30 comments

Oct 20, 2020

Drama Fantasy Romance

The sounds of clanking filled the room when they dragged in the prisoner.


Almost like bells, Anahera thought. What was that saying?


“Every time a bell rings, an angel grows its wings,” she muttered. She leaned forward in the front row and the wooden bench creaked, a whisper against the grumbling chains.


“What?” asked her sister, Charmeine, sitting beside her with her arms folded.


Anahera shook her head. “Nothing.”


Charmeine reached over and gripped Anahera’s hand.


Two guards clutched the prisoner’s arms as they walked him down the courtroom. They wore cloaks as dark as night, a sharp contrast to the man in white between them. Chains wrapped around his every limb like iron pythons, snaking even around his neck. The shackles clattered against the floor as the guards shoved the man forward.


Almost like bells.


Across from the judge’s bench sat a high-backed chair covered in red satin.


The guards walked the man past Anahera and her heart thudded. She could smell the sweat of the prisoner. She stared at him, willing him to look around.


There was beauty beneath those chains. Strong arms. Bright eyes that did not meet hers.


Anahera watched as the guards forced him into the high-backed chair. She swallowed hard and ignored the whispers of her brothers and sisters in the benches around her.


“Peace, Ana,” said Charmeine. Her sister squeezed Anahera’s arm and gave her a warning look. Anahera nodded curtly before turning back to the prisoner.


“All rise,” said another guard by the door to the courtroom, where the guards had just dragged the prisoner. Anahera stood, shaking, refusing to tear her gaze away from the shackled man. 


The doors thudded open and a man in white cloak, not unlike the prisoner’s, marched into the courtroom. He walked down the center aisle, his nose held high, and stepped around the high-backed chair without taking a glance at its occupant. He took a seat behind the judge’s bench and cleared his throat before finally looking down at the prisoner.


“One month of testimony, of evidence, of law, for a moment of justice.” The judge’s eyes flashed.


“Michael, please,” whispered the man. His quiet voice echoed around the room. 


“Gabriel,” said the judge, Michael. “We do not interfere with the humans. We watch, and we learn, but we do not interfere. And you have interfered in the most...lawless...way imaginable. You have saved.”


Anahera felt her heart drop and her vision blurred red. An innocent life! she screamed in her head. What are we, if not protectors of the innocent? What are we, if not protectors of life?


“She was just a young girl,” whispered the prisoner. 


“Young girl, old man, goose, bear--when our Creator decides it is their time, we do not interfere!” said Michael in a low, creaking voice.


Anahera shivered.


“Please, Michael,” pleaded Gabriel. “Brother. Please!”


Michael cleared his throat. “I, First in Command to our Creator Almighty, Leader of the Winged Ones, Lord of the High Court, do hereby sentence the archangel Gabriel… to the flames of Hell, for eternity.”


No!” Anahera rose to her feet and lunged toward her lover. He craned his head around and met her eyes, finally, before shaking his head.


“Stay back, Ana!” he said fiercely. “Stay back!”


Charmeine grabbed her cloak and pulled, hard. Anahera sank into her arms. “Peace, sister,” whispered Charmeine. “Peace.”


Gabriel looked toward Michael. “Please, Brother, Lord Michael! Please! Anything is better than the flames of Hell, anything, please--”


“Enough!” roared Michael, standing. “Away with you!”


As the guards took Gabriel away, Anahera’s sobs echoed through the halls of Heaven.


***


Anahera shivered as she walked past the empty cells. Her breath clung to the air and she could hear a faint dripping somewhere close.


“Here,” the guard said gruffly, stopping in front of a cell. “You have five minutes.”


“Thank you, brother,” she breathed, touching the guard’s arm. She could see the blush even in the dark, and he cleared his throat before unlocking the cell door.


“Not too long, sister,” he murmured before glancing around and walking to the end of the hallway.


“Ana,” said a quiet voice near the back of the cell.


Anahera rushed forward and sank to her knees, wrapping her arms around Gabriel. He didn’t wear as many chains as he had that morning, though a few still wrapped around his ankles. Blood dripped from a gash on his cheek and soot covered his face. She tucked her head into his shoulder and sniffed.


