Human to Angel
The change from human to Angel was something that will forever be a vivid part of my memories. It wasn't at all like what I'd heard people say it'd be like once you died, though I doubted anyone truly knew until they actually died.
When I first got to Heaven―no, that's not right. This place was neither Heaven nor Hell. After a day or two of wandering around after having first woken up to this strange place I ran into someone. They wore a long gray hooded cloak that hid their whole body from sight, all but the bottom half of their face was completely covered.
“I'm sorry, but could you please tell me where I am?”
I asked, hoping to get some answers to all the questions swimming around in my head, but they didn't answer my question. When they spoke what they said rooted me to the spot by a mix of fear and confusion.
“Don't try to remember.”
The figure said, their voice was distinctvely male, but it wasn't what they had said that had frightened me so much as the way they had said it. Like they knew something I didn't.
“It will pain you in more ways than one to remember.”
He continued, breaking me out of my confused state.
“What are you talking about? Who are you? Where are we? What's going on around here?”
I asked question after question, unable to hold them back anymore. I was more than a little bit scared, I was alone in a place I had never seen before and this man wasn't helping. If anything he was making it worse.
“All your questions will be answered.”
I started to say but the hooded man shook his head, the action making his hood move enough for me to see the rest of his face. He looked to a little older than I was, his skin was pale, almost paper white, and his eyes looked like he had been born without sight. Before I was able to say anything else, the man started backing away.
“Trying to remember your human life will cause you pain, but it'll be far worse if by some chance you remember how you died. Because if you do you'll become a Reaper.”
I shuddered at the seriousness in his voice, as if he had been to the future and seen this happening. He started backing away again and I took a step forward trying to reach him before he got too far.
“Don't try to remember.”
And with that, the mysterious man was gone. None of my questions had been answered, if anything I had more than I did to start with.
Don't try to remember.....but, could I be able to help it if I did?
I wondered silently to myself before sighing, there was no way of telling, it wasn't like I could tell the future or anything. Seeing as standing around confused did me no good, I chose to start walking in the direction I felt I'd get some answers. The scenery didn't change all that much as I walked, there were trees here and there, no buildings so I didn't know if I was in some deserted area or if no town even exsisted where I was. The ground I was walking on looked like cobblestone, yet it was clearly made of something other than stone. It looked more like clouds, though how could clouds make anything, they were just billowy puffs of water and air right?
Suddenly my stomach started knotting up and I felt like I was going to be sick. The ground started swaying beneath my feet and I fell to my knees, my vision was going hazy and I started having trouble breathing, then everything went dark.
I woke to a searing pain in my back. It made me shoot out of the bed I was lying in.
Wait a minute, since when was I in a bed?
Pain coursed through my body, making thinking impossible. At first the pain was all over, then it migrated to my shoulders. Just when I thought it would go away, the pain intensified. It felt as if someone was dragging the blade of a knife after having stabbed it all the way to the hilt up my back as slowly as possible just to draw out the torture I was experiencing. I believe that's when the wingtips broke through my skin. They continued to push out, stretching and ripping my skin as they tried to settle in place. I felt a hot, sticky liquid run down my back as more and more of the wings tore themselves free. Even in death I'd never known such torture.
A new wave of pain coursed through my body and my knees buckled, sending me to the floor. I caught myself with my hands then tried to push myself back up, but as I did I could feel bones cracking and moving around beneath my skin. The sickening sounds of blood, bone, muscle, wing, and skin moving was enough to make my stomach churn and almost make me lose whatever the last thing I ate was. It felt like an eternity I was hunched over on my hands and knees as my skin was torn wider and wider while wings the length of my body came out like a creature from a horror movie.
Finally, the pain stopped. The sound of skin being shredded, bones bending, muscles molding to new structures, and my own blood-curdling screams of agony that I couldn't hold back all ceased and I was left with a room of nothing but ear-deafening silence. The pain had stopped when the wings finally settled into place and was replaced by a dull throbbing mainly focused at my shoulder blades, the place it all started.
I sat there, completely still as blood dripped from my wings onto the already soaked carpet. I couldn't move, my body was completely numbed from the pain it had just gone through, the only thing I could feel was the weight of the wings hanging from my back. The sound of my labored breathing reminded me that I was alone and had to do something or I'd risk bleeding out. Could one even die if they were already dead? Mentally shaking the idea away, I looked around the room, scanning it with my eyes and saw the floor was covered in what once were pure-white feathers, they were now tainted and covered with the dark crimson blood that had once coursed through my veins.
Deciding I had put it off as long as I could, I tried to get up, but all I managed to do was straighten up so I was sitting on my knees. The sheer amount of mind-numbing pain that shot through my body again was enough to make my eyes roll back into my skull and everything went black.
The feeling of my skin being tugged at woke me and helped pull me from the dark embrace of unconsiousness. The tugging, I realized, wasn't on my skin but on my wings. I wasn't sure what was going on, I still couldn't find the strength to do much more than lay there with my eyes closed and try to get a feel for my surroundings by sound alone. When the gentle tugging got a little rougher I hissed in pain, but then felt a hand smooth over the spot that was agitated.
“Oh, you're awake!”
A voice said in surprise from my left.
“Thank Heavens, not everyone suvives the change.”
They said, their voice sounded like that of a grandmother, soft and gentle. Almost like it could wrap you up in a warm, fuzzy hug.
“Your wings developed quite nicely considering they broke trough on their own, and they have such a wonderful color to them.”
I turned my head towards the woman's voice and struggled to open my eyes to see who was talking to me. As my vision came into focus I saw an elderly woman with silver-white hair to her shoulders, clear blue eyes, wrinkles set into a soft face and light blue wings sitting next to the bed. She had what looked like a wash bin and brush on the table next to her.
