As a ten thousand year old Angel, I have gone through periods of emotional detachment. A thousand years would pass in a blink of an eye and I doubt I could point out any significant moment that affected me enough to cause a second of distress or happiness. Elders are prone to impartiality. It is not because we do not cherish that which surrounds us. It is simply because we grow tired. Immorality has flaws just as morality.
When I reconnected with the human world, they unknowingly, manually pumped feeling into my heart. Every moment I acknowledged the breath I took. Even if I did not need sleep, food, or any other human necessity, I followed their regime. I rose with the sun, cooked with my clan mates, hunted and feasted with them, and as the fires burned at night, I relished the rare moments of laughter and love as they danced around the pit, savoring life, and thanking their gods.
These humans, that did not take the world for granted, were the essence of civilization.
I coveted to save them all. Though they did not fear death, I feared for them. Life in Heaven is not what it should be. Humans are the only creatures to truly understand the core of God’s reasoning. When they become Angels, they forget, they lose the special part of that principle that makes them superior. I yearned for them to stay human: To never reach the false world of rapture. Being human is Enlightenment, a goal they will perform such inconceivable conduits to achieve. They already have it. It’s already in their possession just by being who they are. Life is Nirvana.
I sit in the rocking chair before the illuminating fire, staring at the spellbinding flames I had always been so skeptic of. I see discernibly hundreds of millions of Souls. It is not overwhelming or arduous. To describe it, is actually challenging. I am viewing little TVs in front of my eyes, all a different channel, all with the volume up. I can hear each one clearly and grasp the situation effortlessly. I am involved in each person’s life and I have love and care for every single Soul. I observe and witness emotion and feel the wide range of sentiment that extends toward me. I hear their prayers and feel their desperation. All within a single millisecond, does this occur.
As a Transcending Angel, I found it challenging to attend to the prayers of my clan, a small, diminutive fraction of what bombards me now. As God, it is a meek, systematic custom that bothers me nil and there are billions more whispering in my head. It is proof I did not come close to grasping Adam’s supreme power.
There are stray thoughts that pierce me.
I should have helped more. I could have helped more. Why aren’t my Angels aiding with their abundant abilities? There are humans below that believe no one loves them. That shouldn’t be acceptable. I do not concern myself with what they have done. Or the faults that lie inside them. I love them all. And I will have them know it.
I wipe tears away. I yearn for my Lord Father but I have not seen Him since He bestowed all His mighty powers unto me. I do not know how long it will be before He passes. I wish to be there for Him but there are things that must be done.
Everyone concerns about the War. Even the Angels here in Heaven are preparing for it. Do they not understand that Lucius only craves attention? Love him and he will bury his rage. He hurts. He tires.
Do not hate my son. He is a passionate man that needs only gentle hands.
My eyes flip wildly on the ground and I have to reorganize my thoughts. I’m confusing myself. All of God’s memories are now my own. I have become God and therefore I am twisting my own personality into those memories.
Lucius is not my son.
My chest heaves in wild panic. Who am I? I did not create the breed of humanity. I did not create Heaven. I have no children.
I am Ariel. Where are my memories? What do I know?
I have been God for less than a few hours yet I feel him spreading through my mind and devouring all that I’ve learned. As a virus sweeps through a host, duplicated, overpowering the healthy cells and killing them off at a rapid pace, I feel God’s influence overshadow and suppress my own. How to fight such a dominating force? This is not a sickness I can cure.
I need assistance. I need Metatron. I call out with an ability I did not know I possessed. Will it reach him?
I must get to my feet. They are my feet. They are not God’s. It was I that stepped foot in Heaven with Dane beside me ten thousand years ago. I gripped his mighty hand and I remember so well how his wing encircled me, keeping my nakedness from the eyes of others. He pulled me into his side and together, Metatron greeted us with a gleaming smile.
Is that how it happened?
I stare down at my feet and the ground transforms.
Lush grass spreads between my bare toes. I flex them, feeling the cool crisp of its texture. Trees surround me, sky is above me and in the distance; I hear the constant lapping of waves.
A hand touches my shoulder and I spin my head only to find Mother Nature. But I call her Eve. Grief weighs on her brows as she moves her gaze into the distance. I have never truly looked upon Eve without dread or judgment. Her beauty is boundless. Her features: flawless. The black of her skin is the color of a smooth coconut, and her hair as brown as bark. Her eyes are lush like the forest leaves and lips soft and pink as rose petals.
Eve is a mighty woman with a jawline of strength and repose. Her back is square and there lingers no doubt or hesitation. If I had not spent my entire life running from her, I would have admired her.
“This is it.” She murmurs, “This is home now.”
I take her hand, her small, dainty fingers, gripping hers in my bulbous palm. Words breach my lips as if I have rehearsed them from some written play. “This is not home.”
