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Item #5 - Feathering


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A loud knock on the door of the apartment woke Flahme from a deep slumber. She currently lay in what had fast become her favourite place in the world to sleep; sprawled across Landon. His chest rose sharply as he also came awake. Laying a soft kiss upon his skin, she levered herself off him and stood to stretch. “I’ll get it.” Moving away, she remembered she was naked and found his t-shirt on the floor and pulled it over her head. As the thing fell to mid-thigh, his chuckle from behind made her turn around. She blew him a kiss before disappearing into the lounge.

Flahme had moved in after their time in Hell since neither of them could stand to be apart. Landon’s apartment had become their apartment, and they were enjoying finding themselves as a couple along with being parents to a massive ginger furball of a cat named Quincy. Currently, life was blissful.

Unlocking the three locks on the door took only a moment before it swung wide to reveal a man of medium height, light brown hair and stormy grey eyes. For a moment, Flahme thought he had wings, but the image occurred so fast she convinced herself it was a trick of the light. The man attempted to enter the apartment without asking but appeared to hit an invisible barrier. He tried again, with the same result. Flahme tilted her head in confusion. “You can’t just barge in here, you know!”

“So, it would seem. Invite me in then, girl.”

“Ahh, and you are?”

“The name is Focalor,” the man said as if he were beyond bored. “Duke of Hell, forty-first spirit, ruler of thirty legions of spirits. You’ve heard this sort of thing before. Now let me in why don’t you?”

“Just a moment. Let me get this straight. You are some fancy-ass demon duke, and you are unable to walk into this place? Because all the others pop up whenever they please, using portals and such. Why are you different?” Ignoring the demon, she looked at the door frame as if to discern the reason for this anomaly. When her emerald gaze returned to the man, he had gone from bored to agitated as he mumbled a few words and waved his hands around.

“I was unable to enter in that manner, and now I see the reason. There is a seal upon this place, several actually,” the man was looking intently at something at the top of the door frame that she couldn’t see. “It seems you have powerful friends looking out for you. I’m here with your next assignment. Though I did not foresee having to deliver it stood in a hallway.”

Buzzing with excitement, Flahme couldn’t wait to tell Landon that demonic intrusion would not be an issue for them when at their apartment. That meant they wouldn’t be disturbed while they were…

“…are you listening to me?” Focalor asked acerbically.


The man, demon, looked to be grinding his teeth and Flahme’s brow furrowed as she realised, she would have to leave Landon to do an assignment, she didn’t want to go. “What were you saying?”

“Assignment. Feather, you will procure an angel’s feather. They are not easy to obtain, but you have proved yourself, finding not one, but three Phoenix stones. So, I imagine this will be a walk in the park.”

“Where am I supposed to find an angel? I’m a demon in case you’ve forgotten. We don’t generally hang out with angels,” she asked as Landon called her name from the bedroom. She looked behind her then back to Focalor with a grin, who sighed deeply and shook his head.

“Perhaps try a church? It is your job to find the feather, not mine. Find it, and I will then find you. Got it?”

“Fine. Feather. Angel. I’m on it. Later gator.” Without a by your leave, she slammed the apartment door in the demon’s face and sprinted back to the bedroom, divesting herself of the t-shirt along the way before she dove back under the covers with the man she adored.

“I just got my next assignment,” she said once she was within his embrace. “I have to go, and for the first time, I don’t want to, but I promise to be back as quick as I can. Oh, and Janus has put a protection spell on this place. Demons can’t just pop in whenever they feel like it. So, that means,” she kissed him, “none of them can,” she kissed him again, “spy on us.” Not knowing how long she would need to be away, Flahme decided to make the most of every second with her man. Getting out of bed was overrated anyway.

Later that day, Flahme was showered and hit the streets of New York in search of an angel. Finding a feathered friend might prove to be more difficult than first thought.
January 14, 2020 09:10 pm


Day after day, Flahme trudged through the cold streets of New York. On this day, light snow began to fall. Thankfully she barely felt the chill since her personal warmth mostly negated it. In fact, in winter, she seemed to pump out more heat than usual.

