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Blogfest of Death: The Death of Gabriel

July 18, 2010

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I was so excited when I saw Tessa Blurb’s Blogfest of Death. Why? Because I already had a death scene written for Watchers. Mind you, this was written last year before I’d realized how riddled with passive voice my writing was or the sensory detail that needs to be added or…

Sorry, I digressed.

When I reread the rules, I discovered it needs to be kept under 1000 words for courtesy.

Crap.

So, I checked and the first part of the death scene is over 2500 words. EEK. But the second part is only a little over 1400, so I’ll have to beg my dear readers’ forgiveness and hope you are all too enthralled by the scene to care.

Now, let’s get down to the killing!

#####

Frantic murmurs broke through the empty space I floated in. Azriel’s panicked voice rumbled in my ear, my face against his chest as he held me. I barely made out the words as they echoed around my head.

“…try to stop the bleeding..I tried…save her…”

I wasn’t conscious enough to hear the response.

“Lumiel.” My blood surged with hatred and dread at that name, but Azriel seemed to only be answering a question.

Instinct kicked me toward the surface, screaming to know how much trouble still surrounded me. As if trying to hold me under, Azriel laid me down on a hard, flat surface. Every break and tear in my ruined body jostled and pain drowned out the other voice. I recovered as Azriel spoke again.

“He found out.” He sounded hesitant, reluctant to continue. “He had four of them hold her. It…”

A growl erupting from the right of where I lay cut his next words off. Recognition tugged at me, and I stopped wanting oblivion to take me again.

Azriel stumbled on now, as if he couldn’t stop the words pouring forth. “He was so angry, so cold. I’ve never seen him like that. He was so…evil.”

So, he finally understood and all it took was me dying. I guess I should have tried that years ago.

Huh, sarcasm. I must be coming around.

“She fought.” He continued, pride seeping in. “She killed Bael and Uriel and possibly Nuriah.” His voice fell. “It wasn’t enough. They did this to her while…while tearing off…”

A sharp gasp came, again from the right, as Azriel’s audience processed where this was going. I didn’t want to hear it either, and if I could, I’d tell him to stuff it. If he said the words, I’d lose my precarious hold on what sanity I had left.

He plunged on, obviously not hearing my mental Shut up, Az. “He was going to rape her, in front of them.”

A furious roar shook the very air around me. Terrifying as it was meant to be, I felt safe for some odd reason.

Azriel did not share my comfort. “I’m going to get help.” He didn’t wait for a reply. I heard a rush of wings and he was gone.

Briefly wondering whom he left me with, I quickly realized it didn’t matter. I kept my eyes closed, ready to be done, willing the numbing black to swallow me again.

Then, I heard the one thing that still mattered–that had ever mattered–him. His voice, low and urgent, called my name; a magnetic pull I couldn’t resist.

Caleb.

I needed to see him, to ask his forgiveness before it was too late. I needed to be honest with him. For the first time in my life, no more pushing the truth away. Even in my semi-conscious state, the irony wasn’t lost on me.

The sound of tearing cloth and the feel of careful hands binding my wounds nearly made me laugh. I wanted to tell him not to bother; there wasn’t much blood left to lose. More important things to say fought for my attention, however, and I really needed as much of my faculties as possible. I would have to do this with sheer force of will.

I tried to open my eyes, but they wouldn’t obey. I finally understood as I felt the crusted flakes of dried blood from my broken nose stirring around my eyelashes.  Straining hard, determined not to lose my last chance, my eyelids broke free from their prison and snapped open.

When I met his jade eyes, peace enveloped me. I stared at his face, hungrily taking in every detail. Inhaling deeply, my ribs only a dull ache, I filled myself with his musky scent. So much to tell him, but I was too caught up in being there with him, seeing him, to find the words.

The relief, so evident on his face when I first opened my eyes, faded into a twisted grimace.

“Caleb.”

“Gabriel, don’t talk.” His tall form bent over me, his face so close to mine I could taste his breath. He finished tying off a tourniquet on my dangling wing, then he gently cupped my cheeks.

“No, I need to say this.” My voice was quiet but somewhat steady. Yay me.

“Please, don’t push yourself.” His voice cracked and I felt something wet hit my chin.

He was crying.

My heart tore in two. Nothing mattered except stopping his torment. The pain vanished; I could feel only him. His warmth held the darkness at bay and I hoped it would be enough, that I would be given the chance to let him know. No, I prayed for it. I was owed at least that.

“It’s okay. I don’t hurt anymore.” I made my voice as reassuring as possible.

He buried his face in my neck, muffling his anguished moan. I wish I could feel my arms to hold him, comfort him.

“Caleb, please forgive me.” His head came up and the anger in his eyes frightened me.

