Chapter 1: Shayniel
In the clouds, lived a civilization, like gorgeousness glossed in purity. Everything in this dreamlike society was dressed in pearly white, and baby blue paired with the occasional cream colored object. Men and women danced around the city in the sky, everyone was happy with their lives up in the clouds. Union had been brought to their home millions of years ago which meant no messes or downfalls to come, but recently that was not the case. A young man in his mid twenties, rushed through the pearly white city. Books were held tightly to his chest; his blond hair blew in front of his face as he ran from the library afraid of being late to return home.
"Hello, Shayniel!" one of the angels called when the male angel ran by.
"Hey, Miss!" the baker smiled as Shayniel continued his run.
Many calls to the young man followed, Shayniel ran as fast as his slim but strong frame could take him. Being late for anything was the worst thing in the silver city, so many rules and social cues come along with being proper.
"I can't be late," he muttered to himself as he took a fast turn and slipped on the mud upon the sidewalk.
Slowly the young man fell to the ground, his arms and legs earned small scrapes and little pieces of dirt adhered to his body. His white button-up and pale cream shorts had now gained large stains upon the pristine articles of clothing.
"If the Father won't be angry with me for being late, he'll definitely be angry with me for my clothes,” he mumbled as he propped himself up onto his wrists.
"Are you okay, Shayniel?" a little girl, approached the fallen angel with the stained clothes, the young woman held out her hand for the man.
"Yes, I'm fine." Shayniel sighed, accepting the aid of the other angel.
After he was on his feet, he dusted himself off, rubbing the dirt from his palms onto the already stained attire. Shayniel looked down and noticed the many scrapes across his hands, he winced at the touch of the injuries. After quickly recollecting himself, he grabbed his fallen books and ran off home.
"First, I'm late and now I have mud all over my clothes! This day is going great," he muttered at a loss of breath, sarcasm coated his voice.
When he arrived in front of his humble abode, he paused and calmly marched in the door, "Hello, Father? Are you home?"
"Shayniel, you are late!" a forceful voice rang through the house, "Now come set the table."
Shayniel aimlessly wandered into the kitchen; his mud-stained shirt was no longer buttoned properly, his shirt collar was popped up towards his ears, and his dirty no longer blond hair stuck upwards from the mud.
Three other young adults sat at the table awaiting food to be prepared, those who lived with a council member were the unlucky of the angels; those without a home, any family or even food in their bellies. To the unlucky, they would be assigned a home with a council member-known as a Father -and three other troubled individuals, as the board seemed to phrase the whole situation for the homeless.
The young man smiled at the Father who gave him a disapproving look, "What happened to your clothes! Go change and wash that dirt off! If He saw you, He'd throw you straight down to Earth or even worse." the Father exclaimed.
Obeying the Father, Shayniel ran off, left his books on his bed inside the shared room and rushed into the bathroom to wash his hands.
Turning on the faucet, he listened to the water flow down the drain, as if he could follow the water too. He yawned rubbing his face with the palms of his hands before quickly peaking at the mirror to notice splotches of fresh red paint had lightly coated his face. Upon further inspection, it appeared his scrapes had bled, then pain grew as he touched the injuries. A liquid coated his fingertips in the horrific red that meant terrible things to any angel, Shayniel gasped, "This can't be happening!"
Blood slowly escaped his vessels, he stared at the cuts in shock, angels don't bleed, only humans and demons. Shayniel began to shake, how was he bleeding, he's an angel, they can't bleed, right?
“Should I hide this? If the Council finds out, what are they going to do to me? Am I human or worse, a demon? If I was, would they send me to Earth or the underground? Would I even survive down there? Would they tear me apart? Would they rip my wings up, feather by feather? What is going to happen to me?” Shayniel thought, millions of words raced around in his head.
He washed the dirt from his hands, but he continued to bleed. Without bothering to look, he knew that there wasn't anything to cover his cuts with, not in the medicine cabinet or anywhere else in this civilization of clouds.
He grabbed a small cloth and held it to his hand, "Stop! Why isn't it stopping? Stop, flipping stop!" Shayniel panicked. He lifted the rag from the cuts but the red liquid continued to slush out of his body at a slow burning rate.
He was pulled out of his worry when an oh-so familiar and forceful knock banged against the washroom door, “Shayniel, what is taking so long in there?" Father asked whilst battering on the wooden barrier between him and the young bleeding angel.
"Nothing," Shayniel quickly replied, "It's just that this pesky dirt really doesn't want to come out," he added to not sound as suspicious.
