The Shadow In The Trees: Archangelus

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It was five years ago, during the hot summer months in Texas. We were visiting my aunt in a rural area of the state maybe a couple hours to the northeast of Houston. I had lived in Houston most of my life, roughly fifteen years at that time, so the change in environment from large crowded city to a less densely populated wooded area was something I wasn’t used to. As much as I didn’t want to be there, I had to. This would have been the last time my family would get see her as she had grown gravely ill and there didn’t seem to be any chance of recovery. Though how she left this world is something that I will never forget.

The first Tuesday after school ended was when my mom received the call from my grandfather. Very soon after, it seemed like we were packed for a year-long expedition despite us only planning to stay a week. It was my parents, my younger brother Brandon, our overly-energetic Chihuahua, and me. My dad had to drive the entire way there as my mom was in no state to as she was beyond worried of losing her only sister. We probably traveled the entire way in only half the time it should have taken. Once we arrived, an ominous feeling shot over me. I couldn’t help but stare at the nearby tree line. I tried to push aside the unsettling feeling and brought my bags inside my aunt’s house, where we would be staying in the rooms down the hall from her. Even around family there was still a slight atmosphere of a haunting isolation. The closest house was a couple miles down the road. It was late when we arrived so I decided to try and sleep away this feeling. I shared the room closest room next to my aunt’s with Brandon, so I guess there was a little bit of comfort.

I laid down on what felt like the most uncomfortable mattress in the world. The springs felt like they were popping out of the cushioning and digging right into my back. The blanket was a carpet-like fabric, which personally I believe shouldn’t be made into any kind of blanket spread. And no pillow. The old house creaked and clicked, and just as I drifted into sleep the door flew open, suddenly jolting me awake. It was my dad. “You two come see your aunt real quick,” he said. My heart was racing from the sudden jump. I got up and walked out the room with my brother following and let him pass, but something made me turn around. Through the window I saw a shadow quickly rush by in the small amount of light shining through. Maybe a raccoon or something, I thought. Or maybe my imagination.

Through my aunt’s door my mom waved to me to come in. Seeing my aunt I could tell she really was hanging on by a thread. She was only thirty-six, yet she could easily be mistaken as someone more than double her age in this condition. She was almost pale white and her usually thick brown hair had become thin and somewhat transparent. In a weakened voice she called out my name. “Chris,” my aunt made out, “come here.” It took a moment, but I managed to take six or seven steps up to the left of her bed. There she said the usual ‘I haven’t seen you in however long’ conversation. While she was talking I noticed she was probably having trouble seeing me. Her pupils were cloudy and gray, and I really couldn’t help feeling very sorry for her. Even if I’ve never seen her much, she was still family.

After we were done with a small conversation, I returned to my room with Brandon and tried again at falling asleep. I finally found myself asleep but soon I awoke maybe an hour or two later. My dog was at my window barking his head off at something, with my brother right beside him. Still half asleep I asked him, “Brandon, why are you up?”

Still staring out the window, he answered, rubbing our dog’s head to try and calm him. “I haven’t gone to bed yet,” he said a little uninterested. “Mommy and daddy just left to go get Grandpa Mike from his house.” I didn’t think much of what he was doing, but before I told him to get back to bed, he said something that send shivers down my spine. “Chris, do… do you see the man standing over there by the trees?” In an instant, I jumped up from my bed and grabbed Brandon to get him out of the window. I took a peek at the edge of it and saw a shadow in the trees, and in that shadow were piercing white circles, I could only guess eyes, with an otherworldly presence coming from it. Then they disappeared and the man-shaped shadow quickly faded into the trees behind it. It had to be some kind of robber or insane man on the loose, I thought. Now there was an overwhelming sense of danger and we were in the middle of it. A fifteen year old, seven year old, a sick bedridden woman, and a Chihuahua. My first instinct was to close the curtains and then tell my brother to hide under the bed in case the mysterious entity tried to make a move.

I ran out the room and into my aunt’s. She was asleep and still breathing. That was good. What I did next was probably the most insane thing someone my age and situation could have done. I grabbed a flashlight and a large kitchen knife, and then stood by the door trying to build up courage. I would normally just block the door during something like this, there was something luring me to whoever or whatever was out there. I slowly opened the door and stepped out into the warm Texas night.

