All I remembered before I blacked out was that I was in my bedroom one moment and in the next, I stood in the center of an empty warehouse surrounded by nothing but three men whom I have never before laid eyes on before. The two that stood in front of me were-human-like-but it was their eyes that were telling me otherwise. One had eyes as dark as a black hole, the color of death, with no pupils, but yet I knew he was looking at me. The other’s eyes were as bright as the morning sun. Both men were sending ice prickling across my skin.
I didn’t get the same vibe from the man who stood at my right. With him I felt comforted and safe, protected, even as if he was here to ensure my safety. He looked at both men in front of us, standing as though at any given moment he would be ready to attack.
I opened my mouth to say something, but the bright eyed man spoke first. “You are choosing a human to fight this battle? Why?”
“Fight?” I asked, startled, “What are you talking about? Where am I?”
“This one talks too much,” the black-eyed man said, his words sending more ice-like shivers running through my body, “I prefer the silent types, but I digress. Beggers can‘t be choosers.” He clapped his hands together once and took a step towards me but the bright-eyed man put his right hand up to stop him. Anger flickered in his eyes.
“Calm yourself, Semyaza,“ the bright eyed man said. Then he shifted his gaze back to the person at my right. “So, Michael,” he said nonchalantly, “How have you been? Still hanging around these cockroaches? I mean, that can only explain this bone-headed decision of yours. Spend too much time around the maggots and you start thinking like them. Honestly, I remember you being the smartest of the garrison.”
Am I dreaming? Semyaza? Michael? I thought to myself, Where have I heard those names before?
“Still all talk, Lucifer,” Michael said, “but underneath that swagger is just the same pathetic brat whose arrogance shall be his final downfall.”
Lucifer? The Light Bearer? “What is going on here?” I demanded, but the blackened eyes of the one called Semyaza silenced me instantly.
Lucifer raised an eyebrow, seemingly surprised but looks can be misleading. “Michael didn’t tell you?” He laughed. “Shame on you, little brother. You should have told Samara that she is humanity’s last hope before you brought her here.”
I turned to Michael, hoping this was some joke. At first I thought I might have been dreaming. However, looking into the archangel’s eyes, how focused they were and filled with pure aggression and faith, this was neither a joke nor a dream.
“What‘s going on?” I asked for what felt like the hundredth time, afraid of what the answer might be.
Michael opened his mouth to answer but the black eyed Semyaza spoke instead, “Lucifer and Michael had a little wager whereas if you, Samara, win, then Earth and the humans live forever in paradise,” he explained grimacing a little before the right side of his mouth shifted into a smirk, “but if and when we win, then we get both Earth and Heaven as well, while Michael, the humans and the other angels rot in deep inside the pit forever.”
My eyes widened. Slowly, shakily, I looked over at Michael. “Why did you choose me?”
“Yes, Michael,” Lucifer jumped in, startling me, “of all the creatures in the universe, why choose a human? A creature that has a habit of caving in so easily to only the slightest bit of pressure; so weak, so vulnerable…how easy it is to break them.”
To my surprise, Michael just laughed. “That has always been the problem with you, brother,” he said, “Your hubris blinds you to the truth.”
“The truth?” Lucifer clenched and unclenched his fists, as I literally felt the anger emanating from the Devil. “I see all. I see the truth that Father was wrong about the humans. How no better they are than the Grigori and demons. Such a violent, murderous, animalistic and deceitful species.”
“The Watcher angels are no better than the humans. At least the humans learn from their mistakes unlike the Grigori and you!” Michael challenged.
Lucifer just smiled. “Nice try,” he said, clapping his hands a couple of times, “but this time it’s you who is wrong; both you and God. As per our wager, when I win and prove that humans are insignificant insects that need to be disposed of, then Earth shall be mine. But if you were to win, then I hereby agree to jump into Hell forever.”
With that said, Semyaza cracked his knuckles and grinned at me.
My eyes shot over to Michael, begging for help. He simply looked at me and calmly said, “Just have faith for you are stronger than Semyaza.” Then I blinked and Michael and Lucifer vanished right before my eyes.
I gasped. Ice cold sweat began trickling down my forehead and down the back of my neck. Inside, my bones were literally shaking, and my heart thumped against the inside of my chest. I wanted to run away, but my legs wouldn’t move. I felt trapped as I looked around for a way out, but the doors marking the exits and entrances were all gone like they were never there in the first place.
“Such a powerful emotion, is fear.” I spun around and Semyaza, the Black Eyed Grigori was standing behind me. “Not to mention the most beautiful, don’t you agree?”
