The faint clicking of solid silver utensils on ceramic plates the only sounds attempting to break the imposing depressed silence smothering itself over the dinner table. My eyes remain firmly planted on my plate. My swirling fork combining the juices of the bleeding, underdone steak, and the vinegar of the poorly tossed salad. Accepting each other for their differences coming together willingly under my commanding fork.
Keeping myself busy is rule number one at dinner time. Keep my head down, my eyes down my mind busy. The only way to survive this household. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when dinner time was looked forwards to. Where the talking never ceased, where conversation topics changed with ease and fluidity. Where laughter was common, undiluted and an expectation when my family was together. Shuffling in my seat with a slight ruffling of my aching wings, hold them in the wrong position for a while and the back pain is excruciating. My feet bobbling uncontrollably to a tunelessly beat. The eyes of my brothers dart to mine. Ones eyes full of mourning. His once green eyes turned to a pale meek grey. Life sucked from them. Puffed and red spots around his lids clear indicators of the many tears shed throughout this time. Not to mention the drooping of his wings scraping the dust covered floor. An angel shamed.
The other set of eyes once a light hazel. Almost willed by his fury to a deep red. Boring through me I refuse to drop his gaze. Rage ebbing off his paling olive skin, his wings tensed tight to his body. Angles are known for holding their tension in their wings. But I don’t give a rats behind about his misplaced anger. We’re all going through this and I did not do anything wrong. This was not my fault. I’m about to tell his angry ass that before a definitive clank from the head of the long table makes us all drop our heads. Our mother rises from her seat. Despite my head bowing low over my plate as if inspecting the decorative pattern. Sapphires and emeralds forged into doves border the plate. Despite this I already know what moves seemingly another world away. Because that’s what she was. Our mother inconsolable. Unreachable. Ignorant to the palpable tension she rises to her feet. Her grey skin taunt yet sagging off her thin skeleton. Her once crystal blue eyes murkier than a winters grey skyline as they sweep over the table refusing to take in any detail. To focus on reality.
“Clean it up.” She mutters to no one in particular. Heads still bowed our only attempt to spare her dignity and respect she once demanded. Once the head healing angel, our mother could not only fix the physical, but provided pressure relief for the more troubled Divine. The power coursing through our veins has the ability to shape the world, or destroy it. Taking its toll on the weak.
“Sure thing Ma.” Gavin responds. With everything that’s happening, unspoken duties were divvied amongst us. Gav has taken responsibility for Ma. Making sure she was fed, make sure she drinks. All that basic stuff. I cook the meals. Clean the clothes. Clean the house. And Farron. He just walks around angry all day. His hurricane of fury able to blast apart most major buildings.
The groaning of wood fills the air with the shutting of Ma’s bedroom door down the hall. Gavin and I rise from our chairs and get to work. Gav proceeds to the water basin, the hot water gushing onto the marble basin and the hiss of steam fills my ears as I start to clean up the table. Farron however remaining resolute in his chair. His inhuman stillness the only signal that his hurricane was about to rear its ugly head. Reaching around him, after already clearing the rest of the long ebony wood table. “You gonna get up?” I seethe not being entirely careful as I wheel around. My feathers ruffling in his face. The ultimate sign of disrespect.
“You son of a-.” Leaping from his seat, chair flying back as his wings dilate to their impressive length. Red faced, eyes bulging. Vein throbbing and forking through his forehead. The whites of his eyes shaded a deep red tinge as they twitched uncontrollably within his thick skull.
These fights were not uncommon in our household. The winner was always the same. Whoever wanted it more. But not before the other got some good hits in. But we were no longer teenagers, no love and unrelenting anger.
Farron’s first two swings blind with rage fly with a whistle barely keeping up. Ducking easily barely bothering to worry about his clawed nails. Staying low I reach down to the recent projectile chair now laying placidly on the tiled floor. Sinking my own nails into its thick wooden back I send it flying through the air splintering on the side of Farron’s tomato head. Crumpling to his knees silently, its eerie remanence filling the house. Only broken from an “oi!” ringing echoing through the halls.
I barely turn before Gavin lands before me. His golden wings splayed wide, an angelic wall between me and Farron. His pale melon bald as a mortal baby, contorted with the rage eating at is own heart. “That’s enough.” Willing as much finality into his voice as angelically possible. Before I could think about removing him from my destructive path a thwack takes out the side of his head. Crumpling instantly under the power of the unseen hit a wet sucking sounds emits from the side of his sharply toned face as Farron removes claws from his face. Blood instantly gushes to meet the cream tiles its deep red compromising the flawless chic surface. Rising from his predatory crouch over Gavin’s prone body, Farron’s elongated canines bared towards me, like a wolf devouring a kill saliva drips from his mouth. His eyes meet his rabid anger still unchecked. His shoulders curved in, back hunched as if the animalistic disease did indeed flow within his divine veins. No longer the angelic brother to me.
“Look what you have done to us Sebastian!” splaying his arms wide in unison with his ruffled wings. Exhibit A. “We were Dad’s most prized possessions. He was proud of the work we did for him.” A slight pause as his face turns feral. His lips pulled back exposing the rest of his razor-sharp teeth. Their perfect whiteness glaring off the pale down lights.
