I dream of falling.
It's not a dream common to angels. After all, we have a pair of wings--or two or three--and we can use them. We float upon the air, dance among the stars, shape the clouds with our breath, and so on. All that lovely wordplay to describe an indescribable. A joy, a graceless power. Flight.
Humans dream of it often, I am told. It makes sense. They have no wings save for what they create with their hands. Airplanes, hang gliders, helicopters. Kites. They are obsessed with the sky, more so than the angels themselves, many of whom will fly three thousand miles rather than walk across the street.
And yet I dream of falling.
And in my dreams, I always start out as what I am--a bookish secretary pushed into a role never intended for him--and I always end as a human.
And the first thing I feel is falling.
Sometimes I jump off the edge of one of the Heavens. Sometimes I am flying when my wings lock and I plummet uncontrolled. Sometimes I start diving for no reason and can't seem to pull out. I prefer it when I jump; at least then I am choosing to fall.
During the fall, I feel my other four wings burn beneath my skin, burning me in symbols I would know if I could but see them. During the fall--if I have jumped--I instinctively extend my wings to try and catch air, but I always fail, for there is no air.
And then I feel those begin to burn. I feel each filament of each feather snap to flame, and then I feel the fire eat its way up to my wing-arms. I feel the skin there sizzle, and I feel the blood begin to boil. My muscles burst from the superheated fluid within them, and I continue to plummet. I scream.
Only when naught but my bones are left does the fire extinguish itself. But by then, I am consumed by the pain, and I am still falling, the soil of Enoch rushing up to greet me. I smack into the ground hard, more than hard enough that if it were not a dream, I would become only a bloody smear, and then an ashy smear.
But somehow, in the dream, I live. And I scream louder, scream from the pain of my lost wings, and for the pain from my shattered skeleton. No one comes for me, for apparently no one has seen me fall. I continue to scream until my voice gives out, and then I scream silently, weeping from the effort. And when I can no longer hold my head up, I fall a second time, collapsing into the dust.
And then my eyes open to my own safe room, my wings whole, if not particularly healthy, and I am in no physical pain. And then I resume my life, pretending that I slept well and am as rested as I could get given my numerous onerous duties.
And I tell no one, not even the healers, that I dream of falling.