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Roy Edwards

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Angel-Shadow
By Roy Edwards
Friday, May 22, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Old worn out angels never die, they just linger by the side of the road waiting for you to pass by hitching a ride to no place in particular and if you are the right one if so it is you who are chosen, you live and die and live again in a moment in the angel shadow, in the shadow of the angel’s wing.

The day stood inside itself, hot and still. The long, thirsty road thick with dust. The air stifled. My heart quickened. The white brilliance edging the horizon, shimmering like fractured light in the raw wash of the sun: The white walls of Urusalim where prophets and the winged benediction of eternity sit side by side.
It had taken me nine years to cross half the world to reach Urusalim. Nine years of thievery, nine years of cheating, nine years of deceit. My head spun, my sight wavered, my heart beating like a war drum. I had eyes for nothing but the white walls as I stumbled forward, my gaze fixed and intent, my ears deaf to the world around me. I hastened my step eager to reach Urusalim, eager to stand in the cool, white house of Shalem.
The dusty road snaked across the arid land and I joyful to tread it.
By and by the walls rose high and higher, achingly white against the deep, blue dome of the sky. The gates stood open I could see a promise of long, cool shadows within. And then, between one breath and the next, a dusty angel with broken wings staggered in from the arid land and stood beside the road gazing towards me. I strode resolute. My eyes fixed on the welcoming shade the streets of Urusalim offered. Even so as I strode near the broken dusty figure I could not resist a fleeting glance.
His face was old ravaged beauty, his round, wide eyes glowing blue lamps, his ashen flesh smooth as polished marble, his wings dry and ragged; ringlets of white hair curled in the nape of his neck. He stood naked, but for a grubby strip of Egyptian linen wrapped around lean hips. The hot desert sun did not burn or mar his flesh; his once broad shoulders bowed with age. Strings of ropy knotted muscle seemed to be about all that held his frame together.
“Water,” he said, hands reaching out towards me, ”I thirst unto death, bread,” he beseeched me, “a morsel, whatever you can spare, else I starve in this very land of grain and plenty.”
I walked by unheeding, resolute in my determination to enter Urusalim.
The fallen thing cried out behind me, “I am Azazel, have mercy I beg of thee.”
I did not even turn my head, my ears deaf to his plea, my soul armoured against charity to one less fortunate than I. ‘You could save a life,’ a voice whispered inside my head, ‘that otherwise might die tonight.’ ‘What care I,’ I answered myself as I walked through the open gates and entered Urusalim. Tall, cool shadows took me by the hand and embraced me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Later, I stood on the rock where Gabriel once stood proclaiming the advent. I gazed in awe at the gate where Michael fought and drove back the swarming darkness that came down from the red hills. I offered up prayer at the tomb of Abraham and viewed the sacred tablet of Moses in the Tabernacle, I saw the carven image of Sariel bound in chains and the age blackened stump of his wings. In the market place I listened to a sun mad prophet with stumpy legs and a face not unlike a fish who claimed he came down from behind the evening star but could not return again. I drank the juice of crushed pomegranates in the Garden of Olives and later, in a sun drenched square nestled in the foothills of Ophel, I sat in the shade of an old acacia eating fresh baked bread crusted with cheese and the fruit of the palm, washing it down with a cup of cool, sweet water from a nearby well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I stole a silver coin here and there as I rambled the streets and the old market place of Urusalim thinking on how easy it was to deceive and beguile the trusting and the kind. It is a gift, I thought with an easy smile, this very skill to beguile and deceive and lift a little silver along the way how else, I chuckled to myself, am I to understand why I have never been caught or even suspected, not once. I shook my head in wonder at that, not once in my entire life, even though there were times during my early years when I was a little arrogant and brazen about scooping up other people’s silver and yet I kept on getting away with it. It’s a gift, oh yes its a gift alright ---- and then suddenly, shockingly, like a bowl of cold water thrown in my face, I visioned the old, broken angel standing lorn and bereft in the dust of the road with nowhere to go, just standing there begging for water and bread. I recalled the day was exceptionally hot and dry and windy, dust swirling up in clouds. What was he doing out there without water? He would die, surely he knew that. I could hear the wind driven dust rattling against his broken wings like pellets, ripping out grey-white feathers whirled away on the wind. Why am I thinking of an old, broken down angel with a death wish I asked myself? A sense of unease shivered me through, and then as quick as it came the burdensome image fled my mind, the sun returned and I thought, never have I known such ease of thieving. My hands dipped and flashed skimming like humming birds at the people I passed. Silver tumbled into my purse. It was so easy I wanted to laugh out loud, dance and sing for the joy of it. That I stole silver from those who could ill afford to lose a single coin bothered me not at all. Why should it? I needed to eat and drink too and pay for my bed. Some toil in the fields and the taverns to earn their coins. I toil in the streets and the marketplace don’t’cha know to earn a living, my gift you might say is my work, your loss is my gain. Do I do wrong I asked myself? Of course you don’t I answered, else you wouldn’t have the gift now would you. I chuckled jocularly berating myself for being a sacrilegious, unrepentant bastard; after all, I chortled as I walked along relieving passers by of their loose coins, I am in Urusalim the foundation City of God and if God didn’t want me here I’m sure he’d let me know. The shadow of the angel flicker shifted inside my head. Damn, what was that but I couldn’t quite catch the image. It was like something you see in the corner of your vision but when you turn towards it there is nothing there. I shrugged and walked on.
