Appearing on the Haserot family tombstone in Cleveland, Ohio, the Angel of Death Victorious is a fitting companion for the Angel of Grief. The verdigris tears of black make the figure all the more striking. Atlas Obscura has clear photos. Forgotten Ohio has creepier, more atmospheric photos.
I want one! No, seriously, I want one of these in 1:6 scale…
In times of great crisis, the angel will walk. It moves with a slow, sort of grating, slightly molten, titanic motion. It will arise and make its heavy, earthen way to the scene of the calamity. Its tread sounds like the bones of the earth resettling.
And it will stand, its torch burning with an eldritch fire, its eyes seeing everything and nothing. And it bears speechless witness, offering both illumination and darkness.
The people in its presence react variously. There’s the usual fainting, shitting of pants, screaming and fleeing, that sort of thing.
Some who see the angel feel peace, a peace as cold as iron, as heavy as the mountains, as deep as the crust of the earth. This weight, this solidity, this strength, and this groundedness unjellify their shaken limbs and steady their qualming hearts.
Now, having seen the angel, they know their own strength. The angel’s cold slow burn of indomitability becomes theirs as well. And they become the activists who are in it for the long haul. They will labor on the side of good and fairness and liberty and justice in whatever way they can for the rest of their days. They will do so persistently, unstintingly, tenaciously, for the angels of the earth are behind them.
And then there are those people who look into the angel’s eyes. We don’t really know what happens to them.
But there are always a few who are drawn inexorably to face that abyssal gazeless gaze. Whoever said that thing about being careful if you look into the abyss because then it might look into you was probably onto something… because the people who try to find the angel’s eyes end up losing themselves.
Their eyes become orbs of light, and they weep in endless illumination. We don’t know what they see [if they see anything] or why they weep because they won’t answer us. They no longer speak; they only sit in reverie.
And then, inevitably, one day, they take their torches, rise, and begin to walk.