Before I could move, I saw it positioned right in front of me. It wasn’t a man like Brandon had thought. It looked right at me, past my eyes and deep into my soul. From a crouched position I saw this dark colored creature stand straight up, within fifty feet from me. It was a somewhat skeletal humanoid with dark gray, leathery skin stretching over it. I noticed the fingers were elongated with large overgrown nails that formed into jagged points. But the most horrific feature was its face. Along with the large white eyes, there was something of a smile stretching across its slender, scarred face, comprised of yellow stained shards of teeth with black gums showing. And the blood that flowed down over its face like tears. I was completely paralyzed with fear. I shut my eyes, hoping it was an illusion. But the more I kept them closed, the louder the footsteps got. I began to smell the strong iron stench of blood and hot breath on my face. I wanted to scream so much but was afraid to even form the most pathetic of noises. I opened my eyes again, fearing of what would come of me, as it stared at me just inches from my face.

It was hunched over but still a good foot above my height, who myself am tall for my age. It started making out sounds I could compare as a person loudly gagging mixed and a deep, demonic growl. Yet it didn’t make a move against me. At that point I managed to make out a simple question to see if I could invoke a reply. “Wha… What are you?”

I could see what could be jaw muscles in the scars on its cheeks start to move as it made out words in the same type of voice, “Archangelus.” I was astounded. Before I could make any kind of reaction, he disappeared in the blink of an eye. I was shocked with what I had just witnessed. It couldn’t have meant archangel, could it?

I quickly ran inside the house and locked the doorknob and chain. I went into the hallway, ready to hide away from whatever that was with my brother. But when I walked into the hallway from the living room, I noticed my aunt’s door open slightly. I was beyond worried. I was hoping Brandon ran was with her in her room, but that hope was shattered when I heard our dog whimpering in our room. There’s no way he would just leave him there. When I entered the room, I found myself a guest to whatever act this creature was performing. It sat there, perched on my aunt’s headboard, reaching down and wrapping its boney long fingers around her neck. Suddenly wings erupted from its back. Large but not exactly bat-like, and they soon found a place wrapped around both it and my aunt. Before my view of her was completely blocked, I saw her staring directly into the entity’s eyes, and by her lip movement I believed she had said “Angel.”

I soon saw a bright light and quickly fell unconscious, waking up the next morning in my bed. When I walked out of the door, I heard my mom crying in the room over. I turned to see what happened and I saw her by my aunt’s bedside with my dad comforting her. Over on the right as I walked in I saw Brandon with my grandfather. “What happened to Aunt Elizabeth, Grandpa?” He asked this as he wasn’t really familiar with a family loss, as he was still a bit young when our grandmother died. The only thing my grandfather answered back with was “An angel took her last night.” Before he began tearing up. This was the second person he lost, my grandmother three years prior. All I could think of that point: angel. Angel. Just repeating over and over in my head. Soon after I asked Brandon how I got into bed last night, hoping he would answer like he didn’t know what I was talking about to maybe explain it as just my imagination.

“I saw the tall man carry you into the room,” he said. “I saw it all from under the bed.” My heart stopped. So I did experience everything that night.

I never shared my experience with anyone until last year at my wedding. I saw my grandfather just before it started and took him to the side to share the events of that night. “So you’ve seen it too now?” he asked, astounded. “It was there when your grandma passed. I came back from the market and saw it right there standing on my porch.” So now I know whatever this ‘angel’ is, it’s involved with my family. I’m twenty-one now, and decided to try and put that behind me now. Yet today that all too ominous feeling is back. Since then I’ve moved to Los Angeles with my wife but right now I’m in Massachusetts with her at the airport, after visiting some historical sites. It’s time to make our way back, but I just can’t shake this feeling. I just hope we’ll make it home for my birthday tomorrow, September 12th. I’ve decided to type this down so my story will be known. Maybe you may find out you were once on the same plane as the ‘Crazy Angel Guy’ once this story gets released. I just need to catch my plane, Flight 11.

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3 Comments on 'The Shadow In The Trees: Archangelus'

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  • Commented on November 28, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    yet, I haven’t found myself yet. things haven’t been the same late, this year was the worst year of my life, I just wish things were a bit simpler.

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  • Commented on November 19, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Finally a new one after 6 months. Ratings aren’t working and neither is reporting a glitch as the version of recaptcha has been shut down.

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  • Commented on November 20, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve read this before… good reading it again. It reminds me of a place we rent in Canada so that’s how I imagine the scenery and the house … eek 🙂

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