As the wagon picked up speed, the conflagration transformed the sparse landscape into a fiery, nightmarish vision of Hell. Carlota was hysterical.
“He cannot die! Only God can take his life!” she screamed. “Let me out! Let me out!”
Wrapping his arms and legs around Carlota, Padre Benítez used all of his strength to subdue her. Sobbing, the Galician couple huddled together, with the wife burying her face in her husband’s chest. Señora Ana stared out from the torn window frame, immobile.
Lightning struck all around, followed by claps of thunder… and the deep blaring drone of the horn.
The passenger wagon sped along, and was almost knocked over on its side by a strong gust of wind. It came to a complete stop, as the frightened driver tried to regain control of the terrified horses. To the horror of everyone inside, a gigantic dark red wing brushed against one side of the wagon, before disappearing from view.
The horses reared up before resuming their frenzied pace.
Do not look, my love. Go. Go far away…
Carlota did not heed Ramón’s telepathic entreaty. Like Lot’s wife in the Bible, she looked. So did her traveling companions. What they saw would be forever seared into their memories and nightmares.
An angel — a demon, in Carlota’s eyes — with immense wings, alighted in front of Ramón, wielding a sword in his left hand. His long hair and wings were of an unusual magenta-red hue, similar to the metal and leather armor he wore, which was of a slightly lighter color. From the distance, one could make out the pale oval of his face. With the exception of his white skin, the angel appeared to have been baptized in ox blood.
The Red One.
Carlota hated him with all of her heart.
Staking his sword into the earth, The Red One raised his hands; bolts of lightning shooting from his palms flung Ramón into the dirt.
When the smoke and dust cleared from where he stood, Ramón was nowhere to be seen.
The Red One immediately pulled up his sword and raised himself up to the heavens with his powerful wings, disappearing into the fiery clouds.
The wagon continued to roll at an accelerated pace towards the Presidio, as the sky’s color transitioned from blood red to azure blue.
(Excerpt from ‘Angelo, Texas — Book I: Ramiel’)