Church (Chapter 1, Part 2)

Continued from Church Part 1, which can be read below.

Shutting my eyes I drifted into a deep and dreamless sleep. I wasn’t aware of anything around me and even if I had dreamed, no recall would have been possible. When I awoke, it was only to roll over before arranging the blankets and pillows half-consciously. I fell back to sleep, aware of a light scratching sound of some animal but not bothered by it. No dreams manifested this second sleep and I awoke feeling oddly refreshed and bright.

Stretching out, I saw that the candle had turned into a pool of wax, some of which had run down the desk and created a row of stalactites. I got up, scattering the bedding and walking across the floor. It was cold and rough under me. I dressed quickly, though strapping on the metal breast plate and arm guards took time.

Licking my dry lips, I glanced around for some bottled water or even some food. However, the plastic storage box next to the desk was empty and there was nothing else in sight. Grabbing my sword, I went down into the church. My boots clomped loudly on the stone steps then crunched across the floor. I went around the back of the pillar, close to the large alcove where the grand church organ was tucked into. I was half tempted to let my fingers play across the keys and rung out a hymen. The instrument still sounded good, but I was scared that the noise would alert someone to my presence. Through another hidden door here were the priest’s chambers and the three connecting rooms were small. The first held a desk and chair, signalling that it had once been an office. The second was a dressing and storing room, whilst the third held a tiny toilet and sink.

Going into this last room, I ran the tap, washed my hands and face, before drinking the water. It tasted coppery and slightly earthy. Turning the tap off, I give up a silent pray of thanks and walked back into the church. I felt better, but hunger lay heavily in my stomach and I knew I’d have to find something to eat before I started my nightly duties. Hungry and blood were the worse things about taking a body form, even one that was immortal. They were something that couldn’t be escaped from, no matter what and how you tried. I had long experiment with them and also the emotions that I seemed to gain.

Pulling my outer robe more tightly, I walked out of the church. Opening the door let in the darkening late afternoon light and a rain shower. Looking around, I saw no spirits waiting to highjack me, but I knew they were close. Just like my enemies, spirits good or evil are weak in the daytime, no matter the weather, however they still linger. Setting out, I held my head high and made it to the lichgate without hearing or feeling anything. The abandoned road before me looked long and painful today, but I knew that after some food and the first kill, I’d feel better.

I unfurled my wings, though in this body and on Earth, they were invisible to all but the supernatural. Also, they were not hindered by any material and I had great control of them. I stretched them about, feeling them both heavy and weightless on my back. Every golden red feather was in place and most of their edges looked sharp. I was proud of them, like so many of my brothers and sisters were. Flapping them, I thought about the closest village before kicking off the ground and rising up. I flew much like a swan and swept through the rain clouds and the tree tops, before arriving just outside.

It was a picturesque English countryside village; quiet, with everyone close-net and suspicious of strangers, especially foreigners. However and perhaps lucky for me, there was a retired white witch, Granny Malock, living in the last cottage on the far side. It was to there I now fluttered too and landed at her front door. It was easier to obtain the basics from the more knowledgeable and willing, without drawing unwanted attention and questions from others. Though of course all angels knew how to survive and keep secret, just like the rest of the supernatuals did.

I used the knocker lightly and waited, watching the rain fall softly on the nearby thatched roofs and road. A dog barked down the lane followed by a rumble of tractor engine and low mooing cows. The door opened and the old woman waved me in. She was short, but not bend over or walking hobbled. Her bones were strong, like her mind and spirit. Her long white hair was tied into a bun and she wore a simple blue dress and black house shoes.

‘I’ve not seen you awhile, Blaze,’ she began, ‘did you return home?’

‘No. I’m still stuck here.’

She laughed and led me into the small front room. Two arm chairs and a table were gathered around a newly going fire. A tall bookcase took up the wall to my right and there was a curtained window to my left, which looked out onto the front garden. I took my sword off and sat down in one of the chairs. She fussed around, tidying up some books that were on the table and poking the fire, before asking me what I would like.

‘I need a meal. If it’s not too much trouble and some food for a few days to take with me,’ I replied, feeling the notes of guilt and regret in my voice, ‘I hate asking, but it’s easier this way. I shall have to do something for you.’

‘A ticket into Heaven?’ she suggested, then giggled, ‘oh, I know it’s not you who decides such things, but maybe a good word in the right ear?’

I nodded.

Smiling, she left the room and I heard her walk into the kitchen and began making things. I sighed and looked into the flickering flames. The fire was warm and whiffed the scent of burning wood, coal and paper into my face. Nonetheless, it couldn’t stop the heavy scent that coated the cottage. Dried herbs- parsley, mint, garlic, sage amongst others, battled against one another, more exotic plants and fresh lilies. I breathed it all in and imagined what they all could be used for.

