THE FALL OF HELEL
“How art thou fallen from heaven
O day-star, son of the morning!
How art thou cast down to the ground,
That didst cast lots over the nations!
And thou saidst in thy heart:
’I will ascend into heaven,
Above the stars of God
Will I exalt my throne;
And I will sit upon the mount of meeting,
In the uttermost parts of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet thou shalt be brought down to the nether-world,
To the uttermost parts of the pit.”
– Isaiah 14:12-15
I remembered that day like a picture in my mind. The taste of bitterness and betrayal on my tongue, the tension of my brothers and sisters around me as we faced Lucifer; the brightness in his eyes and the cruel curls of his lips when he said words I would never forget.
“I will ascend to heaven, I will be the highest of the stars, follow me now and I will let you into my garden, brothers.” His wings outstretched, wavering above the others. I watched them all in silence behind Michael; their faces of white had begun to color, gray like ashes from hell. Their wings turned to black, their feathers like sharp knives had yellowed with rust. I realized then when this is over half of heaven will fall to hell and secretly I mourned for them. It would be a long and painful fall, I thought.
“Lucifer, O son of the morning!” Michael said, his voice was like thunder among the great silence in heaven. “How low have you fallen! You will be cast down from heaven to the deepest part of the abyss,” Micheal pointed the weapon of heaven; the arrow of the spear shone brighter than fire, pushing back the army standing before them.
“What wrong have I done!?” He stood even higher. The Garden behind him sparkled like thousands of diamonds, illuminating the curls of his hair, the whiteness of his wings sparkled.
“Your ‘will’s’ will never be reality and it shall never be forgiven! You have let proudness take you, corrupt the wisdom in you, and used your freedom to turn your back. This is betrayal in which you will be punished! I cast you now, a place have been prepared for you and there you forever will be,”
As he finished the ground between them began to crack and in it came blazing fire, blue and horrible and terrifying. The stench of hell had reached them along with the laughter of demons and screaming souls.
For a moment I thought Lucifer would surrender, but he didn’t even stop to rethink. Though no one can ever escape the fire of hell, Lucifer marched forward followed by his army of fallen angels as if the never-ending fire did not scare them.
The feeling was agonizing as we collided, sword to sword. They were fast, aggressive, and merciless; sure of winning the war. I swung my sword against my brothers, desperate to survive. I thought perhaps they would really lose because no matter how hard we pushed them away, they would always come back. The blinding lightning and loud thunder as Michael and Lucifer fought filled the gap between the rest of the angels. Some had fallen and their wings were cut off, their faces smeared with silver blood, tears swelling with screams.
But although some of us had fallen, the spirit of God and His blessings had made us strong long enough until centuries past and their fire had begun to wither. One by one, the angels had fallen and I have seen their faces of defeat and fear as they prayed for mercy; but it was too late. I stood on the corner of the cliff, where it dropped down to a bottomless pit. Lucifer still stood strong; his sword against Michael’s.
“Surrender brother, there is no escape,”
“I will never surrender, for if I cannot conquer heaven than I shall take earth!” He gave his last blow, slicing open Michael’s armor as if it was not made from heaven’s iron but delicate leafs, sending him back a few steps when finally, after centuries his face had begun to crack, it was no longer beautiful but terrifying. It was the first time I have ever seen Michael angry.
“Your place in hell has been made, hell will have you! You will be in torment; burned in the fire, lonely for no one will ever reply to your calling, convicted of your sins, thirst for there is no drop of water, forever you will fall, and the stench of your brother’s bodies will follow you.” Once again Michael wields his sword, now the light blazed with heaven’s fire; pure white and Holy. Lucifer knelt, “No! I am the highest of creation!”
“But you have fallen the lowest. Even if you go to earth, you will be left exposed for kings to feast their eyes on you, no one will ever see you for you are nothing more than the ashes of your burning remains,” I stayed put, along with my brothers as I witness Lucifer stretched his wings, slowly turning black, something like wax dripping from his feathers. I flinched when his face cracked like an eggshell, his eyes turning red, sharp dagger teeth filling his mouth. Even so, his beauty was undeniable. It wasn’t the same beauty as the Lucifer who served the High Mighty, but it was the beauty of something dark; if that was possible. I never thought I would think that something evil could still look pretty.
He stood, facing them all as heaven doors opened on him, but there was no sign of defeat on his face; only vengeance he was sure to have. We stayed silence, our body and robes dirtied with silver blood, shredded to small pieces, the body of our fallen brothers lying on our feet.
“This is not over angel,”
“It is Lucifer, you have lost this battle,” Michael denied.
