Transition #WritePhoto

transition

It wasn’t the priest hole in the wall or under the floor the Catholic priest had been expecting. Looking out of the small arched doorway, he could see a neat flagstone path leading to a small hut covered with ivy.

‘The well house,’ one of the maids explained.

‘Oh,’ was all he could reply.

The maid led the way with a quick step and the priest still clutching his bible followed her.

They left the family and other servants in the chapel behind, hurriedly tidying things away. Then everyone scattered as on the other side of the house, the guards and pursuivant entered through the main door and began their search for Catholics.

The maid open the hut’s door and rushed inside. The priest followed, closing the door behind him. He looked around in the gloom and saw the moss clinging to the walls and before him the huge construction of the well. Above ran thick wooden beams and there was a system of pulleys and weights to the left side.

The maid was turning the handle which was causing a long pole to also turn and a thick rope began to twist around the pole as the bucket was drawn up.

‘Where am I to hide? The guards will search in here!’ the priest cried for he could see no where safe.

‘In the well,’ the maid gasped.

‘In there….’ the priest trailed and looked over the edge of the solid wall of the well.

He couldn’t see anything but darkness.

‘They won’t look for you down here,’ the maid added.

The priest looked towards the door, ‘is there no where else in the house?’

‘Not that I know. I was told to bring you here. The bucket is coming up now,’ the maid pointed out.

The priest stood back as the rope came to an end and the bucket full of water appeared.

With some effort, the maid pulled the bucket over and unattached it. Water sloshed on the floor and splashed up her skirts. From the corner, she brought out an empty bucket and attached to to the rope. Then turning to the small window sill, she did something the priest could not see.

‘Here’s a candle,’ the maid said, lighting a thin white candle and handing it to the priest, ‘there’s a ledge down there for you to stand on. When the bucket gets there shout stop and I shall try to do so. Blow the candle out when you can. We shall come and get you when the guards have gone.’

Nodding the priest, helped put the bucket into the well then climbed in. Juggling Bible and candle in one hand, he held the rope with his other then watched the maid lowering him in.

The wet walls of the well rose up above him and the priest watched for any ledges sticking out. The candle flame fluttered and wax droplets burnt his hand. The priest held tightly on, feeling his stomach aching. Then meters down the well, he saw the ledge.

‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ he screamed upwards.

The bucket jerked and he heard the echoing strains of the maid trying to hold on. The priest scrambled out and found to his shock that the ledge was just enough for him to stand upon. Almost tripping on his robes, he nearly tumbled backwards and the candle fell from his hand.

Hugging the wall, he pressed his face into the cold, wet stone and took a few deep breaths. He shut his eyes and started praying hard as the bucket went down passed him. Further below, he heard it hit the water and then the bucket began to raise up.

The priest stood in the pitch darkness for so long he lost track of the time and his repeated prayers. At one point, he thought he heard voices above and the maid had returned for him but no bucket came down.

God delivery me for this, he thought, bring me peace.

What felt like a long, long time later, the priest heard movement and the creaking of wood. Gently, moving his face from off the wall, the priest looked up but could not see anything for awhile. Then a light, like the Spirit of God, shone down and the priest saw the bucket and a candle inside.

He grabbed the bucket, pulling on the rope to signal he had it. Taking the candle out, the priest climbed inside and tugged on the rope again. The bucket swung then he as lifted up and up till at last he could see the lips of the well.

He reached the top and all put fell out of the bucket as two male servants tried to help him.

The priest rested against wall, sipping wine that someone had pressed into his hand and shaking his head whilst repeatedly saying, ‘never again, never again.’

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/05/23/thursday-photo-prompt-transition-writephoto/ with thanks).

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Passage

passage

He hurried along the unlit underground passageway trying to be as quiet as possible. However, his sandals were slapping too loudly on the worn flagstones and the ends of his dark brown robe were making swishing noises around his legs. He wanted to stop and catch his breath, but he was late for midnight prayers.

He felt a welcome sense of relief as he saw the glowing outline of the door. He pressed on, battling the tightness in his chest and aching pain in his thigh. Keeping his eyes fixed on the light ahead, he wondered how many steps further it was.

Then his thoughts changed and out of no where, he saw an image of her by the flicking candlelight. The whiteness of her skin as the dress slipped off her, that desire in her bright blue eyes. The gold curls of her hair, the red rose bud lips and her voice whispering softly for him to come to her.

His toes suddenly hit the stone steps. He stumbled and fell spread eagle. Feeling pain his head, hands and knees he lay there for a few moments collecting himself. Then getting up slowly, he went up the stairs and through the door.

The corridor was well lit with flicking white candles. Male voices filled the air their words of hymn coming together to seem like one sound. The air was heavy with wax and incense.

He shuffled through an open archway and to the church which was filled with monks. Slotting in with the few at the back, he tried to looked like he had been there all along. Hiding his hands in his large sleeves and joining quietly in with the prayer, he avoided the glances of the men around him.

When it was over, he was the first to slip away. Walking quickly, he went to his cell and knelt down by the side of his bed. His thoughts tumbled and twisted, ideas coming to him then going. he tried hard to think about what he should do but nothing seemed right.

