The one where he stood alone against an army
They were walking together, holding hands. Soon they reached the edge of the cliff. Before them, a massive canyon stood, empty and deserted, silent with only the wind blowing on its long since visited corpse. They stopped and looked at each other, all the while a question was burning inside of her. She could feel something was different here, something heavy yet invisible stood before her. It didn't take long before she couldn't take it anymore and asked: "What happened here?" .
For a moment, it seemed like her words went into another direction as he gave no sign of hearing her. He just stood there, as silent and emotionless as the canyon in front. After a while he gave a shrug and his face turned towards the ground. " You want to know what happened here? " he asked, with a heavy tone in his voice. "Yes please. Tell me the story of this place." she responded after looking up to him, meeting his eyes. Another shrug and his eyes closed for a moment. He wasn't here anymore, at least not with his mind. He used to do this all the time before sharing something that sadden him gravely.
As he opened his eyes again, they were moving rapidly from one end of the nothingness to the other as if he was following something, as if there was something actually there, something invisible to others but not to him. He breathed in deeply and started:
"Long ago, before you stood a humble kingdom, a kingdom governed by man. It was a rainy and murky day. People were rushing to their houses left and right, the workers were sweating and cursing the bad weather and the children were playing carelessly with smiles on their face as their clothes were getting soaked in water. It was a day like any other, and yet that particular day was going to be known for a very long time as one of the most important in history. Do you recall the tale of the first angel?"
She looked surprised. " Arkanis?"
Another deep breath and a tear feel from his eyes and hit the hungry golden ground. He resumed:
"Yes, it was on that rainy day that the grey and heavy clouds opened up . It was here and then that the First Angel arrived, a being of pure white coming slowly from above. All were filled with shock and amaze, some even fear, of what they were witnessing. The angel presented itself as Arkanis, an omen of peace sent from God above to watch over this kingd..."
She interrupted " What? Wasn't he banished from the heavens for his deeds?"
Her words hit him hard as if a spear had teared through him. Another tear hit the floor.
"To watch over this kingdom. This place took the name of The City of Saints and prosperity spread around the land. It never knew war as no kingdom would dare face an angel, people felt safe and peace and prosperity roam all around. The sun that shined brightest here encouraged their culture, their economy and the people knew of no disease and died having lived more than most other people. In his honor they build a massive church, tainted with gold all around and it was here that the First Angel spent most of his time. He would spend his days counselling the king, flying around the city making sure that no monster or treacherous human would step foot here and, whenever it was the case, held judgement for those that had wronged. He governed alone but always with wisdom and understanding."
Again, she couldn't contain it within anymore " But about the Phoenix?".
A second, sharper, spear-like emotion hit him. He felt this emotion as if he'd been stabbed a thousand times. As before, another tear hit the ground, followed by a second one this time.
"Her true name was Aealind and I was going to get there too. Formerly known as The Phoenix, she joined Arkanis in marriage and the Golden rule began. You see, some saw it as treachery for an angel to be tied to a mortal and although under their rule, the kingdom prospered even more than it had before, now that kindness had joined wisdom, some dared to contest the true nature of the angel. It was a few centuries that people actually had the courage to set foot on this sacred land, demanding that it surrender to their will.
Many came and many more fell lifeless to the ground, none ever reaching the inside of the city walls. The Angel protected it mercilessly with gracious swings of his sword, spreading justice left and right. Until... in one of these many attempts, one day, a scream was heard in the church and when the people went to investigate, they found Aealind in a pool of blood on the floor, with her eyes and mouth wide open, and by her side stood the angel. The citizens of The City of Saints were baffled and shocked beyond belief. When trialed and asked of what had happened, the Angel only said that from that they forward he would take a vow of silence and would exile himself in the church for all eternity. And so, he left the court, walking instead of flying, and it was noted back then, that the feather's from his wings started flying one by one. He left a trail of them, starting from the court, up to the graveyard, were he buried her, shattering his sword in two and leaving one upon her grave, and by the time he returned to the church, before he shut the massive doors, it is said that that was when the last feather fell.
