So, I wanted to write something. And I was inspired to write a short story. Now, I am posting it and hoping for some thoughts and feedback, because I'm very poor at judging my own work. ============================================================================== .. it lies in the hearts of men / for our nature is dark and horrid / in which our demons lurk.. She'd placed her head in her right hand, with her typical pondering gaze. He tilted his head slightly and piqued an eyebrow. It wasn't uncommon for him to see her like this, but this time, he was unsure what was on her mind. "Avaria?" She blinked and looked up, her thoughts disrupted. It was an important matter on her mind, and even though she wished she could share it with him, this was something she'd have to deal with on her own. As such, she just nodded and dismissed his concerns with a wave of her hand when he asked. He sighed and walked out, returning to his own work. And there she sat, left alone to her thoughts once more. Justin was a good friend of hers, but she was faced with what she believed to be the dilemma of her life. Of course, for a twenty-two-year-old woman, that's easy to believe when you have just barely entered adulthood. Yet, in Avaria's world, this was a big deal. "It wouldn't be the end of the world for him.." She nodded slowly to herself, blindly looking for a justification for what she was going to do. Suddenly, heavy steps were heard. Avaria looked up at the familiar sound to see what she expected: the boss. Though his slender posture carried little authority, the fact that he was over a foot taller than her always made her feel like a small mouse to a snake. With a hint of impatience, he asked her if she'd made up her mind. She sighed deeply before finally answering. "Yes, Draco. I'll do it." Draco, in return, smiled widely with a nod of approval. "You won't regret it." She stood up, with some hesitation, and accompanied Draco to Justin's workplace to tell him the news. Her mind was flooded with thoughts and images.. It had only been ten days ago that she was suddenly called for by the boss. That had made her heart beat rapidly, until she heard why she had been called - for that made her heart pound in her chest. Draco leaned back in his chair, speaking and looking very calm and relaxed about the matter while smoking one of his cigars. After blowing out the smoke, he spoke. "I'll cut to the chase, Avaria. How would you like to take Justin's job?" Her eyes widened and her heart began to pound. Justin was one of her best friends, and he was even the one who had gotten her to work her. She knew that without him, she'd still be out on the streets, living in a gutter. She initially shook her head, then began to stutter. "I-I.. no.. I mean.. why?" Draco leaned forward and smiled reassuringly at her. "Because I think you'd be better at it. But I understand you need to give it some thought." He leaned back again, placing one arm behind his head as he held the cigar in his other. He peered at her, with his well-known "why are you still here"-gaze. She nodded rapidly and left the room, leaving her with a dilemma. Though she was aware of how much she owed Justin, and that her taking his job would leave him without an income, she was also tempted by the idea of a higher pay. "I have been a tramp in a gutter for so very long.." It was like an eternity to her, but she blinked as they came to Justin, and realised that only mere seconds had passed as she was reliving the events that had preceded that day. But now, it was the darkest hour - the time to inform Justin of the situation. She took a deep breath, and began to speak. The weather was befitting of the situation as Avaria walked home. The sky was dark and cloudy, and a mild rain poured upon the town. She looked down at her feet, thinking over what she had done. Justin understood her choice, but she couldn't help but think this was feigned, and deep down, he condemned her. Yet, she had no regrets, and kept justifying her choice with a promise of earned wealth and luxury that was to come. She peered around paranoically at the other people on the streets, as if they were all judging her for what she'd done. Of course, she wasn't looking in front of her and inevitably bumped into someone. She jumped slightly, apologising immediately, looking up at the man with a slight hint of guilt in her eyes. The man was tall, bulky, with a dark coat and even a hood that hid his eyes. Though it was not his image that caused her to gasp; it was his voice, cold and rasping. "Do not apologise to me, Avaria. Apologise to the man whose life you stole. Justice cometh!" With a sudden movement, the man extended his arms, revealing a well-made flaming sword in each hand. His hood went down, revealing the features of his face: a perfectly smooth skin and long, white hair. Yet, the most striking of his facial features were his eyes: these were a pure white, with no iris and no pupils. Avaria yelped at the sudden movement, and horrified by the man's weapons. She turned and attempted to run, but to no avail. The stranger moved his arms with unnatural speed and precision, and delivered a cross-slash with both his blades over her back. She fell to the ground, screaming in agony as the blazing metal caused blood to gush out of her body. The other people on the streets turned to look at the commotion, and panic arose as everyone saw the blades and the blood. People rushed to the scene; some to see what was going on, others to the helpless woman's aid. Yet all of them were too late, as the assailant had already taken Avaria's life when they arrived. The crowd stood still, too numb to move, having noticed the gore. Yet, there was one man who gathered his courage to yell out. "Why did you do this?!" The armed man turned his head to look at the yeller, who in turn backed off in horror. But the attacker sheathed his blades, and only spoke. "Samael brings justice. REGNUM VENIT!" In a blinding flash of golden light, massive wings sprouted from the man's back. They flapped, only once, sending him into the night sky, leaving Avaria's lifeless body and a stunned crowd behind.