Church (Chapter 4, Part 2)

Continued from Church Chapter 4, Part 1

I opened my eyes and a moan escaped from my mouth. I was far too hot and sweating, so I threw off all the blankets and stretched out. I could feel the afternoon heat seeping in though the badly nailed wooden boards. I sat up, rubbing my face and pushing back strands of my long gold-red hair. My hand dropped to my hairless tight muscled chest and my fingernails scratched across my skin. Next, I massaged my shoulders and neck feeling the dull pains there because of my rough bed.

My eyes landed on the nearest wooden board and noticing that two of the small nails were loose, I got an idea. Standing up, I stepped over and wrapped my fingers around the edge of the board. Gently, I tugged it away from the wall and it easily gave way.  Light flooded inside and caused dust motes to take to the air. I ripped the rest of that side away, sending a few nails popping. Now, I had a window. Fresh air drifted in slowly as if it was exploring a place it had long forgotten about. I looked out over the graveyard and patched farmland, enjoying the sight.

Sitting down, I pulled my hair loose and looked at the lilac hair tie between my fingers. It was her’s. She had tied my hair back with it just after I had awakened from her knocking me out. I played with it, rubbing it against my fingers and thinking of that moment. I never tied my hair back, but after a few moments, I did just that again.

Casting my eyes around, I saw nothing else to do but to get up and dressed. It was too early to go out searching for evil, so I didn’t bother putting my armour on just my robes. No socks or boots neither. I loved the feeling of the dry wooden boards beneath me. The candle was still lit on the desk and blowing it out, I decided to do a bit of tidying up. Maybe it was due to the sudden rays of light now revealing how messy the room was?

I did my desk first by arranging the candles, matches, books, paper and pens. My bed was next and I sorted out the bedding, removed anything that wasn’t a blanket or a pillow, before doing the mattress up as best I could. The rest of the things on the floor were mostly clothes, books and empty water bottles. I picked all these up, putting the clothes in the large trunk in the far corner, the books on the desk and the bottles in a pile.

My stomach growled and I paused at the sound. It had felt like an age since I had last eaten something. I went over to the small food cupboard I had and looked through the items Granny Malock had given me. I selected a few things and a bottle of water. Sitting at the desk, I ate and drink whilst my mind remembered the ‘not-real’ food Rain had offered me. I paused as I thought about her. What was she doing now?

Shaking my head, I finished up eating a sandwich and an orange. The water was warm and made my mouth and throat drier. I drank the bottle and dropped it with the other ones. Sweeping the orange peel and plastic wrap to the side, I picked up the black covered notebook and starting at the beginning looked through the pages. A part of me had expected the pages to be blank or for something else to happen, but no, the pencil and pen sketches looked the same as they had done last time.

The first page was of the ruined cathedral and second page of the Paradise Garden in great, but small detail. Close ups of flowers on the next, followed by rabbits on the fourth and an owl on the fifth. I turned that page and the sketches of Rain began. I slowed down and studied them more closely than before. The artist had really taken his time to try and get her face right. I wondered who he was and how he had known Rain. Was he an angel like me? Or something else? He had liked her though, I could tell from the way he had drawn her.

The eighth page and I was staring into the eyes of a young man. Was it possible that he was the artist and Rain had drawn this? In a flash, I pictured them together, sitting in the oak tree chairs on the platform. The basket of fruit was on the matching table and they were laughing together. He got up, showed her the sketch he had just completed and handed everything to her so she could do one of him.

I turned the page, pushing the image away and let my eyes fall on a map of a graveyard. There was a church marked at the top and connected to a gate at the bottom by a meandering line. A few small trees were sketched out and some large headstones, almost as if someone was suggesting they could be used as cover. There were also two stone angels facing each other in prayer. A thin dotted line cut out a path and I realised I hadn’t noticed it before. Quickly, I traced it and came to the conclusion that this map had been made during a plan of attack.

I turned my eyes and saw the words written on the next page once more;

 I do not wander in darkness alone as your light shines out before me.

 It looked like a Bible quote, but not quite. Interested, I dug out one of the Bibles I had brought up from the church floor and flipped through the pages. For a good few minutes, I tried to find that line, but nothing matched it. The writer could have easily miss-quoted or else just pieced it together. Something about it bugged me though and for some reason, I got the feeling it wasn’t a line to God or Jesus, but was about and to a person.

I closed the book and put it back on the pile. Resting my elbows on the table, I put my head in my hands and shut my eyes. I had to get her out of my head. I was drawn to her far too much and I knew it. There was so much mystery surrounding her and I wanted to know it, but really, I wanted more. Rubbing my head, I tried to push away all those thoughts and sent my senses out for evil. Killing would defiantly distract me.

I got changed, putting on my armour and boots this time. I collected my sword and wondered down to the church. Instead of walking across the altar, I went my usual route of slipping behind the stone pillar. It was one of a pair that marked the entrance to the altar. I stopped and looked into the large alcove of the church organ. I walked over and let my fingers trail across the keys. They were covered in dust, just like everything else.

Pressing down just a little bit harder caused a note to be rudely admitted from one of the many brass pipes above me. I played a few more, knowing it was a risk in case someone heard me, but I could always deal with them. The notes sounded forced and not as booming as they should have been. I stopped playing and wondered if that was the last time the organ would ever be heard from again.

Shaking off the cold feeling that thought left me with, I went out.

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 4, Part 1)

Continued from Church Chapter 3

Make sure you’ve read the other chapters. They can be found here; https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/category/church-novella/

Previously;

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.

Chapter 4

‘On this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’

Matthew 16:18

I walked away from the ruined remains of the cathedral and didn’t look back. I was seriously tempted too, but a part of me knew if I even caught a glimpse of those stones I would retrace my footsteps, find Rain and hold her tightly to me. I climbed the hill and unfurled my golden red wings at the top. I flapped them, feeling the rush of air around my body before I jumped up and took to the sky.

The time hadn’t changed, I noted as dawn was just touching the horizon like it had been doing when I stepped under the cathedral archway. I was feeling extremely awake and calm, though it was probably a lingering effect from the garden. I raced the coming dawn home and landed next to the lichgate. I watched the sun completely rise above me. Warm light brushed me then hurried in further to light up the clinging shadows.

