Continued from Church chapters 1 and 2.
Catch up here if you need to; https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/category/church-novella/
Blaze, a warrior angel, who is trapped on earth has made his home in a long abandoned church. He fights a taunting daemon, who leads him into a trap to battle a band of demons before facing a Demigod Bear. He is rescued from death by a strange female called Rain. She takes him back to her ‘home’, a Paradise Garden seemingly inside the remains of a cathedral and encourages Blaze to talk about himself. However, Rain is still a mystery, so what secrets is she hiding?
‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’
1 John 1:8
I woke up to silence in a strange bed. Glancing to the sides before throwing the heavy duvet back, I sat up and looked around further. My memories came back and I rested against the pillows as an odd sense of calm came over me. The notebooks were scattered around, though the artist one had slipped down the side of the bed.
Picking it up, I placed it with the others and got up. The air was warm, but not stale as it probably should have been. The robe I had worn was laying discard on top of my own black and white robes and armour. I went to pick it up then glanced at the wardrobe. I couldn’t recall just what was in there, because there had been a mass of things. Going over and opening the doors, I looked for something that would suit my next intentions.
Close to the back, where two white fluffy dressing gowns and a blue one. I grabbed a white one and slipping it on, let the wardrobe door swing back. I tied the belt as I walked across the floor and opened the door. The noise from the garden burst into my room, birds were singing morning songs and the stream was joining in with them.
Recalling what Rain had said, I tried to ignore it and hurried into the bathroom. Closing the door behind me, shut out the sound and allowed blessed silence returned. I turned on the shower and left my gown on a pile of towels on top of a wicker basket. I stepped inside the glass cubical and hot water cascaded over my head. I kept my mind purposely clear, not wanting to think of Rain or the notebooks or anything, but the water washing me.
Afterwards, I went back to my room and got dressed in my robes and armour. My mind made up about leaving, even before I had given it proper thought. My hand reached out for my sheathed sword then stopped. Rain could still be sleeping. What if I couldn’t leave without her? And how could I just go without telling her? Rubbing a hand over my face and deciding I had no choice, I left my room and went to stand outside of her’s.
I couldn’t hear anything coming from the other side, even with my powerful hearing. I knocked and heard nothing. Knocking again, I tried the handle, feeling a wave of guilt as I did so. To my surprise the door opened and pushing it further still, I saw Rain wasn’t there. Her bed, a massive four poster complete with dark red velvet curtains and a canopy, was un-made. The pillows, duvet and blankets were scattered about, though the rest of the room looked untouched. Closing the door, I walked to the platform where we had spent a long time talking.
She wasn’t there either. I grabbed a banana from the fruit basket and peeled it as I checked the kitchen. No. Could she have left without me? But why would she do that? I walked back, eating the banana and still avoiding looking out over the garden, least I forgot what I was doing. As I reached my door, I recalled the one next to it, the fourth door, which Rain had said not to go into. I tried the handle and found it locked. Growling, I resolved to just leave and stepped back towards my room. A note of music reached my ears which hadn’t come from any of the birds.
Pausing, I listened hard and heard a line of human made musical notes. I walked back towards the platform, finishing off the fruit and stopping just before the half spiralling stairs. The music was coming from before me, though it had now faded. Ahead of me seemed to be a wall of ivy and a clutter of large plant pots, which held a mixture of large ferns, dragon snaps and pink lilies, lining the short passageway. I went over, dropped the banana peel in one of the pots and sweeping the ivy back discovered a sliding door, neatly hidden away.
Opening it, I stepped down a handful of stairs and found myself in a massive training room. Large blue and green safety mats concealed most of the wooden spring board floor. The walls covered with paintings of different figures from myths and legends around the world fighting. A corner mirror made a right angle shape about a foot long across the very far walls opposite. Two long benches were against the wall on my left side, as well as some stacked chairs and tables. Heavy metal music was pumping out of a large speaker system directly to my right and Rain was standing in the middle of the room, swinging a long wooden pole.
I watched her movements and quickly become enthralled by it. Stealing a quick glance to the edge of a bench at my feet, I sit down quickly and watched her practising. Her moves with precise, her feet ballerina like hardly touch the floor. She twirled the pole with the fingers of one hand as she glided into a spin and struck out at an invisible enemy. She spun away again, switching hands and coming back for another strike. Somehow, she kept up with the beating of the music, quickly twisting away and launching into a backflip, before letting the pole fly out once more.
The singer ended the song and the last notes rung out bringing Rain to a stop. Breathing deeply and sweeping loose strands of hair back, she came over to me. Another song rippled on and oddly I recognized it as Marilyn Mason’s Personal Jesus. Rain stopped before me, standing the pole up and holding it in place. I noticed she was wearing black pants and a vest top.
‘Did you sleep, well?’ she enquired.
I nodded, ‘why do you need such a big room? I mean twenty or thirty people could easily practise in here.’
Rain shrugged, ‘it’s on another plane. Though it’s based on a real room. It was just easier, I guess. Plus, it’s attached to other places I have, just in case it’s ever needed again.’
I just accept it.
‘I bet you’re good in a fight,’ Rain added.
‘It’s what I was made for.’
‘Come on then,’ Rain laughed.
She handed her pole to me and taking it, I felt the wood was still warm from her fingers. Rain crossed the floor and from a large caged crate selected another identical long pole. She came to the centre, holding the pole in both hands and her feet moving into a readying stance.
‘What? Come on,’ she called over.
I glanced at the pole, then back to her, ‘are you sure you want to do this?’
‘I’m wearing armour,’ I pointed out.
Rain moved her feet, changing to a comfortable standing position, whilst letting the pole go slightly loose in her hands. She fixed a determined look on her face, ‘take it off if you want, I’m not bothered.’
‘Actually, I was thinking about leaving.’
Frowning, Rain righted the pole and came to stand before me, ‘Sure if you want. But can’t we have just one fight? I have no one else to practise with at the moment and I need to badly.’
‘So, where are the guys who did the…’ I caught myself and stopped.
‘Stay in the other room? That’s what I meant,’ I added quickly.
Rain shrugged, ‘around, I guess.’ A sad looked crossed her face then quickly was replaced with anger, ‘Come on. I promise not to hurt you. Keep your armour on and take that robe off, otherwise it’ll get in the way.’
She turned and went back to the centre again, taking up the same position as before.
Feeling like I didn’t have a choice, I stood up, placed the pole down and took off my black robe. I dropped it on the bench and picked up the pole again. Behind me, I heard Rain shuffling her feet across the mats. I turned and went over, falling into a ready stance, much like the one she had taken up.
To Be Continued…