Happy Halloween everyone!!! I haven't written a special Halloween story but I think Pasha and the angel are terrified enough for the occasion.
The non photograph prompts are
"Welcome to my home, I am..." or use: ghost, lightning, fear or use Halloween candy in some way or "It's alive!" or use any sort of vampire or werewolf or mummy or witch.
There was absolute silence. The bird watched while the angel…Uzzi’el stared at him. Pasha was afraid to move, to disturb the tableau.
“What rebellion?” Uzzi’el asked eventually.
The bird heaved an exaggerated sigh. “This is impossible,” it said fluffing its feathers. “I told you it was a crazy plan. I told you something was bound to go wrong, but would you listen? Would you hell? Nothing will go wrong, Fierro, you said. You worry too much, Fierro, you said. It’s foolproof, it’s safe, it’s….”
“Fierro? Is that you?”
“Yes, of course it is.”
“I’m sorry,” Uzzi’el said, collapsing back on the bed, “I’m sorry about everything. I can’t tell you what I was thinking or why I didn’t listen to you. I’m sorry. I can’t give you answers because I don’t know them anymore.” He laid his head in Pasha’s lap and started to cry quietly. “It hurts, Pasha. It hurts to try to remember, and I’m so tired. All of this… It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel like me and it scares me.”
“I know,” Pasha said, stroking his hair. “I can feel it.”
“What do you mean, you can feel it,” Fierro snapped.
“We have some kind of link,” Pasha explained. “We can feel what each other feels. If A…Uzzi’el hurts I hurt and if… well…it works in all sorts of ways.”
Fierro snapped his beak. “Oh great. Just great. As if we didn’t have enough problems.” He shook his feathers and Pasha noticed that tiny flames were shooting around underneath them.
“Are you a phoenix?” he asked suddenly, voicing the thought as it popped into his head.
“Of course I’m a phoenix,” Fierro said impatiently. “What’s that got to do with anything?”
“Nothing. I just….”
The phoenix sat for a while, staring at Uzzi’el who’d stopped crying and seemed to have fallen asleep. “I don’t understand,” he said at last.
“How he can be like this. He’s the commander of an army. A small one but an army nonetheless and they are loyal to the point of death. I’ve known him a long time and I’ve never seen him uncertain of anything. When he makes a decision there’s no swerving him from it. I’ve never seen him weak and vulnerable like this and I don’t know what to do.” He sounded angry.
“He can’t help it,” Pasha snapped. “You heard what he said. He’s hurt and he can’t remember. What do you expect of him?”
“Not being able to remember doesn’t steal your backbone, human boy. He was strong and brave and now he’s a snivelling wreck. To have lost his memory, I understand. To have lost his courage I do not.”
“Then tough on you. He is as he is and I won’t have you hurting him any more than he already is. If you’re going to be so judgemental you can just piss off.” I can’t believe I’m talking to a bird, Pasha thought to himself.
“Maybe it would be best,” Fierro said after a few moments contemplation. “I will speak with Gabriel and see what he says. Tell Uzzi’el I will be back soon.” Without another word Fierro took off. “Open the window,” he demanded and Pasha slipped off the bed and complied. Lightening flashed in the dark sky, or was it lightening at all?
It seemed empty and quiet in the room without the phoenix and Pasha lay down on the bed, pulling Uzzi’el into his arms. What the fuck have I got myself into, he thought.
“I’m sorry,” Uzzi’el whispered, startling Pasha.
“I thought you were asleep.”
“No. I just…. I couldn’t handle it. He’s right.”
“Right about what?”
“I am a coward.”
“He didn’t say that.”
“All but.” He sighed deeply, snuggling closer to Pasha. “It’s like…like being in the dark and having things you can’t see touch, and not know what they are. I’m straining to see but it makes my head hurt and….”
“Then stop,” Pasha said gently. “Stop trying to remember and just work on what to do now. You don’t remember anything about the rebellion but the others do and they can tell you what’s going on, what you need to know. The firebird’s right. Losing your memory won’t have changed who you are. If you relax and stop jumping at shadows you can let your true personality out and pick up where you left off.”
“Do you really think I can? That I can be that brave? I don’t feel brave, Pasha. I’m so scared. I’m scared of everything.”
“Are you scared of me?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then that’s a start. Besides, courage isn’t about not being scared. It’s about being scared but pressing on regardless.”
Pasha raised himself on one elbow. He gently stroked, Uzzi’el’s chest. “The Angel of Faith and Mercy, eh? Quite a title.”
“It doesn’t feel like me.”
Pasha frowned. “I have a book of angels. We should look you up.”
“No. No, please. Don’t. I don’t want to know.”
“Alright. Come here.” Pasha took Uzzi’el into his arms. He was cold and shivering and Pasha dragged the covers over them. He held the shaking angel tight, until the tremors ceased and he fell asleep. Pasha lay awake for much, much longer.
He was jolted awake again by a pounding on the front door. He lay stiff and frozen, his heart pounding in his chest. Uzzi’el, also awoken by the sound, tightened his arms around Pasha’s waist.
“Who is it?” he whispered.
“I don’t know.”
“What should we do?”
“I don’t know.”
Suddenly, there was a crash as the front door exploded open, followed by footsteps on the stairs. The two men held each other, white as ghosts, fear binding them.
The bedroom door flew open to reveal a man so tall he had to bow his head to enter. He was dressed head to toe in black, with black curly hair and eyes like black holes.
“Uzzi’el,” he said in a voice that sent shivers down Pasha’s spine.
“Gabriel,” Uzzi’el gasped.
Now go check out the others.