#WP: When someone’s heart breaks so does a piece of our world; This creates fissures, valleys, and even cracks in the pavement. Tell me the story behind the Grand Canyon.
The perfect blue sky with wisps of clouds were all I could see from where I lay. I had fallen. Farther than I ever thought possible from ground level. One moment, solid rock beneath my feet, the next only air and a six-thousand foot drop. I’m not going to lay here and pretend that it didn’t hurt when I landed because it did, but more importantly, what hurt more was the moment right before the fall when my heart broke. This is the story of my broken heart…
Not long ago, I was excited by everything I saw and everyone I met. Existence fascinated me, but more than that was this wonderful species called man.
They were beautiful in every way. They could create, and build. They overcame every obstacle placed in their way. They were astounding and interesting to watch.
There was one in particular that I came to admire. Her name was Sarah. Her dark hair smelled of sweet grass when she passed me. Her skin was golden from working in the fields along side her family.
She couldn’t see me though. I wasn’t allowed to let her see me, but that didn’t stop me from watching over her and her family for years. I watched as she fell in love with a boy from a neighboring farm, and I watched as a rift was born between their farms when her heart broke.
She was young, only twenty then. Her heart was so fragile that when it broke I could hear it like the tinkling of a breaking tea cup as it hit the floor. She spent weeks in misery. She would often talk in her sleep about the boy on the next farm. I could feel her pain in my own chest sometimes, and it was all because he had fallen for another girl at the market one day.
After so long of seeing her suffer I chose to try to help her while keeping to my promise never to reveal myself. I set upon the boy’s family farm and killed all nine of them. I produced a noxious gas that was unseen and without smell so they would pass without alarming anyone of my presence. The boy, however, I made to suffer. For him I produced a cloud that boiled his skin and burned his lungs with every desperate breath. The things we do for love…
It took nearly a week for anyone to find the family. Sarah was stricken with grief, even more so now than she had been previously. I didn’t understand then what I do now, but wisdom comes with age.
She spent the next two days sitting at the edge of the ravine created from her broken heart simply staring across at the boy’s farm. Her broken heart now filled with grief and sorrow. I had tried to remedy her condition, but had somehow only made it worse.
At the end of the second day, just as the sun began to cast its fiery hues across the sky, she pushed herself off the edge of the ravine. I followed silently watching her descent. Her eyes were closed but I could still see the tears blown across her face as the wind rushed past her.
It occurred to me very near the bottom that if she died, the world would lose something it needed desperately. It would lose her. I would lose her. In a moment of panic, I revealed myself and spread my wings, letting her land on my chest as I slowed her fall.
The sudden contact made her open her eyes and stare at me in awe as every person I had ever let see me in the past had done. We landed softly at the bottom and I placed her gently on the ground. Without a word I vanished to her sight again.
“Wait!” She cried. “Please don’t go!”
I stood for a moment, pondering the ramifications of what I had done. I knew I would be punished for breaking the rule, but I had been unable to stop myself. Sarah moved slowly with her arms out searching for me.
“Where are you? I know you’re still here. I can feel you.” She said as her face contorted in concentration.
I tested her, to see if she was lying and every time I moved, silent and invisible, she would turn to face me.
She can feel me!
I rejoiced in her sensing my presence. I stopped hiding once again to see her take a step back. Her small frame paled in comparison to my eight-foot build. She seemed little more than a fragile child that I longed to hold to me and protect.
“There you are!” She exclaimed. “I knew you hadn’t left!”
“Here I am. I’ve been here for a long time.” I replied.
“Why do you have wings?” She inquired as she moved around me, running her hands through the feathers. “Why can you fly? You look like a man, but fly like a bird.”
“I am no man, nor am I a bird, Sarah.” I replied. The sound of her name from my mouth sent shivers down my spine. It felt nice to hear her address me, and to be able to speak her name for the first time.
“You know my name?” She asked.
“Of course. How can I not? You’re pure, innocent, and more beautiful than the cosmos.” I replied without thinking.
Sarah blushed and turned away from me without a response.
“Did I say something wrong?” I inquired, suddenly concerned that I had upset her.
“No.” She replied, “I’ve never been told I was beautiful before.”
“I have been near you for the last five years, and since my coming to being I’ve never seen anyone, or anything, as beautiful as you.”
She still did not turn around to face me. “Thank you for saving me.”
“The world would have been all the lesser without you in it. The sun would have dimmed and the flowers of the world would have wilted in mourning of your passing.”
“Can you take me home?” She asked, finally turning to face me.
“Of course.” I replied, lifting her in my arms and with little effort ascending through the ravine back to the edge of her family’s farm where I set her gently.
“What should I call you?” She asked as she left my arms. My body screamed to embrace her again, but I resisted.
“I am Samael.” I said.
