Angels: Moon and Sun
Marcia’s car was sitting in the driveway when Hekate pulled up beside her in the rain. It hadn’t let up the entire time she had been with Caleb, let alone the drive home. She collected her bags before running into the house. Inside, she found Marcia at the kitchen counter and her mother standing on the other side. Both of them were eating something from bowls. Hekate could smell chili.
“Hey. Sorry, I’m late,” Hekate apologized to both of them.
Her mother looked up from her bowl first. “You are late. Don’t forget it’s a school night. You’ve both usually been good in the past, but I don’t want you guys staying up too late.”
Marcia leaned back to glance at Hekate before scooping another bite up into her mouth. She tried to speak through the food. “We’re just going to catch up on some homework and watch some YouTube videos. Nothing too exciting.”
Hekate threw her back onto the living room couch before returning to take a seat next to Marcia. There was already a bowl of hot chili waiting for her. She didn’t realize how hungry she was until she took the first bite, burning her tongue for a second time that night.
“Thanks, Mom. This is delicious,” Hekate said through a mouthful.
Marcia suddenly leaned into her, tilting her head onto Hekate’s shoulder. “So. Are you going to tell me how your date was, or not?”
Her mother nearly choked on the sip of water she had just taken. “Excuse me? A date? My daughter went on a date? This must be some kind of mistake!”
I’ll admit, even I was surprised.
“Shut up,” Hekate grumbled before biting into her food again. The last thing she wanted was the third degree on how the coffee date had gone. Especially after Jennifer had tried to start something with her at their gymnastics practice.
Marcia wasn’t going to let it drop. “Si! Your daughter went on a date! She’s growing up, I’m so proud. Tell me! How did it go?”
“We just had coffee. That’s it. We talked for a bit, hung out, then I came home. End of story,” Hekate said, attempting to let the subject drop again.
Leaping from her chair, Marcia walked over to the kitchen sink to drop her empty bowl. “You’re not getting off that easy.”
Thankfully, her mother took pity on her cornered daughter. “Come on, Marcia. Give her a break. She’ll tell us when she’s ready,” leaning closer to Marcia, she whispered, “She better.”
Annoyed by the topic, Hekate devoured the rest of her dinner so she could escape, “We have work to do. Come on.”
“Don’t stay up too late,” her mother reminded them.
“Yes, ma’am!” Hekate exclaimed.
Marcia was right behind her when they entered her bedroom. Although Hekate’s goal was to focus on the mission for the night, Marcia wasn’t going to let it go. “Seriously, what happened?”
“Seriously, do you want your powers or not?” Hekate retorted.
The topic of powers shut Marcia up right away. Instead of pressing the issue further, she moved to sit on the bed. “What exactly is going to happen? I already have my wings, right?”
Throwing her leotard into her hamper, Hekate slipped into a large t-shirt and sweatpants as Moro materialized beside her. “Why do you say it as if it were a question?”
“I haven’t really used them since,” she shrugged before standing again, “Can I borrow some lazy clothes? I didn’t bring a bag or anything.”
Hekate pointed to her dresser. “I’m surprised you’re even asking.” As Marcia began to change into another pair of sweatpants and a tank top, Hekate realized something, “Are you telling me that nothing strange has happened ever since you were given your wings?”
“You mean besides all the attacks on you? No, not really,” Marcia said casually.
Moro was uncharacteristically silent during their discussion of powers. When Hekate was given her abilities, she was attacked on day one. Even before then, if you counted the mysterious message on her computer. Why would the demons waste no time with her, yet leave Marcia alone? She was grateful for it, to be sure. But at the same time, a darker part of her was jealous.
“It’s possible they aren’t aware of her yet. She still has to receive the last bit of power,” Moro said reassuringly.
She stared at the wolf, now sitting beside her legs. Moro was staring back at her. That could have been the reason, but it didn’t seem enough. The demons had made a point to go after her the second she returned from the door. Marcia was still untouched, her wings probably still untouched by taint.
“Probably,” she said, though she didn’t believe her words. Her hand reached to touch the mark again. It had imprinted itself so deeply into her skin, it felt as though it was being distorted, changing shape. Her fingers traced the imprint through her t-shirt. Moro noticed but chose not to comment.