That night I dreamed I was falling through a hazy shimmer of blue. I awoke suddenly, drenched in sweat, then I slept again, dreamless.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nine years did I travel to reach Urusalim, and Urusalim was all I hoped and dreamed it would be and more, much more, I was indeed a most fortunate man. And who knows, I thought, before I depart the white walled city maybe Uriel the Angel of Night and Day will come down from the starry sky. Might I catch a glimpse, might I hear the moonlit voice might I, if only from afar, bask for a fleeting moment in the radiance of his presence.
And then all too soon it was time for me to leave Urusalim and its good, honest folk who were so easily gulled, and set out on the long road home. I lacked for nothing indeed my purse positively bulged with shiny, new-minted silver coins. Indeed Urusalim had been good to me speeding me on my way far wealthier than when I arrived.
Shadow of the angel shimmered, a faint trace of blue flickered in his head and then it was gone before he even registered its presence.
The thief schemed and thieved his way through life, preying on the honest and good who toiled hard, yet were ever willing to help man, woman or child, be they friend or stranger who stood in need of a coin or food and drink with open hearted generosity and no thought given to recompense. The thief was made welcome, he broke bread and salt with them he prayed in their holy places. He smiled and spoke softly thanking them for their open generosity, for his food and his bed. In return he stole what little they had. Sowing hurt, sorrow and ruin in his wake thinking his very perfidy, his oh so dexterous hands to be a gift, but from whom he never questioned.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the shadow of the Angel, in the stillness of the desert, in the quietude of the long road, in the calm and peace of the seemingly endless moment: In the sleep of innocence before the winds came, the burning desert sun flared the world incandescent white.
The thief thought he was dying, he thought he was dead.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dawn of the third day: Urusalim a fading memory I thought on now and again as I trudged the dusty road south. The road stretched out before me as far as the eye could see. To the ends of the earth I thought hollowly. The sun arced high, the molten ball turned the blue sky milky white. The sun lost its colour; it seemed to just hang there, like a smear of silver brightness in the curdled sky. Heat poured down in oppressive waves that made it difficult to breathe. Droplets of salty sweat stung my eyes, the weight of my bulging purse dragging at my waist seeming to grow heavier with every step taken. A sudden furnace breath of wind seared my face. I found it difficult to swallow, the sound of my laboured breathing loud in my ears. My vision swam. My footsteps faltered. A sudden fleeting image of an old, worn out angel standing by the side of the road flicker shifted behind my eyes. I came to a halt, gazing around in confusion. Somehow I had missed my way and blundered off into the desert. How could that be? The road is straight and long. It wasn’t possible for me to wander off, but somehow I had managed to do so. Tendrils of fear curled in my gut. If I don’t find my way back to the road, I swallowed nervously; I’ll die of thirst before the first cool shadows of night crawl across the land, as I realised to my horror that my water skin and pack of food was missing. I had no recollection of dropping one or the other. Don’t panic, I told myself, use your eyes and find the road. I turned slowly and as I came to face south, there, I almost shouted out loud, a faint grey-white strip running toward the horizon, gleaming pale in the strange pewter light. I had not wandered too far. An hour maybe less I thought as I slogged my way through the sand. A gust of wind tugged at my clothes. Eyes slitted against the brightness in the sky, breathing ragged, the terrible heat of the smeared sun seeming to press down on my head and shoulders with heavy hands; I stumbled caught myself and struggled on towards the road. Closer, yes, my heart leapt, I could see the low mass of my abandoned water skin bulging up slightly from the flat surface of the road. What possessed me to throw it down and wander off the road I cannot say, a momentary lapse of reason perhaps. I pushed on; the terrible heat sucked the moisture from my body, knife blades in my throat, sharp raspy dryness. Tongue like old shoe leather, I couldn’t swallow. Head pounding heart racing, vision wavering in and out. I was dying.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Moisture coated the waterbag, gleaming like oil in the sun. I lurched forward, staggering as though wine sodden.