“Thank you.” She said again before turning and running back to her home.
There was a tone issued from where I stood that echoed through the universe. I felt the reverberation through every fiber of my being. It was a warning.
I returned to my unseen form and stayed in that place for a long time. My heart felt as though it could beat out of my chest. I flew up as fast as my wings would carry me through the clouds, feeling the coolness of the yet to form rain on my skin.
My head immediately turned toward Sarah’s home. She had said my name. It did not sound panicked or upset, but she had said it nonetheless. I couldn’t remember a time when anyone had said my name, but it felt wonderful to know that it was being said.
I spun in the air and descended to her window. I had to see her. I had to be near her once again.
“You called?” I said as I landed softly, not revealing myself in any way other than by sound.
“You’re here?” She asked, “Where are you?”
“I’m outside your window. You said my name, and I came to your call.”
“Where were you when I said your name?”
“I was soaring in the clouds, rejoicing at our meeting.” I replied.
“I must tell you something. I pray it doesn’t drive you away from me.” I said, suddenly wanting to tell her everything about the neighbor’s farm.
“I don’t believe anything could drive me away from you. You’re the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. What could possibly drive me away from you?”
My words were lost to me suddenly. My mind raced at the countless things I had done both at the command of my father, and also of my own doing. I opened my mouth to speak and no words came out. I felt true fear of loss in that moment.
“Are you still there, Samael?” She asked.
“I love you.” I blurted.
“The sun is setting.” She replied. I could see in her face she was uncertain. Her resistance to my advances made me want to embrace her a hundred-fold. “Come back to me tomorrow. I’ll call for you.”
“As you wish.” I replied, slowly backing away from her window. I chose to walk this time. Back toward the ravine. I felt like a fool, confessing my love to a human I knew nearly everything about when she knew nothing of me.
What’s worse, is that I have killed her last love, and I had to find a way to tell her. I resolved to tell her in the morning as I reached the edge of the ravine, where I sat and waited for the sun to rise, and for her melodic voice to call me back.
The sun rose the next day in brilliant golden colors, spreading warmth across the land. My mind had raced all night. Fantasizing of the things I would show her as we traveled the world. If she would have me, I would make her immortal. She would stay with me forever.
“What are you doing, brother?” I heard from behind me. The deep baritone and melody of the voice gave him away.
“Pondering existence, Michael.” I replied. “Have you ever thought of our place in all this? Have you ever known love?”
“Father’s love is the only love I will ever need, Samael. I’d be careful talking like that, he would be cross with you.” Michael warned.
“Why have you come?” I asked.
“Father knows you revealed yourself to a human.” He replied.
“I know. I got the warning.” I said. “I did not mean to, but I had to save her, Michael. I’ve never known true exhilaration before she touched my skin.” I said.
“I warn you, brother.” Michael said drawing his sword and holding it to my throat. You’re next words had better be carefully chosen.”
“There’s no need for violence, brother. I love her. As Father loves her.” I replied. “If you would strike me down now, I would die happily.”
“I will not kill you without Father’s order.” Michael said. “Speaking of, there are two cities that have fallen in Father’s eyes. We are to meet up with the others and wipe them out of existence. Everyone and everything in them as well.”
“Understood.” I griped as I stood, opening my wings.
We flew hundreds of miles to the west and destroyed the cities. I forget their names now, but we made sure that all who lived in them were slain, so undoubtedly no one will remember their names.
I was on my way back east, flying high above the clouds when I heard Sarah’s voice again.
It penetrated through every fiber of my being. My muscles tensed and my wings folded as I dove toward the ground, opening my wings at the last second for the added burst of speed.
This time she seemed panicked, almost desperate, My heart began beating thinking of all the things that could harm her. I flapped my wings as fast as I could, faster than I really should. I created a pressure wave behind me in my haste, resulting in a sonic boom that could be heard far away.
I arrived at Sarah’s house in a matter of minutes, opening my wings wide to slow myself down quickly. The air pressure pulled on my wings hard, the pain was near unbearable when I finally reached a speed that wouldn’t damage anything.
I Saw Sarah in the fields, there were two men with her. One was holding her on the ground while the other was preparing to force himself upon her.
“SAMAEL!” I heard her scream.
I drew my blade and beat my wings fast once more, pushing them through their fatigue. With a swiftness I had never known I entered the small patch where the men stood, revealing myself to them in the process.
“How dare you.” I growled as my feet met the soft grass.
“Wha- What are you?” The first said as he stumbled backward, falling over his loose trousers.
“I am death.” I said, sinking my blade through him as I had done to many hundreds earlier that day.
The other release Sarah and began running. I pursued on foot, catching up to him easily, and cut him down before returning to Sarah’s side.
“Where were you?” She asked through her tears. Her entire body was shaking.
