A Dying God (Book 2)

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Ariel- Awakening

Ariel

I open my eyes. My pupils dilate observing a beam of falsified light impressed into the ceiling above me. In moments, images convert; electrical signals weave and pulse through neural cables, arriving to the visual cortex of my brain. The illumination is not of the immortal sun radiating its perpetual energy or of a controlled chemical process that humans defer to as fire. It is of an unknown process, extracting gas, stirring mercury atoms to exalt ultraviolet light.

Within these short few forgotten seconds, diminutive flashes spark and life thus begins.

Voices. Muffle. Overlap, continuously hum and drum, murmur, mumble, marring my slumber. The sound vibrates, spiraling through the cochlea of my ear, sending nerve impulses to the outer layer of my intelligence. It tells me I am not alone.

My back presses against cold leather. It’s inflexible and my limbs are numb from the long use of its rigid spine. Entombed in a neurogenic petrified state, I lingered. Long years of silence fester in my memory. I close my eyes in an attempt to visualize the fleeting moments that spark.

Life was vague. Always full of darkness and the buzzing of distant voices, observing, touching, but always full of trepidation and unease.

No caring friend. No loving ward.

Time continued to move. Cells restoring the organisms damaged. The mutilation eroded as tissue and organ repaired. I lay as death doth live by: Mute, stiff, and cold. What do I make of this? Do I live? Or is this another cruel momentary instant as I lay a catatonic dependent?

Fingertips dare to move. Adrenaline stirs, closing blood vessels, intensifying the heart frequency, and constricting muscle tissue.

I am infested with fear. It is not for any potential threat, or the looming of danger. My fear stems from a factor of human quality. If my body fails to rouse, I will remain inside this dead skin for eternity.

There is a possibility I am currently in the process of healing my neurological nerves. I should return to my transit state and allow my Soul to continue its drudgery. Another month, another year, sleep will strengthen the damage inflicted and time will erode my ill-begotten Soul. What is such time to me? It is a blink of an eye. It is a flash of light.

I release my trepidation. I will not lie here a moment further. The world is in need. It always is. No matter how many years pass, that will never change. I can however help its dearth.

I will not succumb to impotence.

I shift my fingers. They slide over the face of tangible material. Sensation tickles. Receptors buzz to life. Mirth extends down the core of my Soul as breath briskly intensifies.

This body my Soul confines survived. I am alive.

I sit up. Pictures float into the outer rim of my visual ore. A square room with ninety-degree angled corners, no bigger than five hundred square feet, surrounds me. Bare walls, grey in hue, stringent, reveal nothing of interest.

My attention catches upon the reflection of a glass mirror stretching out before me. Wires string in untidy disorder attached to multiple regions of my body, streaming downward. They intermix and disappear in the tresses of golden silk piled in my lap. It is my hair. It has grown to an unmanageable weight and proportion.

White pads stick to my forehead over the blonde of my brows. I am barely capable of detecting the color of my orbs but I remember well they are the color of the mighty ocean, a mix blend of blue and green, never quite the same with every blink of my eye.

I turn my head. A metal square stands tall beside me, the cable wires that attach to me, connect to its awkward exterior. I have never seen such a component and I stare with confusion askew on my features. Waves of activity continuously flow in patterns of rapid succession on the flat of its screen. It is an odd thing to stare upon. The red hues, multiple levels and stages, numbers scattered, none of them the same or of any relevant configuration. It heightens and decreases at erratic paces. For several minutes, I watch and manage to deduce no outline for its design. It is quite irritating. What I am able to formulate is the more I perceive its calculations, the more my agitation grows the faster and unpredictable it becomes.

It is tracking my behavior. It is then I come to grasp my heartbeat is in synchronization with the streaking line. Every beat it pulses. What a miraculous invention for the medical field. Do humans have this device? Or is the Angel society hoarding its existence?

Air shifts. My eyes flip. From the ceiling, current circulates. There is no door to the outside world, yet frigid waves of fresh breathable air barrel down disturbing hair follicles. I observe as little skin bubbles produce, upsetting blond arm hairs. It is a human response. A common reaction to frosty weather.

What am I that I am capable of reacting in a precise manner as having ‘chills’?

I want to touch it, to embrace a moment that, for me, has been impossible for thousands of years.

I reach for it. Music sounds. Metal upon metal echoes in the enclosed space, piercing, humming, breaking the ultimate silence of my dwelling. A chain encompasses my wrist, keeping me still. It pulls tight, disabling me even this slight moment to reach across and touch my own arm. I stretch out my fingertips. I watch the metal bracket twist with my movement.

My gaze returns to the mirror. My guardians stand thus behind it, assessing and I wonder what they see. I have only just woken but they have me in chains. Their fear is palpable.

Why would they fear me?

What have they done?

A lock begins to unfold. I hear the cumbersome sound rotate and curl. I study the door. I wonder if they desire me to identify every fiber of life as I do. Through the walls, I detect the six Shrouds that encompass this room, the black magic that interlaces the floor, the cold steel they weave through the base of its compound, And the Light they have stolen to secrete this very hall.

I am breathing the Life of the Dead. They have sacrificed Souls to hide away my Light. Perhaps these chains are essential.

The entrance pulls open. Stepping through the hatch a Fallen arrives, aged by seven thousand years. He wears a billowing cloak, black with the seal of the Ruling: a wingless Fallen and a winged Angel standing side by side, holding up the circle of the world. Florid and lavish, he stands before me, with shoulders, courageous and baroque. I withhold judgment. I am lost and helpless, floating in a life vessel amidst their bloodstained hands.