He looked up at the small window in the wall and the single candle on the sill. Then at his desk where another candle sat ready to be lit and the Bible beside it.

‘It is not wrong to love,’ he whispered, ‘you teach us we should love all…but this is stronger then love.’

He looked down at his hands for the first time and saw they were cut and bloody. He put them into his sleeves again and fixed his eyes on the ceiling.

‘I do not know what to do. I do not believe she is a devil of any kind…And was it not I that started this…?’ he stopped and let his voice fade.

He shut his eyes and cleared his mind, after a few minutes he spoke again, ‘perhaps it’s best I just leave. I am no longer a pure vessel for carrying your messages. And I have always wondered if my path was somewhere else.’

Getting up, he looked around his cell and realising he had nothing to take with him, headed to the door. He opened it and listened to the silence. Stepping out, he took his sandals off and carrying them walked through the empty corridors and to the passageway once more.

 

Thursday Photo Prompt – Passage #writephoto

Boots (Part 3)

Silhouette, Bokeh, Man, Out Of Focus, Fig, Bent, Black

Faith stepped down from the small buggie, feeling grateful that the Rector had offered it and his valet for her short trip home. Originally, she had been perfectly happy to walk home, but then the rain had started and the Rector had said he simply could not allow his guest to walk in such bad weather.

As the valet urged the chestnut horse on and the animal broke into a trot, Faith opened her front gate and walked up the path to her cottage. The night wrapped around her like a heavy wet blanket. The rain dripping off her hat and ruining her hair. She unlocked and opened the door, pitch darkness met her.

Stepping inside, Faith search for the candle and matches she knew Mary had left for her. She had dismissed the maid before she had gone for dinner and no doubt Mary had rushed home to her ill mother and five younger siblings, who Mary was now the soul provider of. Faith had taken the maid with the house, only because it had saved her the trouble of finding a new one.

Faith lit the candle and straight away the shadows thinned. She shut the door, making sure it was locked then went up the stairs. In her bedroom, she touched the flickering flame to the other candles and banished most of the darkness. She undressed, put on a night gown, then sat at her small dressing table and brushed out her hair.

The sound of boot steps echoed along the hallway.

Faith paused, brush stuck in her hair. She turned and looked at her bedroom door. The latch was lifting slowly upwards. The breathe caught in her throat and desperately she wanted to cry out, but she couldn’t force the words through her lips. A tiny click, which seemed earth shattering loud, came from the door and it eased open.

‘Who is it? What do you want?’ Faith suddenly shouted.

The door swung fully opened to reveal the empty hallway. Faith thought she saw a flicker of the shadows then she heard the man’s boots going downstairs. Each step sounded like a doom bell ringing out.

Somehow coming back to her senses, Faith placed her hairbrush down, grab a candle and hurried out of the room. She shone the flame about the hallway and the stairs, but there was no one to be seen.

‘I am not afraid of you!’ she cried, ‘this is some school boy trick is it? Well, it is not funny and I shall catch you, mark my words. There is no such thing as ghosts!’

Faith stormed back in her room and slammed the door shut. She locked it and got into bed, her hair only half brushed and still wet. Arranging the bed clothes and the candle, Faith picked up her Bible and began reading from it. The rain rattled against the windows and the sound calmed her nerves.

Soon, sleep came for her and Faith gladly went to it. She rested fitfully and as the grandmother clocked chimed two, she awoke. Turning over, she listened to the chimes fading then the boot steps sounded in the hallway. Frowning and muttering to herself. She got up as quietly as possible, snatched one of the bed sheets up and without a candle went to the bedroom door.

Opening it slowly, she ventured out and down the stairs. At the bottom she waited and listened to the footsteps made their way to the front door. Then holding the sheet out, she jumped around the corner and threw the sheet in the direction of the sound. Her arms followed and she wrapped them around a small wiggling body.

‘I have you!’ she cried.

‘Quick! run!’ a young boy’s voice cried.

Faith heard the sound of laughter and running footsteps from the kitchen. The back door shut with a bang. Left to struggle with the one she had captured, Faith shoved him into the parlour and fumbled with the second candle by the front door. On lighting it, she re-opened the door and saw standing there the Rector’s youngest son, who she had meet that evening.

‘James? What are you doing here?’ she asked.

The boy looked down and Faith followed his gaze. Huge army boots were strapped to his feet and he looked ridicules in them.

‘That explains all the noise, but why?’ Faith asked.

The boy shrugged and Faith noticed how wet his clothes and hair were.

‘How did you get in?’ she pressed.

The boy shook his head.

‘Well, you’ll have to stay here for the rest of the night. It is too wet and dark to be going back to your father now. What will he say about all of this?’ Faith spoke.

‘Oh! Miss please do not tell him! We only meant to scare you a little! Please, Miss!’ the boy cried, he fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around her legs. He started to cry into her nightdress.

‘Now, please young man, get up. Tell me, why did you want to scare me?’

He turned his tear stained face up to her’s and said, ‘it was just a game.’

Faith sighed, ‘let’s get you out of these wet things. You shall catch a cold.’

‘I know how to lit a fire, Miss,’ the boy piped up.

He went over to the fireplace and though it had not been used in awhile, the coal, kindling and paper were stacked to one side. Faith watch the child building then lighting the fire. A soft, warm glow cast it’s way over the room.