Taking in a deep breath, I turned back and cast my eyes over the graveyard. Small headstones poked out of the grass and I know what awaited me. Climbing over the gate, my boots hit the grass and the almost lost path underneath. I pulled my robe tighter around me, hunched my shoulders and walked up to the church. I can feel them, the diminishing ghosts. They watched from their burial places and whispered to themselves and each other. A soft crying child wisp brushed my ears and I tried to block it out.

I kept my pace as I began to climb the slope, expecting at any second to be assaulted by the spirits. Ever since I had moved into the church, they had reached out to me when I passed though the graveyard. Their almost faded voices constantly pleaded with me to help them pass over and escape this place. At first, I had been sympathetic with them, who couldn’t be? But I didn’t know how to help them, it wasn’t my job or place to ferry them over. I had countlessly explained this to them, but they didn’t get it and still clutched to my Heavenly light. Now, I had lost my patience with them all and I automatically put up the barriers and ignored them.

I reached the church porch and turned in confusion. I could just about see the spirits, though in the morning glow their forms were fading fast. There was a small girl in a too large white dress, an elderly couple clutching both of each other’s hands, a teenage boy laying in the grass looking bored. There was a young woman clutching a new born to one side and a two year old to the other, she was stood next to a World War One soldier boy. Beyond them was an ancient hobbling woman, an old man with a missing arm and small dog at his feet, a ten year old girl in a summer dress and finally, a middle aged farmer’s wife.

I waited and watched them all vanish as the sunlight finally settled on the graveyard and church. Thoughts tumbled through my mind. This had never happened before. Had they sensed the lingering evil touch from my fight with the Demigod bear and other daemons? Or had my Heavenly light finally faded? I reached for my great sword and slowly eased it out of the sheath at my hip. The weapon still looked normal and though it was heavy, I couldn’t feel its true weight in my hand. Placing the blade back, I ruffled my wings, reassuring myself that they too were still there and working.

For a few seconds, I wondered what else I could do to prove that nothing had changed. I didn’t feel anything different, just the circling puzzlement over the spirits’ reactions. With nothing coming to my mind, I looked out over the graveyard and decided that maybe the ghosts had finally given up on me. Somehow, that thought didn’t make me happier. They had always been active and determined.

I turned, pushed open the door with some force and squeezed inside the church. Nothing looked out of place and it didn’t look like anybody had wondered in. I wedged the door back in place, shutting out the glorious yellow daylight. I let my eyes adjust to the darkness, then set my boots crunching along the floor, just like they always did over the fallen plaster and bricks. The dilapidated pews rose up on either side of me as I walked towards the altar.

For the first time in what felt like awhile, I looked over at the matching four arched windows, two on either side. They were empty of what once had been colourful stained glass depicting famous scenes from the Bible. The fragile remains of the frames now lent against old wooden boards, which were showing signs of rot. I wondered which Biblical scenes they had chosen and how many times the congregation mused over them.

Stepping up to the stone altar, I paused. There should have been a large divided window behind the grey rectangle block. Now there was only another wooden board, which banished the light and allowed darkness to rule. In the walls on either side of the window were etched out crosses. I knelt, put my hands together and cleared my mind. I fell into saying the Lord’s Pray aloud, ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…’ my voice echoed in the dead church.

Afterwards, I slipped into silence, not sure what else to say. I thought about a number of things, but decided that I just couldn’t word anything right. I let my hands fall and lent back, looking up at the window. I should say thank you, I thought, but somehow I just couldn’t do it. What did I have to be thankful for right now? Shelter, I guess. The fact I was still alive. I clenched my fists. I wasn’t thankful for being trapped here though.

I relaxed my hands and got up. I went to the hidden alcove. Pushing open the door, I climbed the spiral staircase upwards and into my room. I light the candle out of habit, swung my sheath sword into place against the desk and stripped out of my clothes. The notebooks I had taken tumbled out and slapped the floor hard. I gathered them up and placed them on the desk.

Once naked, I picked them up again and took them into bed with me. Though it seemed like I had all ready slept, I felt exhausted. My wings wrapped around protectively around me, but I shimmered them away, so I could feel the cold wooden walls on my back.  Arranging the mass of blankets and pillows, I settled back and shut my eyes. I did some deep breathing exercises and succumbed to a meditate like state.

She came to me right away. Rain. She was standing in her Paradise Garden. Her mismatched green and blue eyes were looking out over the railing whilst the animals and stream sing to her. The air was thick with lavender, midnight jasmine and lilies. She had her arms resting on the rail, her light brown hair loose and wind swept. She was wearing the black pants and a white vest top from the training room. I couldn’t see her expression.

I sighed and said her name aloud. It was sweet on my lips like forbidden fruit. Would I ever see her again, like she had promised? Sleep rolled across me and I welcomed it with open arms.

To Be Continued…..

Church (Chapter 3, Part 4)

17 Photos of Abandoned Churches These old Churches have long been abandoned but not forgotten. Awesome photos keep them alive in our memories!

Continued from Church chapter 3, parts 1, 2 and 3.

‘How?’ I cut in.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ Rain shot back, ‘it’s not important.’

It mattered to me and I went to press her on it, but she continued speaking with a sad tone to her words, ‘I tried to give the fighting up, I retired to here and other places. But, it didn’t work. I couldn’t stop my destiny, so I fight still.’

‘Isn’t that good, though?’ I asked softly, ‘maybe the other Reapers will see that and invite you back in. I don’t understand why you think yourself sinful. Are you not doing a worthy job in purging and protecting the world from those evil souls?’

Rain let out a deep sigh and for the first time grabbed my hands in her’s, stopping my fingers from rubbing against her knuckles. My words hung in the air, heavy with more than just that question. I was desperate to ask more to make her to reveal other things to me. I had an overwhelming urge to know her entirely. Instead, I forced myself to stay silent and gave her the space to carry on.

‘It’s not like that,’ she said, shakily, then stopped.

Her hands slipped from mine and she stood up. I stayed on the floor, looking up at her and willing her to go on, but at the same time knowing that she no longer wanted too.

‘You don’t need to know any more. I’m going to have a shower and maybe rest,’ she muttered, as she turned away.

‘Rain?’ I called after her, scrambling to my feet.

She stopped, but didn’t turn back to me, ‘I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything. You can leave if you want. Just walk out of the portal, you don’t need to do anything else.’

