It’s a warm summer night when a piece of Grace attaches to her soul. She’s doing some mild floor exercises in the yard, gentle flips and stretches under the dark sky, when the wind is suddenly knocked out of her. She’s lying on the ground, trying desperately to pull air back into her lungs while it feels like someone is tearing her apart on the inside. She blacks out momentarily, and wakes up to a feeling of light. Warm, soft light that makes her head feel kind of hazy but her body feel like a cloud. She sits up slowly, feeling slightly heavier than usual. Her hands are creeping up towards her back, when muscles she didn’t realize she had suddenly flex, propelling her slightly into the air. She screeches, making a sound that is quite unfamiliar to her ears, and immediately plummets back down. Shakily, she thrusts her hands behind her and gets two fistfuls of feathers. Yanking one out, she winces and starts to examine it closely. It’s golden, shimmering softly in the darkness, and a little warm. She tries moving the muscles in her back again, causing the…she wants to call them wings, but that seems slightly presumptuous, to flutter. She moves them again, causing her to hover a few feet off the ground.
“Awesome.” she says quietly. A flicker of light appears on her chest momentarily, leaving behind a small gold star.
Gabriel…whispers a small voice inside her mind. She startles, but manages to catch herself before plummeting to Earth.
“Is someone there?” she asks aloud.
Grace…the voice replies weakly.
“Gabriel…grace…I’m not exactly getting the connection here. Sorry voice.” she says.
Archangel Gabriel…the voice says, almost angrily.
“Are you the Archangel Gabriel then?” she asks curiously. She gets a feeling inside of her, like the voice is nodding.
“Okay…I must be going crazy. I’m probably sitting in a mental hospital right now, doped to the gills. That must be the reason why I think I have wings!” she smiles triumphantly. The voice sighs.
Stupid human…it mumbles.
“Hey, fuck you, voice in my head! I may be crazy, but that doesn’t give you the right to insult me!” She fumes, and a few of the trees around her start to shake.
Calm down…the voice says warily.
“No, I won’t calm down! I’m talking to a voice in my head, for god’s sake!” she screeches, and an enormous burst of light comes out of her mouth. When she regains the ability to see, the surrounding trees have vanished, as if they never existed.
Feel better? the voice asks quietly.
“I…guess?” she says, and slumps down on the ground. It feels as if shadow hands are gently patting her on the back.
I’d explain better, but you’re tired and I don’t have enough power yet so go home and go to sleep I’ll talk to you in the morning. The voice spits out in a rush. She gets up unsteadily, walking in the direction of her house. She climbs up the rickety porch and slips into her bedroom window. She flops onto the bed, her wings folding around her. She snuggles down into the feathers, and falls asleep. In the morning, she pictures the events of last night, wondering if they were a dream or not, until the bottom comes out from under her with a veil of feathers blocking her view of the rising sun.
“Oh fuck!” she yelps, and falls out of bed. She lands on the wings, which sends a jolt of pain through her back.
You can fold them up, you know. The voice says authoritatively.
“Well, how do I do that, Mr. Fancy-Pants Angel?” Her back contracts and the wings fold like an accordion until they are flat against her.
“…Thanks.” she says quietly. Wandering downstairs in last night’s clothes, she grabs some cold pizza from the fridge, sitting down on the couch in the living room.
“So, do you want to start explaining why I’m not crazy?” she asks the room, feeling kind of stupid.
I’ll try. My grace is not very strong right now, but having it attached to your soul is helping quite a bit. She starts to feel kind of queasy, putting the pizza down.
“You’re…attached to my soul?” she asks, imagining a parasitic worm of some sorts, eating pieces of her soul until there is nothing left. The shadow hands are back, wrapping around her body and rocking her in a soothing motion.
Shh, it’s okay. I’m not hurting you. I just need some of your soul’s power to be able to speak to you. She starts to feel a little better.
“Okay, so can you explain exactly why you are inside of me?” she questions.
My grace was torn apart by my brother Lucifer. A piece of it attached itself to your soul.
“But why me?”
You must be important in some way.
“So, do you just keep eating my soul until your grace grows back?” The voice sighs.
First off, kiddo, I’m not eating your soul. Second, we need to collect my grace.
“Where do we collect grace?”
From prayers. Every time someone prays to me, I regain strength.
“So we need to find a way to get people to pray to you then.” She ponders this for a second, picking her pizza back up.
Yes, while I do get prayers from certain sources, it is much harder to find the large amount of people necessary to bring back my grace entirely.
“Hmm…what if we…did some weird dominatrix thing? Like “get down on your knees insolent peon and pray to Gabriel” sort of thing.” The voice laughs, a deep, fulfilling laugh that she can feel in her bones.
That…is one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a while. You’re a natural, kiddo. She smiles, stretching out on the couch.
“Besides, it’s not like I’m doing anything right now. I could totally own the dominatrix business.” Her eyes go a little sad, but she shrugs it off.
What happen…oh. The voice goes quiet as memories flash by. Scenes of her standing with a large group of people, looking fragile in a long black dress, as they lower a casket into a grave. Scenes of her clutching a pillow and screaming, sobbing, biting down until the pain ebbs into numbness. Scenes of her perching at the top of her local supermarket, judging the distance towards the ground and seeing if it would be enough.
I’m…I’m sorry. I know what it’s like to lose your family. She lets out a shaky sigh.
“I guess you do, huh? You said that you were torn apart by your brother. That must have been awful.” She curls up a little, the wings unfolding to envelop her in their feathery warm.
Maybe that’s why my grace attached to you. Because you can understand how I feel.
“I would say if you need someone who relates to losing a family member, I’d be your girl.”
You’ll feel better once you get a prayer. I know it won’t erase the feeling, but it’s a damn good cover.
“I thought you said you don’t get a lot of prayers.”
There is one person…and he prays pretty often. Or, he used to. You can teleport right to him once he starts.
“I can teleport? That’s awesome!”
Yeah, we archangels have a few tricks up our sleeves. Teleportation, creating illusions, creating copies of ourselves, changing our appearance, making time loops, pocket universes, you know, just the important stuff.
“So do I have all these powers now then?”
Try them out. She goes over to the closest mirror, an elaborate silver affair hanging in the front hall.
“Okay…how about…green eyes?” she focuses on her own hazel eyes, and sure enough, a few moments later, she is staring into a pair of forest green eyes.
“Awesome!” She does a little celebratory dance.