*This story is for the NANOWRIMO x WINNERS contest and therefore hasn't been edited as thoroughly as some of my other works. I apologize upfront for all grammatical and structural errors. Feel free to point them out so I can fix them.*
**There's several weird scenes in here including kinks, terrible situations, and uncomfortable moments. EVERYTHING IS CONSENSUAL but there are several uncommon scenes such as enemas, somnophilia, orgy chains, and lots of talk about heaven/hell and the natural order of the world. There are a lot of toxic love situations, bad decisions, and many 'what the fuck' moments. Don't like that? Please don't read this.**
Sitting by the golden lakes of gate #1, I dipped one foot into the warmth, releasing the way it rippled over my skin. If only my heart could be as calm and unbothered as this slice of heaven was. Four years ago, I had been an angel in training like the rest of them, discovering my gift and learning to use my wings. It had been a few beautiful moments of bliss.
Granted, with a name like Ariuk, everyone thought teasing me about it would make me more comfortable with it. It was supposed to mean strong warrior or something, but I was more of a fly-off-the-handle kind of angel, suited for snarky comments and bad decisions. Not that anyone expected much out of me. While my father was affluent in this realm, he wasn’t the brightest. He was good at what he did – which fuck if I knew what it was – and nothing else. So, it only made sense that I’d be a total kumquat at anything other than whatever gift I ended up getting.
Life was grand for a good little while.
Until my fucking father that challenging god was the next chip on his bingo board.
It hadn’t been and his essence disappeared from heaven in an instant.
God hadn’t even sent him to hell. He just knocked him out of existence.
And now everyone was waiting for me to do the same thing.
I, however, wasn’t stupid. I didn’t want to challenge god for anything other than silence and for everyone to leave me the fuck alone.
Even the angels I used to call friends kicked me to the outskirts of heaven, to the point that it wasn’t even worth it going for lessons anymore. With the constant bickering and fights I kept getting into, I wasn’t fit to be an angel.
It’s not like I had any choice with these dumbass wings strapped to my back.
“Yo, Ariuk!” I bristled at my name, hating it more when it was said aloud than when I saw it written. I didn’t even turn to see who had called it, as there was only one fucker who ever sought me out. Domiel, my ex-boyfriend, thought pitying me was the way to go after he so rudely dumped me when my father exploded into nothingness. It was his way of apologizing, but I really wished he’d just give up already. “They’re serving refreshments in Lush Gardens. The fruit is quite ripe this time of year!”
He sounded positively too happy like all the angels did when they weren’t scowling at my existence. “Yeah, not hungry,” I responded, my eyes still trained on the wonderful sensation of the golden lake on my skin. We weren’t even really supposed to be touching it, as it was to bathe the humans of their transgressions when they arrived. It was too bad my middle name was rulebreaker. Granted, I wasn’t going to jump in but I had thought about it.
“Ariuk,” Domiel purred as he crept closer, placing a hand on my shoulder. I wasn’t sure what for, seeing as we weren’t dating, but the closeness of all the angels was preached far and wide. Unfortunately, I kind of hated it which just made me more of an outcast. “You’ve been sulking for a while. You really need to-”
Here we go again.
I had gotten used to the little speeches Domiel tried to cheer me up but it had the opposite effect. They made me angry. They made me realize how cliquish everything was, how everything was so fucking unfair. I had to prove myself over and over and over again because my father had fucked up.
It didn’t matter that my scores were among the best.
What everyone focused on was that the evil my father had brought into heaven most likely flowed through me. I also hadn’t figured out what my gift was, which was unheard of at my age. 26 years and counting and no gift. I could feel the power of this ethereal space thrumming through my veins but I hadn’t been able to manifest it like the others.
So, everyone just thought something was wrong with me.
Domiel droned on about fitting in and becoming one with the angels while I tried to think about my next meal. They didn’t really serve hamburgers up here although I could dip down to earth for a quick bite if I wasn’t caught. My mind trailed off into the wonderful world of human foods until something swiped through my wings and I jumped up to my feet, hands at the ready, frowning when Domiel just stood there, concern plastered on my face.
Touching wings was another one of those strange things that angels did to show compassion or love or whatever the fuck they wanted. I, however, did not feel for any of the others and did not enjoy them running their fingers through my feathers. Add on the fact that a few of the feathers beneath the top coat were a brilliant shade of midnight, I didn’t want anyone touching me.
“We’re all really worried about you, Ariuk.”
I bit my tongue before I blurted that out, trying not to get myself in any more trouble. A worried Domiel was a problem because he liked to blab to anyone who would hear that I needed help. I didn’t though. I just didn’t have a support system anymore.
Angels were created and given to mentors. The closest comparison to the human realm was a parent and my father had earned his right to have his own apprentice – me. His power helped create me, which is why everyone immediately thought I was evil when my father decided challenging god was a great idea.
“Okay, cool. I’m not hungry. Can you go away?”
Domiel shook his head. “Wish I could but Gabriel needs to see you.”
“Gabriel?” Being summoned by one of the archangels was never a good thing. Me being summoned was a disastrous thing. Maybe they were going to put me out of my misery once and for all and make me disappear like my father. Unlikely, but one could hope. I managed a shrug and followed him, keeping my head tucked so I didn’t have to thwart any of the comments that usually came my way.
It didn’t take long before I was entering the main hall, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael turning to look at me with hardened expressions that couldn’t mean anything good. God was suspiciously absent although I knew he was listening in somewhere.
Domiel gave them all a little bow before disappearing out the front door and leaving me at their mercy.
Raphael approached slowly with that stupid levitating gait he liked to air in front of everyone, “Ariuk, please have a seat.”
“I’d rather stand.”
His gift – air – surrounded me and forced me into a sitting position, a chair fitting against my ass. “And I told you to have a seat.”
One more look between the three of them and I knew whatever revelation they were about to give me wasn’t good.