I could have dozed whilst she was away, but instead I got up and looked through the books. There was a mixture of fiction and non-fiction in seemingly no order. I pulled the Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table out. It was a favourite of mine, though I could have studied all the world’s legends and myths for years. Siting back down, I flipped through the pages, looking at the coloured pictures and glancing at the words. I drew a comfort and familiarity out of the stories, I guess because I was a knight amongst my kind.

Granny Malock came back with a large tray of food, which looked more like a buffet for a group of people. She set it on the table and told me to have what I liked. Closing the book, I readily ate, thanking her and praising the food too often. She waved it all off. When I had done, she took the rest way and came back with a large basket.

‘Don’t let the rats and mice in that church get to it,’ she said.

‘Of course not!’

‘And really Dear, do you have to live there? I’ve a nice attic room you could have.’

I shook my head, ‘I can’t ask any more of you and anyway I’m fine.’

‘I don’t believe you. That place is such a mess.’

‘I…I feel closer to…home, to Him, there. It’s easier. Please don’t trouble yourself about it. I need very little and seek no comfort.’

She handed me the basket with a little roll of her eyes and a pat on my hands.

‘Honest,’ I replied, ‘and thanks for this.’

We said goodbye and parted. It was still raining as I flew back. After storing the food carefully in the belfry, I left once more and began my duties.

To Be Continued…

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Church (Chapter 1, Part 1)

‘My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’

Psalm 22:1

 Dawn was approaching; bringing an end to another long night.  I stepped under the lichgate, glancing over my shoulder. At the edges of my vision I could see shadows dancing as they crept from the growing light. Taking a depth breath, I felt the weight of the cloth and amour covering me and heavy sheathed sword on my back. I knew that even in the daytime evil wouldn’t rest, but they were greatly weakened and that always offered me some peace.

Turning back, I walked through, avoiding the dangling moss and the broken beams. The gate which once opened into what had been a small, neat churchyard, was covered in ivy and chained shut. I jumped over and thudded to the ground in my massive leather boots. Sweeping the ends of my robes off the gate, I begin weaving my way through the graveyard.

The dimming lights of restless spirits tugged at me. I waved them off, reminding them it wasn’t my job to claim or guide them. Still they urged me in breathy, faded voices.

‘Please, Sir.’

‘Angel, take me with you.’

‘Blaze. I know that’s your name. Why won’t you help us?’

‘Where’s mama? Have you seen her? Can you take me to her?’

A small hand clutched my trailing robe. I bent my head, ignoring it and pushing through the tall grass and wild weeds. The wind rattled the branches of the dead yew and the bare twigs of the hedgerows. Then the breeze played through my long golden red hair, tossing it into my face. Collecting the strands, I threw them back and carried on.

The grass went right up to the porch, where it became over taken by the mosses and ivy. I stepped inside, flicking my robes up to try and dispelling the spirits. A low weeping tickled my ears before fading into the wind. Despite everything I had to turn around. The graveyard sloped down to the lichgate then ran around the sides and the back of the church where the yew stood. What little remained of the headstones poked up from the plants as if struggling against them. Many more had already succumbed and either lay fallen or so covered that they had become little then mounds.

Beyond the church grounds, a single track road marked out only by a line of trees and a ditch, lead into a maze of farmlands and semi-abandoned tracks. It was from that direction I had come, though I couldn’t recall the actual path I had trod. Leaning against the crumbling porch wall, I watched the sun rising above the trees and the sky turning darker blue. None of that light or colour touched the churchyard. It shied away, as if taunted by those lingering shadows at the lichgate and low surrounding wall.

Finally, I turned and pushed open the arched wooden door. I had to squeeze though, as the door was wedged tightly into its frame and fallen debris was behind it. Pushing it back into place was even worse, but at last the door seemed to settle. The floor crunched due to a covering of fallen plaster and chips of brick under my boots as I stepped inside. I paused, looking down the alley between the remains of the two rows of pews to alter. Sadness gripped my heart and tiredness made the emotion feel stronger and harder to ignore.

Wiping my face, I walked to the alter, avoiding the wood splinters from the dismantled pews and went to a side door in a hidden alcove. It easily opened, revealing a spiral stone staircase to the belfry. Trudging upwards, my sheathed sword scrapped the wall and my boots barely griped the steps. At the top another small door led into a roof room where the church bells had once hung.

