tr.v. glo·ri·fied, glo·ri·fy·ing, glo·ri·fies
1. To give glory, honor, or high praise to; exalt.
Frida went deeper into the shop which didn't seem to have an end. The walls were adorned with dark paintings that were flecked with crucifixes and haloes. She observed the several rosary necklaces that hung around the shop. From where she now stood it was only a vintage shop in plain sight, but the deeper she wandered into the tight corridor the more religious relics Frida saw. As an atheist she felt like she had an unholy aura that was not welcome in the shop. Suddenly a putrid smell crawled upon Frida, and distinctly she could feel death. She could feel the darkness and loneliness of the creature that bestowed the obsidian kiss of death upon those that had little time left. Her sense of curiosity overpowered her desire to live. She ventured deeper into the store and the stench of darkness grew stronger as a nebulous cloud of black smoke lingered in the confined cream colored room. The smoke was unlike anything Frida had ever seen, it was godlike. It formed a figure that loomed tall over Her. She trembled with exceeding fear of death. She knew it was death and she knew she could pass any second. Death whispered somberly into Frida's ears.
-' I will be seen upon as a savior once you reach the end. '
And with that, the formation of smoke compressed and everything stood still for a second, until it suddenly combusted and was gone. With that Frida had now had her first near-death encounter. Frida was overwhelmed with events that had taken place before her eyes, in the small and narrow religious shop. The shop had now been rid of all religious relics and now stood still just like any other vintage store. The walls and shelves were now adorned with trinkets that leaned neither towards the devil nor god.
They both stood in the middle of a circle formed by silver pillars in a black marble hall, finished with silver gargoyles poised variously across the herculean room. The room was illuminated by raging fire that protruded out of the pillars. Azrael and Lucifer seemed to ignore the fire that was silver and created a sound that resembled screams. Hell from where they stood didn't seem half bad, but beyond the walls of Lucifer's lair was a kingdom where the air that you breathed was acidic, and every breath you took only reminded you of eternal suffering. The ground millions of feet would tread on was fashioned of roses, of which stems coiled around the pedestrians ankles with every step.The roses were a shade of deep carmine for they survived on sinners blood. In Hades there was no night nor day, there was only an eternal suffering conformed around each sinner's nightmares. All that Lucifer had to do was stand by his cyclopean window framed with silver skulls and thorns, and watch the view that was beautiful through his eyes. Lucifer was not human, he was not a man nor woman, he was a god. He had straight streams of alabaster hair that swept down onto his shoulders. Fastened across his head was a circlet crafted of obsidian crystal that absorbed the light, it was like he was wearing a shadow. Lucifer had a vague sadness in his deep black eyes that reflected that of his million inhabitants. Despite the sorrow seen, he had a smug grin plastered across his face. He matched to the monochrome color scheme of his palace which stood elevated and obvious to all the prisoners. It was just another ingredient in the brew of suffering. Azrael was poised behind Lucifer, not admiring the view as much as him. She had wavy locks of jet black hair, and had dark eye bags that adorned her china white face. She had a tight choker and protruding from it were black robes, draped from shoulder to shoulder. On each shoulder stood a disc, one made of glittering gold and the other, cold silver. Analogus to Lucifer, she had no gender, she was inhuman and immortal, for if Azrael would perish the world would be smitten with immortality.
Dismayed, Frida stumbled out of the shop to get some fresh air. The cold swedish air bit at her warm face, which was fully exposed to the subzero temperature. Stockholm was not a dream in the winter, it was a brumal and dark kingdom that leeched happiness out of it’s citizens. Frida ignored the cold and was fixated on what had just happened.Just a few minutes ago she was supposedly almost touching death, and from what death had said, Frida would see upon it as a hero when she was near to "the end". ‘How could death be seen upon as an inamorata?’ thought Frida vigorously. Although she rejected the idea of ever accepting death as a gift, furthermore enjoying it, she was almost eased that she had been so near it yet she still stood very much alive on the icy pavement.
Entering her home she was greeted by empty shelves, where no family photos stood, but books that reflected her loneliness. Frida had been donated to an orphanage as a newborn, and she could not see the rainy porch with a loving mother doing the best she could, but she could see the cold beds and the icy concrete that lined the floor. She had been deprived of love as a child and was now obsessed with finding someone to love her. She wanted a conformation that she was useful in the world, and that she was loved
God was tired of the humans and God grew worried as their sins multiplied. God was about to test the humans. God wanted to make the humans appreciate the human life process more. Their respect was nonexistent and it had to be revived. God was going to give death a holiday. Azrael would finally get a time to rest and the humans were about to be detoxed, and it would not be beautiful. It was going to be like medicine, disgusting but for the better.
