Tag Archive | Story

My First Quote from Path of Shadows 2: HIDDEN IN SHADOWS

My gaze drifts over to Sarah, who’s sleeping across from me in her bunk bed. Brazael’s loud ranting doesn’t seem to wake her.

“Don’t worry about talking quietly,” Brazael says and nods over to Sarah. “She won’t be waking anytime soon.”

In confusion, I gaze back at where Sarah is sleeping. The pastel blue, cotton blankets are pulled up to her shoulders. Her face is turned away from me, so all I can see is her long, black braided hair from where I sit. There’s no movement from under the sheets. I can’t tell if she’s breathing or not.

“What did you do to her?” My eyes burn with bright anger as I meet his expectant gaze. I hold his stare momentarily before I focus on his mouth to break our gaze.

From his back pocket, he produces a butcher knife. Crimson red blood is matted over top of the gleaming silver blade. My mouth hangs open slightly as I recognize the knife. Turning around on the bed, I lift up my pillow. The knife I’d taken from the kitchen and placed under my pillow earlier is gone. Brazael has it in his hand.

Facing him now, I grab at my covers, clawing them until my hands ball into fists. I want to kill him, strip the life right out of his body, but I resist the powerful urge to do so. If I kill him, I’ll surely be exposing myself for who I really am. My mission will be ruined.

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PATH OF SHADOWS Quote of the Day

“There’s a war coming, Diana. I can’t say there are many Angels left on Earth. We’ll need all of ones we can find.”

Her eyes round slightly as she realizes what I’m suggesting. “No. I’m not an Angel. This isn’t my fight.”

“Yes, it is,” I correct her. “You’re half-angel. Whether you like it or not, you were born into this war. The demons will come after you whether you fight on our side or not. At the very least, you need to be able to protect yourself. Let me train you.”

I’m right. She can see this much as she bites her lower lip. “Okay,” she agrees. “I accept your offer, but I’m not promising anything. What you’re asking me to do I have to think about.”

“That’s all that I ask of you.” I move away from her and return to my former position by the dryer. “Consider what I’ve said.”

Chapter 9 and 10 of Path of Shadows

Chapter Nine: Stone’s Throw (Diana’s Point of View)

“How much longer until we reach Pittsburgh?” Raphael asks the next morning as he walks up behind me.

The map is placed on a table in the kitchen of the church. I hover over it and try to count the miles from here to Pittsburgh in my head. I count the days and divide them by hours of daylight. “A few days by foot. Maybe five or six days tops.” I look up. “Where’s Emma?”

“Outside taking a walk. I would’ve accompanied her, but she’s safe in the daylight,” he says and leans against the counter with one leg lapped over the other. “I was wondering what you plan on saying to your Aunt when you find her. Have you given any thought to what you’re going to say?”

I don’t know what I’m going to say to my Aunt. I haven’t really thought that far ahead. Now, it does make me wonder. “I’ll figure it out when I get there.”

“You have a few days to think about what you’re going to say to her, but you should really think about it.”

Hurrying footsteps get louder the closer they get to us. Emma runs in the kitchen and over to us with a huge grin on her rosy face. “You guys’ll never guess what I just found,” she says. Her voice is high and giddy.

Raphael and I stare at her, confusion on the both of our faces. I question whether or not she’s finally cracked.

“Come on,” she says and pulls me along with her by the arm. “Let me show you what I discovered.”

Raphael’s right behind as Emma leads us out of the church through the front doors. We make our way around the side of the church and over to the wooden garage in the backyard. She pulls the garage doors open. Sunlight seeps inside and lights the garage up.

There inside sits an old green Chevy truck with the logo of the church on its side doors.

“See,” Emma points at it and almost bounces on her heels.

“How do we know this old thing still works?” I don’t want to give myself false hope, though I can feel it blooming inside against my better judgement.

Raphael walks over to the truck and pops the hood open. “Let’s find out,” he says and takes a look under the hood.