With a huff, she would admit only to herself she was getting downhearted with the lack of progress. Why did she think she would find an angel just standing on a street corner? They weren’t hookers, after all.

Pausing at a small kiosk where empanadas were sold, Flahme purchased something savoury. Nibbling the hot crusty treat, she looked around wondering where to go next when she spied the spire of a church. Chewing thoughtfully, she recognised this as a bad idea. Regardless, Flahme found her feet heading towards the church and without a thought sauntered in and stood casually looking around as she finished the empanada and licked her fingers clean for good measure. To the uninformed, it might appear she was looking for a seat, even though the place was relatively empty with maybe a dozen people seated or praying. None of them looked like potential angels.

To be clear, Flahme had only met one angel knowingly since her return to earth. She figured it out through his actions, and then he showed off his wings. They were magnificent. It was a brief encounter, a chance meeting on the street, but she would never forget those wings. The point was, how would she know…


Flahme jumped and looked around frantically. Her heart rate spiked and heat flared throughout her body, settling in her hands. That voice was in her head, literally. She sensed something strange at the altar and then heard the creaking before the statue nailed so sadly to the cross turned its head and looked right at her. Had it been physically possible, Flahme’s jaw would have hit the marble-covered floor.

“I suffered your presence once in my house. I will not a second time. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.”

A gentle yet firm push in her solar plexus had her looking down only to realise she was no longer inside the church; in fact, she was well past the threshold. She knew what the voice referred. Her first assignment had included stealing an item from the altar of a church. Looking through the doors, she could see the statue. The face turned away and slightly down just as it appeared when she entered. What the Hell just happened?

For a split second, outrage and a soul-deep hurt of yet another rejection from a supposed father figure filled her. Flahme glanced at the beautiful architecture, exquisite stain-glassed windows, and a final look at the statue from the side of her eye as she slowly turned away. Eyes flaring red she thought how easy it would be to burn this place to the ground.

Finding a seat nearby, she slumped down, then leaned forward her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands. Flahme had it in her to destroy so easily, and on returning to earth had not wished to do so unless necessary. Ever since she and Landon had been to Hell though, thoughts such as these were becoming more commonplace. Now, something darker was awake in her.
January 19, 2020 02:14 am

Jack Angiers

The redhead had no clue he was there. Jack had been tracking her for a couple of days. The information provided was so limited, but the photo helped greatly; a lot of people remembered her. She was searching for something, that much was obvious.

Occasionally when in low populated areas, the girl would disappear, but he found her again on account of knowing where her home was. She lived with a tall, solidly built man with white hair. Clearly, in love, the boyfriend, husband, whatever he was could be used as leverage. Or, he could kill them both. The thought made Jack frown rather than smile. Twenty earth years in heaven had started to change him fundamentally.

In the time it took Jack to track down the woman, he had time to think on Eremiel’s words. Healing on multiple levels.’ Was his mind repairing itself, or was it some heavenly miracle? During his human life, Jack didn’t empathise with other’s emotions, felt none of his own. He knew he wasn’t normal, antisocial personality disorder was the proper term, and rather than seeking help he had given in to it in the worst possible way. Because of that, he had never formed a fully functioning relationship with anyone, until heaven, until Eremiel. Even then it left a lot to be desired, but it was a good start in his opinion.

Jack excelled at finding weaknesses to exploit. Had used such advantages throughout his human life and again, with audacity, when faced with the possibility of going to hell. Eremiel had let him in. Apart from the blackmail issue, had the angel seen something else in him? Some reason to give him a second chance. From the moment he set foot in that place, he had begun to change. The plan of returning to earth and killing indiscriminately for as long as he chose became less and less appealing as time wore on.

Compelling the same vendor that the woman had just visited, he procured two empanadas, one savoury and one sweet. Jack watched her in his peripheral view; she was on the move. Striding through the light snow, he shovelled the empanadas in his mouth and got a ringside seat to her being forcibly evicted from a church by an unseen hand. Jack glanced around, no one else noticed it at all. He looked skyward. “Really?”