Oh no, I was too late. I’d hurt him too much. For a moment, fear took hold, preventing me from continuing. The thick black sank its claws deep, telling me I’d run out of time. It no longer mattered if he couldn’t forgive me or love me back. I needed him to know.

My words came out in a rush. “I don’t know how to find words that are enough, but I love you, Caleb. I was nothing until you loved me. Please believe me. You are my very soul, my bashert.”

Agony still evident on his face, and my strength fading, I had to make him see.

“I know it’s inexcusable, but I need you know why, even though it’s too late. I was so afraid that if Lumiel…” I faltered.

His face turned murderous at the name. I was glad one of us still had the energy to despise him.

I continued, “If he found out I chose you he would kill you. I’m sorry I left, but,” I mustered up a forceful tone, “you were not going to die over me.”

Once again, he looked furious.

I pleaded, “Please forgive me.”

I swear he almost chuckled at me.

“Gabriel, you foolish, silly girl. Do you have any idea how much I love you? There is nothing to forgive.” His lips pressed gently against mine. “Now, would you please stop talking and save your strength?”

Suddenly, everything became so clear. He still loved me. His anger came from me thinking it was too late. All the wrong I’d imagined came from my own unwillingness to accept being happy. More than merely playing a fool, I’d been downright idiotic. I did what I could to make up for keeping him out for so long.

“Kiss me again, please.” I begged.

His lips immediately found mine. I could taste the salt from his tears, or were they mine? I wasn’t sure. Concentrating on feeling his hands on my face, his lips as they moved softly with my own, I let his scent burn through what remained of me. Feeling the last bit of life leaving me, I opened my eyes while still kissing him. I wanted my final look to be him.

Sensing my urgency, his eyes opened and he stared, keeping his mouth firmly against mine. Uncharacteristically very glad he’d always been able to see into my soul, I poured my last piece of strength into ensuring he would know how much I loved him.

I could let go now.

He saw and broke away, hissing commands at me. “Don’t you dare go anywhere, Gabriel. You hang on.” His hands tightened on my face, as if trying to hold me there. “Stay with me.”

I couldn’t feel his hands anymore.

“Stay with me.”

My eyes slid out of focus and I felt the black take over.

“Damnit, Gabriel, you stay with me!” He shouted, watching my irises slow and harden.

Everything’s so fuzzy. I wanted to obey that voice, but I couldn’t remember how. Sobbing filled with enough grief to break the heart of The Creator himself became the last sound I heard.

To be honest, I’d always expected a violent death. This felt rather peaceful. I just wished I could stay for him.

Caleb.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2010 7:24 am

    Well done! I was really drawn into the storytelling! Really sad and poignant ending, and very unique to describe it from the point of view of the dying! Good work!

  2. July 18, 2010 9:00 am

    You made my eyes water up. Do I need to say more than that?

  3. July 18, 2010 9:26 am

    I liked this, and I was intrigued by the use of first person for a death.

  4. July 18, 2010 11:46 am

    This makes me sad :`(

  5. July 18, 2010 12:10 pm

    OOoohhhh… how cruel for you to end it! Surely she couldn’t die!

    It was a struggle to get through the first few paragraphs, but only because I didn’t know who’s head I was in, male/female…etc (probably just me. I’ve noticed with most first person narratives people rarely give a brief intro to the scene, and I find myself struggling to figure things out). Once I ‘realized’ who’s head I was in and could put everything in prospective I was drawn into the story and hated to see the end.

    Very emotional entry. I loved it. Thanks for sharing. 😀

  6. July 18, 2010 12:53 pm

    This scene makes me want to read more. Gabriel as a girl…Caleb…such a great concept.

  7. July 19, 2010 5:07 am

    No fair! I didn’t want her (although you had me confused for a second Gabriel=girl?)to die!

    Great death scene, though! I didn’t notice that it went over the 1000 words…if you hadn’t told me, I’d never know! ; ) Also, that limit isn’t a strict one, like I said, I just didn’t want EVERYONE to be posting LOOONG scenes…there’s more than 60 of you for me to read after all! YAY! I’m having a great time, anyhow, so many talented writers out there (count yourself in, please).

    Thank you for taking part in my Blogfest, I hope you had fun too, both writing and reading the many other entries,

    Tessaxx

  8. July 19, 2010 6:06 am

    I always find deaths in the first person such an interesting read, because it can be done in so many different ways! This was intriguing and emotional, well done!

  9. July 19, 2010 1:42 pm

    Aww…that was so sweet and sad. Very nicely done.

  10. July 19, 2010 8:08 pm

    Nice work injecting some romance into the blogfest. Maybe change the spelling of the name to Gabrielle? Less confusing. 🙂

  11. NL Gervasio permalink
    July 19, 2010 10:35 pm

    I like this much better than the first time I read it! Simply beautiful. 🙂

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