Closing my eyes, protecting myself from the dangers of his ignorance. “We are his children Faz! Not his possessions. You think he was proud of our work. He doesn’t give a crap what we did as long as it didn’t backfire on him.” Opening my eyes in the silence following my outburst I size him up. His once silver wings, now ruffled and colourless. The rage in his body struggling to be contained. His other brother starting to stir on the floor. His wounds slowly stitching themselves together again. Shaking my head. “This is not my fault.” I declare, no way. When we were younger, they would always make me take the fall for things we did together. Not this time.
A knowing smile creeps along his feral features before asking. “Tell me. Who brought the animals and their filth here?” looking around. Exhibit B. As if our high white marble walls embedded with semi-precious stones may not be to the taste of the humans. Well the white stone statues in the front garden may be a little ostentatious. Or tacky.
“Yeah well… you and Gavin didn’t seem to care when the humans were here. I could hear you guys through the walls.” I spit at him. The moaning and groaning. Pure disgust. I grin at the deepening red of Farron’s wild face. “You started this!” pointing a clawed finger at me. Accusation spiting from his lips. “You selfish little prick. Dad had a plan for us. He wanted us to be great. To be like him. He trusted us to trust him. And you threw it all away. For all of us.” The words crashing down on me, hitting me from angles I was not expecting. “NOW HE’S GONE! ASHAMED! DISOWNED! BECAUSE OF YOU!” unable to ride out the torrent of words I turn away. The blows invisible just like the scars dealt from his hateful mouth.
He truly believes this was my fault. That I am the reason for everything. His rage not just a flash in the pan. But an everlasting and reigniting reminder of the life ripped from his holy hands.
His claws tear through my cheek, a burning sensation scarring my unprotected face. My traitorous arms unwilling to break my impact on the unforgiving tiles. Blood sequentially smears the nearby tiles. A heavy weight presses down on my chest forcing my breathing to shallow and wheeze. Barely aware of my surroundings I can barely make out Farron bearing down on me. My vision tainted red as blood begins to flood my vision with bursts searing pain pepper my face. His powerful thighs pin me to the floor as he straddles over my chest. Incapacitated and barely consciously I don’t put up a fight.
“WHY!” He roars down at me. Speckles on saliva from his fanged mouth rain down on me. His fists physical exclamation points of his pain punched onto my unprotected face. Catching me flush against my cheek bone instantly shatters under the torrent whirlwind of inconceivable rage. My head lollies useless to the side. He rights me, grabbing the blood sodden and matted hair I wear in a small bun upon the crown of my head. Holding me by the stray hairs I can barely focus on my blood seeping through his fists.
“Why’d you do it?” he growls. His voice tainted in a begging whimper. The beating makes answering highly painful. My mouth hangs open but unable to form a single word. “Answer me!” he screams. Throwing another iron punch connecting perfectly with my jaw forcing it semi permanently off kilter with a meek crack. All the pain has mixed together. My face in ribbons. My cheek shattered. My jaw cracked and rendered useless. My heart…
“Tell me… Please.”
It is the broken rasping of my brothers ever strong and faithful voice that is my undoing. My head falls back with a wet bounce against the tiles. Head rolling to the side unable to find the strength to hold it against gravity my eyes peeking through the slits of the persistent swelling of my eyelids.
My brother, the first born. The pillar of strength of the family. The ever present and loving brother. Kneeling in the blood of his beloved. His bare feet caked with my blood. Staring at his ripped knuckles. Hair always waxed and manicure to perfection left in disarray. Truly broken.
“I just wanted a life.” I rasp. Crying out in pain. Breaths of sharded glass rake through my insides. Closing my eyes against the pain and the image of my broken brother I utter my truth. “You say Dad’s plan was based on trust. I say he didn’t trust us at all.” I world spins inside my head. I have to place most of my efforts in holding myself to the conscious realm.
I speak quickly. Not trusting myself to hold onto consciousness. “He wouldn’t need a plan if he truly trusted us. Why else would he be so strict? Why shouldn’t we be able to interact with the mortals.”
“Because of shit like this.” He screeches at me. Like a desperate wounded animal his voice breaks and throat bobbles against the cascade of his tears.
“What did we do that was so bad? All I did was try to have a life and make some friends. You fell to temptations and had some fun with some of the girls. Gavin was naive and fell to the pressures keeping with the mortal lifestyle and ended up to his nostrils questionable white powder. Ma for the first time had no idea what was happening. She didn’t know what to do when faced with the realities of the mortal life. So she took a bottle of whatever the others were drinking and emptied it down her throat.” Gasping for breath a thick veil of dark serenity calls out to me. “You are angry at me for what you did. But you don’t ask dad why the mortals were made. He must have foreseen this. If he is anything like you make him out to be then this must be part of his divine plan. He would not set us up for failure. So do not blame me, do not blame the mortals. You must accept the world for what it is. And believe this is part of Dad’s planning here.
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