“I’m sorry. I was on my way back when I heard you. I arrived as fast as I could.” I replied as I pulled her into my chest.
We stayed in the field for a few minutes in silence as she wept. I could feel the fear coming off her. It felt dark and unclean.
“Never leave me again, Samael. Never leave.” She pleaded when the tears finally stopped coming.
“I won’t.” I promised. “I will be with you forever.”
I lifted her with me as I stood, keeping my wings wrapped around her as I walked through the field away from the farm.
“Where are we going?” She asked when she looked out over the top of my wings.
“Someplace that is safe for you.” I answered, “You are too important to me.”
I walked for the rest of the day and well into the night with her in my arms. She fell asleep soon after nightfall, and when she began shivering from the cold, I wrapped my wings tighter around her and summoned heat from deep within me to warm her.
When the sun finally rose I saw a mountain nearby that had a cave well-suited for living. As I walked I devised a solution to every possible need she could have living there. The mountain would supply fresh water while I supplied her fire, clothing, and food.
She stirred in my arms just as I reached the base of the mountain.
“I feel so safe in your arms, Samael. Never leave me.” She mumbled in her half-conscious state.
“I never will.” I said as I began the ascent.
Sarah and I spent the next week living in the cave. I had never gone so long without hiding from anyone that may see me since humanity came into existence. We talked about the world and all the things I had seen in it.
At the end of the first week she came to me and insisted that she needed to go to a village.
“You’re not safe in the village.” I said. “I can’t reveal myself there, which means I can’t truly protect you.”
“I’ll be fine. I can find work there. I can buy things to make our home more comfortable for us.” She replied as my heart melted.
I liked how it sounded when she said it. I was caught off guard by the statement and mumbled in agreement. I couldn’t refuse her desires. I wouldn’t refuse her desires.
We began making the journey into a nearby village once a week, which quickly became twice a week. Sarah found a job weaving fabrics along side orphans for little to no money, but she seemed genuinely happy to be close to the children.
Fortunately I hadn’t heard the tone of warning since the day in the ravine, and Michael had left me alone since. Though the constant awareness was there that at some point one of my brothers or sisters would seek me out and find out what I had been doing all this time.
When we were alone, and I could reveal myself to her, Sarah and I talked at length on a great many subjects. She wanted to know everything there was to know and I was happy to indulge her curiosity.
A year into our life in the mountain I was tending the fire for us when Sarah came through one of the many fabric curtains that separated the cave into ‘rooms’ as she called them, and she stopped and smiled at me.
“You’re ridiculous.” She said giggling. “It’s the height of summer. You should know by now that I don’t need a fire to stay warm.”
“What about cooking?” I replied, “You use fire to cook. I don’t need to eat, so I want to be prepared if you get hungry.”
“I love you.” She said.
I fell over backwards from her words and she rushed to my side. “Are you okay?”
“I just-” I began, looking up into her eyes. They were full of concern and caring. I had never been looked at like that before. “Yes. I love you too.”
She kissed me then. The world went black for me. All that existed in that moment was her lips against mine while her hand lay gently on my chest. I felt as though I had been struck by lightning while witnessing the birth of the universe all at once. Then it was over.
“I want to ask you something.” I whispered. “But I’m afraid to ask.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask me anything.” She replied, kissing me on the forehead. It sent currents of electricity through my body and made my heart skip to feel her lips on my skin.
“Will you come with me to a special place? It’s far away, and if you come, and drink from the waters that spring from the earth there, you will be made immortal.” I asked.
“I’ll go with you to the ends of the earth.” She replied with another kiss. “Because I love you.”
We spent the next few days in the cave. We had intended to leave the next morning, but could not be pulled from each other long enough to prepare for our departure.
At dawn on the day we left I pulled both Sarah and the sack of things she wanted to bring with her into my arms and we took to the sky. We had to land shortly thereafter so she could put on extra clothing to stay warm. It had eluded me that it was significantly colder so high above the ground.
It was the first time she had flown with me. She marveled at everything we passed and every evening made me promise to land so she wouldn’t miss anything.
Once again I indulged her desires and would land when she grew tired, with the only exception being when I crossed a vast ocean that left nowhere for me to land where she could be safe.
When we arrived at land on the other side we began the process of stopping every night once more.
“Have you ever been to the edge of the world?” She asked me on one such night when I described what lay ahead on our journey.
“There is no end.” I replied simply.
“Where does it stop then?” She pressed.
“Where we began.” I answered.
She stayed silent for a long time after that. I assumed it was because she was considering my words, but instead she had another question. “Are you the only one of your kind?”
“No. There are many thousands of us. We exist all over creation. Though we are not all the same. There are eight of us that are as I am. Beneath us there are more types and are many more in number.”
