Title: The Angelites
Author: Richard Moran
NYPD Detective, Gina Vasquez, who's life went completely off track after making one near-fatal mistake. After serving prison time, she relocates to New Mexico to start her life over as a county sheriff. After arresting vandals who stole from an artifacts shop, Gina is suddenly thrown into a battle of good vs evil – angels vs demons, where the fate of humanity and all ways of life hangs in the balance. Now Gina must decide whether to stay exiled or lead a new band of warrior angels known as The Angelites.
Gina was standing barefoot in the middle of what seemed to be nowhere, wearing black silk pajamas. Fog covered the darkness like a huge wool blanket. Towering above her were the tallest of buildings and 6-foot billboards. She fanned away the fog in an attempt to see what was on the other side.
What she saw was a total contrast to the usual New York City nightlife. The streets were deserted. Electricity was sucked out from every structure like there was a citywide blackout. Human activity was nonexistent. She was alone.
What the hell is going on here, she thought. Resting in her hand was a badge, shining bright in the dense darkness, pure platinum gold with a custom-made design of wings behind a cross. Gazing at it, Gina thought it should be on display in a museum.
Suddenly, glowing pulses surrounded the shield and a warm sensation slipped into her fingertips, expanding throughout her hand. She felt less of the ground under her feet, as if her veins had been pumped with helium. Her body began to glow as bright as the badge, and she felt a strong power pump in her heart. In fear she threw the badge to the floor and the glow had diminished.
This can’t be real, she thought. I must be dreaming. But the feeling was so real that she truly couldn’t tell. She looked around the urban wasteland, wondering if she even alive.
Gina picked up the badge and put it in her pajama pocket. Her mind returned to where she was and how was she getting home; if there was a home to get back to.
After passing a few dismal blocks, she heard spine-rattling echoes shriek through her eardrums. Horrid shapes were emerging from the fog bank, and they rapidly drew closer. Her heart jumped into her throat when she noticed what they were. Demonic-looking zombies exploded onto the street with an appetite to kill.
Their blood-colored eyes widened on their disfigured faces. Volumes of yellow venom bubbled on the sides of their mouths. Slabs of molten matter decorated their physiques and they were clothed in ripped-up police uniforms.
Frantically, Gina ran through the dark streets, not knowing which direction was safe. An abandoned building was coming up. She thought it might be a good place to hide, but it was also perfect for an ambush, as more zombies rushed out. She ran as fast as she could, but not enough to lose them. Buildings were locked and manhole covers were sealed tight. No place was safe.
Gina ran around a corner and spotted a church down the middle of the block. Beams of light were shining from the ceiling windows, and the front doors were wide open. She ran toward the holy fortress, hoping to find someone there who could enlighten her as to what was happening.
With the zombies quickly approaching, she leaped up the stairs like a frog on a hotplate, and then barricaded the front doors with pews. The loud pounding against the wood crept under her skin.
Strands of her auburn hair were stuck to the sides of her sweaty face. Uneasy and exhausted, Gina looked around, astonished at the size of the church. It was like an ancient Greek cathedral, with stained-glass windows and enormous statues that stood against the walls.
She collapsed on a bench and took a few deep breaths, trying to get a hold of herself. Where did those things come from? Why were they after her? Was she in purgatory?
“This must be a dream,” she said. “Please, let this be a dream.”
Then she heard panting nearby, as if someone else was in the church with her. “Who’s there?” she shouted, but nobody answered. She realized then that someone had to have let her in, the church had been practically begging her to come in with its welcoming bright lights.
The panting grew louder, and she looked out a window and saw a woman standing under a spotlight, holding a large wooden staff. There wasn’t a drop of rain in the sky, but her long brown hair and navy blue sleep shirt were soaked. She was swinging the staff wildly around her, with full force.
“Hey!” yelled Gina. “Over here! Come inside! Do you hear me?”
Gina pounded on the glass to get her attention, but she couldn’t hear anything except terrifying snarls, which must have been coming from the zombies. The woman hopelessly looked up at the sky, and as she did Gina recognized the face under the thin-rimmed glasses.
“Alex!” Gina yelled, banging on the glass. “Get the hell out of there! It’s me, Gina! Do you hear me?”