Her eyes flip to mine, “Do you mean to fight, Adam? What more can be done? We are separated. We are universes apart. Our world destroyed. Our numbers diminished. There are only hundreds of us alive. They have shown we are not invincible. They have won.”
I pat her hand, a gentle smile forming my lips. “You are satisfied?”
“I will be. The Source connects us. As we made Mount Opus home, we will make this home. Together.”
I look to the distance, “We remain empty.” I attempt to explain one last time.
She raises my thick sausage fingers to her cheek. “We remain together.”
The scene falls black and I return to the chair in front of the fire, gripping the strands of golden hair. I look down and find my own feet and my own hands, but for a single moment I’d forgotten what I look like. I clench my thighs, as tiny as they may be and stare at my fingers that in that dream had been so different. The palms and fingertips were of a man’s and hair graced the knuckles.
Who am I?
I stand. I am stronger than this. I can make it through this barrage. I have the capacity to handle Adam’s memories. I need to organize and consolidate. The information is currently overloaded but if I form numerous files and compact the circuits into their specific areas I can confine the horrendous amount of material and stop from going insane.
My mind is like a room full of documents and these papers are marked with the red line of importance. As an added respite someone has turned a fan and now they fly about at an erratic pace and I cannot grip them fast enough. They run through my head and I see hundreds of different memories play constantly. My own mix with the added portion and I am losing which are mine and which are Adam’s. I cannot separate them fast enough.
I watch the billions of Souls I created. It is in a separate room, completely undefiled by my own troubles. They continue to progress no matter my afflictions.
Somehow, it’s reassuring. As God it matters little if I’m sane. The world endures nonetheless.
I have to leave here. I need to speak with someone.
Friends. I want my friends. I pull open the door and find the glorious orb of Earth glowing and circulating the expanse of the hall. It hangs in midair, beautiful and bright.
Where is Tatiana and her court of jesters? I will speak with them now. I will do anything if only to be normal.
I jot down the steps, my bare feet slapping the marble. I hear voices and I yearn for another Soul. It’s like it was when I first woke in the cold room of the Ruling. I need a hand to hold, flesh against flesh. A voice to fill my ears. Compassion somewhere to know I am loved.
Did that really happen? Was I ever inside such a place? The memory flashes by so quickly and is gone before I can truly understand it.
I hear quick steps. I grip the bannister and stand tall, prepared for their questions about God. Bewilderment shines when they drop upon their knees. My eyes dance across their bowed heads like a wild eel.
I notice Tatiana’s golden hair and I instantly call out to her. She rises and smiles warmly, “Yes, Your Grace? Can I get You anything?”
My body shakes, suppressing tears. “Who am I?”
Her gold brows knit but she loves adoringly, “God, Your Grace. What a silly question.” The others look at me and laugh with adoration at my playful joke.
Fingernails dig into the bannister, “What is my name?”
She oddly glances to her friends, but concedes with an answer. “Ariel.” Relief reflects. Tatiana takes a step forward, slightly worried, “Your Grace, what is this about?”
Her entourage slowly stands, unsure what to do anymore. “Who is Adam?”
My thick fingertips reach over cupping Eve’s cheek, “Do this for me, my shining mate. Lend me your Light and together we will create others like ourselves.”
She slaps my hand so harshly I feel the sting in my wrist. “Never. You go against the laws, Adam. Do you think they will not find out? It is forbidden!”
I smile warmly, calmly, “We are the last of our kind, darling Eve. They treasure our Source. We risk nothing but hope. Hope with me. Create Life.”
“This life you create is disastrous. Every creature that you have pieced together has mutilated this planet.” Sensing nothing she can say will deter my choice, Eve gives in, “If I give you my Light, you will give me something in return.” I gesture for her to ask. “They will gain intelligence. I will have them obey me.”
I shake my head, “They will obey no one. I desire them to know freedom. Freedom unlike what we have known.”
A melancholy forms on Eve’s brows. She looks toward the sun, staring at its rays. “These creatures will evolve. If I cannot control them, then I need only destroy them. You may create. But I shall abolish.”
I run. Six, five, four, I travel pass the levels with blind heed, bulldozing anyone that gets in my way. This is surely something Adam has never done before. Can’t they see the differences? We are not one. I am an imperfect Soul undeserving of God’s glorious gifts. He made a mistake.
Undo this, Father before I destroy your precious world.
I slow. My anxiousness and fear drowns my adrenaline. I hug myself.
I am not a weak willed woman. I was the first queen of the Ancient world. I ruled the Icelandic range for four thousand years. Why have I giving in to such pathetic actions? Why do I allow fear to rule my heart? God exists inside me. Shouldn’t I be grateful for His love? Why do I distress? What have I ever feared in my whole life?