‘I suppose, we should stay up and wait for dawn. Then I shall take you home,’ Faith said.

James nodded, ‘but what will you tell father?’

‘I shall think about it,’ Faith said, ‘in the meantime we shall read the Bible together.’

 

As soon as dawn broke, Faith and James went out. The boy had fallen asleep and Faith had had to wake him. It was a slow walk up through the village to the church and by the time they got there the Rector’s house was awake and searching for the missing child all ready.

Whilst he was whisked away by the nanny, Faith had a quiet word with his father. Upon leaving, she prayed the other children were not to troublesome. She walked back home and headed into the parlour, where she found a pair of man’s boots abandoned by the fire place.

 

(Inspired byhttps://wordpress.com/read/feeds/34771988/posts/1062669023)

The Arcana Of Dreams (Part 2)

There was gentle harp music playing. I sighed and tried not to open my eyes. The music was so lovely and calming. Something soft was supporting my head and a fluffy blanket was draped over me. I imagined Heavenly things … Continue reading

The Arcana Of Dreams (Part 1)

‘You don’t want that one, Child.’

I looked up from the open book in my hands, annoyed at being interrupted and called a child.

Mr Mole, the book shop’s owner, was standing at the end of the bookcase, a pile of books in his hands and leaning back to look at me. His black framed thick glasses were balanced on the edge of his nose. His face was heavy lined with brown wrinkles, yet his pale blue eye sparkled with youth. His white hair was thin and wispy, failing to hide his bald liver spotted head. He was wearing an old blue shirt, sleeves rolled up and light brown creased trousers.

I shot him a disgruntled look and turned another page, ‘Why not?’ I asked.

‘It’ll give you indigestion. It’s not a nice read for a young girl like you.’

‘Please,’ I snorted and turned around.

I saw him shrug and walk off to the next bookcase row, where I heard him beginning to slot away a book or two. My eyes twitched across to glance at him, but all I could see was the bookcase’s edges. Positioning my finger in the current page, I swept some dust of my long, red and black chequered high school skirt. I then rubbed down the undersides sleeves of my deep red blazer before loosening the matching tie. I also threw my double plated bronze hair over my shoulder. Then, ignoring everything once again, I got back into reading The Trial Of The Pendle Witches.

‘Are you actually looking for anything?’

I glanced up as Mole reappeared.

‘No. Thanks.’

‘You sure?’

I snapped the small dirty grey book close and fixed him a hard look.

Mole smiled sweetly back and waited. I got the odd sense that he knew…somehow, he knew why I was here.

I slotted the book back and looked at the next few along. There were all about different witch trails from all over the world. My fingers reached out to take the Salem one down, but then I saw Mole shake his head. I withdrew and walked right up to him. He still had six books in his out stretched hands.

‘Your secret is safe with me and the books, Child,’ he whispered.

I took a deep breath and touched the small gold cross at my throat. The action was more out of habit then anything religious. It felt warm against my fingers, I pulled out the matching chain it dangled from and began playing with it.

‘No advice, I promise,’ he added.

‘I’ve been having these strange dreams,’ I muttered, ‘and wondered if I could find a book about them.’

Mole cocked a wild hairy eyebrow then looked at the witch trail books and back to me.

‘About witches?’ he asked.

I nodded, ‘and other things.’

He hummed and looked thoughtfully around the cluttered bookshop. The place was a messy labyrinth of old floor to ceiling dusty oak bookcases, short tables, large leather winged chairs and books of all shapes, sizes, years, languages and stories. I breathed in the soft mouldy dankness, loving the smell as it reminded me of the village church only on a heavier level.

‘I think I might have something,’ Mole spoke, ‘follow me.’

A smile flicked on my face and I dropped my chain as I fell into step behind him. We weaved through the bookcases and furniture like mice in a cornfield. Deeper and deeper we seemed to go, until at last Mole stopped. He set the books down on a small rickety table that looked like it was about to collapse.

‘I don’t recognise this section,’ I whispered and glanced at the gloomy corner.

‘It’s a bit out of the way, I know. But it’s the right place for these books,’ Mole responded.

I looked round, my eyes trying to read the titles, but unable to focus in the dim light. The books were undisturbed like a forgotten crypt. Their spines were all hard backed and some were missing their dust jackets or else were made of leather or velvet.

‘This one. It’s heavy,’ Mole’s voice called.

‘What are these books about?’ I asked.

‘Old magic, spells, palm reading, tarot cards, demonology etc and this…The Arcana Of Dreams.’

I looked at what Mole was holding out to me. It was a large, thick, dark purple velvet covered book. Curling gold letters stated what Mole had just spoken. The pages underneath looked creamy and dusty. I reached out and took the book from him. He’d not lied about the weight!

‘I’ll have to loan it to you,’ Mole said, ‘it’s far too…’

‘Expensive?’ I gasped.

‘Collectable,’ he said instead.

‘How much?’

He muttered a price which I barely caught, but my mind spun with it.

‘All right. How many days for how much?’ I asked.

Mole shook his head at our usual arrangement and replied, ‘keep it till you are sleeping soundly again.’