“You must be tired from the change.”
She said, pulling my attention from the bin of bloody water.
“Well, your wings are clean now so I should probably let you get some sleep.”
The woman said as she stood up and headed for the door.
I called out after her, but my voice was hoarse from my screams before and was no louder than a whisper. Still, she heard and stopped just at the door and gave me a small smile.
“So you can talk, and you're welcome.”
She said before leaving and I suddenly felt lonely. I was in a strange place all by myself, wings had sprouted from my back, I'd lost enough blood to kill someone, and now was left alone by the second person I'd seen since waking up the first time. Questions still swarmed around inside my head, but as I lay there I found it hard to focus on anything for too long. I looked around the room and noticed that it was now spotless. No blood, no feather, nothing was out of place.
She must have cleaned up while I was asleep.
I thought to myself as my eyelids started drooping. I didn't have the strength to fight it and soon sleep once again claimed me.
“So, how is our new arrival? Have they one through the change yet? Did they survive?”
I asked Karen as she stopped just before me. Karen had seen her fair share of new arrivals, both those who survived and those who didn't.
“Yes, she's gone through the change and survived. She's just tired at the moment and is sleeping it off.”
She explained and I sighed in relief, we'd been losing them a lot more than welcoming them.
“That's good to hear.”
I said, a weight having been lifted from my chest knowing the soul of the new arrival would be able to join us here instead of being sent back through the Soul Passage only to eventually come back to us.
“Don't you think it'd be a good idea to have someone look after her?”
Karen suggested and I thought about it, she was right. With them having just arrived, they'd be sure to have questions and need someone to help them get adjusted to their new home.
“Yes, but who?”
I wondered aloud, trying to think of someone to assign but coming up empty.
“Send Jake, he's been with us long enough to be able to help and his attitude could use more than a little adjustment itself. Assigning him to look after our newest arrival will do them both good.”
Karen said and I nodded at her suggestion, she had a god point. Jake had become restless, disrespectful, and cold these past few years and no one was to blame but myself.
“Tell Jake of his new assignment then. We'll have to see how things go from there.”
I said and saw Karen nod before bowing, then leave. Jake had a lot of pent up hatred and blame for what happened, but he had to learn to let go. There was nothing I could have done, and he wasn't the only one who missed her.
I turned around at the sound of my name. A familiar Angel with light brown hair cut to just past his ears, emerald green eyes, and chocolate brown colored wings came running up to me.
“Ah, Jak-Jak, how are you?”
I asked with a friendly smile as the younger boy stopped in front of me.
“Good, but I've got some news for you.”
He said and I turned to look at him a little confused.
“I don't think you'll like it very much.”
He said and I sighed, he always had a tendency to draw things out unecessarily.
“Just tell me Jak-Jak.”
“Okay. We have a new arrival and you've been assigned to look after them. You know, show them around and everything.”
He said and my smile instantly turned into a displeased frown.
“What!? Why me, there are several other Angels who are older than me that could look after the newbie!”
I seethed, but knew it wasn't Jak-Jak's fault. It was his. Just what in the world was he thinking?
He knows I can't stand newbies. He probably did this to punish me or something.
“I don't know, but don't tell them I told you or I'll be in big trouble.”
Jak-Jak said and I nodded to reassure him I wouldn't say anything. He also had a habit of listening in on grown-up conversations. Most people just ignored him because he was still just a kid, but if you needed to know something, Jak-Jak was the one to go to.
Jak-Jak said with a big smile before leaving to head to his place. Just as he disappeared from sight Granny Karen showed up.
She greeted me with a smile as she walked up to me.
“Morning Granny Karen.”
I said and heard her sigh.
“I do wish you'd quit calling me that. I'm an elder.”
She said and I smiled.
“I know, but it's more fun to call you Granny. Everyone else does too, it's because of how you treat us. You're like everyone's grandmother.”
She sighed again before a serious look covered her face.
“I've got some news for you.”
She said and this time I sighed. Here it comes.
“We have a new arrival and you've been assigned to look after her.”
Great, so not only was I to watch over a newbie, but a female newbie. They were always so annoying, asking questions over and over again like they were three and incapable of comprehending simple things. Not to mention they always tried getting my attention and it was disgusting.
“Why me? Couldn't he have picked someone else?”
I asked a little cross at my father for putting me in this situation.
“Actually Jake, I was the one who suggested it.”
Karen said and I looked at her in surprise.
“What!? Why? You know I can't stand new-”
“This is no ordinary Angel Jake.”
Karen interrupted me and her statement made me forget my anger for a moment as curiosity took its place.
“What do you mean?”
I couldn't help but ask confused and she smiled before shaking her head.
She said and I sighed again, I really hated when she went all 'vague elder' on me.
I asked wanting to meet this new arrival and get things over with.
“Well right now she's resting from the change, but she's-”
That's when it clicked. We'd been having fewer and fewer people surviving the change lately, even fewer females. To hear that this latest arrival was female was something to be marveled at.
“Are you even listening to me Jake?”
Karen asked sharply and I flinched at the irritation in her voice. Nodding to show her she had my attention, she continued where she'd left off.
“She went through it alone and so she-”
“Alone? A new arrival survived the change on her own?”
I asked in absolute disbelief, interrupting Karen once more and I could practically feel the daggers she was shooting me from her usually gentle eyes. Maybe this new girl wouldn't be so boring after all.
“Yes, now will you let me finish?”
Karen asked heatedly and I rubbed the back of my head sheepishly before apologizing and motioning for her to continue.
“She's resting now, but by the time you get to Hall Nine I'm sure she'll be awake.”
Karen explained and I nodded before bidding farewell to Karen, then heading towards Hall Nine.