My brows knit upon such a word.
Is Fate not a thing? Why does it feel like an entity? Why do I feel as if it watches me now, with strings attached to my thin wrists? I lift my enlarged eyes to the ceiling. Does Adam fear Fate?
I step lightly. Second Heaven splits in two parts. On one half it is the Newborn and Asuras Dormitory and then upon the other there is the Medical ward on the outer hall and back behind that is the Library. I feel Remeil and Raphael. I wonder if I could make it to their offices without detection. It would be grievous if anyone young and slipping saw their God in a dejected and dilapidated state. Their faith would falter immediately.
People look at me, acknowledging who I am, desiring to meet with me but I continue on a straight path, smiling and waving as I do so. What have I to say?
My eyes lift suddenly. As Remeil and Raphael Souls feel as bright flames pestering my subconscious, I sense another, just as prevailing. I speed around the edge and spot a retreating form that is familiar beyond all others.
“Dane!” I call out in eager desperation. I run up the pathway, “Dane!” He walks steadily toward the Library, ignoring the ones that bow. He must hear me but maintains a straight back, inflexible and dignified.
I call out to him again and unable to disregard, finally turns around. Six foot eight, packed full of muscle in a white vest and lose pants he stands firm. Wide-eyed and surprised he gapes.
What does he see? Will he see Ariel? Or will he see God?
He rights his features, clamps his feet together and bows, “Your Grace.”
Tears readily form in my eyes and I fling myself at him, a foolish and childish response, wrapping my arms over his bulky form. I come up to mid chest, a place I once knew well. I take in his scent and try to place it but my memories have long forgotten. Hesitantly he places his hands upon my waist and I plead, “Dane. Please, tell me you know who I am.”
“Of course I know who you are, Your Grace.” He stiffly pulls from my hold.
“Don’t.” I shake my head “Ari. You always called me Ari.” I whine so pathetically.
When I look to meet his gaze, he uncomfortably looks about. The eyes of strangers peak in on this moment. It is an embarrassing situation for both of us but I am beyond humility.
My fingers nibble at his vest, “Do you remember the day we met? The first thing you said to me?”
His eyes drift, standing solid and distant despite being mere inches from me. His mind is elsewhere. I know him so well even though we have been apart for thousands of years. I repel my hands, “You’re in a hurry.”
I motion for him to continue. He thinks about it for a moment before taking off again. I have to practically run to keep up with his long legged stride. He glances back at me, “Can I assume that Adam is gone, then?”
I breathe deeply and I have to remind myself to keep walking. He knows it’s me. Dane isn’t fooled.
“I don’t know.” He nods, continuing. I quickly explain, “I’ve only just woken up and everything has changed. Adam’s memories bombard and destroy. I don’t even know who I am half the time.”
Dane replies out of obligation, “You will figure it out, I’m sure.”
He is as cold and callous as I recall. At least that much hasn’t changed. I can rely on Dane to remain constant. I charge forward, changing the subject, “What have you been doing while I’ve been away?”
He casually replies, “Isis asked me to join the New York Council so I have been there ever since.”
“The Council?” Outrage is readily on my lips. “You wouldn’t join me. I’ve asked you multiple times.” Even though I’m shocked and slightly hurt, I know why he never joined my Council when I ruled. After I left Dane for my Soul Mate, he had never been able to truly forgive me.
“She needed my help. When have you?” He gives me a small smile, one meant to be sarcastic but it’s fake and forced. The worst part is, I need help now, right at this moment and he’s walking away from me faster than I can keep up.
We enter the Library and he readily takes out a piece of paper and reads off the list before quickly going down the many aisles. I follow blindly, not knowing what else to do. I don’t want to be away from him yet. I want to be Ariel for a little while longer. “What are you looking for?”
“A book.” He facetiously replies. His gaze catches a readied glare which breaks with a smile. “More specifically,” He rectifies, “A book Anna borrowed from here.”
“Anna?” I question. There is only one ‘Anna’ that is bright in my memory. “Annamartholow? that woman that accosted us at the theater?” He surprises me, nodding, snatching at one of the volumes. “What are you doing talking to her?”
He tucks it up under his arm and looks at the next one on his list. “Why? Is she too far beneath me that I’m not allowed to communicate with her?”
I struggle to keep up with his pace again as I think of a response. “It’s just odd. I don’t see you two beings acquaintances. She’s a newborn and so...” I try to think of a nice word but it’s difficult.
“Dedicated?” I look over to him and he’s staring at the new book in his hands, “Devoted?” He lifts his gaze to me, “Passionate?”
Realization comes quick and I take a step back. “She’s your Soul Mate.”
He nods yet it is ill news that he shares unwillingly. My desire to understand and to know what’s wrong seeks out information without my will to stop it and instantly, the images come into my head.