Desperately, Gina looked around the church for something to break the window. On the altar she found large candleholders, and she lifted one onto her shoulder like a javelin and swung it into the glass. But the window was undamaged. Repeatedly, she swung the rod with the same result. From the other windows came more cries for help from behind the colored glass. Some were scared to death and running for their lives, some were hiding in cocoons of despair. Was she looking into the future?
“I can’t save them!” Gina said helplessly.
The pounding against the doors grew louder and heavier. Pieces of wood were starting to shatter, bloodcurdling screams from the hungry zombies sneaking through the cracks. Gina felt fear swell through her body like heat. Her mind was breaking down; she was running out of ideas.
Splinters and woodchips rained inside of the church, and as the doors shredded away into nothing, the howls became clearer. Zombies ransacked one another to get inside. Gina’s heart pounded faster, drowning in a flood of emotions. Stress raced in her veins like a bad drug.
She found herself staring at dozens of glowing red eyes. Their hideous faces were coming closer. She was reaching the breaking point. From inside her pocket, the badge started to throb. Not knowing what else to do, feeling like all hope was lost, she released everything in her with the loudest scream she could muster. The volume of her voice multiplied through the church, sounding like the cry of a wailing banshee.
As the sound waves rumbled through the deserted metropolis like an earthquake, the zombies began to shatter. Bones exploded and crumbled into piles of dust. Buildings came crashing down like a demolition project. Clouds of debris blanketed the city. Updrafts had shot out from beneath Gina’s feet with enough strength to make the church walls shake. Stained glass showered down like candy from a piñata. Dead remains were violently blown through the air, winds gushing through the roof like a geyser and out into the twilight. Gina looked up and saw the moon shimmering like a giant searchlight. The regurgitated screams faded away as the last of the clerestory fell down around her.
Gray ashes flew through like leaves in the fall. She couldn’t believe what she had done. This church, once so beautiful, was now in ruins. Tears flowed down from her brown eyes, and as she was relieved that the chaos had ceased, she whispered, “Thank you.”
The victory was short-lived, however, as vociferous thunder roared from the heavens. The black sky morphed into a firmament of flaming red with lightning striking across. Hideous flying creatures, with wings of a vulture and red fur covering their scaly skin, swarmed over the wrecked church. They could smell the terror pouring from her flesh. Black nails stuck out of their tree-twig fingers.
Gina was ready to make a run for it when sandy hands arose from the dusty remains and clutched onto her ankles. The harder she tried to break free, the more hands latched onto her. She looked up and saw the razor-tipped nails coming moments away from shredding into her face. Before she tasted their pain, she woke to a fight with her blankets, screaming in absolute terror.
Her nerves took some time to settle before she realized she was in the confines of her bedroom. The alarm clock on the night table read 1:11 a.m. It was pin-drop quiet outside in the suburban streets of Eagle Nest, New Mexico, where she’d been living for the past four years.
She sat on the edge of the bed and flicked on the nightlight, wiping sweat from her hairline as clips of the terrible dream played in her head like a horror movie. She pulled out her wallet and examined her Silver Star badge. Eagle Nest Town Sheriff was engraved in the middle. It looked nothing like the one she had in her dream.
What just happened? she thought. What made her have such a horrible dream all of a sudden? She took a few hours and a bottle of vodka trying to figure it out.
It was now 7:25 a.m. and peeking sunrays pulled open Gina’s reluctant eyelids. She had thirty-five minutes to get to work. Luckily, the station wasn’t too long of a drive. Deputy Silverblaze had left three messages on her cell phone, which was set to silent.
Rolling out of her bed and knocking over the empty bottle, Gina wasn’t sure who she was anymore. Looking in the mirror, she saw what she’d seen every day for years since being released from jail: guilt. Every day she wished that night had never happened. Leaving New York made it easier to deal with the past, but it hadn’t made her forget.
About the Author
I was the born in the Bronx, N.Y; the youngest of two children. I have a loving and supportive wife who has given me two precious boys. I’m a firm believer of God and prayer and devote my life to him. My biggest joys, besides watching movies and TV dramas, are drawing, making music and writing. I have a wild imagination and it’s helped me come up with some creative works over the years. I started writing about ten years ago and The Angelites was the first story I started. But, so many things had gone in my life that I had to put it back on the shelf several times. Now I finally had momentum on my side and completed the first of two introductory stories to this series. I hope you enjoy it, because if you don’t, then I have plenty of other stories coming your way that I know you’ll fall in love with at least one of them. I’ll just be happy with that.