The sun would shine upon the kingdom still, never quite as bright as before and although it was still the home of prosperity, things would never be the same."
She grabbed his hand and held it tighter than before. "Why is there nothing left of this great kingdom now?"
"Soon after hearing of the loss of his wings and his swords, many charged upon the gates. Their citizens were strong and manage to defend the city valiantly time and time again yet whenever times seemed grim and they went to the church to ask for assistance or advice, nothing ever came from within the high walls. Kind of ironic to be honest, when you think about it."
She tightened her grip on his hand as she felt it slowly starting to shake and timidly asked " How so?".
" It's ironic that the thing that made that city be great once, was now the very reason for which people were suffering."
The young girl had never seen him that way before. His fist was closed and could easily be observed that now his whole body was slightly shaking. After he caught his grip, he continued:
"Alas, the inevitable happened. Humanity has always did its best to prove their beliefs, it was just a matter of time before those that believed that they could conquer the city, actually managed to actually do it. And so the city walls that once stood high, impassable and unbreakable, now lay crumbling at the feet of the invading army. Among them, a cruel man stood, Tyros, and wherever he had passed before, only ruin and ruble lay in its wake.
After breaking the walls, Tyros and his men marched within the once prosperous city, slaying and burning left and right. They had only one target, and that target was the Angel. The people fled to the church in the hope of salvation. They slammed its gates with their fists, begging and shouting for salvation, yet it never came. No word or appearance came from within the church and many even started to doubt the angel was even there anymore.
Soon there was no one left but the people at the church's gates, and that's exactly where Tyros stood with his immense army. He laughed violently and challenged the "false-angel" to come meet its maker yet he was met with the same treatment as the poor citizens, a cold wall of nothing but silence. He stood there for a while, but patience was never his strong point. He picked up a civilian from the ground and threaten to kill every man,woman and child if the angel did not show his face."
"Well, did he?" the girl asked, completely absorbed by the story.
"No he didn't. Blood was spilled in front of the gates yet it was met with no answer. Screams were heard all across the land, people cursing the angel and blaming him for all this, just before their last breath. By the end of the day, the buildings were set a blaze and there was not an innocent,living soul to tell the tale.
Filled with anger and feeling mocked, Tyros tried crushing the church's gates but with no success. The gold taint fell easily to the ground yet the stone walls themselves barely had a scratch. The more he tried, the more angry he got. No matter what he threw at it and no matter how he charged the gates and walls, nothing happened. After several days of trying, an idea struck him.
He left his army at the church and stormed alone through the city with a burning desire. He went to the graveyard."
" To Aealind's grave?"
"Indeed, and once arrived with a grin on his face he started laughing and shouting. He mocked the angel and swore that if he would not reveal himself, that he'll dig up his wife's grave. To add insult to the injury he even said he'd use the angel's broken sword piece as a shovel."
The young girl took a step backwards... " He wouldn't! What happened next?" she asked with thirst an anger, slowly started to shake herself.
"Nothing" he responded with a grave and dead voice. "Nothing happened. The church remained silent and it was clearer and clearer to everyone that the angel had left. It had abandoned the city it once swore to protect and let all living things die."
"So what did Tyros do?"
"He was enraged beyond belief. He was sure that this new plan would surely make the angel come, and his anger grew along with his conviction that the point he came to make, that he'd be even stronger than an angel, could not be fulfilled. Thus, he picked the shattered piece of the sword and dug up the grave."
"Nooo..." said the girl crying. "NOOOO...How could he?!"
"And once he was done, his anger grew even more." he continued.
With tears in her eyes, flooding her face, the girl fell to the ground and barely had the strength to ask "Why?"
"Because it was empty" he continued as grave and dead as before. "The grave was empty. No body, no remains, no nothing. It was as if no one had ever been buried there and it was just an empty grave.