I see Anna surrounded by four Fallen, they seek revenge and have only hatred in their hearts. Fear burns bright in Anna’s gaze and yet, desire for approval, desire for love, desire to be accepted, also lingers in her strong heart. She kills a Fallen and runs away. Scars damage her Soul, numerous and painful.
The last moment I see of Anna, she’s speaking to an invisible force and the name ‘Lucius’ falls off of her lips. “She’s slipping.” I whisper and his eyes pop up to mine. “You’re trying to stop her.”
Dane snaps shut the book and stands straight in front of me, like a soldier again and no longer a friend. “It seems you have gotten all you need, Your Grace.” He bows and departs.
I rush after in fear, “Dane, I’m sorry. I can’t control these brutal powers. I hadn’t meant to delve into your privacy. Please!” I snatch a hold of his arm and he yanks away spinning around to meet me.
“I have other things to do and I have to go.”
“What are you going to do, Dane?”
“Fight. Something I should have done from the beginning.”
I wonder if he is speaking about us. “Can I help?”
He glances back at me, hustling down the hallway in hurried paced footsteps. “Do what God does best, Ari. Stay out of it.”
I stand in the middle of the hallway, dejected and cast aside like a discarded doll. I could fathom God constantly cherished and loved. That is something that will become routine, I’m sure. But what I’m positive I will never be able to get used to, is feeling unwanted. God should never know such emotion.
My brows knit when I suddenly see Metatron, distantly in the center of my mind. Darkness surrounds him, trees and shrubbery with overbearing creatures of nature singing through the night. He’s in an odd body but it’s his Soul that I recognize. It’s as if I’m viewing him through a video-screen. He bows with an arm tucked into his waist and his fingertips pressed to his forehead, “Your Grace.”
Hearing his voice instantly brings tears to my eyes. “I have need of you, Metti.” I attempt to keep all forms of sadness from my voice but I don’t believe I manage it. “I don’t know if I can do this.” I admit it so swiftly I’m ashamed.
He smiles reassuringly. “I’m sure it is a difficult process, Your Grace.”
I smash my fist in the wall behind me, tears pouring down my cheeks, “Don’t call me that, Metti. You have called me Ari since the day we met. Will you come now?” I feel like a lost little girl speaking to her father. I wish to curl into his lap.
“Why are you so frightened, Ari?” His eyes glitter.
The question startles me and I gawk at him like a startled deer. I hold a hand to my trembling lips and I try to keep the words inside but they come tumbling out. “I don’t want to lose myself.” It is my most predominant fear and I can’t keep it silent.
Metatron keeps a pleasant face, as if this conversation is anything but the worst of my life. “You won’t.”
“How can you know? All of God’s thoughts run through my head. I don’t even know which are mine.” Tears pour down my cheeks. “All of his memories have become my own and I can’t seem to recall if I had any to begin with. And what if I fail him? I have flaws. My Soul Mate made sure of that. I am not God.”
“Ari.” He whispers to me. “That’s the point.” My eyes flip up, blurry and swollen. “A human to finally understand human pain. The only way you can fail him, is if you do everything the same.” Tears drip off my chin as I stare into Met’s gaze. “You will be able to grasp your memories in time. You are human despite being God. Stop believing that this will come so easily.”
I fist my tiny hands. Shouldn’t it be easy? My lord father made everything look so simple. No tears of fear or sadness ever shined in his eyes. He knew the answers to everything. There was no doubt or uncertainty yet I seem to have an abundance of it.
“Do you think Adam would do this if you couldn’t handle his power?” I meet his gaze, “He chose you, Ari, out of everyone else in the entire race. Heal. Restructure the damage done to your memory. Build walls. Separate your mind until you can handle all of his knowledge.”
“This just proves that I need your guidance. Will you come now?”
He pauses to my confusion and it’s shortly after he slowly replies, “My duties are required elsewhere.”
I feel my old self quickly return and my harsh voice bites, “Your duties are required here.”
“Forgive me.” He bows his head and forces up a powerful Net, knocking my vision away. I had forgotten that there was such an ability to obstruct my sight. Though I can see millions of things, there are hundreds that I am ignorant of. What have they to be ashamed of? I will not judge them. They are my children.
I close my eyes and concentrate. Metatron is right. I must create structure in my memory or I will never recover from my father’s overwhelming wisdom. It is a process that will take hours if I can find the proper concentration level. On Earth, being with my tribe, I could journey into my dreams within an instant. Meditation was second nature. Yet here, distractions are more plentiful than Souls.
I will need help. Raphael might be able to assist in this grand endeavor. Either way, alone I will fail and every hope Adam placed in me will be lost. I cannot falter. I cannot be defeated.
I am God.
##End of Book 2.
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