Honour #WritePhoto

I liked walking around the little cathedral on rainy afternoons mid-week day because it was the quietest time. Everyone was busy at other places and ignored the grey stone structure tucked away in between the tall office buildings. The services and practices were scheduled before and after my time slot, so often I found myself alone.

That was just what my emotional torn soul needed; the escape from everything. The healing silence and stillness of all the stone and wood. The smell of melting wax, dust, old bible pages and hint of polish filled the air.

The rain drummed on the dark stained glass windows, I knew all the religious scenes, angels and saints they displayed by heart having stood before each of them so many times. I trailed fingers on soft worn down wooden pews and looked at the memorial stones for long forgotten people on the walls.

Peacefulness wrapped around me. I was safe in these walls no matter what happened outside. I felt as comforted as if my mother was hugging me tightly, there was nothing to fear.

I walked down into the little crypt which was open to the public. It was dimly lit by wall lights and flickering candles. There were sarcophagi of people from hundreds of years ago scattered about and you could see what they looked like from their statues resting on top. There were lords and ladies laying together, with little lions and dogs at their feet and men who had been rich and powerful enough to get buried here but my favorite was the knight.

He lay alone at the back of the crypt, the statue of him extremely faded and whatever had been known about him lost to time. Perhaps, he had been a Crusader or Templar or just a noble knight to some fancy Lord.

Someone had been here recently. Approaching, I saw a red rose and a small note card resting on the statue’s stomach. Picking up the card, I held it to some light and read, ‘Thank you for giving your life so I could led mine.’ 

Oh! So someone did know who he was. His memory wasn’t lost as I believed, it was safe in somebody’s family history. My mind spun with questions; who’s family? Could I meet them? How much did they know about the knight?

I set the card back gently and calmed my thoughts, I didn’t come here think like that.

Touching the almost faded face of the statue, I reasoned with myself.

‘Some secrets are best kept in history,’ I spoke.

Turning away, I walked back through the crypt. I might never know who the knight was but someone else did and that was what truly mattered.

 

(Inspired by https://scvincent.com/2019/01/10/thursday-photo-prompt-honour-writephoto/ with thanks).

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Hermit Brother #WeeklyWritingPrompt

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Brother Aden had lived alone for so long that he had lost count of the years. He knew time had passed because he had aged. He could see it in his hands; brown with too much sun, wrinkled and dry with not enough washing and too much hard work. He could feel it in his body; back bent, slower footsteps, pain in his knees and arms.

His hut was in the middle of the forest, far from everywhere else and that was how he had come to like it. When he had arrived and spotted the two room wooden building through the trees, he had gone in and discovered it abandoned. He had made it his shelter though he couldn’t escape the horrors of the night that had caused him to flee here.

Even now, when the winter nights were dark and wild with storm, his faded memory would show him events of the past. He was an young monk learning to read and copy the scriptures. He was attending four prayer services a day and more on Sunday. He was looking after animals and crops. It was a hard life but he understand the Calling.

Midnight, the danger bell was ringing and the Abbey being stormed by The Cursed knights. There was fire, blood and bodies everywhere. Brother Aden had grabbed whatever he could; books, relics, supplies and fled away. He had selfishly only been thinking about his survival. He hadn’t know that then, had not been thinking clearly in the chaos all round. He had just wanted to live and not die by magical sliver and gold swords.

Fleeing into the winter night, snow melting on his hot face, the forest had seemed to welcome him. The trees sheltered his senses from the battle and he had stumbled onwards till morning. It sometime afterwards that he found the hut.

In the days that followed, he had time to think and decided. Brother Aden realised he could never return to the Abbey, he would be exiled for his actions. He had left the Abbey without permission or proper cause, he had removed relics and books, stolen food and had gone into hiding like a coward. And all that was if there was even an Abbey and Brothers to go back too.

So, he had decided to stay and allow the forest to provide for him. The guilt, emotions and wondering about what had happened haunted him all the time in those first few years. Slowly, that had faded as he tried to survive day to day, season to season. He had grown use and comfy to things. The desire to try and return to the Abbey or anywhere else vanished.

This was his life now.

 

(Inspired by; https://secretkeeper.net/2018/09/10/weekly-writing-prompt-158 with thanks).

