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The Fall of the Second Archangel

God decreed that there would be a new plague, and that Azrael, the Angel of Death, would descend from heaven and kill the firstborn of every family upon the earth as punishment for humanity’s sins. Then, with great fear and courage in her immortal heart, the Archangel Azrael looked into her Father’s face… and refused.

The blow sent Azrael crashing to the floor. Her very bones seemed to shudder with the impact and her face seared with pain. Her arms trembled as she tried to push herself up, then a second blow to her chest sent her sprawling and screaming in agony. Her father towered over her, consumed by rage, readying himself to hit her again.         

             

     “Please father, I beg of you,” She whimpered “I cannot do it again. I cannot.” She began to crawl away, then a hand seized her by the foot and dragged her back. His touch burned like brimstone.

     “You dare disobey me.” His voice rang, deafening as the church bells of the earth below. It echoed and bounced off the gleaming white walls of the Silver City. Azrael felt her pulse slamming through her. As powerful as she was, as he had made her, it was nothing to him. She doubted greatly that any of her brothers and sisters would come to her aid. “Remember what happened to your brother Azrael, do not think I will not do the same to you.” He struck her again, and she shrieked, tears blurred her vision. “You will carry out this punishment. You will reap the souls of every firstborn on the earth below and then you will thank me for it!” he spat. Azrael raised her head, she could see her own glimmering silver-blue blood spattered across the floor. But should she obey, the bloodshed would be insurmountable. Though every part of her body protested, she forced herself up and whispered:

 

     “No.”

He reeled back. Before he had a chance to process her refusal she forced herself to her feet and sprinted toward the open archway. She threw herself over the edge just as his fingertips brushed against her back. A great, and terrible roar shook the city, sending a shiver through Azrael as she plummeted. The next thing she knew, she wished she could die. Many hundreds of hands were clawing at her, ripping away black feathers and scratching deep marks into her smooth, porcelain skin. She couldn't stretch her wings wide enough to slow her descent and she knew, with a horrible finality that she would keep falling to the earth below. One by one her brothers and sisters peeled away, screeching insults at her.

     “Traitor!”

     “Demon!”

     “Monster!”

Then she saw Michael’s face, sorrowful and beautiful as it always was. His eyes shone with tears as he watched her fall. She called out to him, but he did not answer. Instead he turned and soared upward, back into the city, a city Azrael could no longer call home. Heaven gleamed white in the setting sun, she could picture her father surrounded by the wings of her brothers and sisters. 

     "I can bear it no longer." 

When she awoke, everything was dark and cold. Not the cool breeze that drifted through Heaven’s halls but a biting, cruel thing that made her shiver violently. Her body felt broken, clinging together through sheer willpower. She whimpered. Earth was not a kind place to fallen angels, it was unlikely she would ever heal. She strained to move, her muscles howling in protest. She could not look upward, toward Heaven, so she turned instead to the ground beneath her, uttering a strangled, desperate plea.

 

     “Lucifer… brother…help me.”

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