I almost made it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Can you live and die and live again in the same moment?
Yes, yes you can in the shadow of the angel.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And then suddenly in the space of a heart stopping moment the madness began. I once heard an old man of the Black Robed Desert People speak of the madness and the terror. He said it stalks the land once every twenty five maybe thirty years, destroying anything in its path. Only those whom god loves survive and they are never the same again. Pray it does not catch you out in the open desert else you will surely die. It comes he said out of a clear blue sky, suddenly, shockingly with no warning. No one can explain it or reason why it ends as suddenly as it begins, and if not for the carnage heaped around you could be forgiven for wondering if it happened at all. Like a bad dream fading in the reassuring light and warmth of the rising sun. The old man’s voice droned in my head even as I placed one foot in front of the other and the world went mad ere I completed the step.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lightning staggered across the sky stabbing down in jagged streaks of crackling blue-white light. Thunder boomed and shook the air and then it was all shrieking devil winds, the desert rising up in a gigantic wave of sand obscuring the sun, curling like a storm driven wave of the ocean as it swept forward with a mind numbing roar of sound, screaming winds lifting the wave higher and higher driving it forward with awesome, unbelievable power. The wind raged and howled, demonic forces shrieking in a vast cacophony of ragged, saw-edged sound: The devil’s symphony of madness and death.
I fell to my knees, my back to the wind. I am dead, I thought numbly. The sun was a dim glow, the light thin and murky. Wind driven sand filled the air. I was drowning in sand, struggling to breathe. The deafening roar of sound stunned me like a blow to the head. I called out to Gabriel to Michael and Raphael to aid me, to deliver me from torment and death. In all that numbing wall of sound I could not even hear the sound of my own voice. I despaired. The sand would flay the flesh from my bones once it stripped the clothes from my back. I could feel the cloth shred and tear. “Gabriel,” I shrieked in terror, “Michael, Raphael.” Vision of a broken winged angel standing by the road with nowhere to go flicker shifted behind my eyes. A shimmering pale blue haze drifting in its wake and then it was gone, I am dead, I thought hollowly.
Sand whipped my back. I could feel its sting hot and sudden as a knife blade, my clothes shredding around me. I bowed my head, I am defeated, I wept softly, tears and sand clotting my eyes. Sand clogged my throat my ears and my nostrils, sand cascading like water. I lost my will to survive and struggled no more, weary unto death my head hanging low. Ten million, million grains of sand flayed me alive. The hot abrasive grains cut like knives, agony howled in my head sheeting my senses white and red. My neck was laced in fire; circlets of fire ringed my spine. My back was a bloody ruin; all in the space of the moment between one heartbeat and the next.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even so, something inside me stirred. Something in my keening soul refused to die. I struggled to breathe, to clear my nostrils and my throat. I struggled to raise my head to inhale the wind driven furnace breath, sand grating between my teeth.
I saw it then; a phantom in the grainy murk, a shadow with azure eyes in the howling madness.
