Gestalt Media continued the Short Story Contest in May 2020. Contributors submitted short stories
of 3,000 words or less on the theme Flowers. Then, it
was up to readers to vote on the winning submission.
The winner of $50 is Michael Nadeau for his submission entitled The Fall of Eve. His story will also appear in the year-end anthology published by Gestalt Media of all short story contest winners.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy this wonderful tale by Michael Nadeau.
The Fall of Eve
The sound of her black combat boots echoed across the parking lot as she stomped after her targets. They were headed towards the small beach on Grand Lake in New Colorado, and she had to admit that it was a site to see. The mountains reaching up in the distance and the cool water lapping quietly on the sand had this effect that she couldn’t quit explain. It called to her on a level that she hadn’t ever felt before. No matter, she thought, I have to keep my focus. She shook her head to clear it and tried to blend in, failing miserably. Along with those combat boots Evenal wore a long black dress and heavy black mascara, with obsidian jewelry adorning her wrists and neck; it made her stick out like a priest at a rave. She had been following these two love birds for over an hour now, observing them and trying to figure out why she had been sent here to eradicate them. One of them was somehow gifted, the African American boy, as he could see things that no one else could. To make sure of this, she had left things for him to notice — one of her feathers here, a scribble of Enochian there —and he had seen them both, his wide eyes and intense stare giving him away. The other boy seemed familiar somehow, but she wrote that off for now. She had seen a lot of people over the millennia; it could just be that he looked like someone she had known. Evenal was a hunter angel, a specific type of angel tasked by the archangel Uriel to eliminate certain things that needed to be erased; almost always people. Now here she was, in all her splendor, and she had to follow these two boys. Such a waste. In centuries past she had taken out entire towers, cities, and even erased kings and queens; now her task was this? Her quarry sat down at a picnic table and took out food from the backpack they had been carrying. She stopped, sliding behind a parked truck and frowned. They were just here to relax, not cause some type of uproar. She had never doubted her mission before, doing so could mean the ultimate punishment to one of her kind; the fall. Yet this time something felt off with her current assignment. When she had been tasked with coming to earth once more she had looked into what she wanted to look like. She was drawn to the rebel look of the late century gothic teenagers and it seemed to call to her rebellious side. Soon she had the complete look and descended from heaven ready to hunt…if she only knew how boring this mission would be, or where she was headed, she might’ve gone with something else; it was a waste of her style to go after these two kids here in the mountains. Yet my mission is clear, she thought as she steeled herself to carry out the inevitable. She unfolded her glorious two-tone black/white colored wings and flew quietly towards them, pulling her slim sword made of light. All angels have wings that no one can see. They are kept discorporate behind them, almost inside of them. When released, humanity cannot see them unless the angel wishes them to. This helps keep their activities quiet and evade notice, yet there are times to show them to people, mainly to generate fear or awe. When she glided closer she could feel something coming off of them, like a wave of pure emotion. This only happened when the people were special, chosen somehow. That’s when she felt what the emotion was and knew in her core that this was wrong; it was love. I can’t do this…She arched upwards towards the sky, screaming silently in frustration as she felt the heat increase all around her. No…please…it’s wrong! Not this! Yet it had already started; she had fallen
Devil’s in the Details
The handsome man walked down the street looking at humanity and wondering, not for the first time, why he was really here. The man called Natasha smiled as one man walked by, obviously sizing him up for some kind of theft or hit; he knew that look by now. He brushed his slick blond hair back out of his brilliant hazel eyes as he sauntered through the crowd, sticking his hands in the pockets of his tailored, black, Armani suit. He knew he was out of place, he always was, here on earth, yet somehow no one really seemed to notice overmuch. He turned the corner into an alley, knowing that the man following would see this as an opportunity too good to pass up. “Alright mister, hands out of those pockets and give me that fat wallet.” The sentence was punctuated by the rough jab of metal in Natasha’s back. “Oh, friend, you have no idea what you have gotten yourself into, yet I’m feeling pretty good this day,” the man that was definitely not human said as he turned slowly to face the miscreant. “If you walk out of this alley right now, I will forget