Angels: Moon and Sun
The smell of sulfur assaulted her senses as Hekate began to regain consciousness. Her eyes opened, but it wasn’t to the parking lot as she was expecting. Her hands met a warm surface that scratched her hands as she moved to sit up. All she could see was a red glow surrounding black stone.
She wracked her brain, attempting to figure out where she was, how she had gotten there, and who had done this to her. The wolf returned to her memories, but it still didn’t make any sense. Just as Hekate was beginning to stand, a voice made her freeze, “Child, are you awake?”
Hekate turned. The voice came from a figure that was standing in front of a massive set of doors. They looked ancient, with cracks that shared the same red glow as the walls. The woman before them was tall and slender. Her silver hair fell to her waist. Intricate braids around her head probably held another inch of hair. Although dressed in a tunic, her waist contained a shining silver plate of armor, that matched the cuffs on her arms and neck. In her hand, she held a long sword, which appeared to be dripping with a black substance.
Her body stayed in place despite the urge to run. There was nowhere to run. She had no idea where she was. Her body knew before her mind had time to catch up. All she could do was stare at the woman from the floor.
“Where am I?” she asked, trying to contain the shaking in her voice.
The woman’s silver eyes scanned the area before taking a step closer towards her. She knelt down and tilted her head back, “I had you brought here. To the Gates of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I have a task for you.”
Hekate’s eyes widened in shock. Everything the woman said had sounded crazy. However, the doors before her and the smell of sulfur that continued to assault her lungs told her otherwise.
A voice from behind caused me to jump, nearly nicking my hand on the sword, “She’s stunned. Give her a moment to rest.”
She turned to see the same white wolf from earlier, sitting and staring at her. Now, Hekate thought she had completely lost her mind, “What the hell is going on?”
The wolf stood up and moved closer to Hekate. It took all she had not to flinch away. As it adjusted to sit in front of her, a voice filled her mind, “My name is Moro. I brought you here at Selene’s request.”
Moro and Selene watched her carefully as she tried to take in this information. The fact that a wolf was talking to her was only helping the insanity case, “What request?”
Selene stood up and began to wipe her sword with the bottom of her tunic, staining the white fabric black, “Moro and I have been charged with guarding the Gates since the beginning of time. It is a daily battle we both fight in order to protect your mortal realm. However, there have been times when a Horsemen has escaped my clutches. When that happens, I am allowed to recruit help.”
Hekate’s eyes narrowed. She didn’t like where this was going, “Help?”
Selene nodded, “Yes. I cannot leave the Gates unguarded. Moro, however, can. So, I’m assigning her to you.”
Finally, Hekate felt she had the strength to stand. As she did, her hands flew into the air, “Are you kidding me? You expect me to believe any of this? I must be going insane, this is insane! I can’t take a wolf with me home, let alone help it find a Horsemen for crying out loud!”
A part of her expected Selene to be upset with her outburst. But instead, the armored woman merely grinned, “They all panic in the beginning. Usually, the wings bring them to their knees.”
“Wings? There are wings now,” she exclaimed.
The heat in the room suddenly began to intensity as Selene’s grin widened. A rush of hot air slammed into me as large red wings erupted from Selene’s back. They were beautiful but scarred. Missing feather, the red tainted by black stains; an image of a warrior who had seen multiple battles.
The wings were impressive, but they weren’t enough to stop Hekate’s tongue, “Seriously, what the hell is going on?”
Moro stood and nudged Selene’s leg, “Don’t you miss the days when a mortal would meet an angel and fall to their knees, begging for forgiveness?”
Hekate didn’t, “I don’t care what you are. Just tell me what’s happening. Please!”
Moro moved to stand next to Hekate. The instant her fur touched Hekate’s leg, a sudden sense of relief washed over her.
Moro looked up, “Better.”
The sensation had not only calmed her nerves but also dulled the sulfur in the air, allowing her to take a deep breath, “Yes.”
Selene raised an eyebrow but continued to explain, “I chose you to help me recapture the Horseman who has escaped. I cannot leave the Gates unguarded, so you are taking Moro with you for protection and help.”
“Moro will be with you at all time. Her energy will be attached to your soul. This will allow you to have powers similar to mine. Although still human, she will enhance your senses and allow to be prepared for an attack,” she explained.
Hekate gulped, not wanting the answer to her next question, “Attacked? I’m going to be attacked?”
Selene merely nodded, “Moro allows her presence to be felt while in the mortal realm, even when inside of you. The Horseman will sense this and know you are the one sent to reclaim him. He will send any attack he can to kill you.”
“Oh. Comforting,” she said in a shaky voice.
Moro leaned closer to her, “Through me, you’ll be able to sense a threat quickly. I’ll make sure you’re protected and are able to fight back.”
“Again. Comforting.” Her tone was beginning to become laced with sarcasm.
Suddenly, Selene extended her hand towards her. A bright light surrounded Hekate. The pressure caused her to fall to the ground and grip her chest, urging the pressure to subside. A burning sensation began to fill everything. Her entire body felt like it was on fire.
A pain rippled through her back, causing her to fold over her knees. Her bones cracked, her muscles tore, and she felt her skin begin to peel open. The pain sent a shock of electricity through her body, causing her to scream in agony. Something sharp pierced through the muscles and skin, only to fall to her sides, covering her in a softness that was unfamiliar. Only then did the pain finally begin to subside.
Something soft rubbed Hekate’s arms as she tried to remember how to breathe. After taking a few deep breaths, Hekate slowly opened her eyes. Still hunched over her fallen knees, she glanced to the side to see dark grey feathers settled along her arms. With only a thought, the wings shifted, moving out of view. The movement caused her to shiver as an odd sensation to run down her spine, and shoulder blades. She could feel the new bones and sore muscles move, allowing her to see her surroundings.
Sweat covered her brow as she looked up. Selene was smiling, seeming satisfied with her work, “They don’t look too bad.”
Hekate’s hand reached back to inspect her new appendages. They were soft to touch, and she was left stunned. Only when she was able to stand did she realize something, “Where did the wolf go?”
Hekate twitched before freezing in place, her wings jerking to the movement, “What the hell…”
As said before. I am now attached to your soul. If you take another look around, your senses should have improved.
She was right. When Hekate looked behind Selene, she could see the Gates were covered in runes, though she wasn’t sure what they meant. The smell of sulfur was practically gone, and she realized the room wasn’t a room at all. The ground was still molten rock, but she could see the sky above. Behind the dense red fog, she could even see lightning strikes.
Through her marveling, she suddenly sensed something darker. Selene jerked back to see the Gates were being slammed from the other side. An unnatural scream erupted as whatever it was, was trying to escape.
From behind, the sound of claws scraping began to increase. Hekate turned to see disfigured creatures running towards them. They were relatively small, only coming up to her hip in size. But the claws glistened in the glow of the lava that was beneath the rocks. With sharpened teeth, they opened their mouths to screech, echoing the sounds coming from behind the door.
Selene looked back at Hekate but wasn’t talking to her, “Take her home. She’s not ready for this yet!”
Before Hekate could even begin to panic, everything went dark. Again.
Angels Moon and Sun: Chapter Three Coming Soon…