Azrael suddenly felt God's voice stream through her veins,then she looked away from the old man lying in the cold bed in the hostile hospital. Azrael raised her hand up to the ceiling and slowly, feathers, a beak and two beady eyes developed on her hand. Eventually her hand had metamorphosed into a single melanoid raven which broke off from her arm, spread it wings and took flight out of the door, into the endless corridor. As it left, it had a chain effect on the rest of Azrael's body until a congress of ravens fled the hospital looking like dozens of airborne insects. Ascending through the clouds the congress finally arrived at the humble home of God. It was crafted of dense fog, and was simply a small cottage resting upon the clouds. The ravens spun around each other until they unified as one single being, Azrael. She treaded carefully on the delicate cushions of cloud and entered the cottage. She was welcomed by thousands of unreal voices all harmonically creating an unreal sound, but Azrael did not absorb the sounds, she deflected them in subtle repugnance. And there she could see God, sitting peacefully looking out of the window, witnessing thousands of merry people. Azrael could only see God's hair that ran like a waterfall along the back of God's chair. The hair was golden, as golden as the sun and as golden as silence claimed to be. Azrael spoke.
'You called me, what may I do for you?'
'I think that it's time you take a break.'
Struck with surprise Azrael felt several feelings bombarding her mind and blurring her sense of decision.
'It is for them, it is for them to realize how blissful death is. This is merely your glorification.'
'But what about Lucifer? Has he agreed on this? I am not only your product, I also obey him, I stand neutral in this world.'
'He has, and you will obey me since he has agreed.'
Proclaimed God in a voice that echoed with the most delicate note of anger.
'I understand, but where do I go, where should I be? If I have no assignment my life is useless.'
'Don't ever say that anyone's life is useless, everyone is a part of this realm's process, but you just play a bigger part in it. Fear not Azrael, you will return and you will be appreciated, not feared.'
‘Then I am to retire, I will return when you call me.’
‘I will see you then, for now witness the pain they will have to go through to love again.’
There was nothing more to be said, what God wanted was only better for the humans. Azrael could clearly understand why the Devil would agree to such an offer. To see eternal suffering above his kingdom was a luxury. It was mandatory to pay some respect to Lucifer before making changes in the realm God & Lucifer shared. Azrael was going to enjoy her holiday, although she didn’t know how to spend it. Perhaps she would devote some time to the girl she had met, who Azrael had strangely developed feelings for. The girl that would change the fate of all that were to suffer.
Frida was alone, and everyone she had tried to explain her experience to repelled her and labeled her as a freak. It was something that she explained so vividly, that she could easily be understood as mentally sick. She could do so because she remembered everything so well. The distinct sense and smell of death lingering in that tight store. The neutralization of the store when Death had left. It was almost as if she had read a book about it over and over, she felt like she was over analyzing it, yet she couldn’t stop doing so. She looked out of the window and saw a raven perched upon her windowsill, looking with it’s inky eyes through the window. Frida made nothing of it, but the raven continued to observe Frida and it was obvious to her that it was different. She went closer to it, drawn to its murky gaze. Frida opened the window and as she did so it frantically flapped it’s wings and swooped off of the sill, into the fog that embraced the city.
She had never been so nervous, she had fled and she felt horrible about it. Azrael sat on the ledge of a building, her hair billowing in the dark, foggy sky. She had never felt so powerless and helpless to a single being, and that single being was not even godly, it was a measly human. The worst part of it all was that she didn’t know why she felt that way. She was blind and she was stumbling in the dark. All that Azrael could do was sit and think, or she could meet Frida and embrace her with compassion, without killing her.
