Chapter 1: Returning Home

 Lana, Guardian Angel 

Now

LANA SAT HIGH ABOVE  the rest of heaven, or rather, as high as she was permitted given her status. Up here in these skies – in this domain – it was easy to look down upon the heavens that she lived in. The structures, angels, and dwellings below her seemed tiny, like how a human must feel gazing outside an airplane window. However, to Lana she felt stuck in a prison, kept away from the world she missed – Earth.

Although, here she could be herself, not judged by her fellow angels. Her thoughts could flow freely – not in fear of angels who could read her mind, thus learning her secret desires.

She stretched her legs outward, until she pressed them against her chest. After, she expanded her wings, and then beat them against each other before settling them into place. Under her felt hard, like jagged rocks digging into her skin, but it wasn’t painful. On top of the giant hill locus in the skies, she sat; beneath her water flowed, streaming down the side of the mountain.

Unlike earth – the water wasn’t blue, or running into an ocean or river, but it was different colors: purple, blue, green, and more. To Lana though, it wasn’t the same as being on earth: where sitting on a mountain the wind would blow through her salt-n-pepper hair, or she’d smell the fresh scent of saltwater air hit her nostrils.

“I should get going; Sariel will be searching for me soon.” Lana sighed, unfurling her wings and stood up.

Her wings flapped, preparing to take flight. She leapt from the mountain top, beating her wings and steadying her pace in the angelic sky. She dived down towards the numerous sanctums, making her way towards the Guardians. Rows of towering ionic ivory columns floated on each side of her. Each sanctum varied in size – from midsized to colossal – depending on its need, like the various temples that stood in old Rome. Humans at one time had adopted some of the same designs as heaven, but they were naive to that fact.

The sanctums floated on light puffs of white, with a high base and frontal staircase leading up to the wide, inverted U shaped arches. The outer sanctums contained no doors, and were open to any angel in heaven that cared to visit. The inner sanctums, though, were only allowed passage by certain angels; including, every archangel in heaven. Towards the end of the row – Guardian’s Sanctum floated alone, surrounded by no other sanctuaries. It was lofty, horizontal and extending outwards. Lana landed on the clear surface, tucking her wings in and then walked up the chalky front staircase. After that, she passed the line of five white Corinthian columns on each side, and then walked through the outer U shaped archway.

Once inside, Lana strolled through the dome high ceiling room that was raised up with additional columns. The rotunda room and columns were ivory, with only one tiny circular opening at the top: the oculus. It was said the light of God beamed down on the angels proceeding to their humans, blessing the guardians’ efforts to care for his mortal children. To Lana, it felt as if she hadn’t seen the light for very long (angel years and human years differed). However, in human years – 4.5 billion – time seemed to flow forever. To this day, the light provided her the comfort she needed to live with her fellow angels – even if she was seen as an outcast.

Lana passed through the inner U shaped archway, leading to the hall of Guardians. The hem of her solid white gown brushed across the clear glass-like floor as she walked. On each side was an opening to the shared giant hall that contained the personal viewer pools for every guardian angel. Lana grimaced, entering the hall and walking to her basin. The hall was wide, the ceiling high, and images resembling the archangels decorated its walls. All five of the images were standing together, with the leader of them all, Michael, in the center. Uriel, her Uriel, was on Michael’s right side, representing his role – The Commander of God’s Army. The chatter of angels conversing and working resonated through the hall. As usual, Lana could feel the intense stares on her, making her feel subconscious. She ignored them the best she could, but even some gazes always stung her.

“She shouldn’t be here.”

“How long will this be allowed?”

“She should have joined him.”

As she continued walking, the whispers of gossip echoed in her ears. Her eyes fell upon the crystal floor, in hopes of drowning out the chatter of her past transgressions. Eventually, she came upon her viewer pool. It had an ivory column at the base, with a slim golden trim around the basin. The pool came up to her abdomen, just high enough for her to view into the glistening water. When guardians looked through their viewer pools, humans lives were viewed in earth time, opposed to heaven time.

“You’re late.” Lana heard the familiar voice of her nagging friend, who was standing a few feet away from her; she was next to her own viewer pool.