I looked at the book and nodded, ‘thanks,’ before I turned to leave. I pressed the book to my chest, expecting any moment to feel Mole’s gnarled but steady hand squeezing my shoulder. I made it to the front door and turned around. Weak autumn sunlight was trying to look through the grimy windows, though the towers of books were doing a good job at stopping it.

‘Goodbye, Mr. Mole. Thanks!’ I shouted.

‘Good day, Child!’ his voice rushed back to me from the bowels of the shop.

I grabbed the door and walked out into the clean fresh country air. I walked down the cobble street, passed the other seemly small shops that made up the centre of the village. Then the single road and pavement began to rise. I clutched the book tighter and dug my toes more downwards as the hill became steep. Cottages lined both sides, looking like children’s play blocks with their multi-colours and simple structures. At the top and passed a few more houses, was large gap at the hill’s peak before another rise up to the small church.

I walked along the cemetery fence, glancing at the moss or vine covered headstones. The church gates came and went. I turned, walked around the back of the church and up a small cobble track which a small car could just fit down. At the bottom of Church Lane, half hidden by a weeping willow and an ancient oak tree, stood the white thatched vicarage.

I opened the white gate, walked up the crazy paving path on either side of which lay empty flower beds marked out on the short lawn. Stepping on the flat dark grey slab step, I tucked the book under my arm and swung my black rucksack off. I dug out my keys from the front pocket and let myself in.

A warm breeze touched my face then vanished into the cold evening. I walked in, shutting the door behind me. The flower wallpapered hallway was short and taking up by a grandmother clock and the wooden panelled staircase. Listening, I heard the distant voices of my adopted parents coming from the kitchen followed by the smells of cooking. I climbed the narrow stairs and went down the hallway, past two other doors, to my bedroom at the end.

I shut my door and took my rucksack off, dropping it to the floor beside my desk. My bedroom was small and spotless. It looked more like a guest’s room then a sixteen year old girl’s. The four walls were covered in dark white wallpaper with blue forgot me not flowers. A small white window, with matching curtains was opposite me, halfway over the wooden bed. Then a large oak wardrobe and dressing table took up all the space on the right wall. My bed stand table, desk and bookcase were on the left wall, claiming almost all the space there too.

I pulled my shoes off, closely followed by blazer and tie which I abandoned on my made up bed.  Sitting on the wooden tall back, leather seated chair at my desk, I pushed back my laptop and the text books over. I placed The Arcana Of Dreams down in that space. I grabbed my back and pulled out a half-drunken bottle of water. I took a few sips then place it to the side.

I opened the book’s front page then flipped to the actual start. There wasn’t a content page, but the introduction gave clear instructs on how to use the book. Everything was in alphabetical order and I just need to look up the word I wanted to know more about. Witches. I started turning towards the back and was almost there when I got the call to come and eat. Sighing, I closed the book and went downstairs.

Four doors led off the hallway – the living room, dining room, kitchen and Adam’s study. I walked into the dining room and found him and Jane already at the table. I took the empty chair next to Jane’s and looked at the homemade stew before me.

‘Let’s say grace,’ Adam’s too quiet voice said.

I put my hands together and spoke the words alongside them. After we started eating and talking about our individual days. I was mostly silent and focused on eating, though I did glance up at their faces whilst they were talking. Adam’s face was pale and soft, he had large light blue eyes and very blonde hair. He was wearing a black shirt, buttoned all the way and his white vicar’s collar.

Jane was petite, with brunet hair tied up in bun and just a touch of make up to her face to hide the growing wrinkles. Her eyes were green, her cheeks slightly too rounded and her nose too small. She was wearing a baby pink silk blouse and had a Christian charm bracelet on her left wrist.

‘Did you go to the bookshop today?’ Jane asked me close to the end of the meal.

I nodded, mopping up the gravy with some crusty bread.

‘And how is old Mr. Mole doing?’ Adam chimed in.

‘Good,’ I responded.

Jane frowned a little and it seemed she was debating how to phrase her next words, ‘I’m still not sure I like you visiting him so often…Doesn’t the school library have all the books you need?’

I opened my mouth, but Adam bet me to it, ‘I’m sure it does, Jane. Abigail and Mr. Mole are just good friends and there’s nothing wrong with keeping an eye on your friends. It’s like the sermon I give a few weeks back…’

I droned out his voice and drifted into my own thoughts as he began quoting his sermon and parts of the bible.

It was much later and my bedtime when I returned to the book. I tucked it under my pillow before Jane and Adam came into say goodnight to me. Finally, alone, I pulled it out and flipped to the ‘W’ section. My eyes skipped down the page then stopped at the word;

‘Witches represent destruction and evil, either through seeing them physically or objects that are connected with them,’ I read aloud in a whispery voice, ‘Witches are also linked to negative ideas about females and the body. This could have been brought on by recent events connected with these matters. It is often centred on bad experiences with a heartless woman who is or will become a danger to you.’

I stopped, my breathing quickening, yet my mind couldn’t come up with anybody or event I could link to the words. I looked down and read the next passage, ‘Alternatively, a white or good witch has the opposite effect and they are seen as a symbol of goodness, power and enchantment. They can appear to protect you and/or offer guidance through their magic.’

Maybe that’s it? Though the witches always seem so dark to me.