"You are just taking a very long time," the Father stressed his words, "Now open the door!”
"Why? I'm just washing my hands and my shirt is still covered in dirt." he countered with defensiveness armoring his voice.
He placed the small cloth over his bloody palm, the blood had mixed with the water in the sink and pooled in the base of the bowl, he turned on the faucet to flush out the transparent red liquid.
"Shayniel, open this door!" Father shouted, abruptly turning the doorknob and opening the door.
What the Father saw brought immediate shock to the old man, Shayniel stood over the sink holding a rag pressed to his hand, from the clenched fist dripped red liquid.
“What are you covered in?" the Father asked before the idea had fully sunk in, "Is that blood?" he shouted.
The young man hid his hand along with the stained rag behind his back, "What no! It's-" he froze.
"It's paint, Father!" he tried to think of any story he could fabricate to get himself out of this situation, "I was helping paint the library!"
"You know what happens to those who lie." the Father looked at him disappointingly raising his hand hit the angel, "Now show your hand, that is an order.”
Shayniel shook his head, earning a strike across his face.
"No?" the Father asked, "Show me your hand!" he bellowed. His shout scared the angel as a cry for help fell out of Shayniel’s mouth, Shayniel wanted to run but he was in a small and confined bathroom.
“There is no escaping this, is there?” the young angel gulped.
He began to back away from the Father pushing himself closer to the wall, he’d been cornered. Shayniel’s back was pressed up against the cold lavatory wall. The Father grabbed a hold of the angel’s wrist and ripped the crimson-soaked cloth from his hands. He inspected the injury across Shayniel’s palm, "Bleeding?" he asked.
Shayniel was different from every other child of the council; he was born with wings. He didn't earn his wings like the rest of the people his age! An angel that bled, one who didn’t deserve his wings, that is not something the Father had ever seen before.
"Blood!" the Father shouted again, "What are you! Human? Demon?” his voice rang through the small bathroom.
"Get up, I'm taking you to the council to figure out what to do with you, scum." he spat, laying a hand on the young man’s cheek which was growing red.
"Don't cry, you little monster, you know you don’t belong here." he bellowed.
He grabbed Shayniel’s wrist, and clutched it tightly between his brittle fingers, he couldn't escape from the Father’s grasp. "Father, please! I've done nothing wrong!" he pleaded.
The Father didn't reply, he dragged the young man out of the house by the wrist. He began to yell into the streets.
"Attention, everybody! Here we have a human, here in our city! A bleeding boy! A lying angel!"
As the Father bellowed, people started to swarm around them. Many of the crowd's jaws dropped, shocked emotions blurred the swarm's try for words. Shayniel’s bleeding hand was held high, tears dripped down his face as he was unwillingly placed on display. Through the tears, he recognized some of the people he'd grown up with, his friends. Slowly the crowd became faceless bodies blurred by his sobs.
The Father marched through the city to the council, "What do you think they are going to do with you?" he laughed.
Once arrived at the council, the Father chuckled, "Are you ready for your fate?"
Shayniel did not reply, only followed him and did whatever he said because he knew that there was no way of getting out of this, he was doomed. It's either a life on Earth or an eternity in the underground, and in all honesty neither options sounded that kind to him.
Shayniel was brought into a circular room, he stood in the middle, and wrapped around the wall were many chairs that sat many elderly men. Each man was dressed in a grey robe with their angelic wings sticking out the back of the cloak.
"Shayniel,” one of the elders began, "You bleed or so it appears, what must you have to say for yourself?" he asked.
"Elder, today I fell on my way home and the cuts began to bleed, I didn't angels could even do that!"
"Son of the Council, it appears you are of unruly blood with angelic wings, you are a perjurer."
“We do, we should so, we must send him to Earth or hell but where will he go, one may know." a third elder spoke in an old chime.
"Please, I've done nothing wrong-" Shayniel began before an elder yelled, "You are of false blood, you must go to where all humans live or where they travel to when they pass.”
A series of different replies had cued up, the oldest of all of the men had calmly raised his hand. Quietly, the many old men came to a conclusion unknown to Shayniel.
"All in favor, say I." the majority of the elders agreed, “May God be with you.”
As if a trapdoor had opened beneath his feet, Shayniel began to fall. It was slow at first before he picked up speed, he was unable to use his wings to stop himself from falling. Fear grew within him as heavy winds and gravity pulled him down, faster and faster, towards the ground. “Will I fall to the Earth or pass straight through?”