Then, as she turned towards where he was situated, he noticed the colour of her eyes which were red, as if a fire burned inside her before they changed to dark green. He finally saw the demon, because just looking at her, no one would guess.

“There you are. Little red, you’re on borrowed time,” Jack said under his breath as he continued to follow her. Just because he no longer felt the drive to kill, didn’t mean he would get squeamish if that were his only option.
February 01, 2020 07:54 am


Lost in thought, Flahme left the seat and roamed the city, slowly heading home. Darkness surrounded her as she took a short cut through a side street. She hadn’t even realised the lateness of the hour since it was still light when she left the church. Her stomach growled, and a glance at her phone showed ten pm, which meant she’d been wandering around for five hours. Shaking her head, she texted Landon, then pulled out a grape flavoured tootsie pop, ripped the wrapper off and stuck it in her mouth. She was about to blink back to the home they shared when she stopped dead in her tracks. Someone was watching her.

Completely inside her head, she hadn’t even noticed. She had been careless. Aware that her slight form made her look like prey to any would-be predators, she usually tried not to put herself in potential danger - for their sake, not hers.

Removing the tootsie pop from her mouth, she spoke loud and clear. “Come out! I know you’re there.”

Moving in a circle, she peered into all the corners of darkness until a form pulled away from one solidifying into the shape of a tall man of similar height to her Landon. He sauntered forward coming closer, stopping about ten feet away from her. Dark brown luxurious hair framed an attractive face. The man smiled. Good people didn’t stalk others in alleyways; his friendly approach didn’t fool her. Her eyes flashed red. That was usually enough to make a human run.

“I don’t want to hurt you. You should leave. Now.”
February 02, 2020 03:18 am

Jack Angiers

Seen up close the face she turned on him was sweetly innocent framed with fiery red locks and emerald eyes that seemed far older than her age. Frustration rolled off her in waves, and he swore he could feel the heat emanating from her even at this distance. Here was a woman that didn’t hide her emotions. Good, he could use that as well. He also finally understood the words ‘high-value payload’. This little demon glowed like a beacon; the light of the pure human soul she carried shone through the darkness. So, the soul was his mission, what he needed to get from her.

‘You should leave. Now.’

Jack chuckled at her attempt to make him leave. The red eyes, while impressive, didn’t frighten him since he had seen them already. Then there was the other thing, the unexpected thing. He realised looking upon her that this was his enemy, his immortal enemy. Wasn’t his duty to rid the earth of these demonic creatures, no matter what his other mission was?

“Oh, little red, the good book says love thy neighbour, and right now,” he looked around the deserted alley, “that’s me. We can be friendly, have a little chat. I’m not here to harm you.” He held his hands out to show he had no weapons, that he was no threat. Of course, he still was, weapon or no, he had killed with his bare hands before.
February 02, 2020 03:43 pm


“Chat about what?” Flahme was not one for a lot of idle chit chat. She liked to know where she stood with someone and had no patience for deception. She did not have a good feeling about this situation, but if the man came at her, she would take him down.

“You’ve been following me, and now show yourself only when in a secluded area. You clearly know something about me since my eyes don’t concern you in the least. So, what is it? Did Phenex send you? I owe him nothing!”

As she spoke, Flahme could feel her core temperature rising sharply. This whole thing with Phenex should be over. Thinking about it made her angrier. Ever since Hell, she was charged with a need to let her fire out, give it free rein, and this man or whatever he was, was about to feel the brunt of her ire.

“You better talk fast. I am in no mood to take crap from that demon.” Flahme’s hands ignited as she stared the man down. This place was about to get a whole lot warmer.
February 02, 2020 08:43 pm

Jack Angiers

Well, fuck! It seems this little demon had a few tricks up her sleeve. Her hands were literally on fire, and she stood there like it was nothing. “I’m not here because of Phenex. I don’t know who that is.”

Speaking slowly, he kept his hands up, so as not to alarm her unduly. He figured he would heal through any burns, and he could move fast, but he didn’t know what else she could do. Jack silently threw a nasty ‘thanks a lot’ skyward. The heavenly host had not given him nearly enough information or prepared him for this. “I don’t want any trouble; I just want to talk.”

