He looked down at hands that were now curled into claws. ‘So that’s it,’ he said dully. ‘I’m a demon now. Just like that.’ He looked up at the sky, where the clouds had parted for his fall.

His companion of millennia stepped toward him, the air rippling with his passage. He folded his wings and knelt beside him. ‘They’ve made a mistake,’ he whispered. ‘It’s … give them time. They’ll come around.’

Tears rolled down the first’s cheeks. ‘I’m a monster now.’

‘No! No … you could never be a monster.’ As he said the words, his own wings shrivelled and changed.… Read more