angel of death
Heenal Hemrajani

Lying in the arms of death

Walking into the field no it was a meadow, I was dazzled by the sight in front of me. Wildflowers of every kind were scattered around me, shimmering in the sunlight Yellow ones seems like they were almost sparkling in the sunlight, pink has softness like they will shatter the moment you touch them and the red ones they were dripping of their color as they can’t contain their beauty themselves. There were so many colors I don’t even know what to call them, and in the distance, there was the sound of the waterfall, the music of the water hitting the rocks. Saying it is beautiful does not cover it, It was………breathtaking. I sign as I close my eyes, my heart filling with peace as the beauty of this place washes over me. I was standing here taking this all in. I was mesmerized; my heart was filled with such joy. The wind was hitting my face with feather-like touches. The warm sun rays were kissing my skin, every cell in my body was buzzing with life. I breathe, the scent of the soil that has just touched water, overwhelms my senses. I took it all in, and a pair of arms slid around my waist. I lean against his chest and sigh as he tightens his hold around me. I felt his cool lips on his neck leaving me breathless. I turn around in his arms and lay my head on his chest and my arms around him. This was the moment of completeness I never felt so … amazing and calm there was no way I can describe the feeling of joy, love, and peace that was around me. I was dissolved at the moment……suddenly the warm breeze that was around filled with peace changed into the chilling wind and I snapped open my eyes.

Death.

Dead everything turned into the black haunting color of death, my heart filled with fear rather than joy. Everything was dead around me, the woods were haunting black, and branches were like they were here to choke me. I gasped unable to breath, orange flames burst around me, I stumble back falling on the ground as I look up in fear at him standing over me I watch in horror at the flames, I try to escape but I couldn't, my heart pounding in my ears when I look at him, he was fading away in the darkness. I can only see his red-blue eyes under his dark hood.

"Don't" I cough, unable to breathe? My mind filled with fog. I was losing consciousness.

"Wake up Ana!" the deep dark voice comes from him as he fades into the woods "it's just a dream Ana, Wake up!"

"Earth to Ana, earth to Ana" A hand was waving in front of my face. I snap back to reality, shaking my head and I look at my Best friend Emma. Her green eyes were looking at me worried. I was still feeling the chill from the dream, sorry nightmare. How can such a beautiful dream get turned into such a horrible nightmare? It’s like those branches are still haunting me.

“Are you alright?” She asked as she sits beside me in the booth of the coffee shop where we both are regular.

“Yeah I am” I sigh

"Did you have the same beautiful nightmare all over again?" she raised her perfect eyebrow.

"You mean the beautiful dream that turns into a nightmare" Talking about that dream left me fearful and breathless at the same time.

"Well yeah that's why it's a beautiful nightmare" I rolled my eyes but agreed with her it was beautiful, the feeling of being in his arms was something else. Something beautiful but then those black woods, the fire scares me. Those red-blue eyes looking at me, warning me those eyes that make me want to flee but something inside me always stops me. I always choose to stay in the fire circle just to see those eyes again. I don't understand anything but the calling of staying and I get frozen in that dream at the same spot.

"Oh no please don't go there again, we are already late for work" She gets up and flicks her blond hair back. I get up and shake my head "Work Ana, Work you have to focus" I try to get myself together.

We left the coffee shop, my eyes lay on the man across the road wearing black clothes and his head and his face was covered with a black hood and mask. I saw his red-blue eyes and I froze. His eyes! They were just like in my dream.

"Ana!" I heard Emma calling me

"Emma lo-look!"I shutter and point across the road.

"What?"She asks, confused, I look back and he disappears. I shake my head, am I hallucinating now?

"We are late"

"Yeah… le-let's go" My voice sounded hoarse.

