An Angel's Mark

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This Is Where I Leave You

She had fallen so suddenly that not only had Archon not been able to catch her but Sablo hadn’t been able to teleport to her in time either. As he gently held her crumpled body in his arms Archon quickly checked all her vitals. Unable to hear any breaths he laid her down on a patch of uncompressed grass and began to use his powers to try and heal her. He was expecting a similar power struggle to the one he had experienced when trying to save Constance Lee. However, this time it was far worse and he couldn’t seem to get his powers to work at all. Every time he tried, her body snuffed out the sparks of an form of healing he could create. Once that didn’t work he even tried CPR, again to no avail. He wanted to believe that it was because he was so panicked but deep down he knew the real reason why he was so helpless to help her.

You couldn’t heal something that was already dead.

“How bad is it?” Mae asked. It was obvious to anyone able to see the desperation in Archon’s face that the situation was a matter of life and death. The angel had even resorted to using human methods such as CPR to try and save their friend but she didn’t want to think of the worst.

However, when Archon the most optimistic one of them all sat back in defeat, tears welling in his eyes the realisation finally hit them. It wasn’t through anything he said, for in the moments that followed he didn’t utter a word. It was the pain in his eyes, the radiant yellow orbs were rapidly emptied and replaced with a depressing murky mustard hue instead. Reflected in them was the kind of sorrow that swallowed you whole, not even sparing the outermost regions of your soul.

“No she can’t be. I refuse to believe it, you can fix this right Archon?” Celeste questioned hopefully as tears began to form in her eyes too. Upon seeing the reluctant shaking of his head, she fell to the ground on top of Lillian’s cold body in a crumpled mass of despair.

The other young women followed suit trying to reassure her even though they weren’t faring much better themselves. The Nephilim who had already rushed to Archon’s side did their best to offer the little comfort he was willing to accept.

“How did this happen? It was all going so well in fact now I think about it, it probably went too well ” Geneva wailed in her uncharacteristically debilitated state.

“Wait say that again” Ramiel requested and after Geneva repeated what she had said sadly it became all became clear to him.

“I think there is a reason why you found it so easy to defeat Lucifer” He proclaimed.

“Yes of course why didn’t we see it before.” Daniel said nodding in agreement.

Whilst the other angels shared knowing looks the girls became more agitated at being left in the dark.

“Well what was it?” Faye snapped not in the mood for any more terrible surprises. As far as she could tell there was no way that he could make a disastrous reappearance and she hoped it would stay that way.

“It was clear from the beginning that Lucifer would sorely underestimate you but he is still a tactical mastermind . There is no way he just gave up.” Sablo said logically. He had obviously seen what the others were getting at.

“Exactly, logic then follows that he would have tried to divide and conquer. It is the oldest trick in the book.” Nathaniel remarked.

“For some reason he saw Lilian as the weakest link and targeted her” Micah noted.

“Expecting her to relent he must he just keep on throwing more and more of his energy at her, which distracted him as the rest of you overcame him.” Michael concluded

“She held on for as long as she possibly could” Archon lamented as he closed Lillian’s eye lids and brushed her matted hair out of her face.

“How are we going to tell her family?” Cora remarked to no one in particular. There was no way any of them would be able to look Lilian’s parents in the eyes and blatantly lie to them about how she had died. It was there worst possible news to tell anyone but Lillian had inherited her happy-go-lucky attitude from the both of them. It would be like extinguishing the Sun, that was how bright the Smith’s made the world around them.

It was now also dawning on them all the practical consequences of the day’s events. With Afriel gone they would have to make their own way back to Ghana but that was the least of their problems. They hadn’t even had time to properly mourn him before Lillian had tragically died.

“We need to pray” Geneva said sternly. The others couldn’t decide what was more shocking the fact that Geneva who had not so long ago been a non-believer was suggesting they should pray; or the fact that she was encouraging them to do it at a time when her friend lay dead beneath them.