I shivered as bone-chilling hands slowly grabbed onto my shoulders from behind. It felt as if the temperature around me dropped down to near-hypothermic levels as my breath became visible when I gasped. My mind was telling me to run but my legs would not listen. They stayed firmly in place, almost going numb.
Where would I have run to?
“I find the best times of my life,” said the fallen angel, “is listening to and watching people fall victim to their own worst fears. Watching their minds working against them is my favorite past time.”
“Go…to…Hell,” I said through chattering teeth.
Semyaza laughed. “Been there…done that. It‘s really nice this time of year. You should visit.” He placed one hand on top of my head. “Now let’s find out what your greatest fear is inside that grapefruit of yours.”
I lost all feeling in the back of my neck and my brain felt as if it were going to explode. Violent images flooded my eyes of buildings on fire, people getting shot, the ground cracking open, explosions, and cars catching fire. The sky had changed into a deep shade of blood-like red with the clouds an ashen color. I blinked, and I was back in the storage room with cold sweat dripping down my forehead and my bones literally shaking under my skin.
“Ah,” said Semyaza, his tongue slithering like a serpent, “this is going to be fun. At least for me. Shall we begin?” The Grigori let go of my head. There was a bright flash of light and for a second I thought Michael had come to save me but instead, I was standing outside an old house on a cold winter’s night with each breath that I took becoming visible to my eyes.
Where am I? I thought.
Movement caught my eye and I turned my head, almost jumping out of my skin as I saw Semyaza standing happily next to me. A glimmer of appeal lightened his nearly pitch, black eyes as he smiled.
“You don’t recognize your home?” he said. “The place you are worried where your family meets their end at my hands? Did you honestly expect me not to figure it out?”
My jaws and my fists clenched deeply-perhaps to deeply because I could taste my own blood. “If you hurt them--” I started but never got the chance because a fireball emerged from Semyaza’s right hand which he hurled at my home.
“NO!” I screamed just as the ball of fire hit the house bursting into a bright orange explosion with a blast powerful enough to knock me off my feet and back almost a foot.
I slid on my back for what seemed to like forever before I hit the back of my head on the side of a nearby car, pain ricocheting in my neck. The sounds of the flames crackling rang in my ears as pain burst through the back of my head and down my neck. I clenched my eyes together tightly so that I did not wind up crying.
“Can’t you just hear them?” came Semyaza’s maniacal voice. “The sounds of your parents and your sister writhing in utmost pain? Sweet music to my ears. Sounds like that make me fall asleep much better.”
“This cannot be real!” I shouted, tears threatening to pour out of my eyes as I stared straight into the inferno that engulfed my home…and my family. “This can’t be real! It’s not real!”
Semyaza laughed. “Oh, but it is. The sound of their sweet agony, skin melting off their bones, organs liquefying…”
Before he could finish, my thoughts became clouded with anger and I rushed to my feet and punched the Watcher angel square in the face as hard as I could. He staggered back a couple inches with his face grimacing. He smiled again. “Not very smart to attack a Grigori like that. Especially when I can make you feel even worse.”
“What are you talking about?”
With a snap of Semyaza’s fingers, another ground-shaking explosion sent the house next door to mine into bright orange flames. My anger was shaken out of me, replaced by fear as this Grigori was killing my family and my friends.
“You humans are so weak,” he said, “and flawed. The Morning Star is going to win and roast this planet alive. With all human life riding on your shoulders, Samara, I am amazed that you would give in to such petty fear so easily.”
I stared in complete horror, listening to the awful screams of people dying in the flames. I tried to move but my muscles had just given up, they became numb.
“You’re not going to break me,” I found myself saying, surprising me.
Semyaza just looked at me with amusement. “I beg to differ, child. I think that I already have and I will enjoy watching you break even more.” Before I could stop him, the black-eyed Grigori grabbed the front of my shirt, and brought me closer to his face and I had no choice but to stare into his black hole-like eyes. I winced, feeling electric shocks zapping the inside of my brain. “Afraid of pain, are we? Well, let’s see how we can work that out.” He released me and stepped back.
My heart thumped loudly against the inside of my chest as boiling acidic pain emerged around my heart and the moisture in my throat turned to rock-hard sand. I collapsed onto one knee, panting, cold sweat dripping down my forehead, clutching my chest. I looked up at Semyaza who looked back at my suffering amusingly.
“Enough!” I snapped, tears continuing to try to force their way out of my eyes as my legs began feeling like rubber, threatening to collapse all together under me.
