Angel in Charcoal
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity...
Walden by H.D. Thoreau
He didn't want to fall.
They ripped his wings off with their bare hands. There were feet firmly planted on his back while other's held him down. Two of them took hold of the beautiful white appendages and tore them from the curve of his spine. He understood for the first time what pain was. He screamed and cried tears that tasted like vinegar as they created tracks of transparent silver down his face. And they laughed at him.
He didn't want to jump. They pushed him.
When Lucifer stood laughing as his wings burned a black flame and sent dark ashes into the atmosphere, then leapt from the highest high to the lowest low; he was hauled to the edge of eternity and pushed from behind.
He didn't want to fall, but it did not matter to them.
It used to bother him that the only thing he knew, really knew without the blur of pain and the sounds of laughter and the thumpthumpthump of angels falling, was his name. But, it was something to repeat to himself for reassurance that he once exist beyond his current existence. He wrote it everywhere that he could at first.
My name is Harry.
My name is Harry Potter
My name is Harry James Potter.
My name is Harry James Lily Evans Potter.
My name is Harry - JamesLilyEvansChildofLightChosenOneThatFellFromHeavenEscaperOfHell
WhoLostFaithAndNowIsForeverLost - Potter.
He stopped writing his name so often after the letters appeared like a brand on his skin. For as long as it was there, only he could see it.
He crawled out of Hell on his hands and knees. Through the fire that was everywhere. While others grew great dark wings and had eyes that glowed red or black. He emerged naked and vomitted blood that first time his fingers curled into rocks that were not white-hot embers which charred his palms.
"How old are you?"
Harry never knows how to answer that question. How does he explain that he lived an eternity and once was almost perfect? How does he explain that he doesn't want to know how old he looks? He feels old, looks young, rots and regrow. He doesn't care how long it has been - Seven years? So long - because he has aged like all humans age. He has learned by now that seventeen is not an appropriate age to do what he does.
So he tilts his head, narrows his eyes, blows out a stream of smoke that he has procured from the small white cylinder between his fingers, then smirks seductively.
"I am ageless, timeless, anything and everything."
Fingers that are not his own grabs at his arm. Nails bite into his flesh. Rips his shirt more than it is already torn. Pulls him into a battle of chapped lips and yellowed teeth. Tongue against tongue.
He will spend tonight inside a stranger's house, he knows.
He remember his parents as glowing light. No faces. Disjointed voices. He lost them in the uprising. Lost them the moment he lost his wings.
Sex was something that Harry did not understand.
Two bodies joined together as one. One body inside another's. The sound of skin against skin. The thump...thump...creak of a bed or a chair. The groans and the shouts reminds him of Hell. He waits for the strangers to all sprout the wings and hiss with red eyes and sharpened teeth. Gender does not matter. Age does not matter. He is timeless and was once almost perfect.
But not anymore. Not like this.
He always grabs his clothes first because once it is over there is always silence so suffocatingly loud that he hears himself screaming and he needs something to muffle the sound. It takes a while - always a while - before his skin begins to burn and he sees the blue flames dance across his naked body, making him a darker complexion than the one that he enters with. It will fade of course, just as the feathers do when they ripple, glowing, transparent and silver as they flake. One more bout of innocence replaced. After seven years it no longer frightens him that the feathers are still white.
He grabs the money and then his shoes and dresses in the safety of the bathroom.
Dark smudges line his eyes. They are a dull shade of green. Once upon a time they were cut from emerald and set with love on the sculptured form of his face. He broke his nose one year. He likes that it is not so beautiful now. His hair still surprises him after all this time. Raven black and messy. Once upon a time, everything about him was fair.
But not like this.
His lips are turning black. From cigarette smoke? From the way he expects them to? They match the way his skin is tanned and his clothed are ragged. Nothing about them make sense. He does not make sense.
Fallen and yet not fallen.
He climbs out the nearest window, thirty stories up off the ground. Wonders if this time he can make the choice himself and jump. He never wanted to jump, even now. So he climbs from one balcony to another, swings from one concrete-railing interface and lands in a heap on the cold stone of another. Doesn't break his legs. Knows how to do this by now. Why not? Seven years. He wants to not remember the countless times he has done this.
The sun is already rising as he makes his way down the street. He stops to watch the event; powerless to the beauty that something inside of him still appreciates. The light makes him feel as if he is glowing and if he closes his eyes really tightly he can pretend that he has a halo and that beyond the light is the parents whose child he was once created to be.
By the time the sun is settled in the sky he walks out of the nearest department store with a bag of black make-up (why not just enhance it?), a can of soda (he can afford it)... and condoms because for some reason he is always the one on the inside of the other person's insides. As if he was not made to be violated on a regular basis.
He knows differently of course.
A part of him always knew why.
In the moment when he should have had the greatest faith, as others turned away, he had lost hope. So important that moment. Demons were created in that space of eternity. Angels were crowned. He had despaired and forgotten to believe. Believe.
That's why his wings came off when they pulled hard enough. That's why there was nothing to stop him from tumbling into the void. It would have been better if he had chosen a side. Instead, darkness and light festers within him. He knows of course. Has always known. Even while his throat bled from his screams, even while his hands were burned and his knees were blistered, even when his back was bent double from the pain he felt as the wounds closed, he understands.
He was made to understand his mistake.