First entry into both the competition and this months theme - This should be familiar to those of you who have read by latest fiction, and it builds up on the primary character's backstories somewhat, or moreso their actions during the Schism.
It will be confusing for some - And it jumps between time, place and characters. But please, bare with me.
Word Count Including Title - 1048
‘Traitor.’ Grunted Michael, one hand placing pressure upon the ghastly wound in his side, the other clenching the bejeweled pommel of his blade.
‘True,’ Admitted Lucifer, a knife-thin smile etched upon his sullen features, despite the deep laceration along his chest. ‘Better to shatter false oaths, than live by them.’
‘You shame my honour, brother
.’ The Archangel spat, emphasizing the last word. His voice trembled with scarcely controlled anger, the muscles on his jaw flickering beneath porcelain-perfect flesh.
‘Yes, again, you speak words of wisdom.’ Lucifer conceded, flickering his blade - A show of feline, undaunted dexterity.
Around them, the Golden Citadel groaned in protest. Tapestries withered and marble blackened in the uncontrolled flames, and ashen rain fell around the pair. Distant, eddying sounds of battle rang out.
‘Yours, Michael, not mine.’ Interrupted Lucifer, lips peeling back into a horrible, mischievous grin.
Michael did not reply. He merely stepped closer, teeth gritted in pain. His blade swung. Once.
The rebellion had been birthed from jealousy and neglect. Lucifer and a considerable amount of his followers, known as the Grigori, had tired of the Almighty’s newest creations - Humanity.
They had tired of their new roles as guardians and guides, and soon the Grigori’s numbers had swollen with such intensity that traditional housing methods were abandoned in favour for expansion.
In total, a third of Heaven’s Host, an huge percentage, had dedicated their arms to the cankerous cause.
And thus the Great War had ignited.
A great, ululating scream pierced the tranquility. Upon the seaside boulevard, where lovers and artists flocked, Raphael turned his head towards the source of the cry.
Along the marble roadway, a figure lay sprawled on the floor, blood leaking profusely from his form. Above, sword-in-hand, was another of the Angelic Host.
Behind the swordsman, dozens of black-robed figures followed. They held a collection of weapons and torches in hand, faces shadowed beneath the folds of their robes.
As they encroached on the downed Angel, a series of blows rained down upon him; and limbs fell away wetly, sinuous strands bridging between the torso and the broken appendages.
Zealous cries of ‘Murder!’ arose, and an opposing crowd began to grow, wielding makeshift weapons - Tools, utensils, broken chair legs.
Raphael drew his blade with an horrified sigh, a miraculously forged thing, and advanced on the crowds.
Beelzebub led the slaughter through Heaven’s art districts, hacking and slashing, showing no skill in his actions - Merely brutality and unquenchable bloodlust.
Figures in shimmering armour opposed him, glaives and halberds held in shaking hands, shock writ upon their features.
One charges, crying out in tremendous rage. Beelzebub sidestepped the pathetic blow, twirled his blade once, and punched it into the Angel’s neck. Blood jetted and muscle squelched, gnawed at by the sword’s jagged length. The Angel fell away, eyes glazed.
Another three rushed him, and with a cold calmness, Beelzebub felled them. They were not opponents; they were distractions.
Advancing up a set of black-veined steps, Beelzebub drew himself to an halt. A curator ran to him, going down on his knees and embracing Beelzebub’s armoured legs, sobbing.
‘Please, leave the art.’ He begged, mewling louder. Black-winged Grigori began to crowd around, holding torches in hands.
‘Burn the galleries - Destroy the precious art!’ He cried, and the Grigori lifted into the air, chuckling madly. They threw torches in through windows and decapitated statues, reveling in the orgy of destruction.
As flames arose before Beelzebub, he struck his sword down into the curator’s skull, cleaving him in two.
This would be a good night.
Lucifer’s grin was torn away from his face, replaced by a pained twitch. Slowly, his vision drifted from the emotionless face of Michael and acknowledged the sword lodged firmly in his chest. The tip, and a considerable portion of the sword’s length, protruded from his back; dripping viscous blood.
‘No..’ Lucifer breathed, his breath erratic and agonizing. ‘It cannot end this way..’
‘Repent, Lucifer.’ Michael commanded, staring.
‘..I will not allow it!’
‘It is over, brother. I am sorry.’ Michael said, eyes sparkling.
‘Do not shed pity on me!’ Lucifer raged, casting his own weapon away with a clang, taking the pommel of Michael’s in a two-handed grip.
‘Lucifer, stop.’ The Archangel growled, gripping his dagger.
His brother, blinded by anger, did not comply.
Michael’s dagger came about with an hiss of metal-upon-metal.
‘I am truly sorry..’ He whispered, and plunged the dagger into Lucifer’s neck. No blood drizzled from the almost-invisible cut.
His brother’s form collapsed, and Michael sagged onto his knees, weeping as the Golden Citadel finally avalanched into the crystal ocean, taking thousands of warring Angels with it.
Glass and bone crunched beneath Beelzebub’s feet as he picked his way across the ruins of the Golden Citadel, looking for something. Broken blades, spears and arrow shafts poked from the debris, some still clenched in skeletal hands. He had crept back into God’s territories, searching for one thing which would give him absolute power in the Grigori’s new realms.
Ahead, four charred pillars still stood. In the centre lay his prize - A single, winged necklace. Once, it had belonged to Lucifer himself. But now the Arch-Traitor was dead, laid low by his brother.
Beelzebub’s pace quickened, greed overtaking the rest of his senses. He ducked beneath a spar, and reached out towards the charm.
‘Yes,’ He smiled, eyes flashing. ‘It is mine.’
His fingers slipped around the chain, the beads of which were crusted with dry blood and ash. He lifted it into the air, staring up triumphantly. His wings batted once, and twirls of ash climbed into the air around his form. His uncanny looks to Lucifer - Almost twin like in fashion, incited a new hope for the Grigori. Many believed that if the medallion could be returned to them, the war could continue into a new age of prosperity.
‘No,’ Came a sudden voice, croaky but strong. ‘It is mine.’
The red-winged form of Lucifer, blackened by soot and stained with irregular dashes of congealed blood, burst from the rubble beneath Beelzebub. Gauntleted fingers seized Beelzebub’s throat, clenching until purple bruises blossomed.
‘The Betrayal was a failure.’ Lucifer growled, his voice quivering until it was purr-like. ‘Now, we wait.’