Read Rise From Darkness Online

Authors: Ciara Knight

Tags: #demons, #Paranormal, #Angels, #Young Adult

Rise From Darkness (10 page)

BOOK: Rise From Darkness
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She reached out and clasped his hand. “The problem was neither wanted to live on earth without the other. When this angel was betrayed by another he became consumed with rage. Once the rage took over, he couldn’t stop. He caused the death of the woman he loved. He couldn’t handle it.” She sucked in an abrupt breath and tears fell onto her pale blue dressing gown.

Alexander squeezed her hand trying to comfort her. “Please Grace, it’s okay. I get it. You don’t have to continue.”

“Yes I do.” She stated firmly with more strength than he had ever seen from her.

“Don’t you see? You can’t seek revenge on
Forras
for what he did today. He is a lost soul just like you, Sammy, and I. You must find forgiveness in your heart, and—”

“Forgiveness? He’s a demon. Why do I need to find forgiveness?”

“Because that fallen angel I told you about, with all of his rage from losing the love of his earthbound life became a demon. The hate consumed him. Do you want that to happen to you?” Grace’s voice broke.

Alexander realized what she was trying to tell him. She was worried that his rage would cause his fall.

“But I didn’t fall because of hatred. I fell because I loved Sammy so much I couldn’t let her be mistreated. I—”

“It doesn’t matter. He fell because he didn’t trust Heaven and the powers that be to make the right decision. He acted in a way unbecoming of an angel. He might not have been a healing angel like you, but he was an angel nonetheless. You see he was a guardian angel and when the young woman he was guarding fell into demon hands, he couldn’t stop himself. He made choices that were not acceptable. There were consequences and he didn’t learn from his mistakes. He made the same choices again when she died. That’s why he’s a demon. There was no conscious choice to fall further, he didn’t wake up and decide to be a demon. It happened because he didn’t control himself.”

“I can control myself.”

“Can you?”

“Of course.” Hadn’t he shown great restraint when he didn’t try to kill
Forras
?

“Yet, you make the same choices over and over again. You chose to show yourself to Gaby.”

“I had no choice.”

“Yes, you did. What happens if you face the same choices as the angel who fell, what will you do? Will your rage consume you?”

“No.” It was a weak answer and he knew it. Could he control himself?

“Please, son, just think about it. And for now, stay away from Gaby.”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” He sighed. “She hates me.” His body now slumped next to Grace’s and his eyes welled up with tears.

Chapter Eight

“Gaby, say something.”

Sammy’s words came softly, but she couldn’t respond. Images flashed through her mind, Alexander’s wings exploding in front of her. His body resembled a Michelangelo statue she once saw in a Humanities book she studied. But his eyes reminded her of an old vampire flick.

How could she ever process who or what he was? Yet, somehow she wasn’t surprised. She already knew. The painting, her favorite, the one that lay on her desk upstairs had already revealed who he was. What of the others? The dark dreams reconstructed with blended colors on a canvas.

“Please, Gaby, you have to talk to me.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

Gaby couldn’t help but think about the pictures upstairs. Should she show them to Sammy? Would she think she was crazy? There were so many unanswered questions.

“What is he?” Gaby hesitated. “I mean—”

“He’s an angel. A fallen angel.” Sammy reached out and placed her hand over Gaby’s wringing ones.

“Is he dangerous?” She could feel a thumping against her neck as she waited for the answer. Even when his eyes glowed, she still wanted to be near him.

“No. Not to you. Only to himself.” Sammy looked down at the floor her brow furrowed.

“Are you a … fallen angel too?”

Sammy let out a sigh. “Yes.”

Gaby had so many questions bubbling in her head, she didn’t know where to start. “How do your wings work without shredding all your clothes?”

Sammy giggled. “That’s what you want to know? Well, most of my shirts have Velcro in the back that Grace sewed in. Alex is lucky and just takes his shirt off most of the time.”