you ever existed.” The man, who in reality was the fallen archangel Lucifer, smiled and flashed his eyes, a deep red, at the man to send his message a bit more clearly. He chuckled as his attacker both soiled himself, and turned to flee at the same time. “That was generous for someone who is supposed to be the devil.” A lyrical voice said from behind him. Lucifer turned and saw his brother, the archangel Gabriel, standing there with his own hands in his pockets, leaning against the brick building. “Are you still cross with me over those boys, brother?” “No, Natasha,” he started, using Lucifer’s earthly name these days, “I am not. I have a plan in place to fix your meddling, do not worry.” “Ooohh a plan. I’m excited to see that fail.” Lucifer walked forward, and clapped his brother on the shoulder. “Yet I think you’re still cross with me about that bunny.” “I am not our brother Michael, I can let things go,” Gabriel said, turning and walking with his fallen brother as they exited the alley. “Yet something still bothers me.” “Oh? What can I do to help with that?” “Why you did all this in the first place?” Gabriel flipped his own long, dirty blond hair out of his emerald green eyes, and weaved through the crowd of people. Gabriel wore a white suit with white shoes, a vast contrast to the darkly dressed man next to him. “The kids and that business with the Blade of Enmon.” “All I can say is that this is supposed to get me absolved in our Father’s eyes brother, and I will do anything I can for that.” “You can’t be serious?” “I am, though I will admit I don’t know exactly how that is going to happen. I only know that those two had to fall in love, the rest is obscured to even my foresight.” All archangels had some kind of power aside from answering prayers. Azrael and Raphael could raise the dead, Gabriel could find anyone if there was a message to deliver, and Lucifer…he could see visions of the future. This foresight had helped him in the past, yet it was always vague. He had no idea what would happen now that he had put his plan in motion. “And the Blade of Enmon?” Lucifer laughed, knowing that Gabriel was talking about the very knife his brother, Michael, used to almost end his own life. “That was to get our brother home. He would’ve stopped those kids by killing them, and you know that Father takes the death of his own very personally.” “Wait…his own?” Gabriel stopped short, two pedestrians slamming into him from behind at his abrupt stop. Despite his slight frame he never moved with the impact. “What did you think a Seer was dear brother?” Lucifer turned, but Gabriel was already gone, his gorgeous two-tone white/brown wings beating quickly into the sky. Well doesn’t that just make my day.
It is different for every angel or archangel, the fall doing things to them both physically and mentally. Evenal fell over the large lake, her wings aflame and the heat searing her lungs. She desperately tried to steer sideways to lessen the impact, but the flaming wings were almost useless now. She did manage to aim closer to the shore and hit the water like a meteorite, skipping towards the sandy beach like a stone thrown from the hand of a child; water spraying over the tourists like a wave. Even soaking wet, her wings kept burning, such was the heat of the fires of God. Crawling towards the shore out of the shallow surf she finally sat, weeping tears of flame as her wings continued to burn away, the pain making her scream her sanity away. She sat there in the sand; the ashes of her immortality falling around her and no one could see or hear her torment. The people around her scattered away from the invisible something that had hit the water and sprayed them all, the fear of the unknown striking terror into their fragile souls, and in time she was alone, her wings gone as was most of her clothes. Evenal lay there, naked and unburnt, in a small depression in the sand and only two people ventured closer to see what happened. “Are you alright?” The voice was soft and a little scared. “Alek, be careful she’s…something else.” This voice was a bit deeper, the one that could see things. It would be these two that would find me, she thought as she tried to stand up. She was completely naked, but otherwise unharmed; the loss of her wings notwithstanding. The dark skinned one covered her in a towel as the other boy helped her out of the little depression. “My name is Aleksandr and this is Simon,” The boy was dressed simply, but now she could tell that he was well muscled and with a frame meant for power. It was so familiar that she was kicking herself that she couldn’t figure it out. “What’s your name?” Evenal contemplated it for a second and decided to go with an oldie but goodie, condensing her name into a classic. “Call me Eve.” “What are you?” Simon asked, his eyes wide as he looked at her. “Well now that is an interesting question,” Eve said, walking with them as they led her to their car. “I’m an angel sent here to kill you but I couldn’t do it so I fell.” “Like the devil did in the stories?” Simon asked curiously. He seemed like one of those kids that soaked up information. Before she could answer Aleksandr