Art By Mikael Hilapo
Art By Mikael Hilapo.

As Above, So Below

To what extent can one extend their forgiveness to hapless spirits?

By Lexa Chua | Friday, 15 March 2024

The moon soared above the city—gracing the night sky with her ethereal glow, dancing amongst constellations and stray clouds. She so adored the attention and secrets that humans have offered up to her, often in lovestruck whispers or muffled cries. Though, this particular night, a peculiar set of eyes basked in her moonlight, different from her charming humans.


Just beyond the city, sat atop an abandoned cottage and engaged in deep conversation, were two beings of biblical origin. With hair that seemed to gleam in kaleidoscopic rays and eyes that were as bright as freshly fallen snow—a seraphim named Caelum who was enraptured by the moon’s beauty. 


“I think I understand why humans love the moon so much—she’s gorgeous. They truly do have an eye for beauty,” Caelum utters, turning his gaze to the figure beside him. Hira, a blue-skinned demon with only one horn intact, was dressed in a red Edwardian era dress with the same bright white eyes. But Caelum always found them to be devoid of any sort of hope.


“Yet, the same humans killed women who sung her praises. How ironic, really,” Hira sarcastically responded as she tapped incessantly on the rotted wood. “The same humans who capture your kind to take your wings to put onto pedestals of so-called faith.” 


“The same ones who hunt demons like you to foretell future disasters and events. Yes, I know.”


Silence befalls the pair once more, though once revered figures now, immortal beings at humankind’s mercy. What once was peaceful bliss between Heaven, Hell, and Earth—now brought about into chaos, filled with war and ruin. 


“But you cannot deny how these humans have figured out their destinies. A rather smart one, this generation truly is. From aimlessly wandering about thick forests to creating such advanced and ingenious inventions.”


“Have you considered how insane you sound right now? You’re defending people who have angered your God, who have taken your people into captivity, and yet, you’re still on their side?”


“I am not on their side, Hira,” Caelum answers nonchalantly as if he was not affected by the months of fighting, as if he has not lost any loved ones to the battle, as if he was not tired. “I am simply admiring how far they have come.” 


For the first time tonight, Hira looks at Caelum—the rage that was building up within them moments ago now dissipated. A look of sympathy lined their expression as their eyes traced the far-away look on their friend’s face, a heavy sigh escaping their lips as they shook their head.


“Caelum, I know it’s not in your nature to be negative—to be disapproving. I just… I’m just tired of it all I suppose.” The demon’s voice had gone as soft as a whisper, their gaze never leaving the seraphim. Their tapping on the wood ceased and only the ambiance of the forest remained—the distant sound of the city and only their breathing remained.


“Hira? Do you ever resent the fact that we cannot die?” 


Hira laughs loudly, cackling so hard that sleeping birds were startled out of their nests. It takes them a minute to recover before they realize their friend was not joking at all. Bright eyes meet with dull ones—a tear running down the seraphim’s cheek as they smile at their friend. Hira thought about it for a second, their hand reaching out to wipe away the teardrops falling from Caelum’s eyes.


“That’s a question I didn’t expect to come from you, Caelum.”


“Ah, so I surprised you?”


“Yeah, you definitely did.” The demon’s tone of voice grows softer, a genuine smile creeping onto their lips as they shake their head. The seraphim could not help but chuckle at the newfound expression on their friend’s face and for a split moment in time, of quiet intimacy—they felt like children again.


“It is a tricky balance, Hira. We have to shoulder so many burdens, then we also have to deal with time passing and everything it takes along with it,” Caelum says, their face wrinkling into a frown. “I am not fond of it at all.”


“Finally, something you’re not fond of. I’d say that’s an improvement.” Hira haphazardly slaps their friend’s back, a hefty thump resounding in the quiet forest, earning a cough from the surprised seraphim. “Well, I think a better question is—do you truly believe humans know what they’re doing this time around, Caelum?”


A quiet moment passes, the wind blowing through the space between the two figures, whistling softly and carrying fallen leaves along to their next destination. Caelum is the first to tear their gaze away from Hira, their attention back on the moon and her lovely light. 


“No. It’s hard to forgive them for this one.”


A low sigh escapes the seraphim at their admission—it was hard to remain merciful especially during what seemed like a genocide even. Their fellow angels had suffered. They had been torn from the skies and plunged into Earth. They had seen the severity of the situation, and what hurt the most was that they had been abandoned by their God.


“I lost so much, Hira. I saw them hurt my siblings, they tore them apart and—” 


“Caelum, hey. This may not seem like much but, one day, I know that you’ll get them back.”


“How do you know that?”


“Because, I promise you exactly that. We'll get them back.” Hira’s words hit a soft spot in Caelum’s heart—it was rare for the angel to see them so hopeful about everything and it was a welcome sight. Their attention is no longer on each other but toward the horizon—at the moon slowly setting and giving way to the warm hues of the early morning. 


“After everything, Caelum—it’s still you and me, yeah?”


“Yeah. You and me, Hira. Until the end.”

Tags: IntoStory