Loriel, a guardian angel, is exiled to a post apocalyptic earth for failing in her duties when the soul of her ward was lost to the dark forces of evil. Her only chance of redemption is by locating the reincarnated spirit and returning him to the light.
Warning. Gratuitous sex and violence. Adult content.
Today’s #FridayFlash fiction is adapted from my novella, Angel In Stilettos.
The next hour became a nightmare of agony. I lost count of the number of times my body was raped and abused. Most of the demons seemed to be turned on at the idea of causing me pain, striking with their claws to my breasts and stomach, or pulling my wings at angles to which they were not accustomed. I felt many of my flight feathers torn from the skin.
I do not believe I lost consciousness, but reached a point where I felt so drunk from the suffering, I was unable to feel pain. I only realized my ordeal must be over when they carried me back to the main hall. They laid me on, what at first appeared to be, a narrow wooden bench, yet it was only about half the width of my back. I dared not move for fear of falling from the beam. My arms, stretched out to the sides were held by several pairs of clawed hands.
Lord Bazial came to stand beside my head. He seemed amused. “I found the inspiration for your punishment in an old book in the city library,” he said. “Something humans devised in the past that I thought might be fitting for an angel. I have to admit I’m impressed. The sadistic nature of humans knows no boundaries.” He waved, a summoning gesture to someone out of my sight.
My arms were turned so that the palms faced upward, then something was pressed against each fore-arm, just above the wrists. Unable to see what they were doing, I waited in terror. Fear made the anguish more intolerable. I heard the thud before my senses registered the searing pain that screamed through one arm. My shriek of agony was drowned by cheering from my captors. Almost immediately, my other arm exploded with searing fire. The pain was so intense, I hardly felt the remaining three or four blows on each side. I seemed to hang suspended in a world of nightmares, unable to tell if this was really happening.
My first thought was that they had cut off my hands. I had no feeling of the fingers, while the wrists seemed to be immersed in a furnace from which I was unable to move. Two of the demons passed across my sight as if in slow motion. They were carrying large hammers. I thought they were leaving for another job. I almost wanted to laugh at the bizarre image. They stood either side of the beam, raising the hammers to shoulder height. Almost in unison they swung them in an arc. I stared, watching them, until a blast of agony seared up through my legs. I almost forgot the fire raging through my wrists. I could not understand why they were using hammers now to chop off my feet.
They stepped back as if to admire their work. Tears of pain filled my eyes yet through blurred sight the feet were still visible, attached to my ankles. Red gore oozed from around two metal spikes pinning them to the wood. I was confused as to why they felt it necessary to nail them to the beam. It was not as if I had the strength to get up without help. Turning my head to the side took an infinite amount of courage. I was surprised to see there were no flames licking at my arm. The hand was still in place but more of the red sap oozed from a large metal nail driven through the wrist.
My head and shoulders jolted against the beam as the wall toward which I was looking moved. It took several moments to conclude that I was the one moving. Someone was raising the beam into a vertical position, and with me attached. It made more sense now; obviously, the nails were to prevent me falling, but I could see no reason why my abusers would not just let me remain in a prone position. The weight of my body pulling against my shoulders forced me to straighten my legs for additional support.
I could look down on the heads of every human and demon in the auditorium. Even Bazial, the tallest one there, was about a foot below the level of my eyes.
Looking up at me, he spoke. “I believe this was called crucifixion. Does it hurt?”
My inability to answer seemed to amuse him. “You probably find it a bit painful to speak, do you? Aw! I’m sorry.”
His voice became indiscernible above the guffaws of hilarity from those standing near. He waited until the chortles subsided. “I’m afraid it will only get worse. As you get weaker, you will not be able to stand; thus, the weight of your body will be hanging on your arms, and you will slowly suffocate. The amount of time this takes depends on how quickly you weaken, the amount of blood you lose. During historical times, when this form of punishment was popular, they would sometimes end the torment more quickly by smashing the bones in the victim’s legs. Alternatively, they might drive a sword or knife into the body to increase the blood loss.
“You may be pleased to hear that I will not resort to such barbarity, although you will, probably, soon be begging for me to end your suffering. It depends on your willpower. How long will you try to stay alive? Oh! But I forget. You say you are immortal, so how can you die? Perhaps it is your fate to remain in agony for eternity. What a hellish thought.” His sardonic chuckle was joined by amused laughter and clapping of hands from the crowding onlookers. He turned to the audience, raising both hands to subdue the applause. “But good people of earth and Sibalbá, let us party on for the night is still young. I will keep you informed of further developments with our angel. Bring more wine! Musicians!” The clapping of hands that endorsed his speech was drowned in the cacophony of amplified distortion as the band increased the volume of their instruments. I shut my eyes.
Numbness froze my arms and legs, deadening the pain, but breathing was becoming more difficult. It felt as if a leather strap was being slowly tightened about my chest. Less air filled my lungs each time I inhaled, so that I had to breathe more rapidly. A red mist drifted in front of my closed eyes and my head felt as if it was spinning. With the amount of blood I had lost during the last few days, it should not be long until death claimed my physical body. I had no idea what would happen then. With my task incomplete, my ka would be trapped in this hell for eternity.
© 2011. Robert A Read.