Richard Harland - Ferren and the Angel

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Selected Extracts


Ferren sees an Angel fall to Earth


Strange and fearful noises in the night. Daroom! Daroom! Daroom!; a deep-down thunder like an endless drum. Then a sharp splitting sound like the crack of a whip: Kratt! Kratt! Kratt! The noises throbbed through the earth and echoed across the sky.

There were voices too. Eeeeeeeyah! A high-pitched scream passed over from horizon to horizon. Then laughter broke out in hoots and whoops. And away in the distance, grave booming words of incomprehensible giant speech:



'Mors et maleficiis!'

It was the worst night in a long time. The People lay close together in their Dwelling-Place. The walls of the derelict building surrounded them at the sides, but there was no roof overhead to protect them. They had only their blanket, a single waterproof blanket big enough to cover the whole tribe. They huddled on the mossy floor of the Dwelling-Place with the blanket over their heads.


Only one of the People was different. Ferren lay with the other adolescents, in the outer ring of bodies under the blanket. But he was not curled up into a ball. He had lifted the edge of the blanket and was peering out into the night.

He could see movement all over the sky. Vague multitudes of shapes like wings swam slowly behind the clouds. One side of the sky was fiery bright, where red fiery tongues stabbed upwards from below. The tips of the tongues were clearly visible above the wall of the Dwelling-Place.

There were pale oval globes too, swarms and swarms of them. At first they were high in the sky, but as Ferren watched, they descended lower and lower. They moved with a looping spiralling motion, in a kind of aerial dance. They seemed to be moving towards the red tongues of fire.

He knew what to expect. It wasn't the first time he had watched Heaven attacking the Earth. Suddenly the globes began to shoot forth flashes of blinding light. On -- off! On -- off! On -- off! On -- off!

Ferren was momentarily dazzled. By the time he had blinked away the dazzle, the globes were ascending once more. They were like wafting sparks borne up on a draught of air.

But one globe wasn't ascending. Instead it hurtled across the sky, very low down. It seemed to be coming straight towards the Dwelling-Place.

Ferren stared. He wriggled forward for a better look. He wriggled forward until his whole head and shoulders were sticking out beyond the blanket.

Still the globe came hurtling onwards. It was completely out of control. It bobbled and wobbled, struggling to rise but always losing height. The pale oval shape was rimmed with an ominous red glow.

Ferren began to draw back in under the blanket again. The thing was getting too close for comfort. Surely it couldn't be going to crash on top of the Dwelling-Place?

Larger and larger it loomed. Now he could see some sort of Celestial inside, a winged figure in yellow robes, twisting and turning. He could hear a sound like a thin silvery wail:


He pulled the blanket sharply over his head and buried his nose in the ground.


The globe whistled over the top of the Dwelling-Place and hit the ground somewhere nearby.


There was a dull hollow-sounding explosion. Then nothing. Silence. Ferren breathed a sigh of relief. He lifted the edge of the blanket and peered out once more.

There was no smoke or light rising up above the Dwelling-Place wall. He traced the course of the globe's final plunge, trying to work out where it must have come down. Somewhere in the direction of Beaumont Street, he calculated. Probably out on the open Plain, in the grass beyond the ruins.

He grinned to himself. What an amazing event! A crashed globe from Heaven's army! He wished there was someone he could tell. But the People wouldn't want to hear. And they certainly wouldn't want to investigate.

But he could investigate on his own ... if he dared. He could slip away early tomorrow morning, he could go out and search for whatever was left of the globe and its occupant. The thought of something so forbidden and dangerous made his heart beat faster.

Up above, the war in the sky continued unabated. The ascending globes had formed up in a line and were streaming off on another trajectory. The strange booming voices grew louder, the red tongues of fire shifted direction.

But Ferren had something else to think about. He was planning what he might do tomorrow morning ... if he dared.


next extract


Ferren and the Angel

Ferren & the Angel


Ferren and the White Doctor

Ferren & the White Doctor


Ferren and the Invasion of Heaven

Ferren & the Invasion of Heaven


Ferren's World

Ferren's World


About Angels

About Angels




Extracts from the First book in the Heaven & Earth Trilogy ...
Ferren sees an Angel fall to Earth ... Miriael teaches Ferren about the World ...
Myths and Sacred Objects ... Forest of the Morphs ...



Read extracts from Ferren and the White Doctor
or the latest novel, Ferren and the Invasion of Heaven



- Ferren Home - Ferren and the Angel - Ferren and the White Doctor - Ferren and the Invasion of Heaven -

The FERREN series is published by Penguin Books Australia




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1997 - 2015

Richard Harland.