Beside him, Emma and I watch him pull tubes, nozzles, and wires out. He open them and look through every little part inside the engine. Satisfied, he walks over to the driver’s side and opens the door. We see him hop into the driver’s seat and have a look around. A few minutes later, we hear the rattling of keys. A moment after that, the rough sound of the engine comes to life.

“It works,” I whisper in disbelief.

The engine dies down and quits. Raphael hops out and walks over to us with a smile on his face. “The truck runs fine,” he examines. “There’s enough gas to get us to where we need to go.”

Emma and I share a look.

“Do you know how to drive it?” Emma asks him before I can.

“Yeah,” he answers and looks between us. “Don’t you two know how to drive?”

“In this type of economic downfall people don’t really drive cars,” I tell him. “No, we don’t know how to drive.”

He nods like he should’ve considered that. “Okay. You both go get your stuff and we’ll head out. I can drive.”

With his reassurance, we run back inside the church and pack up all of our stuff. It’s not much, only two backpacks full of clothes, bottles, and hunting equipment. We had to pack light when we left South Dakota because we were travelling by foot and didn’t want to be weighed down.

Raphael places our bags into the bed of the truck while we get into the passenger side. Packed and ready to go, he gets back in the driver’s seat and shuts his door. He puts the key in the ignition, turns it, and brings the old beast back to life.

“Here we go,” he says as we pull out of the garage and head for Pittsburgh.

Sitting and looking out the window, I have time to think about Raphael’s question. Does my Aunt even knows of my existence, and if she does, would she want to know me. I’ve travelled across the country to seek her out. The least she can do is talk to me. But that’s if I find her. I turn to see Emma. She’s passed out with her head leaning on my shoulder. I hope we didn’t travel all this way for nothing. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forgive myself if I’m wrong, and I’ve dragged Emma along with me. Sighing, I turn my head to look back out the window.

The day passes before I know it. Hours of sitting in the truck has time lapsing in my mind. I stare at the yellow and white lines painted on the roads blankly. The sky’s a deep shade of purple by the time I see a green sign that identifies the town we’ve entered as Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

The truck comes to a stop in front of a library and the engine dies.

“Why are we stopping?” I turn and ask Raphael.

He points out the window at the descending sun. “It’s almost night. We’ll stay here and continue travelling at daybreak tomorrow.”

“We’re so close,” I tell him and remove my seatbelt.

We unpack for the night in the former library. There are shelves upon shelves of dusty books with yellowed pages. There are lines pressed into the red carpet of the floor where desks, chairs, and tables once sat. I breathe in the thicker air that mixes with the fresh air from outside now. The scent reminds me of an abandoned building. Emma falls asleep as soon as she lays down on the blanket. I sit next to her on the blanket and stare blankly at the dusty books.

“You need to stop worrying,” Raphael says as he walks over and kneels down beside me. “We’re only a stone’s throw away from Pittsburgh. We’ll be there in the morning. Just relax.”

I know he’s right. He always seems to be right. I lay down and try to relax my tense muscles. Noises outside of the library make me sit up with a quickness.

“Stay here,” he whispers and walks out of the library doors without making a single sound.

 

Chapter Ten: Family (Diana’s Point of View)

Raphael reenters the library and comes back over to me. He shrugs his shoulders as he sits down next to me on the worn-out gray carpet. “No one was out there. It must’ve just been the wind.”

I lay down on the blanket to sleep. The creeping feeling inside of me makes me feel we aren’t alone. Brushing it off, I close my eyes, and know I’m safe as long as he’s next to me. Within no time, I’m comatose.

The next morning we’re back on the road. I grow anxious in my seat as we enter Pittsburgh. Emma nudges me with her elbow and smiles widely; her way of saying we did it. Our premature excitement is thwarted when the truck begins putt, putting and comes to a slow stop.

“What happened?” I ask Raphael when we come to a complete stop in the middle of the road.

“The truck stalled,” he replies and opens the driver’s side door. “We ran out of gas.” He sighs and hops out of the truck. “We’ll have to continue on foot.”

Emma and I get out. We grab our backpacks and follow Raphael down the road. He has the map out again and looks it over as we venture. I try to stay in high spirits as we go. I can’t let one thing like a truck stalling completely destroy my excitement today. Not when we’ve come so far.

