(Continued from Church chapter 7 parts 1-4)
My mind reeled and I double checked the pile of bedding, of course she wasn’t there. I got up, untangled my feet from a blanket and stumbled over to the desk. There was no note and the only used piece of paper was the one I had wrote upon before going to sleep. I looked for her clothes and sword, still unable to believe that she would just leave like that. Her things were gone.
I sank down into the chair, an odd sense of betrayal curling in my stomach. Where had she gone to this time? Perhaps, she was out fighting another mindless soul or something? Maybe she had gone to the Paradise Garden? She would come back through, wouldn’t she? I tried to shove the thoughts away and decided to get myself sorted. I looked at the to do list, wondering what I could do first. However, a part of me wanted to stay here and wait for her to come back. I had no idea long that could be and it would be a waste of time more than anything else.
I got up and dressed in a white robe and my boots. I went downstairs into the church and then into the small bathroom at the back. I turned the sink tap on and the water pipes gurgled loudly before dirty water spat out. I waited for the reddish colour to change to clear before I splashed my face and neck. I scrubbed my skin and felt better for it.
Trudging back, my eyes fell onto the church organ and I thought about grabbing the notebooks. It would be too risky though as Rain could come back at any moment. I went up and collect my sword and a black thicker robe. I checked the list again and decided that finding food would be a good starting point. My mind felt too distant to concentrate.
I headed out, but as I got into the graveyard and sensed the ghosts, I realised I could ask them about Rain. I walked down the overgrown path with headstones struggling to keep the climbing plants away from them. The early evening was pleasant and the sky still held a lot of sunset light. I went down to the lichgate then turned. I could see the ghostly figures taking shape around me.
‘Have you seen Rain?’ I asked them.
‘She left already,’ a whispery voice called back. I couldn’t tell who it belong too.
‘When? Where did she go?’
‘Before the sunset. She went north. We called to her, she said she knew of us and what we wanted.’
‘She did not know if she could help us,’ the voices breathed back, ‘we have been here too long and have become firmly chained to this ground.’
‘I’m sorry,’ I muttered.
‘You promised, Blaze!’ the voice of the teenage girl cut in.
‘I still do.’
There was a low hum of voices which I couldn’t pick any words out of. I glanced around but couldn’t see anything other than grey flashes of shadows. It was still too light for the ghosts to form fully. I listened harder, but the voices seemed to have died away.
‘I will try,’ I spoke out.
‘You are bound to your word now, Angel,’ the old hag’s voice blew around me.
‘I always have been.’
My fingers moved to the cross around my neck. It was still icy cold.
‘Your friend will be back soon enough. We will wait her.’
I nodded and this time the voices faded away fully. I turned and jumped over the lichgate. Somewhere in a field beyond came the sound of a tractor and sheep bleating. I walked down the forgotten tree lined road and on to the other. There in the dying light, patchwork fields spread before me like a blanket. I wanted to wonder through those fields and feel the warm breeze on my face. Birds were singing the last day’s songs and everything balanced on the edge of nightfall.
I thought about Rain.
Where was she now? I shut my eyes and tried to sense her, but I could not. I stopped trying and looked out across the fields again, they looked too welcoming to pass by. I crossed the road, climbed over the small wooden fence and into tall grass. I ran my hands along the top, feeling grass seeds rubbing against my skin. There was a tree off to the side just before a hedge row fence and I walked over that way.
After touching the tree’s trunk, I was off again my heart singing thankful prayers for the nature. I walked through three more fields, each being used for a different thing, before I reached the one the sheep were in. They did not seem to mind me as I walked across their land. They had their summer coats on and only the late lambs at their sides. Over a few more fields and I could hear the rushing sounds of a river.
I had only seen it from the sky before and never had the urge to step upon its shore. I hurried down and in the last field peered over a barbed wire fence into the fast flowing waters. I easily got over the fence and scrambled down the embankment. This part of the river had only ever seen farmers and animals before. It was difficult for anyone else to get down here and there were nicer spots further on.
I gathered the edges of my robes up to my knees and yanked off my boots. I dipped my toes into the cold water then sink my feet in. The water swelled around me, bubbling as it went. Fascinated, I watched the current flowing around the large moss covered rocks that were dotted in and alongside the riverbed. There must have been a lot of rain coming of the hills because the water was unusually fast.
I felt refreshed and more awake. My thoughts no longer felt taken over by Rain and instead wondered why I had never come here before. The church and graveyard worked as good enough connects to Heaven, but to get close to God you had to go outside into the nature and the world He had created.
I leant back, putting my hands behind my head and relaxing. The river carried on swirling around my feet as if I was just another rock in its path to the freedom of the ocean.