“Do you appear, like he did? I mean, do your eyes glow?”

“It is different for all of us.” Sammy looked up with her eyes glazed over as if remembering something.

“All of us? There are more of you?”

“Yes.”

“You’re telling me there are things that go bump in the night and fly in the sky. This is insane. I’m dreaming right?” The familiar sting of panic rose and she wondered if she’d have to start taking the medicine again. No, she was stronger now and the pills never kept the nightmares away.

Sammy shifted to face her. “I didn’t say anything about things going bump in the night. You know something don’t you?” Sammy stared her down.

“I don’t know anything.” Gaby paused and tried to figure out what to do. “But I wasn’t entirely shocked by Alex’s appearance. There is something I have to show you.”

Gaby led Sammy to her room and opened the old trunk. She pulled out the worn leather portfolio her mother gave her. She picked up the picture from her desk and sat next to Sammy on her bed.

“Where did you get this?” Sammy stared at the picture.

“I drew it. I drew all of these. I know this might sound insane, but I saw a picture come true the other night.”

“What? What picture?”

Gaby held her breath. Her belly knotted as she remembered her father in his drunken stupor.

“You see the angel wings? It’s Alex.”

“How do you know they are his wings when you can’t see the face?” Sammy ran her finger along the outline of the feathers with a perplexed look on her face.

“Who else could it be? I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but I feel what I draw. When I look at the wings, I feel warmth and comfort. A sort of blanket of loving protection. I know it sounds insane.”

“I don’t know Gaby. This hardly proves that this happened or will happen. It could be a coincident. Maybe you caught a glimpse of Alex without realizing it and dreamed about him.” Gaby frowned at the hesitant look on her face.

“There’s more. I saw another image of someone else with the face shadowed. I couldn’t tell who it was until I saw it in real life.” Gaby pulled a few more pictures out careful not to expose the one of her father. She showed Sammy what looked like several animals combined.

“I know what these are.” Sammy appeared sad and distraught. “Do you have any pictures that show faces or anything that can reveal where or when they take place?”

“No. Not so far. Do you think they really show the future? I mean two for two so far.”

“I don’t know. It seems unlikely, but I guess anything’s possible.”

“Sammy, there has to be a reason I dreamed those… those monsters out there. How could I draw something I had never seen? It has to mean something.”

“If you really believe that than maybe we should study the pictures and see if we can figure anything else out.”

Gaby took in a deep breath and started looking through some others, but there were so many of them.

“Gaby, can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Why did you freak out so bad if you weren’t that surprised by Alex’s appearance?”

“I was completely shocked by his appearance. But that wasn’t the problem. It was, um, the—”

“Go ahead, Gaby. What was it?”

“This is going to sound insane but I wasn’t scared of him. I was scared of what he could do.”

“His strength, speed…what?”

“His flying.” Gaby could feel the heat rise in her cheeks.

“His what?” A look of confusion flashed across Sammy’s face.

“I’m scared of heights okay? Not really heights, but plummeting to my death from a high place. Yes, I was scared and horrified by
Forras
attacking me. But one minute I’m safely on the ground and the next I’m flying through clouds.”

Sammy laughed and fell back on the bed.

“It’s not funny.”

“Yes it is. You’re scared of heights and dating an angel.”

****

Alexander sat at the breakfast table hunched over his oatmeal and toast. The smell of cinnamon and sugar for once wasn’t appetizing. He could sense Grace watching every move he made and tried to appear less miserable than he felt.

“Good morning, everyone,” Sammy bounced into the room full of enthusiasm as always.

Alexander felt his face contort in disgust. “Good morning, Sam.” He attempted to sound chipper but he knew he failed miserably.

“Alex, guess what?” She didn’t even pause for his response. “I’m going to help Gaby overcome her fear of heights. You want to help?”

“Fear of heights?” Grace sounded amused.

“It’s not funny.” He growled.

“I didn’t say it was, son.”