‘We can’t end it like this,’ I snapped, without really meaning too.

I reached out to her, but my hand hovered in the air. She twisted her head, resting her chin on her shoulder. Some of her hair fell across the side of her face and she looked at me shyly from under her eyelashes.

‘It must for now, but we’ll see each other again, I’m sure of that,’ Rain stated.

Flicking her head away, she took off with her feet slapping the floor loudly. I caught myself from chasing after her as the door closed and I was alone again. Rubbing a hand down my face and then my neck, I cast a look at my amour, which lay on the floor close beside me. I gathered it and went to blow out the candle. The sage had almost burnt itself out and needed no attention. I left and went back to my room, feeling dishearten and no longer convinced that I wanted to leave.

Still though, it didn’t feel like I had a choice. As I put my armour back on, I thought about Rain’s words and realised that she had dismissed me. If I stayed I probably would be disrespecting her and there was a growing tension between us right now. However, the small hope of seeing her again stayed with me and I prayed that we were destined to meet another time. Picking up my sheathed sword, my eyes drifted to the notebooks. Fixing the weapon to my side, I walked over and picked them up. I was tempted to open their pages and flick through them once more, instead, I went to the chest and opened it.

Inside the same mix of items meet my eyes. I placed the notebooks on top and went to close the lid. Something stopped my hand and as if I had been possessed, I picked the notebooks up again and shoved them under my chest plate. The lid slammed as I let it go. Leaving without a glance back, I walked out and looked over the Paradise Garden. A storm seemed to be brewing in one of the far corners. However, the magic of the rolling landscape, babbling brook and singing birds affected me, making me feel calm and safe.

I walked downstairs and took a last walk through the English meadow. My mind drifted, my thoughts unable to fix on anything else other than the beauty before me. Then it started to rain. Large drops fell from a darkening grey sky and a gently rumble of thunder filled the air. I hurried to the true cathedral steps and climbed them. Standing beside the door, the rain couldn’t get me and for a few minutes I watched the storm roll in and erupt around me.

For a split second, I thought I saw Rain on the balcony, but it could have easily been a large bird. I sighed and turned away at last, my heavy heart knowing that I might never look upon this place again. I opened the door and stepped through. The sound of the storm faded behind me and the doors closed with a soft hushing.

I was back in the real world again.

Church (Chapter 3, Part 3)

17 Photos of Abandoned Churches These old Churches have long been abandoned but not forgotten. Awesome photos keep them alive in our memories!

Continued from Church chapter 3, parts 1 and 2.

A soft female voice, which I half recognised, was repeatedly calling my name, though she sounded very distant. A harsher male voice, which I didn’t know, cut in with, ‘you are on the wrong side of Heaven now, but you are still too righteous for Hell.’ Was that an actual person or just a voice inside of my head? I felt fingers tugging at something across my sides, but I let go and fell into a dream.

I was flying amongst fluffy white clouds, the sun glorious hot on my skin. Trumpets and harps were playing gentle songs in my ears. I was aware of other angels filling the sky around me and the feeling of wings brushing against my own. Still, though that same female voice called my name, ‘Blaze?’ she questioned with sadness and concern.

I opened my eyes and saw a wooden beamed ceiling.  Taking in a few deep breaths, I smelt and tasted an acidic burning of dried plant. Easing myself up, I felt the dead weight of my metal plate on my torso. With numb fingers I reached out for the leather straps at the side and found them all ready loosened. I pulled the armour off over my head and placed it down beside me. My arm guards hadn’t been unbuckled, but I quickly did that and pulled them off too.

I noticed a very low and short red lacquered table across from me next to the wall. On it a thick twist of sage was burning over a white bowl, a gentle curl of smoke rose upwards. A tall white church pillar candle was burning beside it. Soft padding footsteps ticked my ear and I turned to my right. Black pant covered legs met my eyes and I turned my head up, into the face of Rain.

‘Blaze? Are you all right?’

I touched the side of my head and rubbed it carefully. My hair was a mess around my face and shoulders. I withdrew my hand and didn’t see any blood on my fingers, but that area still ached.

‘Here,’ Rain said and handed me an opened bottle of water.

I took it and had a sip, whilst she crouched on the floor and wrapped her arms around her knees. She looked unhappy and concerned. Her mismatched eyes were also downcast and for a few moments she didn’t look at me as I drink. The water was cold and refreshing, I felt better. I handed it back to her and she took a few mouthfuls, before placing the bottle between us.

‘You didn’t really mean it, did you?’ I inquired, softly.

‘No, I just wanted to see what you’d do,’ Rain responded in a whispery voice, ‘I didn’t mean you any harm. I promised not to hurt you, remember? I always keep my promises.’

I felt her fingertips try to brush my hair back from my face, but it was too tangled and fell back. From her own hair, she tugged out a lilac thin elastic tie, which caused her hair to fan down like a waterfall. Shifting behind me, she gathered all my long golden strands up and tied my hair out of the way. Her hand brushed my shoulder and for a fleeting moment I wished she had lingered longer.

‘I head a man’s voice alongside your own,’ I spoke, as I pulled my legs crossed together and straightened up, ‘he said something about the wrong sides of Heaven and Hell.’

Rain’s face crumpled into puzzlement.

‘Maybe, it wasn’t a real voice or it could have been spiritual…’ I added, thoughtfully.

She glanced over her shoulder and in a single movement got up. She crossed the floor, went to the speaker system and collected something. Coming back she knelt beside me and showed me the palm sized music device in her hand. The screen loaded up an album cover with some kind of demon on a fiery background. Scrolling letters that I couldn’t catch moved along the bottom.

‘What were the actual words?’ Rain asked.

‘I can’t really remember,’ I admitted.

She hit play and loud piano notes accompanied by a guitar waved through the air, that harsh male voice began singing. We listened closely and a few moments later we both heard the line. Rain stopped the song and looked at me, ‘see? That’s all it was, Five Finger Death Punch. I like to listen to them when I practise,’ she finished in a half shrug.

‘I understand,’ I replied, simply.

Rain switched the device off and ran her fingers along the edge. We were quiet for a few seconds, then she mumbled, ‘maybe it was some kind of sign.’

I turned back to her, having been staring at the burning sage and candle. She was looking at the floor again, though her face was softer and calmer now. She glanced up at me and further suggested, ‘you were looking for a sign about why you were stuck here.’

