The Watchers: Prologue pg. 5

Standard

Sariel holds Baylah in his arms, wrapping his gold wings around her as he whispers, “Don’t worry love, I will return before the birth.” Leaving her behind is unbearable yet necessary. He gives her one last kiss, and turns to face Shemsial. “You will take my place while I’m gone” he says and grasps Shemsial’s right arm. Leaning closer he whispers, “Watch over my heart for me, brother.” Shemsial looks into his eyes and gravely nods his head. Sariel signals to Merik and they leap into the air. He can’t help but smile as air rushes over his face and down his body. The strength of his wings is a marvel as they bare him up higher and higher. Before the fall traveling from one place to another was accomplished by a mere thought. This ability is no longer accessible to the fallen watchers. Even so the journey to Azazel’s island will only take a few days.

Needing little rest, they fly throughout the day, but as the sun begins to set they look for a place to stay for the night. Merik points to a small cave in the side of a hill. “That will be a good shelter. Storms are coming.” Sariel looks to his right and, sure enough, dark clouds are barreling toward them. A gust of wind catches under their wings pushing them off balance. Pulling their wings in they drop and soar toward the ground. Quickly they gather wood from the surrounding forest. As Merik hurries into the cave, Sariel pauses for a moment in the center of a grove. The breeze whips through his wings and robes. He can smell the ozone in the air and feel the hair of his body rise at the coming electricity. Dropping the wood at his feet he smiles and closes his eyes. Raising his arms to the heavens, he gives himself over to the chaos of the storm. He begins to manipulate the wind around him, sending it swirling through the trees and into the nearby lake, creating a water spout. When lightning strikes a tree his senses are sent crashing back into his body. He quickly gathers the wood into his arms and runs to the cave. Merik stands in the opening givibg him a strange look. Sariel only smiles and moves past him into the cave.

Merik builds the camp fire as Sariel prepares a meal of dried fruit, meat, and flat bread. He hands Merik his portion and they sit against the cave wall, wings acting as soft cushions. With a gesture Merik lights the wood and warmth fills the cave. “Why did you do that? Stand in the storm I mean?” Merik is watching the storm as he eats. “I don’t know really. For the pleasure of it I suppose” Sariel says while pouring mead into two wooden goblets. As he passes one to Merik he notices the puzzled expression on his face, “Do you not find pleasure in the things of this world Merik?” Frowning, Merik mumbles, “I am not moved by this world as you are Sariel.” They eat in silence for a time as Sariel considers what Merik said. “Why did you fall if you find no beauty in this world?” Merik is still and silent for a moment then turning to face Sariel, he looks into his eyes, and almost inaudibly he  murmurs, “I found no beauty in heaven or earth as a watcher. I simply could not understand what it was about these humans that held all the heavens in such thrall. I could glory in nothing so I felt…apart from it all. I was hoping that coming here would change things. It hasn’t. So I serve Azazel and find satisfaction in obedience.” His stark words and cold stare strike Sariel like a slap. He cannot understand, cannot fathom, these feelings that Merik speaks of. “I honor your openness Merik.” They remain silent after this, both lost in their own thoughts. After a while Sariel rests on the cave floor, wings wrapped about his body, and falls into a fitful sleep. His dreams are filled with a feeling of foreboding, shouts, and blood, so much blood.
-LM Jones

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 4

Standard

Sariel smiles as his mind is drawn back to the present. He continues to kiss Bayla’s neck and feels her melt against him. “My little love. My treasure.” He murmurs into her ear. She turns in his lap, wraps her arms around his neck, and pulls his face toward hers. Just as their lips meet the flap to their tent is swiftly thrown aside. Standing in the blazing light is a tall watcher named Shemsiel. His gaze is stony as he folds his blood red wings behind him and dips his head into the opening. “Forgive me master, but there’s a messenger here. He’s been sent by Azazel and requests to speak with you immediately.  “I thank you Shamsiel. Bring him to me right away.”

Shemsiel spreads his hands and nods before turning and swiftly striding away. Shemsiel had once been a guardian in the garden of Eden. He’d taken great pride in his duty, but the fall of the humans had forever changed him. The day Adam and Eve had been cast out he had torn his robes and fallen to the ground. There he had sat for days pouring dirt over his head, as if it were ashes, in despair of their failure. He had mourned the eternal strife that they had brought upon themselves. He’d then cropped his copper curls as close to the scalp as possible never to grow it out again.