“I’m new to this place, as a supernatural being, that is. I saw what happened at the church, just wanted to talk to another being like me. That’s all.” Jack saw no point in giving his mission away unless necessary, nor the fact that he was an angel. With luck, she would assume he was a demon like her.

The thought filtered through his mind that he should get out of here. Regroup, formulate a new plan. He needed to take the demon unawares or force her hand in some other way.

“You know, you’re right this was a bad way to start. I’ll be on my way. Just thought us demons might look out for each other.”

Jack nodded and using his super-speed, turned and headed towards the mouth of the alley. As he moved in hyper-speed, something hit him in the chest throwing him back. Jack grabbed whatever it was, realising it was the little demon. In an instant, he had her by the throat against a wall.
February 03, 2020 06:58 am


The flames at her hands extinguished although Flahme’s inner fire remained on high alert, simmering beneath her skin. A pang of uncertainty went through her. Was he just another supernatural creature trying to find his place in the world, trying to find somewhere safe to understand this new way of being? She empathised with that. Coming back to earth for her had been a massive shock and for a short time had no one to rely upon but herself in a world entirely different from the one she had known four hundred years earlier.

Feeling bad for the man she resolved to give him a chance and see where things went or burn his ass if things took a turn for the worst.

Before she could speak, he was saying something about leaving her be, and then his words thoroughly penetrated her mind.

In an instant, she was at the end of the alley ahead of him and slammed both palms into his chest. Instead of sprawling on the ground, he grabbed her arm and used the momentum to pull her close and take her by the throat. He had her pinned to a wall, and Flahme struggled to free herself. He wasn’t as fast as she was, but he was far stronger.

Panic set in as he tightened his grip and choked noises came from her constricted throat as she clawed at his hands. Finally getting some semblance of thought through her adrenaline-fuelled mind, she knew what she had to do.

Quieting her mind, Flahme stopped fighting him and dropped the leash from her fire. It flowed out from her as if her very pores were the conduit. It covered her entirely, coating her skin, clothes, hair without burning any part of her. She had been practising.

The hands at her throat fell away as the man was burned and moved back with a hiss. Flahme spoke quietly into the silence. “You are not a demon. I know my kind, and you are not one of us. I can make this fire do whatever I want. So, now you’re going to speak some truth or perish where you stand.”

To prove her point, she threw flames at his feet which leapt up, so a low wall of fire surrounded him.
February 03, 2020 08:47 am

Jack Angiers

The heat from the fire that ran all over the little demon made him take a step back. Looking to his hands, he saw the bubbled burnt skin slowly healing.

Looking at the woman, he was in awe of what he saw. Covered head to toe in fire; he thought this was how a righteous avenging angel might look. All she needed was a sword. In her fury, this woman was a sight to see.

“Fine, you win, just stop!” Jack held up his healed hands to ward her off. Glancing at them a moment, he let them drop to his side. She had far more power than he realised and seeing the fire that now surrounded him; he knew she wasn’t going to let him go without a fight. One he would lose.

Tipping his head back, Jack looked at the sky. The first thought that came to his mind was of Eremiel. Funny, he had so desperately wanted to get back to earth, and now he was here, all he wanted was to be with his angel, arguing about the best recipe for home-made ice-ream. Why the man insisted on extract rather than vanilla bean eluded him. What would Eremiel expect of him in this situation? He would expect the truth, and because Remy was the one good thing he’d ever had in his life, he relented.

“My name’s Jack. I’m an angel, a former human turned angel, and I’m here to recover that pure human soul you’ve taken. It belongs to heaven. Before you ask, yeah, I can see it. Makes you shine like a fucken beacon. The truth? I was gonna take it by whatever means necessary, but now I guess the ball’s in your court, darlin’.”
February 03, 2020 04:48 pm


The man, who it turned out was an angel, spoke with absolute sincerity. There appeared to be no artifice whatsoever. His face was open and calm as if he had concluded the truth was the only acceptable thing.