I nodded and waiting for her to go on.

‘Well, maybe that was one? I don’t know though,’ her voice laughed, ‘these musicians always seem to say the stuff I need to hear at the right moment. I know it’s just me reading too much into their lyrics though, but it seems to help.’

She went to get up, but I lightly clasped her arm, stilling her. I let go, though the warmth and softness of her skin almost prevented the movement of my fingers. I halted her words with a quick look and commanded, ‘tell me about yourself. You’ve hidden it this long, but now I need to know.’

‘It’s complicated,’ she uttered.

‘So? Tell me and I will try to understand.’

Rain shook her head, sending her hair spilling around her face.

Without thinking, I gathered the strands in my hands and tossed them over her shoulders. My palms skimmed her upper arms, I told them to let go, but they stayed and travelled further down to the balled up fists in her lap. I squeezed her hands and un-clenched her fingers, until she relaxed them against my own.

‘I have sinned, badly,’ she breathed, ‘I should look like Death to your eyes, because that’s what I am. I’ve meet other angels before, but they have kept their distance because they knew what I was, even if they didn’t fully understand it. You’re different and for whatever reason, you don’t sense the evil inside of me.’

‘You are a closed book to me, Rain,’ I admitted, ‘I have never been able to see your mind or aura. There seems to be just nothing, but I know that isn’t true. I thought you were creating the block yourself and perhaps that’s why?’

‘That is a part of it,’ she sighed, ‘but doesn’t explain the rest of it. Still, there’s always going to be mysteries that we don’t understand and we shouldn’t go seeking the answers to.’

I nodded and rubbing her fingers, allowed her to go on.

‘I’m warrior like yourself. Just as there are many different groups of angels, so it is with what I am. A Messore, a Reaper. You should already be aware of us. At least, our main group will be familiar to you,’ Rain paused, waiting for me to confirm this.

‘Grim Reapers, Death, the harvesters of mortal human souls. You guide the newly depart to Heaven or Hell. You are a form of angel,’ I rushed out.

‘Angels, who can never enter either realm and thus have become far from being the form you know. We are banished to Limbo and feared,’ Rain responded sadly, ‘I’m a member of one of their other groups. You see, it’s not just human souls we deal with. We have to take care of all souls- mortal and immortal alike.’

‘So, which souls do you…guide then?’ I wondered, half-unsure if I actually wanted to know the answer.

‘The most evil ones,’ she confessed, ‘like that Demigod bear, I saved you from. Though, it’s extremely rare to find his kind on the Earth plane. Normally, I go after what is classed as empty souls. They have no mortality left within them, if they ever had it in the first place. They feed on other souls, growing stronger and eviler, until that’s all they know.’

‘And it’s your job to vanquish them,’ I finished.

‘It was…I’m exiled now.’

To Be Continued….

Church (Chapter 3, Part 2)

17 Photos of Abandoned Churches These old Churches have long been abandoned but not forgotten. Awesome photos keep them alive in our memories!

Continued from Church chapter 3, part 1.

‘Ready?’ she asked, a smile fleeting across her lips.

‘When you are,’ I answered.

Rain struck as a new heavy metal song started. She swung the right end of the pole quickly towards me. I easily parried it, causing the thin wood to clash. Rapidly, she brought up the other end, which I easily deflected as well. She smiled softly and repeated the moves again, only this time faster and stronger, which took me by surprised and caused me to shuffle back. Rain moved as well, creating a gap between us and sliding her hands down the pole as she did so.

I defended for the second time as she came at me with the end of the pole raised above her head.  She went to bring it down, but I meet her pole in the middle. There was a loud whack and we both felt the vibrations going through us. I twisted, trying to bring her pole down, but she predicated the move and pulled away, spinning as she did so.

‘Not bad,’ Rain remarked, turning to face me.

I relaxed my pole and copied her movements as she balanced the pole between her hands again. She spaced her legs out and put her right foot before her left, so that she was side on to me. I mirrored her.

‘I fight better with a sword,’ I pointed out.

‘Me too,’ she purred and grinned, ‘we’ll have to try that, sometime. Right now though…’ Rain trailed off as she ready to attack again.

I was prepared for her move and blocked the strike. She tilted her pole down, aiming for my stomach. I hit her away and pushed back. I felt a wave of unexpected anger and struck. Her pole was still low, so I wacked it even lower and though she probably could have stopped me, she let the end of the pole hit the floor.

‘A point to me, hmm?’ I declared.

Rain giggled, ‘I don’t remember saying anything about that…It’s to the death.’

I frowned, a spike of shock piercing in my chest and words unable to form on my lips.

‘Problem?’ she queried.

‘You jest, surely?’ I forced out.

She shook her head, ‘why would I? What have I got to lose in my own realm?’

She took my puzzlement as a chance and hit me in the lower leg.  I choked, one handed my pole and with my other hand gripped my leg. That give her another opening and raising the pole, she brought it down on my shoulder. I cried out, but without pausing, Rain went for another attack and tried to jab the pole end into my chest. I yanked up my arms and pole in guard, swung out and parried her blow with such force that she half stumbled to the side.

Letting out a yell, I twisted away and went to strike her leg, however, she was faster and blocked me. She spun away, creating space between us and sliding her hands down the pole, so that it she held it close to the bottom and the pole reached out before her.  Without missing a beat, I came at her and our poles met in the air, forming an X above us. I took a few deep breaths, feeling the tension, though there seemed to be more from her side then mine.

Grunting, I moved my pole a fraction, trying to see if she would be tricked into still holding her position whilst I launched an attack. She was wiser and the second my pole left hers, she flicked away and leaped backwards. She was shockingly light on the tips of her toes and she glided to a stop with such grace. I caught the quick smile on her lips as she re-positioned her hands slightly further up on the pole to give it and herself more balance.

‘You don’t mean it,’ I stated as I brought my weapon down and rested the end on the floor.

She cocked her head and stared at me.

‘A fight to the death? And with wooden poles too?’ I blurted.

‘We could continue without, if you prefer?’ she asked coldly.

‘But what’s the point? What have I done to offend you?’ I demanded to know.

‘There’s no real reason,’ she answered thoughtfully, ‘the only thing that matters now is proving yourself to me.’

