Short Story – Beauty and Terror

This story is a sort of experimental prosetry type thing so it’s not exactly structured like a normal story.  It has three parts with three different characters: Erin, Damen, and Caroline.  Erin’s section is talking about Raphael, Damen’s is talking about Michael, and Caroline’s is talking about Lucifer.  This story came about after reading the poem Duino Elegies, specifically with the parts talking about angels and how terrifying they are.  ~Vera

She has seen them all her life. Things that no one else seemed to be able to see. At first she found them to be beautiful and mysterious, but the more she saw them, the more terrifying they became to her.

Some of them looked like ordinary people with a bright shining glow around them. Others looked entirely inhuman and like nothing of this earth. Those were the ones that scared her the most. It was even more terrifying when they seemed to take notice of her.

I know they might look scary,” her mother would tell her, “but angels would never harm you. They’re guardians who watch over us. You being able to see them is a blessing, not a curse. Don’t be frightened.”

But it’s not like her mother could see what she saw. The angels that Erin saw were the most terrifying things she had ever witnessed, and whether or not they wanted to cause her harm was the last thing on her mind.

None of that changed when an angel came and spoke with her directly. She was still frightened, though a little less since he looked more human. She was alone and praying for her mother to get better after she had been hurt. That’s when he came. The man with the bright blue glow around him. The glow she had seen around other angels before, only this one was far more powerful.

You’re an angel, aren’t you?” she whispered as he approached her.

Yes, I am. An archangel, in fact.”

She tried to draw away from him, but his spirit, his existence, was too overwhelming to her. She was afraid. He spoke gently to her, drawing her closer and giving her a feeling of comfort. Still his spirit consumed her and she could feel the power of this incredible being just by being in his presence.

And even after he left her, he eventually returned. Again she felt frozen in his presence, though he was ever gentle and comforting. He didn’t harm her, and she knew that he never would. His hands were those of a healer, after all.

As he spoke with her, found out more about her, he decided to become her guardian. It was then that she allowed herself to be taken and consumed by his existence. Being with him was like falling through space, surrounded by stars which bring light and warmth, but you’re still falling.

She loved him, and she never wanted to leave his side, but still… he terrified her.

#

He was no stranger to terrifying beings. He had a nightmare living inside his head, after all, tormenting him every moment of his life. Then the angel came, saying he was there to help. It didn’t affect him much, the angel’s presence, and he barely even acknowledged that something strange was standing before him.

But then the other one came. An archangel, and not just any archangel either – this was the commander of all the forces of heaven.

So why was he here?

His first appearance was dramatic, as if he were there to deliver a message to repent or everyone would be smited. In that brief moment, Damen truly felt the power of the archangel standing before him, feeling his presence flaring out all around them, but it was only a moment.

He wasn’t sure why, but the angel decided to stick around from that point on. Damen did his best to ignore it, but on occasion he could still feel that intense presence he gave off.

Michael wasn’t there for a social call. He could sense the other presence in Damen as well; his nightmare. And when he tried to draw it out of Damen, Damen could once again feel the intensity of the archangel’s power. It began to consume his very soul.

But after that, Michael stayed, and he seemed to want to grow closer to Damen. To become his guardian. Damen tried to push away, to pull out of the presence of that intense power, but there was no escaping it once he had felt it. He let himself be drawn into the archangel’s existence. Now he couldn’t go back.

He had met something far more terrifying than his nightmare, and he couldn’t escape. He didn’t want to, either.

#

She knew nothing of the world beyond her own except in stories she had heard. She believed in higher powers, but she never thought she would see them with her own eyes. In fact, one was standing right in front of her, staying close by her side for years, and she never knew.

Not until he revealed himself to her.

She was frightened at first, suspicious of him, but everything he said to her and did for her felt genuine. When he spoke to her, he didn’t talk down to her like she was nothing. He listened to her, he seemed to respect her. To care about her.

It wasn’t until that first time, when he drew her close in his arms, that she felt the strength of his existence. It threatened to take her over. In that moment she wanted it to, she wanted it to consume her.

Never before had she considered what it would feel like to have her soul touched. She didn’t even care that it was the devil who held her. He was still an angel. And though she found him terrifying, she also found him unspeakably beautiful.

But what is beauty but the beginning of terror? She wanted to pull away, but then she let him press her to his heart. His existence overwhelmed her, his touch burned her. She wouldn’t leave him, though. She couldn’t.

Every angel is beautiful, but that beauty is terrifying.

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