I turn towards the barred window, looking at the snow and ice covered land before me, and see a few souls wondering around aimlessly. They're not supposed be out. I see some guards checking the grounds, they quickly found them and detained them. I watched as they captured them and dragged them back to purgatory, the place they go to before final judgment. Once they go through, you never see them again. Unless of course, you were to go to there as well. Always to one of the three places.
Tartarus-The deepest, lowest region of Hades, a place of the Damned, punishment for all of eternity for those who are wicked and evil.
The Asphodel Meadows-It is where you stay if you are equally good as you are evil, until you can be reborn into the world, or reborn into one of us.
Fortunate Isles- Just outside of Elysium. The place for Heroes and warriors. For those who have lived a virtuous life.
Once you are reborn into one of us. You will either live on Elysium or in Hades.
Elysium is ruled by Asterion. It is better than the best. It is where every being, be that good or evil, wants to be. No matter the conditions, or the weather, there is never a bad day on Elysium... or at least, that’s what I remember.
Hades is ruled by Apollyon. Despite what you may hear, it is as cold as it comes. It's covered in snow and ice, and is just plain bare. Somehow there are still running rivers, and an ocean as cold as ice. There are areas that are not snow or ice covered, but they are just as cold, if not more. No angel can survive the night here without glory.
The only thing about being reborn into one of us, is that once you die, you don't get to go to Elysium or Hades, not even the Asphodel Meadows. Once you die, that's it.
Not to sound depressing or anything.
When you die as an Angelo, you are reborn amongst the stars. Where you are forever admired and loved from afar. When you die as a Daemon, you are reborn as a black crow on earth. Forever to be seen and heard from afar, forever to terrorize and scare.
Elysium is where I come from, but it is not where I am. I am in Hades, the world of the dead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Daemon or even a Skoteeno, the Greek meaning for Fallen, not even close. I’m an Angelos, Greek for Angel.
When I was 9, I was taken from my home in Elysium and have been held captive here in Hades for the last 108 years. The only reason I'm still alive is because I grew up here, my wings and body are accustomed to the cold, just like the Fallen... Once a year, Apollyon will send me well wishes for my birthday, he claims its because I'm like his daughter. I mostly think it’s to make me give up any hope that I might have at escaping. Though, I had given that up a long time ago.
I heard footsteps coming down the hall, but I didn't bother turning my head to see who it is. I never bothered. I just kept looking out my window, staring in the ice cold depths of Hell. They knocked on my door, but I didn't move from my spot, they are used to me doing that. They opened the door and brought the food over, and set it by my bed.
“Here you are, princess," The voice hissed like a snake's. My heart rate sped up some, but I didn't show it. They like it when I show fear. They feed off of it. It started walking towards me, but I still didn't move. "Aren't you hungry?" It hissed. Then suddenly, I was pulled off the window sill by my hair. I fell to the ground with a loud thump, my chains clanging after me and crashing on top of me. "Don't you speak?" It chuckled darkly, pulling my head up so I was forced to look at its hideous face. "oh that's right, you don't have a voice!" It laughed maliciously, its black eyes like a never ending pit and filled with hate and anticipation.
"You're pathetic!" The daemon threw me to the ground and kicked my stomach. I wanted to make any kind of noise, even if it was a small gasp, but nothing would come out. The daemons always got their fun with me, kicking me, slapping me, throwing insults, and even cutting my skin with their sharp disgusting claw-like nails. They always enjoyed the beatings they would give me, but they would always give me time to heal in between, which I didn't know why.
"I don't know why the boss even wants you here, your just a pathetic, good for nothing waste of space." He said as he lifted my head up by my hair and whispered in my ear. He turned and stalked off, slamming the wooden door wind them and locking it in place.
This was a week by week routine, sometimes it was even twice a week. One of them would come in, leave me a small portion of food-enough to keep me living-then beat me till they're satisfied. Sometimes it would be simple like it was today, sometimes it could go on for hours.
As I was sure that they were gone, I weakly pushed myself up from the stone ground and to my feet, then hobbled over and sat down on my bed. It was like any other bed in this place, held to the wall by chains and covered with a single blanket for comfort. I reached over and grabbed a piece of bread of my trey. Using whatever energy I had left to eat the partially stale food, I then laid down on my bed and drifted off to sleep.
It had to be no more than thirty minutes that I was out, but it was enough to give me some more strength. I reached over and grabbed my water, drinking a little but saving some so I had some for later.