‘You saved my life, Rain!’ I shouted and almost threw my pole down, ‘Why do I have to prove anything to you? Did you not see me fighting that Demigod bear?’

She shrugged and quickly moved forward to fill the space between us. Rain brought her pole up, so I readied mine in defensive. She aimed low, I blocked and the poles clattered together. She angled upwards and I did the same causing the wood to squeak. I tightened my grip and pushed against her. Surprisingly, she was able to stand her ground and we were locked together for a few moments.

‘You have to tell me why,’ I pressed.

‘Like you said, you owe me your life and I want to see what it’s worth,’ she shot back.

Anger flared up inside me and I realised the time for talking was over. However, I couldn’t risk her words being the truth or a lie as right now she was fully intending to win this fight. Blocking all my thoughts and feeling about her, I give into the urge of battle.

I threw all my weight forward and shoved her backwards. Rain’s feet moved across the mat, she gasped. I felt her resistance weakening, then she found grip and ducked under me. I heard her pole clatter to the ground and turned in time to see her somersault, still with the pole in her hands. Rain jumped to her feet and turned to face me again.

I came at her full speed, my pole positioned to land on her head, but in the nick of time she blocked and kicked me in the stomach, though it was a poor blow because her foot bounced back off my armour. She noted that and caused me to toss my head aside to avoid her bare feet as she tumbled into a series of three long back flips. I saw her land upright and I swiftly judge the distance now between us.

I could have crossed it in a few running strides, but instead, like Rain was doing, I caught my breath and prepared again. Despite trying to block it, I still desperately wanted to know why she wanted to kill me and what had led to this. I shook my head, pushing the thoughts away before I tried to engage her in conversation again. We were far passed that now and what really matter was how the fight was going to end.

Rain jumped back into combat and our poles clashed together once more. She pushed against me, the expression on her face and in her eyes one of complete determination. I pressed back, willing this all to end and for her words not to be true. She growled, tipped the left end of her pole down, then brought her knee up before it to push it into my upper leg.

I gritted my teeth, shifted my pole down against her’s, but Rain moved her’s up in a flash and brought the other end into the side of my head. I stumbled, rocked by dizziness. Another blow landed in the same spot and my vision darkened as I hit the floor.

 To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 3, Part 1)

17 Photos of Abandoned Churches These old Churches have long been abandoned but not forgotten. Awesome photos keep them alive in our memories!Continued from Church chapters 1 and 2.

Catch up here if you need to; https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/category/church-novella/

Previously;

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?

Chapter 3

‘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?’

She nodded.

‘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.

‘Huh?’

‘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…

Church (Chapter 2, Part 4)

Continued from Church chapter 2, parts 1, 2 and 3

The first sip of jasmine tea scolded my tongue. I swallowed quickly and decided to let the rest cool. Rain lent against one of the counters and I was left standing in the middle of the kitchen, unsure what to talk about or do. I studied her as she seemed in deep thought and not noticing my eyes. She was wearing dusty blue jeans and a black long sleeved top, which I hadn’t observed before. She was barefooted just like myself and she had tied her hair back. I couldn’t fully read her expression, but there was a slight line concern there and her lips were thin in concentration.

‘Do you want any more?’ she said after a few moments, ‘I might take the rest to bed.’

‘No, go ahead. Thanks.’

She smiled sweetly, ‘well, make yourself at home. See you later.’

Picking up the teapot, she left and as her footsteps faded, I suddenly felt very lonely. I walked out of the kitchen and onto the platform. The sunlight was defiantly fading and as I looked up at the gothic ceiling, I saw that the once bright blue sky was now a wash of colours.

Resting against the railing, I watched night fall across the garden and to my delight I found it just as enchanting as it had been in the daytime. Owls, bats and other nocturnal creatures appeared and called out to each other as they darted around. Night flowers opened and let a more powerful scent then before fill the air and there was still that sweetness from the rain before.

I drank the now fast cooling tea and when done went back in the kitchen to wash the cup and leave it there. Though the night time garden appealed to me, I decided to go into the bedroom Rain had given me and spend some time reflecting and resting. As I opened the door and stepped in, I found everything just as I had left it.

I cleared my things off the bed and went to place them on top of a cushioned bench, before realising it was actually a bedding box. Curiously, I opened it and find it full of things. Putting my clothes and sword on the floor, I opened the lid fully and knelt before the great chest. Inside were not only clean bedding, towels and multiple use robes, but paperback books, candles, cans of Coca-Cola, an unopened tin of sweets and four notebooks, all of which looked used.

I pulled these out and closing the chest, I sat down on top of it and inspected the notebooks. Two of them had the same brown fake leather covers and were chunky. Of the other’s, the first had a red paper cover and the second a black plastic one. Setting them next to me, I picked up the last one and flipped through the pages. Pencil and pen sketches flashed by; there was the ruined cathedral, the garden, flowers, rabbits, an owl, then Rain.

I stopped and stared. There was no mistaking the shape of her face and hair. I turned the pages slower and saw that they all had her face on them. The eighth page had the face of someone else; a young man, though it was badly drawn and the hand looked different from the others I’d just seen. Frowning, I turned the page and on the next was a quickly sketched scene of a graveyard, which was very map like. On the page next to it someone had written:

I do not wonder in darkness alone as your light shines out before me.

It was followed by a handful of blank pages.

I selected the red one and found it full of poetry and odd lines, which switched between English and other languages. My eyes skim read a few poems, but there didn’t seem anything in them, though they might have with closer reading. I set them both aside and turned to the leather bound ones. Flipping through them both at the same time, I found that they were diaries and going off the handwriting belonged to the same person.

Stopping, I picked up the first one and went back to the beginning. I felt a wave of excitement, but also guilt. I shouldn’t be reading someone’s private records, but they might have written about Rain. There was nothing on the first page nor the second, the writer had begun on the third page and it was dated June 2009 and opened with;

My Tribunus brought me to her secret plane today. It is a Paradise beyond paradises! I could not bring many ‘physical items’, as some don’t work here, so knowing my love for recording, she give me this special book, which allows the writing to pass through the time freeze and be stable. This place is full of power! I knew she was an element wielder, that is no great secret, but to be able to do all of this with it, I didn’t know that was even possible! 

