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Gonzalothethird
May 17th, 2012, 10:01 PM
This is the second story of what I've been working on. I welcome all opinions!




Emergence 2 – Azazel

His black flesh boiled.

His nerves were singeing with hate.

With every footstep the ground hissed with fire.

His snout puffed steam like a raging bull and his red eyes spewed dribbles of magma as his senses honed down on the figure in the sky. He smelled the fear. His doglike ears listened to the panic. He tasted the hunt.

The Seraph beat his white wings in a furious hurry, diving and banking to elude the piercing red eyes of the demon Azazel. Often did he turn in hopes the demon was not gaining ground, and wince when he would feel the pungent heat emit from the dark beast; so close, so close for the monster’s hands to grab his fair limbs. But the angel struggled with flight, never separating a good enough distance; his wings flailed rather than flap in grace as if to say flying was an unnatural ability to a creature with wings.

The chase came uphill. Trees suddenly cluttered the pathway for the Seraph and he wriggled through closed quarters of branches and blinding leaves, inevitably colliding with trees. Many times he fell and crashed hard into brush. Azazel sent his hands to the ground, pulling his dark figure like a quadruped predator and darted for the downed angel. The demon let out a cry. The Seraph’s dark eyes bulged in terror and instantly resumed the flailing just as Azazel pounced with fiery anger. Black sparks and earth splashed from beneath Azazel—the leaves and trees around him set ablaze—but the angel was in the air again, leaping tree to tree. The demon returned to all fours and continued the pursuit.

They cleared the hill and into a devastated residential area where the Seraph collided with rooftops. His momentum broken with each slam against the tiles, having to propel off the edges as Azazel neared. Numerous times a demolished home impeded Azazel’s path and he would charge into debris, scale the floors, and explode through the ground with a rattling bellow—two feet were his darken slithery hands from grasping the angel. The Seraph shrieked and jerked his body away from the fuming claws. Down through the house crashed the demon to a cloud of flames. Incensed, so volatile was Azazel’s temper, he leveled homes with his animal-like speed and monstrous strength— battering his powerful arms and ripping the foundations of homes that still stood.

A blackened highway, its sign barely visible through the ash, Highway {101}, emerged into view and the demon could see the desperation in the Seraph’s flight as he spotted the escape it desperately needed. The world was red though the eye of the demon but in the clearing beyond the fleeing Seraph was a massive structure which hue was a distinct orange vermillion besmirched with black and grey: the Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge had collapsed fifteen years ago along with the suspension cables and the central tower after the Fall of San Francisco. What made the gateway to California famous were now relics lost in the bay, and the northern, and last standing, tower swayed in the harsh winds teetering closer and closer toward the water for its eventual collapse. If Azazel allowed the Seraph to reach the edge of the broken bridge, he would lose his prize for good.

Azazel ran harder as the cables began to rise around him. The Seraph was one hundred feet from the edge and did everything imaginable to gain speed: fluttering franticly and descending low enough to push off a car, grabbing what debris he could and throwing them down at the demon. Nearer and nearer came the edge and Azazel could hear the laughter of something dark inside the angel as it taunted.

Seventy-five feet.

Fifty feet.

Twenty-five feet.

His feet touched the gravel and the angel knelt to give a massive push off, its last leap to freedom, and unexpectedly something drove the Seraph ballistic—shouting and convulsing—and his legs gave way, halting him just before the edge. Azazel barked in triumph, caught the Seraph before he could gather enough sense to leap, and slammed the creature to the ground. The Seraph’s eyes rapidly changed colors from black to blue, blue to black. Hours of this pursuit and the Seraph had finally fought back. Without hesitation, the demon took his giant hands and delved his claws into the silver armor and plunged fiery surges into the body of the captured angel. His red eyes gazed down to blackened pupils and he shouted a name that haunted him for fifteen years, “ABADDON!”

“Nooo!” croaked the Seraph.

“Get out!” demanded the demon.

The Seraph’s mouth opened abnormally wide and a black figure crawled out the depths of the angel’s throat. Its gangly black body oozed demonic slime and groaned in pain for the exorcism Azazel had performed. Though weakened, the creature had fight and tried to crawl away. Azazel clutched the gangly demon’s throat before it could get any further and lifted it high off the ground. It kicked. It screamed. It wailed a terrible cry. It writhed in hating terror, failing to pry the greater demon’s deathly grip. Disgusted, Azazel stood upright and walked the monster over to the edge which drove the creature even madder.

“Please, great lord! Please spare us! The water will quench!”

“Where is he!?” roared Azazel. His voice challenged the deepest of basses, sending a ripple of vibration into the staggering tower.

“Master was defeated in the south. North had the Righteous. West had Man. East still burns.”

“East then...”

“East then it is, lord.”

“Don’t lie to me!” growled the demon. He squeezed tighter and tighter to where the creature’s eyes bugged.