 

Winter Forever

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The world had never been the same since the Evil Knight had taken over. We were all trapped in a snowstorm of winter, waiting to be freed. I didn’t believe the stories that a princess would come and melt his heart, this was beyond fairy tales now. No, I was going to do it; the village blacksmith with muscles described like ships’ anchors and a mighty warhammer made of long lost dwarf metals which I had perfected for years. There was no failure in my mind, only the hope that I was going to change the world.

(Inspired by; https://bikurgurl.com/2017/12/06/100-word-wednesday-week-48 with thanks).

Castle

Alnwick Castle, Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland

It felt good to step back into history, even if is was only in May’s imagination. Approaching the draw bridge, she pictured herself a top a white horse. She would be wearing a plain dress, maybe red and white, with a matching cape? Not like the bright pinks she had as a child dreamed Princesses worn. She knew better now.

The wood bridge did not make a sound under her feet, but she imaged a horse’s hoofs would be pretty loud as they clopped over. Breathing deeply, she thought about what the castle would smell like. Horses and sweaty people for sure, maybe smoke from a fire, cooking food, hay and all the unpleasant smells of a large group of animals and people living together without sanitation.

‘Pretty impressive, huh?’ her boyfriend, Rory asked.

She glanced across at him standing to the left of her. His eyes were fixed on the raising medieval walls and towers about them. His cap was low over his face, but she could still see the excitement in his expression. She took his hand and guided him off to the side as the large family which had followed them in rushed passed.

‘It really is,’ she added, ‘let’s explore.’

May tugged on him like a little child eager to be off. Rory laughed and let her take the led through the nearest doorway. They entered the reminds of some room or another. A notice board on the wall did say where they were, but May was all ready heading off again.

Stepping through another doorway, she let her hand touched the rough wall. She wondered how many others had done the same. Getting back to imaging again, she thought about the sounds she might hear. Now, she saw herself wondering about the castle as it once was; full walled and roofed, doors actually being in place and people dressed in medieval clothes.

May pictured knights standing around or gruffly chatting, their servants helping them with armour, horses or other things. The castle staff roaming about doing their jobs and official looking people on the King’s business getting ready to leave.

‘The church should be quiet,’ Rory spoke out, breaking through May’s daydream again.

She nodded and they followed the signposts to the large chapel area. It was quiet there and very cool. Rory sat down in one of the alcove spaces and pulled May into his lap before she could do anything about it. He nuzzled into her hair then swept it away from her neck and started kissing her.

‘Rory, stop,’ May muttered.

She tried to break out of his grip but he only tightened it. May settled back, letting the kisses get longer. She shut her eyes and thought of her Princess self meeting her Prince. Though really, she did not have to imagine that any longer.

Snowfall (Part 3)

Love, Darkness, Night, Tree, Shadow

He stopped before the tower, gazing up into eyes he couldn’t see, but knew were there. I swung off his horse and went to the door. With a few slashed of his sword and kicks with his boots, he broke his way in. A spiral staircase stood in the dim light and he made his way upwards.

She had seen him riding up then stopping at the foot of the tower. Frightened, she had stepped away from the window, but hadn’t been able to stop herself from peering out at him still. the noise from breaking down the door had sent her rushing to her bed. She threw the sheets around her, feeling safer now she was hidden.

He came to another door and hacked his way through. The chamber he burst into appeared empty and messing. There was a scattering of clothes and bedding on the floor. Books and toys stacked in corners and candle light flicking on cold stone walls. He breathed deeply and thought he saw a heap of bedding moving.

She could no loner hold her rapid breathing steady, nor keep the sheets from shifting above her head. She heard footsteps then felt something pulling everything off her. Her fingers dug into the bed as the last of her cover was removed. She looked up, blinking away small tears.

He stared down at her. His breath snatched away, his body frozen. The stories had been right. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Catching the fear in her eyes, he slotted his sword away and speaking gently, told her he wouldn’t hurt her and he’d come to rescue her.

She didn’t believe the words she was hearing. Clutching what sheets she could to her, she stared up at him. Noting so much in his face and body. He was a worthy knight. She swallowed, but couldn’t form the words.

He held out his hand, promising to take her far away.

Slowly, she put her hand in his.

Snowfall (Part 2)

Horse, Knight, Animal, Great, Encyclopedia

He rode through the snow. The tower growing before him. He saw a figure leaning out of the window, blonde hair being swept by the wind. He was close, he could hear his heart beating in his ears. Would the stories be true? Would the princess be as beautifully as they say?

