Chrysalis Caught It was a high moon. It seemed to him like one teardrop that wouldn't follow the others down. But things look strange when you lie with your head on the pavement. The moon had stayed while he had fallen. His feathers were a snowstorm between high rises - dozens, maybe hundreds. And that ringing in his ears, like the note that lingers when a choir is slaughtered. He was thinking too much. The spiral feather tumble reminded him of home, of hills within hills where God said nothing. He understood that he had fallen again. For it was the only thing he ever did well. One feather landed on his eye and rolled away, becoming leaf litter. It scratched the alley walls, and he heard cars rumbling, the whistle of obstructed air. But more than that, he heard tears and prayers and gasmask gurgles. Footfalls, wheels, beggars' skin becoming dust to drown the city. He curled up suddenly, with the knowing that something was wrong, terribly wrong. His screams agreed. The pain was not beneath him, where his spine met pavement; but within, the cradle of his chest. He felt no lungs nor guts there, only the faintest strength to lift his head. There was a hole in the angel's chest. His blood painted the alley while his wings beat in vain. He remembered a heaven when the air was like a lover, moved to correct his every discomfort. But that was gone. He had nothing but whimpering and the knowledge that he had to sit up. Sit up and look down. And this is what he did, in painful time. The wound was six inches by ten, as deep as the ribcage, the sides straight and smooth. Perhaps a chunk of his thorax had been surgically removed. He leaned on one arm and reached his hand in, watched his fingers vanish into the bloody chasm. There they touched something - something that did not hurt. He had no choice but to curl tighter and behold it. The cover of the book was bound in leather, the surface wrinkled. The angel scraped his nails across till they found the groove where cover met fresh, unopened spine. The weight of it pinned him to the city, and he knew that it was his. The freedom to walk away, to laugh away, to get out, was forsaken. For he had power to be touched by things, strength to be the most exquisite and memorial victim. For angels cry the loudest and strike the fiercest, and are stupid enough to care. After the feathers came the rain. It washed his blood, his aches and spasms, as he worked his fingers around the book. Nails hooked beneath the cover, tips sliced on the parchment beneath. The lip was buried an inch in the chest tissue. It would take a willing. His hands were red slick like the alley wall. One last scream to the sky, and the book was torn open. In the city of Chrysalis Caught the Saviour's Page would be written.