growled in frustration and punched his hip. “It’s got to be because of that Adam guy.” Simon laid a calming hand on his shoulder. It was touching to see. “That Adam guy? Who would that be?” Evenal had this sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, something she had never experienced being immortal. She didn’t like this mortality thing already. “His name is Adam Cain and he saved me years ago by giving my mother some blood to cure my affliction. I read that there was an explosion shortly afterwards, but my mother said someone named Michael was after him.” “Oh for the love of Pete.” Eve shook her head and knew now why she was sent to kill these two. It must be an affront to God to have these two in love. Cain’s line was said to be cursed with rage. And Cain saved him…what strange times are these that we dally with mortals. “So now you’re…what a normal girl?” Alek sounded doubtful and narrowed his eyes at his partner when Simon laughed outright at the statement. “Normal? Far from it, you should see what I see Alek.” “Simon be nice man, she’s been through a lot.” “Sorry love.” Simon smiled across at Alek and helped Eve as they got to the car. “Here, climb in and we can go find you some clothes.” “But you two could still be in danger?” Eve had no idea why they were helping her. She had told them she was there to kill them, and still they helped her. “It’s the right thing to do.” It was a final answer that she had no rebuttal for and Alek’s determined face now reminded her of Cain indeed. Eve shuddered slightly. That jaw line, those eyes…it was frightening being in the presence of the first murderer’s ancestor. “Well thank you boys. Just get me some clothes and I’ll see about finding some help from some others out here.” In truth she had no idea what she was going to do, but she couldn’t stay here with them…that would make them even bigger targets. And what am I going to do about Uriel? Surely he would send others to bring me back. They drove off down the road as the sun set on Grand Lake, never seeing the winged angel set down lightly on the sand.
Flowers of God
Gabriel saw the fiery form falling from the sky and knew that he had miscalculated. He had never even thought of the fact that you can’t kill a Seer without angering Father. He had reacted like his brother Michael and now an angel was paying that price. He should never had involved Uriel and his hunters. “Oh Evenal I’m so sorry,” he said as he flew on, his brilliant two-tone white/brown wings bringing him there quickly. He could see the scorched sands from the sky and as he alighted on the sands, he staggered slightly at what he saw. There in the crater of burnt wings and ash, was a ring of flowers. They had sprouted almost as he landed, growing impossibly quick and perfectly in bloom. They were lilies and it brought tears to the archangels eyes to see them sprouting in the burnt sand like this. It wasn’t often he received messages from his Father these days, but this was a sure sign from above. He remembered the verse perfectly, as the messenger of God he could never forget anything that he read anyways. It was from Luke 12:27-28 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith He tore his gaze away from the flowers and searched his surroundings for bodies, yet saw nothing of the sort. Most of the humans were fleeing in their cars or recording the event on their phones from a good distance, but he couldn’t see any other signs of violence other than the crater. So she didn’t kill him, yet she still fell? What am I missing? Flowers blooming here, of all places, and from the ashes of a fallen angel on top of that, wasn’t something you saw every millennia. That’s when it hit him; Lucifer was right all along when he said this was meant to be. “He even said it was spring,” Gabriel said to no one in particular as he turned and beat his glorious wings once more, taking flight. I wonder if Lucifer knew that when he said it? He shrugged as he flew, it mattered not. Uriel, the archangel of knowledge was in charge of the angels sent to erase threats. He wouldn’t know of the significance of the message and had probably already sent another hunter angel after Evenal. Fallen angels weren’t allowed to stay on earth; Lucifer was an exception to this rule and was the catalyst for the hunters to be created in the first place. They had failed in the past to bring the devils’ followers back, so every new fallen was hunted quickly before they found help. They would drag her back, recondition her into the fold once more. Well this time they will have to get through me as well.
Born in the usual way, author Michael D. Nadeau found fantasy at the age of 8 with Dungeons & Dragons. He loved being different people as well as casting magic and in time he discovered his love for reading. He has read hundreds of fantasy books, living in each of their worlds, and after awhile, he created his own. He is the author of the Lythinall series: The Darkness Returns book 1, The Darkness Within book 2 (June 2020) & The Darkness Falls (coming soon), and has several stories in Kyanite Press’s Journal of speculative fiction and Eerie River Publishing anthologies.