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Heaven and Hell

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Anael spreads across the ocean and the fish scatter save for one. It—no, she—noses the edges of Anael’s presence, does not flinch away even though Anael’s energy wreaks havoc on the creature’s primitive nervous system. Anael folds closer in upon being, tries to dim the brightness of grace and light so that it no longer blinds or sears or hurts. And the fish edges closer and Anael pulls into a pinprick, trembling with the effort of limitation, and Anael is just a spot of light upon the ground as the fish pulls herself ever closer until she opens her mouth and swallows Anael whole.

Anael is grace, not meat or bone, so there is no fall into the fish’s belly—just the suffusion and diffusion of light and energy. And Anael is in her, was her, almost becomes her the fish, and for a moment, Anael is lost, plummeting as the fish seizes, overcome with the presence of an angel burning on the inside.

And Anael tries to save the fish, she tries so hard, but with even the slightest touch, the fish convulses, heart stopping, lungs gasping, nerves overcome with grace until it flops to the ground dead, and Anael crawls from the bloody carcass, afraid, because after so long of only watching, of never touching, she has done this thing, this thing that has made the fish not to be, to have simply been, no longer more than the sum of all her parts—just flesh and blood and organs waiting to turn back to dust, to be lapped back into the ocean from where she had struggled forward on her tiny little legs.