That's My Q #116 "Faith."


She clawed her self out of the crater, scratching at the shattered marble with fingers bloody and raw, and stripped of most their nails with the force of effort. There was no angelic grace in this effort. No divine purpose, nor holy intent. Just a simple, animalistic will to survive. Gone was the angelic grace, the sense of divine rightness… What was left was only her, only a human woman scrambling on bruised and shredded hands and knees to find a way out of a hole where an angel had …died? Ceased to be? Been punished? What words could label what had befallen her?

Even her physical form seemed different, and yet in some ways the same. Where once her skin had been flawless and pure, it was now slick with oily sweat from the chore of her labors. Her hair hung in sweaty tangles, and she grunted with the effort of pulling herself out of the hole, as a traitorous part of her mind reminded her how easy it would have been to simply flap her wings and be clear of it, just a few minutes ago.

Halfway up the slope, she slipped, and went sprawling face first into the loose crumbling bits of shattered marble and dirt, sliding halfway down to the bottom of the crater once more. The muscles in her back twitched, trying to move wings that no longer existed.

She resumed her desperate climb, amazed to find strange salty water leaking from her eyes, making clean tracks in the dirt that caked her face. She wiped at the leakage absently, and stopped, gasping, halfway up the slope. No matter how hard she tried, her arms and legs refused to move anymore, and she simply lay on her side while her muscles trembled. Was this what was know as exhaustion? Was this the thing called despair?

Yes. This was how He created humans to live after loosing their way in the garden. This was suffering. She had always seen in from afar, pitying the mortals and doing her best to aide them. But this…

This. This was… How could they bear it? How? The traitorous part of her mind spoke, unbidden once more: It is all they know. They know not the grace you once did. You, shall suffer far more than they, knowing what you once had, and have lost eternally…

Odd keening noises came from her throat, against her will, and the water streaming from her eyes increased to a rate that she had difficulty seeing. A mortal would have instantly recognized this as sobbing, but she could only wonder at what was happening to her.

A sudden shadow fell over her, and she looked up, feeling terror for the first time in her short mortal life. The priest stood over her for a moment, his faded blue eyes wide with shock. "My dear, what… what happened?" He said, with a voice high with disbelief.

"Fear not. This is according to His will." She said in a trembling voice, surprised at how easily her first lie found her lips. He reached down, and picked her up without effort. The keening sounds from her throat subsided as she found comfort in his tender arms. He carrier her without question, or doubt, out of the crater and into the cathedral. He had believed her, without even considering that she had perhaps lied to him. So great was his faith renewed in Him that he could move without question. Something she, even in her angelic glory had not been able to do.

Weariness overcame her at last. She laid her head against his chest and slept for the fort time in her mortal life. A thankfully dreamless sleep.


A post by:

1st Lieutenant Telek Sulan Marine commanding Officer Starbase 47