“I know,” Lana mumbled, as she kept her gaze on the glowing water. She knew once she finally arrived that Erela would scold her, constantly reminding her about promptness. As she waved her hand over the water, Lana sighed. Miniature rainbow beams of light then gleamed in the basin full of liquid, until the image of a young businessman appeared.

“You should stop scolding her, Erela. You really are like the rule master.” Serafim chuckled, shaking his head while he looked at the brunette angel before him. His white bangs swayed with his head gestures, as he brushed the side strands of hair behind his ear. Here we go again, Lana thought, hoping to ignore the banter that was about to transpire.

“Serafim, please, you know Sariel was looking for her earlier,” Erela snapped, and then crossed her arms against her chest like an angry child.

Lana grimaced. She didn’t want to be scolded anymore, “You’re just repeating what Sariel is going to tell me later,” Lana whined in a soft voice; although she knew her friend was right.

Erela sighed and moved her gaze back to Lana. A look of concern showed in her green eyes as she stared at her friend. “I’m just looking out for you.” Erela spoke softly, but Lana avoids her sight.

It’s already hard enough to come in here, maybe it would have been better if I left all those years ago, Lana thought to herself, still trying to avoid her friend’s eyes. Erela was simply waiting for a response – but eventually gave up – dropping her gaze back to her basin.

Lana remained quiet. She’d already known what Erela spoke was true, but how could she always be on time when other angels arrived, giving her their intense glares. It wasn’t ideal for her, and she’d found it best to stay away even if it meant a scolding. Lana then felt another pair of eyes, staring, when she glanced up from the basin, seeing Serafim give her a wry smile. She returned his gaze with sad eyes, and then shifted her sight back to the water.

“Erela, you really should stop scolding others, you’re not Sariel,” Serafim said heartily and then laughed.

Erela puffed her cheeks, “Someone has to enforce the rules around here, Sariel can’t do it on her own.”

“Erela, that one-”

“Serafim, I don’t need you scolding me!”

“But you just scolded Lana,” Serafim retorted.

Lana ignored both of them, as their back and forth banter started to become faded sounds in her ears. She looked back down into the shimmering water, watching her human walk to the local corner Starbucks; he visited the same coffee shop every morning before going to work. Through the years of watching humans, Lana had learned that they all followed a routine – and most of them hated it.

He always dresses the same. Humans live such repetitive lives, Lana thought, tilting her head sideways and continuing to look at the man with interest. Like every morning, he was wearing a black suit, with a fitted tie and matching black leather shoes. She had watched him since he was child, and even she was surprised with how his life ended up. Always depressed and sad that he was getting older. Life held such possibilities for him, and yet, now he was becoming another young man, just working in an office all day.

Lana’s lips then curved into smile, when an idea had just struck her. Humans were like children to her, and of course, like any mother, you want your children to be happy. Let’s try this, Lana thought, as she was about to glide a single finger over the basin.

“Lana,” Serafim called to her, taking her from her thoughts. She glanced up, quickly trying to hide her smile, and retracted her hand back to her side.

Serafim looked at her curiously, raising an eyebrow. Lana knew what that expression ment, and attempted to avoid Serafim’s gaze,

“What are you two doing?” Erela questioned the two angels beside her, making sure they weren’t up to any mischief.

Erela’s hands were on her hips, as she pouted at Lana. In a swift movement, Lana waved her hand over the water, before Erela could stop her.

“You didn’t…” Erela trailed off, with an expression of horror on her oval shaped face.

With his eyes closed, Serafim shrugged his shoulders, like he had finally given up. Erela stood in shock, nostrils flaring and seething with anger at her friend.

“Lana! Sometimes I wonder if you really want to stay a guardian. After what happened in the past, one would think you would stay on your best behavior,” Erela scolded Lana again, this time not holding back any emotions.

“Erela, are job is to take care of our humans, shouldn’t they be happy?” Lana questioned, defending herself against Erela’s rage.

“Humans have to make their own happiness, we cannot thrust it upon them, and you know this,” Erela stated matter-of-factually, continuing to stare at Lana.

Yes, she thought, I do know this, but if I must be stuck here, at least I can bring happiness to another, even if my own is so limited, she’d wanted to tell Erela, but she dared not to. She was an outcast, one disliked in heaven. Telling her feelings of unhappiness wouldn’t bring her acceptance, but only further the claims against her. She had tried to understand herself, of why she acted out, defying certain rules but figured it was out boredom. It was hard being stuck in one place when you longed for freedom.

“Lana.”

Lana cringed; her body became tense from the sound of a sweet female voice that was calling her. Erela shook her head continuously, while Serafim averted his gaze away from her.

The sound of her name being called drew the other angels’ attention. The whispers started to begin again, and the stares further intensified. Even if Lana stayed on her best behavior, it’s not sufficient to satisfy them, to convince heaven of her innocence.

“I’m waiting.” The sweet angelic voice called to her again, with impatience.

“Another scolding,” Lana whined to herself, but it is justly deserved.

“I warned you.” Erela’s voice came out like a child’s, reprimanding her.

Lana didn’t say anything in response. She’d learned that Erela always had to have the last word, even if she did retort back, Erela would respond again unkind. That was her best friend in heaven, and she knew her well.

As Lana turned to exit, she quickly glanced into the shimmering water, curious about her human. Nervously, he was dabbing napkins on a coffee stain he spilled on a young woman. The young woman smiled at him, looking at him with curious eyes before asking for his number. Lana smiled to herself, I guess it worked, she thought, before walking out of the guardian’s hall. The eyes of angels continued to stare at her, but she stayed focused on the deed she’d just done. Because of her, her human would have a date soon. She’d hoped that he would no longer feel too alone, or depressed. Goal accomplished.

With a slight sigh of relief about her human, Lana walked back to the rotunda room. In the middle of the room stood Sariel with her lips formed into a wry smile. Rays of light from the oculus shined down on the golden eyed angel, making her shimmer in the middle of the circular room, like a star shining in the sky. Still staring at Lana, Sariel shook her head, sighing softly to herself. Lana already fathomed what Sariel was thinking. How many times had she got scolded now, six, ten, she’d lost count. In an effort to oblige her humans, she did what she could, not only to guide them, but to ensure they would live a comfortable short life.

Lana strolled over to Sariel, looking at her blonde floor-length hair gleam in God’s light. The shine from Sariel’s light would blind any human who saw it, but not an angel. Lana stopped before Sariel, remaining quiet over the deed she’d just done.

“You did it again, didn’t you?” Sariel asked, like a mother questioning her child, with disappointment but also already acknowledging what the child had done. It was clear to Lana that Sariel wanted her to confess, and there was no point in hiding it.

“I…” Lana started.

Sariel cut her off, “Lana, I know you care about your humans, but you know the rule.” Sariel’s sweet authoritative voice rang in Lana’s ears, reminding her of guardians’ mandates.

“I…” Lana tried to cut in. Maybe it’s best if I just keep quiet, Lana thought to herself, with an expression of guilt on her features.

“Guardians are only meant to guide their humans, not manipulate their lives. We cannot change the course of events. Only humans can make their decisions and actions, no direct influence, only subtle,” Sariel cut her off again, as she reiterated the guardian’s’ number one rule.

Sariel paused then, pressing her hand against her temple. Lana didn’t know if she should cut in or not, but decided it was best to remain quiet.

“Lana, I understand how you feel, but please remember the position you’re in. Due to the past…I…want to give you a chance, do you understand?” Sariel’s voice was wry, as if tired of always having to discipline the angel before her. The tension in Lana’s body filled her, she couldn’t keep screwing up, and she knew that.

“I understand, it won’t happen again,” Lana agreed, averting her to gaze to the crystal floor.

Another sigh escaped Sariel’s lips, and then she said, “Both the same, yet so different.”

Lana perked up, wondering who Sariel was referring to. Both the same, yet so different… Lana thought to herself, until Sariel’s voice disrupted her thinking process.

“Lana, you can go now.” Sariel paused, turning away from Lana. She walked a few feet before turning back around, “Oh, I heard the soldiers are returning today, I’m sure you’ll want to greet them with the rest, but please remember what we talked about. I don’t want to have this conversation again,” Sariel said affirmatively, but the sweetness of her voice remained intact.