I paused and glanced back at the other pages. In tiny handwriting in the top corner of the first page was the name: Lucius Canus. Company 9, Mestemalum. I didn’t know what that meant. Turning back again, I tried to focus my eyes on the page, but waves of tiredness came over me. Closing the notebook, I picked up all of them again and placed them on the bed.

Taking off my robe and letting gentle cool air caress my naked skin, I got under the silk sheets. I let my head slip onto the pillow and I reached out for a notebook, recognized the plastic black one and let my hand bring it before my eyes. This time I turned the pages slowly and looked at the drawings, under some with the letters RR. Most were pretty good and with fine details to them, but it was the sketches of Rain’s face which I lingered on.

I could tell that at first the artist had started out with basic lines and done a number of practices at the eyes, lips and nose. Then they had spent time, carefully trying to get the details right. The final drawing of her really showed all that practice and Rain’s face had been truly captured. Propping the notebook up on that page, I rested my head against the pillow and started to doze off.

‘Who are you?’ I whispered, allowing my fingers to touch her cheek.

***************************

Author’s Note:

Ever since I finished the first chapter of Church I’ve been very interested to continue it. Now, I’ve done that and chapter two has come to a close, I just want to carry on and find what’s going to happen to Blaze and Rain. I hope that you as the readers do too. I’m not sure if and when I will be posting the next chapter though, but if you are interested and let me know through likes/comments. Thanks so much for reading and supporting my writing, I really do appreciate it.

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Church (Chapter 2, Part 3)

Continued from Church chapter 2, parts 1 and 2

Settling back into the trunk tree chair, I wondered where to actually begin and how much I should reveal to Rain. She was busy picking her way through the fruit basket, seemly ignoring me as she selected a few pieces of peeled and cut star fruit. I wondered where all the fruits had come from, then couldn’t delay any longer.

‘I can’t really remember my early days of being, because I was created to be a warrior angel right from the start. I have shadowy memories of things I did, events that happened, friends who are no longer. I don’t dwell in the past and anyway it’s far too long now.  Though, I can recall things from the human life I once lived,’ I ended in a shrug.

Rain glanced up at me from nibbling a point off the star fruit. Her expression showed her interested and her wish for me to continue.

‘We all have the choice to spend some time as mortal if we want it,’ I picked up, ‘I can’t speak for the others, for it has been awhile since I last enjoyed a peaceful and pleasant time with my brothers. I wouldn’t have done it of my own accord though. I was told to by my leader and I always do whatever he asks of me.’

‘Did you enjoy it?’ Rain asked in a soft voice.

I noticed she was running her finger over the table top and tracing circles. Her mismatched eyes were downcast, but when she rose them up to mine, because I didn’t reply, I noted a hint of sadness there.

‘For a time. But a part of me always was…unsatisfied. In that body and conscious mind, I didn’t know what I truly was, but my soul and unconscious mind did. I suffered the great hardships common to mortals, but it didn’t change me. I don’t know the reasons I was sent there, maybe the purpose is yet to happen. Are you human or were once?’ I asked.

Rain let out a big sigh and slide back on the chair, ‘I was born and grew up human, before…’ she shook her head slightly, then whispered, ‘I wish I’d never existed.’

I frowned and paused, waiting and willing her to go on. Instead she let the silence between us grow and the noise of the paradise garden filled my ears. British and exotic birds were singing to each other and flirting about the trees and bushes. Bees and other insects were buzzing and the stream was still babbling away to itself. I heard a patter of raindrops and looked across the garden.

I had avoided looking through the wooden bars of the railing at the rolling landscape, for uncertainty about that mind effecting spell. However, after a few moments, I realised that Rain had been right about this platform being a neutral space.

‘Is it raining?’ I asked.

She looked over too and nodded, ‘Yes. I like the sound and smell of rain. Sometimes you can hear gale force winds and thunder. It just depends on my mood. None of it harms anything and it’s the same with the animals and plants. There’s no time here, remember?’ she added as puzzlement flashed on my face, ‘anyway, you were saying?’

‘I’ve not been mortal since then and don’t really wish too. The only thing I know is my work, because it is the only thing I was created to do. I fight evil in whatever form it decides to hide in and no matter where it is. Most of the time, it happens to be on Earth now, not that it bothers me. Well, I did use to enjoy it so…’

Rain perked up as I trailed off, her face eager for me to explain myself.

I sighed and decided there was no harm in sharing the truth with her, ‘I’m trapped here. I can’t get back to Heaven and my powers are waning.’

‘Why is that?’ Rain breathed.

‘I don’t know and so far I’ve not been able to figure it out,’ I answered.

I got to my feet and began walking about the platform. The rain was falling heavier now and I could hear it hitting the stream and mossy rocks. Also, the sunlight had seemed to dim, though there was still enough light surrounding us. The delicious smell of damp soil and wet plants crowd my nose, with the midnight jasmine coming out on top. I started pacing and Rain, after a few moments of quietness began searching through the fruit basket again.

‘I don’t think I did anything wrong,’ I muttered to myself, ‘and if I had Fallen I would have surely known. I’ve constantly asked for guidance and had hardly anything. No other angel or my leader has tried to speak to me, well at least not to my knowledge.’

‘You’d know if something happened up there, wouldn’t you?’

I turned at the sound of her voice and saw her looking thoughtfully at me, whilst rubbing her fingers across a peach in her right hand.

I nodded, ‘I always have before,’ and went to sit down, only I saw her rising and paused.

‘Would you like some jasmine tea? Or maybe something else to drink? I was thinking about having some and then going to bed.’

‘That sounds fine to me. Do you have a kitchen?’

Rain put the peach back and pressed her palms to the table. She pulled herself all the way up as if her body had become stiff whilst we had been talking. She inclined her head to the right and my eyes followed the movement. There seemed to be nothing but a magnificent cherry tree wood panelling with traditional Japanese scenes carved on it. I hadn’t noticed it before and quickly realised, that I could stare at it forever just like the garden.

Rain moved off and following her, I watched as she turned a concealed handle in the trunk of a blossoming cherry tree. Pushing, relieved a hidden door, through which was a kitchen as modern as the bathroom had been.

‘I don’t keep much,’ she said as we stepped through. ‘I don’t spend that long here.’

‘But the fruit? Where does that come from?’ I asked, looking around. The kitchen was small, with a few cupboards and work surfaces with more underneath. A sink took dominance as there were no other appliances to do so. Rain had just used it to fill a kettle, which she now clicked on.