“I’m sorry,” she murmured.


“You have nothing to be sorry for.”


“I should’ve--I should’ve told you to leave her alone, to let her die….”


“Ana.” He pulled back and looked her in the eye. “What are we, if not the protectors of the innocent?”


A warmth filled her as Anahera gazed at her lover, and she put her hands on his shoulders. “We are nothing.”


He nodded. “A little girl, running in front of a truck… how could I not step in?”


She sighed. “You are too good, Gabriel. Too good.”


“A too-good angel. I never thought I’d hear that.” He gave her a weak half smile, and she caressed his cheek.


“It’s not fair,” she whispered. She leaned forward and pressed her lips to his cheek, right above the gash. “The fires of Hell…”


“The fires of Hell. Anything...anything would be better than this.” He looked at her pointedly. “If...if you are prepared.”


Ana straightened and widened her eyes. “Anything?” 


He would know what she truly meant. Are you sure?


He nodded, and closed his eyes.


Anahera took a deep breath, and pulled a dagger from inside her coat. With a cry and a mighty slash, she severed Gabriel’s wings from his body. He yelled out and slumped into her arms.


“Thank you,” he whispered. There was a flash of light, and he was gone.


Anahera stared at the blood on her hands as the guard’s footsteps thudded toward her. The blood was dark--a cherry red that reminded her of kisses with Gabriel in the moonlight, back before the humans.


“Anything,” she whispered.

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

30 comments

Rayhan Hidayat
09:16 Oct 26, 2020

I was curious to see your take on this prompt, and I love how unconventional everything is—the “fire” aspect, the tragic romance, angels sending each other to hell, etc. I’m not a big romance writer either, but this was such a good chance to practice 😙

Reply

Leilani Lane
19:24 Oct 26, 2020

Thank you so much Rayhan!!! Yes, my last romance story was between a cockroach and a crumb... so I needed to practice too lol. XD

Reply

Rayhan Hidayat
12:16 Oct 27, 2020

I remember that one, it was super adorable!

Reply

Leilani Lane
14:08 Oct 27, 2020

Aw thank you!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Molly Leasure
05:00 Oct 21, 2020

Oooooooooh, do we love hellfire? ~ Yes, yes we do. I'm not much of a romance writer either, but man, I think you did great. You evoked the emotions of loss, that helpless feeling as the one you love is put to death and there's nothing you can do. I love those "what are we, if" statements. Those are just about as heavenly being as I can think of. And I do love the scene you created at the beginning. I can imagine the slow motion movement of his bad as they drag him down the aisle for all to see. And the clanking of the chains, good shivers...

Reply

Leilani Lane
19:45 Oct 21, 2020

These are all AMAZING!!! Thank YOU!!! Totally missed the "a" in white cloak lol, and I also love the ellipses more there... yes yes yes!!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Leilani Lane
16:33 Oct 24, 2020

Oh my gosh this was approved before I could make the changes.... ughhhhhhhhh

Reply

Molly Leasure
03:21 Oct 25, 2020

Oh nooooooo, well hey, at least there weren't any big changes :)

Reply

Leilani Lane
13:56 Oct 25, 2020

I just need to get in the habit of doing the edits RIGHT when someone comments, but I always leave it to the weekend and that's when they get accepted, grrrr! OH MY GOD YOU HAVE THREE NEW STORIES. I'll be reading ASAP!

Reply

Molly Leasure
16:29 Oct 25, 2020

Haha, but that's understandable! You look at it and you're like...I already finished it, I can edit it later. And then later is too much later...>>. I'm one of those people who tends to edit right away, because otherwise, it bothers me to no end, haha! I wake up in the middle of the night going, "did I fix that comma?!" I DO, YES! Of the weirdest, "I don't know how to explain this" story reading you done ever read. :P

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
Leilani Lane
23:36 Oct 20, 2020

Not a big romance writer, so thought I’d whip this out just for practice lol.

