The young man stood facing the scene before him, not quite understanding what was going on or why. His vision was only restricted to the body of a girl lying in front of him. He looked dazed, and he felt like he was choking on his own breath. His heart was constricting and expanding against his ribcage, threatening to break it to pieces. He tried crying, but no tears came out. He picked the girl gently in his arms, and his feet automatically carried him to a gate adorned with stars and jewels.
"Gabriel," he shouted and banged his head against the gate, not caring if the rods bruised him as if scorching his skin like molten fire. Gabriel arrived a while later and surveyed the boy, though said nothing. He waited patiently for the boy to regain his composure. The boy shouted again, "Please, Gabriel. She is dying; bring her back."
Gabriel said sadly, "I'm sorry, child. Her journey has already begun."
"Nooo,"…cried the young man. "You can't say that; you are an angel…one of the greater angels."
Gabriel continued in his same patient voice as he surveyed the girl, "I know what I am, child. Though, I must add that I am an Angel, not God." He added thoughtfully as a look of intense pain flashed in the boy's eyes, "There is a way to end your predicament. But are you willing to pay the price?"
The boy's eyes shone with hope and joy as if the angel's words had infused him with energy as if he was the one who had been dying and had been offered breath at the last moment. "I'll do anything."
Gabriel walked up to the limp body of the girl and placed his hands on her head. He then closed his eyes as his hand hovered over her forehead, and the body of the girl disappeared.
The boy looked at the spot where the girl had been lying a minute ago. "What did you do to her?"
"She will be fine. I have done what I can, now let me know what best can you offer?"
The sky was beginning to fill with grey clouds that sent the sunrays into hiding. Within a matter of seconds, the darkness consumed over as the wind began to howl menacingly.
Gabriel looked around, "Perhaps, we can discuss your offerings later. I believe a storm is brewing. Hurry, make yourself scarce."
The boy began, "But-"
Gabriel warned, "You don't want to be caught in this maelstrom. Do as I say." He then grabbed the boy's hand and said, "Stand by your words," before releasing him.
The boy nodded before spreading his giant wings and disappearing into the darkness.
Down on the earth, an old witch looked up at the sky, aware of a war brewing up above where no man could set his foot. She looked at the lady lying beside a small lamp in her hut. As the first bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree and sliced it into two, she asked the lady to wrap her little one in the blanket and to head for the valley deep inside the mountains. She had ensured that the lady won't be followed in the woods. There was only so much an old hag could do to prevent the wrath of the devil.
The lady was bruised and in pain, but she got up, knowing that the longer she stayed here, the harder it would be for her to get out. She thanked the old lady and set out in the heavy downpour as it rained down drops as large as bullets on her body. She looked into the eyes of the infant girl as if a mother would do and said, "You are fine, sweetheart. I won't let anyone harm you." The assurance was more to herself than the little girl whom she was going to raise as her daughter.
Up above the sky were two immortals engaged in a fierce battle. The Greater Devil, Arrog, was eyeing the Archangel Gabriel with distaste. Arrog's enormous wings were spread around him, giving him the resemblance of an overgrown bat, and his yellow eyes reeked of menace.
Arrog said, "I thought you would have been happy with my choice. Imagine my surprise when I learned that you turned on your own," and with that, slashed at Gabriel with his whip.
Gabriel deflected the whip through his sword and replied, "Even you had been one of my own not long ago. There is still time. Stop this madness."
Arrog snarled, "That was the past. You and your weak heart will lead you to your doom. I will have what I want, with you or without you. I will find that sprite, and I will choke her to death if I have to."
Gabriel tried to reason, "Death is not the solution to everything Arrog. You won't lay your hands on the celestial weapon by going on a killing spree."
Arrog leered, revealing his most wicked smile, "Well, then I have just the right weapon in my arsenal."
And with that, he disappeared into thin air. The thunderous booms echoing throughout the sky came to a halt as the clouds began to clear. The old witch who had been staring up thanked the Gods for their blessings. As she turned around to go into her dilapidated hut, she saw a dark figure waiting for her outside the door.
The dark figure had no shadow and moved with serpentine grace. It asked, "Where is she?" in an eerily calm tone that sent the old woman shivering though it was not from the cold but fear that crept through her bones. She spat and uttered, "On my dead body." The dark figure smirked and said, "Regrettable choice of words," before sending a knife straight into the witch's heart. It stepped over the dead body and scanned the horizon, calculating its next move.