Almost an hour passes before we reach the neighborhood of Morningside. I check every street sign we pass by because I know we’re getting close to our destination. All the houses lining these streets are older, Victorian maybe, and once upon a time could’ve been historical houses.

“Wellesley Avenue,” I say under my breath as I stand before the sign.

We head down Wellesley Avenue, the street Thea’s supposed to live on. Rows of houses blur passed me in a haze as I speed walk towards the 1400s numbered houses. 1401, 1403, I think as I pass them. 1405, 1407. I stop in front of a three story reddish-brown brick house with a front porch.

“1409,” I say. “This’ it.”

Standing still, I take a soothing breath to counteract the anxiety. One step before the other, I suck it in and walk up the steps onto the porch. Emma and Raphael are with me as I’m in front of the door. My fist raps on the wooden door.

We wait, but no one answers.

I knock again, a little harder this time.

There’s only silence on the other side.

“Maybe she doesn’t live here anymore,” Emma sympathizes in a soft voice. “She could’ve moved.”

What more can I do? I travelled across the country to get here. I’ve done all I possibly can. I nod slowly and feel my shoulders slump with defeat. I can’t believe we came all this way to discover no one lives here. I don’t protest when Emma leads me away from the door with her hand on my back guiding.

A loud crashing sound comes from within the house and alarms us. We stop and turn back to the door. Raphael puts his hand on the doorknob and twists it. It’s unlocked. He pushes the door open with a gentle nudge. It squeaks as it swings.

“Is anyone here?” He calls out inside.

No one answers again.

We go inside the house with quiet stealth. The three of us split up and have a look around the house to see if anyone’s here. I head up the stairs to the second floor. No one appears as I peek into the rooms: two bedrooms, a bathroom, a room filled with books, and a larger room with unopened boxes on the bare wood floor. There’s no dust. Everything gives me the impression it’s been used recently. The air even smells of Windex, polish, and potpourri.

Where are they at then?

Finding no one upstairs, I head back down to the first floor. Raphael’s at the bottom of the staircase when I get there. There’s a crease forming in-between his black eyebrows. I can tell he found no one either.

“No luck,” I shake my head in confusion.

“Someone definitely lives here,” he observes.

Emma’s voice calls us from below. “Guys, come downstairs. Please.”

We find the basement door in the kitchen. I go down the stairs with Raphael behind me.

“What did you find?” I ask Emma and pause in step as I see her in full view now. She has her trembling hands raised in the air. She’s as still as a statue. All I can focus on is the guy, a year or two younger than us, holding a shotgun. The barrel’s pointed in Emma’s direction.

 

Chapter 2 of Path of Shadows

Chapter Two: Sixteen (Diana’s Point of View)

The word echoes in my head as I turn and run once more. The demon doesn’t pursue me. He stands in the same place I left him and watches me. Nephilim, a word I haven’t heard in years. The memory of my mother calling me a Nephilim as a child comes to the forefront of my mind. My mother’s dark brown eyes gaze down at me as I play with the doll she’d made me before my birth. She smiles sadly and lifts me up into her arms.

“You are special, Diana,” she says to me in a tone that borders happiness and concern. “Diana, my Nephilim.”

The memory is one I don’t want to remember, so I shake it away and focus on the here and now. I find myself passing between two tall brown brick buildings whose paint is chipping. There’s a large metal trash bin at the end of the alley that’s overloaded with debris and trash. I come to a complete stop when I realize I’ve made a wrong turn.

“A dead end,” I say aloud.

There’s nowhere for me to go now. The only way out of the alley is the way I came in. I know I can’t go back that way because the demons will be waiting for me if I do. Every door to both buildings are locked as I try to open them. I look around spinning and try to find another means to escape, but there’s none. I stand in the alley anticipating my death, defeated.

Looking at the only way out, I see the darker than dark shadows slither across the ground. I take a few steps back as if it makes a difference. They encircle me and begin to take shape. Six of them, flesh and blood, manifest out of the night around me. I’m defenseless against so many. Their towering posture, curious stares, and demented smiles tell me they know they have me right where they want me.