I yawed, tiredness hitting me. I rubbed my face then decided to give into it. Muttering that I’d look up everything else tomorrow, I rested back on the pillows and went to put the book safely on the floor. However, sleep had stolen me before I could and the book stayed hugged in my hands.

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 7, Part 4)

angle wolf

(Continued from Church Chapter 7, Parts 1, 2 and 3)

It was too early for me to sleep and I didn’t feel as tried as Rain. After flipping through the Bible for another few minutes I wanted to go down to the church organ and get the notebooks out. I glanced at Rain then couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was curled up, but had her head thrown back on the pillows and her hair spread out around her. She had rolled over and wrapped her arms around Wolf, holding him like a child would a teddy bear. Wolf with his face pressed to her chest had one of his back legs and tail resting on Rain’s leg. Clearly he would have been too hot under the blankets.

Instead, I pulled a blank piece of paper and an ink pen towards me and began to write down my mission and what I remembered of it. The words formed across the blank white sheet, staining it with gleaming black ink. It was strange to think that out there somewhere was a daemon I should have been hunting. I looked down at what I had written:

 

Manipulative daemon. Preys on fallen angels. Then hunts other angels. Killed warrior angel. Very powerful. Last know location ?

 

I rubbed the pen between my palms and thought about what else I could remember. Nothing else came, so I switched to trying to think about its aura. They must have given me that to track it before I had left Heaven. I shut my eyes and give it my full concentration. Once again nothing came to me. Sighing, I put the pen down and looked at the words again.

Maybe, Rain would have some more answers or maybe I should go out and find some angels to talk to. I had been dimly aware of others since coming here. Angels had a good sense of one another, even if they had never met before. I shelfed the idea for later and turned the paper over. I started a to do list on the other side as it was the best way to clear my mind.

After the mundane things were to sort out the ghosts, further question Rain, make friends with Wolf and trying to track the daemon. I read back through the list after I had run out of ideas then put the pen down. Leaving the paper on the desk, I took off the rest of my clothes and decided how best to lay on the other side of Rain.

At the end of the bed, I avoid her feet and Wolf’s tail, got on to my knees and crawled slowly upwards. Gently I sorted out a couple of pillows and a blanket before lying down. Wolf growled, I froze and looked over at him, but it was hard to tell what he had meant. I got comfy on my back and looked up at the ceiling. There was an abandoned spider web on the wooden beam and crack in a roof slate.

I shut my eyes and thought about the manipulative daemon. Silently, I prayed to be given signs about it, perhaps even a vision about its location. My lips moved as I uttered God’s Prayer then I waited for sleep. I listened to Rain and Wolf’s breathing and felt pleasantly happy about it. For so long I had been alone and now it didn’t feel that way anymore. The burden of being trapped here had slightly lifted, I realised.

When sleep finally came, I dreamed of Heaven. I was flying around the clouds, harp music ringing in my ears and light shining all around me. Then it got dark. Everything turned into a washed out grey as if someone had stolen all the colours. I was falling, my wings broken. I struggled against gravity, but couldn’t fight it. My back hit a hard wet surface which broke my fall. I cried out as pain rocket through me and I thought for sure my spine was broken. Screaming echoed all around me, but it wasn’t mine.

I opened my eyes and saw the rain falling heavily from black clouds. I turned my head and felt mud squashing under my cheek. I saw a black figure and a blue flash in the distance next to the entrance of a cave mouth that opened from a cliff face. I tried to roll over and get up, but I couldn’t. A shape formed in the cave mouth and the black figure and the blue flash were running towards me. Behind them came a dragon like monster. Fire roared out of its’ two mouths and it had six eyes that scanned the area.

The dragon monster stepped out further and I saw it had three sets of large leather webbed wings. They were brightly coloured and looked butterfly like. The ground shook and the monster came forward. The figure and flash reached me and I saw it was Rain and Wolf. I called out to them and they came over. Rain helped me up then we were running together. I tried to ask her what the monster was and what she was doing here, but my mouth wouldn’t work.

We reached the bottom of another cliff, the monster gaining behind us. Rain touched Wolf between his ears and he began to transform in to a giant wolf. I pinned myself against the wall and watched him raise above me. From his back grew wings covered with white and grey feathers. Wolf stretched these and himself upwards and swung his tail about. Rain began climbing his front left leg, using his fur to help keep her grip. I watched her reach the top and sat at Wolf’s shoulder blades.

I started my climb, feeling the long matted fur swallowing me as I went up. Rain held her hand down and I took it so she could help pull me up the rest of the way. I sat behind her and Wolf turned. A half-wolf growl crossed with a monstrous roar came from his killer jaws and vibrated through us. Rain, hands dug into his fur, kicked him and instead of standing his ground to fight, Wolf flapped his wings and took to the air.

The wind felt good on my face and I could feel Wolf’s muscular body tensing and untensing under me as he flew. I looked back but couldn’t see the dragon monster anywhere. Wolf shot through the rain clouds and light flood on to us. Harps and other string instruments blasted in our ears then we were surrounded by welcoming angels. I felt myself being lifted up off Wolf and raising through golden clouds.

