Title: Hell's Angel
Pen Name: Lizzie Terry
I was in Hell.
I awoke to sheer agony. Never in my life have I experienced so much pain, as if the very fibers of my being were exploding again and again and again.
Dammit all! What happened? Why am I feeling this? In my pain-wracked haze, bits and pieces of my most recent memory came to me.
I just wanted to get away. I couldn't take all the hurt no more. Life was falling apart all around us. We needed food so I needed to go hunting and it didn't matter what, so long as I bagged something. Jesse started out with me, both of us heading out towards Piney Mountain, but we soon separated. He knew I needed to be alone.
That's it ain't it? I was dead and had gone to hell. Saints alive, I could not, would not open my eyes. I was in hell with the devil himself and oh, I really didn't want to see it. Not any of it!
My soul was burning, just as the preacher told all us, fire and brimstone was all around me, roaring through me. I prayed since Jesse wasn't with me, he didn't get hurt or killed off too. I should have known better than to follow those tracks with my mind in such a piss poor state.
I stumbled across the bear tracks while trying to gain higher ground. Following the tracks, I passed a small outcropping of rocks surrounded by mountain laurel. I was so lost in thought that I didn't consider a cave might be hidden there. Only after I heard the growling did I realize my mistake. I turned to look behind me and saw the bear charging for me. Too close! Too close to shoot, too close to run. I saw the giant paw swing at me a moment before I was swept onto the rocks.
Dear God please, please don't let me spend an eternity this way! I felt as well as heard the screaming all around me. It never occurred to me that I was the one crying out in despair. Time ceased to exist yet my mind was still acutely aware of the torment I felt.
Ah damn. All the drinkin' and ...aaahhhhheeeeee God!
Please, make it stop, please I ca-ca-can't t-t-t-t-take any m-m-m-more of this. I didn't know if I said this out loud or in my head.
Time passed. Moment by moment I endured a constant barrage of torture everywhere. It felt as though the flames seared my flesh to my bones and kept on burning.
Somewhere in the fog and haze of my mind I noticed excruciating torment seemed to lessen somewhat. I was still thinking, aware that there were varying degrees of the pain I was suffering.
This didn't seem like the Hell I heard about all my life from the preacher. Wasn't this supposed to be fire and brimstone and suffering for all eternity? What did this mean?
More time passed and I became aware of... no pain. No burning, no fire, no anything. I thought I was dead. Yet why am I thinking to myself? I didn't know whether I even existed and if I did, where? I still didn't want to open my eyes. I was so afraid of what I would see. Is this what death is like? How is it that I am still aware of myself if it is?
While pondering all of these questions in the relative calm after the firestorm, I realized I was lying down. I moved my fingers and was surprised to feel a soft fabric underneath them. I tried my legs, barely lifting one then bringing it back down and repeating the process with the other. I did the same with my arms, and then moved my head side to side.
OK, I'm in no pain, able to move various parts of my body. I may be dead and I have no idea where I am.
My eyes remained closed as I lie there. Without the pain to distract me, I recognize the fear that has started to swell within me. I should look around me, but I am so afraid of what I'll see. With this realization, I feel myself begin to tremble.
Suddenly, I hear movement. I begin to imagine that it is some demon sent to drag me to the depths of hell. Oh Sweet Jesus, that's it. What I felt before was only the beginning of my eternity in the lake of fire.
The movement is closer now and I hear what sounds like murmuring. Fear so intense has rendered me immobile. I don't want to know, don't want to see. I've heard about the demons so many times from years of sermons. I can just imagine the horrifying being, horns and claws and razor sharp teeth, coming to grab me. No, I don't want to know what has come for me.
Lying there, afraid to move for fear I will be drug down to the pits of hell. Afraid to look at the apparition conjured up in my mind. But, worse still, I'm afraid if I don't look now, I'll never see anything ever again.
Would that be so bad?
Yes, yes it would. I can't spend eternity blind to everything around me. If I have been damned, so be it. I will not be a goddamned coward about it!
With all the courage I can muster, I turn my head toward the sound and slowly open my eyes.
