She remembered the night her world fell apart.
Her mother; pushing her away, screaming for her to run and hide. She remembered disobeying, looking back and seeing her mother’s dead eyes as she hit the ground.
Then, she obeyed.
Scrambling barefoot across the earth, branches scratching her bare arms, and catching on her dress. Tears blurring her vision as she stumbled, pressing forward even though it hurt. How cold it had been, how hard it had been to find her way in the dark with only the barest of moonlight to guide her.
Then, flashes of white wings, so similar to her father’s. Wings, whose owner promised pain if they caught her.
She’d tripped and tumbled to the unyielding earth and just lying still. Her lungs burning, her heart pounding in her tiny chest. A spike of terror shooting through as something impacted behind, knocking her to the ground. How, just as she was about to rise, a boot had pressed painfully down on her back, pinning her. She’d twisted her head, and froze at the sight of him. The creature who had killed her mother.
His smile had been cruel as he raised his bloodied blade. The mere sight of it had pulled unnaturally at her core, nearly ruining the brief moment of awe as a pair of beautiful small wings burst from her back.
She remembered the moment she realised what he was planning to do. How she had done everything in her power to get away. The dread that settled so heavily on her chest as she realised she could not escape.
She remembered the severe, scorching, unwavering agony, as he sawed off her left wing. Slim and small and sensitive and new.
She’d sobbed and screamed into the dirt, begging him in broken words to stop. To simply kill her.
His laugh had been acidic as he continued, slowly removing her wing and then throwing the bloodied limb before her. Telling her she deserved to suffer for existing. That a creature like her should have never been born, and that it was his duty, to rid the world of her wretched soul.
She remembered him leaning down, nearly breaking her ribs in the process, and his hot breath in her ear as he told her;
“When I have ridden you of the gifts you don’t deserve, then I will grant you your death. I’m sure your worthless soul will fit in with the other sinners down in Hell.”
And she remembered the horrible Angel being struck down.
Not by the divine, but by the darkness itself. She remembered curling into herself and shutting her eyes tight. Flinching as warm arms picked her up and cradled her in their embrace.
She remembered a dark man sending her attacker fleeing in rage and fear.
She remembered bright and haunting eyes upon her, and a smile that promised safety.
Later she would learn that her savior was none other than the devil himself.
Later, she would come to terms with her loss, and she would be raised among demons, becoming a Warden in Hell.
But she would always remember the face of the one who had taken everything from her, simple because she existed. And she held that memory, flush against her soul, until the day she could pay him back in fold.