Unfortunately, his question couldn’t be answered as everything began to turn black as the wind continued to whistle in his ears.
Chapter 2: Damien the Demon
Far underground, existed an opposite and deathriden city. The colours draped were heavy and dark, reds and black drew out the civilization of inferno. The Devil’s colour, crimson, painted the streets with fear; as well as large rivers of blood and lava being built traced the city line. For the dead, everyday new people, departed souls joined the assembly line to keep the city running. For those, the immortals and demonic individuals, they thrive on the dead’s fear and torment. In Hell, happiness was hard to come by but also sadness was just as difficult to find, emotions were an anathema.
Damien, a demon in his late twenties, spent his never-ending days like any other immortal monster; torturing the souls of the damned. Although it had become his profession at a very young age, guilt still built up within him after every session of maiming and oppression. The culpability acted as his own sin, weighing him down and bubbling up inside him, he’d never known anything different but somehow he knew what he was doing was definitely seen as wrong.
Begrudgingly, the demon marched home, his clothing and hands were stained with blood from those he’d mutilated throughout his day.
“God, I need to change.” Damien mumbled to himself, dragging his weapon behind him against the ground, the blade carving out a path in the dirt underneath his feet.
Like everyday at exactly 8:30, he walked home alone, not because he didn’t have any friends but he just couldn’t stand the bright haired demons that he called co-workers. On the long walk from his work establishment to his cobblestone built residence, Damien’s eyes never left the ground, this was a daily thing for the demon as he would mutter to himself about his rather depressing day.
But there is nothing quite like a star, especially for someone who has never seen the night sky. The small ball of light appeared out of nowhere and began to plummet towards the ground at a high velocity. The shooting star was so bright it filled up the underground, while it illuminated the dark dirt sky. As it grew closer, it became more apparent that it was no falling star but a person, an angel, with large white wings wrapped around his body. Damien, in awe, picked up his weapon and ran towards the falling angel.
Unfortunately he couldn’t make it in time, with a hard thump, the angel hit the ground. Damien picked up his pace but people were already crowded around the fallen angel. With a closer look, the angel’s wings had opened to reveal the young man who sported the feathery appendages. He looked tall, probably a little shorter than Damien. The angel was honestly the most beautiful being that Damien had ever seen, dusty blond hair and nice pale skin. The angel radiated a soft white light from his entire body, the glow wasn’t as bright as it was before he’d landed so severely on the ground.
Something was off about this young angel though, he wore an all white attire, that was stained with dirt and what appeared to be blood. The angel’s hands were bleeding, cuts and scrapes littered the handsome man’s body but he was still so beautiful to the demon.
The angel groaned, which was understandable after the fall he’d just taken, a pair of bright blue eyes opened upon the angel’s face.
Pushing through the swarm of immortal beings was a familiar face for the demon, Mari, his boss; a female immortal that was strong enough to raise hell fire, “Move! Everyone, move!”
Upon hearing the recognizable voice of the purple haired demon, the crowd broke off to allow a path directly towards the angel.
The angel looked around the new surroundings, unable to move from the pain and fear upon hearing the low voice beside him.
“Can you move?” Mari asked with venom, without waiting for a response, she sharply kicked the angel in the side.
Cheers and laughter erupted from the crowd, the already injured angel rolled onto his side coughing. A few other joined Mari in kicking the angel before she declared to move the angel to the best place they’ve got, the best really meaning the worst place imaginable for the angel.
Screaming and wails filled the angel’s ears as the rather tall and a bit heavier set man carried him effortlessly. The angel was unfortunately too weak to move, after getting beat up by a bunch of demons like on a playground.
“Please, please, no.” Shayniel pleaded with the little energy he had left in him.
“Do you really think pleading will help you at all?” Mari chuckled, “Matt, give him a quick
punch for me, would you?”
Matt, the bulky demon, dropped the angel and punched the glowing person twice. Once in the stomach and then in the eye, both will definitely leave marks and knowing that this angel can bleed made it a lot more fun for any demon who may get to torture him. By that impact of the punch to his eye, Shayniel fell unconscious again.
Waking up, Shayniel’s eyes shot open before they adjusted to the dark room. He was lying on the cold and dirty floor, dried blood coating himself and the ground. The only source of light was from the torches lining the walls. The room he found himself in was built of stone, definitely where the demons took people to be tortured or that is what the angel assumed from the stories he read as a child.