My eyes opened and the church’s bell tower ceiling formed above me. I rolled over, feeling happy and calm. My hand roamed the blankets beside me, searching of Rain but finding nothing. I sat up and looked at the crumpled bedding next to me. Rain and Wolf were gone.

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 7, Part 3)

angle wolf

(Continued from Church Chapter 7, Parts1 and 2)

It felt odd to leave Rain behind. I was half tempted to ask her if I could carry her back, but as soon as my feet had left the ground, she had vanished into the darkness and nature. I hovered for a few moments, trying to pick her and the wolf out, but I couldn’t see anything. I flapped off to the side and checked on the security guards. They were slowly walking around the perimeter, torches still shinning before them, checking they had not missed anything.

I headed back, there was no need to delay further and I knew Rain would find her own way to the church soon enough. Avoiding the airport, I took high to the sky and made a more direct line for home. The wind ruffled my feathers and I felt a light spatter of rain. I let my thoughts tumble away and cleared my mind. The cooler air helped this and a few times I paused to admire a city or town spread out under me.

I made it back before Rain did and landed by the lichgate to wait for her. The graveyard was silent, but I could see faint spirit lights dancing around. I became aware of the necklace around my neck for the first time since I had put it on. I dug it out of my robes and inspected the cross again. There was nothing remarkable about it, but it must have been close to a hundred years old. The metal still felt cold against my skin and I guessed that no matter what I did it would stay that way.

A dead child had been buried with this. That thought made me sad and I cast a look around the graveyard to see if I could see her or any of the other ghosts. There was nothing about the faint wisps of energy. I knew I’d have to get Rain to help them. I clutched the cross then let it fall back into place against my throat.

I jumped over the lichgate and walked through the graveyard, but even that didn’t stir the ghosts into coming out. At the porch, I did my normal glance backwards, before stepping inside. Everything looked the same and I felt a small drop of sorrow in my heart. I went upstairs and began taking off my armour.

Luckily, the wolf had not pushed the metal plate in as much as I had thought. I was able to take it off easily enough and pop the dint out. I discarded the rest of my clothes and put on a white vest top and a pair of fleece bed pants. I felt a change was very much needed. I sat at my desk and flipped though my Bible. The pages were dog-eared and I had underlined passages.

I read the story of Noah, which was a firm favourite of mine. Footsteps in the church below caught my attention and I quickly went for my sword. As I picked the weapon up I heard Rain’s voice calling out something. The words echoed too much for me to hear them clearly. I put my sword down and went to the door. The sounds of debris shifting vibrate though the walls and I paused. It had sounded like a part of the roof collapsing in.

‘Rain?’ I called downstairs.

I heard her light footsteps coming up and her voice saying, ‘I’m fine.’

‘What was that?’

‘Just Wolf chasing a rat he saw when we came in. He bounded off before I could stop him. I think he’s still mad at you,’ she finished as she came to the top of the stairs.

‘Oh. It sounded like something had falling…’

‘A pile of roof slates and wood got knocked though,’ Rain explained, ‘nothing fell.’

I stepped inside the room and let her in. There was a scratching and padding of heavy feet on the steps as Wolf followed her up. He paused and gave a growl when he saw me. Rain called him in and he sulked passed.

‘So his name is really Wolf then?’ I asked.

‘I don’t like saying his true name. It’s too long,’ Rain said, ‘it’s was just easier.’

Wolf began sniffing around the room and we both watched him for a few moments.

‘There’s something I have to ask of you,’ I spoke out.

Rain pouted and began to take off Haku and her robe.

‘There are some ghosts in the graveyard and they want to be taken up to Heaven.’

Rain dumped her stuff on the chair, her back to me.

‘I know you don’t do that kind of thing…but they made me promise,’ I carried on, ‘I thought we could at least try to help them.’

Wolf padded over to Rain, gave me a warning growl and pressed against the back of her legs.

‘I’ll see,’ she answered, ‘I’m too tried right now. Wolf decided to have a run through that woodland area and trying to convince him to come back was hard.’

‘I didn’t know spirit guardians could behave like that.’

Rain gave a small shrug and sorted out the rest of her things then went to the bed. Dropping on to it, Wolf got in her face and licked her. She petted him before giving him a bit of a shove out of the way and pulling the blankets up.

‘On reflection…’ I started, my mind having turned things over.

‘I made him a little too wolf like,’ Rain cut in.

I frowned, but Rain yawed and I decided not to question her any further. I watched her settle down and went to join her. Wolf gave me another warning snarl, but Rain waved him away and he went towards the door and phased through it. I stopped and watched till his tail had gone through.

I shouldn’t have been so surprised, I could do that too and Wolf was spirit. Getting myself back together, I went and got a bottle of water. I moved Rain’s stuff, beginning careful of Haku, off my chair and sat down again. Rain looked like she had fallen asleep straight away.

I turned back to the Bible which had fallen shut and opened it at a random page. I heard Wolf coming back a few minutes later. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him snuggling down alongside Rain and falling asleep too.

My mind wondered and I questioned what else Rain was keeping from me.

