Gage Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America- Earth, 7:51 P.M, April 30th, 2018 A.D.
“Oh gosh!” I pant, crossing my arms behind my head to increase the ventilation through my body. I can’t believe I’m this out of shape.
Screams erupt around me, and I drop my arms, stancing myself readily. Darkness has enveloped the day already, the sun on its final phase to leave until tomorrow. The only light being produced is from the park lights.
A chill crawls its way up, goosebumps popping up from my skin at the feeling. Everyone has left, running away to their homes. The trees sway and a gentle breeze flicks my ponytail. Something moves.
“Who’s there?” I question, trying to make my voice sound forceful.
Patter of feet. Bushes rustling. A fallen angel, my conscience whispers.
I’m lifted off the ground, the same dark smoke from my dream encircling my waist like a snake, its vice-like grip digging into my skin.
“I’ve got you, Moonwalker,” Leilah steps out of the shadows, the light illuminating her face making her look quite like a serial killer from a movie. Her creepy smile isn’t helping matters either.
I struggle against it, whipping my head around every direction to find any source of water. I have no practice, but I can at least shock her enough to run away.
With no avail, I choose to glare down at her. “Let me go.”
“Aww, the poor baby Moonwalker doesn’t have any water to splash me with. Too bad,” she lifts her arms in a Here’s Prince Simba way, setting me on the ground with a thud. I squirm again, rocking back and forth on the dirt. “Come on, Selena. I need you to stay still so I can transfer your powers over to me.”
“Why do you want my powers?” I bite at her, my nostrils flaring.
“You’re the only known fallen angel to be a production of two fallen angel parents. That means you’re the most powerful of the Moonwalkers. You have your sweet daddy’s gravity power and I bet you can bend water at your will, just like your mother.”
Of course. Why didn’t I think of that? Amá once briefly mentioned she knew how to manipulate water. She just refrains from using it because she prefers to do things the old fashioned way, the way an angel would do things. That was a very long time ago. I barely remember it. And I have no idea if I can use gravity like Apá, but it’s sure worth a shot.
“Seems to me you’re out of the loop with your own kind,” Leilah teases, letting out a small cackle.
“I don’t need to be in the loop to beat your arse, Leilah,” I roll onto my knees, using all of the power within me to sit upright. I lock eyes with her, concentrating on manipulating the gravity around her. Nothing happens.
“You can’t even stand up.” Leilah lowers her arms and waves her wrists, sending the black smoke to my neck. It lifts me off the ground and I kick, struggling for air. “Here’s a little something for you.”
The black smoke turns red, and immediately a fire blazes me in a hot vortex. I scream out, the fire burning my skin raw.
“Let her go!” Leilah is thrown backward by an enraged looking Lonan, his hair sticking up like he was running his hands through it repeatedly.
I’m thrown onto the ground like a sack of potatoes. I cough, my eyes watering. I look down at my skin, the little cuts already disappearing. It seems my fast healing is working. I totally forgot fallen angels have that. No wonder we’re immortal.
“Leilah!” Lonan growls, lifting his fist to smash Leilah’s face in but she swirls away like she did when she took my father, disappearing in a haze.
Lonan stands up, turning his head to look over at me. He jogs over, lifting me up in his arms bridal style. I wince slightly at the contact but relax into his arms. “How are you here?”
“I came by to look for you at your house, but your mom said you’d been out all day, getting your head together. She kicked me out right afterward. I was going crazy looking for you everywhere. This happened to be the last place I was hoping to find you. I knew Leilah was planning something, and I knew you were in danger.” No wonder he looks so disheveled. He was so worried... about me.
“Thank you,” I whisper. “I thought you were working with your sister.”
“You’re welcome.” His wings spread and we go flying into the air. I look behind him to find his black feathers rustling in the wind. Their wingspan must be bigger than me. They’re so majestic and powerful and...
I look into Lonan’s eyes, a small sadness lingering in his pupils.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, cocking my head.
He shakes his head. “Nothing. Let’s get you home.”
I grab his chin and turn his head towards mine. “Tell me.”
A gust of wind swirls my hair into my face. He sighs. “I feel like I betrayed my kind.”
I rub a thumb over his cheek. “It feels natural, of course. But you did the right thing.”
“How am I going to face my friends?” he whispers.
“If they were your friends, they’d understand.” I bite my lip. “Did my Apá really send yours to Hell?”
Lonan stares at me, stunned. “How did- How did you find out?”
“So it’s true,” I whisper.
Lonan swallows harshly. “Yes. My dad had killed 5 humans.”
I open my mouth, then shut it quickly.
He sets us down in front of my house, putting away his wings. Hopefully, no one saw that. Who would believe them anyway?