Even through it had been days since I’d been ‘home,’ nothing looked out of place. The four boarded up openings let in no light and pressed closely to the wooden walls. I crossed the floor; my footsteps softened by the piles of rugs and removed my sword. I sit it against the wall in between a low desk and a mattress covered in pillows and blankets. I took off my black robe then the first white robe and armour before the second underneath.

Pulling out the chair and sitting down, I unlaced and tugged off my boots and socks. I let them fall. From the desk, I picked up a box of matches and moved the single white candle in its holder closer.  Lighting the match then the candle, played havoc with my perfect night vison, however I felt better with the golden light shining across the room.

Naked, I stood up and went to the bed, where I searched through the blankets until I found a Bible. Rearranging the bedding, I got under countless layers of cotton and wool. Resting my head and the book at a good angle, I carefully opened the pages and glanced down the thin sheets. I knew the tiny words off by heart and yet, I seeked something that I knew was never going to be there. I stopped on a random page and guided by my fingertips read through the Easter story.

The pages yielded not to my silent searching. I closed the book and placed it down. Resting my head back, I watched the candle light flickering across the vaulted ceiling. My heart begged for home and stung painfully. Rubbing my chest helped to ease it and my mind tumbled with a fury of thoughts and questions. Without meaning too, words tumbled out of my mouth in an unstopped stream.

‘Dear Lord, I have only carried out your tasks and done what you have asked of me at every turn. Haven’t I defend you, spread your word and worked with the other angels? I know it is wrong to question, but why me? Why must I become tinted by all this evil and have to live as if Fallen? I don’t understand what I am meant to do now. I can’t get home and my power is fading. Have you forgotten me? Or did I do something, unaware, that has angered you? Please, you must show me what to do. I…fear what I may become…Amen.’

I closed my eyes and listen to the words resonating. Sleep crawled over me and right before I fell to slumber, a distant voice in my head said, ‘there’s work yet to be done, my warrior.’

To Be Continued…

Kiss

kiss

Shop

Tom yawed and rubbed his tried eyes. He wanted to go home, but there was still two hours left of his shift and they were the dullest hours of his night. Once the shop had officially closed at two AM, he had to tidy up, sort out the money, look at the stock list and plan the next deliver. Taking some sips from his almost finished bottle of water, he watched the doors open and an old man shuffling in. Tom paused, then decided he was too tried to point out that he was about to close. What does one more customer matter? He thought before adding, Is that guy with the baby still here? He glanced around, but couldn’t spot anyone else. The shelves were high though and the man could be in the back cornered baby aisle. Just as Tom was thinking of walking over, the man appeared.

Jason gently bounced his new born daughter against his chest. The baby carrier felt too tight around his muscular frame, but at least his daughter was safe, close by and he had full use of his hands. He tried not to yaw, nor show the middle-aged man at the counter how tried he was. He swung the basket up onto the glass top and dug in his pocket for his wallet. The yaw escaped and he quickly brought his hand up to cover it. The movement jerked the baby and she started crying. ‘Hush, Hush. I’m sorry,’ he told her and placing his wallet on the counter, put both hands under carrier and rocked her slowly. She wailed and Jason felt her tiny fists struggling against him. Trying to calm her, he watched the items go through the till and into a bag. ‘Long night, huh?’ he asked. Tom nodded and told him the cost. Jason handed him a note and waited for the change, ‘Yeah, feels like that for me too. She only seems to sleep when being driven or walked somewhere. Something to do with motion, I don’t understand it. Thanks,’ Jason added. He put the change in his wallet, which he slipped back into his pocket then grabbed the bag and left. Tom called a goodbye, then prepared to close the shop, but he suddenly remembered that there was another customer roaming the aisles.

Ben stood before the fridges looking for the right kind of milk before he opened the door. A blast of cold air escaped as if he had stepped outside again. He grabbed the milk and closed the door, wondering why the shop had to store things at artic temperatures. Shaking off the cold, he shuffled away and went to next aisle. Holding the milk in his arm, he studied the loaves of bread then choice a small white one. Muttering the list to himself, he moved on again and picked up a tin of peaches, soup and a packet of grapes. Heading back to the counter, he heard Tom closing up and tried to hurry his pace. Placing the items down, he went through the list again and realised he’d forget the biscuits. ‘Be right back,’ he said softly and walked off. ‘I’m closing,’ Tom called after him. Ben nodded and grabbing a packet of rich tea biscuits, hobbled back again. Tom was scanning the items and bagging them. Ben gave him the biscuits and fumbled for his wallet. ‘Bit late for shopping,’ Tom told him. Ben nodded, ‘I prefer it. No people and no waiting,’ Ben laughed and handed Tom some money. ‘My wife is sick, I can only leave when she sleeps,’ he explained. ‘Sorry to hear that, here you go. Hope she gets better soon,’ Tom said. Ben thanked him, took his items and left the shop. Tom locked the door behind him and walked into the back room. There was still two hours of his shift left.