As you can imagine Tyros was mad as a bull and could only see red at this point. Filled with a new kind of rage, one that he had never felt before, he jumped on his horse, the broken sword still in hand and went back to the church. The men didn't know what to do or to think of all this. Nothing made sense.
Tyros jumped from his horse and started bashing on the church's gates like a madman, same as the citizen had done some hours ago before meeting their end at his hand. He was spitting and cursing and hitting the gates with his fists almost to the point that he broke his hand, calling out the angel and screaming that he ought to obey him. And then, by accident..." and he took a short break.
"What? What happened?" said the girl, uncovering her face from her hands.
"He accidentally hit the walls with the broken sword piece and as the sound of metal meeting stone filled the air, the gates...they started opening."
"What? How? What was inside?" said the girl. She forgot about her anger she had felt before as curiosity now took the best of her.
"Tyros couldn't believe his luck as light slowly entered the room. He laughed and shouted to his men that victory was near and that God himself wants to see the false-angel receive its punishment.
And so, once the room was fully lit and the gates were wide open, the men froze to their feet. It was then that even Tyros's mouth was shut at the very sight.". Tears could be seen from the corners of his eye.
The girl stood up again, wiping away her own drops of water from her cheeks. She took his hand into hers and held it tight once again, as if to give him courage. "What did they find inside? Was it Arkanis?"
"Yes indeed. There stood the once great and mighty angel Arkanis, in the same armor that he was first seen. He stood there, kneeling in front of what seemed like an altar, with hands joined in prayer, surrounded by countless candles burning gently. He didn't move or say a word, it was as if nothing was there for him but the altar,the candles and him.
When the men recovered from their shock, they all started shouting and yelling, Tyros himself gaining courage from the crowd's noise. He shouted himself and asked for the angel to step out and face him, the mighty general of a thousand armies. Yet the same silence that he met when he stood before the gates was the same treatment he was receiving again.
As such, with adrenaline and arrogance he stepped foot into the church and his men soon followed in his footsteps." The grip tightened once more and his body started shacking again, even stronger than before.
"Father?" the girl asked, partly frightened.
"Yes?" he said, barely able to contain his pain.
"I want to know how it ends" she replied and stepped closer to him, hugging him.
"They came until only a couple of feet separated them. It was in that moment that they saw a figure resting on the altar, in front of Arkanis. At one point Tyros turned to his men and started mocking the entirety of the church, that it must have been because of it that the false-angel had lost his voice. One of soldiers even asked, mockingly as well, why use candles to light the place up when he could have used the body on the altar..." his fists clenched, he pushed the child aside, put both hands in the air and let go of a beam of searing bright and golden light that dug heavily throughout the canyon. He stopped and was panting. He looked to the side and picked his daughter up.
"I'm sorry" he said, while brushing the dirt from her blue dress.
The girl was emotionless. She had witness his rage and pain before, but that had been long ago.
"Father...What did you do then?"
"I...I..." he mumbled, tears flowing rapidly down his face.
"I...stood up and for the first time in a long time, I opened my mouth and asked them to leave and never dare mock that which is dear to me. Yet they didn't stop, they just laughed and mocked me still, and then Tyros pointed the edge of my own sword, towards her body saying that he'll make sure he'll keep the ashes for himself once he's done burning everything to the ground...So I...I killed them."
He fell on both knees to the ground, crying and barely able to talk. " I killed all of them" he muttered while crying still. The girl came closer and put his arms around him. With one hand she caressed his head and with the other she held his face.
"Father, I'm sorry but I must ask...What really happened to mother?"
"What do you mean?"
"How did she die? Who killed her?"
The crying stopped, and so did his breathing for a second.
"She killed...she took her own life!"
"Because..." and he stopped for a minute.
He stood up, and looked towards the canyon again, their hands one in another. His eyes were fixated upon a single spot and they did not blink at all.
Florence and the machine - What kind of man