Hazy, fuzzy images blur into my mind. I'm blinded by the light in the room and can only make out the dark silhouette of what looks to be a person moving towards me.
I shut my eyes and open them again, only to find that I...
I'm hallucinating now, or having a vision or something because what's standing before me is a woman of such incredible beauty she can only be...
I stared, slack-jawed and stunned as my eyes continue to adjust to the light in the room. My mind barely acknowledged that I was indeed in a room, maybe, in a cabin somewhere? I didn't know and didn't really care as continued to stare at this angel in front of me.
As she came closer, my eyes traced the contours of her hair that cascaded around her face, falling below her shoulders in waves of what looked like golden silk.
I turned my whole body then so that I could stare at the vision in front of me. At once, the memory of the pain I just endured disappeared. Gone was the memory of being mauled (killed?) by a bear. Gone was the thought of family and home. I don't believe I even blinked.
I looked down, wide eyed at her perfectly shaped legs and saw that her knees just peeked out from under the skirt that sinfully hugged equally perfect hips. I continued to look up.
My gaze shifted back up to her face before lingering too long on her breasts and found my angel smiling down at me.
Sitting up, I confirmed that I had been lying on a couch and was in what looked to be a very large room of a cabin. The walls were made of rough-hewn timbers and large beams secured the roof. I looked again at my angel and saw her mouth move very fast. Was she speaking to me?
Looking at her, I saw too the specs of dust in the sunbeams filtering through the window that danced all around her. Each one so clear to me, so precise as they swirled in the air all around her.
I gasp as I finally noticed someone else in the room with us. A man dressed in fine clothes began to walk towards me. My angel held her hand out, palm away from me in a gesture to stop the man from coming closer.
I saw him stop and nod his head slightly to her. She walked closer to me and knelt in front of me. I sucked in a breath that I knew instinctively I did not need as she lowered herself in front of me. Our faces mere inches away from each other.
Her eyes, oh my God, her eyes were a bright golden color. I had never ever seen eyes like hers before. They looked to be the color of wheat straw at cutting time. I stared into their depths and was astonished to find that I could see multiple layers of gold and brown and yellow within the intricate details of her irises.
I watched as her mouth moved again, finding myself absolutely fascinated with her teeth and the tiny holes that I could now see.
"How do you feel?" my angel asked and again, I could only stare.
I finally tried to answer but I couldn't make a sound.
I cleared my throat and tried again, this time with a little success.
"What happened to me?" my voice rough and barely above a whisper.
She sighed as she told me "You had an accident. You were attacked by a bear and I found you".
"But, how" I trailed off. "How did I get here", I asked as I looked around me "And where am I?"
She closed her eyes and looked down. Taking a deep breath she squared her shoulders, looked me straight in the eye and proceeded to explain how she found me, how she carried me to this cabin and what happened to me once I got here.
I lay there watching the colors of refracted sunlight shining through the windows as she told me I was close to death and that she carried me over 100 miles to this cabin on Roan mountain.
I tracked the passage of a tiny spider in the far corner of the room as she explained that she and Carlisle, the man she stopped from coming to me, were vampires.
My eyes closed and I studied the individual cells that made up the inside of my eyelids when she whispered to me how beautiful she thought I was, even though my body was broken and bloody from the bear attack.
And, when she proceeded to tell me that the only way to save me was to make me like them, my eyes snapped open and I focused a hard stare into her golden ones.
"Please", she begged. "Please understand. You would have died had I left you there".
I sat up and mumbled more to myself than to her, "I thought I was being saved by an angel. I thought that you would take me to God".
She looked so very sad as she said, "No, this is certainly not heaven. In fact, there are many who feel our kind exist in our own kind of Hell".
She stretched her hand towards me. I gasped as I saw the sunlight sparkle on her arm.
"So beautiful" I again murmured to myself and raised my eyes to her face once more.
Reaching out, I gently grasped her hand in mine.
Elegantly, she rose to her feet and stepped back, pulling me up as she did.
Then, she did the most glorious thing I have ever witnessed in my life.
and I smiled back.
Although I had many questions that needed answers, at that moment I thought to myself that maybe Hell's not so bad if you get to keep an angel with you.