Flash Fiction Challenge: Angels!!

This week’s challenge was to write a story about the devine: gods, goddesses, etc. I’ve had a pretty stressful week, and writing just wasn’t a thing that happened. BUT! I decided to throw in a last-minute entry. This is the prologue for my WIP. It’s only just over 1000 words, but it’s better than nothing. I’d love any feedback!

“I now call this meeting of the Angelic Council to order.” Michael’s booming voice rose above the other members’ talking and they all quieted, turning to face him. He stood at the head of the large, rectangular glass table in the middle of the council chamber, but seated himself once the room was quiet, and waved his hand towards Raphael on his right.

“We have learned that Lucifer is planning an attack on Heaven. He hopes to take advantage of the fact that Father is missing. Even as we speak, he has been sending a growing number of demons to Earth to harvest souls for his new army.”

“I have noticed a particular decline of new souls to Heaven lately,” said Azrael. She flicked her long, raven hair over her shoulder. “I attributed it to a decline in religion among the mortals in general, but perhaps I was mistaken.”

“How have you uncovered this information?” Uriel shifted in his seat as he spoke. Raphael thought he detected a note of snideness to Uriel’s tone. Nearly every time Uriel opened his mouth at these meetings, it was to second-guess what someone else was saying. Angel of wisdom, indeed. Apparently, he failed to remember the wisdom in keeping one’s mouth shut.

“I have a…source…within the Demonic council. I will not endanger him or her by revealing them,” Raphael warned, with a look toward Uriel, who appeared as if he was going to ask. “This source endured great personal risk by giving us this information.”

“I wonder why a member of the Demonic council would not want this to come to pass. Surely all of them have been working towards this goal for millennia. They would like nothing more than another Great War.”

“I wonder why you think I had nothing better to do than question the motives of a demon while they were volunteering vital information,” Gabriel retorted, turning her narrowed blue eyes towards Uriel. “I didn’t really need an Infernal Blade stuck into me this week. My schedule’s packed.”

“I just want to ensure the information is trustworthy.” Uriel met Gabriel’s gaze for a moment before turning toward Michael. “We would be foolish to act just on the word of one demon without getting all the facts.”

“Indeed. The word of one demon, even one who sits on their council, is not enough. But when you take the other signs into account, it does appear as though Lucifer is preparing for a war.” Michael sighed. “I had hoped that even with Father gone, Lucifer would be content with ruling the demonic realm, but I fear that his ambition and resentment of us has not diminished over the centuries.”

“What other signs? Why have we not discussed them sooner?”

“Duh. The absence of souls coming to heaven? More souls heading down under? Those seem like great big signs to me.” Gabriel rolled her eyes.

“In addition, nearly all of my nephalim soldiers have been executed, many of them slain by demonic assssins. There will be others to take their place, of course, but I have not been able to detect any neophytes among the humans. Until I can find them, the demons are free to harvest souls unchecked. They could even take those that are not destined for the punishment of Hell, although there is no shortage of those of late.”

“Just the sheer number of souls now marked for Hell is probably a sign in and of itself,” Azrael said. “We cannot discount the idea that Lucifer is exerting undue influence on human civilization to create more of the damned. I mean, Donald Trump is now president of the most important nation in their world. You cannot tell me Lucifer did not have a hand in that.”

“Enough. We need to decide what we can do to prevent Lucifer from starting another Great War, if we can do anything. Otherwise, we need to strategize how to defeat him. With Father gone, we do not have the means to reclaim demons as he did to end the last Great War.”

“But what about the prophesy?” asked Gabriel.

“Not that nonsense again.” Uriel leaned back in his chair, letting his head roll back in exasperation. “We can’t base our whole strategy on a half-demon, half-angel hybrid when one has never been able to survive, let alone defend Heaven and Earth. Besides, the prophesy is so vague, for all we know this ‘chosen one’ could be our destroyer rather than our saviour.”

Azrael pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes, but said nothing. She was the one who had received the prophesy and not even she could say whether it was a blessing or a curse. However, she disliked the way Uriel dismissed it just as he often dismissed that which he didn’t understand.

“Perhaps we need some time to formulate a strategy. I propose we adjourn and meet again once we have all had a chance to consider some ideas.”

“A wise decision, indeed, Uriel. Let us meet again in one lunar cycle. That should give each ministry a chance to convene and come up with potential solutions. If there is no further business,” the other council members shook their heads, “I call for this meeting to end.”

“Can we talk for a minute? Outside?” Raphael didn’t even hear Gabriel approach him, and she spoke so quietly he could barely hear her over the shuffle of chairs and feet as everybody left. He nodded, and she followed him out of the chambers into the hallway. She waited until everyone else was gone before speaking.

“Azrael told me that she noticed an unusual drop in the number of deaths in one small region on Earth. Several people who had been marked just…weren’t any more. She wondered if maybe there is a rogue nephalim in the area and thought you should know.”

“That is intruiging. Did she happen to tell you which area, by any chance?” He also wondered why Azrael didn’t just tell him herself, but decided not to press.

“Even better. She showed me.” Gabriel opened her hand, palm up, and a large image of the globe began to flicker and then glow just above it. She moved the fingers of her other hand as if to spin it until she found the right location. “Here,” she pointed.

“I will investigate this immediately. If it is indeed a nephalim…”

“We’re gonna need all the help we can get.”

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