His assumptions were true, almost on cue, a man yelled out in pain from down the hallway. The wailing grew louder as other voices joined the screams, Shayniel pushed his anxiety down into the pit of his stomach and began to wonder how in god’s name was he going to get himself out of this situation. Before he could begin his plan of escape, Matt and Mari, the demons from before came into the stone-walled prison cell.
“How’s the new room holding up?” Mari chuckled devilishly, “So why are you here, angel?” she spat.
“You bleed, so because you bleed like the rest of us, you were sent down here?” Matt gave the angel a kick to the side.
Shayniel leaned forwards coughing, “Pretty much.”
“Well since you sure as hell aren’t going back up there, I’ve just got myself a new playtoy.”
“Fun for you.” Shayne wiped the blood from his mouth.
“Very much so.”
“So what do you say Matt want to have a little fun?” Mari asked, reaching around her back to grab the weapon she kept between her shoulder blades. Mari smacked the weapon on the palm of her hand a couple times before hitting Shayniel in the stomach. Matt held the angel up by the shoulders, Shayniel was placed on his knees to just accept the beating.
Somewhere in the middle of Shayniel’s first torture session, he blacked out, he hadn’t fallen unconscious, he just wasn’t retaining any memories of the affair.
Damien sighed as he watched the angel be carried away by Matt Raub, “Anyone know where they’re taking that bastard angel?” someone asked in the crowd.
Since Damien knew his boss quite well, he knew that she was taking the blond angel to her building for beings she wanted to torture herself. It was a small grey building, almost like a prison with cages lining the walls for all of her victims.
It was a terrifying place for the torturers and the ones who were tortured themselves but luckily, Damien was employeed in that very building.
So the next morning, the demon strategically took the longest way through the building, just so he could figure out where they were keeping the beautiful angel.
As he slowly marched past the many cells, he quickly found the angel’s, since the cage seemed to have a glowing light radiating from it.
The angel was beautiful underneath all the injuries and bruises he had gained in less than 24 hours. Dried blood stuck to his face and hands, his crimson stained clothes were slowly turning brown as the blood began to lose oxygen.
“I’m gonna help you,” Damien whispered to the angel, before rushing towards the cell of the terrible man he was paid to persecute. The demon understood the torturing of the damned but the angel hadn’t done anything, the angel was sent down south because he bled and it wasn’t his fault either.
Late at night, after he’d finished his day of work, Damien took his strategic way home. Wanting to see the angel again, he had heard from far down the hallway the screams of the angel.
Mari and Matt had just recently finished up with the blond, as he grew closer, he could hear the exasperated, sharp and irregular breaths of the angel.
The angel was sat close to the metal bars of his cell, he’d curled up in a ball, his head on his knees with his body pulled in tightly. Damien sat down outside the cage of the angel’s, he wanted to help him for some reason.
“Hey, hey. You’re okay, everything is going to be alright.” the demon coached, the angel lifted his head up only to see a demon kneeling before him.
Damien’s attempts at coaching the angel’s anxiety were unsuccessful as the sight of the demon shocked the angel into worse anxiety.
“P-please, don’t hurt me.” the panicked angel managed, through his staggered breathing.
“Hey, hey. No, no, no. I’m not going to hurt you,” Damien dropped his axe and kicked it behind him.
“Um, see?” he held out his hands to show he wasn’t going to cause any harm, “I know you’re probably scared but, it’s going to be alright, Hell isnt actually as bad as you think it may be.”
“I’m trapped in a cage, and uh, I am being beat up every few hours. I’m pretty sure that this place is terrible.”
At least having someone talk to Shayniel helped a lot with his anxiety, unfortunately, it was a demon who seemed to be helping him through a panic attack.
“I’m Damien, the demon. I know, funny, right?” he reached between the bars of the cell to shake the angel’s hand.
“Shayniel.” said the angel, accepting the hand shake.
“Shayniel, your name is Shayniel?” the demon laughed, “You won’t even make a day with a name like that!”
“I haven’t! Do you have anything better?”
“What about Shayne, it’s a human name but it’ll do the trick, it even sounds like your name!”
“I do kind of like it, I guess.”
The two beings, totally different, smiled at one another. To calm Shayne, Damien held his hand and softly rubbed his thumb against the back of Shayne’s bloody hand.
From down the hallway, Matt Raub yelled, “Haas! What are you doing with the angel?”
“I’m sorry but I have to go.” Damien apologized before he ran down the hallway and out of the prison like building.