Updated: Jun 24
As a child, most people will wonder what a cloud feels like. I know now…
They are cold and unforgiving. As you fall, they sit there. As if they could catch you, but instead choose to let you fall.
I have spent an eternity watching children wondering about clouds, but now as my wing brushes against the harsh wind, I want to rid myself of all those memories.
I remember children laughing, pointing at the heavens wondering what paradise lies beyond their reach. I want to scream, but can’t bring myself to breathe. The wind seems to be breathing for me. I feel as if I’ve been falling forever, and yet I keep falling. I guess it’s a long fall from the clouds. I want to cry, but the tears freeze on my face. Why am I falling?
Finally, I break through the clouds and see nothing but water. Finally, it clicks. They sent me here to die…I see that now. As I draw closer to the wall of blue, I resist the temptation to tense and just allow myself to die. I’d try to fly, but they took that from me. A single wing without the other is as useless as a boat with no paddle.
The water is near, I close my eyes and just breathe.
Where does an angel go when they die? I guess we will see.
After a while I opened my eyes, I should have hit the water by now. Except I’m still falling.
When I do I am blinded by brilliant reds and blacks. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust to the light, but when they do, I feel my heart drop. They couldn’t kill me…so they sent me to be with the dead. An angel amongst the damned is as good as dead.
I’m too shocked to do much of anything as I continue to fall, so I just laugh. I imagine I was a strange sight, a fallen angel with one wing, laughing maniacally as I fell to the depths of the earth. Yet I couldn’t help it, the irony was too strong to have any other reaction. Except for deep down I knew I didn’t deserve this. What had I done? I can’t remember. My mind feels fuzzy- like I can barely piece together what brought me here, but nothing of detail. I remember everything up to about a week ago, after that is fog. It’s strange, but not unpredictable. Of course, they wiped my memories.
The ground is fast approaching now, I don’t know what to expect, so this time I try to use my wing to at least slow my descent. It does no good though, I just feel this excruciating pain, my vision goes white and I swear someone is dragging a red-hot knife down my back where my missing wing used to be. When I hit the ground I barely notice, I’m still gasping for air and praying for relief from my agony. When the pain finally subsides to a dull thrum I open my eyes and hunch over from nausea. My skin is dripping in sweat, and my heart beats loud in my ears. The world spins and I fall to my knees. Everything goes black.
I wake to a nudging at my shoulder which irritates my injury even further. I groan and roll away from the pestering. I hear a low growl and open my eyes to find a giant three-headed dog staring at me. I yell and throw myself away from the beast. I landed against a scalding rock and proceeded to then throw myself away from THAT. The dog-like creature comes back and begins to sniff my hair. I freeze in fear and rack my brain for an idea of what this could be. I had never heard of, nor seen, such an animal before. I see it’s wearing a collar with a tag that says “Cerberus”. A memory in the back of my mind begins to surface and my confusion sets in.
I had heard of a three-headed dog called Cerberus who guarded the Underworld, but that was in Greek mythology. There is no such thing as Greek Mythology….this must be some sick coincidence. Some mutated animal named after a story. The myths are just that, myths. My existence proves the lack of gods above. There are no angels in mythology…
My head spins in confusion, yet I am still frozen and the creature has stepped back to look at me. It’s not very large, but its multiple heads make up for its fear factor.
I begin to scoot away from the animal, it doesn’t seem threatened by this, so I attempt to stand. My knees are weak and I can barely keep myself from falling, but eventually I am able to stand straight. Still, the dog does not seem threatened. If anything it seems excited and begins to run in circles around me. I can’t help but laugh, but it was probably shock if nothing else.
As Cerberus calms down, I start to take in my surroundings. Dark and sweltering, yet beautiful. I see glorious flames lick the cave ceiling and light seems to dance across the dark walls. The screams of the damned are nothing but whispers compared to the roaring fire.
I turn around and am faced with a river wide as it is cold. I take a step closer to it and suddenly am faced with freezing temperatures compared to the heat I had felt before. I recognize this river, and its truth of existence questions my very being. The River Styx, another mythological tale cold as ice, but burning through my mind all the same.
Looking around I spot a castle of black marble, and a field of ghosts wandering in silence. I feel a stabbing pain in my ribs as everything is confirmed. Questions fill my mind, but one, in particular, comes to the surface. What are they hiding? And why?