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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Z is for - Ziekiel


And so we have reached the letter Z, I knew from the beginning of the challenge what I'd be writing about today. Or who, I should say, I'd like to introduce you to Ziekiel, a character from a WIP (work in progress) When I say I'd like you to meet him, I don't mean that at all, I hope, you never, ever, meet Ziekiel.

*** 

The girl pushing the swing is no more than six or seven, her complexion pale, her hair dark, held in a long braid that falls down her back, to her waist. Dressed in a winter coat and stout shoes she is well looked after. She pushes the empty swing at an even pace, chatting away to her imaginary friend. Unaware she is being watched.

The dark form looms tall and silent. Broodingly watching from his place amongst the trees. Daylight is retreating fast, the sky tinged with navy and grey, the wind picks up. Branches sway gently in the breeze as the child plays on. He is observing her every movement. Listening to the words she speaks to her friend. The unseen child she tells all her days news to as she pushes the swing a little higher into the air. Amazingly, it doesn’t buckle or twist, it flies steady, as it would if there was someone seated, enjoying the ride.

The silent stranger moves out from the tree line, the girl oblivious; carries on with her task unaware of who is making his way across the park towards her.

As he approaches, he is stopped mid-stride. Startled, he realises the girl is not alone. Standing behind her now, a few feet away, is a woman in a white crinoline dress. She sees him. It is clear he is not welcome. An orb of intense light radiates from around her head and she takes a step closer to the child.

‘I wasn’t expecting you,’ he shouts. The girl continues talking to her friend, he is only a few feet away from her now.

‘She is not yours. NEVER will she be yours,' the woman replies, voice raised.

‘Stand aside, before I send you back to whence you came.’

‘Impossible, and not allowed, and even if it were, I would never, stand and let you take her from me.’

‘Then prepare to die.’ A burst of fire appears in the strangers bony hand; he draws it back and throws the fireball with force and might directly at the woman, above the child's head. It makes a whooshing sound as it passes over, and the child stops talking, and glances upwards into the sky. In time to see the ball of fire explode onto the grass and dissipate, its flames fanning outwards.

‘Don’t do that Mister. Don’t hurt the white lady.’ She speaks quietly, with innocence , there is no fear in her voice.

The woman avoided the attack rained down on her; had managed to get out of the way. The stranger looked down at the child and then back at the woman a few yards ahead of him. His features grotesque even now in the fading light, his skin pitted and ugly, he made to grab at the child who had stopped pushing the swing now. The woman is quicker, she steps forward throwing her arms around the child, protecting her, spreading the light around them both. An orb of golden light glows.

‘Zeikiel, I know who you are, know you have travelled far, but I warn you, if you take this child from me, a thousand more like me will come after you, and a thousand more after that, for she is far too precious to us.’

‘I am Zeikiel,' he roared,  'and if you know that much, then you must also know I am more powerful than any protector,' he raises his arm again, another fireball clinging to the ends of his claw like fingers. He draws back his arm, from this distance he has a clear shot at both the child and her protector.

The girl, who until that moment had merely looked on, puts up her hand to the fire wielding demon. Pointing at the fireball. A line of white light travels from her finger tip, the short distance to the fiery glow. Upon contact the flame disappears. Is extinguished.

Zeikiel momentarily startled raises his other arm, another fireball, this time he hurls it down at their feet. It bursts into flames surrounding them both. Roaring like a fire in a grate, ignited by some unseen fuel. Zeikiel laughs.

‘Where are you now protector, where are your powers of protection? Hand over the girl before I reduce you to a pile of ashes and send you to the fires of hell.’

‘As I wrap my arms around her, I summon the protectors from every corner to come and take away the evil life force which is you.’ The girl coughs and splutters. ‘You will not let her die, but you cause agony, she cannot breathe, you damage her, give up now, and be cast away, back to your evil hell hole from where you have come.’

‘Let her go!’ roared Zeikiel.  Her lungs were filling with black toxic smoke.

‘Never!’ The protector turned the girl in towards her and drew her close. As she did so, two things happened. The sky lightened, clouds shifted at speed, parting to allow rains of light to fall like spears into the earth. They extinguished the circle of flames Zeikiel had thrown around them. As they hit the ground, they came to life, Orbs of light first, then quickly shifting into form, protectors as she had said.