The whole day I could not get this-get him out of my head. Who was he? What does he want? Was he a dream or reality? Am I still asleep? My head was spinning. All I could see was him but in the blink of an eye, he disappeared. Exhausted I left work late at night Emma left early so I took the bus alone. When I entered the bus there was no one. I sat on one of the empty seats. I looked outside of the window and the roads were unusually quiet. I don't think I am that late at night. A chill ran through my spine and I swallowed. The hair on my neck raised and my heart pounded in my ears. The sounds of wind become too loud, bus stops. I stood up as a reflex and looked around; there was no one in sight. The light on the bus broke scattering sparks around I yelp shocked, My breath caught in my throat as I saw the same person in black clothes and mask in front of me appeared out of thin air, his mask covering his half-face only his strange eyes visible. I try to step back but he grabs my arm, realizing I was stumbling. I try to steady myself and swallow half in fear and half in anticipation. Trust me I don't understand the anticipation part, but there was something thrilling about his appearance. I didn't know I was getting closer to him rather than getting away from him. All the fear was leaving my body replacing the same strange amazing feeling that I had felt at the starting of the dreams. His eyes had captured me; even if I want to I can't take my eyes off his. A breath left me and I raised my hand to remove the mask. He grabs my wrist and stops me.

"Please" the certain need to see his face in my voice surprised me. He releases my wrist and I remove the mask slowly while my eyes don't leave his. and with every part of his face revealed my heart rate increase as came off completely the air got trapped in my lungs. I slid my palm on his cheek. His skin was cold and soft, his eyes were still mesmerizing as before he had a perfect angular nose, the jawline and high cheekbones, he can't be human. His eyes were filled with adoration….. for me?  His eyes were liquid blue dissolving into the red

"What are you?" I whisper. I was so close to him. His lips were just inches apart from me. I was hypnotized, every cell in my body wants to flee but my heart…..it's like I am stuck with some invisible force. 

"Just a nightmare" And his lips touched mine. His lips were cold but warm against mine. I got consumed by them. My mind was numb and my body has a mind of its own, I can't help as I melt in his arms. I forget everything, even my name. I was aware of his cold touch as I slid my hand around his neck and he pulled away. His arms were still around me and I was looking back in his eyes unable to breathe worried that all of this will disappear in a puff of smoke if I move a muscle. Pressed against him, looking into his eyes every second was consuming, they were the pool of mysteries that are yet to be solved but there was also the feeling that I knew him, the familiarity of his presence never left me.

 He looked over his shoulder, breaking our eye contact before I can gather what is going on? I found us in the same beautiful meadow of my dreams. Before I could react I felt his arms tighten around me.

"Look at me," he said with the same voice, like rose petals brushing lightly against your skin. I look at him.

"Stay with me" His voice was soft and there was tenderness in his eyes. His strange eyes were drawing me to him "stay with me," he said again. Realizing he was afraid…………afraid of what? Puzzled, I put my hand on his chest where his heart was.

"What-"the same circle of fire burst around us.

"Wake up, Ana! Wake up!" his eyes were frantic. The whole meadow went dead and the black haunting color was everywhere my heart beat erratically, my breath labored. Scared and confused, I squeezed my eyes but the feeling of dread was swiping over me.

"Look at me, Ana!" He grabs the side of my head and makes me look at him "you have to wake up, Ana! Wake up!"

I snap open my eyes and I find myself in my bed covered in sweat but wearing the same clothes that I choose this morning to wear. Confused, I looked around, was it a dream or reality or dream in reality. Was it actually a dream or I was really on a bus? But if I was on a bus then how would I get here?

I got up in my bed, I realized I was shaking. I put my head in my hands. What is happening to me? Those dreams, they are just so real. I am having those dreams for a while now but today it was just something else……it was so real I had never felt anything so real in my life. Remembering the feeling of being in his arms, his lips against mine those strange eyes consuming me, a shiver ran through my spine. I found my heart beating erratically as those feelings started to rush in me. The heat started rising on my back but my feet and hands ran cold. The peace of being in his arms but terrified of the fire that I always find myself surrounded by. "Oh god! What the-" I hear the crash from the kitchen. I climbed out of bed and ran toward the kitchen passing through the living room but I was an idiot when I realized that I was going unarmed into potential danger but before the thought of taking something in my hand crossed my mind I was in the kitchen.

Cat. It was a cat. A freaking cat! I shooed her ...or him, I guess. I am an idiot not because I did not come armed but because I am getting worked up over a dream. I mean who does that, apparently me. But if it was just a dream how I was here I should be on the bus or did I even start my day ?But looking down at my clothes, dress pants and shirt, the look I usually wear at the office, it seems like I did start my day. I looked at the clock and it was 5 in the morning. Okay then I did start my day yesterday but obviously, I don't know how it ended if I was asleep in my bed in office clothes, something is really odd, the weird feeling started to bubble in again. I took a glass of water and finished it in two gulps. I sigh. As much as I think about it my head started to spin. I don't know what to feel anymore.