Lucifer laughed an evil laugh, a smirk cracking his face even more, “Oh but on the contrary, never before there were angels roaming the surface of the earth but I will change that, it is harsh and death marks his territory there. It is too cruel for your fragile hearts to see so much injustice and suffering, but you will feel that pain anyway and when you do you will remember me. This is a never-ending battle, angel, a war that you cannot finish unless I end it.” It was his last words because afterward, he fell backward, the sound of his wings made the sky tremble; slowly fading away into silence.
Though the war had been won and the army had been defeated but no drums of victory was heard that day. I was standing at the back, watching as Michael departed to the throne; giving his report. Not that He didn’t already know but everything was always reported anyway, no matter how small it was. I watched the empty faces of my comrades on my foot. What kind of victory is it when you lost so many I did not know.
“Tabbris,” Dina called, her face was a mixture of pain of loss and tiredness. Even so, her back was straight and her eyes were dry, though her closest friend did not survive the battle, she did not weep. “I have received an important command for you,”
“For me?” I looked back at the high silver gates. “Is it about Lucifer?”
“You had gone to earth before, to help build the land and color the sky, you know earth better than any of us. You will have to capture him,”
“I alone?” The thought was terrifying.
“Do not fear brother, you are strong and blessed. The light of heaven is with you.” Dina smiled a soft encouraging smile. “Lucifer is weak now. If there is anytime better, it is now.”
“I wish there would be reconsideration about this. Even Michael almost could not stand against him. What chance do I have?”
“Do you not believe?” It was that question. The question that shut whatever doubt anyone could possibly have; for when you have faith then you could accomplish. I turned my face away, staring at the white distance and hills of Eden. The light shining from between the slopes.
“I believe,” I finally whispered. “But I don’t believe wrestling him to hell is a practical solution.”
“I see, of course, you would be armed brother,” Dina patted his arm, “Iruthiel will be your weapon. As long as you believe, Lucifer will not stand a chance against you.” A sword was given to me by another angel, his face was half sliced but his other eye was calm and gentle. “I wish you luck,” He said.
“Thank you,” And they both turned away, going back to their next assignment. I didn’t move yet, weighing the sword in my hand. It wasn’t so long and wasn’t heavy, the material like transparent ice.
“Tabbris, may I have a word with you.” Another voice called.
“Hadraniel, have you come to wish me luck?” I smiled. From all, there was only one angel who was melancholic.
“No, I’ve come to you with a warning,” He announced. His copper hair a messy tangle around his soft jaw lines, his face smeared with blood. I hung the sword behind me, feeling the light weight of it between my shoulder blades.
“No, about earth and the dangers of it. About... love.”
“Am I hearing this correctly? Are you warning an angel about love? Come come, if an angel cannot feel love than where does his loyalty come from?”
“You don’t understand,” I never heard Hadraniel spoke so harshly, his voice was hard, stubborn, and desperate. His eyes darkened with something I couldn’t understand. I suppose it was normal that I couldn’t grasp what I was warned about though I could very well feel love. Only the angel of love; the designer and the engineer of it could truly understand what law it bides to.
“Love comes in different sizes, forms, and style. There are true ones and there are some that could only manage a spark but no matter how it is, whether it is just the beginning or the true shape of it, it is deadly, sneaky, and dangerous, mostly to you brother.”
“I’m afraid I do not understand,” I said.
Hadraniel shook his head with pity, “I know of the beauty that could trap a man’s heart and the clutching sensation of it, I designed it and I fear you would fall into it too brother. No angel has ever stayed long on earth but I know your journey would be long. Lucifer wouldn’t come easily, not without a fight.”
“You don’t have to worry, I will be fine. I will make sure I will not fall in it.” I said after a pause. Hadraniel looked baffled, “But how? You wouldn’t know when it comes.”
I placed my hand on his shoulder, “I must go, I have no time to spare.”
“But Tabbris!” He called out, I could hear his voice slowly fading away as I flew down to earth. The change of elements around me and the different taste of the wind and the air made me forget everything else. Hadraniel’s warning stayed in my mind but as the journey to find Lucier began, it was then forgotten.
If I knew I would be searching for Lucifer back then than I wouldn’t make the layer of the world so complicated. Not that I had any other choice, besides I didn’t design it I just helped to build it, that’s all. Still, everything was so large, outstretching from every side around me. The ocean was deep but I doubted Lucifer would go hide there, it was pitch black down there, with no food and no drinkable water. If Lucifer wasn’t so picky with what he ate than there is the possibility, but someone like him, I knew would rather hide where he could see everything fall apart. It was then when I saw human civilization. There were different kind of houses and buildings, each shape and size different one another. Some had larger windows some smaller. There were rugs and clothes hanging from ropes, mothers with their children carrying fruits, some with milk, and eggs. They were wearing wooden shoes, besides the river was a large windmill, cows gathering in the middle of the meadow. And then there was a girl, playing with water.