“Thief, thief of the road,” a clear, inquiring voice belled in my head. The glowing eyed phantom edged closer leaning into the wind pushing against its raw, primeval energy, dragging its body toward me like some mythic hero at the edge of dawn, wading through a turgid tide. It’s strange glowing, blue eyes impaled me, lancing through my gibbering soul like the horns of a bull: And then it fell to its knees. Fear tore at my throat, clawing in my gut like a wild thing. The figure hunched against the wind trailing a broken wing, feathered quills rattling like old, dry bones. Sand streamed through its hair. Slowly, as though lifting a great weight, it raised its head. I shrank in on my self, fear trembling my limbs, a half formed scream lodged in my throat. “Gabriel, Michael, Raphael save me”, I moaned in terror, scrabbling to push myself away.
“Parasite,” the steady voice whispered in my head, “you live off the toil and sweat of others, you are the weight on their backs, you cannot imagine the suffering you callously sow in your wake, even so,” the steady voice said, “I will save you if I can. I am Azazel, once I stood proud, Guardian of the Road and the Door. And then one day evil stopped by and seduced me away, and later when I regained my senses I lived in the shadow of myself and wandered away and though I came to forgive others their transgression against me, I know not how to forgive myself,” the steady voice faltered and for a moment a sense of infinite sadness flooded through me. The voice said, “I am Azazel and I will save you if I can for all I know not how I might save myself. Sometimes that’s just the way it is.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It raised its head and I wondered why the wind driven sand didn’t scour out its eyes. A faint trace of blue tugged at my senses.
The face that lifted towards me was tortured beauty in ravaged, ashen flesh. And I was lost, dying in a moment, reborn in the shadow of the angel positioning its once powerful body to embrace and shield me from the fury of a world gone mad. Grains of golden sand poured down like waves of the ocean. I struggled to breathe. The air grew dim and dimmer still. My heart faltered. Feathers torn from the angel’s broken wing whirled away on the wind. I wanted to weep but I had no tears left. I wanted to rip the purse from my belt and rid myself of the taint of stolen silver but I had not the strength or the will. Dying in a moment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And then suddenly the wind fell away. Grains of sand rustled and sighed and grew still. Golden light streamed down. Dying in a moment reborn ere it moves on. Strong arms lifting me up; I stood bewildered, daring to believe I lived; the flesh of his face weeping blood, crimson against the pallid white skin.
His mouth moved but I heard no sound in that awful immensity of silence. The sun beat down, the deep, blue sky cloudless. The land as far as the eye could see empty and still. Slowly I turned round and round on unsteady feet. My heart sank; I had no idea in which direction the road might lay. Heat and light hammered at my eyes. I cleared my eyes, nostrils, mouth and throat as best I could, swallowing more sand than I actually managed to spit out. Working saliva in my mouth I swallowed, my need of water was great but there was none. I looked to my companion but I’d never heard of an angel performing miracles, besides I thought dourly, this one is an old broken thing if it could perform miracles it would have healed itself long ago. “Self healing, self forgiveness maybe,” the steady voice fluted in my head, “they are one and the same thing,” the voice died away. I shifted uncomfortably wondering which way to go, knowing it didn’t really matter, without water I would be dead in a few hours anyway. Best I die on my feet, best I at least try I thought disconsolately. I stood looking toward the angel. Suddenly his broken wing trembled, a shudder ran through his body, bone grinding against bone as he slowly raised his right arm forefinger pointing west towards a smear of low hills huddling the horizon; and that I thought, is a long, long way.
“Water, bread, redemption,” his voice flowed within me placid as a summer lake.
I understood bread and water but redemption, “what do you mean redemption,” I asked.
His ravaged face cracked in a parody of a smile, “find out,” his voice whispered in my head, “Redemption is a long and lonely road, you can always return,” the voice continued, “but you can never go back.” He sank to his knees head hanging low his broken, raggedy wing splayed out across his heels. “Leave me,” the voice rose and fell like a small, lost breath, “leave me and you just might save yourself. Survive,” the lost voice fluted, “survive or die, the choice is yours.”
I stared down at him wanting nothing more than to abandon the crippled thing and try for the hills. “I can’t help you,” I wailed, “wasted as you are you are still too big and too heavy, we will both die out here in the desert,” I was gibbering but I couldn’t help myself, “alone I might make it, I might just stand a chance, dragging you,” I shook my head, “we both die.”
He slowly raised his head, his lambent eyes seeming to flood my very soul with cool, pale blue light.
“I can’t help you, I don’t want to help you,” I sobbed, “I want to live.”