A smile then beamed on Lana’s face. Out of everything that has happened, that was the best news she’d heard in what felt like months. He’ll finally be returning, she thought, trying to hide her excitement from Sariel.  Sariel then smiled warmly at her, before turning away again.

Unable to contain her excitement, Lana exited Guardian’s Sanctum, quickly unfurling her wings and flying through the angelic sky towards the gates of heaven. The loud sound of trumpets blasted in the air, signaling the return of the armies. The once semi-empty sky was now full of angels rustling about; making their way to the same location has Lana. Angels poured out from the sanctuaries, breaking from work to welcome back God’s Army from battle.

White feathery wings permeated the purple-golden skies, making it hard for Lana to see clearly before her. Faintly able to glimpse through the mass of angels, she saw the glow from the golden gates seeping through the upper atmosphere, radiating a warm pure light that penetrated any darkness. There, the piles of angels stood into a crowd, huddling together as the gates slowly started to open. She felt nervous knowing the disapproving stares would come immediately once she landed near the spectators. However, she didn’t want that to stop her from viewing his return. She navigated through the row of angels in the air, and then landed down on the crystal surface. Peeking through the crowd, she attempted to get a view of the gateway.

It feels like forever since I’ve heard the tales of earth; I wonder what stories he has to tell me, Lana wondered, musing to herself has she stood behind the flock of angels.

It wasn’t in an angels nature to act like humans – pushing their way pass members of a crowd, pondering only their selfish desires. Being the angel that she was, Lana politely asked those around her to step aside, but it wasn’t long before her face was recognized.

“What is she doing here?”

“Traitors have no place by heaven’s gates.”

“Her again, why does she even bother coming?”

Loathing, disgusted stares soon flickered on her, as angels steered clear of her presence. Promptly, the angels encircling her vicinity dispersed, leaving her to stand alone in the massive crowd of awaiting angels. Lana wasn’t able to hide how she felt, embarrassment washed over her when she saw everyone avoiding her presence. The snarling, seething faces of the female and male angels told her to leave, as always informing her that she didn’t belong here. With her sight glued to the crystal floor, she held back the pain she was feeling. She was alone, standing encircled by her own kind, rejected, and not wanted. After all these years, I should be used to this by now. They don’t want me here, fine…I’ll just leave, she thought, spreading her wings. Since she had room, her wings spanned around her, and she beat them together, lifting into the sky. She didn’t look back. By now where she once was standing would be filled with happy joyous faces.

Once she was far enough away, she hovered in the sky, staring down at the celebration that was about to begin. The gates were open now, and the soldiers dressed in their white, golden amour valiantly strolled through the gates, waving to those who came to welcome them home. Shouts of glee elevated from the entryway. Grand cheers went to the heroes of heaven, who bravely fought and defeated Lucifer’s army. Even though the returning number of angels was less than those who left, the victories were still won.

Lana swept her eyes over the returning soldiers, looking for her Uriel. He’s not there, this is unlike him. Frantic, she darted her eyes again over the crowd, hoping she might have missed him.

“He’s not here.” A sharp female voice cut in from behind her.

Lana turned around, recognizing the soldier angel that was hovering next to her in the skies. Bellatrix, what does she want? Lana had no desire to converse with the angel beside her, but heavens pleasantries dictated otherwise. Bellatrix was still wearing her white, golden armor, with her sword hanging from her hips, looking intimidating as always. Her cold disposition had isolated her, making most angels fear her presence.

“You’ve returned,” Lana simply stated, hoping to avoid long conversation.

“Yes, and if you’re looking for him, he’s not here. He is still on earth,” Bellatrix informed Lana coldly, keeping her dark-brown eyes on the angels below them.

Bellatrix, I swear, she just wants to taunt me. Why does Uriel trust her so much? Lana thought to herself, while avoiding Bellatrix’s sight. “That’s not like him, usually he would return with the others. Is he alright?” Lana asked, a worried tone could be heard in her voice.

Bellatrix frowned, shifting her sight to Lana. Her long, straight black hair twirled around her face. “It’s none of your concern, a guardian like you shouldn’t be involved in the affairs of the Commander…not only that, but also a traitor –”

“I’m no traitor.” Lana’s voice was firm, and harsh.