A shower, yes a long, nice and hot shower that's what I need. I get to the bathroom, get out of my clothes. I stand under the shower hot sprays hitting my body, relaxing my tense muscles. I look down at my hands, concentrating as the warm water runs through them, tracing the droplets from eyes and trying to calm down. I am overthinking this it's meant nothing. There must be some logical explanation for this, it has to be. I try to calm myself and block the thoughts of that nightmare…..or dream or was it real? No, I shook my head. It can't be real.

I slid between my sheets after the shower. It was relaxing but it didn't stop the swirling thoughts in my head. I don't know what it is, what is with this dream but it refuses to leave, the feeling of warmth and coldness together was not leaving me. Remembering the first time I actually had that dream. I was 12 years old, of course, how could I forget about it? I was so afraid; I thought I was going somewhere to never come back.

 It was the morning of my birthday; I did wake up with the sight of my parents smiling faces wishing me happy birthday and a mountain of gifts around me but then all hell breaks loose. It just started with a little coughing but soon I started puke blood I was in so much pain, my head seems like it will split in half. I looked at my parent’s worried faces but that day a feeling of fear that I would never see them again was there and then I fell unconscious.

That was the first time I walked into that dream…in that meadow. It was beautiful as it is now. The beautiful spark in the air around it was all the same. The voice of waterfall the feeling of peace, everything I saw everything I felt was just……..mesmerizing and then he walked towards me with his strange eyes, dressed all in black the cloak flying behind; the hood covering his head and a black cloth covering half of his face so that only his strange red-blue eyes would be visible. He kneels in front of me so he can be eye level with me. It did not scare me to be in his presence. He put both his hands on my shoulder "It's time to go," he said in a soft voice. His strange eyes met my big blue ones.

"Where?" I ask him, blinking in confusion. I don't like the feeling his words were giving me.

"You have to come with me," he said, not answering my question. I don't know what makes me say "No!" He tries to grab me "No!" He looked into my eyes and something changed in his and suddenly the circle of fire surrounded us. Everything went black and dead "Wake up! Wake up!" he yells

 And just like that, I was snapped back into the consciousness. Finding me in the hospital room to my parent's relieved faces. Since then this dream has haunted me every time I sleep. Doctors never find out what actually happened? It was gone as soon as it had come.

Somewhere else………..

"The elders won't let you get away with this, Azrael" A man in a black cloak was standing in front of the fireplace, looking at the fire that was reflecting in his red-blue eyes. He was silently listening to the man behind, lost in his own thoughts. He was just like him dressed all in black. "You are pushing your luck" he continues. Staring at the fire reflecting the flames in his eyes he stayed silent. All he had in his mind was that……… that girl. How she changed my very essence of existence. He thought darkly, one moment of weakness and it changed everything……everything.

"You have to change things," he said. Change things…change things that what I went for today I was going to put an end to all of this but…..but what happened was not what I had planned. She stopped me again. I always step forward to do what I am supposed to do but I get frozen in my tracks every time. I don't know what it is in her? that I  am unable to take her, I don't understand what happens when I look at her when she looks at me with those eyes when she comes close when she asks to see me that….. longing, a reflection of my own soul and when she………ugh! He clenches his hands into fists. His body tense by the mere thought of her. She was making him question everything.

"If you can't then we have to find another way." Upon hearing this he moved at lightning speed soon the man's feet were above the ground and his hand was on his throat so tight like he intended to kill him. His eyes were blazing. Their kind does not need to breathe but it was quite uncomfortable.

"Look I am not the enemy here you have to do it no matter what otherwise it's you who is in danger you will fade in-" he tightens his hold "into nothing" The man completes his sentence. The look into his eyes-his eyes was like fire blazing brightly in fury.

"If anyone," he said through his clench teeth "and I do mean anyone even got close to her they will be the first one to fade into nothing" he releases him. He doesn't understand what is happening to him, but if someone has to take her it would be him…..him. He left the room with determination. This time nothing will stop me.

                                                                       ……………………………

I woke with a jolt. Trying to regulate my breathing I swallow and shake my head the same dream again. I got startled when I heard my phone ringing. It was from Emma. I pick it up. Before I could say hello.