I tried on more than one occasion to stop eating or drinking anything, hoping that I could be relieved from this misery, from this literal Hell. But every time, I only got as far as passing out from starvation before they forced me to eat or drink. As I finished drinking a couple more sips of water, I pushed myself off the bed and went back to my window sill. I heaved myself up there, bringing my feet up to rest with me, I crossed my arms and layer my head on my knees as I once again watched the outside.
I heard a high pitch squeal and looked over to the door, surprised that anyone was there since they were just here yesterday. I couldn't tell anything from the barred window in my door, but I decided to look the other way nonetheless. I rested by head atop my knees again, and tried to tune out the sounds of them entering my cell.
"Let's go princess," the voice hissed in my ear. I cringed at its closeness, but turned to look at it, confused as to what it meant. "Looks like the boss wants to see you." I tried not to show any confusion more or any curiosity, and started to get down from the sill. Before I could set my foot on the ground, the thing grabbed my wing and yanked me to the floor. As I slammed to the ground, I landed on my wing and the sharpest pain I ever felt stabbed through my body. I've had bones broken before, but nothing ever compared to breaking a wing.
I tried to close mouth, but the pain I felt was keeping it ajar, as if I was screaming. Though no sound was emanating from it.
"Get up," I hissed harshly, kicking my in the side. "You don't want to keep him waiting." It warned. I didn’t know what was going on, or what was about to happen, but I got up anyway, hoping that I wouldn’t be given another kick. I bit my lip and pushed myself to my feet, my arms wrapped themselves around my stomach as if shielding it from anymore pain. I tucked my wings in closer to my back, though, pain was shooting through my left one at the simple act. If I left it like that, It could set back in place and eventually heal itself as it had done last time.
I pushed through the pain and stood up as straight as I could but with my head hung. The daemon grabbed my chains and unbolted them from the floor, then gave them a yank that almost pulled me off my feet.
"Better keep up." It snickered at emperors, then started walking again, the chains draped over its shoulder.
My heart rate sped up as I left the cell, I've never seen what lied beyond the cell walls before, and now I was nervousness. I've thought about it before, many different scenarios played out in my head over the last century or so, I couldn't even keep count if I wanted to.
I walked down these halls as fast as I could, my chains still dragging, but that's because I wanted to keep up with the daemon in front of me, and not end up knocked off my feet. I watched as the walls around me started to change. From old stone and rotten wood, to freshly cleaned up stone and freshly stained wood that had no marks or dents in it whatsoever. Torches along the walls lit everything up just enough to see where you were walking, and the floor underneath turned from dirty rubble to clean polished tile.
As we descended the stairs, I had to bit my tongue to keep from wincing as pain shot through my ankle that was still healing from being sprain. Every step, the pain seemed to get worse. As soon as we reached the end of the stairs, I practically let out a sigh of relief because It hurt less and was more bearable to walk on the floor than the stairs.
We walked done another hallway. Through some weird room, then finally emerged into this grand open area, where the windows were covered in red drapes and the floor was covered in rug to match. On top the rug was a dark wooden table that was set with candles and had many chairs around it. I looked up to see a metal chandelier hanging, it was the source of light for the wondrous room.
"Well, haven't you just grown up swell," I heard a dark, deep, rich voice echo throughout the room. I turned around and was greeted by a tall man in a black suit, his hair was the color of the ravens outside and his eyes were black in the place of any color. As the man slowly stalked towards me, a gentle yet sinister smile was upon his face. “Your probably wondering why you're out of your room?" He sudden dryly asked in a slightly chipper voice.
He probably knew that I couldn't speak, but yet he still asked questions. I slowly looked around the room again and realized that we were the only ones in it, then glanced down suddenly as I realized that my feet were free from the chains that had been crushing them.
My eyes widened in amazement as I wondered when they were even taken off. I slowly lifted a foot and rotated it side to side a little, relishing the feeling of the freedom they had. I ignored the red marks covering them from the cuffs digging into her skin time and time again, and ignored the wounds that never seemed to heal, and just relished the feeling of this little bit of freedom.
"My little Athóryvo Angelos," I heard the smooth and velvety voice call out, startling me out of my own thoughts and back to the present. "It's probably still surreal, isn't it?" He chuckled. "So, like I was saying... Your probably wondering why your out of your room?" He asked again, but when I didn't respond he simple looked down at me with a smile of pity. "It's all right to respond my little Athóryvo Angelos." I nodded my head slowly to answer his previous question. “Why, it's because it's your birthday! It's not everyday that an angel turns the big 118!" I furrowed my eyebrows at his exclamation, wondering if another year has passed already, and also wondering why it mattered.
