The Rift: Gates of the Golden City

A Daily Response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt: Open

And time for part four.
Part One: Path of the Mountain Warrior
Part Two: Grand Cleric Anastasia
Part Three: The Human Condition

In addition to trying to continue this story every  day, in relation to the Daily Prompt of that day, I am also using this as the perfect time to experiment with the writing styles I spoke of here, as well as any others I may or may decide to bowl with.

EDIT: I know see that there is no text to part one of this story. I have not got it saved in any drafts or anything so it seems to be lost forever. If I ever find it, I will be sure to repost it and notify all of you of the addition.

Hanariel Avana

He calls himself a coward because he is watching the death of his comrades being needlessly slaughtered right before his eyes. But I know better than that. At this current point in time. He is worse than the coward. He stays out of the battle not only from fear but from lack of care for the lives of his comrades. The coward is merely not brave enough to face that which torments him. But Bran, he watches his comrades because he enjoys watching others fight in his place. He revels in watching Lady Death feast on the souls of the departed. Perhaps I have tracked the growth of this mortal for a bit too long, as I sit here on the ledge next to him, allowing the wind to pass through my incorporeal form. It’s like when you sip at a drink that is slightly t hot but tastes so god that you allow it to pinch at your cheeks that little bit longer, and when you swallow, you feel the heat of the drink warming your throat as it passes down and then, when it reaches the innermost regions of your stomach, your belly tingles from its warmth. 

That is what it meant to be an angel. Our forms were not solid. Only in the minds of men and mer alike did we exist in physical form. we resided in a dimension just beyond this one. Think of it like this. Have you ever watched an artist perform their craft? She can create lines by simply adding ink to a page. These lines exist in only one dimension. Yet, even you with your vision so limited can see them. Those things that exist in one dimension can also exist in all subsequent dimensions, and they can easily change from first so second when the artist sketches height to its width. Such as first became second, second can become third by pulling the object out of the page and giving it depth. Here is when the common misconception comes in. One might think that they are like the artists creation pulled off of the page, but then one would certainly be very wrong indeed. The mortal artist manifests immortal art that only withers because it is on a medium plagued by time and this is where we arrive in the fourth dimension, also known as the dimension of man. All dimensions prior to that of man are solely the realm of art. As for the dimensions after man, not even my order is able to answer that one. What we can tell you, is that we exist in the realm just beyond. The realm of life and death. The realm of love and loss. The realm of pain, and emotion. We exist, but only as souls that watch over the world of man. We are of the fifth dimension, named the realm of angels and demons.

It is not entirely as simple as that. There are bound to be details that I did not have clearance for. We, angels, watch over the souls of our brethren as they are tethered to the dimension of man. My charge is the man beside me. He cannot see me. But I can see him. I can touch him. Not that he would feel it. But as the soul tethered to him is almost the same as I, I can run my fingers through his soul or use them to pierce his. My mission is to watch, and observe this young soul as it ventures through the corporeal world and lead him home when his frame gives in like that of all the warriors before us.

War in the domain of man is a tougher time for my world than it is for those at war. All that pain, all that suffering, all that death. All of it shakes my world. That is why we live in a barren dimension filled with nothing but lost souls and the Golden City. Each and every moment of emotion in the material world shakes my world. We, souls, are manifestations of mixed emotion. We call ourselves angels and demons to distinguish ourselves from those bound to the material world. We can appear in any shape or form we please. I, like most, prefer my human form as I would have liked to be seen. A fine, fair skinned maiden with flowing white hair down to her waist. Majestic white feathered wings sprouting from my back so that I could soar into the skies and taste the clouds.

Abandoning my charge once again, I soared down the mountain to the gates of death. The black souls of the Reavers tearing a rift in the gap between worlds. I, along with the Guardians of all my fellow angelic protectors, had to grab each blue haze as they were shot into the material world and then pulled into the rift. Not all of us chose to wear the facade of angels. Many appeared as animals in all shapes and sizes with any number of variations, ranging from skin tone to texture. Yet no soul that remained uncorrupted could change the number of heads or limbs. None of us knew why but only if one slipped into the rift, or chose the path of a demon, would one be able to choose a form of something we had never seen in the material world.

I left Bran because he was the most stubborn fool that I had ever met refused to greet death no matter what she offered. These Guardians that had no limbs to them often battled to help their charge if they were on Rift’s Edge. Sometimes they even fell in themselves, and there was no redemption for anyone who faded into that darkness. With my wings, I could grab all those who had no form and appeared as a coloured haze. The colour representing what kind of person you were. Bran bore a white soul stained black but tainted red. And that is where I was heading as well. I no longer bore the beauty of my youth. The tips of my feathers were stained red as fresh blood and the tip of my hair is turning charcoal black. Diving into the Rift, I grabbed as many light hued souls I could and carried them back to their Guard. The battle went on right up until sundown. All that time I was focussed on saving the souls of the fallen Templars. Giving them the chance to get past the gates. I hated seeing the faces of the Guardian after they had lost their charge. The order was not kind to those that failed in their duty. Deliberately pushing them into the rift. Exile was not pretty for an angel.

None of us really knew where those holes ended up. The beings landed on sludgy, grey ground after about a minute in free fall. The rift closed shortly after. Once you hit that floor, there was no returning. We didn’t even know if it was a place worse off than our own. But the screams that could be heard after the eye of the rift had shut were of those in true agony. We tried to save them. My order is constantly planning expeditions into the world beyond us to try to find out what is there. What causes the screaming, and why can we still hear it even after the rift is no longer open?

 

photo credit: St Isaacs Cathedral Savior on the Spilled Blood mosaic museum St Petersburg Russia via photopin (license)

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