He smiled then, an achingly lost and lonely smile, “Survive,” autumn leaves whispered, “survive as best you can. Life,” the voice trembled, “is at best a chancy thing.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The sun waned west, a smoky, red blister in a deepening blue sky. The fierce heat lost its sting, a cooling evening breeze feathered my heated flesh.
“I will carry you,” my voice a rasping ache in my throat. I don’t know why I said that, I don’t know why I offered to die rather than to leave him to his fate. I don’t know why I doomed myself. His eyes flared brighter, I swear they did and that ravaged face of his took on a gentle, kindly look, at least I thought it did, but right about then I wasn’t even sure of my own name.
“You can try,” belled in my head.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the cool, blue evening, in the smoky dappled shadows creeping out across the land, I stooped, heaved and pulled him up on to my back. The very weight of his body filled me with dread. Using strips torn from my tattered robe, with his help I lashed him to my back, knotting the ends tight across my chest, I gripped the makeshift rope, raised my right foot and stepped forward.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the silence, in the starlight, in the cold, white light of the moon I lived and breathed one step at a time, the crushing weight on my back threatening to tumble me with every step. And as I walked, the voice of the angel murmured ceaselessly in my head, a comforting, soothing sound though I could make no sense of the words. I did not abandon the angel. Unlike my purse of stolen silver, I threw it away don’t you know along with a lifetime of guilt, a lifetime of bitter, self recrimination, sorrow and regret.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Come the dawn I untied the angel and dragged him across the sand. My senses left me, returning in the glowing forge of the setting sun. I carried him on my back; I dragged his now inert form across the sand. His voice no longer crooned in my head and it seemed to me that either I grew stronger or he the lighter because I swear it all seemed a little easier as I toiled toward the hills. But I was crazy in the head by then so I doubt it was either one or the other. My torment of thirst is indescribable. My body is agony. My swollen tongue almost fills my mouth. My throat is a razor embe dded in my neck. My eyes are gritty and sore. I am salt. I think I am dead, I think I am doomed to drag this weight, to carry this burden forever, driven by thirst and agonies I have not the words to describe. Sometimes a trace of blue flares inside my head sometimes I know I am dead and buried beneath the burning sands. Sometimes I am empty. Sometimes I know and feel nothing at all and the pale translucent blue light seems to explode inside and I stagger on, living and breathing one step at a time, and I don’t know what real is anymore, I don’t know what is real and what is not, and I wish the angel would sing and fill me with the comforting sound of its voice. I never met Gabriel in Urusalim, I never met Michael or Raphael only an old broken down angel standing by the side of the road begging for bread and with nowhere to go.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Azazel said, you can try, I muttered over and over, a litany a dirge a mindless all consuming song ---- you can try.
In the deep and the black in the moon haunted, bone light I dragged and carried him on my back. Beyond pain beyond exhaustion I slipped into that in between place that has no location and where all your sins coagulate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I reached the hills, though for the life of me I cannot remember how, tawny, lion buffed hills traced through with green. The sun rose behind me casting long shadows filling nooks and crannies in the hills rounded shoulder with shimmering light. I found a path, a thin trail snaking through the hills. I stumbled along as best I could, bowed under the weight of the angel on my bloody back, fighting my way forward step by grinding step. I don’t recall when Azazel ceased his murmur, “you can try,” were the last words to ring in my head, and though the weight of him drove me to my knees again and again, each time I fell I somehow always managed to regain my feet and, as I said before, as the long seemingly endless hours bled away, the burden on my back seemed to lighten as though it shed weight or maybe I grew stronger I swear I know not which.
The trail widened as it ran though a rugged cleft in the hills. I staggered down a gentle slope leading toward a village of white and blue painted houses. I could see fields of ripening grain behind the village, standing green and gold in the early morning sun. Somewhere a dog barked the sound hollow and flat on the windless air. And then suddenly people were running towards me. I eased Azazel to the ground and stood panting. I couldn’t speak my throat so dry it had closed up. I lurched towards a tall, thick shouldered man flying towards me and fell into his out stretched arms, oblivion as soft and dark as crushed velvet gathered me in and I knew no more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I awoke in a soft bed to find bread and honey close to hand and a pitcher of cool, sweet water. Oddly I felt refreshed and eager to greet the day. The knowledge that I had once been a thief seemed distant, as though it no longer belonged to me. I sensed I had changed and was continuing to do so, but in what way I did not yet know. I pushed such thoughts aside and looked for my companion, but of Azazel there was no sign, only an empty bed pushed up against the opposite wall of the room.