Snowfall

Blizzard, Winter Storm, Snowflakes, Cold, Icy, Snow

She watched the snowfall from the top of her tower whilst she awaited a knight to rescue her.

Searching For Love

Heart, Zoom, Color, Romance, Romantic, Red, Close, Love

Emerald tapped her pen against the plastic table and looked around the coffee shop. The distant chatter of people, movement of cups and chairs filled her ears. She lingered on a couple about to kiss in the corner then darted her eyes back to the notebook before her. She’d only written the title so far.

Underlying the words Plans for 2016 again, she sighed and wrote discover self on the next line down. Get back into cycling she scrawled underneath then paused again. Her eyes rose slowly to the couple now making out in the corner. Slyly she watched them, noticing the way their hands touch each other’s sides and face.

What was their life like? she wondered, how had they meet? Would they break up or go the whole marriage and kids road?

Her phone beeped a text and she dug in her bag for it, welcoming the distraction from those unanswerable questions. The message was from her mother. Emerald opened and read, fish and chips for T shall get on way home, what you want?

Smiling, she texted back her order then slipped the phone away again. Picking up her warm caramel coffee, she took a few sips and willed herself to think of more ideas for her list. Instead, she was drawn back to that couple. They were gathering their stuff and leaving. To do what? she thought. It didn’t matter at the end of the day. They were in love and not scared to show it.

Emerald put her coffee and added a few more things to her list. The list one make new friends, she underlined before sitting back again. She turned the page of the notebook and wrote a new title on the bold blue line; what do I want?

Someone to love me and care about me, someone to always be there for me, someone who’ll be my hero, my knight, my light in the dark.  

She paused, pen hovering above the paper as she rested her chin on her hand. Looking out of the coffee shop’s windows, she watched people go by in the street. Her thoughts far away as the image of her knight took shape. She reeled off another few things then looked down at the page again.

Her phone beeped, drawing her attention though she tried to hang on to the growing daydream. Pulling the device out of her bag again, she looked at the reply message from her mum; thanks, I shall get it. Want anything else? Love you lots xxx. Emerald replied back she was fine and she loved her too. Her fingers rubbed the screen and she hoped one day she could be saying that to someone else too, somebody who wanted to be her knight.     

Church (Chapter 1, Part 4)

Continued from Church Part 3, which can be read below as well as Parts 1 and 2.

The bare trees and star speckled sky seemed to frame the clearing. I caught my breath and clutched my sword tighter, knowing they were re-grouping behind me and fearing their number. I let no plan form in my mind as just the urge to defeat evil was enough for me. Their laughter grew from the shadows and there was a rustling of leather wings. I prepared myself.

‘Scared, Angel? You should be, you see true power now,’ the daemon called out.

‘True power? All I see is a coward hiding behind his friends,’ I shouted back, still without turning, ‘why don’t you face me yourself?’

The daemon chuckled and it was echoed by the others, ‘I shall. That’s why we’ve come here. You wanted Death and I brought you to him.’

‘What?’ I whispered, turning with confusion tumbling through my mind and face. I could see them all there now, lingering at the treeline. There must have been twenty of them or so. They ranged in size, with the first daemon being the largest. Most of the others looked like him, though others were more dragon or bat like. Their eyes were hungry, but they seemed unusually edgy.

‘You have soul?’ the daemon hissed, his tongue flicking around.

I frowned.

‘Everything has one.’

‘What is this?’ I cut in, ‘just come and fight me. Stop with your games!’

The daemon chuckled and seemed to nod towards the space behind me. Around him the smaller ones were becoming more agitated and moving away. The others weren’t trying to stop them and seemed themselves fearful. I had never seen them behave this way and worry crept into my thoughts. Quietness filled the clearing then the trees began to sway as if a giant’s hand was pushing them aside. I glanced over my shoulder, trying to keep one eye on the daemon, whilst seeking for the sudden presence I had felt behind me.

‘I lied,’ the daemon giggled.

‘What?’ I spun back, my sword raised, but he and his companions had taken to the air and were out of reach. Something large hit me from behind and threw me into the undergrowth. Branches and thorns scrapped across my skin and robe, whilst my sword sank into a tree. A monstrous roar shook everything and I saw against the night sky the faint clear outline of a large beast.

