View Full Version : The Deity Warriors- Ch. 2, slightly over 1,700 words

December 11th, 2012, 01:02 AM
Disclaimer: Please note there is use of strong/offensive language and violence. This chapter has been revised since its first posting. Thank you!

And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. (Revelations, 18:19)

I jiggled the door handle after shoving the key into the lock and made a frustrated sigh. When would maintenance fix this damn lock anyway? It has been like this for at least two weeks! I took a deep breath and removed the key, trying to unlock my front door a minute later. Just as I was able to unlock the damn thing and push it open, my neighbor’s door opened as well.

“Hi, Miss. Godric!” Out walked Tommy, a boy around 10 years old with light brown hair, hazel eyes and a smile that could warm even the coldest of hearts.

“Well, hi there Tommy. How are you?” I asked, smiling at him. Some of my most enjoyable moments involved babysitting him and playing old board games like Sorry! or Monopoly. He always managed to bankrupt me in Monopoly.

“Great! Want to see what I got on my social studies test?” He was beaming, already digging in his backpack for something.

I laughed, “Sure. I’d love to see how you did. Will I be impressed?”

Grinning, he held out the slightly crumpled paper to me, willing me to take it. I took the paper from his hand and looked at the grade: A-. “Very impressive, Tommy. I am very proud of you and I’m sure your mom is too. I guess it helps that I’m your babysitter and a History teacher, huh?”

He nodded, “Yup! I told my teacher you’re the reason why I did so good. I can’t wait until I’m bigger and you’re my teacher so I can be smart then too!”

Tommy was a very charming boy and well mannered. His mother, Jennifer, walked to the door at that moment, “Ready Tommy?” She smiled at me, closing the door behind them, “Hey Ceri. How’s it going?”

“Hey Jenn. I have tests to grade tonight, yay me!” I explained sarcastically.

Jennifer grinned and put on her jacket as Tommy put his paper away in his backpack. Jennifer wasn’t much older than me, and a single mom. She’d been taking care of Tommy on her own for the last two years, after her husband died of cancer. Tommy got his looks from Jennifer, as they both shared the same hair and eye color. I’ve been living next to Jennifer and Tommy since they moved in four years ago, when her husband was still alive and somewhat healthy. She was a nurse at Johns Hopkins, so she didn’t necessarily struggle financially. Being a nurse did mean odd hours and time away from her son, which is why I would often volunteer to babysit. It helped that he was good kid and respectful most of the time.

“Have fun, Ceri. We’re going to visit my mom. I’ll see you later. Say bye, Tommy.”

“Bye Miss. Godric!” He said, waving as I said goodbye while walking inside my apartment and closed the door behind me.

I set my purse down, cursing at myself as I realized I left my keys in the doorknob. Mumbling under my breath, I walked back to the door and opened it, stepping halfway into the hall in order to grab my keys from the lock. I heard a scream just as I had grabbed my keys and I spun around to look down the hallway and see Jennifer and Tommy pinned against the wall. Their feet were dangling, no longer touching the ground, as they had been held at a high position on the wall.

Stunned, my eyes went from Jennifer and Tommy to the creature pinning them to the wall. Raphael. His dark eyes bore through me, long dark brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. His wings were spread wide, one hand wrapped around Jennifer’s throat, the other around Tommy’s. He squeezed their throats, and I watched in horror as their souls slowly started to seep away from their bodies.

“Stop, stop! Please stop!” I begged my voice shaky.

He continued to squeeze until I heard a pop noise, and their souls had detached completely. Jennifer and Tommy hung, limp, in his grasp, souls gone and now they were just empty bodies. Vessels.
“I will come for you, Ceridwen, and when I find you, you’ll wish Athena had never awoken you.”


I gasped as my eyelids flew open and I sat up in bed. My chest continued to rise and up down at a rapid pace as I tried to calm myself down. It had only been a dream, I told myself. Right? Had it all been a dream? The part about Athena as well as Jennifer and Tommy? No. I knew I dreamt the Jennifer and Tommy incident but the part where I met Athena… that felt real. Getting shot felt extremely real, and there’s no way I’d be in my bed now if I had really, truly died. I whipped the blankets off me and pulled up my shirt. No bandages or wounds. I didn’t even have a scar.

I knew it had not been a dream. I felt different sitting there in my bed, like I wasn't really human at all, but simply pretending. Walking towards the window in my bedroom, I pulled the curtains aside, and peeked out to the street below. It was deserted. I found this strange because there is always someone walking along the sidewalks. You can always hear someone shouting from one window to another, or down to a person walking. The beeping of car horns was never an absent sound. Now, it seemed as though I was the only one living in a ghost-town. I opened the window and stuck my head out slightly, listening for anything. Nothing. I couldn’t hear anything at all except the occasional wind blow.