“Why eight?” She asked.
“I don’t actually know.” I replied. “I’ve never thought to ask anyone. Our Father is above questioning.”
“No one is above questioning.” Sarah said so pointedly that I couldn’t rebuke her.
“You should get some sleep. We arrive at our destination tomorrow.” I said.
She curled into me once again and fell into a dreamless sleep while I questioned everything I thought I knew. She had no idea how profound it was the simple thought she had given me.
The next morning we resumed our journey to the spring that would allow her to be with me forever. I was never more excited about anything previous today. I landed at a outcropping of trees that surrounded the field in which the spring fed water. The golden grass that grew blew gently in the wind resembling the surface of a lake.
“Is this it?” Sarah asked.
“This is where the spring is, yes.” I replied smiling at her.
“Why didn’t you fly straight there?” She asked.
“It’s forbidden for me to be too close to it. I have to keep my distance or I’ll die.”
“If you drink it won’t you live forever, like you told me I would?” She asked.
“I don’t actually know what would happen if I drank it.” I admitted, “This is something that none of my kind have ever attempted. I would not tempt my Father’s wrath to find out, but you are allowed.”
“You should come with me!” Sarah said, “If we drink it together than both of us will live forever!”
“I have lived so long now, I’m not sure a natural death is possible for my kind. We only ever die in battle. You go. It’s safe. No one can harm you in there.” I said kissing her on the forehead. “I’ll be here when you return and we can build a life in these lands where the people are more gentle.”
“I’ll be right back!” She said as she ran into the grass.
I waited patiently, but felt a new level of excitement with each passing moment. I paced the border to the field.
“SAMAEL!” I heard Michael bellow from above as he came down. “What have you done!”
“I have fallen in love, brother! Isn’t it wonderful! It’s the most amazing feeling!” I radiated.
“You have produced a nephilim, you fool!” Michael said looking around. “Where is she? I know she’s with you!”
“She went in to drink from the spring so we can be together always.” I replied.
“Father is furious with you! You’ve been away for too long. You need to come home now! I will deal with the nephilim.” Michael said drawing his sword.
“You will not touch Sarah, or my child!” I bellowed drawing my own sword.
“You are stupid and arrogant!” Michael shouted, “I don’t want to fight you, but you leave me no choice. Father said that the nephilim will be the end of this world! If she drinks from the spring the child will benefit from the waters as well!”
Sarah emerged from the tall grass in that moment carrying a bowl filled with water. She stopped abruptly when she saw Michael and I brandishing our weapons.
“You!” Michael bellowed as he moved to cut her down.
I stepped between them and parried his blow, pushing him back.
“I already said that you will not harm her, brother!” I shouted. I could feel the anger inside me burning hotter. “How dare you try to kill her!”
“Then you shall die as well, Samael! Father has ordered her death.”
“FATHER IS WRONG!” I rebutted.
There was a deafening tone now. It shook everything all at once. The trees swayed wildly and I watched as Sarah dropped the bowl to cover her ears. Michael moved forward as my sword fell from my hand and I dropped to my knees.
I watched in horror as Michael’s sword descended, knowing that I would soon die and never get to know the touch of Sarah again, or meet the child that existed in her womb. I knew also that Michael would kill them both once I was dead, but there was nothing I could do to fight the resonance that crippled me.
With Michael’s last step Sarah dove between us and his sword cut through her. The anger in me erupted, cutting off the tone from my ears as I thrust upward hitting Michael as hard as I could. He flew backwards, hitting a tree, before landing motionless at its base.
I rushed to Sarah’s side, tears flowing down my face, as she gasped for air.
“I’m here, Sarah. I’ll always be here.”
“Hold on, Sarah.” I said, looking around and quickly spotting the bowl. “I’ll get the water for you! It’ll heal you! It’ll save both you and our child!”
I left her side to retrieve the bowl. There was hardly a sip of water left in it, but it was all I had. I rushed back to her side and gently lifted her head as I felt the life drain out of her.
“No! Sarah! Please! Just a sip! It should be enough!” I screamed through my tears.
“I’m sorry, brother.” Michael said from behind me.
I turned just as Michael’s sword was descending and dodged out of the way with Sarah in my arms. Rather than my neck where he had been aiming, his blade scraped down my back and cut through my wings. They fell from my back as I screamed in agony and fell over. Michael quickly repositioned himself for another strike as I swept his legs out from under him, knocking him to the ground.
I stood and ran for the field as Michael screamed.
As I reached the grass everything began to shake and rumble. The world fell apart around me as my heart cracked and splintered in my chest. Michael took to the sky, leaving me standing there holding Sarah in my arms. I felt it before it happened, my heart broke, and I fell. As I descended, Sarah came loose from my grip and, in the cloud of dust, was lost to me, and I fell…