I knew it was wrong, and a tinge of shame always hit me when I returned. But I couldn’t resist ; their power over me was too strong, even if they were unbeknownst of it. Even I, as a servant of the Almighty One, fell victim to their… charm.
Despite having observed humans for so long, their arts never caught my interest, most of it being shallow at best. That was until I stumbled upon them - ‘Ghost’.
Accidentally so, as coincidence would have it, they happened to be having a ritual in the same city our earthly representative was giving a speech.
Intrigued, I went, I saw, I fell down the rabbit’s hole. Ironic, really ; I was sent there to make sure no blasphemy would occur while the holy visit was taking place, and instead, I was taken over by it.
How many times have I visited them since, I no longer knew. I watched and listened to their magic hidden in the shadows. Not that I needed to, considering I was invisible to the human eye.
This convenience gave me a fake feeling of safety, until the night my god given abilities failed me, and lust won.
It was the night I decided to risk even more than before - I decided to attend a ritual in a human form. I didn’t know what to expect ; all I knew, from the little experience I had of a temporary transformation, was that I was was now exposed to everything. Eyes, both human and angelic. Bruises, pushes, conservations. Terrifying, but simultaneously exciting.
I transformed in the bathroom, to draw no attention. It’s not a difficult process, but involves some 'light effects’ I’d rather keep away from prying eyes.
Getting easily accustomed to my new body, I quickly left and made my way to the venue. If you ever attended a Ghost ritual, I needn’t tell you how it goes. But, for the love of god, it felt so surreal to finally see it from the ground, to hear the music right beside me, to be able to shout and jump with the crowd. I felt like a typical fan - a very liberating feeling. Until.
Until the song that first caught my interest - the song that’s loving yet sinister all the same. It was during that track that the leader - Papa Emeritus III, they call him - singled me out. It started with nothing more than eye contact. How he ended up holding my hand and crooning the words to me, I couldn’t tell. All I knew was, that it was beautiful.
The look in his eyes was full of curiosity and intrigue, as if he could see through my human façade. I knew he couldn’t , but the thought sent pleasant chills down my back. However, much to my dismay, the song ended all too early. He let go of me. Nothing out of the norm, we’ve seen it before. Except that his eyes wouldn’t leave me until the left the stage and hour and a half later.
When the lights came back on, it hit me how fast the time passed - even from an angel’s point of view. Praying to the heavens, I broke out of my haze and ran for the bathroom, hopeful my absence hasn’t been noticed. But as we all know, prayers tend to go unanswered if they don’t come from the heart.
Blocking my way to the ladies’ room was none other than Michael himself, his face showing distaste, as if my presence was now offensive to him. I kept my eyes downcast, though I was far less ashamed and than I should’ve been.
“We both knew this was coming.” He stated matter-of-factly. Emotionless and cold as always.
“How long have you known?” My voice was barely audible. But at that moment, I started questioning why that was. Michael and I were equal - both the same creatures, with the same abilities. The only difference between us was that god regarded him as higher than all other angels. Why was I devoted to a deity that had favourites, and who created importance levels amongst equals?
“Since you set your eyes on those heathens, and decided to enjoy their vile work.”
I went to argue with him, say that it wasn’t a choice, that I simply lost control, but he put his hand up and kept me silent successfully.
“It’s meaningless now.” I nodded, accepting my faith. Michael touched my shoulder with his bony hand, triggering my change from my human form, to that of a blue-eyed, niveous-skinned angel. Something I wasn’t going to stay in for long, I knew.
Once my usual features set in place, Michael set to work, ripping my halo off and letting it crash to the ground and shatter into a million invisible pieces. Next came my wings, which he tore right out mercilessly, mortal blood flowing down my back in steady streams. Finally, once the deed was done, I fell to my knees in exhaustion. Michael knelt down in front of me and grabbed my chin, making me look at him from under my eyelids.
“You are now cast out from the heavens to the ground. But from what I’ve seen over the past few months, I can tell you will wear that independence like a crown.” And with that he was gone, never to be seen again.
My eyes closed fully, ready to be comforted by the silence, but I wasn’t even granted that much mercy. As soon as Michael was gone, a cold towel was placed over my wounds, somewhat dulling the pain. Gentle but sure hand then picked my battered body and carried it away from the bloody scene.
It took me several moments to finally open my eyes - and my stomach churned at the sight above me. Carrying me was the one who stole me from gods’ ranks - Emeritus himself. I stared in fear and shock. He suddenly looked down at me, genuine happiness mixed with concern playing on his face.
I took a calming breath and managed to find my voice, despite the mismatched irises seeping into my soul. "What did you see?“ After all, angels were bound to secrecy - even me, now excommunicated from paradise. No human should ever see, especially our dear beloved Michael. He should have been more careful!
Anyhow, Emeritus’ face broke with a grin, as he pushed a strand of hair out of my tear filled eyes.
"And angel falling into my arms.”