Written by Lilith
Michael’s shadow fell over the land, his outstretched wings blocking the light over acres of blood-soaked soil as he reached out to the souls beneath him and collected them into his wake. There had been a great battle today; some bastard king or other was warring against his younger brother in the east and the conflicts were spreading far and wide. Michael was helping them spread, in his own way, his gift of wrath turning father against son, mother against daughter and bringing the common people to arms to join the fight. The war itself had been begun by Michael’s younger brother, the angel Lucifer, who had domain over pride. It had taken very little interference to push the royal brothers into a full blown civil war when both their egos were on the line.
Somewhere below Michael’s shadow a voice cried out – one living soul struggling amidst a sea of death. He searched the fields until his bright blue eyes came to rest upon the body of a young man, his face smeared with mud, his clothes stained with the blood of his enemies, or his friends. His body shook as he cried, but he seemed to be entirely unharmed. His curiosity piqued, the Angel of Death swept down towards the boy.
He landed between corpses dressed equally in gold and in black. A severed hand here, a twisted neck there, and the earth so slick with blood that even Michael struggled to keep his footing. They were close to where the centre of the battle had taken place, where the bodies piled high, man and horse intertwined like one, and the face of every man was frozen in death, in an expression of sickened fear. The crows glanced up as Michael landed, and perhaps they knew who he was, but as he made no move towards them they returned to their steady pecking at their human feasts. A mile south a pack of dogs had already arrived to dine on the dead, and later more things would come out of the dark, things with too many eyes and no names.
The boy reached out to Michael as he approached. Did he not see the Angel’s monstrous wings, dark brown and flecked with the blood of a thousand past wars? Did he not tremble in the presence of one of the six Angels of Death – did his blood not boil from proximity to the Lord of Wrath?
“Michael?” the boy whispered.
The Angel nodded. So the boy knew what he was.
“I hoped you would come here, sir. My name is Aleks. I brought you a message.”
In his thousands of years of servitude to the Pale Lady, Michael had never before received a message from one so far from death. He knelt at the boy’s side, his bright blue eyes shining with intrigue.
“What is it child? What could a boy like you possibly have to tell an Angel?”
The boy said nothing, but his eyes widened a little, focussing on a spot behind Michael’s shoulder, and for a brief second the Angel felt unsure of himself. Then he felt a blade sink between his shoulder blades, his vision swam, and the world went dark.
Aleks gazed solemnly at his accomplice, who nodded their agreement.
“He was no Angel,” the boy proclaimed. “Death is not the work of any God I’d follow.”
“The Six Angels of Death” is a work-in-progress of Lilith’s, though due to her busy schedule not due to be finished any time soon. If you’re interested in the Angels and who they work for, check out The City of Koku here on Inkblots!