The sweet aroma hung heavy in the air as the creature watched the young girl collect flowers. Roses, violets, and daffodils lined the path she strode, but the strongest scent by far was jasmine.
The girl’s loveliness exceeded that of the garden. Her hair flowed down her back like a cascade of shimmering gold. Milky white skin, rosebud lips, and sea green eyes attracted the demon to her. The bushes rustled slightly as the fiend leaned closer, mouth open, fangs exposed.
“Who’s there?” called the girl. She dropped more flowers into the basket and turned toward the sound. No one answered.
The demon returned to his realm. Overcome by the shadowy reflection of the heaven he’d left behind, the banished angel clutched one thin jasmine strand. His punishment had not rid him of the desire for love and beauty, only the ability to experience it. Hot tears stung his cheeks, even as the flower in his hand withered, filling the air with the smell of burning jasmine.