Crash

The air tasted like dust and her feet were killing her, yet Sam still pressed on. All around she could hear voices shouting and crying, though some were echoes that had travelled. She reached out a hand in the darkness and found the brick wall next to her. It was still trembling like the rest of the tunnel was.

She leant against the wall, suddenly feeling like she couldn’t go on. In flashes the events of the last two hours played in her mind like a skipping DVD. She had gotten the train like normal from work, only she’d been more tried and upset tonight. All the carriages had been packed out, but luckily someone had given her a seat. She’d had an energy bar and shut her eyes, more to stop herself from crying then to actually go to sleep.

The train rocking underneath her had felt soothing and the twenty-minute journey should have passed calmly. However, the second they had hit the tunnel something had felt wrong. Maybe it had been the speed or the sound of the engine? Whatever it was became a factor in the accident which had led to Sam being where she was now.

Taking in a few deep breaths, she gingerly rubbed her bulging stomach. The cramp swirling inside of there was making her feel sick and dizzy. Digging her nails into the wall, Sam bent over and took a few more deep breaths. She had read somewhere that doing so could help. Trying to wet her mouth and lips with a half dust covered tongue, she wondered if she should have just stayed.

It had been bad back there though with the dead, the dying and the seemly never-ending screams of the trapped, injured people, who were desperate for help. Those able had been helping and one of them had pulled Sam out of a broken window. He had told her to sit down with the injured people next to the wall and she had for a little while.

She had been feeling fine and had agreed to go with a group to get help. Then the cramps had come and she had encouraged them to leave her behind. Making large circles with her hand, she stood up and slowly began walking. She felt the baby kick and had to pause again.

The shock and stress had clearly affected him and Sam hoped nothing was wrong. Struggling on, she realised that was the reason she wanted to get out quickly. Though, as the tunnel and darkness stretched out, her mind was changing fast. Still, how many times had she been in here on the train? Enough, to know my way and how long it takes, she thought and then noticed that if it took a train eight minutes, it would probably take her longer, especially in the dark.

Biting her lip and feeling more determined, she pressed on. A yellow light seemed to be glowing ahead, but she couldn’t be sure this was the way out. What if it was another train? Or someone carrying a torch? Fighting back any fears, she convinced herself it was the exist and still couldn’t believe it as she stepped outside and into more chaos.

Call

tell the story...

Dora had just left the office and decided to walk home. It was a nice enough evening, if a little bit cool. She’d had one of those rare good days and was feeling cheerful. Drifting off into her own thoughts, she rounded the corner and walked down the side of her building.  The narrow side street contained only a handful of other people and they were dashing in either direction, which would lead them out into the more popular streets.

Unhurried, Dora walked downwards, ahead she could see the pavement merging into a larger one and people passing by the opening. To Dora they all seemed like young business people rushing to meetings or other places. A taxi zoomed by with a loud horn blast and a voice rose up in an angry shout after it. Typical city life, Dora thought.

A phone started ringing somewhere then stopped, presumably answered. She gave it no thought, like the rest of the phones in the office, it wasn’t her job to answer them. She walked under a half opened window and thought how nice the breeze was on her face.

‘Dora! Dora!’

She turned, expecting someone from the office to be behind her, but no one was there. Confused, she looked harder and saw receptionist Jen hanging out of the window with a telephone.

‘What are you doing, Jen?’ Dora called.

‘There’s a phone call for you.’

‘But no one ever calls me!’

Jen shrugged and held the phone out to her. Dora walked back and reached up for the phone, taking it she put it to her ear. The phone’s cord pressed tight against the brick wall and Jen tried to place the other half of the phone on the window sill without listening into the conversation.

‘Hello? Yes, it is. Who? Oh? How unusual. Are you sure it’s me you want, dear?’ Dora paused, then turned away to whisper into the phone.

Jen closed the window, but continued to stare to Dora. She had no idea what was going on, but the man’s voice on the other end had seemed polite and she was already imagining him in her mind. He was probably tall, dark haired and smartly dressed. Jen sighed and lent on the sill, a dreamy look on her face.

‘I see,’ Dora was saying, ‘well, if that’s how it is. Tomorrow should be fine. Thank you.’

She turned back as the phone went dead in her hand. Glancing at it, she then had to tap it on the window to get Jen’s attention. Smiling, she handed the phone back as Jen swung open the frame.

‘Who was it? What’s happened?’ Jen asked in a rush of words.

