Abaddon ascended the sloped hillside with steps of savoring, around him, a constant buzz of locusts. A guttural sound flowed from him as he laughed to himself. Thick clouds, black and swollen with rain, hurried by as if attempting to escape the scene. In their panic, they pulled a wake of white feathers. In their rushing gasp they carried with them the laughter of doom.
Gnarled feet of burnt leather sank into the wet soil and tall grass. Rot radiated outward from them, and a smile grew on the demon’s face. On a lone hill next to a dead tree lay the mangled corpse of an angel.
“Where are the trumpets, Barachiel?” said Abbadon to the corpse. “And where is the promise of His word?”
The locust swarm fluttered and twirled in the wind, and the insects began to tear at flesh and wing. The clouds broke then, unable to contain their sorrow. Woeful drops hammered at the ground. Abaddon stretched wings of his own to make a shelter for the devouring swarm. In the valley below, a small village resided. Screams ran with the wind up the hillside to the demon’s ears. He smiled, and a feeble rumble of thunder fell from the clouds.
“You failed, Barachiel. You failed and you fell all the same.” Abaddon dug his nails into the dead flesh and pulled at a gilded breastplate. The gap exposed was immediately filled by ravenous locusts. “What concern is thunder without lightning, Barachiel,” he seethed. “What point is martyrdom when death is your redemption?” The demon’s muscle pulsed with power as the angel was consumed. In a violent pull, the breastplate broke free. He tossed it aside like a piece of scrap metal. Insects took to the revealed flesh.
The demon clutched Barachiel’s face with a claw and opened still lids to look into dead eyes. A rare treat, the locusts consumed them like ripe grapes. Smiling, Abaddon opened Barachiel’s mouth and tore the bottom jaw free. A lifeless tongue lolled in the opening. “Sing His praise,” he said, nudging the mutilated face. “Go on. Sing for Him or sing for me.”
More screams rose up from the nearby valley, and the black clouds continued to weep. “Feast, little ones,” he said to the locusts crawling on the corpse, falling from his fingers, adorning his skin. “Feast and spread your wings.” He stood and dropped the jawbone onto the corpse. Already, it had been eaten away to almost bone. “For tonight we all feast.”
In the swirling clouds of darkness, even darker figures took to the sky, and the wind ushered their vile jeering.