Flash Fiction: To Bring You My Love

Prompt: “To Bring You My Love” by PJ Harvey

When Sebastian severed his wings and put on the boots of the earth-bound mortal, he had never even once considered the possibility that Lana might not reciprocate his love. Sebastian had given everything, forsworn heaven, broken the sacred oath of the host, bound his wings, watched them packed in liniment and placed, still bleeding, inside a box filled with salt and sawdust. And how the blood drenched the sawdust and continued bleeding for days after they had been cut. The magic draining out of them only slowly as Sebastian gathered himself for the mundane routines of mortal kind.

His mother wept. His father cursed his name so inventively and with such vehemence that spawned thirteen deadly hurricanes that careened through heaven, tearing through the streets of gold, bouncing like pinball bumpers.

It had been an easy choice, made heedlessly, without regard for consequence or repercussion.

“She cannot love you,” Sabastian’s mother warned him. “She is not capable.”

Sebastian’s father cursing in new languages that made the cherubs blush with modesty in its blue glare.

“She can. She will,” Sebastian told them.

His grandmother weeping openly, her tears stacking up in great sheets of water, though their kind wept only once in a millennia. A thousand years’ worth of tears spilling out while Sebastian’s grandfather punched the ground and crushed rocks with his bare hands.

“This is folly,” Sebastian’s mother warned him, but it was already too late. His mind was set. His future cast. His eyes bent low to find his lover where she stood working on the earth, oblivious to the turmoil and perdition her beauty and grace had enticed.

It was a mad season in heaven. It was not often done, this thing that Sebastian was choosing. Lucifer Morningstar had done it thousands of years before, taking a small army with him, precipitating a cold war that never seemed to end. A few others had willingly fallen since, but only a few and their names were never spoken and were expunged promptly and utterly from the Book of Life.

It was a hard thing for parents to understand, let alone accept. Sebastian had not expected his Fall to go easily, but he had not prepared himself for the violence of the actual expulsion.

“If you leave, you are cursed. You will be cast down to touch the earth. Your earth will claim you as your new home. It will pull you constantly downward though your spirit will ache for flight. Once your feet touch dirt, they will never again leave that place. Boots will be your destiny. Boots, hardship, limit and bitter dirt. You will cry out for us and we will ignore your pleas. We will make ourselves deaf to your suffering. Your disappointment will know no limit until your corrupted flesh melts and confines you to the dust and dirt which we despise.”

There was a silence while Sebastian considered all of these things. Lana. The corruptible flesh. The consignment to dirt.

“Is this what you truly want?” his grandmother asked. “Can this be what you truly want?”

“It is.” Sebastian spoke with the calm confidence of youth. Arrogance. Upbraided.

And then, his father rushing at him with a host of thousands, pushing him out of the house, through the streets, backward, bruising and crushing, their punishing hands grasping him, lifting him rudely, turning him around and then tossing him down into the sky which was the symbol of all corruptible beings’ aspirations. They looked up as they worked, as they sweated and grunted and toiled. They worshipped the mystery of sky as if it were a limitless, edgeless thing, never knowing, as Sebastian learned how small and shallow and thin the sky really was.

And as he plummeted toward earth, trying not to flap his arms like some ridiculous strange bird, he thought only of Lana and how overcome she would be at this tremendous price he had paid to be with her and how she could do nothing else but accept him into her arms and welcome him into her life as partner, lover and friend.

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