He raised his heavy black gun towards his head for his sorrow had blinded his sense for life. He was totally and utterly depressed and this was nothing that he did easily, it was a war to pull the trigger. When he pulled down on the death machine, he saw his life flash before his forlorn gaze and it was bliss for a harmonious second. Suddenly the pain pinned his senses. ‘ Is this hell? Is this my eternal suffering? ‘ thought the man in an expected yet frightened way, he sat in his bathtub, drenched in blood, but still alive. ‘Why am I not dead yet? What’s happening?’ thought the man more scared,He stumbled up, out of the bathtub, thick blood oozing out of his unrecognizable head. He picked his phone up and dialed 1-1-2. He put the phone near to where his ear used to be, and didn’t hear anything. He tried speaking but nothing came out of the bloody mess that used to be his head and as he let go of the phone he just collapsed in utter loss of hope.
She walked across the scorching stone road and only heard her meaty music, not the desperate honk of the driver that was sitting in the truck. With a blank hit she shattered under the truck, as it crushed her whole body against the seemingly beautiful grills that gleamed under the sun. Blood splattered the whole frontal region of the truck and her innards darkened the asphalt with a burgundy guilt. All that was left of her was a heart, still beating and a brain pulsating in pain. What the world was soon to welcoming with loving arms was death, and their suffering would soon bring forth the compassion that had been forgotten in death’s bitter doings.
Lucifer took a stroll in the hospital. He laughed at the dumbfound doctors and nutty nurses that leaned over the ‘dead’ bodies that still lived, despite the context. Although he was having the time of his life, looking at the weaklings crippling and not understanding, he was agreeing with God. He was not laughing at God, he was laughing with God. God had succeeded greatly and Lucifer despised when others succeeded, so Lucifer took one last bitter laugh and started to scheme against God. The only one that could change Azrael’s doings, and make her go against God was a human, Frida. Lucifer had observed how Azrael’s nervous attempts to socialize and be welcomed by her had failed. What Lucifer was going to give Azrael was what he lacked to love.
Lucifer’s cold hand gripped the silver disc on her shoulder and said
‘You really do like her don’t you?’
‘She is special, you wouldn’t understand.’
‘Love is something I am not interested nor capable of, but I love helping others.’
‘Do you really now? That’s hard to believe.’
‘You are to love who you will, for you are on a vacation and you need to loosen up.’
‘I’m not su..’
Azrael felt the cold pain impale her where Lucifer had laid his hand. The cold streamed through her body, consuming it and collecting in her head. She struggled to breathe, and suddenly the frost evaporated.
‘What have you done?!’
‘I gave you what you need to love her. Confidence.’
‘What is the point of this? What do you scheme you devil?!’
‘Ha! I am only doing what I swore to do when I was banished from God’s empire.’
Left shocked Azrael collected herself and tried to figure out what Lucifer had just done to her. She felt the same and looked the same when she glanced upon the black marble furnishing the room. She needed to think, and to lay her eyes upon Frida one more time, that was what Azrael looked forward to the most of all.
Frida sat caught in the glare of the television, that radiated with static beams. She was watching the news that normally brought exaggerated mundane happenings in the spotlight, but today it brought no normal news. Thousands of reports of dead people, that were alive. It had captured the whole world’s attention that death was not present. Frida sat in the painful silence after having turned off the tv. The silence pierced her thoughts, that were frantic and rushed. She simply couldn’t process what she had just heard. In that still moment a raven landed on her windowsill. It looked deeply into Frida’s eyes, despite the fact that it’s eyes were black and beady. Out of curiosity and will to break the muteness she opened the window and greeted the dark creature with a click-like sound, not expecting it to react. It flapped it’s wings confidently and entered her room. In total panic Frida shooed the bird with her arms, almost reflecting the flapping of it. A cloud of dark smoke seemed to breeze through the ravens body, and she could smell it. Frida could smell the scent she now longed for. It was death.
Azrael’s cold touch against Frida ‘s warm cheek was sensual. It was like a cold glass of lemonade on a sunny day. Such contrast, but such harmony. Frida was hardly scared, she felt safe. Azrael was content. She was content for it was Frida she wanted most in the world. That minute was tender, but following the sugar coated moment Frida avoided Azrael’s touch, and with a concerned emphasis she said
‘ Why? You have responsibilities too! ‘
‘ Apparently it’s my glorification. ‘
Said Azrael with a clueless tone. Azrael quickly grew concerned of Frida ‘s thoughts. Was Azrael a monster through Frida’s glittering mahogany eyes?