“So, will you come help?”

“Did Gaby ask for me?” Hope rose with the idea of Gaby asking about him.

“Well, no, but I’m sure—”

“No.” Alexander pushed back from the table and cleared his plate of half-eaten food. He was crazy to think she ever wanted to see him again.

“Oh come on Alex, it’ll be fun.”

“I said no.” He didn’t mean to snap at Sammy; he knew she just tried to help. But he couldn’t face Gaby, not after she saw him looking like a possessed monster. No, she would never look at him the same way again. Why couldn’t he appear more like Sammy’s angel form, more angelic and bright with glowing pale pink eyes?

Curiosity got the better of him and an hour later he lingered in the distance watching Sammy trying to help Gaby.
Patronus
raced around them barking and chasing seagulls that would occasionally land on the beach. At first Gaby stood on Sammy’s back like a cheerleading move, after that she had her climb a tree.

Alexander moved in closer as Sammy spread her wings and floated a few feet off the ground holding Gaby in her arms. Tears streamed down Gaby’s face. Why was she doing this to herself? Did cheerleading mean that much to her?

After they reached eight feet off the ground, Gaby grasped her chest as if she were having a heart attack. He wanted to scream out that she had enough and cheerleading wasn’t worth torturing herself, but he couldn’t face her. He paced around while Gaby collapsed on the ground and stroked
Patronus
for apparent comfort.

Images flashed into his head from the day before from when she sat shaking with her eyes wide and horrified. He cringed and sunk into the shadow of a tree.

A few minutes passed and it appeared they were going to try again. He held his breath and dug his fingers into the tree sending bits of bark floating to the ground while he was forced to watch them rise higher into the air. It was obvious Gaby couldn’t handle it.

They reached twenty feet high and she screamed and cried out. He took a step out and started to fly, but held himself back. How much was Sammy going to torture her?

It must have been fifty feet up in the air when he saw Sammy look straight at him, smile and release Gaby. Her body flailed around as she plummeted toward the ground. His wings burst out and he took flight, catching her only inches before her body slammed against rocks and tree limbs.

She clung to him whimpering as he flew across the beach. The scent of her made him float without a flap of his wings. He touched down a few hundred yards away and cradled her for a moment.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’ll leave and won’t bother you again. I promise.”

“No, don’t.” She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him close.

He wanted to hold her, wrap wings around her and never let her go. But he couldn’t bear the thought of her rejecting him again. How could she ever want to be with such a freak?

She let go of his neck, and his wings fluttered as he tried to fly away.

“Look at me.” Gaby’s voice sounded tender and loving, but he couldn’t bring himself to look into her eyes and see the disgust, or worse, pity for him.

Her hands caressed his face. “I said look at me.”

He glanced down.

“Thank you.” Gaby leaned in and kissed his cheek. A spark of fire flickered inside him.

“For what?” Alexander didn’t give her an opportunity to answer. He spotted Sammy walking toward them and jumped up dumping Gaby onto the sand.

“What were you thinking? She could have died!” He marched up to her ready for an argument, but she stood there with a devious grin on her face. “What are you grinning at? You could have killed her.”

“Because you, dear brother, would never have talked to Gaby again on your own.”

Blast his meddling sister struck again. “It doesn’t matter what I want. I disgust her.” He looked away in shame. “She couldn’t possibly want me.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. You’re all she’s talked about since I met her. Alex this, Alex that. Frankly, I’m sick of hearing your name.” She rolled her eyes in mock nuisance.

“She talked about me because I’m some sort of side show freak.”

Gaby came up behind him clearing her throat.

“I’ll let you get back to torturing yourself in the name of cheerleading.” Alexander turned to leave but Gaby grabbed his arm.

“You think I’m doing this for cheerleading?” She turned to Sammy. “You’re right. Your brother is dense.”

Sammy giggled.

“I’m doing this out of the slim chance you might actually decide you want to spend more than five minutes with me again.”

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