There was something strange going on with John. Not the usual, normal strange things. He avoided you at certain times in the day, And there were times where you honestly had no clue where he was. You told yourself that you were being an annoying partner and moved on from it. Until that one day.
You came home early, hoping to sneak in and surprise John on his birthday. You held the gift bag close to you, closing the door softly behind yourself. You placed your bag on the counter, glancing through the house to see if he was hiding somewhere around the corner.
But there wasn’t a sign of his presence. You held the bag close, smiling ever so slightly at the gift inside. You heard a glass break in the kitchen, and soaked towards it. Inside, well, your eyes must have been playing games with you.
John was picking up the glass, cursing to himself at his stupidity. But that wasn’t the strange part. On his back, were two giant wings. They fluttered everytime they came in contact with an object. They were a light blue, almost translucent in color. The sun shining through the window made them shimmer in the light. Several feathers were on the floor, but most were still on the wings themselves. They looked to have a kind of their own, stretching and shrinking when they felt necessary.
“Fucking wings, dumbasses…” John grumbled. They moved slightly at his comment. He smiled at them, “Damn, I missed you. Having you covered all the time, well, it’s not fun.”
His eyes were crinkling at the sides, genuinely smiling. The way he was talking, made you believe they did actually have their own mind. Until you dropped your bag in your hand. His eyes flicked towards you, his smile slowly slipping away. His wings shrink, quickly sinking back into his skin. He dropped the glass he held in his hand again, widening his eyes at you.
“Y/N, I didn’t know you were coming home so early. Um…” His eyes moved to his back, “I can explain, please, just… don’t freak out.”
His wings were still tucked behind him. He released them slowly, tentatively. They were much more tense than before, the feathers darker and sticking up slightly. You walked over, slowly reaching out your hand. They shrunk under your approaching hand, probably as nervous as you were. You touched them, and the tense muscles underneath slowly dissipated. John relaxed, letting his wings stretch out more.
They were as soft as they looked. It reminded you of touching the fur of an animal. John watched you, looking for a reaction. Any reaction. You moved your hand away, and the feather seemed to move towards you, missing your touch. You held in your breath, looking at John. He was terrifed, his hazel eyes flicking between yours.
You couldn’t even speak a coherent sentence. John looked at his wings, and they seemed to hug him slightly. He stroked a feather.
“Since the beginning of time, I suppose. More eras than I could count,” He smiled at you.
“Many cultures talked of angels, messengers of God, the divine… But I think I’m just a ordinary person. I was finally allowed to walk on the ground for a few millennia. And then,” He looked at his wings, “I met you.”
You instantly thought of all the insane and idiotic things you’ve done in front of him. From the talking to the sins to the… oh no. You had sex with an angel. You looked at him, fear in your eyes.
“Am I going to hell?”
He laughed, a true, genuine laugh. He shook his head. “No, I don’t follow the rules of God anymore. And the sins you’re talking about are man-made. God doesn’t see those things as sins. But murder, well, thats a biggie.”
He was being too nonchalant about this. You were being to nonchalant about this. Everything about this was strange. But here you were, your hand playing with his and his smile as mesmerizing sing eyouve first met him. There was always something special about him, some aura around himself that made you stick to him. And here it was; he was an angel from heaven. But something was still itching your mind. Yea, like being an angel wasn’t that big.
“John?” You asked, and his eyebrows perched up, “What did you mean when you said you ‘don’t follow the rules of God anymore’? Is that just a strange choice of words or…” You trailed off, not knowing what else to say.
His wings shrunk, hiding behind him. His smiled wavered. “Y/N. Have you heard of the term 'fallen angel’?” There was still a soft smile on his lips. You nodded.
He was sharpening his nails, glancing ever so often at you. You wondered how coy he was, how smart he was to capture you. You shouldn’t have trusted him, you should have listened to Gilbert. He told you don’t trust anyone in the club, he told you that everyone was trouble. And you, without the alcohol in your system, would have heeded that information. But the drunk you, well, that was a different story. John watched your inner turmoil, smiling softly.
He loved when his victims broke from the inside out. It was more satisfying when the blood had the adrenaline flowing through it. Sweeter, he thought. When it was from shock though, it turned bitter. Sometimes he had to drink water along with the blood. He had refined taste after all of these years. You struggled in your ropes, looking back and forth for an escape. He put his nail filer on the side, glaring at his watch. Alexander was supposed to be here by now.
“Why are you doing this?” You asked through the bindings. He sliced your arm through the struggle. It was hard to resist killing you right there, but he had to. Taming his instinct was something he struggled with. Not Alexander though, which is probably why he was taking his sweet time with getting there.
John walked over, crouching down to look at you. He touched your temple, another place where you were bleeding. He licked the drip off his finger, his stomach growling in satisfaction. He couldn’t wait, you were one of the better tasting ones.
You were glaring at him, waiting for him to answer. He shrugged, pressing his lips to your temple. His tongue glided across the cut. You whimpered, trying to move away. He kissed the spot, grinning.
“Look at that fear in your eyes. You look good enough to eat.”
When you’re a kid, you think that you’ll always be… protected, and cared for. Then, one day, you realize that’s not true. If you open your eyes, you will see what we’re going through. ‘Cause when you’re alone as a kid, the monsters see you as weaker. You don’t even know they’re getting closer. Until it’s too late.
The world is diminished when it loses its human sayings, just as when it loses its diversity of plants and beasts.
In 1974 Angela Loij died. She was one of the last Ona Indians from Tierra del Fuego, way out there at the edge of the world. She was the last one who spoke their language.
Angela sang to herself, for no one else, in that language no longer recalled by anyone but her:
“I’m walking in the steps
of those who have gone.
Lost, am I.”
Eduardo Galeano, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History