This very short story was written for a writing contest among friends, a long time ago. The theme was “portrait”.
It could have been anything. It could have been funny, romantic, dramatic.
But I chose to write about a certain fallen angel.
Just look at him.
He is filthy. Full of mud and blood. And he can barely move. His wings are in tatters – one is broken and hanging painfully from his back. But he doesn’t seem to notice.
Fallen to the ground, he rises on his broken elbows and stares with big, dark eyes towards the sunset. His face looks as if made of stone. No wrinkle disturbs his smooth forehead and no rictus disfigures his noble lips. He seems still and quiet. But in his soul, seen by none (maybe not even by whom should), a storm is raging.
He has lost. He has lost everything.
In a flicker of a second, which maybe lasted even less – or much, much longer – he had rebelled, he had fought and he had lost.
Thrown down from his skies by the Father whom he adored so much that he had risked everything for him, even the consequences of disobedience, the Angel doesn’t have any power left in him.
He is bent by the grief he carries in his soul… he doesn’t even feel the physical pain, so shattered is he within his very being. Unnoticed, the first tears trickle down from his eyes. Where they fall, the ground blackens and wakes up and small flowers sprout, like so many little blue stars. Like him when he used to sparkle in his given place up in the sky.
Because he has refused to place on the same level as his heavenly Father – the first and only above all – those wretched creatures of clay, Father’s unacknowledged whim, he himself has been cast down to that foul world of clay. Banished. Forever disowned.
The first made and the highest-ranking and strongest of all the angels, once more scintillating than all the stars and Heaven’s hosts taken together, he is now crawling on the hard ground like a worm. The sharp thorns of cruel plants leave deep gashes in his skin. It’s as if the entire earth hated him. The skies hate him too… dark clouds start pouring frozen rain down onto him. His wings, once of the purest white, are now hanging dirty and wet, with torn feathers, dripping mud and blood.
The Angel reaches up and grabs onto a tall rock. He hauls himself up. Tears have drawn white rivers on his dusty cheeks, among black clots. The icy rain washes the filth off his face, mixing it with the tangled strands of long hair stuck into grotesque arabesques on the shoulders, the back and the naked torso of the banished Angel. He looks ahead, far into the distance, where it doesn’t rain; he watches the sun sink into a sea of red… and he sees his own destiny.
“I have lost my light… oh, Father…” he whispers, so quietly that only the wind hears and, charitable, takes his words farther, higher, maybe He will hear them.
Or maybe not.
“They will all forget who I was and that I fell out of too much love and you, Father, you will forget as well… if you have ever known.”
“They will forget me and they will say I fell out of pride and vain ambitions and they will call me with another name, cursed by all.”
“They will call me…”