Triumphant Return

[This post was written by another person that I collaborated with on The Unsaintly and his portion was obtained with permission]

Wings blanketed in feathers the color of the purest snow wavered through the wind at the behest of their angelic owner, in their strength reaching speeds that would cause him to gain on the robed sorcerer as he fled. “Give yourself back to The Lord, Marco. None can hide from his judgment.”

The threat was sincere and so was the sound of the voice that carried it, powerful enough to reach the fugitive through wind screaming with velocity, but also echoing throughout the mind. The divine command irritated the senses of its intended observer, and Malum turned his head to see the angel rapidly gaining speed behind him. Empty sockets in the skull illuminated with flame in place of eyes in his anger which was accented briefly by a scornful clamor. Deciding to conserve his energy, the necromancer dove from the skies and into a graveyard below. In faithful pursuit, the angel followed behind him. His path was littered with obstacles as the chase led him close to the ground, dodging headstones and corpses that were reanimated effortlessly along the way.

Malum continued to take circles around the area, more and more corpses digging their way from the ground as he attempted to buy himself more time. However, it was time he was out of when the angel had seemingly outwitted him, cutting him off on his third pass with a powerful blow of his sword. The steel cut clean through the leg, sending the lich crashing to the ground unceremoniously with an agonizing hiss to accompany such defeat. Feet gracefully touching upon the ground, the angel began his methodical, righteous march toward the crippled wizard who scurried with hand and backside away from his opponent. Appearing to be out of options, Malum relented, resting his back against an old oak as he awaited the closing of the final gap between them.

Sky blue eyes looking down with pity upon the fallen one, the heavenly one spoke in plea, “It is not too late for you, child.”

With that, he found himself surrounded with every corpse in the yard which served to distract him. Calling upon the divine power of God with one beautiful command, the corpses all ignited at the behest of the angelic prayer. Seizing his opportunity and discarding his facade of weakness, Malum sprang up and hovered.

“No, but it is too late for you.”

This fool had made his first and last mistake. The manifestation of such power allowed the competent mage to seize control of the fire, his hands were viciously thrown forward and the angel burst into flames. The first thing to burn were his wings, so fine and delicate as they melted easily in magically concentrated fire. God’s wrath was unyielding, and in it poured but it was futile and served as a boon to the wrathful caster. With full control, he called lightning down from the heavens as the angel screamed in prayer, the faith in his eyes that this was not happening remained until the last moment. And in that moment, Malum exerted the full potential of his power, his assertive, ungodly scream accompanying the rape of God’s law as the victim imploded into annihilation, then returned to mass from the void in an explosion that sent ash to scour the sky of the entire city. The shockwave blasted Malum back and he used the momentum to limp home in weak flight, the pain in his leg bones tingling out through his breathless, defiant cackles.

The thunder only added to what was already a dramatic sound, invasive in its declaration as the wind hissed through the sudden opening of the chapel doors. The creaking in decrescendo echoed acoustically throughout the vast room. The stone walls were wet with a mysterious, ectoplasmic influence that served only to molest the sound, lacing it with hallucinogenic whispers and faintly audible expressions of various emotions.

Upon the first steps taken forward, a sky briefly lit in the purple hue of electric whim betrayed the shadows that clung to his form as they reluctantly fled from him. The strike of lightning would also reveal the small troupe of figures behind, the stench of death and decay following them as mindlessly as they did their commander. When the sky returned to midnight, the ivory right hand of the skeletal figure was raised. A gesture was made in likeness to the cruel squeezing of an invisible object.

It was no coincidence that after making such a movement, the pack of zombies adorned in tattered priestly garments collectively belted out short-lived shrieks of agony. Their bodies were immediately reduced to ash, the thin orange paper of former flesh swam through the air and were soon out at sea with the wind’s breath, rain extinguishing the glow of the remains as quickly as their fate did their cries.

With every step toward her the world began to shrink in ways both metaphysical and plain. His presence between the angelic statues on his way drew out the bloody tears of their fallen saints. The candle light danced upon his umbral shell and was alive with the anticipation of his Queen, their shadows were like seductive hands wantonly combing his body for the memory of his presence.

He knelt and his cape blanketed him fluently. Head down. His voice was hollow with the absence of flesh, but thick with the power of the Unsaintly as it bounced from the floors to her undetectably perked ear. “My Queen. Your army awaits your command from every grave in Rome.” She turned to face him, footsteps invisible beneath her silky skirts causing her to appear to float dangerously close to his bowed head, perverse in her proximity but virginal in her grace.

Her voice was thick with regalia as she asserted her inquiry, but the unnatural whispers that accompanied the sound to his ears were something completely different. “And were there witnesses?” “Quite temporarily,” he replied. Her finger curled beneath his chin, the very touch causing the flesh to return to his body, warm with blood and faux mortality. As she brought his lips close to hers, one final gust of wind extinguished the candles and obscured her intentions.

Categories: Book Discussion, The Pages

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