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 7, Part 1)

angle wolf

Continued from Church Chapter 6

Need to read the other chapters? They can be found at;

 https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/category/church-novella/

Previously;

Blaze, a warrior angel, who is trapped on earth, teams up with Rain, a daemon reaper and element controller, with a past full of dark secrets, to uncover what he must do to get back into Heaven. However, Blaze is troubled by Rain’s past, the evil soul trapped in her sword and his growing feelings towards her. After Rain’s sudden appears and departure at his church, Blaze sets out to look for her and becomes involved in his first fight with an ’empty soul.’

Chapter 7

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

1 John 1:9

I couldn’t help but stare whilst the questions in my head rang like clashing bells. The storm cloud grey wolf had wrapped his body protectively around Rain’s legs and had his muzzle flat against her right hip. With his head up against her, his black eyes on her face and his ears slightly twitching as he waited to be commanded. Rain had easily slotted her sword away again and had placed her hand on top of his head.

My sword shook slightly in my trembling hand then I let the tip drop to the floor. I was breathing fast and filled with a rush to kill the wolf again, but also desperate to hear Rain’s voice. An odd silence that I was dimly aware of had settled over us, almost as if we were back in the Paradise Garden.

‘What are you doing here?’ Rain asked.

‘Something called me here. Then I saw you needed help,’ I answered.

‘I didn’t need it,’ Rain cut in, ‘I could’ve handled it.’

The image of me having to throw her up on top of the blob monster popped into my head and I wanted to argue with her. Instead, Rain sighed deeply before I could voice my thoughts.

‘It’s passed now,’ Rain said softly as she stoked the wolf’s head, ‘but in the future don’t interrupt me when I’m fighting. You distracted me and I almost lost it.’

I looked at the wolf, he seemed content and pet dog like. A spike of jealousy flashed in my head and I felt something else taking over my words, ‘and he was supposed to help you how?’

Rain flashed me a look, ‘he did more than you.’

‘And that blob thing? How would he have gotten you on top of it?’ I demanded.

‘What’s got into you, Blaze?’ she snapped loudly. ‘It wasn’t my fault you threatened him and I couldn’t call him off in time. I did try.’

The wolf whined and thumped his tail on the ground. He turned his head away from Rain and looked at me. For the first time I noticed a blue aura like light surrounding him. He wasn’t real, but some kind of spirit.

‘You can go now,’ she said softer.

I snapped my head up, but she wasn’t talking to me. Rain stroked the wolf’s head and he began to fade. In moments he was gone and there was only a slight pulse of blue light on the ground where he had stood. Rain looked at me, the exhaustion written on her face. She walked to the nearest concert slab and sat down. I turned to follow her but changed my mind and stayed standing.

‘He didn’t hurt me,’ I offered as a comfort.

‘He told me,’ she said, ‘he’s my spirit guardian…And my only friend now.’

Her words made me pause, ‘I thought only humans could have spirit guardians?’

‘He channels my element power and helps to keep me grounded. I learned to make him real a long time ago and he always takes that form when I call him. But, I’ve to sacrifice some of my fighting power to do so.’

‘You could have told me,’ I pointed out as I finally sheathed my sword.

Rain shook her head, ‘you should’ve stayed away from me,’ she muttered.

‘Rain,’ I crossed the space between us and took her hands without thinking about it.

‘No,’ she barked, shoving my hands away and scrambling to her feet. She went to push me away then didn’t do it, ‘you don’t understand.’

‘I’m trying to. Let’s go somewhere else, less open,’ I pleaded with her.

Rain shook her head and sat down in the grass. She folded her legs together and put her hands in her lap. A breeze blew the taller strands around her and for a moment she was semi-hidden in the field. I wanted to go to her but I didn’t, instead I rested my hand on my sword and scanned the area. I couldn’t see anything other than the shapes of the trees and the edge buildings of the airport.

‘Why did you really come here?’ Rain broke the silence.

‘I felt a daemon’s presence. I had no idea you were here…they attacked me and I fought them off. The leader, I told you before, he was the same daemon from the night I met you. He told me that Death was here and I thought he meant the Bear or something. Then I saw the wolf and you. I only wanted to help,’ I explained.

Rain looked at me then away into the darkness. I went to her side and knelt down, being careful not to touch her. Her hair was a mess and sticking out from around her hood. She cupped her hands together and produced a faint blue ball of light. She held it up and let it go. The light ball hovered just opposite her and I saw how tried she really was.

‘I can’t feel their auras now, but I don’t think we are safe here,’ I stated.

‘I need a minute,’ Rain said softly.

‘Tell me about the thing you were fighting,’ I asked.

‘It was a mindless soul. The only thing it wanted was to find other souls and eat them.’

‘Where do they come from? Are they daemonic? Is that why the daemons where here too?’

Rain shrugged, ‘They’re not what you call daemonic. They are in-between, like me and the other Reapers. It’s said that they are the souls we miss and forget about.’

I pondered that and let her go on.

‘They go insane and can’t cope being trapped here so they change and become like that. At least the legend goes. I don’t really believe it, but there’s nothing else to go on, so…’

‘The daemons?’ I asked.

‘Sometimes they can sense a mindless soul. It’s rare though, but I don’t know why they were here. To be honest I’d not really noticed them.’

I sat down in the grass next to her, though my armour made it uncomfortable. The cold damp ground began to seep into my robe. A plane roared overhead, but I couldn’t see it, however I did spot something else. There were two beams of torch light coming from the area I had first arrived in.