‘It’s not real,’ she tossed over her shoulder.

I rubbed my face with my sleeve covered arm and moved some strains of hair back into place. I poked my tongue into my cheeks where I could just about taste the remains of the apple I had eaten.

‘It seemed so,’ I mumbled and wonder how great Rain’s powers could actually be, ‘are you going to tell me about yourself now?’

She lifted her shoulders in a quick shrug and made up a teapot of jasmine tea.

‘Maybe, later. I’m tired after all your talking. Here,’ she added and handed me a Japanese tea cup.

‘Is this real?’ I asked staring into the cup and looking at the light brown tea inside.

Rain gave a little laugh, ‘yes.’

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 2, Part 2)

Continued from Church chapter 2, part 1 and also the first chapter of Church in the November archive. https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

I stepped from under the archway and into a paradise garden. Five long stone steps led down to a rolling landscape covered in a carpet of lush emerald grass, sprinkled with brightly coloured English meadow flowers. A few small red and yellow acre trees were spread out, creating another level of colour at the eye line.

Cutting its way through the centre, a babbling stream twisted like a serpent with the water rushing over or around shiny stones. The stream came close to the steps, then turned a sharp right and rushed off to the side. Also dotted about where large moss rocks, which I quickly realised were actually fallen and displaced parts of the cathedral.

Glancing up, I saw shafts yellow sunlight flooding through the high arched empty window frames. Above them, the roof stretched up in classic gothic ribbed vaults, which were painted to look like a summer day’s sky. Further along to the right side was a balcony, which seemed to run the length of the room. On the other side, I could see empty niches and towering columns.

My other senses became assaulted too, as I suddenly noticed that the garden was teeming with life. Small birds, butterflies and bees roamed the air, their voices and wings rang in my ears alongside the stream’s bubbling. The wondrous scents of midnight jasmine and lavender filled my nose, mingling with other flowers and fresh air. I just couldn’t take it all in and yet…the more I looked the more it seemed to be unrealistic.

I stepped down into the soft grass and swept my fingers over the top of the blades. They felt real enough to me. Moving to the stream, I did the same and dipped my fingers into the clear water. They came back wet and I pressed them to my lips and tasted a few drops of cool sweet water. I walked slowly through it all and found Rain waiting for me on a small wooden bridge going over the stream.

‘Is all this real?’ I asked as I joined her and waved my arm around.

‘Yes and no,’ she replied with a little smile darting on her lips, ‘we are on a different plane and I created this area, but it’s not truly real.’

‘But it seems it,’ I replied.

She nodded, ‘because I will it to be so.’

I looked around again and watched two brown rabbits appear from behind a rock and start nibbling at the grass. I felt oddly relaxed and calm, all my worries had slipped away and I had this faint recall of being back home. I turned to Rain and found her removing her black mask.

‘I’m going to get changed. There are rooms up there,’ she said, pointing to the balcony.

From this angle, I could now see four white doors and as Rain moved off, I followed her to an almost hidden staircase which was joined to the wall.

‘So, the ruins of the cathedral are not real?’ I questioned.

‘They are real. I wouldn’t have been able to make it so stable otherwise. Tourists sometimes stubble on here, but they normally can’t see any of this. I made it well protect from everything and only those I let in with me can stepped through the portal.’

We had climbed the stairs and come to the top. I looked out and saw an even better view then before. Rain turned her back on it and indicated to each of the doors as she told me what lay behind them.

‘The first is my room, the second is the bathroom, the third can be yours’ for now if you want and the four is locked. So, you can’t go in there and don’t ask what’s there because if you thought all this was a bit mind blowing, well!’

Rain tossed her hair over her shoulder and smirked. I nodded, never having been one to probe further into such matters. Rain straightened from her slight lean on the railing and walked to the first door.

‘Do whatever you like and we’ll talk whenever you want. Time is permanently frozen here,’ she called over shoulder as she opened the door and stepped in.

I nodded as it closed behind her and stealing a last look at the view, I walked to the third door and stepped inside. The room was large, with bare stone walls, dim lighting from a small modern chandelier and no windows. A double bed was before me, freshly made and there was a desk opposite with a wardrobe beside that. I walked over, opened the doors and saw an array of clothing neatly hung up.  I pulled out a simple, long white cotton robe and got changed into it.

Leaving my other clothes, armour and my sword on the bed, I inspect the bedroom more closely, but there was nothing else. Leaving, I went into the bathroom and found it very modern with its bright white and sliver sink, toilet and shower. I ran the sink tap and water gushed out. I drink deeply, before turning it off and drying my hands and face on a soft white towel. The idea that none of this could be real was far from my mind.

Walking out, I went and looked over the rail. Resting my arms across the cool marble, I tried to get my mind thinking about Rain. I really wanted to know who and what she was. However, I didn’t seem able to grasp or follow any trains of thought. It seemed that every few moments, no matter what I had been thinking, my mind went blank and the paradise garden filled my thoughts. Shaking my head, I wondered if she was a powerful witch, or else something along those lines that I’d just not heard about before. That didn’t feel right though and as I struggle to think deeper, the garden rolled across it and I couldn’t help but admire it again.

I went down the staircase and wondered through the area. The beauty of the flowers and animals was beyond description as well as the aromas, which were sometimes different in certain areas due to the clustering of the flowers. I have no idea how much time passed before I saw Rain again, but as I walked up a spiral staircase at the far end, I came on to a platform and there she was.

She was sat in a large chair that had been shaped inside the trunk of a living oak tree and there was another one opposite. A table gently shaped into that form from a very low oak lay between them, with a large basket of fruit on it, which Rain was eating strawberries from. She indicted to me with her head and hand to help myself and I gladly selected a red apple. I sunk into the other tree chair, finding it soft and cosy, then began eating.

‘How is everything?’ Rain broke into conversation and it seemed to dispel my constant thought problems.

‘Fine, thank you,’ I replied.

‘There’s a spell on the garden. I forgot to tell you before, though you’ve probably been feeling the effects all ready.’

I nodded and bid her to carry on.

‘It doesn’t affect inside the rooms or in this spot. I come here to clean my mind and soul, so part of the spell so to stop thoughts and memories from developing,’ Rain explained, she rubbed her left wrist on the edge of the table, ‘this is the only place I can find peace now,’ she sighed softly.