The fire that surrounded them both, dimmed and went out and Flahme felt a bone-deep weariness fill her. She wanted to be at home in bed with her Landon, sleeping peacefully in his strong embrace. But this night was not over. If this creature indeed was an angel, might he also have wings? If so, they might have something to offer each other, but did she want to give up the soul she carried? Certainly not unless it was guaranteed to get to heaven. This angel had attacked her and admitted he would have done more, so her trust with him was zero.

“Prove it. If you’re an angel, prove it to me. You’ve got speed and strength, but a lot of supernaturals do. I’m not giving this soul to anyone who isn’t a bona fide angel. I want to see the wings.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, Flahme waited to see what he would do. She didn’t know much about angels and wondered if they all even had wings. She had met one who did. But that might not be representative of the whole population of angels.

Waiting, she found a twinkie in the bag she wore across her body. Since she lost the tootsie pop in the scuffle, she still needed something with her reserves getting low. She unwrapped the thing and shoved it in her mouth. Her fire used up a lot of energy, so she had taken to carrying snacks with her. She needed something healthier than this.
February 03, 2020 10:11 pm

Jack Angiers

‘Prove it.’

Shaking his head, Jack couldn’t help but grin. He guessed people would always want to see the wings. Then he wrinkled his face in disgust as she ate a twinkie in one go, just shoved it right into her gob. “You need better snacks.” Then under his breath. “And better table manners.”

Taking a deep breath, Jack thought about his wings and felt the usual ripple across the muscles of his back as they spread out from his body. They were larger than when he first got them, had come into their own. And each feather was jet black. At first, he had wanted white ones instead, but he grew to love these and wouldn’t have it any other way.

“See. I am an angel. The archangel Michael sent me here to get the soul. They didn’t tell me you could turn into fire. Left a whole lotta detail out in fact.” He raised an eyebrow at her in case she wanted to apologise for burning him. He also wondered just what she would want in exchange for the soul. He highly doubted she would give it up for free. He wouldn’t.

“What’s it going to take, little red? What do you want for the soul?”
February 05, 2020 07:53 am


The wings that spread out from Jack’s body were magnificent. Very different to the ones she had seen before, but no less overwhelming. They were black though, did that mean he was a dark angel? Did he come from heaven? He said an archangel sent him, but that could be a lie. How would she know for sure?

“Flahme. My name is Flahme,” she said distractedly when he called her ‘little red’, and she moved in closer for a better look. When she reached her hand out to touch them, he turned away sharply and shook his head to keep her away.

“I want to trust you, but I can’t give this soul to you unless I know one hundred per cent it’s going to heaven. How do I know you won’t keep it for yourself? Souls are worth a lot to the right people. Maybe you could I don’t know, take me with you so I can be sure. Without some assurance, you’re not getting this soul.”

Flahme nodded decisively, so the angel knew she meant what she said. Once more, she crossed her arms in a defensive stance as Jack considered her words.
February 05, 2020 07:24 pm

Jack Angiers

“Take you with me?” Jack sputtered. “You can’t even get inside a church. How do you expect to set foot inside heaven?” Jack mused on what a sight that would be. “As much as we are having ourselves a time here, you are still our enemy.”

How was he going to convince her? Could he get another angel down here to vouch for him? Eremiel would, without a doubt, but Jack wasn’t sure how to contact heaven, since he had not needed to and assumed the debrief with Michael would just…happen.

Michael! That’s who he needed, that’s who would convince her. Would the big guy come down here for this?

Everything in heaven was accomplished with a thought unless you wanted to do things the long way as he did with cooking. Jack held a hand up to Flahme. “I have an idea. It’s not guaranteed to work though, but I’ve got nothing to lose right now.”

Closing his eyes, Jack concentrated and attempted to contact the powers that be. His mind spiralled outwards, and he soon saw a nondescript room that two angels occupied - one male and one female. He called to them, and they both looked in his direction, but everything was foggy and fading. “Get Michael. I need the archangel Michael. Tell him, the asset is not co-operating.”

