Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Nicole Armas would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

And Unto Dust Shalt Thou Return

By Nicole Armas All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Eden was a wasteland.

A thick grey blanket of ash covered the landscape. The scorched trees were merely stumps rising out of the ground and the sky was overcast with ash and smoke, choking out the sun so its light barely penetrated the darkness. All was quiet save the howling of the wind which swept up the ash and carried it away. The Garden of Eden, a place that was once teeming with life and God’s infinite wonders, was now reduced to nothing but a toxic land where death and chaos reigned.

Michael stood alone amidst the ruins of Paradise. Ash clung onto the tips of his feathers, his hair and armour, mingling with the blood streaked across his person and making him appear as a haunting grey spectre. He tucked his wings close around his body to shield himself from the wind and bowed his head in sorrow, his blond hair falling into his face.

It was gone. His home was destroyed and he had failed to defend it. His brothers and entire army were dead because of him. If only he hadn’t given in to despair and lost his will to fight then perhaps he could have provided his angels with the courage they needed! The Archangel had panicked, causing a ripple of fear to pass through the ranks of angels, and abandoned his post. Now because of his cowardice, only Michael, the greatest of the Archangels, was left to mourn the destruction of Heaven.

The Archangel had come to the Garden of Eden despite knowing of its ruined state. Anything to get away from the aftermath of the war. He couldn’t stand to be in the great halls of Heaven where his kin lay in mutilated piles of bodies and limbs, their blood adorning the walls and floors. He felt their blank, staring eyes judging him, accusing him of their deaths. Michael’s worst fears had come true and that reality was too overwhelming for him to bear.

Where has Father gone? His presence had been lifted from Heaven and Michael tried desperately to reach his Lord. The angel cried out to God in the emptiness of Eden, begged Him to save him and all of Creation, begged Him to come back. “Please don’t abandon me! Do not leave me here! Come back Father!” Michael cried over and over again into the smoky air around him. When prolonged silence was the only response given, the Archangel’s great heart shattered and he fell to his knees in grief. God had forsaken him! He allowed His angels and holy Kingdom to be destroyed. God was gone and wasn’t going to come back.

Why would God return? He had suffered the greatest defeat in all of existence; no one had ever defeated Him in battle before and now His armies were crushed. Of course God had vanished; who would want to face the shame of defeat after so many years of being on top? The human race was oblivious to the absence of their creator, but they would become aware of it when Lucifer set his sights on earth. Humans were safe for now but without God and angels, they were defenceless.

Michael wept bitterly, letting out loud, mournful howls of agony; the sound of his cries echoing across Eden, a reminder of how alone he was. He sobbed until his head began to hurt and his throat and lungs burned. In anguish he ripped off his armour and weapons, throwing them away so he was only clad in a torn and bloodstained tunic. The angel collapsed in exhaustion, too weak and helpless without the power of God to aid him.

He lay in the dust, his head resting on his arms, his face hidden behind his wings. Michael did not know how long he lay still, time ceased to have any meaning, but he soon sensed a presence draw near. Did a fellow angel somehow survive the slaughter of their kin?

Michael slowly raised his head and saw a black figure approach. The hair on the nape of his neck stood up as he final made out who it must be. “Lucifer, have you come to finish the job?” He called out.

The lord of darkness stared down at his adversary in pity, his dark eyes gleaming. “No. It is not my wish to strike you down Michael.”

“And yet you had the heart to slaughter every angel in Heaven!” Michael seethed. Anger coursed through his veins and he desperately wished to cross swords with Lucifer again but he had no strength left. He dug his fingers into the ground in anger.

Lucifer stepped closer and knelt in front of the Archangel. “I told you that I would defeat God didn’t I?”

Michael said nothing and began to crawl away from Lucifer, making a valiant attempt to stand up but his limbs could not hold his weight and he fell to his hands and knees. He sat on the ground and hung his head in shame. How weak he was without his Lord! How pathetic he was to his enemy!

Lucifer did not laugh nor crack a smile as Michael expected but inched closer as if he were afraid to provoke the Archangel. He took his place next to Michael. “I did what I had to.” Lucifer said.

Michael snorted. “No you didn’t, you disgusting wretch!”

Lucifer gestured to the endless ruin around them. “Why do you resist? Look around you; God is not coming back and no angel stands in my way. Creation now belongs to me and humanity won’t have God to save them.”

“You killed Gabriel and Raphael.” Michael whispered. He squeezed his eyes shut to hold back tears. His brothers were killed by Lucifer’s own hand in the Temple of Heaven. They had confronted the fallen angel and he had struck them down, ensuring that both Archangels died slow, painful deaths. The willful desecration of the Temple by spilling the blood of angels was a horrid offense against Father, as if invading Heaven wasn’t enough of an insult.

Raphael was the first Archangel to fall, giving a dreadful shriek of agony, before being followed by Gabriel who had flown in to avenge his gentle brother. Michael had watched in horror as Lucifer had cut through the ranks of Archangels, butchering every last one until only Michael remained and he ran and hid like the coward he truly was. With no leaders in sight, the armies of Heaven lost their courage and were quickly defeated.

“They stood in the way of the inevitable. Do you wish to join them?” Lucifer reasoned. His calm façade was beginning to irritate Michael and the Archangel wished he would go away.

“Leave me alone.” Michael wheezed.

