Life Before Paradise

Lucie and Eloah meet on their first day of school, two girls from opposite edges of their world.
After that, well, just read and see what happens!

  1.      Morning Star

            “Hey! What’s your name?” The girl was bright and cheery, she had mousey hair and her halo shone warmly.

            “I… I’m Luc-”

            “Speak up! I can’t hear you!”

            “I… My name is Luci-”

            “Lucie? Lucie! I’m Eloah! Let’s be friends ok?”

            Neither Lucie nor Eloah knew for sure how or why they had become friends. Eloah had always put it down to her wanting to be kind to the girl who looked lonely. Lucie always thought that Eloah had forced the friendship on her. One way or another, some design of fate had determined their meeting and laid their paths before them.

*          *          *

           Lucie fiddled with the hem of her uniform, a white shift that came just below her knees and a billowing stole, her best. Her parents had insisted she wear it, even though it got in the way and was uncomfortable. Lucie would have preferred not to stand out. She was shy.

It was her first day in The Spheres and that was daunting for any young angel. Her parents had kissed her goodbye and waved her off. They were only third order angels and had looked out of place amongst some of the four-winged parents. Of course, they were not parents in the sense of mortal parents. No angel is born, only begotten. Nevertheless, Lucie had loved them, and they her. Parting had been difficult. Once you enter, The Spheres are for life, or rather, eternity. Lucie was sad. She probably wouldn’t get to see her parents again, even if she earned six wings and became a first order angel. Still, they had told her this was the best opportunity she’d ever have. An invitation to The Spheres was unheard of for someone of their rank. It would change her life. She had to be brave and work hard. They would see each other again someday. She had to become a splendid angel before then and make sure her halo shone brighter than everyone else’s. She knew it was not true. Even if she became brightest of her class she might never see her parents again. But she didn’t want to give up the hope. Instead she kept it close and nursed it like a chick cupped in her palms. She would be brave and work hard. She would become a Seraph. And then maybe, just maybe, she’d get to see her parents again. She took a deep breath. Her halo pulsed gently as she inhaled. Then she took her first steps into the palace of The Spheres; the greatest academy in the celestial domain for mortal intervention. In short, it was her first day of school.

*          *          *

“And remember, Eloah, you’re to be well behaved and listen to everything your superiors tell you. Even if they’re only a third order angel they still outrank you.”

“Oh, Daddy, I’ll have my first wings in no time. Why are they teachers if they’re only third order anyway? Why don’t the Archangels teach us?”

“The Archangels have work to do, dearest. Please, try to listen to your teachers.”

“You’re first order! You’re an Ophan! Why can’t I just tell them I’m your daughter and get them to do what I say?”

“The Ophanim are the angels of justice, Eloah. We judge everyone fairly, no exceptions. Not even our own daughters escape the six-winged judgement of an Ophan.” He grabbed her and ticked her until she was squealed for him to stop.

“Alright, now run along. Enjoy your first day! Maybe I’ll see you in my office applying for an internship one day!”

“Please, Daddy. I don’t want to be an Ophan. I’ll be a Seraph! The best Seraph ever! I’ll be an Archangel!”

Eloah’s father laughed but she was already gone, sprinting off down the corridors of the inner sphere. Eloah was thrilled. It was her first day! Finally she was going to start learning in the Outer Sphere. She’d spent all her life inside the academy; both her parents were six-winged first order angels and worked in the Inner Sphere. Now she’d be able to show off how talented she was, how much she knew about mortal intervention, how easily she could do all the things the others struggled with. Her halo was blazing with a golden light as she swept down stairs and through spiralling corridors, her white shift flowing about her, her stole fluttering in her wake. She paused, out of breath, by a window and looked down onto the Outer Sphere, sprawled below her. It seemed to shine in the light, beckoning her. She grinned and threw her arms out to her sides. This is my time, my kingdom! I’ll be better than both my parents, better than anyone! I’ll be the best angel ever!

*          *          *

            “Hey! What’s your name?”

            “I… I’m Luc-”

            “Speak up! I can’t hear you!”

            The bright girl from the Inner Sphere and the shy, white-haired one from outside the academy met for the first time that morning in their classroom.

            “Lucie? Lucie! I’m Eloah! Let’s be friends ok?”

            Neither of them knew for sure how or why they had become friends.

            “I… Ok, let’s be friends. Eloah… was it?”

            Eloah had chosen Lucie because she wanted to be kind to the girl who looked lonely.

            “Yep! Eloah! It means ‘One who the fearful take shelter with’! There are loads of other translations but I like this one the most.”

            Lucie had been overwhelmed by the other girl’s openness and kindness.

            “My name… My full name isn’t Lucie.”

            Some design of fate had determined their meeting.

            “It’s Lucifer.”

            Had laid their paths before them.

            “It means morning star.”

The End

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