I paused and stared up, trying to figure what it was. However, it was invisible to my eyes expect for when the sky gave it lines. Above me the daemons chortled and took a chant of ‘kill, kill, kill.’ They understood what it was, so did that make it a daemon? I pulled my sword out and tried to estimate where it was, but I couldn’t put dimensions to it. I was no fool to flay my weapon around, so I took cover and watched the lines I could see.

‘Ha, ha, pitiful Divine can’t see!’

I looked up and the daemon was sat in a branch above me. His eyes glowed, his tail whipped about and he bared fangs. With a claw, he pointed in the direction of the demonic beast and in a sickly sweet voice said, ‘would you like to see?’ He flapped off, without waiting my reply and I saw him land on the outline of the creature. He seemed to be absorbed inside and was then gone.

Straight away I saw it, a gigantic Demigod bear with icy white and blue swirling fur. Large black eyes fixed on me as the even larger snout sniffed and the jaws opened to rows of pointed teeth. Massive paws armed with razor claws began to stomp over. Fear froze me and all I could see were those eyes coming for me.

The daemons’ chittering broke the spell and I dodged the first paw with a roll. Shooting back to my feet, I took a swing, meaning to slice right across that paw, but the other one came down behind me, knocking me and tossing me away, much like a cat with a mouse. Undergrowth rushed to me and I landed in a tangle of brambles, my robe ensnared. Struggling against them, I heard deep rumbling laughter and looked up to see the bear paused above me and him speaking, ‘what a weakling, but his soul is holy. Very tasty and powerful.’

‘I’m not weak!’ I screamed and tore myself free.

The colossal maw came together in a black lined smiled, ‘but you are.’

Wheeling my sword, I brought it down in the bear’s face and it easily cut through the smile. The Demigod roared as the blessed blade left a red streak in its wake. The bear raised a paw and rubbed its burning flesh. I darted further into the trees, only intending to create room between us whilst I planned my next attack. However, the bear had other ideas and sprinted after me. Trees were thrown aside and the plants flattened. The other daemons took higher to the air, their chatter silenced.

‘God protect me!’ I bellowed and dodged a flying tree.

‘Your God shall not!’ the daemonic voice rumbled close behind me, ‘He’s forsaken you!’

‘He would never! I am His knight!’ I threw over my shoulder.

The bear chuckled, ‘then why doesn’t He come?’

My feet skidded to a halt and I spun. The bear padded up in front of me, head down and eyes fixed on my own. I felt the evil power radiating from him and his question hanging in the air. I gripped my sword in both hands, steadied my feet and controlled my breathing. Silently, I prayed and called on God and the other Angels. There was no way I could face this alone and I didn’t want to die! My soul would be consumed by this evil and I’d never get back home.

The bear growled, still waiting my response.

‘He will come,’ I answered calmly, ‘at my darkest hour as my last hope, a guiding light.’

Sniggering filled my ears as the jaws opened and the teeth chopped together, ‘such spirit,’ the Demigod sighed, ‘but no one is coming to save you,’ and he swept out his head, capturing me in his mouth. I screamed and plunged my sword down, slicing through lip and fur. The bear shook in pain, causing me to struggle for balance. I tugged out my sword and aimed it at the roof of his mouth. His body suddenly trembled, the teeth knocked together and I felt an electric charge fill the air.

I paused, torn between digging my blade in or jumping free. The mouth was shaking around me like an earthquake and the bear seemed to be moaning in pain. The teeth fall together, the tongue tip poked my boot as if pushing me forward and then I fell out. Air rushed around me before my back hit the ground. Pain rocked through me and my head spun. I felt my sword still in my grasp and my mind screaming at me to move.

I pushed up and shuffled backwards, dragging my sword with my sight fixed on the fallen Demigod. The large eyes were closed and he appeared to be fading away. No sound or movement came from him. I stopped moving and looked up. A shadow was standing in-between the bear’s ears. I squeezed my eyes shut then opened them again. The shadow figure was still there and a crackling laughing ripped the air.

A wave of terror like nothing I had ever known curled around me. Whatever that was seemed worse than the Demigod bear. Everything screamed to run, but my body was achy and sore. In a flash the shadow moved and came before me. I tried to shuffle away, but my body was numb, my breathing quickened. I clutched my sword and raised it before me.

