The Land

‘Ow,’ I said, as I rubbed my head. ‘That actually hurt, you know?!’

My eyes were still scrunched up, but I could feel that something was different. I opened my eyes and looked around, but the place was deserted. ‘Am I talking to myself?’ I widened my eyes and took a step forward. I expected there to be noise, I expected there to be buildings, even assumed my heels would scrape against the hard pavement as I dragged myself along, but that was not to be. My surrounding was full of greenery, trees and a clear sky.

Wait, why am I standing? Should I not be sprawled on the floor? The hard, rough floor?

‘So you’re Lily?’ A strange creature waved his hand above my head. ‘O.K, now no one will be able to read your details,’ he stated.

I spun my head so fast towards the voice that I nearly lost my balance. I knew I was gawping at him, but if one stood on a beach gazing at the sunset above a clear ocean, would it be easy to look away? The same feeling overtook me. Then he smiled and I knew something had happened to me.

‘You do know I can read you, Lily? I’m not amazing, you know. Just another creature, or rather, an angel you could say, sent here to be with you,’ he simply said, as he flicked his fringe out of his eyes.

‘Your voice sounds so soft. Not husky. Not deep. Just so right,’ I whispered to myself. He continued to smile while raising an eyebrow at me. I stepped forward towards him and involuntarily stroked his large black wings. ‘So soft. So smooth,’ I whispered once again. I felt his wings shake lightly and noticed that he had closed his eyes.

‘Lily, stop it,’ he replied and stepped back slightly, that was when reality slapped me across my face.

‘Wh-h-ho are you? No, no, what are you? No! Where am I?’ I realised my voice had risen and my hands were now shaking. Symptoms, that only occurred when I was afraid. But I was never afraid.

‘I’m whoever you want me to be,’ he calmly responded with both his hands up. His wings slowly opened up, yet he stood stiffly on the ground.

‘Then you’re Kratos,’ I said aloud. I dropped my head down, ‘Kratos? Where did that come from?’ I muttered to myself. ‘But, I’m going to shorten it and call you Kray,’ I whispered.

Taking a few deep breaths, I looked up again. I finally decided to take in his full appearance. My eyes roamed up and down his figure.

‘Beautiful,’ again, it was a whisper. His physique, slim yet built, his pale face and, ‘Your eyes. They’re amazing. No. More than amazing. Black. The thick lashes,’ I couldn’t help but reach out up towards him. I placed my palm on his cheek and lightly stroked it. The last thing I wanted to do was to harm this delicate creature. The initial fear, that had held me tightly, had disappeared.

My eyes slowly moved down to my own arm. I realised I was covered in blood. I quickly slid my hand through my hair and felt a warm sticky liquid. This revelation led me to instantly touch my face. ‘Kray, what happened to me?!’ Yes, my tone was frantic; yes, my hands were shaking once again; and yes, the fear was back! My skin felt rough along the side of my face and my lips were now chapped.

‘Lil, relax, I will sort it all out,’ Kray placed his hands on my shoulders to calm me down. This time, his soothing voice made no impact on me.

‘Relax? Look at me!’ I stuck both my arms out towards him. ‘My legs! I’m covered in blood! And my face, what happened to my face? How can I calm down?’ I replied quickly, in one breath. ‘Why do I feel nothing? Should it not be painful?’

‘Lil, I said I’ll sort it out.’ Kray moved his hands up to my face. ‘Lil, look at me. Please, Lil. Trust me on this,’ my body gave in, despite how much my mind was shouting against it.

Lifting my head up at him, tears started trailing down my face.

‘Lil, this is your home for now. Don’t worry, tomorrow everything will change. I’m going to clean you up now, but first,’ Kray took my hand and placed a black coin in my palm. Closing my hand with his, he said, ‘Lil, keep this with you at all times. When I’m not around, just rub it, and I’ll appear. O.K, now let us sit down so that I can clean you up.’

He, lightly and softly, enclosed both his hands where the scratches lay, and stroked them down smoothly. ‘You think I’m a delicate creature? Look at you, Lily,’ he chuckled. I couldn’t help but smile.

After both arms, he moved down to my legs. ‘I’ll close my eyes,’ again, another chuckle.

I, too, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply at the warmth that Kray was spreading in my body. Is it possible to feel like this? To have this tingling sensation running through my veins?

‘Yes, it is, Lily,’ he replied, with his eyes still closed. ‘Yes, I can read your mind, so any compliments directed at me, be sure that I’ll know,’ said Kray, with an arrogant grin. Although that was the case, I found that I didn’t quite mind.

You’re beautiful, Kray. Although, aren’t angels supposed to have a certain aura surrounding them? ‘How’s that for reading my thoughts?’ I asked.

He flicked his eyes open, and looked straight through me. ‘I know, I am. No, they don’t. We aren’t living in your world, Lily. Childish stories,’ he gestured with his eyes.

‘But, you don’t even look like an angel. I mean, black wings?’ I asked. I stood up and looked down at him. He really did not.

‘Oh? So, how are angels supposed to look like, Lily?’ He sat back and grinned at me.

‘Well, firstly, have white wings. Ah, secondly, well, I’m not entirely sure how they dress, but definitely not how you look,’ I replied, waving my hand, up and down, to emphasise my point.

He cocked his eyebrow at my comment. ‘Do you not like the way I dress?’ I detected a smile playing on his lips.

‘You look like a human, but, you have wings. I do like the way you’re dressed, with the black jacket, the white top,’ I pointed at each item. Then I stopped, ‘Wait, why do you have a bandage on your right arm and hand?’ Lifting his arm, I asked. I want to say that his muscle flexed at my touch, but, how can that be if he wasn’t human?

‘No reason at all. I just wanted to be different. Completely different,’ a simple response.

‘Tell me, Kray, what do you think of me? You know my thoughts. Please?’ My curiosity was aroused at how much his opinion meant to me.

He closed his eyes and appeared to have an internal debate. ‘Lily…’

‘Please.’

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