I heard a voice outside, the door creaked open and the man who caught me when I swooned stepped in. He explained that he was the headman of the village and therefore responsible for me. He said, “you are a very lucky man few, bereft of water, live long enough to walk out of the desert, let alone survive the worst sand storm in living memory. The storm passed us by,” adding in a hushed tone, “no one knows why. It should have obliterated the village and stripped the fields bare.” He shrugged, “it did not.”
I thanked him for taking me in and then politely inquired as to the whereabouts of my companion. He drew back and looked at me strangely.
“I was going to ask you about that,” he said.
“What do you mean? Ask me about what?” I stammered in confusion
“Your companion?”
“Yes, yes my companion the old, worn out angel with the broken wing. His name is Azazel” I hurried on, “I carried him on my back he saved me when the storm struck and I was sure I was dead. I carried him through the night, one night maybe two I’m not sure. He pointed the way, he led me here,” I went on in a rush, words tumbling out in a torrent. “He gave me life when I thought I was dead. He found me, he led me here but he was old and weak so I carried him. I didn’t want to, I didn’t even think I could lift his weight let alone carry it, Azazel said, ‘you can try,’ that’s what he said to me, ‘you can try,’ his words rang in my head,” I ended off somewhat lamely.
The headman stared at me in wonder, “I don’t know what to say,” he said.
“Where is he,” I questioned, “where is Azazel?”
The headman shrugged and spoke slowly as though to a child, “I know not of whom you speak.”
“My companion,” I wailed.
“Ah yes,” he said tenderly, “we should talk about that.”
“Then talk,” I prompted.
“When you stumbled into our village more dead than alive,” he said with a curious gleam in his eyes, “you carried the corpse of a huge winged eagle on your back”
I stared at him in open mouthed astonishment.
“The like of the great winged eagle has not been seen in these parts for more than a century, they are part myth and legend now, our ancestors hunted them to extinction,” he explained sadly.” Huge they were, almost as big as a man with strange, hypnotic, blue eyes.” He shrugged, “so the stories claim.”
I gazed at him in stunned silence, and then finding my voice I asked, “Does the eagle have a broken wing.”
“Yes,” he said, “I checked before we burned it. It stank,” he said, “its flesh was rotting on the bone, the heat will do that.”
Only something wasn’t right. Something had changed I could sense it I could feel it and that something was me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Soon after my conversation with the headman I fell ill. I went away I think, my memory is hazy on that, but I’m back now and I am well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I grew hot and feverish, by back sore and tender to the touch. I vaguely remember summer giving way to autumn and the advent of rain and biting winter winds. Spring came in like a melody heavy with birdsong and sunshine. I stood whole then. For the first time I stood whole and strong, but no it wasn’t the first time not exactly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
During the changing seasons I lay in my bed, tossing and turning, burning with fever shaking with cold, I mumbled and moaned and know not what I said. Visions clouded my head flaring behind my eyes shimmering in cool translucent blue. The thief that I was melted in flames, though I remember it is all distant to me, the thief that I was is a stranger to me now like a borrowed memory you never own.
Strangely the raw flesh on my back healed leaving two elongated scars, to the left and right of my spine the scars ran from just above my shoulder blades on down to the base of my spine deep and straight as though cut with a knife. Though healed they remained sore and tender to the touch. Later bone ridged the two long wounds. And then soft, white, downy tufts pushed out from the bone turning to pure white feathers as wings sprouted and strengthened. The colour of my eyes slowly changed from brown to luminous blue as though, the headman said, they are lit from within. My hair thickened and curled about my neck changing from black to a pale gleaming silver-white.
Old worn out angels never die, they just linger by the side of the road waiting for you to pass by hitching a ride to no place in particular and if you are the right one if so it is you who are chosen, you live and die and live again in a moment in the angel shadow, in the shadow of the angel’s wing.
I am Azazel, Guardian of the Road and the Door.

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