He carries me to my front door, shifting most of my weight to his left arm. He briefly knocks with his right hands.
“I told you to go-” Amá’s sentence is cut short when she notices me in his arms.
“What happened to her?!” she exclaims, pushing us inside and shutting the door close. She locks it.
“My twin sister attacked her,” Lonan explains, setting me down on the couch.
“Did she use curse power?” Amá asks, brushing my hair out of my face tenderly.
I nod. “Yes. She made fire with it.”
Amá’s eyes widen like I just became a two-headed centaur. “You haven’t unlocked your powers yet, right?”
“I... I did a couple of days ago.”
“What?” she exclaims, rolling me onto my side. “Let me see your wings.”
“I don’t have my wings yet, Amá. Why are you so worried?”
“Of course you have your wings. If you have your abilities, you have your wings. Remember what I told you happens if demonic power like hers burns off your wings at their roots?”
I let out a small gasp. “I could get cast down to Hell.”
She lifts my shirt up. “Look away, Lonan. I have to inspect her.”
I assume he listens because his feet shift on the floorboards slightly.
She raises my bra towards my neck, tracing her fingers over my exposed skin.
She lets out a sigh of relief. “She wasn’t able to get you in time. It was close though. Show me your wings.”
I fix my bra and lower my T-shirt down, rolling back over to face her. I sit up. “How do I do that exactly?”
Lonan spins back around, raking his eyes over my figure. “Stand up.”
I do as told, standing up to my full height.
“Turn around, mija,” Amá adds, waving her finger around in a circular motion.
Again, I obey, turning to face the cough once again.
“Now try to imagine that surge of power you had when you used your abilities, and cast them into where your wings should be.”
I strain, grunting to feel the energy I did back then in my veins. When I finally find it, I grab onto it, sending it to my back.
A whoosh sound is made and Lonan lets out a little surprised gasp.
I crane my neck to look back and find my black wings tinged with blue standing proudly in the air, barely grazing the ceiling. They must be at least twice my size. “Oh my gosh,” I whisper, a grin tugging at the corners of my lips.
“They seem fine to me,” Amá says from out of my view. “You can put them away now.”
“And how do I do that?”
Amaá sighs. “Imagine the power leaving you, mija. Keep up.”
I roll my eyes and do what she says, making the energy I feel disappear into my body. My wings tuck and disappear.
“Now, were you able to unlock both of your abilities, or just one?” Amá inquires. I spin around to face her again. She steps into the kitchen, opening the cabinet filled with cups to bring out the same tiny vial of Holy Water she used a week ago.
“One.” I hang my head. “I haven’t unlocked Apá’s ability.”
She approaches me, grabbing my hands in hers. Behind her, Lonan crosses his arms, his face hardening.
“Here, this will heal you.” She hands me the vial, gesturing for me to drop the Holy Water onto my slightly scarred skin.
I take it from her, popping open the top. Lonan grunts, taking two steps back. I raise an eyebrow. “What’s the big deal? It’s only Holy Water.”
“Holy Water hurts regular fallen angels. Their sins have manifested inside of them, so the divine water seeks to purify them,” Amá says absentmindedly, snatching the vial from me to roll up my jeans and spreading the water along the damaged skin.
“Oh,” I whisper. “Sorry.”
“It’s his own fault for doing whatever he did to get cast down here in the first place,” Amá snaps, proceeding to roll down my jeans and moving to my arms.
I swallow saliva, a bitterness making its way into my mouth.
Lonan looks away, glaring outside of the window.
“Done,” Amá says, standing up and taking the top of the vial from me, popping it back in place.
I look over my arms to see that the scars are completely gone. “Wow.”
“Now that you’re all better...” she smacks me upside the head. I rub my forehead.
“Ow! What was that for?”
“For being stupid and not being careful of your surroundings! You could have been sent to Hell for eternity!”
I look down in shame, biting my lip. “I’m sorry, Amá. I shouldn’t have stayed out this late.”
Amá huffs, narrowing her eyes. “Whatever.” She looks over at Lonan. “And you, you don’t have anything to do with this, do you?”
Lonan turns to look at her. “I stopped my sister from harming her any further.”
Amá nods. “I see.” She moves toward him, grabbing onto his shoulders to look him in the eye. “You ever hurt my daughter, and I will come after you with the wrath of the ocean.”
Lonan gulps, scratching the nape of his neck. “Sí señora.”
Amá pushes him towards the door. “Now get out.”
Lonan obliges, unlocking the door and opening it. He steps out into the night, turning back to look at me. “Be careful.” Then he shuts the door behind him.
Amá turns to look at me. “You have a lot of explaining to do young lady.”