Sariel couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen the watcher smile. Shamsiel now served as his right hand in all things and found purpose in teaching the humans the phases of the sun and light magic. Giving him one last lingering kiss Bayla, with his assistance, pushes up from his lap, crosses the carpeted tent, and settles herself on a pile of plush cushions. He takes great pleasure in providing her with these small luxuries. Her life before, though happy, had been sparse of any comforts. He gazes at her as she pulls a basket of cloth and fur to her side to resume working on coverings for their babies. “I’ll have to hurry now that I know I have two to prepare for.” Far from being irritated she beams with pleasure at her own words. Suddenly, she winces and repositions her growing bulk. “Judging by his kicking our son is going to be mighty and strong my love!” Reclining there on the gold and purple silk cushions, black hair flowing down the sides of her heart shaped face, eyes shining, she looks like a goddess of fertility. Sariel finds himself wishing they could stay in this very moment forever. He feels as if a cloud bearing change and urgency is building around him. A sense of foreboding begins to creep in and chip at his happiness. Bayla feels his gaze and glances up at him with that impish grin he loves so well. Sariel has to forcibly control the impulse to snatch her up and flee to some secret place. He knows this would be impossible. Since his arrival her little clan had flourished into a small civilization with the knowledge that he and his comrades had brought them. They now look to him as a leader as well as teacher.

Shamsiel apperars at the opening again and Sariel motions for him to enter. On his heels is a tall lean watcher with straight black hair and facial features that remind Sariel of the cunning black sleekness of a crow. His most striking feature are his peircing violet eyes. Sariel recalls that Merrik is the strange name he prefers. “Merik, you have come far. Allow me to offer you refreshement.” Sariel leads him to a table covered with fruits, meats, breads and chilled wine made from Bayla’s favorite berries. He fills a goblet and hands it to Merik who slowly sips and savors it’s sweetness before resolutely setting it aside. “Azazel has sent me to request your presence at his palace on the island of Atlas as soon as it is possible for you to depart. Sariel knows Azazel well enough not to ask for an explanation. “I see. Thank you Merik. We will depart at sunrise.”

-LM Jones

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 3

Standard

“They’re beautiful.” Sariel stood very still and let her explore him. No one had ever touched him and the sensations were overwhelming. He remembered being shocked by the sudden pain radiating from his hands. When he looked at them he realized he’d gouged them with his own nails. He had watched, in amazement, as a drop of his blood fell into the flowers before him. Amazement turned to awe as a new flower suddenly sprang from the others. It was essentially the same as the others but larger and more vivid a blue. His attention was drawn back to Bayla as she exclaimed and cradled his hand, “look how it heals!” It was true, the wounds were already all but healed with no indication that they’d been there at all. Bayla lifted his hands to her mouth and kissed each one. He remembers cradling her face then and bending until they were inches apart. He’d paused, breathing her in, she had smelled like life, like the earth and trees just after the dew. Slowly, he lowered his lips to hers. It was as if lightning struck him then! So much emotion and sensation at once! He’d enfolded them with his wings and continued to kiss and touch her mouth, her face, and her silky hair. “Bayla, my little love, you are a wonder to me.” Stepping back and with one large swoosh of his wings hundreds of flower blossoms fell from the tree above. She had laughed with joy and turned in circles as the pink petals fell onto her upturned face and hands and tangled in her hair. He’d then raised his hands and sent out his senses to the nearby river calling the water to him. He showered droplets over her relishing how they glistened on her golden skin. The sun had been at the perfect angle for rainbows to form around her as she danced in the rain he made for her.

 

She was the first, and for a time, the only human to see a rainbow. She froze and stood in the light, watching the colors reflect around her. “What is it called?” She’d asked. “It’s magic, my love, and I will share all of it with you in time.” He said as he beckoned her to him. She walked into his arms and lay her head upon his chest. “And you, what am I to call you?” she asked. “You may call me Sariel, love.” Her gaze was puzzled. “Sariel? This name is strange to me. What does it mean?” Sariel stepped back from her and let all human semblance fall from him. An inner light shown from his skin, hair, and eyes as he raised both arms and wings to the sky. Suddenly, the day darkened to night. He hadn’t noticed when Bayla fell to the ground in fear. She stared blankly up as the stars and moon appeared, brighter than normal, in the sky above her. “My name means angel of guidance. I can teach you to find your way with the night sky as well as other things.” He’d been smiling as he manipulated the heavens but when he looked down and noticed her cringing in terror he released his magic immediately. Returning to his simpler form, he knelt in the dirt before her, “Bayla, darling, I didn’t mean to frighten you.” He whispered gently to her, scooped her into his lap, and wrapped his wings around her in an attempt to ease her shivering. Sariel had then begun to sing a song of the angels to her.

“Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear the dark
A greater creation than even the sun
Is the life that beats in your heart

Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear the cold
The power from which galaxies are spun
Finds you lovely to behold

Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear pain
Embrace the lessons, do not run
Don’t close your eyes in vain

Oh little beloved one
Never should you fear death
That battle has been won
Even so, beloved, cherish every breath

You are a beautiful creation
The clay that was formed
A diamond out of darkness
The glory through the fire
A miracle has been forged”

-LM Jones
pg.2

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 2

Standard

“Sariel, tell me, will we have a boy or a girl?” Bayla pulls his hand to the curve of her abdomen, a playful smile on her lips. Sariel is hit with a familiar pang of wonder as he gazes at her. He’d never thought he could find her more beautiful than he had that day in the forest. She has blossomed with pregnancy. Her gold skin is glowing and her black hair flows long and vibrant over her shoulders . Her dark eyes are bright with happiness. When he places his hand on her he can feel the life growing and each day the feeling grows stronger. For a few days now he has felt the presence of two separate lives. He smiles as his senses reach out to his daughter and for the first time their minds connect. She is just waking from a dream filled with bright colors and music. He laughs with joy as he realizes that she recognizes him and excitedly begins to describe her dream to him. He is amazed as he realizes what a wonder she will be. Suddenly, she flinches in pain and he can feel her fear as her brother harshly kicks her side. Sariel focuses his attention on the boy. Anger and jealously are projected into his mind. His son also recognizes who he is and all he senses from him is hatred. How can this be? Calmly, as to not alert Bayla, he pulls his mind away from his children and his eyes meet those of his wife. He refuses to worry her so he smiles and says, “We are having a son and a daughter my love.” The happiness that radiates from her in that moment is so brilliant that he can’t help but be swept along with it. He puts any concerns of his son to the side as he scoops Bayla into his arms and kisses her lips. His fingers trail through her hair and down her neck, the place he’d imagined kissing an eternity ago, and he has kissed hundreds of times since.

His mind is drawn to the day the choice had been made to fall. He’d followed Azazel to the meeting place, surrounded by his fellow Watchers, they’d listened as Semjaza spoke of the good they could do for humanity if they lived with and among them rather than avoiding direct interaction. “Look at their pitifully short lives, filled with struggle, as they scavenge and dig in the dirt.” As he pointed they’d all looked down on humanity and their struggle had seemed sad and pointless. “Think of what we could teach them! And look upon their daughters, imagine their beauty if we taught them all we know!” They all looked and saw the beauty of the women. Sariel had seen his own desire echoed in the faces of his comrades. And so it was on that day that two hundred Watchers left the heavens and appeared before the mortals. The awe with which they were beheld made them feel as if they themselves were gods. He remembered watching Azazel descend, gold armor shining brilliantly, and massive black wings outstretched. The ground shook with the impact of his feet. It had pained Sariel to see the mortals fall before him in worship and fear. Azazel stood over them, feet planted firmly apart, and they had cringed even closer to the dirt as his bellow reverberated above their heads, “behold mortals! For we come with new life to offer you.”

Sariel had slipped away from those crowds to seek out one human in particular. He’d found her in the forest where he’d spent so many months protecting and loving her. He shifted into a human form of himself before stepping into view, he hadn’t wanted to frighten her, but it had been Sariel who was startled by her reaction. “I wondered if I would ever meet you.” She had said as she studied him from head to toe. When their eyes had met and she saw the question there she said, “yes, I know you. I’ve felt your presence so often and I’ve seen you in my dreams.” He had been overcome by so many unfamiliar emotions at once that he nearly staggered. Instead, he held out his hand to her saying only, “Bayla.” With no sign of fear she had walked slowly toward him stopping only inches away to look up into his eyes. “I have never before seen anyone with eyes the color of the skies and your hair, it is like the sun.” As she said this she reached up and touched his hair and then his face. It took considerable effort to stand still and endure the new sensations. “Where are your wings?” He’d smiled into her eyes as he brought his wings back into view and stretched them out to their full length of eight feet across. She had sighed in wonder and walked around him trailing her fingers over individual gold and white feathers.

