In his dreams he could still see the world the way he remembered it. Rolling green hills framed the vast world of his childhood, trees of so many colours, the softness of the grass underfoot. And above it all, clouds stretched overhead like an enormous blanket illuminated by the light of the sun, blinding in their perfection.
He told himself every night before going to sleep that this time he would sleep forever. He wanted so desperately to stay in that dream place of beauty and freshness and innocence. But sleep, however much it was desired, could not last forever, and once again he battled with the first moments of awareness. He clung to the trees and the clouds and the sun with the hands of his mind’s eye, and watched them fade into nothingness as they slipped from his fingers.
Just before they disappeared, he caught sight of a beautiful figure, a girl of white and gold so perfect it made his heart ache. She watched him as she too faded, and at the last moment, her mouth opened in some silent plea. And then, just like last night and the night before, she was gone too, and he never knew what it was she would have said to him.
His entire body ached. It was a pain he had never experienced, excruciating and unrelenting. He had given up wondering long ago what had happened. The last thing he remembered was a scorching bright light, and then falling into eternity. He didn’t know how long he had fallen, but somehow he had ended up here.
Here everything was harsh and cold and painful. Nothing was the way he remembered it. The world had changed while he was dead, and he would have given anything to close his eyes and wish himself dead again. Anything but this. Anything but scavenging for scraps in garbage cans and piles of refuse on the side of the world. Anything but the screaming pain of his joints and muscles every time he moved. Anything but the heavy feeling of loss and aloneness every time a human looked right through him. He wanted, more than anything, to go back home, to wake up and find out it was all a dream.
But heaven had no place for him now.
Sometimes he tried to tell himself that this was hell. Nothing could be more painful, or more unlike the beauty and freedom of soaring in the clouds. But always there was that knowledge, hidden at the back of his mind, that it could get much worse than this. This was not hell. It didn’t even come close.
On the fifth day of his torture, he saw it. A face, not unlike his own, but still so terrifying, so evil, it made his heart quake. Always the face lurked in the shadows at the edge of his vision, haunting him in his dreams and watching him with eyes like glowing red coals. He stopped sleeping at night, because that was the creature’s domain. Night was the time when the hell beasts came out to play. He slept during the day, travelling at night, hoping to gain some ground on the creature. But always it lurked just out of sight, watching, waiting for its moment.
He knew he could not outrun it forever. Eventually it would find him, and catch him, and drag him down to the pits of hell, where he would never escape. He would become one of them, a demon, a hunter of angels.
So he walked until his feet could carry him no more. Until they were blistered and bruised and he collapsed on the scorched earth where he would sleep. And every night he would wake sweating, the vision of that terrible face fresh in his memory.
When he passed a tree, he would climb it, turning his face to the clouds and stretching out his wings, willing them to lift him into the sky. Soon he stopped even looking at the trees. His wings were no more than broken bones and limp, flightless feathers. They couldn’t carry him where he wanted to go.
So he walked without end, knowing that he was following only false hope. Eventually the demon would find him, and he would become like it.
Then he would never find his way back to heaven.

Copyright © Kaika 2008



Forresters Beach, Australia

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Artist's Description

This is the prologue of my novel Fallen, which is about what happens to angels when they get kicked out of heaven. It’s kind of a romance I guess. I’m not religious, but the angel/devil thing has always been a thing I want to do. Enjoy!

Artwork Comments

  • sleightflow
  • Kaika
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