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Maybe You're Not the Hero from Obscura's blog

“Maybe you’re not the hero you thought you were.”


I sit with scarred, armored, war-torn Zadkiel on a threadbare couch, my twin angel and second-in-command general of Michael, of whom we are both standard bearers, I reconnaissance, he defense.  We are reminiscing about the War (there is only ever one War, don’t let mortals fool you otherwise) and Zeke’s eyes are alight with fire and rambunctiousness.  He clutches his sword between his kneecaps, driven down into the wood of the floor, and chortles like a jackal.


“Gaby kept running around delivering messages he didn’t see my infantry plowing through him.  That was the first time he died.  Oh, what a little bird flitting about, unaware he’s in the way with those high falutin messages straight from Mikey himself.”


I bring my knees to my lap and nestle against his wing.  He has a familiar face lit with fire, like the gentle soul that houses him is in vengeance mode.  The night before I fell asleep, I saw him in pointed spidery silver and gold armor with gauntlets and lamellar plating and a visor that hid darkness and burning blue eyes that would flicker to red like coals.  Zadkiel kept cutting the air with his flaming sword as if to spell betrayal out for me, only I couldn’t catch on, not in the awake state at least.


“How did you die, Zadkiel?” I ask, hesitantly.


Zadkiel gives  wild laugh.  “Oh, how didn’t I die?  I bled out in the trenches.  I took bullets through the heart.  Stabbed by an underling that didn’t like my iron fist.  The question, my dear, is that I always die, it’s only a matter of time.  Some more gruesome than others.”


I think back to my death, that first fall from grace, and can’t help but ask: “Do you remember me, Zad?”


Zadkiel sighs like wind through an empty carnival.  Like he is haunted by me, which is likely the case: “You were put on trial for corrupting demons during your reconnaissance missions, Jo. Up to scale 11, you ruined the . At the end, we couldn’t tell whose side you were on but your own. You were judged as a traitor.  Due for execution but you died anyway in one last coup d etat.  Always the wild child, Jo.”


There are tears in his eyes and he doesn’t look at me.  I can barely look at my own legs.


“Oh…” I speak softly, remembering the lore.  Zophael, the Herald of Hell, with sympathies towards the fallen.  Zophiel, the fallen angel of Maria del Ocidente’s poem.  Zophael, the one who took the side of the fallen and rebelled against heaven.  Zophiel, Heaven’s double-timing spy that got in too deep.


Three battalions met the day I died.  My own rebels, hewn from fallen and angels.  Samael’s forces.  Michael’s legions.  Three separate battles: those that would restore balance, those that would drag the world to Hell, and those that would enforce the mono-culture of Heaven.  I have met those that took my side.  They were much fewer, possibly not a third, but perhaps the neutral angels that fell to Earth and became the land, sea, and forest elementals.  Perhaps we did make a stand, however brief, and when I took Satan’s spear through the heart for Michael, I abandoned not only my post but betrayed both sides.


A traitor to both heaven and hell.  Playing my own little games.  Turning angels on demons and demons on angels.


We are not always heroes in our own stories.  At best, we might wrangle some sympathy from those who wronged us.  To fight for Satan is a noble misguided cause.  To fight for Michael is a glory train of bad choices and patriarchal fuckups that gets you nailed to a cross.


To fight for the traitor, why, that takes special madness.  You get put on Earth, in the end.


We are never the heroes in our stories, and my sadness runs deep as the liar’s grave I fill.  In the end, I hurt everyone, all because I wanted to be the architect of my own story, or perhaps I was playing both sides all along.  An instigator for the war.  Flying to steal the glory of god for humanity, too close to the sun I touched eternal fire and brought it back for those hairless apes.  Goading on Samael and Michael to rough it out over me.  I am  the only thing they cared about, at least momentarily, in the end (of my life, not there’s – there’s is a cause, a higher purpose, and mine is the trickster mentality).


Whatever happened, history may be doomed ot repeat.  Or maybe now, I finally get the chance to redeem myself.  Maybe now, I won’t bleed black ink from adamant veins.


We are never the heroes we thought we were, but maybe, on the flight of a lark, on a vespertine moon’s last rays, we can become something like God.


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By Obscura
Added Sep 11

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