The stranger keeps his distance. His visage, aged and burdened, his taciturn features blankly gaze uninterestedly. He may be detached but I am far from apathetic. My loneliness is illimitable. I will for his presence. The desire for a single touch of another; to award my waking somatic senses and bask in the simple connection between two persons would be a gift of God. Too long, I’ve gone without a hand to hold. Endless dreams of bleak obscurity where I alone lugubriously traveled in the recesses of a fragmented mind.

I yearn for words: Austere dialogue between two people to overlap the silence echoing in my ears. To be a part of another’s life, not just being a blank sheet laying beneath them but the vigorous and lively creature I once was.

This man, is my ray of light in the darkness. He is my gasp of air before drowning.

I desire him to come closer, to end my lonely monologue. My mouth falls open but I swallow instead.

“Erelim Elder Ariel. You are in the central holdings of the Ruling.” He precedes with a cold rendition, speaking English, a language I’ve near forgotten.

My name. He said my name. Tears form in the ducts of my eyes. I lift my gaze, yearning for his Soul. Does he know how beautiful he is to me? I have no name for him. I’ve not yet met him. His Soul is damaged and scarred. He’s taken Light, murdered Souls but I care none. I love him. He is here with me at this moment and I couldn’t love him more.

My eyes fall to my hands. I test the chain again. I want only to reach out my fingertips and embrace another person. I need to know I am alive. I need to know I’ve made my return to the Earth plain. For if this is a dream then I am in Hell and Lucius plays with me as one of his numerous toys.

My body trembles. Tears drip over onto my pale cheeks and I nearly forget how to breathe.

His brow knit, “You needn’t be frightened.” He fretfully steps, flicking his eyes to the mirror. “You were asleep for a long time but we’ve been watching over you.”

My hand reaches out pulling at the chains. It hurts. Pain: A violent sensation that pulses in my head, shrieking at me. Yet I continue nonetheless, allowing such feelings to bring me to life.

He steps forward, alert, “You mustn’t do that. Please be calm. We’ll take the chains away shortly if you prove to be compliant.”

I tussle only more. My legs jolt beneath the blanket and it is then I feel brackets about my ankles as well. I am trapped upon this bed, inside this room, amongst this breed of ignorant creatures, for what reason?

Why have I been sleeping for years?

Why do I remember so little?

What has woken me?

Why do I feel so much?

“Please!” He begs taking another step toward me. “Erelim Ariel, please stop. You’ll hurt yourself.” The stranger turns to the mirror, “Put her to sleep.”

“No!”

I sojourn my struggle. I pant through my nose, staring at him, my hair a mess of tangled knots spooling around me as a yellow silk sheet, keeping me warm where the small white medical outfit does little.

My outburst is unnecessary. I am an Erelim and I am capable of withholding my sentiments. Panic is for the feeble. My body trembles and I can’t stop it but I will not allow my mind to wonder into extremity. I have control. I am God’s Lion.

Even as my lips quiver, I command. “Release me.”

He shakes his head. “I cannot. You are in an unstable situation, your grace.”

I close my eyes, attempting to view the event as he does. I am mentally unsound. I’ve woken in an enigmatic location within the Ruling that is a potential threat to my Soul. I do not know the condition at which I entered here. They have the capacity to be my ally but for so very long they were my adversary. There are too many unanswered questions and thus I am completely susceptible to their whims.

I nod, sluggishly, despondently. My voice trembles as I ask. So much emotion in such a emotionless question. “Can you tell me your name, sir?”

He bows his head. “I am David, a Hikmah Elder Fallen, Mistress. I’ve been one of the few to constantly keep you protected over the years. We didn’t think you would survive but you told us yourself that you could heal anything, even your own Soul.”

My fingertip plays with a tip of a golden thread. “What did I do?”

He bows his head and I find myself not wishing for the answer. “Perhaps another day. Are you hungry?”

My eyes drop. I look to my stomach. It’s been so long since I’ve eaten.

“Food is not quite the same, I’m afraid.” He smiles knowingly.

I flick my eyes up. He is a Hikmah. He should know better than anyone that an Erelim would not require food to sustain. He treats me too gently. There is pity in his eyes I hadn’t noticed. “How much have I lost?” I question, terror lying in my lips. He drops his gaze, as if refusing to give me such vital information. “How much of my Soul is gone?” I ask again austerely.

David shifts his eyes toward the mirror once more and I want to grab him and force his gaze back unto me. He clears his throat, needlessly. “Half, your grace.”

My mouth widens. All of my emotion drains and leaves me empty as tears spill over. My attention dissolves and I don’t even notice him leave.

Half of my Light, of my power, of my life, is gone. Half.

What could I have done for it to vanish? What was worth my Soul? He didn’t even want to tell me, which could mean one thing.

I failed. Whatever I was trying to do, I didn’t succeed. I wasted five thousand years of my Soul for failure.

A sob escapes, echoing, bouncing off the wall and returning to my ear. It’s a brutal sound, dreadful and shameful. I lay back on the familiarity of my cot and curl against its rigid form yearning for comfort and gaining none. I beg for God. I plead for Father to reach out His bulbous hand and rest it on my brow. I crave His grumpy voice to fill my ears and end my solitude. I desire to bury my face in His white hair and not see the light of day for hours as He drains the wretched melancholy from my heart.

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