I don’t shed any tears, yet I’m terrified. My fate is sealed. Death has come for me in the form of demons. Is this how I end? I wonder as I face them.

“What do we have here?” The blonde one facing me says and takes in my entire being with his eyes.

“A Nephilim. Half-angel and half-human. A rare breed,” the one beside him says.

The others are too captivated by my glowing skin and the odd symbols to add to the discussion.

“What should we do with her?” The blonde one pulls out a knife with a black blade from his back pocket and strokes the blade with the tips of his fingers as he paralyzes me with his piercing gaze.

The other one shrugs his shoulders. “She’s a Nephilim. We must take her to the Master. That’s the law,” he replies and takes a long pause before he speaks again. This time in a deeper voice. “We don’t have to bring her to him alive.”

The blonde one smiles so wide I can see his white teeth.

I want to run. I want to scream. Anything that’ll get me further from them. I need to fight, but I can’t manage to move as I’m lost in his eyes. The only movement I can do is ball my hands into fists and flex them.

They are all in agreement about what to do with me. They close in on me. The blonde one touches my arm. A cold fire spreads where he touches me. Repulsed, I try to shake his touch off, yet I’m immobile.

“This will hurt a lot,” he says. There’s sadistic undertone in his promise as he pulls his knife back to cause me untold pain.

I fight to shut my eyes and I can’t.

“Hey!” Someone yells from the entrance to the alleyway.

They look to where the voice originated. The blonde one looks away from me and breaks his hold over me. I can blink and follow their stares, but I’m too fear stricken to run.

A tall man with dark brown eyes, short untidy black hair, and a slender muscular build stands at the entrance to the alleyway with his hands behind his back. There’s no distinct expression of fear on his face as he skims the group of demons around me. He takes a step closer to us as he speaks.

“Leave the girl alone.”

The demons hiss at him when his hands fall to his side and he shows them the shiny, silver sword with a gold hilt in his right hand.

“Angel,” the blonde demon growls.

The tension building between the demons and him fills the air around me. It’s filled with a deep hatred. The demons ignore me now and focus all of their attention on him like I’m invisible to them.

“I guess the girl wasn’t alone,” the other demon says to the blonde one.

The guy walks towards them now. He looks calm and collected as he strides over to them. The demons run towards him with their weapons out. All of their hate and desire to kill is aimed at him.

He’s going to get himself killed, I think as I watch the demons go at the stranger.

He doesn’t run as they reach him. Instead of cowering or bowing out he raises his sword and attacks them as they reach him. The fierce will and warrior-like strength in his movements as he fights leaves me watching with a growing fascination. One by one he overpowers the demons and defeats them. There’s no hesitation in his attacks.

Minutes later, he rushes over to me after destroying the demons. He isn’t fazed by the glow emitting from my body. He wraps his hand around my arm and pulls me along with him down the alley.

“Now would be a good time for you to start running,” he tells me and releases his hold.

We run as fast as possible down and out of the alley. I look back and notice we’re still being followed by demons. Not the demons from the alley, but others. He leads me down a few blocks and tries to find a building that’s unlocked or unoccupied. No such luck. We cross another street with only one working lamp light.

The goose bumps all over my skin reminds me that we’re still being pursued.

He runs up to a glass door to a five story building that looks like it could’ve been a newspaper business back in the day. He tries to open the door, but we discover it’s locked. I look behind me and see the shifting shadows at the end of the street slowly inching closer.

“They’re coming,” I say to him. My voice quivers and breaks.

“Forget this,” I hear him say as he kicks at the glass door once. The glass cracks and shatters into a million tiny pieces. The shards fall onto the ground sounding like a waterfall. “Come on,” he says and pulls me into the building by the arm.

My legs grow tired as I run stair by stair up three levels on his heels. Another setback awaits us as we get to the door. It’s locked. He takes a few steps back and rams his body forward at the door. It collapses and we walk over it. We walk around the third floor. Cubicles, offices, and conference rooms are all on the third floor.