"When you are free? We have to go shopping?"

"Hello to you too," I said sarcastically

"Yes, yes hello now answer my question"

"You know my schedule better than I know why are you asking me then? But what shopping?"

"There is a party in the office for the new deal sign, remember? This Saturday" she said in a duh voice. I slapped my forehead. How could I forget that? "Yeah right" I sigh. If this continues I will surely lose my mind.

"So?" She got my attention to her

"So?" I asked confused

"Oh, when should I pick you up?" I thought about it mind was still foggy

"Um…..At Five?" I said unsure

"Ok then be ready"

"Yeah"

 Finding dresses was easy. We were looking for shoes, Emma takes us to the shop that has a sale. I smile, amused at the excited look on Emma's as she looks at shoes that were on sale.

"You do realize that you have a perfect pair of shoes at home for the dress you just bought" I remind her.

"I know but a woman can never have too many shoes and they are on sale," She said at the end part with glee. I chuckled as I shook my head. Then something Out of the glass wall of the shop grabs my attention. I narrowed my eyes and got close to it. My eyes got wide as I made out the same hooded figure that haunts my dreams. Only his eyes were visible and he was looking straight into mine. I felt a tug and I could not take my eyes off him. I found myself drawn to them. A fuzzy warm feeling rushed through me. All the weight in my body left me. My mind seems to be free of everything; every nerve in my body was left loose. He averts his eyes from me and the spell breaks.

I did not find myself in the shop but I was standing in the middle of the road. I saw a speeding car coming to me. My eyes widened in horror. This is it; this is it, this it. This is my end. I squeeze my eyes shut and wait for the impact.

But it never came. Instead I found myself in a pair of arms. I looked up and his strange eyes were staring back at me.

"Why can't I do this?" He mumbles probably to himself, he looks at me. “You make me question everything”

 Something tells me whatever happened, it happened because of him. I narrow my eyes. I clenched my jaw. Whether he is real or not he is starting to irritate me. I put my palms flat on his chest and I pushed him back forcefully. He releases me. Never mind the emptiness I felt when he did. He turns but I grab him by the elbow. His arms were covered but it did not stop the sparks that shoot in my arms. He looks back at me.

"Who are you?"

He did not answer, just stare at me plainly.

"Who are you and what you did?" I repeated. He was still silent.

"Answer me!" he comes a little closer just to tower over me. I look up in his eyes.

"You are laying in the arms of death every day, love," He said in his deep and dark voice looking straight into my eyes. "Stop playing with it"

"What do you mean?" Fear was rising in my chest "who are you?!" I repeated my question

"You want to know who I am." Cockiness in his voice like he knows all the secrets of the world.

"Yes," I answered.

"Azrael" And he disappeared into black smoke, my hand that grabbed his elbow was hanging in the air.

A tab on my shoulder. I jump

I turned around and met with Emma's Green eyes. I breathe in relief. My hand on my heart, it was beating fast.

"What?" She asked to confuse

"Nothing," I said, my mouth dry.

"You look pale are you alright?," Concern her voice.

"Yes, Yes" I try to reassure her.

"Oh, oh okay" was clearly confused but she did not push it, for that I was grateful. She changed the subject and started to walk and started to tell me about the shoes she bought and how it was going to be fun at the party. I tuned her out and my thoughts were somewhere else. What happens back there?

"So what do you think?" She asks after some time. Instead of answering her a different question had left my mouth.

"What does Azrael mean?" I look at her. She frowns at my question.

"What?" She asks me, confused. "Where did you hear that word?"

"Just answer me; do you know what that means?" I ignore her question.

"Um…Wait a minute" She tries to think "my mom once was obsessed with the religion stuff. I think I heard this word from her" She concentrated.

Religion stuff?

"Oh yes, it means Angel of death" My blood ran cold as heard the words.

"You are lying in the arms of death every day, love"

"Stop playing with it"

I swallow as I remember his words. What does it mean? Is he real? Or just a fragment of my imagination?

I found myself in front of the mirror to get ready for the party. I was not feeling like going. But Emma insists she said to live a little Ana. Live a little sure if I had left a life to live at all. I had to give waves to my hair as my brown lock fell to my back. I had black smoky eyes make up with my red dress. Thin strap on the shoulder, it tightens to the waist and free to the knee. It has a low back that comes in the middle of my back. I had matching red heels. My dress was simple.