-LM Jones                                                     pg.1

The Watchers: Prologue pg. 1

Standard

Prologue

The Watchers

“And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.”
-I Enoch Chapter 6

He watches the woman as she searches the bushes and adds to the pile of berries in her basket. As She bends forward to pick more, her dark hair falls forward over her face, exposing the column of her neck. He wonders what it would feel like to lay his hand upon it. Suddenly, she yanks a piece of hair from over her eyes and looks in his direction as if she senses his presence. Never has he so desired to make himself known or speak with one of these children of the Father. Sariel is sworn, gladly, to watch over them and to serve them, these mysterious creatures made in His image. “Bayla,” he murmurs to himself. Her name means “beautiful” in her language and to him she is more beautiful than all the wonders he has beheld since creation. She turns her attention back to the bush and pops a berry into her mouth. Tilting her head back she closes her eyes and hums as she chews, clearly enjoying her treasure. Longing rushes through him as he imagines kissing her exposed throat and tasting the fruit on her lips as he caresses her dark hair. What would he see if he could gaze into her black eyes?

Sariel jerks himself into a straighter stance and shakes his head while silently reprimanding himself.  “These thoughts need to stop,” he tells himself. He glances at the horizon then back at Bayla sending feelings of urgency toward her. She pushes up from her knees, brushing her hands over her coverings of rough skin and fur, and realizes that she has lingered here too long. She had felt triumph at the unexpected discovery of such a full bush at the end of the season and had lost track of time. He can feel her rising panic as she grabs her basket and rushes toward the path.

It’s dangerous to be away from the caves this late in the day. Predators emerge from their hiding places to hunt at night. Many of her kin have been lost to their fearsome claws. Her fear consumes him as he follows close behind her. He represses the urge to scoop her into his arms and fly over the trees to the safety of her home. This would only serve to frighten her even more and tread too closely to disobedience on his part. Just as she is about to break through the trees and run into the lighted open area that surrounds the caves, Sariel’s eyes dart to a shadow slinking through the under growth. This fanged monster moves with swift purpose. A vision of Bayla sprawled on the ground, blood marring her golden skin, brings forth a rage in him that is horrifying. In the blink of an eye he’s beside it gripping its throat. Sariel bares his teeth as he squeezes, the stench of its breath burning his eyes. It makes choking sounds, its eyes rolling back as it struggles. Finally, the creature goes still. He heaves it away from him, disgusted and looks up in time to see Bayla skip happily into the cave.

 

“She is lovely, is she not?” Sariel swings around to see Azazel gazing down at the beast. “The woman I mean,” he says, still looking at the broken animal. Sariel remains silent as he studies Azazel. This Watcher is an immense presence. He’s tall, even compared to most Watchers, and well muscled. He wears a breastplate of gold and gold bands at his wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. He carries a long spear in his right hand. All of this glistens in the light coming through the trees, as if it has been constantly polished with great care. His black hair falls to his shoulders in waves. Azazel’s dark features completely contrast Sariel’s pale blonde hair and translucent blue eyes. Even his plain choice of covering, a white linen tunic, sets them apart. Azazel’s golden eyes are piercing as he looks up and meets Sariel’s stare.

“Yes, Sariel, I’ve been watching you for a while now, and you seem to spend an unusual amount of time around this tribe in particular.” He steps toward Sariel extending his hand in a gesture of camaraderie and places it on his shoulder. He
turns Sariel to face him, his spear in the crook of his arm, as he places both hands on Sariel’s shoulders. “I do not judge my friend, for I recognize on your face the same expression that I myself have worn as well as many of our fellow Watchers.” Sariel begins to open his mouth to deny what Azazel is saying, but instead he looks away, his face puzzled, and eyes clouded.
“You love her!”
Sariel breaks free from Azazel’s hold and turns away. “What is your purpose here Azazel? Do you wish to further torment me! It does not matter what I feel for her, for she can never be mine!” Sariel leans his cheek against a tree, letting it hold him up. “She will live her life with a man. A man that will take pleasure in the secrets of love with her and share in her laughter! It will be a man who smiles into her eyes as he holds their newborn son in his arms.” Tears roll from his eyes and fall to the ground. He touches one in awe. He didn’t know they could cry. He’d never before had reason to feel anything less than joy. How horrible and wonderful life must be for them! To always feel such things!
“My friend,” Azazel whispers, “I tell you it is possible for YOU to be the man that shares in these things with her!”
Sariel turns back toward Azazel and searches his face. When he finds only honesty there, a serge of hope begins to fill his heart, and nothing in heaven and earth will ever be the same.
-LM Jones