My mission that moment had been forgotten and there was only her, walking away in her light blue and white dress, her hip was tied with red ribbon, her hair a curly gold. I watched her as she walked into a large house, with two chimneys, tall windows were opened, showing dishes filled with meat, chicken, potatoes, and tomatoes.
From there my way has always past that very spot where I saw her again and again. Each day I knew more of her and I learned of human time… The meaning of a second, the complacent nature of a minute, the laughter of an hour, and so on… how much time she had. It was sad, to think that youth will fade away and Time would take her.
How can I let it pass and let regret eat me away forever? The thought that Death would end my chance of ever speaking a word to her was unbearable. I should at least say something, it didn’t matter what. I just wanted to talk to her, to hear her say my name and look at her as she spoke; to me.
And so I did what I did. I transformed my form into one that can touch the surface of the world. It was bizarre, the feeling of gravity pooling your entire being to the ground. But that strange feeling was tolerate-able when my fingers touch the softness of the grass, and my cheeks blushed from the wind. Everything looked so much closer when I was there; the roof of a garden house where they kept their gardening utensils, the rough ground where ants walked on it in one line, and the mirror. I wondered if what I felt then was what Narcisses had felt when he saw his reflection in the water. I was beautiful too.
With that I braced myself, thinking that with what I had, I have nothing to worry about. Humans had that basic nature in them, some stronger some not at all, to have a liking for something or someone beautiful. Besides, I wouldn’t talk to her again. This was a onetime chance, at least it was what I planned.
“Good afternoon,” I said, my bare foot felt cold and wet, and it was not comfortable. It was probably why humans had created shoes, I understood, they were just a bit more creative on what to do to make their shoes as an accessory as well.
“Good afternoon,” Willemijn turned, letting her skirt fall down; covering her foot. She blinked a few times, looking around as if searching for someone.
“Are you looking for someone?”
“Are you here alone?” She asked me, suspicious. The beautiful scenery around us made movement and noises as everything changed constantly. I wondered if Willemijn could see that too.
I frowned, “I am. If I was not, that person would stand by me.”
“It’s not polite to sneak behind a lady and talk to her with no company.” She lifted her nose, narrowing her eyes. How beautiful they were, I thought then, that color does not exist in this world; it must have been created just for her.
“I mean no harm. I wanted to talk to you, just to talk to you.”
A good question. “I don’t have anything to talk about, I just want to talk to you, that is all.” I said. Now if I think about it, I must sound rather stupid to her. Perhaps, the fact that I never talked with words made me forget that I needed a certain topic to start the conversation. Us angels, we sometimes talk with no topic at all, just for the sake of erasing our loneliness.
“Well surely someone has a purpose to what they want to convey. How can you say something with no meaning?”
“My purpose is just to talk to you. You are my goal.”
“My,” She clasped her lips. “You are bold.”
“Am I?” I smiled, “Then should I tell what my name is, miss?”
She looked around for someone again, but this time I noticed she just wanted to make sure no one was there to witness their small introduction.
“I would like to know, yes.”
“My name is…” I paused, realizing something. “Jesse.” The penalty of revealing our identity as an angel was unknown but at the same time feared. There was no penalty harsher than ones from heaven.
“Jesse? I’ve never heard that name before. Are you not from around here? A foreign country perhaps? Where do you come from?”
I thought about it for a moment, “Somewhere.”
“Somewhere where? You certainly are not French, you don’t have that accent.”
“What makes you think of France? You heard of how your sister describes French men, and you think they are all handsome and gentlemen’s. Because you think I am handsome as well.” I grinned, wondering what I sounded like if I could hear myself speak. But the blush on her cheeks afterward sent whatever thought I had away. It was worth it.
Her eyes widened. “I… do not think you are handsome.”
“Oh, but you do.” I blinked an eye, sending her back a few steps.
“How old are you?”
“I am as old as Time,” I replied truthfully.
“You are mad!” She said, then walked away from me; her skirt flying around her ankle with the soft sound of fabric sweeping the grass.
I stood there startled, “Wait! Please! I’m sorry!”
“I am Willemijn,” She said half looking back, “I’ll see you again I think? If not it was nice meeting you.” And then she was gone, back in her house again. From here, I could only make out the side of it, the tall triangle rooftop, and white paint. Large trees protected the house from the sun, an empty swing hung from one of its branches.
I didn’t think it went well at all, but there is joy there where it filled my chest with pleasure and care. I thought perhaps I should give it another try, anyway how can I leave this conversation unfinished?