I was looking at the party. It was in full swing. Music was on. It was an unofficial party just for the employees and the team that had worked hard for the deal. Lighting was everywhere, there was an open bar, Emma went to get us drinks. A wisp of wind passes me blowing my hair. I felt a sudden chill in the air running my blood cold.  

The hair around my neck raised, that made me look around the hall, the lights suddenly changed into a dim one. The feeling of being watched swipe into me. I look around frantically. I swallow as my heart skipped a beat, I don't even want to recognize why I was feeling so restless suddenly. To make myself feel secure I walk into the middle of the dance floor, like that would help my case. I know he is here and my breathing goes shallow. Then my eyes lay across the hall, music changes into a melody that seems like rain and spring were blending together. I gasped as my eyes met his, he was wearing a black tux, black shirt. But my death is what it was, but there is one more feeling inside of me that I don't understand.

I stumbled back in shock but someone supported me. His hand was on my arms. Goosebumps rose all over my body. I tilted my head back to just to see his eyes stare back at me. My breathing stopped, I am sure my heart will come out of its ribcage. I look back where I saw him standing but he was not there. I looked up at him again, his face close to mine enough that his breath was brushing against my face. I look into his eyes dazed.

I felt his hand sliding from my arms to my backstopping at my spine living a fire burning in its wake in my every cell of the skin he touched. I close my eyes at the sensation as he slid his figure tips on my spin, my mouth slightly open, I can still hear the music taking a dark turn like a chilling night. I know what he is here for, why he just doesn't do it, why he just doesn't take me, why he is doing this, why he is making me feel all of those things that I should not feel now.

"Scared?" He dark voice whisper in my ears

"No," I said opening and looking into his eyes I have to be strong. It is a game for him. I stepped back from his arms, his one hand fell on his side but one was still grabbing my arms tightly holding me to him. I try to release myself but he snaps me back to him.

"What are you doing?" I asked as he moved us around the dance floor. He didn't answer but twirl me around and snap me back like my back was at his front and felt his every muscle moving to the music's dark beats as it was turning into something alluring, I felt his breath against my neck. His cold breath burned me like a fire. Without realizing I lean to him. His lips were touching my ear. I squeak at the feeling. I closed my eyes leaning into him further as I felt that same warm feeling like I am melting in his arms. He slides his hands down on my bare arms rising Goosebumps in its wake. I feel consumed by the intensity of his touch. I didn't know when he turned me around and flushed me against his body. I look up in his eyes. They were like magnets. His arms were wrapped around me there was no room for anything. I can feel him against my every cell. I look at him helplessly knowing that I can't fight this anymore. The music stopped, the spell broke, blinking to clear my foggy mind. He stepped back and released me. A feeling of emptiness filled me. He turns around to leave and my heart squeezed in my chest. I grab his hand. He looks at me.

"Don't" I shook my head, I don't know what I was doing but it feels so right to do it.

"Step back and let me go"

"No," I said strongly. I have to end this today an emotion crossed his eyes, it left as soon as it came. I grew frustrated

"What is this to you? A game? Why don't you do what you came here for?" I asked in an accusing tone.

"You don't know what you are asking for?" There was torment in his voice.

"Actually I do, I just don't understand, why don't you get over with it?"

He looks around and snatches me toward him and a wisp of air hit me that makes me close my eyes. I opened my eyes and found myself in my living room. I looked around and he was standing in front of me. I was free of his caged arms but he was standing close to me

Let's end this today. I thought

We just stared at each other for a long time. I don't know how much time had passed.

 "You should end this"

"Yes I should" he agrees

“Then why don't you?” I asked

"I can't" There was something in his voice. 

"Why not?"

"I. Can't." He said through his clench teeth

"Then leave me alone! Stop bothering me!" I finally lost it. Breathing heavily, "Is it a game for you? Do you have any idea what this is doing to me?" I asked fully aware there is a chance that he might not even care.

"I can't leave you either" he had a look of helplessness in his eyes he looked defeated. My heart constricted at that. I close my eyes; I cannot believe what is happening.