“This way.” He leads me into an abandoned office.

Inside the office, he shuts the door and takes me behind the desk. He looks out of the window at the street searching for the demons. I don’t understand why he helped me escape, or why he is protecting me now.

“Who are you?”

He turns to face me and puts a finger to his mouth shushing me.

I shut my mouth and stay still as he places his hands over my collarbone. His eyes shut close and he whispers something in a language I don’t know over and over again. I don’t know what he’s doing until I look down and see the glowing fade until it disappears. The black symbols fade away, but not into nothing. I feel them sink into my skin and attach to my bones. They become etched into my bones.

The pain is agonizing as they burn into my bones like a tattoo. I scream, but he covers my mouth with his hand tight. I try to ignore the pain, but I can’t. He wraps his arms tight around my upper body as I wither in pain. It’s the only thing he can do to keep me from convulsing, or ripping out my hair.

Outside of the door, we hear footsteps and see the shadows of the demons walking around from under the doorway. We crouch down, with his hand still covering my mouth, and hide behind the desk.

“They aren’t here,” one of the demons say. “The signal has disappeared. The angel must’ve clouded her signal. They can’t be tracked now.”

A long moment of silence passes before another demon speaks. “All we can do now is go tell Beelzebub that we saw them and see what she has to say.”

Silence comes from outside of the office. The goose bumps go away. I no longer feel cold or a sense of danger.

They’re gone, I think with relief.

He stands and removes his hand from my mouth. I stand and face him still with a burning pain in my chest like I had inhaled smoke from a fire. My throat burns with a dry sensation. He puts his sword into its sheath at his waist and turns to face me.

“What did you do to me?”

“I shielded your beacon,” he answers, and adds more to his explanation when he sees my confusion. “I carved a protection into your bones to prevent the demons from tracking you.”

The office begins to sway around me. I’m spinning and spinning, yet I’m standing completely still. I hold onto the desk for support to keep from falling. My legs quiver as they try to stay in place without giving out.

“I don’t feel so good,” I say, dizzy.

He doesn’t look surprised as I collapse to the ground on my back. I look up at him through hazy eyes. I feel light-headed as I fight to keep my eyelids open against the heaviness trying to close them.

“Happy sixteenth birthday,” I hear him say before I pass out from the pain.

 

My YA Novel: Path of Shadows

     What if the devil and his legions won the Earth at the end of the Revelations battle in the Bible? 

     Eighteen years after the big battle between the Angels and Demons, sixteen year old Diana and her friend Emma are travelling the territories (what used to be the United States) in search of her Aunt. On her birthday, Emma and her are being pursued by black wispy shadows when Raphael, an Archangel, arrives and saves them. Glowing odd, ancient symbol begin manifesting on her skin. Diana realizes her Nephilim (half human, half angel) heritage is at play.

     The three of them–an Angel, a half-angel, a human–trek across the country fending off demons to find the only family Diana has left on this Earth. Along their journey, mysteries surrounding what happened to Diana’s parents and what her role in the upcoming final battle that decides the fate of Heaven, Earth, and Hell, are revealed. As hope begins to dwindle and faith is tested, Diana and her friends must find the remaining Angels and allies on Earth who’ll with them in arms as the final battle approaches.

Chapter 1 of My novel: Path of Shadows, a young adult novel

This is the first chapter of my twenty-six chaptered novel. I will write more on this later, but here is the beginning. Read it and let me know what you think, what thoughts or questions or concerns come to your mind:

 

Chapter One: Nephilim (Diana’s Point of View)

Emma glances at me with uncertainty in her hazel eyes.

“I don’t think we’ll find anything here, Diana,” she whispers low and sounds defeated.

As we lay on the brown grass hill waiting, I know she’s probably right. We’ve been lying on our stomachs here for almost three hours skimming the woods with our eyes. I pray a bird will fly overhead or a white-tailed deer will scurry its way through the brush. Her stomach growls. Her hunger is apparent, but her fear of the night overrides her survival instinct.