Marcia was getting uncomfortable with the ominous silence. Wanting to break it, she ran up behind Hekate and wrapped up arms around her waist before lifting her into the air. “Come on! Let’s get me some powers!”
“Very well. Both of you, take hold of me and we’ll go,” Moro said as she stood.
Once Hekate was freed, she crouched down beside Marcia. They both placed a hand on Moro’s neck. Her fur was soft, almost inviting. It gave them both the same calming effect Hekate had felt while beside the doors and Selene.
There was no slow build. There was no shift in energy. One minute, they were in Hekate’s room and the next, they were in a forest. In front of them was another door, however, this one was far more beautiful than the last. With intricate designs layered in gold along the wooden door, it felt inviting. Peaceful.
A woman stood before them. She was beautiful. Dressed in a linen fabric, it draped across her chest, pinned at the shoulders. She did not wear the armor Selene wore. Instead, her linen dress hung loosely over her body. Her brunette hair was pinned back with intricate braids, leaving only a few strands to fall on her forehead.
The golden almond shaped eyes stared back at them. Hekate suddenly felt extremely underdressed. The woman smiled reassuringly at them. “Welcome to Eden.”
Moro stepped forward, forcing them to release her fur. “Good evening Diana. I hope all is well up here.”
“It usually is,” her voice was like chimes in the wind as she spoke.
They stood to greet Diana, but the moment Hekate moved to speak, her chest began to burn furiously. Her knees buckled under the pressure as her hand reached to grab hold of the mark as if to pull it off and end the pain.
“Don’t touch her,” Diana said. When she spoke this time, her voice was like ice.
Marcia didn’t seem to care either way. “What are you talking about?”
Ignoring the girl, Diana looked at Moro. “Why would you bring someone who has been marked here? She cannot be here.”
Moro didn’t have a chance to respond. Marcia was quicker to her words. “Isn’t that the point of us bringing her here? If you can’t fix her, then I will find a way to do it! Give me my powers and we’ll leave!”
Diana raised an eyebrow. “Very demanding for a human.”
“Shut up!” Hekate growled.
Everyone froze to look at her again. Moro slowly approached Hekate, nudging her with her nose. “I can’t feel you again.”
Hekate jerked her head up, her glare causing Moro to back up. “You angelic creatures think you have everything figured out. But you seem to forget, while on your pedestals, that everything dies. Even you. There will be blood. Human and angel alike. And it will be a gift.”
Before anyone could react, Marcia rushed past Moro. “Be quiet!” Her fist met Hekate’s face so hard, her fist was bleeding.
“This is the girl you want me to give my power to?”
Marcia shook her hand. The punch felt as though she had broken it, but it was possible it was only severely bruised. “This is why I need the power. We have to find a way to take that thing off of her. It’s changing her, and I don’t like it.”
Moro nodded and moved to stand next to Marcia as Hekate laid unconscious behind them. “I’ve spoken to her without Hekate’s knowledge on occasion. She knows that the mark is changing her friend. She has me to help her, but she needs more. Maybe her friend, and maybe my other half.”
“Your other half?” Marcia asked.
“Yes. Technically we are in a few mythologies as different things from each time we visited earth over the centuries. This isn’t even my true form. I merely chose it as it was Hekate’s favorite animal. If you lend us Muninn, it could prove useful. Especially with his talent,” Moro explained.
A memory flicked across Marcia’s eyes, “Why do I know that name?”
Diana raised her hand into the air. “It was the name he was given from centuries ago. He hasn’t been around humans since then, unlike Moro. Moro has changed her names a few times.”
Hekate slowly began to stir behind them. No one noticed at first, but when she spit the blood from her mouth, all three of them flinched. Marcia raised her fist. “Do I need to punch you again?”
Hekate shook her head. “No. I’m not sure what that was. I’m sorry.”
As she began to stand, a scratching noise began behind the door. Something on the other side of the door had begun to peck and scratch it’s way through. The doors split to open in the center, but only a fraction. From behind, something white flew through the crack before doors slammed shut, sealing the opening into solid wood again.