I rubbed my forehead, remembering what Athena had said about the Apocalypse. Perhaps it had already started and I just didn't know it yet? I nearly jumped as I heard a sudden banging on the front door. Nervous, I slid my hand under my mattress, retrieving the sword I kept hidden for safety. Not as useful as a gun, I know, but much more fun to learn. I cautiously walked towards the door, raising the sword as I peeked through the peephole. Gasping, I dropped the sword to the ground, it made a soft plopping noise as it connected with the carpet. I yanked the front door open, seeing my brother, the white-eyed Angel, standing before me. His dark hair, cropped short, caused a wild contrast in comparison to his eyes. He was tall and well-built as all warriors are in the Heavens. Strapped to his sides and thighs were swords and daggers, along with strands of bullets strapped across his chest. Sitting comfortably on his back were rifles, along with two pistols sitting on his hips. He was obviously prepared for battle.

“Eirik... I didn't know Athena was sending you so soon.” Without so much as a comment, he brushed past me and walked inside my apartment. I pushed the door closed with a click, turning to give him my full attention.

“Ceri, it is time. The Apocalypse has already started, and several hundreds of thousands of humans have already died. You'll need your swords. I have a car downstairs with more guns and bullets. We'll need those as well if we want to get to Massachusetts as quickly as possible.” Eirik looked around, almost as if he was expecting something to jump out at him.

Taking a deep breath, I picked my sword off the ground and headed back into my bedroom to ready myself for the days to come. I didn't know what to expect, but I was expecting the worst. I had heard what the Apocalypse would be like, from many stories, but hearing and seeing were two different things. I changed into hunter green shorts, a black tshirt and pulled on my black boots. They were old but comfortable and would last for most of the trip, especially if we had to walk at any point. I, then, quickly strapped my sword onto my back, finding its twin and strapping that one on as well. The few knives I had, I placed them inside my boots and strapped a couple to my thighs.

Pulling my hair up into a ponytail, I made my way back into the living room where my brother was silently waiting, his arms crossed. “Are you ready?” He asked.

I nodded, “As ready as I'll ever be.” He gave a brief nod before opening the door and walking out of my apartment, with me quickly on his heels.

I had so many questions for Eirik that I wasn't even sure where to begin. Not that he was giving me a chance to talk. He was speeding down the stairs so quickly I was practically sprinting to keep up. Without warning, he abruptly stopped in front of the door leading out of the apartment building. Reaching to his hips, Eirik withdrew a handgun from its holsters. I'm not very knowledgeable about guns but it looked like a .9mm.

Glancing back to me, he spoke, voice flat, “Draw your swords. You might need them.”

I raised an eyebrow in question, but remained silent as I reached back and drew my swords. Kicking the door open, Eirik cautiously made his way outside, surveying the area. The street seemed even more deserted now that I was actually outside. I stayed close behind as my eyes darted in every direction, looking for any sign of movement. I was crouched in a defensive posture when I saw my neighbor, Jennifer, and her ten-year old son, Tommy.

A wave of relief washed over me. Maybe all wasn't lost. “Jennifer!” I called loudly, “Are you alright?”

Jennifer's back was to me but she literally twisted her upper torso 180 degrees in my direction when she heard my voice. Her skin was stretched thin, all her veins, blue and purple, painfully visible under that paper like skin. Her eyes were completely gray, non-human in every way.

“Oh God,” I whispered.

Eirik growled in response, “Fuck God.” Then he pointed his guns towards her, squeezing a trigger, planting a bullet right in between Jennifer's gray eyes. He, then, pointed the other gun in a different direction, squeezing its trigger as well. The bullet was speeding towards Tommy, who was crawling like he had extra limbs. The bullet hit him between his own grayed eyes.

I stood, numb, barely believing what I had just seen. I almost felt nauseated and could feel a lump of sadness rising up in my throat. Eirik grabbed my arm and started dragging me towards a dark green SUV. My eyes never left the sight of Jennifer and Tommy's crumpled and ugly bodies.

“Get in,” he commanded. He climbed in the driver's side without waiting for a response. Stunned, I climbed in the passenger's side, eyes wide with shock.

Eirik started up the vehicle and peeled out, speeding down the street. His dark hair hid most of his face as he stared, eyes fixed on the road. “Guns are in the back seat. You should arm yourself before we meet any more of those things.”

I slowly turned my head to face him. His voice was flat, almost sounding annoyed. I spoke quietly, still in shock, “You shouldn't have said that.”

“Say what? Arm yourself with guns?” He asked, never taking his eyes off the road.

“No. Fuck God. You shouldn't say that.” I was surprised I even cared. I never believed in God and He wasn't my creator.