“We can’t leave yet. I haven’t caught anything. You need to eat,” I reply, yet I know we only have so much time before the monsters come out to prey on humans like us.

In Kamsa’s territory we didn’t have to worry about the demons finding us out at night because our home was in the woods. Here, in Beelzebub’s territory, the monsters are everywhere when the sunsets. If we don’t catch something soon, we’ll have to leave hungry with night creeping up on us. She won’t be angry with me for our leaving, but I can’t go just yet. It’s my job to take care of her now, so we must stay.

“Ten more minutes,” I promise her. “If we don’t get anything by then we’ll leave.”

Her golden blonde hair sways, barely brushing against her shoulders as she shakes her head. “Fine. Ten minutes,” she agrees and gazes at the sun, which is slowly descending.

The minutes fly by and before I know it, it’s time to go.

Pulling herself to her feet, Emma wipes off her gray pants. She never stops glancing in the direction of the sun. The sky turns a purplish-orange hue as the sun makes its way over the horizon of the hills. A reminder that time is running out. She reaches down to grab my hand and stops when tree branches moving and cracking alarms her.

I pull her down to the ground. We skim the woods from our summit to find the source of the noises.

“Over there, Diana,” Emma points to a tree dead in front of us a few yards away.

Following her direction, I see the tree limbs shiver and notice a fat little figure with black, brown, and orange fur gripping a nut in his dark tiny hands. A fox squirrel. Emma smiles at me and hands me the bow and arrow laying on the ground beside her. Taking it, I place the thin arrow into the centerfold of the bow and adjust my fingers on them with the gentlest hold.

The wind blows slightly and the chilly breeze whistles passed us. Silence follows as I inhale a deep breath. I hold it, and sit up until I’m on my knees positioning the arrow at my target. My right hand pulls the arrow and string back. I release both of them and the arrow disappears from my grasp. It soars through the air, the trees, and hits its target.

A second later, I see the squirrel drop from the branch and plop onto the ground.

There’s no time to waste now. We come out of our hiding place and run down the hill in leaps to where our dinner awaits us motionless, breathless. Months of hunting had put us in sync with each other. Emma removes her backpack and unzips it without saying anything. Crouching down, I scoop the little thing up with my hands and place him inside the backpack lined with old newspaper from the times before Lucifer’s reign of Earth.

Sorry, I think to the dead squirrel, but we have to eat.

“It’ll take us a while to get back into town. We have to leave now if we’re going to get there before sunset,” Emma tells me and hands me the backpack.

We get moving, speed walking through the stretch of trees with barely any leaves, across dried up grass, and over the creaky bridge that’ll lead us into town. I remove the hair tie from my hair and let my long chocolate brown hair fall down in loose waves because it’s getting colder as the sky darkens. I look over at Emma and see her pull her sweater shut tight. I make a mental note to find her a jacket as soon as possible.

The luminescence from the moon lights our way into town. The streets are vacant of all life. It’s already dark and past curfew. Silence echoes from every tall and small building. I don’t have to look at Emma to know she’s afraid because I am too. An unsettling feeling crawls in my skin that we won’t make it back to our temporary home in time. We have a few blocks to go before we’re safe.

We have to make it, I tell myself assuring. I can’t let anything happen to Emma. We’ll make it.

A cold, bone chilling sense makes the hair on my arms stand on end. I turn my head slightly, so I can see behind me. The street looks the same, yet I know it’s not. Shadows begin shifting in the darkness. My pulse quickens. Dark wispy shadows are following us a few yards away. I look forward now alert. Emma doesn’t notice my sudden change in mood.

We turn the corner and I see her start to look behind us.

“Don’t look back,” I whisper to her.

She keeps looking forward and does her best to remain calm. Her wide eyes, fidgeting hands, and forced breaths betray the calm demeanor she’s trying to maintain. I know this situation brings up bad memories for her, yet I can’t stop it.

I take another side glance behind me. The shadow is still following us, but it’s not alone. Right behind it are more shifting shadows. They move in unison with the other. More demons, I realize.