“Lies guarantees death,” it squeaked. “No intention to deceive! Death is feared! The Dark Father gone; there will be no place for my soul!”

“There’s no place for it here!”

“We’re all abandon. Must survive, somehow. The Righteous and man is still the enemy.”

“I have one enemy and he will answer to me.”

“The war—”

“Had ended.”

Azazel’s empty hand stretched. It expanded without noise, without the adjustment of bone or ligament. It grew and grew until it touched the ground and then the limb morphed into a straight edge with a grip and guard; into a black blade. The demon reared back the blade to end the miserable creature as he pressed the tip into the begging demon’s chest, but a cry behind him stayed his hand.

“Wait!”

“Do not interfere, weak-willed.”

The Seraph rose to a knee, exhausted and diminished. His feathers rustled in the cool winds; his blond hair flared with each gust. He took his own breaths, free of the gangly creature’s possession. His black pupils glowed into blue eyes. The angel sighed a relief of freedom, thankful his body could feel the features of the natural world by his own will. His hand clutched his chest, absorbing the burning sensation the demon used to remove the creature.

“Ask it,” he calmly said, gathering his senses. “Ask how it possessed a Seraph.”

Azazel gazed to the side; he too, wondered how a pathetic wretch gained the body of a strengthen foe. In the midst of thinking, the demon squeezed tighter.

“Answer him.”

“The Dark Father gone,” it repeated with a hoarse whisper. “Master gained the heart of a priest. Master twisted man to the darkness. Man learned! Man becomes powerful! Dark Priest inserted me within captured Righteous.”

“And why did you bring me out here?” demanded the angel.

“To find Righteous called Robert!”

The name was unfamiliar to the demon. What was said through this interrogation did not matter to him. Azazel wanted to tear this creature to pieces. But something in his chest pounded…something his kind wasn’t supposed to have, a reminder of what he once was.

“Who is this?” snarled Azazel to the Seraph.

“An ascended,” answered the angel. The demon could see a sudden fear in the blue eyes of the Seraph. The name was someone valuable to the Seraphs and if a tainted angel was adamant to locating this Robert, then the surviving demons were trying to reignite another conflict. “He was a man who was given a seat in the ranks of the Seraphs. He rallied the rest of the remaining choir and created a haven in the west; a place for the Abandoned to live peacefully with man.”

“The war is over!” cried Azazel as he shook the wretched creature like a ragdoll.

“We are pure hate!” whined the creature. “We know nothing but chaos! Always will there be a war! We are not a Fallen like the great Azazel!”

A fallen…Azazel laughed. The demon had enough of the whining trifles and sneered; he tossed the gangly creature over the edge to the echoes of piercing cries. The pitch rumbled the bridge, but the decibel wasn’t enough to animate the northern tower and bring it crashing down to a watery grave. A distant splash made Azazel smile and the satisfying sizzle of a demon’s flame quenching.

He faced the Seraph and snorted. Black mist swirled around Azazel until the darkness shrouded the demon. In a swift burst, the darkness dissolved and standing was a handsome man with black hair in a black suit. The sword was gone as was the hind legs, the snout, the black flesh, the evil avatar of Hell. A dark substance like smoke danced around the human form of Azazel; black vapors slithering around his dark body. And the red eyes.

“Warn your brothers, Seraph. But stay out of my way.”

With a bow, the angel heard what was needed and ascended to the sky in grace; the grace a demon could not uphold. Azazel saluted the former enemy and stood close to the edge with his hands in his pockets, letting the breeze of the Pacific Ocean play in his vapors and his black hair. He stood there in solitude, to brood and to scheme, pondering the angle for the next course of action against the Dark Priest. East was his destination and east laid the ruins of Northern California’s former glory. The morning overcast partially masked the invading smoke, nonetheless, San Francisco was barely seen through the infinite blackness that rose from the ashes, and flickers of light flashed from everlasting fires that continued to burn.

Elvenswordsman
May 21st, 2012, 07:19 PM
My first opinion? Get someone interested using a piece of the paragraph, then hand out more. It's intimidating to critique a piece that's so much to scroll through.

My second opinion? It's never been easy to start a chapter off using action. What happens once the action is completed? If you'll remember when they taught you exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and then the dénouement; these are not only used per novel, but per chapter. You start a chapter off exciting, it's going to draw on the emotions of the reader from the get go.

Build up your conflict. That's about the best opinion I can give.

P.s. (edit) Think Die-hard. The films are fun to watch, but you never leave thinking "What a fantastic storyline!" Die-hard can be summarized as

"Bruce Willis: "Grunt sigh moan grunt holler yell sigh wince roan cringe grunt." A chair blows up, the elevator blows up, a room blows up, the building blows up, the entire universe blows up, but the bad guy is still alive. Then the bad guy is dead." (A summary of a movie-a-minute review).