“Are you sure about this?”
“Then I shouldn’t do it…I mean…you should just go back…”
“Is that what you really want?” Michael looked straight at me; almost held his breath. His deep-blue eyes were hurt and incredulous.
“No… God, no! You know it isn’t. I want you here…with me… But Michael, if you’re not sure..?” I sighed, heavily. “Look…the way I understand it, once we do this, there’s no going back…and I just don’t want you to hate me if you regret it later.”
“How could you think I’d do that?” Michael’s voice rose in irritation. “You think I could regret being with you?! Lucy…you’re everything…I could never hate you.”
“You might not think so,” I said, seeing truth in his eyes, yet needing to be sure. “But who knows how we’ll feel a year from now? Maybe your friends are right, maybe we’re being naïve about this and we should just accept that we’re different…”
“Lucy…I had no idea you felt that way… Do you really think they have a point?!” Michael sounded betrayed. I’d never said any of this before, but things were getting serious now…the point of no return. He had to be certain.
“No…of course I don’t…” I breathed, sad and conflicted. “Please, don’t be angry. I just don’t want you to give up anything you’ll miss…I couldn’t stand it if I made you unhappy. Michael…you have so much more to lose than I do…”
“You’re right.” He sighed and rubbed his fingers over his blond head in frustration. “I have a lot to lose… I’ll be leaving a job I was born to do, I’ll be leaving my men behind, and a war I believe in fighting…” he looked up at me, and smiled then, “…the Commander will be furious…and I’ll miss out on all sorts of officers’ privileges… But look at what I’m gaining, Lucy! I get you…and it’s better than all that. It’s better than anything! The war will go on without me…and so will the Unit …I think I’ve led it long enough.”
“And our differences?” I said, raising my eyebrow inquisitively. “What of those then?”
“Well, the way I understand it…after we do this, those will go away. I’ll be just like you.” He grinned, genuinely happy at the thought, and I returned his smile, curling my fingers around the back of his neck and leaning my forehead on his. I stared at Michael’s impossibly blue eyes and held their steady gaze.
“Michael…” I whispered. “Be sure…”
“I’ve never been surer,” he said, suddenly strong, as he pushed the knife into my hand.
Pulling him closer, I wrapped my arms around Michael’s shoulders and sliced the enormous, white wings from his naked back, with a practiced flick of my wrist.
Michael roared in agony as blood gushed from the fresh, ragged wounds…blood that was red…and mortal. His wings fell to the ground amidst a cloud of scattered, stained feathers, and I stepped back, dropping the knife with a violent clatter. I’d played by the rules…he’d had three chances to stop this…
Michael’s pained cries peaked as wails of desolate realisation when he saw the bony horns begin to erupt from my scalp and push through curly red hair that shortened before his eyes. I flexed my fingers as their nails lengthened to claws and a forked tail burst from my lower back, thrashing and whipping at the air.
“This doesn’t quite resolve our differences, angel…” I sneered. The voice that resonated from my morphing body, deepened with every word. “You’ll never be just like me…” I threw back my head and howled with hysterical laughter… Another divine warrior disabled...a leader, no less! This was getting far too easy!
I left Michael sobbing and bleeding on the pavement, as I descended through it, victorious. I didn’t know if the neutered angel cried for the Cause, his wings, or his broken heart…and neither did I care…
Good: 0 Evil: 1