Flame and Shadow

By Joshua Carr All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Other

Chapter 71

With renewed strength, Milo attacked again. Several approaches yielded no contact, so Milo stepped back, then kicked off of the stone outcropping, and came at an angle downward with a war cry. Detecting more urgency, the seraph turned his attention to the boy and sent a flame to scorch him. Milo swept the energy aside with his gloved left hand, and delivered a devastating flying downward right punch to the angel’s face.

Mavethel stumbled backward, looking to be in considerable disbelief.

“Wow. I was not even aware that humans could hurt me. But, I suppose that makes sense. All beings with spirits, humans or angels, live forever in the spiritual plane. Humans are absolutely constrained to the physical plane until they die, when they become absolutely constrained to the spiritual plane. Most angels remain in the spiritual plane, but some either inhabit physical human bodies, or create physical angelic bodies as I did. Although my physical body is far stronger than yours, it is not indestructible. If it were to die, I would be forever trapped in the spiritual plane, like a dead human.”

Upon the strike to the angel and his subsequent explanation, his control over Sera had snapped. She shook her head to clear it.

“What the…was he…inside my head? What happened?”

“No, you will not get away.” Mavethel held his hand out again. “Come to me.”

I was afraid he would control her again, but my fears were put at ease when she retaliated.

“Huh, that might work on some girls, coughlikeyourmomcough, but not on me!”

“What? You’re mine!”

“Not yet I’m not! Are you ready, Milo?”

Milo nodded.

“Let’s do it.”

Still possessing her flaming angelic wings, Sera flew forward toward their foe. He attempted to stop her with a blast of heat, but she banked to dodge, and landed a powerful punch into his stomach. Milo simultaneously came in from the other side. He swept aside a wall of flame with his gloved left hand, and kicked with a powerful spinning back kick to his stomach. He then did a number of backward handsprings to evade counter attack.

Sera seemed to be truly enjoying her new wings, because she soared around the cavern, avoiding bolts of fire energy, before swooping in to attack again.

The two worked together in harmony, as one, to batter the seraphim’s physical body. They pounded him repeatedly from both sides, while dodging his blistering flames. Mavethel was visibly weakening; his attacks and reactions were becoming slower and less forceful. Sera had seen this as well.

“Are you ready, Bro?!” She called.

“Ready!”

She flew low to the ground at top speed directly toward the enemy. He attempted to stop her with a fiery blast, but she plowed right through it. When she reached him, she unleashed a full-strength Falcon Dive uppercut that knocked him into the air. Milo had been waiting in the shadows caused by the two sources of flame. He used the energy he gained from the darkness to leap high into the air above the seraphim. Then, with every bit of power he had, blasted him with a double stomping kick to his face and chest.

The angel was driven down to the hard stone floor with a mighty crash, and he bounced into a pool of magma, where he sank out of sight.

Milo landed like a ninja, and Sera’s wings faded away. The two turned to walk over to where I stood. They’re so cool. If only they had an explosion to walk away from in slow motion.

“That wasn’t so bad.” Sera boasted.

Just then, there was an explosion from the magma pool behind them, and I wished that I hadn’t wished for that. Everyone whipped around to face what had happened, to see a horrifying sight. Mavethel had burst from the molten pit and hovered some 15 feet in the air with a pair of wings of his own. He had an expression of pure evil malice on his face, as lava dripped from his body.

“YOU DARE DEFY ME?! THE PROPHECY HAS FORETOLD THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EARTH IN FLAMES!! There is nothing you can do!!”

He opened and closed his fists, looking at them both in turn.

“Fine. This was not how I wanted to do this, but it is obvious that you will not give up your soul to complete me.”

Mavethel held out his hands palms up. The air began to shimmer, as though it were water, but it was not humidity. Then, Milo and Mara clutched their chests, and stumbled, but Sera absolutely collapsed to the floor. After the enemy held that position for a few minutes, he relaxed.