‘ Can’t you see that we need you? We all do, you are a part of our world. ‘
Frida stood tense, and reflected on how she could conversate with death with such ease. It was in that moment she realized that death was not a god to her, but something down to earth. Death was a companion, or more. It was also in that moment Azrael realized that Frida was not angry because because she hated death, but rather because she cared for her own kind. It was only human but Azrael couldn’t decipher her way of thinking, that was what made her so beautiful. If it was what Frida wanted, Azrael would reemploy herself.
Feet touching the soft ground Azrael glided through the clouds, in search for God. She was anxious and scared, and the feeling muddled up with each other. When she grew scared, all she thought was of Frida’s soft touch and empathetic heart. The love was like a plague, alleviating all of Azrael’s thoughts. It was bliss to be in love, but it was also dangerous. Azrael came clear of the fog and saw the humble cottage in which God would recede.
She pushed lightly on cotton like door and simultaneously took a deep breath. It was time to confront the beacon of morals with an opposing proposal. God sat in the meek chair, sporting a heavenly head of golden hair.
‘What is it you desire Azrael?’
‘I wish to please those I love .’
‘And how will you do so?’
‘I need to kill again, I need to restore myself in the humans system.’
‘It is too soon, is it not?’
‘No, they are desperate, people are suffering and they need me, they will appreciate me.’
‘You may not disobey me, you may chose between these two options: You can either sacrifice your godliness for immediate replacement for your position, that will start working instantly, or you can just have patience and wait.’
Of course blinded by love, Azrael chose to give his immortality up without any second thoughts.
‘I am to die, and you will see me by the golden gates.’
‘So be it.’
Lucifer watched as Azrael parted with her immortality. He laughed childishly at her foolishness. It was quite naïve of her to give away such powers for a disposable item. That was how Lucifer thought of humans, ‘items’ that could be disposed of. Lucifer did have to power to kill, but it went against the rules of all kingdoms. It was against the rules, but Lucifer had his way around rules. Right before his dark eyes walked billions of slaves, that would all kill for a second chance at living. What he was about to do was in pure pleasure of observing pain and sorrow in Azrael’s short life.
As Azrael descended towards the frosty Stockholm landscape, she still saw Frida in front of her, and clear of the clouds, she saw the dark waters steaming in the nippy morning. Azrael landed on the gritty pavement and like a fallen angel felt completely powerless and could taste the bitter fear growing. Fear of the real world, fear of weakness, fear of vulnerability. She was now exposed to a world without control of anything whatsoever. Although she felt the fear she also felt her love for Frida . She needed to see her.
At the same house they had recently met, and at the same house Frida had told Azrael what she desired. It was there Azrael stood, pressing on the metal button, feeling the cold bite her finger. The door just opened and she walked up the marble stairs, reminiscent of those in hell. Opening the doors to Frida’s apartment Azrael choked. She choked on air, she breathed in rapidly, multiply and cowardly. As a shattered soul, Azrael looked upon what lay in front of her. It was Frida . It was the one Azrael gave everything up for. She lay on the black marble and as straight as a stick she lay upon a burgundy pool, clenching a silver platter, ornate with carmine roses. In the middle, in such innocent cursive figure it stood ‘see you in hell.’
It was then Azrael realized how much love she had for Frida . Just like death herself Frida had now been glorified through death’s eyes.
I’m lying in my bed that has a life of its own. The springs in this bed are trying to escape, spiralling themselves out of the linen that suffocates the shit I lie on. The springs quietly nip at my back, whispering little marks into my body that suffocate underneath dry, yellow skin.
This city is wrapping itself tightly around my head, as Murakami would suggest, this city is a body, and the people in it are the blood cells constantly pumping life into this grimy infrastructure. I don’t know if that’s true — for me London is a parasite that lives on all it’s inhabitants — or maybe a venus flytrap. I fell into it and the bait was lush. I felt so comfortable and my chronic ennui seemed to trickle between the cracks of my mind. But now when it’s been a month, I feel like the base of a mediocre cheesecake, dry and crumbling.
Staying in is not an option. I’m an extrovert when I’m empty because I use people to fill that void. It’s not really a void, it’s one that I’ve given birth to myself. I guess that it’s my fault that I’m in this state because I let these negative feelings of the city infect me. Now I know - this city’s a fat gross tick that is trying to leave me with some crazy diseases and addictions…
Happiness can just trickle from our bodies time to time, and we just have to look for the hole and patch it up. Maybe drops of blood — if studied thoroughly enough — could contain traces of happiness… Memories about tumours become tumours