“Come, come. Let’s have a seat, my dear," He pulled out a chair for me at the table. I hesitantly took a steps towards the chair, then another. He pulled the chair out a little more, gesturing me to sit down again. I didn’t want to make him mad so I took the rest of the steps and sat down in the chair, as soon as I sat, he pushed the chair in to the table.
“Now my dear, let me tell you a story," he said as he gracefully sat down in the chair across from me. "me and my brothers have been in a rivalry for century's, and how it all started is another story for another time. But year’s and year’s pass, and I'm talking a millennia here. And as those year’s pass-wars waged, battles were fought-until... one thing happened,” he says as he leans forwards, and I found myself drawn into whatever he was saying, but then what he whispers next shocks me to my bones. "you."
As I sat there, shocked to my core, I tried to comprehend what exactly he meant. What he meant when he said that I happened?’. He was sitting there with an amused look on his face, his chin resting in hand as he leaned his elbow casually on the table. As I sat there in my cloud of confusion, someone brought out a big cart full of food. I barely even noticed them coming in because I was so deep into my thoughts, but as soon as the smell hit me, I was pulled out of my clouded mind and into the present.
I looked over at the warm steaming food, my mouth watering, my stomach grumbling. For once in over a hundred years my eye's have seen fresh food. Food that hasn't gone stale or rotten, but was freshly made and still steaming. Aware of a pair of eyes on me, I looked over to see black eyes, watching me with curiosity.
“Go ahead my little Athóryvo Angelos, this is for you... It is your birthday after all." his smile was gracious and evil at the same time and it freaked me out, but as what he had said registered in my mind, I froze in my seat. This is the second time he's said that, was it supposed to mean something to mean other than the fact that I had been held here for another year? As if he was reading my mind, he suddenly responded to my thoughts. "I'll tell you after you eat."
Still nervous and shanking, and still frozen on spot from weird thoughts in my head, it took a second to register that he wanted me to eat. That the food brought out, is for me.
I took a hesitant look towards the cart again, all the food sitting there was taunting me, begging me to reach out and eat it. I licked my lips, wondering if I should obey and grab the food or not, but caring less and less if I should or not as the smell wafted towards me.
"Go ahead..." I heard the man before me gently whisper again.
My body gave into the temptation and I reached out, grabbing a piece of bread that was still warm to the touch. I held it close, breaking into the roll and watched as steam wafted up from it. I held it close to my nose and savored the smell, it almost seemed to good to be true. I gingerly tore off a piece and held it up to my mouth before placing it in, and practically moaned at the yummy flavor it left on my tongue.
"A thousand years ago there was a prophetess, she told of many great things to come and of many bad things to come. But then one day, she told of something that was to come, something that would bring great destruction." As I sat there and listened to the story, I couldn't help but wonder what this had to do with me. It was still very confusing to me, even as he was explaining. “Everyone demanded to know what this great thing was that would bring this great destruction, but fearing the worst, she kept it to herself. I grew impatient with the woman and tried everything in my power to get her to tell me, but it wasn't until 700 years later when she told me."
"She spoke of a great and powerful Angel that would possess this weapon of destruction, but she never told me until a few more years later, on her death bed of who it was. Your father," he spat the words like they were acid in his mouth, and as soon as he said them, my body froze once again. What does my father have to do with any of this?
“Your father was the one who held this possession. I tried bartering with him, but he did not want to give it up. He tried to pretend for the first two hundred years that I didn’t know what I was talking about. And then he had you,” He said, his head tilting to the side as a sly smile crosses his face. “My, sweet Athóryvo Angelos.” He hand came up and caressed the side of my face. “You were the leverage I had been waiting for, and once I got my chance, I took it.”
I couldn’t eat. I set down the bread that had since gone cold in my hands, but I didn’t know if I could get up and leave or not. The food maybe something special, but I didn’t want it any more. My stomach protested and whined at me in return. When I looked back over at him again, he was watching me with amusement, once again leaning back in his chair. It was one of those moments where I didn’t care that I could’t speak, because there was nothing to be said. I wasn’t even sure I remembered how to anyway.
He went on, not caring that I had now lost my appetite for everything, and told me more of the story, painting it like a vivid painting in my head.
His black cloak covering his body so that he wouldn’t be seen. His hair and eyes easily blending in with the shadows as well. I could hear the creak of a wooden door being pushed open. He creeped through and slowly made his way towards the little girl with bright red hair who was fast asleep in her bed. Her little stars that danced along her ceiling seemed to hide in his presence, but the atmosphere seemed to light up all by itself, as if trying to alert her to his presence.