The white raven circled above before landing on Diana’s arm. She let her arm fall as she began to stroke the raven’s chest with her other hand. “Hello, old friend.”
“Why have you summoned me?” he asked. The voice was deep and older. The same as Moro, his mouth did not move when he spoke, but you knew where the voice was coming from, regardless.
“Hello, brother,” Moro said.
The raven turned to look down at the wolf. “Sister.”
“It looks like Selene’s fight has bled even here. They’re requesting our assistance,” Diana explained.
Marcia stepped forward. “I need to be able to fight with them. And maybe even find a cure for Hekate.”
Muninn flew towards Hekate, stopping only to hover in front of her. “You’ve been marked. There is nothing that can be done.”
“Yes, there is,” Hekate calmly said.
“And what is that?” Diana asked voice laced with curiosity.
Hekate jerked her head up in defiance. “We kill Death.”
Muninn jerked backward. “Impossible. Death cannot be killed. Not until the second death has occurred. Why are you talking about killing Death?”
Diana shifted her weight to her back leg as her arms crossed over her chest. “Isn’t he the horseman that escaped?”
Moro nodded. “Yes,” her head tilted back towards Hekate, “He’s right. You can’t kill Death. All we can hope to do is reseal him.”
Tired of the back and forth, Marcia interrupted them. “We need to focus on right now. We can’t stay here forever, or her mother is going to find out we’re gone.”
Hekate’s words still rang in the air. But Diana nodded as she held her hand out and placed it on Marcia’s chest. “You’re right. Muninn, are you willing to help?”
The white raven stared at them before lowing his head. Before them, the raven’s form began to change. His feathers began to darken, as its body grew in size. The claws that had been delicately holding onto Diana’s arm, grew into large talons. His black eyes began to shimmer as they shifted to a golden amber, matching the markings on the door.
“Very well,” he said when he lifted his head. The white raven that was in front of them had transformed into Marcia’s favorite animal: a Golden Eagle.
Marcia was in awe as she stared at the eagle. She lifted her hand to touch his feathers before suddenly jerking her head back. “I’m sorry. You didn’t have to change yourself for this.”
The eagle shook it’s head vigorously from side to side. “By changing form to one desired by the human soul, it allows the merging process to occur naturally. It is why my sister, Huginn, chose that body. Though, I assume now you are to be called Moro.”
The wolf nodded. “Yes.”
A golden light, brighter than the sun engulfed them as Diana’s hand pressed harder onto Marcia’s chest. Muninn flew into the air before diving towards her. Right as he would have hit her, he vanished. Marcia screamed as Diana’s hand continued to hold her there.
Hekate had to hold her hands up to block out the blinding light. On instinct, her wings ripped through her skin and shirt to help defend against the light. As it guarded her sight, she could see the feathers were darker now. They were still gray with hints of red, but the gray was slowly darkening. Lifting a finger from her face, she reached to touch them. They weren’t as soft as they originally had been. They were rough as if blood had dried on them.
When the light around them began to dim and the screaming dissipated, Hekate lowered her wings. Marcia stood in front of her, gasping for air with her hand on her chest. The wings behind her were spread out and flapped every few seconds. They were softer than Hekate’s and bathed in a light golden tint. They were beautiful.
“It is done,” Diana said, taking a step back.
“Thank you,” Marcia said through the gasps of air.
In one blink, Marcia had vanished. Hekate began to panic until she realized Diana was staring at her.
“What?” she asked, in a harsh tone.
Diana took a step forward before placing her hand on Hekate’s chest. “Death isn’t just any horseman. If it was really him who marked you, then there is nothing that can be done. However, if it was someone else, then you might have a chance. You just need the will to fight.”
“I will always fight,” Hekate declared. Her voice wasn’t as sure as she intended it to be. Diana’s words were causing her to think back to every encounter she had with Death. He had practically declared himself to her, as did the mark. If it wasn’t him, then which horseman was it?
Diana grinned before stepping back. “Of that, I have no doubt.”
And then, she was gone.
Angels: Moon and Sun – Chapter Ten coming soon…