Arranged in a circle around the child, packing together densely, at least ten, more joining their ranks by the second. Zeikiel aimed and threw another fireball, it never made the perimeter of the protectors, they deflected it, turned it midair and flew it back towards him. He ducked to miss its molton heat. He threw another, and another, but the same, the protectors deflected them. Again, and again. Ziekiel raised a hand in defeat.

‘ You have called on your forces today protector, I doubted you, but you have proved beyond any doubt to me, that she is the one I seek, and I will be back.’ Zeikiel vanished.

The protector’s orbs diminished as they broke from the circle they had created. Turning they looked down upon the child, whose face was buried into the skirt of the woman who held her tightly.

‘Thank you my sisters and brothers.’ As they had arrived, they left, returning to shafts of light, they lifted from the ground and returned upwards into the sky above. Taking the smoke and fire with them.

The woman continued to hold the girl, but loosened her grip. She took her small chin in her hand and tilted the girls face upwards. She smiled down at the child'd expressionless face. As if she had not witnessed the scene at all.

‘Evie...Evie where are you?’ A woman’s voice, behind them, distressed. Over the brow of the hill she ran down towards them. Anguished. The child turned from her protector, eyes seeking the voice.

‘Mama, I’m here.’ The swing behind Evie still now. The grass singed nearby. The woman rushed forward.

‘Evie,’ she knelt and threw her arms about the child, eyes frightened, ‘don’t go off like that sweetheart, you gave me a fright.’ She pulled the little girl close, raining kisses onto her face.

‘I was playing with Toby Mama.’ She pointed to the empty swing.

‘Toby? Well, it looks like Toby has gone home, and that’s where you and I should be too,’ she took the girls hand in her own, squeezing it tightly. ‘Evie, please don’t run off again.’

‘I won’t Mama,’ Evie tilted her face upwards to look at her Mama, before turning around and watching as her protector followed behind them. Unseen, unheard.

***

And that my friends, concludes my contribution to the A to Z challenge. Its been fun, scary, and challenging! I've made many new friends on the journey. And I'm looking forward to getting better acquainted with you all...and of course visiting my regular blogging buddies too! Thank you all for visiting, and interacting with me during April.

Do check here tomorrow, as I'll be revealing my next BIG writing challenge.

10 comments:

  1. Zeikiel sounds utterly terrifying! The part about the swing not buckling, as though someone were really sitting in it, gave me chills. Congratulations on another A to Z Challenge completed, Maria, you've done a amazing job.

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  2. Oh that was scary! My heart was racing and I need a cup of tea now.
    Seriously I enjoyed that as I have enjoyed your posts and we did it,made it through the challenge ,well done!

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  3. Well done Maria. I don’t know how you fit it all in. Like the excerpt – very atmospheric. It works well as a self contained piece too.

    Back to normal now – whatever that means. You deserve a big slice of cake.

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  4. You're right, i don't want to meet him. :-/
    Nicely written! Kudos!
    Congrats on finishing the A-Z challenge! High five!

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  5. Oh wow, Maria, your such a tease! I want to read more. You had my heart beating faster then, he sounds like a nasty character to say the least!

    Well done, we made it through the challenge! Yay! I tell you what it was tiring, but enjoyable :)

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  6. I don't want to meet him either! Lol! Very nice short story. Thank you for stopping by my blog! ;)

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  7. Yes, the 'empty' swing was intriguing. Nice scene, Maria.

    Congrats on completing this challenge too - on to the next one!

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  8. Very intriguing! I like how you set the scene, building lots of tension before the interaction begins.

    Congrats on completing your A to Z, and good luck with your next writing challenge.

    Barbara
    Z is for Zzz-z-z... and an SOS
    The Daille-y News

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  9. At first I thought you were writing about Zadkiel, somewhat different.. Wonderful piece. Well done you on completing the challenge. Thanks for being there alongside me. We did good! Good luck with your next writing challenge..

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  10. Belated congrats on completing the marathon - it stretches the parts that other challenges can't reach.

    Not a nice end though. I've seen this thing standing at the end of my bed when I wake up suddenly in the middle of the night.

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