Continued from Church Chapter 4
Make sure you’ve read the other chapters. They can be found here; https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/category/church-novella/
Blaze, a warrior angel, who is trapped on earth has made his home in an abandoned church. He fights a taunting daemon and a Demigod Bear. He is rescued by Rain, a Reaper. She takes him back to her ‘home’, a Paradise Garden seemingly inside the remains of a cathedral and encourages Blaze to talk. After which, she tricks him into combat then she revels some of her story and dismisses Blaze. He goes back to the church and reflects on Rain. Then he goes out and tries to rescue a human woman who is being attacked. Failing to save her, Blaze returns home to find someone has followed him.
‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’
I turned fully and stared down at the figure by the lichgate. I hoped it was nothing more than a trick of the rain and shadows, or else some kind of spirit. My hand went to my sword. The figure moved forward and walked right through the padlocked gate. I growled, shuffled my feet and began to draw my sword.
I couldn’t tell what this figure was. I felt no energy or aura coming off it. The rain seemed to pass around it, as if there was an umbrella over the shadow figure. I walked out to meet it, my sword half-drawn.
‘What are you? What do you want?’ I shouted.
The figure didn’t stop, but came right up to me on the path. Before my eyes it took shape into a masked and caped ninja. The body was wrapped in the blackness of the cape, which almost touched the floor. The hood completely covered the head and was drawn down over the top half of a face. A large black cloth covered the rest of the face, leaving only the eyes out. I saw they were mismatched in colour; one green, one blue. Instantly I knew it was Rain.
‘What are you doing here?’ I asked.
‘I followed you,’ she said simply, the mask not muffling her words at all.
I felt the rain stopping, but resisted glancing up. I could still hear heavy drops falling onto the headstones and tall grass. I slipped my sword back down and took her in again. Wondering what she really wanted. Did she know I’d taken the notebooks?
‘Are you going to invite me in?’ she asked after a few moments, ‘I was hospitable to you.’
I glanced over my shoulder at the church and felt uneasy about her question. I frowned a little and my mind went to suggest we find some other place, ‘perhaps we could go somewhere else? You’ve still not told me what you want.’
‘I got lonely after you left,’ she muttered.
‘It’s only been a day!’ I reminded her, ‘what do you really want?’
Her eyes tensed up and flashed with anger, ‘why would I want anything off you? I thought you wanted my help. Clearly I was wrong about you, Blaze.’ She turned and the back of her cape whished around her legs.
I felt the rain hitting me again as she took her first few steps away. She had her large katana stripped to her back in a fabric sheath. A whispering male voice, which I didn’t recognise spoke into my ear, ‘your loss, Feathers.’
‘Rain! Wait. I didn’t mean it like that,’ I called after her, ‘It’s a mess inside there. It’s been abandoned for so long and I’ve nothing to offer you. Not like your Paradise Garden.’
Rain paused and looked over her shoulder at me.
‘I just used it for a base. Unfortunately, it’s now become home. And…I wasn’t expecting to see you again so soon. You took me by surprise. You can come in, if you want.’
She half turned on the path, but I couldn’t make her expression out or read her eyes clearly.
‘Sometimes, reality is more beautiful than any dream garden you can create,’ she replied softly with an undertone of sadness.
I puzzled over her words as that same male voice muttered, ‘you are too easy, Feathers. Your soul looks pretty tasty…’
‘What?’ I hissed and looked around the graveyard. Somehow, I knew that voice wasn’t in my head. There was an malicious spirt watching us, I could feel it at the edges of my senses.
‘Be quiet, Haku. Stay out of his head,’ Rain whispered as she bounced the katana.
I put my hand to my sword and kept my eyes searching the graveyard. I heard Rain let out a deep breath and come over to me.
‘It’s all right,’ she said and put her hand on top of mine, stopping me from drawing, ‘Let’s go inside.’
‘You heard it, right? That strange voice?’ I questioned.
Rain nodded and put her other hand on to my arm. Slowly, she hushed me back under the church archway. She tried to push against the door, but it didn’t give way. Easing my arm away from her, I used both my hands to open the door enough.
‘It’s wedged,’ I explained, ‘there’s some fallen bricks.’
I slide easily through the gap and tried to open the door further for her, but Rain quickly followed me through. We closed it together and heavy darkness settled around us. I let my eyes adjust and was about to reach out for her, when a ball of white light appeared. I paused and watched the light growing in her hands.
‘I don’t like small dark spaces,’ Rain declared.
‘Watch where you step,’ I responded back and moved off.
‘How did you end up here?’ Rain’s voice called from behind me.
‘I’ll explain upstairs. What was that voice? Did something follow you?’
‘No. I don’t…it’s complicated,’ Rain sighed, ‘Don’t worry about it.’
I stopped and spun back to her. She was still by the doorway with the ball of light now floating in front of her. Her eyes came back to mine, from having been on the glass-less windows.
‘There are some secrets I’ve to keep from you,’ she stated, the words heavy, ‘you must forgive me for that.’
‘Perhaps, I can help you?’ I suggested slowly.
‘It’s my burden to bear.’
I turned and walked on. She followed me and I took her up to the bell tower. Leaving her in the doorframe, I lit some candles and shuffled the notebooks under the books on the table.
‘I’ve some food and water, if you want,’ I called over my shoulder.
‘Thanks. I’m fine. ’
‘There’s only one chair…here.’
I pulled the wooden chair out for her, indicting with my hand and looking over at her. She was touching the stone blocks and looked distant. I let go of the chair and unstrapped my sword. Placing it between the wall and desk, I then took off my top robe. I crossed over to the large trunk and dropped the robe on top of it. I took off my boots and socks, before starting on my armour.
Rain stepped in and after a quick look around, sat down in the offered chair. She pulled the mask from her face and the hood from her head. Her light brown hair fell about her and settled around her rounded cheeks. Her expression was unreadable, though her lips crinkled slightly at the edges.
‘I’ve stayed in worse places,’ she said gently.
‘I feel safer here,’ I countered, ‘closer to my real home.’
Rain licked her lips and pulled the sheathed katana off her back. She balanced it against the table. Then stood and took her cape off. Draping it over the chair back, she came over to me and began undoing the leather straps of my shoulder guard. She was wearing a tight black top and pants that covered her as much as the cape had done.
‘You’d have a lot more movement without this metal,’ she said.
‘It’s all part of the uniform,’ I explained and tried not to laugh.
Rain pulled a face and I couldn’t help but smile.
‘I’m use to it,’ I put in, dropping the chest plate on the floor. I started on the other shoulder guard.
‘I’m sorry I surprised you. I didn’t mean too,’ Rain uttered as she tossed down the armour.
‘It doesn’t matter,’ I replied.
‘I saw what you did in that alley.’
I paused and looked at her. She was unstrapping my arm guard and I could feel the brushes of her warm fingers. Her eyes were fixed on the buckles, but as soon as she had pulled off the guard, she looked at me.
‘The reaper who showed up wanted to know what’d happened,’ she concluded.
To Be Continued…