Slipping the backpack off my shoulders, I hand it to Emma. She slips the backpack on and grips tight onto the straps. She doesn’t glance at me. Nonchalantly, I rest my trembling hand on the hunting knife at my waist and flip open the strap holding it there. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The shadows are getting closer.

“Run!” I yell to Emma.

She bolts off down the street without looking back. At an intersection, she turns the corner onto another street and disappears from my view. She’s safe, I reassure myself. She’s safe.

Turning around, I see I’m not alone. A demon stands before me. His pure black eyes glare down at me. My breath catches as our eyes meet. My heart plummets into the deep abyss in my chest. I snap out of the shock and try to pull my knife out of its sheath. Before I can react, his cold pale hands reach out and push me hard. My feet leave the ground and I’m flung into the wall of a neighboring building. The impact causes an implosion of pain in my right shoulder.

He comes running at me. I move to the left out of his way, right before he touches me, and run. Exerting all my leg muscles I run down the street. I know he’s following me, so I don’t glance back to see where he’s at.

Arms wrap around my waist like a snake squeezing the life out of its prey. He uses all of his body weight to knock me down onto the ground. I hit the pavement and he flips me around, so I’m facing him.

“You shouldn’t have been outside past curfew,” the demon tells me in his dark, alluring voice. “What will I do with you now?” He sighs, yet I think he already knows.

We struggle as I try to break free of him. He laughs like it’s a game. His fingers wrap around my neck to stop my oxygen supply. I place my hands on the muscles of his left arm, lift the midsection of my body, and use all my strength to push him to the left. We roll over and now I’m on top of him. I reach for my knife and wrap my fingers tight around the hilt as I pull it out. There’s no time to waste. I drive the blade downwards into his heart as hard as I can manage. It’s the only place I can think to hurt him.

There is a crack, pop noise as it goes in. His eyes round with disbelief and his lips part open. A second later his body goes limp and relaxes. He doesn’t move anymore. I killed him and to stop my own death.

Relief fills me, but quickly fades as another feeling consumes me. An almost euphoric warmth rushes threw my body from head to toe. I hop off him and look down at myself. My skin begins to radiate a golden glow.

All across my collarbone, shoulders, and arms a collection of odd black symbols appears. I pull at my blue blouse and stare down at the symbols. I don’t know what to make of them as they continue to appear on my skin. I’ve seen these symbols before as a child, yet I can’t remember where and when. Seeing them on my flesh scares me.

Out of a thick black mist a figure forms near me and a demon manifests out of it. He watches me with a mixture of fascination and disgust. His head tilts slightly to the side as a sinister smile forms on his mouth.

“Nephilim,” he exhales surprisingly.

 

Poetry Workshop: A learning experience

Today was my first poetry workshop. I was nerve wrecked and couldn’t sleep well the night before because I was so worried that I had done the poem wrong, that the wording wasn’t right, and that it was awful compared to some of the poem of fellow writers in my group. How very wrong I was.

They loved the poem, the wording, and gave me great feedback and reassurance. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they thought it was and how sure they were that I conveyed such emotion and meaning. It was honestly the first poem I have ever written and it was so hard, challenging to write, yet so rewarding to see and hear when it was done.

So here it is:

Breathtaker

 

The sand beneath the water

rises and dips

Yellow-streaked light

in the windblown ripples reflect.

 

In our ignorant bliss,

we play–

splashing,

provoking,

crackling.

 

I place you upon my shoulders

above the tide as

we wander and glide,

until I misstep.

 

A deep pocket pulls us below.

Your weight pins me down.

You resist the imminent trepidation

as I struggle to hold my breath.

 

I sink further into the

fog of dense chaos under.

Hoisting you from my shoulders,

I prod you to the hill.

 

Weak with exhaustion,

I swim for the surface–

clawing,

fighting,

suffocating.

 

Penetrating the division,

I force in a gust of air,

look sober-eyed to the sky,

solace sets in.

 

As I reach the panoramic shore

where you wait,

I lull in a daze–

heart racing,

chest aching,

mind swarming.