted to—“

“Wanted to what? You shouldn’t have wanted anything to do with me, bastard! I’m sent here to kill you! Do you not understand that? And that is what I’m going to do, because you’re weak, and stupid, and soft, and human—“

A great gale burst through the broken windows at last, rocketing around the enclosed space like a cyclone. It sucked away her voice and tore her wings from her back. The thistles scrapped along his flesh and dug deeper into his wings as the wind tried to carry them away as well. Crimson droplets trickled from between the white feathers.

But it was enough. With her concentration broken and focused on preventing herself from being blown into a wall, the vines laxed the tiniest bit. He wrenched his hand from the vines death grip, ignoring the bleeding scratches as he yanked the thorn out of his neck. Rain flew in fat droplets to him to land on the vines, wilting them away from his skin at his command. The water felt colder than ice.

Star barely had time to register his rising before the wind blew harder, dragging her light form along by her wings into the pews. With a great boom the cathedral doors burst open and wind barreled in from there, crashing her back against the alter and under the agonized eyes of the Christ.

Cayden shook off his bonds. His fingers felt sticky with blood. With a shrug of his shoulder the wind turned about him, keeping him in a calm eye of the cyclone. Rainwater flecked him with chilling kisses. He tucked his bleeding wings in gingerly.

With her long, black hair sticking to her face, she pushed herself to her feet. Lips pressed tight she tore out a dagger and made her way towards him with leafy ropes holding her feet in place. The cyclone roared at her attempts, threatening to tear her wings away once more.

“We don’t have to do this!” cried Cayden.

She sent him searing eyes through her tresses, raw with hate. Yet even then he saw it hurt her to hate so. This wasn’t her natural state, he knew it. He had seen it. She couldn’t speak for the wind. He reached his arms for her, but she just clenched the dagger more tightly.

Light burst through the cathedral with a calamitous explosion. Rocks came tumbling down through the cyclone as though it were water, smashing into pews besides them. Star shrieked with alarm and terror.

“Stop it!” she screamed.

Cayden himself grew horrified of the falling roof. One clump of stone and tile and barely missed her by a foot. He reached for the sky once more and soothed it, allowing it to sweep across the aching inside and around him. The roar of the wind mellowed down to a whistle. Rain still trickled in through the hole in the roof and the broken windows, but Star no longer stood in danger of being carried away.

She crumpled to the ground, shaking violently, her black hair thrown into a wild nest about her shoulders. Her black feathered wings were ruffled beyond recognition. Cautiously, he approached her.

“Are you okay?” He reached for her. The thought of having hurt her was suddenly unbearable to him. Behind her, old used candles from the alter lay sprawled about her.

As his fingertips brushed against her head she burst into movement. A flash of silver, a burst of pain, and he shrieked out in his unnatural voice. The stones of the cathedral seemed to scream back in response. Lightening flashed angrily, and thunder roared in displeasure.

But Cayden was down once more. He could feel the broken stones again. He clutch at his side where the silver dagger had bitten.

Morning Star hovered above him, her gnarled, wind-knoted hair hanging down to him like curtains. Her face was as beautiful as the first time when had seen it: fine, high browed, and pale as the moon’s. Her dark eyes quivered on his own.

“I told you,” she whispered, “I told you I would kill you.”

He took in a shuddering breath, trying to stop the blood now pouring from his injured side. White feathers folded about him, dying themselves scarlet. He could feel himself growing weaker. He could feel the sky pressing closer and closer till he thought it would smother him. Humidity built in the room, but still only rain poured in.

He reached a bloody hand to her face. Shock broke across her features, but she didn’t slap him away. He could feel the great hole threatening to eat him whole—that hole made by sorrow.

“I love you, Star.” He whispered. “I really do, I’m…I’m sorry I failed you.”

Her lips parted in open surprise. In a flash they pulled back in an angry sneer.

“Failed me?” she spat. “What the hell did you think you owed me? Salvation? I only gave you what you deserved. What we all deserve.”

But he just smiled. His vision was darkening. The sky, the clouds, the rain, the wind—all of it was sinking into him now to billow about the inner quiet place he knew as his soul.

Star’s mouth went slack.

“You…you don’t really mean that, do you? This love? You do know our kind can only love once—that we have only one soul mate, right?”

He weakly raised his eyes in bemusement. “Oh really? Fascinating.”

If this was death it wasn’t so bad. He couldn’t even feel the pain anymore. His limbs filled with a dull, tingling numbness. The heaviness wanted to take him whole. The darkening tunnel of his vision shrunk, till all he could see was that moon-like face of hers, set with almond shaped green eyes. Alarmed eyes.

“No, no, sky boy you have to tell me you don’t mean it. That it’s not true.”

But now his lips had grown numb. Was she shaking him.

“Damn it! Tell me it’s not true! Don’t you dare close those eyes or I’ll…or I’ll…”

And the sky swallowed him whole.

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