‘Nothing really,’ Dora replied.

‘Please?’ Jen begged, clutching the phone tightly.

‘I’ve been called in by the secret service,’ Dora hissed and then walked away, leaving Jen hanging out of the window after her.

seasonal

ssx

Bed

Even though she had a billion things to do, there was nothing like curling up in bed and watching the world go by.

Water Stain

The water stain was coffee colored and looked like a small butterfly. There were four clearly marked wing points, which seemed to be symmetrical. The bottom wings even looked scalloped at the edges, like on some of the fancier butterflies. When you moved it came to life, almost fluttering those wings. However, if you moved too much the water stain no longer took that form and instead became a squashed up love heart. The further you move and the harder you look, the more that emerges.

Break

She wanted me to break it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to swing the hammer. In my mind, I could see the mirror shattering and glass spilling forth. The carpet would sparkle with piercing shards and the wooden frame would stand empty, like a gaping eye socket looking blindly upon the room.

‘Go on, Conner, do it!’ Annabel shouted from behind me and for a few seconds I saw her reflected alongside me. She laughed, the sound of a breaking vase mingled with her.

My tight grip loosened on the handle and the hammer fell to my side. My reflection copied me and turned away as I did so. She was dancing around, her movements ungraceful, and singing out of tune with the 12 Stones song that pounded from the tiny speaker system. Under her feet porcelain, glass and wood cracked. She kicked away a sofa cushion and spun around almost tripping on a snapped shelf half. She looked like a demented pixie, high on something that had taken control of her body.

‘Endless days are haunting me!’ she screamed, ‘Open eyes and I can’t sleep. I need this now to rescue me!’

Annabel dropped her hands, they tangled in the black lacy trim of her mini skirted dress. I released the hammer and stumbled over to her as she started to fall. I grabbed her, but she slipped from my arms and landed on the floor. Laughing, she sprawled out. I stared at her feeling numb with shock. Her coal tights were ripped in multiple places, her red platform shoes were sprinkled with detritus, whilst her Goth dress, which happened to be one of my favourites because it was black and patterned with red flocked skulls, vines and roses, had a covering of grey dust and white paint flacks.

She sat up, put her arms back so she could rest on them and crossed her legs. Her chest was heaving with laughter and deep breathing. I became transfixed by the moving tops of her breasts. She blew a dishevelled curl of her dark red hair away then turned to me.

‘Lay here,’ Annabel said silky, whilst patting a spot next to her.

I shook my head and instead looked around the room. It had become unrecognizable due to the destruction we had caused, but I could still remember how it had looked before the house had been left in the state we had found it when we’d broken in.

‘Do you think your grandparents would have wanted this?’ I asked her, waving my hand about the room and trying to encourage her to come back to some sense.

Annabel shrugged and in a definite voice spoke back, ‘who cares? They are dead and my aunt wants to rip this place apart and sell it. None of it matters any more, Conner.’

‘Still, that doesn’t justify what we’ve just done!’

‘Why should I justify what my aunt’s doing? Isn’t this the same thing?’ she yelled and struggled up from the floor. Her palm caught on something and a red line streaked across her skin. Moaning, she inspected her hand, but it was only a scratch.

‘No, it’s not,’ I said in a low voice, though because of the loud music and her distraction she didn’t hear me.

She went to the mirror and picked up the hammer. Heaving it in both hands, she threw it and was rewarded by the smashing glass.

‘Yeah!’ she cried out, jumping up down with her fists in the air.

Fragments of glass lay at her feet, reflecting the ceiling above and flashes of her. The rest of the glass still clung to the frame, shaking and rattling together as if in fright. Annabel’s shoes stomped on a large portion, which sent a spider’s cobweb of lines across the surface. I grabbed her arms, pinning them and ending her bouncing.

‘Stop! Stop!’ I shouted and shook her.

I felt her body tense and gear up. She spit on my face and twisted out of my hands.

‘You are just like them! Get out! I don’t want to ever see you again!’

I wiped my face and stared at her. Annabel was physically shaking with grieve and anger. Her finger was pointing at the door which led out into the hallway and the front door. Her hair fell in madness around her and there was hate in her eyes.

‘Fine,’ I replied, ‘I didn’t want to be your boyfriend anyway. I just did it out of pity and because everyone said you were good in bed.’

I went towards the door, debris crunching under my boots and then something heavy struck across my back. I paused, dizziness and sickness suddenly hitting me. I tried to turn to see what it was, but instead my body bent over and I gasped for breath. I felt the air whoosh cold around me and something collided into me again. I sank to my knees, the floor rose to meet me, blackness bloomed in my vision and I faded out.