Eirik gave an abrupt laugh. Bitter and dark, “And why the fuck not, Ceri? God is the reason I'm stuck on this plane of existence, with you and your recent human upbringing. And for what? So we can fight our fellow angels? All classes of angels? Fight to save a race that God let go to shit? So much so, that even fucking Lucifer himself wants nothing to do with them? Fuck, Ceri, I don't even want anything to do with the race.”

I shook my head fiercely, refusing to listen to his rambling. His words could be seen as blasphemous in the eyes of our Mother. “Eirik, these are our orders. It is why you had to send me back to the Heavens so soon.” I glanced out the window to see the abandoned cars in the middle of the streets. “Besides, at least you got to keep your true self. Me? I'm conflicted with my true nature, and my involuntarily acquired human nature.”

He slammed on the brakes, threw the SUV in park and turned his whole body to face me, white eyes narrowed. “It was not a paradise living up there, trying to fill the shoes of Mother's favorite. You got sent to Earth because you were her favorite. You are special. I was an accident, some slice that fell off when you were created. Enough so that I was born, and I'm your brother.” He leaned over with lightening speed and flipped the passenger visor down, pointing to the mirror. “For fuck's sake, Ceri, we even look different.”

I turned to look in the mirror. He was right. My typically dull, dark blond hair was now blindingly platinum. My eyes had bled into a bright blue, no longer human. I reached up and tentatively touched my hair. “Holy shit,” I whispered.

He flipped the visor up, “Exactly. You're perfect. Me? I'm the accident who gets to do Mother's dirty work. Such as walking up to you and unloading a fucking round of bullets into your mortal abdomen, just so you can get sent home to Mother. She picked me just because she knew I was too damn selfish to say no to seeing my fucking sister again.” He put the car back in drive and peeled out, heading towards the highway.

“Eirik, you almost sound jealous. That's a very human emotion for an Angel.” I turned around in my seat and began picking my way through the guns. I ignored the statement he made about being forced to kill me. I could tell it had upset him, but he was already acting too human. I didn't want to make it worse, even though the human curiosity in me was dying to know.

He scoffed in response to my statement, “Jealousy is not just a human emotion. The Deities are often envious of each other. Even animals feel jealousy, to a point. Besides, I am not jealous or envious.”

I grabbed a rifle and a couple of handguns of my own along with a strap of bullets to clip to my chest. Settling back into my seat, I began to place the guns on my body, holding the rifle in my lap. “If you aren't jealous, or envious, then what are you, Eirik?”

He clutched the steering wheel, his slightly pale skin turning even whiter around the knuckles where his grip was too firm. “Bitter. Oh, so bitter, Ceri.” Before I could even get a chance to respond he leaned forward and turned on the radio, turning it up loud enough that conversation would have been a strain on both our voices.

Jon M
December 11th, 2012, 03:27 AM
I knew it had not been a dream. I felt different, like I wasn't really human at all, but simply pretending. Walking towards the window in my bedroom, I pulled the curtains aside, peeking out to the street below. It was deserted. I found this strange because there is always someone walking along the sidewalks. You can always hear someone shouting from one window to another, or down to a person walking. The beeping of car horns was never an absent sound. Now, it seemed as though I was the only one living in a ghost-town.Story seemed very linear, unbearably so. Just want to point out a grammatical faux pas:

Walking towards the window in my bedroom, I pulled the curtains aside, peeking out to the street below.
There is a section in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers (King, Browne) that talks about beginning sentences this way. What is described in this sentence cannot happen as written. Basically what you are saying is this person simultaneously walks to the window, pulls the curtains aside, and peeks out to the street.

Michael Tea
December 11th, 2012, 06:30 AM
Not a whole lot happens in this chapter. I agree that it seems very linear. It also seems like things are being rushed towards a certain point, without that much attention about what actually happens until we get there.

A couple of notes:

First, I suggest you dedicate the entire first chapter to Ceridwen's life as a mortal. This is not exactly 'feedback' per se - more like an alternative beginning - but I think it could really benefit the rest of the story. Do the whole "a day in the life" kind of thing. What kind of job she has, what her relationship with Jennifer and her other neighbours is, whether she has a romantic interest among the living and so on. This would allow people to bond with the character. And at the end of the first chapter, plot twist! The protagonist gets shot and dies.

Regardless of whether you change the first chapter, I suggest you take your time writing the story. Ceri and the rest of the gods and angels may be in a rush, but you don't have to be. Explaining the whole premise of the story will take long and a hasty or half-assed explanation - pardon my Klatchian - might come to hurt the readers' willing suspension of disbelief. The whole jumbled mess of an atheist going to Heaven and finding out that she's an angel created by an ancient Greek Goddess who was killed by her brother for the purpose of helping her creator fight God and his army of biblical angels in order to stop the Apocalypse from destroying humanity... explaining this kind of thing could and should be done patiently.

Of course I'm a fan of the premise itself which means I'd probably buy the book either way. :P

Hope that helped! Eagerly waiting for chapter 3. :)