Against a devastated, post-apocalyptic landscape, a legion of one hundred fierce half-angels is hell bent on purging the Earth of all humans. But one of them, the tormented Tiamat, struggles against his mission, and when he rescues a beautiful woman named Kali, he finds the attraction as troubling as it is dangerous. Can Kali trust the one creature who could be responsible for her ultimate demise?
Yet despite the calming nature of having something purposeful to do, my hands shook. It had been impossible to ignore the view of the devastated landscape when I entered Tiamat’s camp, and it was with great difficulty that I suppressed the panic that was bubbling up inside me. I clenched my hands together and tried to focus.
“This is going to hurt, Tiamat,” I warned him, wiping my shaking palms on my pants. “But it will be easier if you try to keep your arm relaxed.”
He nodded and leaned his head back against the tree, waiting for me to begin.
After shaking my hands out in an attempt to ease the tremors, I reached over and firmly grasped his injured limb, perhaps a little rougher than I should have. Immediately, bizarre ripples of some kind of energy shot savagely through my hands, burning fiercely up my arms. I threw down his injured forearm, leaping away from him in panic.
“Augh!” he grunted in pain, cradling the offending limb. “You certainly have an interesting way to set bones, Kali.” Then, almost as an afterthought, he added, “And I apologize about the shock; I should have warned you.”
“What? What do you mean, you ‘apologize about the shock?’” I sputtered, the bubbling panic beginning to well over. “What the hell is going on here anyway? None of this can be happening! It can’t! And your arm… your arm shocked me! No, keep it elevated, damn it! It will swell!” I glared at Tiamat as he raised his injured arm again, his expression guarded. “What’s happening, Tiamat?” I demanded again, taking in his tight-lipped expression. “I’m losing my mind here and you won’t even say anything!”
I stared at him, waiting for him to elaborate on the strange shock that most certainly originated from his arm… waiting for him to elaborate on anything. But after a long, drawn-out silence and no change to his guarded expression, I had to resign myself to the fact that I wasn’t likely to get any further at this moment.
“Fine!” I huffed. “But at least tell me this. If I touch you again, will I get zapped?”
“You will feel it, but I will not shock you again,” he promised. “I was taken by surprise before. You have a very firm grip,” he said with mock injury.
Annoyed, I crouched down beside Tiamat again, resolving to get some serious answers from him in the very near future. However, despite my anxiety, curiosity won over, and I hesitantly reached out to touch his skin. Gently this time, I ran my fingers along his broken limb as tingling pins and needles undulated through my hands and crept up the skin of my arms. Feeling carefully for the broken ulna bone, I braced my hands on either side of it and began to pull apart slowly.
Letting out a yelp, Tiamat suddenly writhed. He flung himself on top of me, pinning me down as he stretched his arm high in the air, far away from my grasp. “Ow,” he said, as his lips twisted into a surprised, sheepish smile. “Contrary to what you obviously believe, I do have an aversion to pain. Is it not possible for you to be gentle?”
D.H. Nevins was born in Toronto and currently lives in a relatively remote area of Ontario, surrounded by
forests and lakes. By day, she is a personable, friendly school teacher. By night, she silently chuckles as she writes about angels destroying the world. Her present project is Wormwood’s sequel, Angel of Shadow.
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, camping, traveling the world, flying around on her motorcycle or dabbling in live theatre.
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