Preparations for the Dark Halo release are well under way, so today I thought I’d share something fun with you.
This is a scene I cut from Broken Wings. In it, we are looking at the world through Damien’s eyes.
I wrote a handful of scenes from Damien’s point of view, but eventually decided to cut his chapters from Broken Wings in favor of Pearla’s.
On the whole, I’m very happy with that decision, but I do like this moment with Damien. Enjoy!
Damien chooses a spot in the shadows, near the rear of a semi-truck. He drops to the ground and presses himself into the Terrestrial. The task takes effort and his unpracticed human form slips in and out of sight twice before the transfer is finally complete.
He lifts his hands before his eyes and though human flesh will always remind him of the Christ and those he came to save, Damien can’t help but grin at the familiar disguise. He’ll need these hands in the days to come.
He releases himself into the Celestial and then transfers back, repeating the process over and again, until he feels he’s regained a seamless transition. Then, in his terrestrial form, he stands and takes several breaths of tepid, earthly air. He’d forgotten how stale it tastes. How dull.
He rounds the trailer, pausing at the side-view mirror to take in his appearance. His reflection is a handsome one by human standards—black eyes, a chiseled chin, dark, smooth hair that falls away from his face—and seeing it reflected brings more sensations to the surface of his fabricated humanity. He remembers the adrenaline that female attraction sent coursing through his human veins. And the terror in a man’s eyes when he’d been displeased.
Yes, it sweats and stinks. It breaks easily and moves agonizingly slow. It craves food and rest incessantly, but there are things to appreciate about this body.
He strides toward the truck stop, his boots kicking up gravel and dust.
“Just you this afternoon?” A thin, gangly brunette stands with a stained apron tied around her waist and several greasy menus wrapped in her arms.
“Just me.” Damien’s voice is low, gravelly. The sound pleases him and he smiles.
The waitress blushes and smiles back. She walks him to a table in the corner.
“Look it over,” she says, dropping a menu in front of him. “I’ll be back in a jiff.”
“Anything good?” he asks, catching her hand.
The light blush on her cheeks turns blood red. She looks down at his hand, but doesn’t withdraw her fingers.
“The cheese curds aren’t bad,” she says, her voice tight.
“Bring me that,” Damien says. “And a cup of coffee.”
“Cream and sugar?” she murmurs.
“Now, what do you think?” He squeezes her hand and releases it, but it’s left hanging there for a moment, like a crane whose task has been completed but whose operator has nowhere else to store the thing.
She still hasn’t responded to his question.
He drops the dreamy traveler bit, disgust coating the single word that spills out his mouth.
But the waitress just blinks at him.
Abruptly he reaches into her apron and withdraws a notepad and pencil. B L A C K he writes in hurried sloppy script. He thrusts the pad into her hands and shoos the girl away. She ambles into the kitchen and Damien leans back in his booth.
Stupid, easily-seduced humans.
He turns his gaze to the other diners. Superficially, he sees families dining, a young couple arguing, two teenage girls poring over a magazine, and a plump waitress smacking her gum as she takes another order. In and among the locals, there are truckers here and there. They sit alone, sipping a beer and reading the paper, watching the baseball game on the television plastered to the wall.
He picks at his teeth and basks in their naiveté. This place—this earth—is writhing with an entire race, thoroughly unaware of the forces around them. A deception that is easily maintained because darkness was introduced into their world by the choice of a man and his wife—a choice that echoed the selfish ambition of a traitorous angel ages before.
Darkness was all it took.
It permeated and seduced and the Creator was forced to drop a veil between the Celestial and his people—to protect them from the light they were created to dwell in.
Sometimes the plight of humanity is laughable.
His knobby-kneed waitress returns. She slides a plate of fried cheese and a half-empty coffee cup in front of him. His presence once appealing, seems to unsettle her and she keeps her eyes averted, which suits Damien just fine. He ignores the food but downs the lukewarm coffee in one gulp.
The waitress shuffles to the register and a tremor of daring runs through Damien. He’s tucked away here, in the corner.
No one’s watching him.
“Why not?” he thinks.
And like that, he releases himself into the Celestial, his human form disappearing, his gigantic black wings lifting him from the booth.
He should take to the sky. He has other things to do. Many other things. Plans to make. Souls to enslave. But, like his kind, Damien’s an opportunist.
He flies low between the tables, pressing his frigid wings here and there, brushing the diners’ shoulders, their thighs. He flicks at them with his invisible fingers, whispering nightmares into their ears, chuckling silently as the delectable stench of fear begins to grow.
When he’s comfortable with the chaos he’s unleashed, he settles himself by the door, his elbow resting on a gigantic gumball machine.
And, he watches.
His Celestial eyes pan the same scene once again. Violent red flames surround a mother sitting at a square table with her family. She adjusts the dark glasses on her face and wraps her arms tightly around her stomach. One of the teenage girls drips misery, murky and sad, onto the magazine she’s reading while she flashes the bus boy a flirty smile. The young couple now staring off in opposite directions ooze fear—midnight black and soupy—as it worms its way up the arm of the waitress now refilling their coffee cups. Her hand begins to tremble and coffee sloshes from the pot.
Pleased with himself, Damien digs his talons into the floor and shoves away from the earth. He flies high, pushing through skies of eternal daylight, finally turning toward central Oregon. Toward the two children of God who bested him before.
He flies harder.
He’ll not be bested again.