EPILOGUE - TIDE OF SORROWS
Slowly, he rose from his semi-crouch, midnight wings morphing back into clothing as he reached his full height. Obsidian eyes looked askance as a shuffle nearby betrayed another’s presence.
His lips stretched; a mournful resemblance of what was once considered a smile. The stain around his mouth was a stark contrast to the pallor of his skin and a warning to his identity.
“So,” he said. “Have you come to end me, Becky?”
“I should,” came her breathy reply.
He glanced sideways and caught her studying the wooden stake in her trembling hand. A strangled laugh fell from his lips as he then stared at the spreading pool around his feet. The limp body of another errant Fallen angel twitched in its final death throes as he gripped it by the neck.
“But?” He released the corpse from his long, taloned fingers. It landed in an unceremonious heap of flesh and feathers causing the red pool to spread out towards Becky’s feet.
She seemed hypnotised by the steaming, coppery-smelling fluid. A moment passed before she answered. “I want to be like you – I want the Gift.”
He spun to face her, coat tails and long, lank hair whipping round his form before settling once more over his tall, lean frame.
"Gift?” he roared. “Do you now think it a divinity bestowed upon the ‘chosen’?”
She squealed, stumbling as the man she had stalked for weeks stood before her in all his terrifying glory. Her back hit a wall, her retreat scuppered.
In a blink, he had her pinned, their bodies just touching, one palm flat against the wall at her head, the other raised before her face, fingers almost touching her cheek. “Do you hate your life so much that you wish for eternal torment?”
Her voice quivered as words tumbled, fragmented from her lips. “I - I have no life to speak of, Cain. Just the mind-numbing daily grind of work, eat and sleep with no hope of escaping its dreary repetition. But, if I had the Gift...”
“Oh, that I had such banality!” He scoffed turning from her.
He heard her exhale. Perhaps she was relieved he’d stepped away. But why? She’d said she wanted what only he could give her. He closed his eyes and inhaled. He could still sense her melancholy; a fragrance many wore, but it was only hers which drew him. He had to resist.
When next he spoke, his voice was soft, almost tender. “You are blessed for you can watch the sun rise without feeling its scorn. You work you said...” he laughed softly. “Tell me, is it in a morgue?”
“N–no!” she replied, clearly perplexed by his question.
“Then you have colleagues with whom you can converse and laugh with, pass the time of day, perhaps enjoy an evening listening to music and dancing. And you can make love.”
“Well... perhaps,” she said quietly, unable to argue with the generalisation of human life.
“You can see the world with its vibrant colours, taste of its plentiful harvests and enjoy each season as the beauty of life continues to evolve. Yet, you demean it by calling it repetitive.”
“But, to be immortal!” she pleaded. ”Nothing would be impossible! To bear witness to that which people pathetically document from generation to generation without the slightest idea of what it was like to be part of it all would...”
“Yes. And you would see it within a crippling loneliness the likes of which you cannot even imagine!” His chest heaved as he fought the tides of sorrow yet again, the ebb and flow so much more brutal than in times gone by. “I know only of cold, dark and endless solitude. It is no Gift, I assure you.”
“But I could end your solitude. I could be with you,” she pleaded.
The touch of her fingers sliding up over his shoulder caused him to recoil. He staggered away from her. “Go! Leave! Do not invite that which enslaves me, Becky. Embrace your life and its sublime feracity for I shall not repeat the sin which robbed me of mine.” His voice was hoarse, broken.
And then he was gone, vanished into the night, back to the cold abyss known as Death.
She sighed, staring at the spot where he’d vanished. With a wan smile she whispered his name, then turned to go back to her hotel. She had lost this time, yes, but was all the more determined now.
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