‘What?’ I asked.

‘No. I want to hear your story first.’

‘My story?’

‘Yes. Who are you and want are you doing here?’

‘Well…I’m Blaze,’ I answered then stopped, realising she hadn’t known my name this whole time, ‘I probably should have told you that before.’

‘You were districted and sometimes withholding your name is a good thing. Your enemies could use it against you,’ Rain said, pointing a watermelon slice at me, ‘it’s nice to meet you Blaze. I’m Rain,’ she added and held her hand out.

I went to give her mine then realised the table was too long for our hands to meet and shake. Rain laughed and threw a grape at me. It struck my chest and bounced on the floor. I looked down in shock at where it had hit and then back at her.

‘Saving your life makes us best friends,’ she responded in-between giggles.

‘The Demigod bear,’ I muttered as it all came back to me.

Rain fell silent and nodded.

‘I don’t think I thanked you probably for that…’

‘It’s fine. Go on, I really do want to hear all about you.’

‘All right,’ I replied and finished off the apple in a few quick bites, ‘I guess we should start at the beginning.’

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 2, Part 1)

Continued from the first chapter of Church in the November archive. I would recommend you read that if you already haven’t before continuing. Here’s the link: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

Previously;

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.

Chapter 2

 ‘Let light shine out of darkness’

2 Corinthians 4:6

Still sitting on the damp ground, I tried to study Rain, but she was completely wrapped in darkness both in body and mind. Letting that go for a minute, I gathered myself and stood up. My golden red feather wings stretched out then fell into place down my back. The dead Demigod bear had become a faint outline and the daemon that had led me here and his companions had disappeared. Glancing further around, I saw the destruction to the wooded park. Uprooted trees were lying scattered alongside broken branches of all lengths and the wet group was gorged with the trail of the battle.

I noticed Rain following my gaze and turned back to her. With a glance at the almost faded Demigod, her eyes settled on mine and for the first time I noticed that they were mis-matched. Her right one was light green and the left was crystal blue. Her light brown hair seemed shorter than mine and fell about her in choppy waves. Her face was softly rounded and her skin looked flushed, her nose was small and gently rose up, whilst her lips formed a straight pink line, which dipped slightly in the corners as if verging on a frown.

That concave curved katana of her’s was still out and gracefully aimed at the floor. I couldn’t see a sheath at either of her hips. Watching her closely, I got the impression that she was having a telepathic conversation with someone. Though I wasn’t sure how or why that suggestion had come to me.

‘Are you unharmed?’ she asked me sharply.

I nodded, ‘You?’

‘I’m perfectly fine, thank you. Can you please move back to the treeline? I need to cleanse the area.’

I looked behind me and saw the area she wanted me to go to. However, I didn’t know her or her nature and so was wary. I still held my sword, though it felt loose in my hand, so I curled my fingers around the pommel whilst glancing at her weapon. That blade looked wicked and both sides were sharp, though there was a large row of dark brown triangles along the left side. The guard was small and round, the grab black cloth and the pommel flat. The katana looked extremely light weight and completely different to my great sword.

I didn’t want to turn my back and walk away. Quickly, I tried to think of something I could say either to delay my moving or to seek peace with her. However, she seemed lost to a conversation of her own. Then before I could speak, she gave a slight shake of her head as if to say no and turned her back. The kanata dragged along the ground behind her, leaving a trail that seemed too deep for its weight.

Gradually and trying to keep sight of her as long as possible, I turned and walked towards the treeline. The wounds and aches I had received from my battle and fall were healing, though it seemed slower than normal, which meant that more Heavenly power had been drained. From behind me, I heard a soft voice whispering and I looked over my shoulder as I continued and saw that Rain, though she had her back to me, had drawn a circle around her in the ground and was holding the kanata out in front of her.

I made it to the trees and rested against a twisting trunk. I debated keeping my sword out and quickly decided that I should do, just in case. My thoughts turned to leaving and I realised I could do so, but would she follow me? And would we fight? I was in no condition for that, but I was curious about her and why she had saved me from the Demigod.

I saw Rain drop her weapon tip to the ground. A bright circle of blue light flowed out and away from her, rushing off along the surrounding ground and into the trees. Two waves of white light followed in its wake. They hit me, rippling through me and around, but I felt no effects. They vanished somewhere beyond the trees and my sight.  Fascination sparked within me and stunned I watched Rain turning and walking over to me.

‘I’ve not seen a cleansing like that before,’ I called out.

Rain seemed to lift her shoulders in a small shrug. Just before she reached me, she raised the kanata in both hands above her head. Panic shot through me and I readied, only she slipped the sword down her back and her arms dropped to the sides.

‘I’m not an Angel,’ she stated, ‘nor, am I your enemy.’

‘Then what are you?’ I asked, holding my position, ‘I can’t detach your spirit or aura.’

‘It’s complicated. And right now, it’s better you don’t know. Do you want to come with me? This place won’t be safe for much longer. They are gathering already and I don’t think either of us is ready for another battle.’

‘Come where?’ I asked, slightly lowering my sword.

‘I have a place, if you want. We can talk more there. You don’t have to though,’ she added. A trace of a smile crossed her lips then she turned and started walking away.

Frowning, I sheathed my sword and swept my golden red hair backwards. I felt a little tug to follow her and all ready my mind was made up. Just before she went into the other row of trees, I quicken my pace and fell into step behind her. Questions pressed in my mind and on my lips, but I stayed silent just as she did. We walked out of the park, through the outer skirts of the city and into countryside, which I realised lay in the opposite direction of my home.

Another hour later and still in silence, Rain turned off from the side road we had been walking on and led me down a semi-abandoned dirt road, which inclined gently upwards. We stopped at the top and I looked round. There was a touch of light on the horizon and I noticed that the night was passing. Now opposite us, on the flat top of another hill, I saw some large stones that seemed to resemble a ruined cathedral.

I heard her take a deep breath in and set off again. Carefully, I followed her downwards, though long wild grass and up the side of that other hill. When I got to the top, I saw her standing under a massive arch way. It must have once been the door to the cathedral and there was no doubt in my mind that this place could have been anything else.

‘You are welcome here,’ Rain spoke and disappeared inside.

I followed her, unsure what I would find on the other side, but not expecting what my eyes saw laying out before me.

To Be Continued…