The sense of falling made Jack’s body tense, and as he jolted, his eyes flew open. He found himself on the ground and Flahme knelt next to him, worry in her emerald eyes.
February 06, 2020 01:13 am


“Did it work? Did you get through? You just kind of fell over, I managed to get to you before you smashed your head on the ground. Luckily you seemed to pull those wings in before you fell.” Flahme helped him into a sitting position, then hunkered down next to him, drawing her knees up to her chin. She was feeling a little dejected and knew there was no way she would give up the soul even after seeing this.

“Maybe we agree to meet at another time. Tomorrow or the day after, get me some proof, and we can make the exchange.” As she finished speaking a bright light appeared all around them as the alley lit up by something otherworldly. Flahme shielded her eyes and stood slowly, hardly believing what she saw. She felt, rather than saw, Jack get to his feet beside her.

An enormous man with black hair, wearing combat fatigues strode out of what looked like a tear in the fabric of the world. He stared at Flahme a moment then slowly, unfurled massive iridescent wings. She gasped and then she heard Jack swear. The wings were so beautiful that she wanted to weep. She knew without being told that this was the archangel of which Jack spoke. The angel nodded to Jack then looked directly at her.

“Flahme,” Michael’s baritone rolled over her. “The soul you carry is precious to heaven. It needs to be back in our care, and you have shown your wish to return it. Heaven is grateful you did not use it unwisely. I understand you have misgivings in handing it over to our emissary.” He gestured to Jack as he spoke. “Will you allow me to take it from you in his stead?”

A sudden realisation hit Flahme when the archangel spoke. “Yours is the voice I heard in the church, isn’t it?”

The archangel nodded. “You have no business there.”

“I wasn’t going to harm anyone.”

“You. Have. No. Business. There. Do you understand me?”

“You made me think you were God,” she looked down at her hands a moment. “I thought he had rejected me, too.”

Michael silently looked at her long enough to make her uncomfortable. “You are strange, little demon. For why do you care what God thinks of you? Did you care when you murdered all of those people”

“It was an accident,” she whispered, her heart pounding so hard it hurt. Would that always hang over her? Would a time come when the slate was wiped clean?

“There is no slate for you. I’m sorry, child.”

Nodding her head, Flahme held the gaze of one of the highest-ranking angels in heaven and stated what business she did have. “For the soul, I require one feather, an angel’s feather.”

The archangel Michael frowned severely at her, sighed loudly, then nodded once and turned to Jack. “Give her a feather, son.”
February 06, 2020 06:25 pm

Jack Angiers

From the moment Michael arrived in the alley with them, Jack had sworn a blue streak. He tried to contain himself and utterly failed when asked to produce a feather for the woman. He had been tasked with this mission and heaven hadn’t adequately prepared him. On top of that Michael just pops down and takes care of it himself. Regardless that Jack asked him to, the whole situation still managed to make him furious. He had a short fuse, and now it was lit.

“Why did you send me here, make me leave Remy when you had the ability to just pop on down and get it yourself? You give her a fucking feather!”

What made it worse, Michael turned and smiled at him, then came over to rest a broad palm on Jack’s shoulder. Gone was the gruff warrior angel he met in heaven. Calm serenity immediately infused his entire being. He knew it was the archangel’s power flowing into him, but he wanted to get his mad on instead. Blowing out a breath, he looked at Michael, who spoke gently to him.

“I know this mission was stressful for many different reasons, so I’ll let that slide. Your crude attempt at contact worked, and soon the soul will be safe.” Then the archangel relented a touch. “Perhaps we could have prepared you better, and perhaps my instructions were not clear enough. Neutralise meant only to hinder her, not kill her unless your life was under threat. You’ve got some work to do in that department, it seems. You are no longer the killer you once were, how have you not figured that out yet? Now, give her a feather, son.”

Glaring at Michael, Jack nodded as he blew out another breath and let go of his anger. He released his wings once more then hissed as he plucked one of the primary feathers and held it out for Flahme to take.
February 07, 2020 07:56 am
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