To Be Continued…

Peace

I stand on top of the hill and watch the world end. It fell apart bit by bit as the ground shook beneath my feet and the sky turned fire red. Buildings disintegrating around me, filling the air with a deafening noise and chocking out dust. I watch the closest structures splitting as if cut by a God’s sword and their guts spilling out. The people went down with it, though their screams and cries were nothing to that of the buildings. I feel ash touching my face as the wind sweeps over me. It was my fault. I started the end.

 Eighteen years earlier

 They put me in my mother’s arms still covered in birth blood and wailing. She smiled at me for the very first time and I missed it because my eyes were squeezing out fat tears. I was cold and wet, I didn’t care. Her voice hushed me as she rocked me in her arms. Her fingers touched me then a student nurse burst into the room yelling it had been declared. World peace was official.

Peace, my mother sighed, that’s what I shall name him. Peace.

She’s going! She’s going!

I was snatched from her, my crying unable to bring her back.

The end of the world

I never knew her. I didn’t have any memory fragments of her face or voice. When I looked at the photos, it was like seeing a stranger, only with my dark brown eyes, black tangled hair and dark skin. She looked happy, healthy. She didn’t know she was going to die. I clutch that one photo of her I have always cherished and watch the sky turn a deeper shade of red. Sirens of all kinds screech out alongside the still crumbling buildings. The ground quakes, pulling the earth apart into jagged lines which swallow anything they can get. The Hungry Earth.

 Fifteen years earlier

 I was laying in my crib half asleep listening to the thunderstorm rolling out above me. My face was turned to the window and I could see the flashes of yellow light. I cried, long and hard before falling into fitful screams. Arms picked me up and soft voices whispered to me. I was taken from my room and into theirs’, which was all ways a warm, safe nest that locked out the danger. I could still hear the storm. The loudness frightened me, I didn’t understand what it was. I kept crying, unable to draw any comfort from my foster parents.

  The end of the world

 That was it. My first actual memory. I had longed for it to be about my mother or anything else from the moment I had remembered it. I couldn’t write about my fear for my homework, so I wrote something else instead. My second earliest memory, in which I had been traveling somewhere in the car. I look further down the hill and wonder what everyone below me had been thinking on the cusp of their deaths. Some of them most have known they were going to die. Had they prayed? Cried out to their loving families? No one would ever know.

Thirteen years earlier

 My world consisted of a handful of places and people. I had yet to grasp the vastness of the space around me. I was enjoying exploring everything. I understood my name, but not what it truly meant. I got a younger sister, Grace in the spring of that year and felt jealous. She was ill all the time, dying, and my foster parents were doting towards her. She was their ‘miracle baby’ and I was just someone they had decided to save. Somehow, I always knew they had regretted it. They tried to un-adapt me, but felt too guilty.

The end of the world

 I sit down, feeling the heat of the explosions warping the air. Grace is dead now. Like our parents. They were the first I killed. The bomb ripped the house apart and I ran away. I wrap my arms around my legs and watch the city burning. It reminds me of Hell, though I’m there all ready. We all are. I thought there would be more to it, more colour, more apocalypse-ness. I imagined people going crazy in the streets and the world fighting against its annihilation. Yet, it accepts the fact as if it had always known this day would come.

Eight years earlier

 Doing that homework caused my foster parents to tell me the truth. In my bedroom, away from the half-blind eyes of my sister, they present a plastic blue box to me. Inside were the possessions my mother’s family had decided belonged to me when they surrendered to the authorities. There were the photos, a blanket, a teddy bear, some money and a bible.

She named you Peace because you were born just as world peace was declared. That makes you so special. You were the first baby to be born in that time. You’ll never experience war as long as you live.         

The end of the world

My foster mother hadn’t been wrong. In my short life all the world’s countries were at peace with each other. How it had come about was never known to me. They taught nothing about it in school, nor any other war, just that we had to love and care for each other. People were banned from talking about it. I didn’t care, I was just a kid. I still don’t really care now. The world is dying in redness and screams. Nearly all the buildings have collapsed and I can see people fleeing. Don’t they know there’s nowhere left to run to?

 Five years earlier

 I wanted to die and that was how it all began. My foster parents had brought me a computer a few years ago. It was an expensive Christmas present and something to babysit me whilst Grace took up all their time. I loved playing games and talking to people. However it didn’t drain my anger and I began researching things. I met someone online who taught me things only an expert should know. It excited me and I learned the ways of a hacker quickly, but it also set me on this path.

 The end of the world

I remember everything that happened that led to this moment. Only a fool would shove the past away. I raise my dropped head and look at the sky, it’s turning black with smoke now. Below me, everyone is aware of what’s happened. Somehow the news reports have gotten though. I can hear nothing from up here, the bombs and falling buildings have left me deaf. My ears are ringing, I feel the urge to reflect on my actions. Though I know I lost the power to stop this a while ago. The world cries for a hero, but I offer them the villain instead.

One year earlier

 It was too easy to hack in and set off the stored nuclear war weapons.

 The end of the world

The final bomb goes off just as planned. The world shakes under me and I know it’s all over. As the red, yellow and black clouds roll towards me, my last thought is will anyone will find this recording and know the truth?

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…