The Hanging Tree

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The Hanging Tree

Post  Ashleh on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:57 pm

Akeldama, Jerusalem
Dr. Nina Claire slid her gaze across the battle torn field, it was rubble, the ground itself was soaked in blood, the soil so desecrated no life would ever push through or bud; she raised her gaze to the local workers picking at the soil, digging to the hidden treasure she knew lay beneath. The sun bore down on them and Nina shifted her stance, reaching up to pull her black curls from the back of her neck to let a small breeze ease across her skin, she let out her breath, excitement turning in her belly as she moved to stand beneath the old, gnarled tree at the edge of the field, she leaned against the trunk, lifting her gaze to the one thick branch the tree seemed to grow into, the leaves on it’s body offering shade.
Nina tilted her head back against the trunk, her gaze lowering to the ground to watch the spots of sunlight dance through the foliage, it was only a few moments before she heard the workers calling out to her; she jolted forward, dropping down into the field as she began towards them, “Have you found him?” she called out, making her way quickly to the hole they had dug. Several workers stood at the bottom of the chasm securing wires to a sarcophagus made of the finest oak and branded with the Arabic letters for Traitor. Nina bit her lip hard, stepping back a little as the workers began to hoist it from the ground; she reached into her jean pocket to acquire her cell phone, making a call to Thorne herself, it was mere seconds before her benefactor answered, “Good news, Dr. Claire?” she breathed in greeting.
Nina smiled a bit to herself, “Yes.” She replied softly, “We’ve found him.”

Zvolen, Slovakia- a few days later…
He was aware of the change in his bones, he was aware of it like he was suddenly aware of the itchy cotton against his skin, and the hard cot beneath his back; there was something foreign moving through his bloodstream, it was attaching itself to his cells, mating to them. It made him feel powerful. He sucked air into his lungs; it was pleasant to be able to breathe again, his lids fluttered open and he took in the pristine white walls of his room, he tilted his head back against his pillow, glimpsing the rectangular black window high up on the farthest wall; he studied it for a moment, wondering if anyone was there to watch him. He sat up slowly, deliberately taking his time as a cruel smile curved his handsome lips and he raised a hand to wave.

Dr. Claire studied their treasure, he was a handsome creature; he had a sinewy, muscular frame, thick, dark curly hair on top of his head and slight beard on his handsome face. Nina cocked her head a bit, the smile on his lips sending unprofessional impulses down her spine, she let out her breath and slid her gaze to Thorne, the embodiment itself was standing right beside her; she had her head cocked curiously as she studied the man, she was a petite woman in a pencil skirt and blouse, she held herself tightly composed as if at any moment she might fracture apart; she always reminded Nina of a porcelain doll filled with snakes, “Send in Gwendolyn.” She breathed her eerily black eyes dancing with amusement.
Nina bit her lip, “Are you sure that’s wise?” she mumbled, “Do you think they could handle each other?”
Thorne turned her gaze to the other woman, “There is only one way to find out.” She muttered, “Send in Gwendolyn.”
Nina sighed and pressed a button on the panel in front of them, a second later the door in the wall slid open and a petite young woman stepped into the room; she was Thorne’s monster, a creature only second to Thorne herself. The man looked up at Gwendolyn; Nina could see his gaze take in every inch of her as he stood slowly, they took steps towards each other before the man dropped to his knees. He held his hands out, palms up as he tilted his head back to look into the ceiling; he spoke softly in Arabic as a white film spread across his chocolate brown eyes.
Gwendolyn hissed, something about the man setting her off as her beautiful flesh began to crack and peel away to reveal the horrid fanged monster beneath; the man simply cocked his head as he stood, spreading his arms wide as the beast began towards him.
Thorne’s gaze widened as blood splattered their window, “He tore her in half.” She breathed, something almost frightened on her face, “She was perfect and he just…tore her apart.” She mumbled, shaking her head.
Nina pursed her lips tight as she looked down into the room, the man was covered in thick, dark blood, “What will you do with him?” she inquired softly, raising her gaze to Thorne’s porcelain face.
The creature shook her head, “I must…” she shook her head again as she looked up at the doctor, “What did you bring me?” she muttered, searching the woman’s face, “What monster is this?”

Nina studied the massacre before her, the blood was thick in the air, hundred of made-men and women reduced to the ashes they came from; she pursed her pretty lips as she began towards the man, a bowl of water and a cloth in her arms. She knelt in front of him, a sweeter smile spilling across her lips as she dunked the cloth in water, rung it out, and began to wash the blood from his hands; she leaned forward to kiss his blood-stained knuckles, “My sweet Judas Iscariot, king of all kings,” she breathed.
Judas smiled down at her, lifting his other hand to touch her pretty face, “Sweet Nefritira,” he whispered, tilting her chin to look into her pretty black eyes, “Have you been watching over your mother and sister for me while I was away?” he muttered.
“Of course, my beloved.” Nefritira St. Claire said softly as she kissed his hands again, ‘Welcome home, my darling.”

The Third Sphere, Heaven
Celeste could feel them behind her but she didn’t stop, instead she clutched the parcel tighter in her fingers, knowing that by taking it and running she would prove the disbelievers right, she was a traitor like her parents, her grandparents even, and undeserving of the second chance she’d been given. She ran harder, feeling a sense of urgency welling in her chest, she didn’t look back she could hear the rush of wings as her fellow Archangels hunted her through the halls of Heaven; Celeste ran for the end of the sphere, knowing only one way to escape that would guarantee no one followed.
As she hit the edge she turned on her heel in time to face her legion of pursuers, their flaming swords making them seem like nothing more than flying balls of fire; she unfurled her wings at the last second before she tilted back and fell from Heaven.
Celeste shut her eyes, letting the atmosphere tear apart her wings and shred her of her angelic identity once more; she could feel herself slipping away as she spiraled and she tried to hold onto the memories of her family, of her siblings, of her own name. The icy winds ripped at her clothes, leaving her almost naked as she continued her descent, her fingers clutched tighter around the object in her hand, and she clung tighter to the memory of her mother’s face, it was the last thought she had before she hit the earth.
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Ashleh
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