Identical in Face Only
She had decided to fly over to London for the day, just to get away from everything supernatural and cover her in everything human. Remind herself of the beauty of her Lord Father’s world, and the creatures he called his children.
Rae wanted to look at humanity’s inventions, staring at their iPads and iPhones and iEverythings. She wanted to taste their sweet bread and their garlic bread; she wanted to drown herself in fish and chips, tasting the ink from the newspaper and the beer in the batter. For just a moment, Rae wanted to feel a little less holy and a little more human, and to surround herself in the chaos and the inner-city beauty that was London was the only way she could.
Walking through the streets, pale blue eyes on the windows so that she could see the warm jumpers and the lovely dresses in the shops’ windows, she paused when she saw a young lady with hair as black as Hell’s pit practically fly towards the nearest window. Pale, slim hands pressed against the glass, and a similarly pale, slim face leaned close, nose practically mashed against the window. She wore a grey coat, boots that went up to her knees and seemed a size too big, thick, black leggings and a white dress that was short but oddly sweet and modest on her.
Rae watched, unmindful of the people swarming around her; a rock in a stream with salmon fighting against the tide.
“Ellie, slow down, girl! We can’t lose ya in this crowd, ya hear me? You’ll be lost forever.”
“I would not be!” the girl cried back to the voice that called to her, turning to look at whoever was talking. She had a sweet face, if a bit on the thin side, with wide, doe-brown eyes and a smile that practically lit up London’s grey streets. “‘Sides, I survived New York City! London’s basically a compact NYC, right?”
“I’m surprise you survived that city, Ellie-belly,” a man said, emerging from the crowd and stopping beside the girl. He reached forward, dragging her away from the window and patting her shoulder. Rae could see hazel-green eyes looking her over to make sure she was alright. They did not look much alike, but Rae could see the resemblance all the same; feel the familial connection in their souls. Cousins, most likely; her mother and his father. Her father was a mystery to her; some dark, foreign man that had promised her mother the world and then vanished.
Rae grimaced as she saw who it was, and knew what had happened.
“I take offence to that, Zebediah,” Ellie said, turning up her nose and pouting. Zebediah grinned, ruffling her hair. A pale hand touched his arm, then, and he turned to see who it was. Rae did as well, and felt a gasp claw its way out of her throat.
It was her lost brother, but it wasn’t – for this man was content, and peaceful, and happy. He had her brother’s broad forehead and his deep set eyes; he had his dark hair and his pale complexion. Where her brother had blue eyes, though, this man’s eyes were gray, and his hands shook like trembling leaves on thin wrists. He hooked his arm through Zebediah’s, leaning against his side and molding to him almost perfectly, his chin resting on the younger man’s shoulder. He looked older, and gentler, and wiser than her brother.
The sight of him made her heart ache, and she longed to go to him. So she did.
“Excuse me,” she spoke up once she was near them. She stifled a sob when the man’s grey eyes turned to her, and she smiled at them vaguely, trying to think of a reason to approach them. She read their minds for just a moment, and felt dirty for doing so. “I couldn’t help but notice you seemed a bit lost…?”
“O-oh,” the man spoke, and his voice was gentle and stuttered and she wanted to cry, “w-well, not really, m-miss. We were j-j-just l-looking for the s-station for the nearest u-underground.”
“Well, you’re nowhere near it,” Rae said with a small smile, rolling her shoulders and feeling her wings shift and scream in her agitation. The man gave her a wide-eyed look, before smiling up at Zebediah apologetically.
“I-it seems I’ve led us a-astray, my love…”
“That’s alright, Allen,” Zebediah said, moving his arm so that he could take one of the man’s – Allen’s – hands and squeeze it in his own. Rae could not help but see the scars that lined Zebediah’s skin; accidents and self-mutilation and self-defence and everything in between being told from those scars. She wanted to trace them, tell each story, and tell him that God would not judge him. She could feel a believer’s soul when she was close, but his faith was weak; and Allen’s none at all. Ellie’s was the strongest, but it was warped into something of her own creation.
Humanity’s only way to survive these days, it seemed.
“I could show you the right way to go, if you’d like,” Rae offered then, giving them a helpful smile. Allen and Zebediah turned to look at her, and she could see how closely tied they were; how they completed one another. How Allen’s frailer soul mended Zebediah’s broken one, and how Zebediah made Allen stronger. They were good for one another; healthy, pure.
It made her wonder how anyone could think her Lord Father despised people like them, when they could do so much with their love.
“N-no, no, we w-w-wouldn’t wish to b-bother you,” Allen said with a little smile, shaking his head and squeezing Zebediah’s hand all in the same breath. “W-we’ll just l-look around a little more…w-we’ll eventually find o-ourselves where we n-n-need to be. Thank you, t-though – it was v-very thoughtful of y-y-you to ask.”
Rae nodded, feeling her heart drop a little. She stepped back, looking once more at Ellie, only to see the young girl staring at her very openly.
She stared back, heading tilting to the side, before realizing Ellie was not looking at her, per se – but at her wings. With that realization, she gave the girl a secretive smile and a wink, saying a quick goodbye and disappearing into the crowd.
The last thing she heard from them was Ellie speaking to her guardians, her voice questioning.
“Was that an angel?”
Rae returned to the Isle with many thoughts on her mind, walking the quiet streets and all at once missing the busy streets of London. Hearing the sickening squelch of teeth through flesh, she paused near an alleyway; peeking into the dark and feeling herself grow cold at the sight.
Her brother sat crouched over a body, his mouth bloody as he guided the sinner’s soul through the gaping wound in his neck. The sinner was on his face, his back completely gone, and her brother was swallowing the soul as if it were a fine wine. She could feel the wrongness of him; feel the twistedness of his being, now. She could feel how cold and dead he was inside.
It made her long for Allen’s gentle voice and careful smile.
It made her want to mourn for her brother.
It made her want to cry.