It was too late. Just as the little girl started to get up, he grabbed her. The little girl started to thrash and scream, her eyes wide in fright, but the dark figure covered her mouth and his two deamons grabbed her ankles to hold he still. I could feel her heart beating and beating and the fear race through her veins. In the next moment, she stopped and fell limp. Her body was unmoving and like a noodle, but her eye were till open, watering with confusion and fear. Her hear was beating at an increased pace, but that soon slowed, and her eyes dropped as well. I watched the scene play out before me with my own heart still racing and my throat growing small and tight, feeling like I could no longer breath. When they knew she would no longer fight it, he hauled her up into his arms and left as quickly as possible.
I shut my eyes and jerked my head to the side, not wanting to replay the scene for another time, I already knew how it went and how it turned out. But his words were echoing in my ears because he never stopped speaking. There was a familiar sense to his words, and they came out with a sinister tone. I couldn’t unheard what he as saying though, and the pictures still played in my head, only, from a different view this time.
It wasn’t any better though. It still made me sick to my stomach.
He straightened up when he held the small red hared girls in his arms, her hair fallen over her tear ridden face, though he acted as if he’d just won a prize. I could see the smile, one I knew so well, and it was frightening. He caressed her face, sickening me to my core, and then gave her to the two daemons he brought along, and they vanished without another word.
Turning to face the house he just snuck out of, he straightened his cloak and threw it off his face. He waited in silence, until a few hours passed when he knew the time would come. Sure enough, as the sky turned a brilliant pink and orange, signaling the sun was just beginning to come up, two figures threw open the door frantically. Their eyes met his and in an instant, and the two frantic faces of the Angelos standing in front of him grew stoic.
I could hear the shouting and the calmness, they contrasted each other, and at the same time, they contrasted themselves. “Give me back my daughter, Apollyon.” The tall, dark haired silver eye’d Angelos said, his jaw squared and tight as he spoke. “Give me what I want first,” Apollyon demanded, his voice full of rage. “I don’t have what you want.” He cried out, frustration leaking into his features. I could see the heartbreak on his face, but he kept the rest of his composure calm. “Then you’ll never see her again.”
“You know that this is war then.”
“You won’t though. You will take all your army away, tell them to retreat. This war is over, until I get what I came here for, and you will give it to me, one way or another.”
“Cassiel!” the woman cried out from behind the other Angelos, her hands gripping his arm with despair on her face. My heart broke at the sight of it, of the images flowing through my head.
Apollyon pulled his hood over his head once again, then started to walk away, a smirk on his face. Before he got to the edge of their land, he turned around to the Angelos couple, who’s faces were shrouded in tears and anguish, letting them see his face one last time, then vanished.
I remembered that day like it was yesterday. I dream of it when I sleep, and I awake to the same nightmare every time. It’s hard to remember anything else from Elysium, or even my parents faces. I can remember their wings though as I see them everyday in that broken mirror up in my room. Most of all though, I remember the pain.
I remember the fall as I was dragged down to Hades, but I couldn’t move a single limb, not even my wings would make a slight flutter. I was cold, and burning, all at the same time. It was hard for me to breath, but once I landed on the ground, I felt like I was dead. I wasn’t set on the ground, the daemons had let me fall all the way by myself, and were laughing nefariously. I couldn’t see them, or my surroundings, but I could feel the white hot pain that was traveling through my body because of the impact I made when landing. That was the first time I broke a wing, and it hurt so bad that I finally woke up and screamed.
It only got worse from there, the daemons had each grabbed one of my hands and then drug me across the sharp, icy terrain. They brought me up to the tower, shackled my feet, and then beat me till they were satisfied. I had screamed in pain and whimpered for hours, my voice had gone scratchy.
When Apollyon had returned, the only thing he said, was to make sure I stayed undefiled. He caressed my face once again as I had laid there in bed. He thought I was asleep, but I was so terrified that I wasn’t moving, and held my breath till he left. One he did, I tired to sit up, I tried to stand, but every time I tried to move, I felt like screening in pain. I cried that night, and every other night for the next few years. I had searched for a way out, for a release form these shackles, but eventually, I had just gave up, as did my voice. I can be rely remember what it sounds like as it only took two years for it to fade, as did any chance of ever getting out of here.
I could hear whispers every now and then about different Polemistis Angelos, Warrior Angels that belonged to the great army of Elysium. I heard how they got close to the gates of Hades, or some that even made it past, but they either died in battle, or died of the cold.
With them died my hope.