The humming seemed to sustain on its own. The Nephilim collectively started walking back in through the gate and I found myself unable to move. I think it was mainly the disappointment that I felt. This was it? They just hummed and left him possibly dangling off the side of a cliff with Mars to contend with.
I had real resolve. I had real conviction that poured motion into my legs and I had to see. The light streamed in the cracks and crevices of the ground, igniting the snow and sort of pulsating off of it. I ran in what felt like slow motion for me, but looked woefully into the ravine. It was the same as it had been before Mars came… empty.
I longed to repay my debt to the angel that saved me. But, I’m afraid. Any remnant of that portal means that I have a fifty fifty chance of landing myself in hell, and unguided or accompanied by an angel on a rescue mission for Ryan. It’s a terrifying thought to just jump in there. And too, what will happen to Ryan if I get stuck there like he did? That would be unfair to him. Don’t I owe him more? Don’t I owe it to my husband to not jump and land myself somewhere that he can’t reach me?
It would be like I got unnecessary revenge by making him go through the same thing I did without him.
I stood there shaking. The light from the gate seemed to stream out into the thin air above the ravine and I knew that I’d have to make a choice. Jump or live with shame. What kind of choice is that? And what if I fall right through and land breaking my neck at the bottom of the ravine? That’s happened before. It’s unpleasant.
Amelia seemed to materialize out of nowhere and stood beside me just looking on and waiting patiently. She seemed to be assessing me. For what I’m not sure. Maybe to make sure I’m not on a murderous rage or something.
“Are you coming with me?” she asked softly.
“Where?” I asked looking at her then into the ravine.
“To get Raphael?” she said flatly.
“Why are you going to get him?” I asked perplexed as she took my hand in hers so we could jump over the side of the cliff together.
“It’s what I do. I go get our people when they get sucked into a realm that they don’t belong in. I can take you if you want to come and make sure you get back safely.” She continued.
I searched her eyes, thinking this could be a trap and someone else who was possessed by Mars. But, she’s her right now. Nothing added.
“I want to.” I whispered.
“Good. There’s a few things you need to keep in mind. When you’re somewhere that’s not your realm, you have the same power you did in your own. But, when you go to a spiritual realm, the only power you get is what God already gave you. That’s all we’ll have down there. But, it is more than enough.” Amelia said and took a step forward.
We walked off the cliff and fell in a suspended slow motion until we were walking on a stream of light that seemed to end at the mouth of a darkening and festering cloud. The stench of sulfur nearly choked me. But, I will go. I want to change my mind and give in to the fears that threatened to paralyze me.
I remember hell. I remember the hopelessness I felt that would have consumed me had it not been for Gabriel at my side. And now I’m going to the place I wouldn’t willingly send my soul. I am redeemed. I know I am. And yet…
We walked into the cloud.
It was not the same as it was with Gabriel. With him we found ourselves in a shabby looking hotel suite that led to a stairwell at the bottom of which were two doors. This was altogether different.
We stood up on what seemed like a grassy plain just outside of what looked to be a city. It had flies, droves of flies, that would rhythmically descend and ascend up and down. Like a clock of some sort. When they would ascend there would be screams. When they would descend there would be a shift in light to make it seem like things were brighter. Maybe a reset of a terrible stage.
We walked into the city from the field and were largely unnoticed by the people. They were too busy lost in their own agony. The street was lined with people who were frozen in place. Their eyes moved frantically until I could see farther up ahead. What they were anticipating… the drove of megalodon sized red eyed octopi. They were going to be eaten one by one and there was nothing they could do but watch as it happened.
“I rebuke you in the name of Jesus.” I said and they giant octopi shrieked revealing abnormally large teeth. Skeletons that were bloody and covered in a thick layer of red mucous emerged from their mouths, maybe that was what their tongue was made of? They emerged shaking their fists and yelling in the hellish language Mars would speak in at times.
The people looked at me terrified. I bet they wondered if I was the real terror they were facing.
“I release you in the name of Jesus.” I said and they began to move around. They ran in every direction, save for one.
A face I knew instantly and knew beyond the shadow of a doubt would be left down here if I didn’t do something.
He sauntered close to me, recognizing my face and yet trying to force himself to believe that I was really here.
“No.” he whispered.
“No, indeed. When did you die Caleb?” I asked breathlessly. I had the wind knocked out of me.
“A while ago. I’m not sure. There was a knife and a girl and I don’t really know why it was so important that I should have to die for that. I should have chosen to take Paul’s side. This place is so much worse than Primus told us.” He said.
I took his hands in mine. “I’m sorry Caleb.”
“I am too. I’m glad you to see you. You have a glow about you. A light that shines in this dark place. Can you take me with you?” he pleaded.
“I can try.” I said looking over at Amelia.
“I don’t know. We’ll have to ask Raphael once we find him.” She replied looking around trying to find something.
“How will we locate him?” I asked her.
Amelia stuck out the palm of her hand which glowed with the same light that lit up the mountain pass. I looked at my own hands to find that they were also aglow. “With this. We’ll feel him growing closer.”
We started walking. Blood demons were terrorizing a group of woman tearing their flesh to shreds and making them watch as they ate them piece by piece. I rebuked them, but the women seemed to die anyway, melting into the ground like corpses being reset in a video game.
I stopped eight Orions from feasting on a group of men who seemed have been driven mad from the terror of this place. They all seemed to be stuck in this inner monologue of how they would have lived their lives differently.
Caleb shrank away from the tormentors and nearly clung to me like a small child. He was eager to stay by my side. Hardly the haughty, mighty, invincible vampire I had known all of these years. The problem is… I owe him.
I knew him before he was turned. This boy here today, is the same boy that I knew. Timid and shy. Afraid of his own shadow now, and damaged beyond repair by this place.
If it had not been for me, he would have died a long time ago. A human life cut so short. But, I wanted a little brother and he was perfect for the job. Unfortunately, he studied and excelled in his studies with Indio. He grew cocky because he was finally amazing at something, and then he let Primus talk him into being a guinea pig. Turning him from the last shards of the brother I loved into the serpently cold, overgrown fanged, partially reptilian vampire that was killed and sent to hell. Probably as Paul tried to save Lorena.
And I’m the one who flatlined him. My heart broke as I thought about how hesitant I had been to come down here for Raphael. I had not expected to find my adopted little brother. I did not expect to find my only family besides Ryan in hell. I did not expect my heart to break so suddenly.
What if I have to stay here in his place?
1. We liked how beautiful and still the bright sun glaring over the quiet snow be stills the busiest day and was captured by NYBod.
2. We liked the sad tribal chicken by beansprowtcrocodile 🙂
(Photo courtesy of: s592.photobucket.com)
Music for this episode – Supermassive Black Hole by Muse