Evanangela must learn to survive in the French vampire court after her fall from grace.
The Revolution is coming, and soon, the gilded cage will burn.
Succumb to Darkness
by Lauren A. R. Masterson
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Evanangela hid her face in her hands as her wings disintegrated. The feathers turned from their glorious silver splendor to grey, then to black, then to ash; the flames consuming them as she fell. Her eyes changed from colorless, to cobalt, then to cherry. Her teeth grew and sharpened until they were serrated and hung low like ivory thorns.
The fallen angel clutched her chest as her inner light went out and was replaced with cold darkness. She screamed as her heart blackened and the clear holy blood darkened. Red tears flowed down her cheeks, leaving her veins empty. When her virgin feet touched the Earth, she slumped into a heap. Her leg muscles were weak, as she was used to flying, never having walked. The solid ground was foreign compared to the shifting clouds and winds she was used to frolicking through. Her bare hands skimmed the cool grass. She flinched at the sensation, her mind racing to process all the new feelings that flooded her body.
Evanangela turned and saw the setting sun. “My last sunset. How I wish I could fly once more and burn in it.”
She watched in quiet remorse as the sun disappeared below the treetops. A breeze rustled her tunic gown. She shivered. The warm feathery weight of her wings had always insulated her against the wind. Now, she felt naked, her body light and exposed. Evanangela reached back and brushed her empty shoulder blades. They were solid and smooth.
My beautiful wings! I know it to be true that Dieu1 is righteous and just, but this is simply too much!
She sank to her knees, bowing her head as she cried, but no tears came. Her eyes burned from the lack of release and her face was flushed. Evanangela sat back on her heels. The sky was dark now, and she could see the bare plains as she never had from above. Silver mists in the shape of humans floated about through the grass. Had Evanangela still been an angel, she would have ushered these lost souls to peace. But her new dead heart could not hear their pleas.
“Mon Seigneur Dieu,2 why have you forsaken these souls? Are they damned as I have been?” She watched the mists writhe and shift until she was startled by the sound of footsteps.
A shiver ran down her spine. The scent of living flesh was near and her veins contracted with desire. Evanangela clutched the long grass, willing herself to stay and erase the thoughts of killing. Her heart burned to release tears, but her eyes could find none. The human’s footsteps thundered as he approached. Evanangela cringed, her skull ached from the noise.
The fool! He is tramping so loud, all of France must be able to hear him blundering through these fields!
Reason slowly dripped away as her breathing became shallow. His scent was on the wind, faint, but it rolled over her tongue, igniting her instinct to hunt. She traced the sound, her body tense, ready to strike once the traveler was in range. In a spitting rage, Evanangela ran, without stealth or grace, and tackled the lost traveler. Her crimson eyes were bright with the madness of the feed as she threw her jaws open, exposing the glinting fangs.
“Oh, Seigneur Dieu, sauvez-moi!”3 He covered his eyes, trembling and screaming.
Evanangela froze. The fire in her eyes extinguished and she released her grip.
“Seigneur.” She whispered.
The man took advantage of her confusion and pushed Evanangela away. She sat there, staring at nothing while the traveler ran back to the woods. The desire for blood escaped to the back of her mind, for now.
“A demon! Dieu, save us from the demon!” The traveler’s cries were becoming faint as he reached the trees.
What am I to do? To live this half-life I must kill, to kill is to die, and to die is never to return to whom I once was.
Evanangela grabbed her hair, shaking her head and prostrating herself on the grass, screaming. “Why must it be this way?”
2 My Lord God
3 Oh Lord God, save me!
at the beginning, and when you come to the end, stop.”
–Mad Hatter from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland