Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Prompt: Brainstorming a New Story: Azrael’s Daughter

I’m actually pretty pumped about this story idea I had based on yesterday’s prompt. I think, as an exercise, I’m going to share a little “stream of consciousness” development, while I tease out some of the story particulars. Let’s see how this works out, shall we?

Okay, the idea is Carol is the daughter of Azrael, Angel of Death, who has removed himself from Heaven and Hell so that he’s not under the call of God or the Devil. He had a child with a mortal woman, and she’s now…how old? 18? 24? Not new to what’s going on, I think. And she’s had some training. She’s also been in both Heaven and Hell, and she has an…interesting…relationship with the denizens of each.

Here’s the kicker. God has decreed she must die. Why? Working on that. I’ll get back to you. So he has sent Michael, his first angel and leader of all the denizens of Heaven, to destroy Carol. Just her, or are there others? Hmm…I’ll get back to you on that too.

Okay, stalling out…got to keep working through this. This is the SOC part, where when you don’t know what to say, you’re supposed to push through, even with drivel, until you get back to the good stuff….

Okay, the Devil sends someone to protect Carol. Need to figure out who. And why. Though just to tweak God may be reason enough.

So how long has this been going on? Is Carol on the run? Has she had a normal life up till now? I think she’s spent 6 months on Earth, 3 in Heaven and 3 in Hell each year. Perhaps her mother was not mortal, but a demon. Ahhhh….there’s the ticket. That’s the key, why God wants her destroyed. And not “wants” – if the piece is long enough for a glimpse of God’s POV (or just related by Michael), he regrets what he sees as the necessity. Carol might argue against God’s intervention: Arc, rainbow promise, only Son, any of this ringing a bell?

So that’s how she has a relationship with each. Or maybe she hasn’t been on Earth – she’s lived between Heaven and Hell until her 18th birthday (or quarter century), and now she becomes mortal to choose her path. But God fears her power if she chooses to become demon and sends Michael to take her out.

So does she have power now? Or is she truly mortal – at the mercy of these angels & demons? Or does each attack reveal/release a new power that she must discover and/or learn to control/use.
In my original sketch, Carol was deaf, that was not too obvious apparently. Why? Perhaps not when she speaks to the angels/demons. Do humans see them? Rather, how do humans see them? And back to her being deaf. It has to do with music. God's voice? (Too Dogma?) Angel choir? I'll get back to you on that...

She calls Michael “Uncle Mike” and knows that he has to attend when she summons him for aid…with technology...specifically, or just aid in general? I don’t make *all* this stuff up. Look it up. I thought she discovered this when she was a teen with a wonky laptop. But if she lived split between heaven and hell – did she summon him to hell? And that’s how God realized the extent of her power. Yes! So, what and when is the summons?

Do I have a story arc in here yet? Let’s see:
Carol lives her life between heaven and hell (probably best seen in flashbacks, small snippets to introduce character relationships). Carol summons Mike to Hell. God gets worried. Carol goes to Earth as a mortal to choose her path. God send Michael to destroy Carol. The Devil sends __________ to protect her. Of course loves her. Or falls in love with her. Sacrifices himself – redeeming himself. God relents. The Devil claims Carol.

Where’s Azrael in all this? Why letting it happen? Could Azrael be an aspect of God *and* the Devil? OMG, just had an image of a split avatar – he *is* both of them!
Could do a “why have you forsaken me” scene…does Carol know him/interact with him while growing up?
Happy ending? Tragic? Open?
Darn, is the redemption part too Constantine? Have to do some research…

Well, that’s what I’ve got. What do you think?

Dogs in house
Kyung Wha Chung, “Paganini’s violin sonata No.12”
Time writing:
Pounding this out, about 25 minutes, plus research
July word count:


  1. OK, just a few meta-comments before I dive into this pool:

    1) See my comments in the other entry (haha). No, really, I think the deaf thing was done quite well actually. It took me a second read for it to click, but I think you should neither remove it, nor make it more obvious.

    2) um forgot.

    OK. So can I dive into this? *pinches nose and closes eyes*

  2. - OK, Religio-technology mix? I love it. It need not be cultish like Warhammer 40k, or the technomages of Babylon 5 (but it could be). I love the idea of mixing key Abrahamic figures into this. Sort of like having a patron saint over a sphere of influence, but leveled up (congratulations, technology, you get an archangel!).

    Does she ask Michael for assistance and receive it? Does she (casually) curse Michael while she fixes some faulty bit herself? Is there a little ritual she performs before attempting anything complex or repair-y (half of us have little rituals anyway already).

    - Tech. Tech. Tech. Not trying to push you into sci-fi, but are we possibly future? Near future? Firefly future? Post-Michael-has-lead-the-armies-against-Satan-and-won-but-not-yet-apocalyptic future?

    - OMG (interjection) Are both God and Satan gone from this plane? Just a thought.

    - Deaf. Love it. Keep it. Part of me is rebelling against the idea of making it special (no Angel Choir, no voice of God). At least no excuses for it. She's just deaf.

    - But. If you're going to make it special, instead of Choir and Voices, how about "special on the ground"? The stranger behind her isn't here to kill or capture her, he enters the place (space saloon comes to mind, again) looking for a good place to die. Even across the room, Carol can feel it in the heartbeat too weak to last the night. She can feel it in his (or perhaps another dying soul)'s breath that pushed too lightly against the world around him. Not long for this earth, yada yada yada.

    - Is she standing over the dying person, in their (space saloon) room? Out of sympathy and kindness and -- and not specifically because its her job. But, does she lay hands on them and bring them the peace they thought? Does one hand send them to heaven, and the other send them to hell?

    - Could God want her destroyed because she's doing Azrael's job? Is Azrael dead, or dying and wasting away somewhere perhaps? My original thought here was "Azrael had a daughter instead of a son" and that's the start of her troubles.

    ...sort of taking a small "political" stab, but not wishing to make the story wholly about gender politics (or preachy -- pun not intended). More akin to the fantasy stories where the Duke (or the Duchess) has a first child of the wrong gender to be heir.

    - 6 months on earth. Is that all together? Or is it 3 heaven, 3 earth, 3 hell, 3 earth? Does she long to see two seasons on earth she never gets to see?

    (Meta comment here: I know some of these ideas totally wreck the path you were going on. Just tossing them out, almost SoC. You don't have to accept or follow of course)

    -- Not sure I like the idea of Carol "goes to earth to chose her path." At the same time, I DO like the idea that she's already chosen her path (pre story), and now she's on the run/fight to stay true to that path. I guess maybe I just don't like the image of her standing there saying "I choose Earth" (versus "I choose me") I don't think we earthlings are that special. :)

    - The devil sends the barman, whoever he is? What better way for the devil to act than to start with a sly smile and a bit of kindness?

    OK. Out of gas. But what an inspiration this post was. I can see why you like the thought so much!

    1. I might have to let you write this story! *grin* Great ideas - thanks for brainstorming with me! Have you read Parke Godwin's Waiting for the Galactic Bus (and sequel Snake Oil Wars)? Brilliant imagining of God and the Devil. Lots of other fun ones out there, too, of course. I'm hoping I might be ready to add my name to the list ;)