Reply

A.g. Scott
00:17 Oct 21, 2020

Certainly not a traditional romance haha, but I'm totally with you on that, I could never write a romance straight-on. This story opens up all kinds of questions about things like - Where does an angel go when its wings are clipped? - Do angels reproduce biologically? - If there are structurally-engrained injustices in God's court, what does that say about ours? - For whom does the bell toll? Just kidding (about some of that) Enjoyed it overall!

Reply

Leilani Lane
02:33 Oct 21, 2020

Haha I'm glad it made you ask some questions, that's what I was going for! Especially that last one. ;) Glad you enjoyed it!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Kylie Rudolf
18:59 Oct 26, 2020

I love this! So creative! And you said you WEREN'T a romantic writer???

Reply

Leilani Lane
19:28 Oct 26, 2020

Aw thank you so much, your comment made my day! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lina Ozz
04:55 Oct 21, 2020

Oh, I love this one! Another unique take on this prompt. Excellent descriptive voice, as always. How was he able to disappear when his ankles were still shackled? One thought to consider: instead of his ankles being chained, perhaps his wings could be chained. That way, when she cuts them off, there's a mysterious element as to why he's able to disappear, but it makes more sense for the chains to fall away. Just an idea!

Reply

Leilani Lane
15:43 Oct 21, 2020

Might've been a bit confusing--he didn't run away, he just straight-up disappeared! So the chains couldn't hold him back. And that's the whole question--did he die? Did he fall to Earth and become a human? Who knows!! Wanted to leave it open-ended. :) I'll try to clear that up!! Thanks, Lina!!

Reply

Lina Ozz
16:01 Oct 21, 2020

Ohhh, gotcha—that makes total sense! Love the creativity there. As always, great job with your conclusion—love the twist!

Reply

Leilani Lane
19:55 Oct 21, 2020

But I can totally see how that would be confusing! I'll rework it :) Thank you so much, as usual!

Reply

Lina Ozz
20:20 Oct 21, 2020

Of course, glad I could offer some help!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Zea Bowman
02:17 Oct 21, 2020

This was a very interesting take on the prompt, but well done! I think I enjoyed reading this more simply because it was different. Having the fires of Hell be the fire from the prompt, and the fact that Gabriel and Anahera were in a relationship unlike one would think added a nice twist to the story. The ending struck me! Wow. Great job.

Reply

Leilani Lane
02:36 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you so much, Zea, I'm glad you like this one! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Leilani Lane
02:37 Oct 21, 2020

I see you've written for this prompt as well--adding your story to my to-read list! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
R. K.
00:10 Nov 08, 2020

I'm finally doing this, haha and it's really because you deserve the praise. Hi Leilani, hope you are well. I'm actually a big fan and I love your stories so much and I'm finally commenting. On this one too, because it's one of my favourites that I read a while back. You handled the prompt in such a creative and beautiful way (seriously, the fire that you used here is so distinct) and the prose practically screams expertise. Love the names, love the concepts and love the open ending. Can we anticipate a sequel? Overall, lovely piece!

Reply

Leilani Lane
14:33 Nov 08, 2020

Ok, this made my ENTIRE week. Thank you so so SO much, R. K.!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this and my other stories. I'm adding your stories to my list to read for today!!! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Noel Pine
13:27 Oct 25, 2020

Wow, great story! I really like how it’s kinda outside of the box compared to most of the other stories from this prompt! I would have given a little hint as to what happens when an angel loses their wings. I didn’t see any foreshadowing and that kinda left the ending hanging compared tit eh rest of the story. But it was still good!

Reply

Leilani Lane
13:53 Oct 25, 2020

Thank you! I tried to leave it open-ended--did he die? Become a human and fall to earth? Who knows!! But I can see what you mean. :) Sadly it just got accepted so I can't make any edits. :'( I thought it would have more time!!

Reply

Noel Pine
14:47 Oct 25, 2020

Yeah! I thought about that, wether he died or became a human. It was very well done! Great job!

Reply

Leilani Lane
15:00 Oct 25, 2020

Thank you so much! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply

I like your creative, ethereal twist on this prompt.

Reply

Show 0 replies