 "Why not?" I murmured, I felt his head leaning and his forehead touching mine. His hand comes to the back of my neck holding me to his touch shoot sparks in my spine. I shivered.

“I can't,” he whispers. I open my eyes to look at him. I notice every shred of emotion I felt reflecting in his eyes like a mirror. I gasp at the realization.

“How?” That is the only thing that came to my mind. How is it possible for him?

"I don't know how? I don't know when? It just happened" He sighs. Then I make a decision now it really has to end. If this is what it takes then so be it. I looked at him and he saw the decision in my eyes.

"No!" In a blink of an eye, he was five feet away from me. His eyes were blazing.

"I want to-"

"No! No! You can't want that. '' A wall of fire burst between us. Reflecting the torment in his eyes. Knowing where I should be now left me with nothing but peace now. The agony, the pain I felt had left me. I was supposed to be with him but he could not do it. Now, I have to do it.   

"If death is what it takes to be with you then so be it". I look squarely in his pain, anticipation, fear and love-filled eyes.

"Don't do this" He sounds threatening. I smile always saving me at the expense of his existence but that's what destiny wants and now that's what it will get.

I move forward,

"Step back! Step back Ana" He Said. "You are playing with fire, you will burn." He warned

"I expect no less…… if that's what it takes if that's what is written, if-if that is my fate then I am ready to burn ... in you" I step ahead and fire subsides.

 "This time no matter what I am not stepping back," I said my determination clears.

 I was so…..so close to him half an inch away just a little more and my whole body would press against him and this time nothing would make me step back I look into his eyes the whole world was in them I see his soul where he wants to be with me as much I want to be with him, I am not scared anymore I am ready to drown in them to never come back to life I raise my hand to touch his cheek.

 "There is nothing after this," he said, not like he wants to stop me but like he just let me know one last time and that's what he did, he didn't stop me as my figure tips slid against his cheek.

  "There is everything after this," I said, his skin was soft against my palm.

"There is nothing, but darkness," he said as he started to lean toward me.

"I don't care" If that darkness, he tried so much to keep me from. Going to give me a chance to be with him then why would I care.

 "You will get lost in it," he said as his lips came close to mine and all I was waiting for them to meet mine and get lost in them.

 "I don't care" I repeated myself as he slid his arms around me and pressed me against him. I gasped at the feel as my body's every curve slid against him.

 "You sure? because there is no going back" I looked at him waiting he slid his fingers to remove some hairs but I was not aware of anything but him his body pressed against me his hands across my cheek my whole body weight was in his arms I was feeling weightless. I close my eyes at the feeling of him.

"I don't want to come back," I said in a whisper as his lips touched mine. I felt sucked into a different world. He was right I will burn and I was burning with love and desire, I was not aware of my own existence. I gasped as our body started to slide into each other. It was nothing after this but I didn't want anything but this.

 I felt a tug and I gasped and opened my eyes and I found myself in the meadow the beautiful from my dreams and I felt someone’s presence, not someone his. I looked at him sitting at my side and I realized I was laying in his arms. I looked at his face and he was already looking back at me with those strange yet magnificent eyes and he was smiling. I was seeing him smiling the second time. I can't help but smile back; he was still looking at me without blinking and with that smile suddenly feeling self-conscious.  I got up and sat looking around but not understanding what happened. I look down. I found myself in a simple white gown, its sleeves were full and it felt like silk against my skin. I felt a tug and I was under him. He was still looking at me as I looked around the meadow with uneasiness. What if-

"Don't worry, it won't change as it does in your dream" He assured me.

I look at him confused then why it always change in my dream

"Because I refuse to take you" I frown at his answer, not understanding.

"You die every time you fall asleep" I look at him shocked.

"What happens after you wake me up?" I ask

"I burn in the fire of the circle every time you go, as a punishment" He answers and a tear left my eyes. So much pain, so much agony. How can he do this?

He wipes away the tears from his figure tip. "Now I did not take your request so you can cry," He said smiling. I close my eyes wondering what will happen now. I felt he kissed my forehead. I open my eyes.

"Don't worry about what happens next?" He said

"Enjoy this, it is beautiful," He said softly.

"Yes, It is" I agree as he leans to kiss me and I meet him halfway. Sunbeams on our skin.

Love and death come as they please. So true.

 

 

 

  

      



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