“I had to resort to my secondary plan. As you may know, chemical bonds store potential energy. When one is broken, energy is released. As you may also know, life and power is in the blood. This power, however, is exclusively released in the spiritual dimension. I have just broken every bond holding the third helix of DNA of every one of my children on the planet. That third helix is what contained their angelic information, and gave them their abilities. This has allowed me to regain the majority of my essence, but I do not have enough energy to complete my task. I will have to absorb it from existing sources. The volcano was one, but I require more.”

The seraph looked up at the roof of the cavern.

“I will return. And when I do…you will all burn.”

The powerful creature then flew upward, blasting a hole through the mountain. Immediately after he left, Milo dashed to Sera’s body and dropped to the floor beside her.

“Sera! Sera! Are you alive? Are you there?!”

Her eyes fluttered, and then she slowly hugged her legs up against her chest.

“Oh, Sera!” He threw his arms around her. “I was afraid he was able to steal your memories or soul. Are you OK?”

She shook her head.

“I’m…so cold…”

Cold? The air was still sweltering from the radiating heat of the magma. The it dawned on me. The ever-present flame that had been in her body for her entire life…was gone.

Milo looked around quickly, then removed his overshirt and laid it over her. Then he called out to his aunt.

“Mara!?”

“Sorry, Milo. I can’t teleport anymore. He took all of our powers. Well, I guess they were always his, weren’t they?”

“Hm.” Milo agreed. “Let’s get outta here.”

Mara helped Dorian out of the cavern, while Milo helped Sera. I followed behind, clutching the huge Book of Prophecy. I was feeling excessively guilty. What had I done? It was me who always kept us pushing forward to complete the prophecy. And I was the one who freed this…menace that would eliminate all life on earth!

The moment we left the volcano, I fell to my knees and wretched. My body couldn’t handle this stress and guilt. A few minutes later, Milo and Sera came over beside me, and Milo rubbed my back.

“It’ll be alright, Hal. Don’t worry.”

“No! It won’t be alright!! I’ve been screwing things up my entire life, and this is the worst one yet! I just doomed humanity and foiled God’s eternal plan?!?!?!?”

At that thought, I dry heaved again. Sera waited for me to finish, before speaking.

“You’ve ruined everything? I see nothing! You didn’t kill you mother, your dad, Cape of Wrath did. You didn’t kill your sister, that was your dad again. He was the one who manipulated everyone to release the Seraph, not you. He’s the one that’s been screwing stuff up. The only thing he ever did right, was make you!”

I looked up at her to see if she was being serious. She definitely was. Milo was also encouraging me.

“It’s not over yet, Hal. While we’re still alive, we still have a chance.”

“Yeah. This is all in God’s plan. If he wanted, he could squish that puny angel like a falcon punch to a mosquito. Just like he could have done to Goliath, or the army of Midian. But he used people. That’s just the way he does things.”

“Plus, he’s brought Tsalderek and Nahalore together. That might have been a part of God’s plan all along.”

“Really…”

“Oh, yeah. Now as long as we keep listening to him and don’t sit on our butts, He can finish this!”

I nodded, and felt a little silly. God wouldn’t let his divine master plan get obliterated by some little rebel angel. I stood up, and looked into the sky. It was a beautiful sunny day. There was a fireball flying away from the earth. That must have been the enemy. He was heading for the sun! Since he couldn’t become complete by absorbing all of Sera, he took DNA from all of the Nephilim, but still needed more energy, like he had taken from the volcano. That meant we had some time. I didn’t know how long it would take an angel to fly to the sun and back, but I wasn’t going to waste any time.

As we walked away from the mountain, we trod across the symbol on the ground. When I touched it, the portal into the mountain closed, and all of the markings along the side disappeared. Immediately, I felt my powers returning to me. Just to test, I formed a small shield around my hand. Good. It worked. What to do now? Well, I had the full book of prophecy now, I might as well use it!

I placed the book on the ground, closed, and set it in the middle of the giant symbol (which not only appeared on the back of my hand, but also on the cover of the book). I then focused all of my strength through the book, with intent to reveal the entire thing. The giant round symbol glowed blue as the procedure took place. Through the pain of exposing the prophecy, I could see my markings leaving my body. For the first time in over five years, I was without these tattoos that covered my body. This was no time to rejoice, though. Everything was headed back into the book. Then, it all went white again.

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