“Intriguing,” Semyaza said, a hint of amazement glimmering in his eyes. “Most humans would have caved in completely by now. But not you. I think I’m beginning to like you, child.” He snapped his fingers and the pain inside intensified. Static shocks flickered around inside my brain and I gasped as tears came closer to pouring down my cheeks.
Just then, anger overshadowed my fear and pain, and I leaped back to my feet and lunged at Semyaza. Catching him off guard, I hit him with a solid roundhouse kick to his stomach. He staggered back, clutching his gut.
He came at me again, swiping with his right clawed hand but I ducked at the last second. How I was managing to fight a Grigori was beyond me but I wasn’t complaining.
“Stay still, you insect!” Semyaza screamed and he grabbed the back of my neck and flung me across the street. I would have hit a parked car, but I managed to do a back flip and landed cat-like on the hood of the car, much to Semyaza’s dismay.
He snarled and lunged for me, but I did another back flip, landing behind him and-with all my strength-kicked him in the groin. Semyaza gasped, sinking down to his knees. Guess he shouldn’t have taken a human body.
“Game over,” I told him as I kicked him in the back of his neck and he fell on his face. He started getting back up but I kicked him in his face, hard, and he fell back down.
There was a swirling noise around me and the background changed from being outdoors in front of two burning houses to back in the warehouse where Michael and Lucifer were watching. Lucifer was scowling on his face and Michael looked impressed.
“Please…give me another chance, Lucifer!” Semyaza begged, his words rattled with pain, trying to crawl to his knees but kept falling.
In reply, Lucifer snapped his fingers and we watched as Semyaza instantly burst into a blood-like flame that was quickly extinguished, leaving behind human looking bones that crumbled to the ground in a pile of dust.
“I don’t give second chances,” Lucifer said, staring at Semyaza’s charred remains as the scent of sulfur became strong within the air.
“It’s over, brother,” Michael said, stepping in front of me, sword in hand and ready to fight.
Lucifer just smiled. “Did you really think it was going to be easy to get rid of me? I’m not about to let my pride become damaged by some abortion!” He pointed to me, anger flaring deep inside his eyes. “I have seen Samara’s heart and soul…and they are both mine!”
Lucifer snarled as his body shifted and morphed into that of a wolf with ashen gray fur, blood-red eyes, fifteen foot-long bat-like wings attached to his spinal cord and razor-sharp canines that were exposed as he growled at me.
“You’re mine!” Lucifer yelled as he lunged for me.
I gasped as everything around me seemed to move at a slower rate. Lucifer was just three feet from me and I could smell his revolting, hellish breath blowing against me. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could, bracing for the end when I heard the distinctly loud clanging noise of metal slamming together.
I cautiously opened my eyes and saw Lucifer back in his human form but trapped inside a metallic cage made up of several dozen iron bars.
“NO!” Lucifer snapped, his eyes widened with dismay and stunning realization, hands clasped around the metallic bars, trying to rip them apart but failed. “Michael! Release me you stupid ingrate!”
I took a deep breath, exhaling slowly as I turned to see Michael standing with his back straight, arms at his side, completely relaxed, not in any rush to help Lucifer. Instead the archangel crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head.
“It’s no use, Lucifer,” he explained, his voice even and calm, “those bars were made by God himself. Not even I can break them. But I can do this…” Michael snapped his fingers and the cage began to glow brightly as Lucifer let out a hollow scream when the cage faded into a bright ball of light and then into nothingness.
I just stood in silence for a few seconds before I slowly turned to Michael and asked, “Why did you choose me? Of all the humans why choose one as damaged, flawed and weak like me?”
Michael shook his head. “You are not weak. Nor are you as damaged and flawed as you let yourself believe seeing as how you just bested a Grigori,” Michael explained, “I had to prove that Lucifer was wrong about humans; they are better than Lucifer’s Grigori followers and the Devil himself. You helped to prove that fact.”
“What happens now?” I asked.
Michael smiled and said three simple words: “Welcome to paradise…”
A bright light flashed before me and all I can say to best describe what happened next was: Heaven.
Somehow I was in Heaven with my family and friends with a positively comforting feeling of pure happiness and joy. Words could not describe the way I was feeling, and how my surroundings looked. Everyone and everything just looked and felt the way they should in paradise.
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I was born in Madison, NJ. In 2007, I was diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia, which effects my bloodsugar. I love to write and create different worlds where good and evil fight and there are battles between Heaven and Hell. I feel that writing is one of the few things I find myself good at and would love to share my work with others.