Bellatrix stared at Lana with amusement, and then chuckled. Lana’s lips twisted into a scowl, no longer wanting to be taunted by Bellatrix.

“You have no place in heaven, and you know that.” Bellatrix’s cold words echoed in Lana’s ears, but she tried not to let them persuade her.

Lana spun around, looking into the distance at the giant mountain she was sitting on before. “Think what you will, I know what I am.” With those words, she left the soldier angel behind, returning to her peaceful spot in the skies.

Feeling dejected, she sat back down on the mountain top, still listening to the cheers and shouts of her fellow angels. Celebrating wasn’t for one like her, and it hadn’t been for years now.

Sitting alone, Lana pondered Bellatrix’s words: It’s not like Uriel to send soldiers back alone, not even Yushiro has returned yet. Something must have happened. She could feel the worry building up inside of her, as she started to feel tense again. Uriel was strong – one of the strongest angels in heaven – so she used that fact to calm her worries. Even more worrisome, though, was Serial’s words, Both the same, yet so different.

“I wonder who Serial was referring to,” Lana wondered to herself. She stayed seated – watching the celebration from the distance – musing over how she could be accepted, would she ever be accepted.

Uriel, Commander in God’s Army

Now

URIEL STABBED HIS SWORD into the chest of the fallen that was before him. The demon was on its knees, narrowing its yellow eyes to the archangel that was going ensure his second death. Behind the fallen, a sea of demonic bodies covered the once grassy green field. The stench of death and rotting flesh entered Uriel’s nostrils, reminding him of the crazed battle that had just ended. Black sludge stained the grass, dripping from the corpses of his enemies. It was like black tar, covering everything that was once beautiful and full of glowing life. War had raged for years, slowly destroying the plant that God had once created. Wars between angels and demons, and wars between humans – the aftermath both looked the same. The only difference between the two was the amount of dead piled on the battlefield.

Uriel grunted, twisting his sword into the thick ebony flesh of his enemy, until its demonic screams filled his ears. The dark sludge flowed from its scaly wound, on top of the almost black blades of grass next to its knees. Its wide yellow eyes stared into Uriel’s, before shutting for good. The dead body slumped, leaning against the sharp blade of Uriel’s red-yellow flaming sword.

“Commander Uriel.” The voice of the subordinate caught his attention, distracting him from the kill.

Uriel scowled, pulling his flaming sword abruptly from the dead carcass. He spun around, locking his sight to the winged soldier bowing in front of him.

“What is it?” Uriel snapped, growing impatient with every second that his enemy wasn’t found.

“We haven’t been able to find him, Commander. It seems he has slipped our grasp,” the soldier informed Uriel, as he held his head in shame.

“My, my, it seems he has gotten away again. A quick one, isn’t he?” The sarcastic tone of his second-in-command always managed to irritate Uriel, earning the Captain many scowls and smart-ass remarks.

“Humph, Yushiro, you give him too much credit, I’ll find him, and then destroy him,” Uriel threatened through clenched teeth, while narrowing his eyes. With his nostrils flared, anger shot through every inch of his being. He raised his sword into the air, removing its holy flames and quickly returned it to its sheath.

After, he expanded his wings – which almost blocked the sun – he flapped them, taking flight into the air. Locks of his black hair blew in the wind, striking his face. Using his angelic sight, he scanned the skies. His determination to find his enemy fueled him, as he looked down upon the pile of corpses. Angels and demons dead covered the field; they had their second death, never to return.

Azazel, you bastard, I won’t let you escape this time, Uriel thought, as he increased his speed in the wind, searching for the demon that escaped him.

I hope you all enjoyed chapter one! It starts off slow but it picks up in later chapters! Please vote and let me know what you think! Constructed criticism is always welcomed!  

Click here for chapter 2

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4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Chapter 1: Returning Home

  1. I don’t think this starts out slow at all. The pacing is just right to tell this story. I like how in this chapter we see two different views with different characters. I’m still not sure of the relationship between Uriel and Lana, but I’m sure that will be revealed soon enough. I am enjoying this read very much 🙂

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