I transformed to my original form, where my fire of heaven lit the ground like thousands of fireflies and when I smiled my fire burned even brighter. The sensation was rocking, like explosive being set in my chest as I continued my journey. My mind was filled with Willemijn and Lucifer, all mashed together. I didn’t even care anymore if Lucifer wanted to hide in a very well place, besides that meant I could stay here longer and perhaps see Willemijn again.
The lands under me were all green, wild, and untouched. Some mountains stood tall and proud, the reeking arrogance came from them, screaming ‘No human has ever climbed me and survived,’ but I knew that would not last long. Even Everest, the greatest of Ariels designs would someday feel the feeling of human foot walking her body. It was not a guess nor was it a psychic power. It was logic. What God had created man for, was to dominate and protect the earth. But seeing how things are now, I would guess that He was only right about the domination part. After all, humans loved the beauty of nature but greed was part of them as well.
“Tabbris, Tabbris, how are you, my old friend?” A soft voice came from between the cracks in the mountains. I frowned, following Lucifer’s voice to an opening where a cave stood wide-mouthed. It was dark, wet, and covered with moss. The trees reaching high nearly touching the sky, their leafs deterred the sun from coming through. Even so, I could still see well enough to make his shape in the darkness. His eyes were a pair of yellow glowing light.
“I am not your friend. How foolish of you to call me here.”
“Are you saying that you would be able to catch me anyway if I didn’t show myself?” Lucifer asked, a grin playing on his face; breathtaking. Lucifer was always God’s most beautiful angel; his face was a combination of the softness and hardness of water. His eyes were colored with gold, his lips were perfectly shaped, with curly dark brown hair that touched his collar, and rectangular jaw. No human could ever reject Lucifer; I suddenly understood why he had to be taken to Hades. Though earth was a place where the habitats of Edom went to look for prey, Lucifer could take over.
“No. You just made my work easier for me.”
“Exactly what I meant,” Lucifer came out from the darkness, his clothing had changed to a human styled one, an expensive looking suit with embroiled designs on his dark red vest. “I think I’ll make my last score before I rot forever in hell.”
“Make yourself clear Lucifer, what do you mean?”
“I think we both know perfectly what I mean? I know what it is in your heart Tabbris, you will fall deeper than I would ever fall. I… fell for something worth fighting for; I fell because I knew I could stand in God’s place… but you? I love to see how you would end your story.”
My body tensed and around me, Mother Nature had stopped to watch. Her curious eyes plastered my entire being. “You can never stand in His place. You exist because of Him.” I reached back and raised my sword, but Lucifer didn’t even move a muscle. Like a cat, he was leaning back on the mountain walls, relaxing. “Ignoring the important part of this entire conversation I see. He doesn’t need your defend Tabbris, know that.”
“I have enough of your game Lucifer, under the command of the Lord; you will now be sentenced to prison for eternity.”
“And before that, I have my last score. I’ll make you a deal!”
“Speak all you want,” My sword shone as I raised it even higher above his head. Lucifer grinned, replacing whatever screams of pain he should have given instead. His body stiffened and Lucifer fell to his knees, both hands flat on the ground. I stood there, seeing my comrade fall to this tragic end when he said, “Have Hadraniel ever told you that love is overpowering? Without you knowing, loving someone gives that person power over you. Hadraniel should be thrown to hell for his design of love, along with me.”
I said nothing and he continued, “When will you ever come back here again Tabbris, to this deceiving heaven? Do you not have fear, that your freedom from Time will take her away without you knowing?” He gritted his teeth, wounds on his body started to take shape like long claw marks around his body. He laughed loud and hard, the wind blew around us. But I could tell that Mother Nature was afraid of his laugh, to what meaning his laughter holds.
“Who are you talking about?”
“Who else Tabbris? Who else?” He looked up, blood welling from between his teeth.
“What do you know?”
“More than you.” Lucifer replied, “I will make you this deal angel, for I am now the devil and I have the power to make this bargain with you. Let me free, I only request more time from you. When I am done I will surrender, and in the meantime… you too will have more time here on earth. Wasn’t there someone you desired to speak with?”
My hands shook, “You will surrender?”
“You have my word.” He insisted, standing up. The power of the sword dies along with the will of the person who wields it. And so it was all the proof he needed to break free. “Say it angel, say the word… say it and you will have time.”
“Agreed.” And with that Lucifer’s face changed with small cracks like an eggshell, lined with black lines and splotches of fire. His eyes turned all black when he spread his wings, all in black like tar; dripping down from it was what looked like melting wax. As it touched the ground, the grass died and the rocks melted. Around me I could hear whispers of Mother Nature, her sweet sound like honey, ‘What have you done?’