If you have just read ‘To Cast an Angel Spell,’ Part 3, and would like to read the story in chronological order, please read the post instilled ‘Lara’s Fall,’ (posted just after episode 6,) before reading episode 4. My own stupidity…apologies.
“Farewell happy fields, where joy forever dwells…Hail, horrors. Hail.”
John Milton, Paradise Lost.
There was blood and pain and nothing.
First there was nothing: only a solid mass of ground beneath, at the bottom, upside down.
Her head was like a lump of lead. Lara was sensible of her mind pulsing, throbbing with existence. Everything was like some strange dream. As her from slumbered, her mind searched about itself, trying to recognize itself. She was a stranger to herself.
The first day was passed in sleep and numbness. Then on the second day her eyes came open by a pull of will. At first all she saw was grey light. Then, as her Magog became clearer, she saw that was only a lifeless empty sky. She turned her head, and saw the mountains rising like jagged black teeth from the ground on which she lay. They were watching her as she lay twisted and broken, a mangled doll, no longer wanted by its once adoring owner. Mountains see all.
The mountains-I was always above them…and Lara’s mind hit the ground. At first she could only lie still and wait for the agony to fade enough for her to move. And then she just lay there, numb and alone, on the Lower plane onto which she was fallen.
That was when Midgard appeared beside her, barely two metres from her from her. His eyes were red with flecks of gold, his matted hair was strangely ordered. His blood-red cloak pooled around him. His fingers were long carved daggers of bone.
“If you come with me, Lara, then I will make sure you do not have to go through this,” he promised. Lara languidly shut her eyes. The sight of him offended her.
Midgard read her thoughts and his eyes glittered with amusement, like lustful rubies. “You are still loyal to my brother? Even after what he has done to you?” He knelt softly beside her, “Foolish one. Come with me. My hands sewed you as well as Abiel’s. My mother was his mother also. He threw me away from him as he has thrown you away. But I have as great a claim upon you as he does.”
Lara was already exhausted with the pain.
Midgard was respectfully silent for a moment. Then; “Do you truly believe that this will fade? This pain you feel will always be with you, throb inside you.”
“I want to flake into the sea,” said Lara.
Midgard rose. “Very well. Lie here in death, what care I? I can watch you. I will watch you. Look up to the sky, and see if your Prince reaches down to cradle you.” With that, the world opened its mouth and swallowed him up.
Lara was sometimes conscious sometimes not. The pool of silver around her dried, until only the scent of breaking and the scars remained. She slept, then woke. Sometimes she woke to find Midgard standing beside her, watching. Sometimes he brought with him a gift for her; a smooth white pebble. Always she pushed these away with what little strength she had. The sight of Midgard now seemed oddly inevitable. It had been a well-known fact in the jeweled city that Midgard moved on the Lower and Darker planes.
Lara thought of the citizens for the first time since she had fallen. The candles inside her flared up when she remembered their happiness, their sweet innocent faces, their ignorance.
“I was like that once,” said Midgard, appearing beside her, “I was dark but surrounded by light. An anti-candle. But I was part of him, Lara, and he separated me from him,” Midgard cast his vengeful flames to the sky, “If you come with me, Lara, it would not mean eternity on the Darker plane. I tell you that I have been trapped in that dismal Morgue for millennia. Come with me and I shall take you to Magog, where I landed. And I will heal you.”
“Leave me alone, please,” Lara turned away.
“I am not a patient creature, Lara,” he warned, “I do not want to leave you here, alone. I would not wish my fate upon anyone, upon yourself especially…I say to you, do as I command and come with me.”
“I don’t want to be healed, Prince,” said Lara.
The two looked at each other a long while. Then, Midgard reached down and tucked one last pebble into her snow-white palm. “Very well. Take care, fallen one.” The ground ate him once more. Lara watched him disappear back to his dark kingdom, and felt a strange stab of longing.
More days followed, and each day more wretched than the next. The sky was the floor of her home, and each part of the place where she lay was a part of Abiel in some way; the sky was the same Gold-grey of his eyes, the strange earth beneath her was the texture of his skin, the mountains were his promise to her.
Sometimes she raised her arms to the sky to see if she could reach Abiel.
She wished death would come.
She saw him in the distance sometimes. But it was never her time, it seemed.
She noticed the jagged scars along her arms. They were all over her.
After the numbness and sleep departed, the strange peace began. She found herself able to pretend that nothing had happened, often for weeks at a time. And with this disturbing peace, she gained a little strength. Just enough to drag herself over to a stream that flowed near where she lay. She looked into the water, at her reflection, and so shocked was she by the change that at first she thought it was an alien presence that resided in the water. The candles inside her had set fire to her insides it seemed, and now her eyes were a deep crimson ember. Her face was filled with sickly grey shadows. Her lips were white wax. She drew her wings around herself, as she always did, (for the familiar soft feathers always comforted her,) She slowly reached her hand up to touch her wings. She was filled with fascinated horror; the swan-like feathers had turned black. Her wings were black as night.
Why am I so changed?
A retching feeling had resided at her centre since her first waking, and now it swelled. The strange peace departed, and she started howling, howling like some demon. Horror, anger, bitterness, frustration, and fear, so, so much fear, that it ate her up. It became her. Tears poured down her face and as they fell to the earth they turned black.
In a little house a mile away, a woman said to her husband; “Hear you not that keening, dearest? It’s a Helion that’s calling.”
She would not have been wrong.