by Erica Crouch
Published June 11th 2013
by Patchwork Press
Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed.
As Hell prepares for war - spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army - the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.
With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.
Give ‘Em Hell: Pen & Fashion
Pen has the closet I wish I had. She’s effortlessly badass, with looser t-shirts, tight pants, and boots. The number one concern for Pen is comfort and movability -- not necessarily if she is fashionable. She has to be able to run, fly, and fight without her outfit causing her trouble. So, in modern times, she’s not overly fond of dresses or skirts, unless she’s got a pair of awesome tights. However, in the 20s, she was the picture-perfect flapper, with a gold sequined dress and t-strap heels. She knows how to fight in dresses and heels, but it’s much more practical (and comfortable!) to do so in jeans and a t-shirt!
LAYERS are a demon’s best friend. Tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts and worn in leather jackets. Her color pallet is pretty dark (with a lot of gray and black) but she also loves the deep gem colors (emerald, burgundy, sapphires). And every now and then, she might have a pop of something gold. After all, gold was the color she wore as a scribe in Heaven. Pen loves boots. They’re easy to run in, to kick ass in, and to hold her dagger. I’d bet she’d also be a fan of sarcastic shirts, or any kind of graphic print with a literary reference. And of course, she never goes anywhere without her pendant.
Let’s get on to the outfits, shall we?
At the pond/cave
I pause for only a moment before I zip my boots off, take my dagger and slide it through my belt. I place my boots next to Michael’s sweater and drop the backpack from my shoulder. I rest my hands on the edge of my shirt hesitantly before I pull it off and throw it towards my boots. Standing on the edge of the pond in my dark jeans and a thin black tank top, I let my toes skim the warm water.
I bend my legs and launch myself into the pond. The sound of rushing water suddenly replaces the chirping of the forest. I arc out of the water, throwing my heavy, wet hair behind me.
The pond is deeper than I thought it was, and I have to tread water to stay afloat. I spin around and see Michael watching me with a weird expression. I skim my hand across the surface of the pond and send a wave of water towards him.
“Now who’s staring?” I mock.
I turn away from him and walk forward, grabbing the strap of my backpack from under the tree. I reach inside to find a clean t-shirt and pull out a dark blue long-sleeved shirt. I shove my hands into the thin sleeves, the fabric clinging to my wet arms.
Struggling to get my other arm through the shirt, I drop the backpack. I bring the shirt over my head and pull it down my chest and over my black tank top, settling the thin fabric at my hips. I slip my feet into my boots and zip up the sides, spinning around to scoop up my backpack again. But it’s gone.
Instead, when I straighten up, I find Michael standing with the green backpack, one of the thin straps thrown over his shoulder. He smiles at me. “Looked like you needed some help. I can carry it if you would like.”
I pull my hair back behind my head in a messy knot and put on a newly cleaned long-sleeved shirt and a pair of tight, frayed jeans. Earlier this morning, I had room service deliver a rugged leather jacket I’d ordered from one of the boutiques across from the hotel, and I throw that over my shirt, too. It’s grown colder outside, my windows frosting over at the corners, and while the weather doesn’t have any particular effects on me, I find it’s best to blend in and pretend to be bothered by the cold. I tug on my boots, zipping them over the torn edges of my jeans.
Briefly, I consider leaving my dagger behind but end up tucking it securely into my boot. It feels strange to be without it, so I bring it with me more out of habit than necessity. I grab my room card off of the nightstand, shove it into my back pocket, and leave the room, flipping off the lights just before the door slams closed behind me.
OTHER STANDOUTS IN PEN’S CLOSET
About the Author
Erica Crouch is a twenty-year-old living on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. She is currently working towards a degree in English and Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. She spends all of her time writing and reading an overwhelming stack of books. Ignite is her debut novel and she is currently writing its sequel - in addition to two other series!