“Excuse me, you want us to pray! For what exactly? What kind of God would let this happen? After everything we have all sacrificed for him. She didn’t deserve this. Now you want me to beg the Creator who did this for his help to fix something that he broke?” Archon spat venomously but they all knew that these were words not from him heart but from his unrelenting grief and pain. They were all close but he and Lillian shared the special connection that only a guardian and ward could. It felt like a every piece of him had died with her and he just couldn’t see past his anger and blame. Geneva tried to reach out to him so he could join the prayer circle but he refused violently wrestling his forearm from her grip. Still, she was not deterred and persisted on with her plan. Holding hands with the others over Lillian’s dead body she began to pray. Archon stood off to the side making it clear he didn’t want to be part of their actions but not wanting to too far from Lillian’s corpse.

“Father God, we want to thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed upon us on this day and for giving us the strength to defeat the Devil himself. We don’t know why you do the things you do but we are thankful anyway for the abilities you gave us in order to save the world and every being in it. It is not for us to question but if it is your will please bring back those we have lost back to us. In Jesus mighty name, Amen” Geneva concluded and a chorus of Amen’s followed. Though they had taken part in the prayer for Geneva’s sake, many if not all the others had not thought Archon’s reaction to be unjustified.

They then sat in a circle around Lillian and found themselves joined by Archon shortly after. Soon more than an hour had passed in complete and utter silence. They were still just as tired, fearful and utterly hopeless as they had been before. With every drop of morale now having been well and truly decimated.

Then unbeknownst to them time froze.

Thunder and lightning signalled the timely entrance of the Lord Almighty. In blissful haze of astounding technicolour as he came down to Earth.

He took a brief moment to take in the expressions of all his young children. It was extremely rare for him to make appearances in person and only his angels could take in the magnitude of his true presence so he thought it better to stop the wheels of time instead. He saw so much pain and sorrow from them all and he felt it in equal measure, but what stood out to him most prominently was all the blame and doubt they had in him. He gently passed his had across Archon’s cheek as only a father could, it was wrong of his little sun to judge him so harshly but he was as forgiving as he was powerful. Though he and Afriel had been spending some quality time together moments before his Earthly arrival. He knew those now standing frozen around him would be very pleased to know that he had decided to make the trip. It wasn’t Lillian’s time to join him yet but he was sure they would all see each other again soon enough.

He knelt down beside her and snaped his majestic fingers, which sparked with a brilliant yellow lightning. He then pointed them towards her body, the projectiles hitting her in consecutive blasts bringing more and more colour to her warming brown skin with each hit. Once his work was done he stood up and made his exit but not before taking one more look at a select handful of his beloved creation. They were worth every trial they put him through and every doubting and blasphemous thought they said in his name. He would always find it in his heart to love and forgive them.

In a flash the space-time continuum was restored.

Not even seconds later Lillian took a deep breath in and snapped her eyes open. The reception she had then received had been a mixture of joy and shock but once they had figured out she wasn’t a ghost or possessed they had quickly overcome it.

“Has anyone every told you that you are really adorable when you are worried?” Lillian had cheekily asked Archon upon awaking.

“Funnily enough they haven’t” Archon had remarked. His tears of sadness immediately being replaced by tears of joy. The dullness that had once filled them was burnt away by a brightness he was seemingly unable to extinguish. He held her firmly to his chest and as he did caught Geneva’s eye. He mouthed a thank you which she quickly dismissed. In his eyes it was her faith that had returned Lillian to him, in actuality he knew it had to be much more complex than that but her prayers can’t have hurt. God’s plan had to be followed even if it wasn’t always to your liking and this was just another reminder of that. He silently repented for all the terrible things he had thought and said in the father’s name not a minute ago.

They were then quickly able to fill Lillian in on what she had missed, it hadn’t taken long because most of the time spent mourning her death had been experienced in a haunting silence.

Just as they had theorised Lillian had sacrificed herself for the greater good but they were too relieved to give her the appropriate telling off. One by one the all hugged her and then they found themselves in a group hug orchestrated by none other than the newly alive Lillian herself. Archon eyes refused to leaved her form almost as if he was afraid she would die on him again if he did.

“Right, now what?” Lillian asked looking around expectantly.

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