“If I leave you to your own devices, you’ll cause nothing but trouble for me.” Lucifer sighed. “That is why I am giving you the chance to live by joining me. Which one will it be Michael? Do you want to die, or do you want to live?”

“I’ll never join you serpent! I’d rather die.” Michael thundered. He got to his feet and swayed on unsteady legs. His head spun and he staggered, his hands reaching for something to hold onto. Lucifer grabbed Michael’s arm and held the angel still. In response, the Archangel spat in the fallen angel’s face. Lucifer calmly wiped his face off and regarded his adversary with an annoyed expression.

“Look at you, so weak without God. You’re going to die Michael if you keep going along this path. God’s power and your immortality have left your body and you’ll rapidly become more frail and sickly until your body dies.” Lucifer said, fixing the Archangel in his gaze. “Join me Michael and you won’t have to suffer death. I’ll give you the power to sustain you. There is no future for you on the side of God.”

Angels were never meant to be mortal. Their immortality spared them of the suffering that only mortal Man endured and the Archangel was terrified to face that state of being. Michael shook his head frantically and tried to wrest himself from Lucifer’s grip. He couldn’t give in to Lucifer no matter how frightened he was of being mortal. However, his efforts seemed to be in vain and he gave up his struggles, bowing his head in defeat.

The faces of the Archangels, the faithful humans he had aided, and the angels under his command flashed through his mind. To bow down to his adversary would be the highest insult to the memory of those who were slain by Hell’s lot. To bow down would bring only disgrace to his Father’s holy name. He was Michael; the Prince of the angels, the greatest of all his kin and he had a duty to defend Heaven’s honour.

Lucifer patiently awaited Michael’s response with an expectant look upon his face. Michael stood up as straight he could, his head held high, his azure blue eyes hardening, as he spoke his defiance once again. “No, I refuse. I will never call you ‘Master’ neither will I ever obey you. To do so would be an insult to my kin and God Himself! I choose death!”

Lucifer closed his eyes for a brief moment and sighed, his face filled with disappointment and pity. “You are a stubborn fool. But if it is death that you wish for then so be it.” The fallen angel let go of his enemy and took a step back. Michael sank to his knees, still feeling weak and feeble. However, a fire of rebellion burned in his eyes as he glared at Lucifer.

Lucifer drew his sword and stared into Michael’s eyes. There was no trace of fear in them, only anger and outrage. “Do your work murderer!” Michael challenged. The Archangel was ready to die, there was doubt about that. Death did not frighten Michael, not when his heart was so choked with grief that he was too numb to feel much of anything.

The fallen angel was in awe of such courage, but if the fool wanted to die then Lucifer was more than willing to oblige him. He drew his arm back and, with all the strength he possessed, drove his sword through Michael’s heart, killing the Archangel and putting an end to the last of the Heavenly Host. Michael’s eyes and mouth flew open in shock and he looked as if he were about to speak but whatever he wanted to say would never be spoken out loud. A great red stain began to form on the slain angel’s chest and drops of blood fell into the ash, staining it crimson. Lucifer sheathed his bloodied sword and watched the Archangel’s corpse collapse into the dust, causing a great cloud to waft up into the air before resettling.

He stared at the slain angel, considering the life he had taken. What a pity the Archangel chose death instead of saving his life! Lucifer shook his head. “What a fool.” He muttered. What a waste of a good warrior and a useful ally, but he should have known that Michael would resist and refuse him. The warrior had always been so loyal to both God and Creation.

Lucifer turned away from Michael’s fallen form and walked away, kicking up ash with his movements. He had no one to stop him now. No angels, no Michael, and certainly no God was around to prevent him from exterminating humanity. He could carry out his plans with few obstacles.

The fallen angel smiled to himself. At last he would finally get what he always wanted.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Nicole Armas
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Oru Manna: Within this tale is a cast of characters with intensely unique voices and personas; each one radiating their own desires so clearly, you would think they were all written by different people. Their behaviors, their speech patterns, even their thoughts are so independent of one another, it really ...

summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

Judy Haun-Morelock: A very imaginative, compelling story that captivates and holds your attention. Just how will the new Joshua deal with all the changes in his life: his appearance, surroundings, new friends and enemies.

anjalichaudhary777: I am a kind of a person who don't prefer t read books... No matter what I just can't read.... The application I have got its amazing through which I got to read this amazing book.... It keeps you interested and go on.... I felt it amazing. This book helped me to start reading. Talk about th story...

Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren

colt: i love your books! all of them! i am so happy for you! when i first read your book i thought "this seems really interesting" and i just got hooked had to have more, i wondered if you had a sequel to the first one, and you did, i was so excited that i had to start reading it. your series left me t...

Diyfamilygarden: This is one of the best books I've ever read! The characters, the unique love and everything else in this book is so well written that it feels like you're there! Like you can see it with your own eyes! J.K.Rowling can watch out, this fantasy book is just as good as the Harry Potter books, maybe ...

More Recommendations

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

jessiehs: This book had me hooked from the very beginning. To be honest, I wasn't sure I would like it based on the description, but I was very wrong. The way he overcame all of his childhood challenges and managed to help others was great. There were so many times the story had me on the edge of my seat. ...

Rebecca Nollen: I absolutely loved this story!!! So exciting and the movement of the story was an absolute thrill ride. I hated the ending. I need the second book like tomorrow. Can't wait to share this story with my friends and daughter.