The figure gave the impression of a head tilt as if unsure about me or the movement. Then as if allowing me too, the figure made itself clearer and I saw what appeared to be a black masked and caped ninja in front of me, with a curved tip katana pointed at the floor. However, some reasoning inside of me knew this could be so and that this figure was something more.

‘What are you?’ I asked in a shaky voice.

The figure pulled the mask and hood down, revealing the soft face and bouncing brown hair of a woman, ‘I’m Rain.’

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Author’s Note:

Hi, I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading Church as much as I’ve been enjoying writing it. I had been thinking of a number of different ends, but I couldn’t settle on one and since I’ve been liking it so much I’ve decided to carry on with it and see what happens. At the minute, I’m not sure if I’ll be posting any more of it up, since I thought that these four parts might form the first chapter of a novel. However, if people are interested and let me know through likes/comments, then I will look at posting some more. I’m really interesting to find out more about Rain, what she and Blaze are now going to do and if he’ll ever get back into Heaven. Hope you feel the same!

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Thanks for reading and supporting my short stories, Hayley.

Church (Chapter 1, Part 3)

Continued from Church Part 2, which can be read below as well as Part 1.

Evil drew me like a magnet and I never had to roam far from the church to find it. I had cleansed a large circle from that central point, which had begun in villages and small towns before reaching the larger towns and the city. The bigger the settlement the more evil that plagued it and the harder it was to fight it.

I landed on the flat roof of a house tower. The rain had stopped falling, though the streets below me glittered with water. People and vehicles hurried passed, the noise raising and mixing with other sounds. A sea of umbrellas and hoods covered the people, whilst the darkness concealed those in the cars. Listening, I waited to pin point an evil source. It could been anything; a daemon, a vengeful spirit, a malicious human or a supernatural being breaking the laws and going crazy.

My senses were tugged in one direction and straight away I knew there was a daemon possessing a human there. Taking off, my wings beat the air and carried me to that place, which, as I landed, was a car park. The smashing of glass turned my head and I saw a large figure plunging through a broken car door window. Laughed rose with the fading tinkling of glass.

Drawing my sword, I stepped behind him. The weapon was large in my hands, but fitted perfectly. The silver blade was long and sharp not only at its tip, but along both sides. It was also unbreakable and capable of penetrating anything. The hilt was a work of heavenly art and made from gold with a red tint. There were no precious stones set into the pommel or along the guard. Instead, the arcing guard was inscribed with curling Latin words and leafy flourishes on both sides. The grip was decorated with seemingly ridged downward feathers and the pommel was shaped into a ringed cross covered in Celtic knots like patterns.

He turned, a car radio clutched in filthy, blood hands and his crackling dry laugh dying on his lips. The tip of my sword brushed his throat. He dropped the radio, which spilt open on top of the glass fragments as he brought up his hands. He stank and his clothes were ripped and messy. It was hard to tell if the human was a tramp or had once had a comfortable life, before the possession. However, judging by the fact he was over-weight and his clothes seemed to have been a suit beforehand, it was possibly the second one.

‘Angel,’ he hissed and spit at me, though it fell short.

‘Was he willing, Daemon?’ I asked coldly.

A forked tongue stuck out of the slashed mouth and licked eagerly across the lips, ‘yes. Very. Are you, Angel?’

‘Never,’ I snarled.

He laughed, arms wrapping around his large belly and tongue flicking out faster. His dark red eyes flashed at me and small stubby wings grew from his shoulders. The wings were bat like; webbed and leathery, but with large throbbing veins crisscrossing the red surface. There was no way they could lift the human.

I pressed the tip deeper into his throat, suspecting what he might be trying to do. A bead of blood appeared, but the daemon didn’t seem to care.

‘A taste of the power always changes minds,’ he growled, ‘I could give it to you. I’ve turned angels before,’ he chuckled, ‘they burn up first and then get re-born from the black fire. You wanna try?’

‘No,’ I shouted and drove the blade into his throat.

He screamed then ripped himself out of the human. My sword drove deeper into the throat, becoming coated with red blood streaked black. The human chocked, blood splattering out of the mouth and the eyes fixed on my own. I whipped the blade out, he fell forward, his face crashing into the pile of glass and tarmac. Straight away I knew that this man had been willing, driven by too much greedy and power hungry, he’d readily fed his soul to this daemon.

Looking up, I saw the daemon floating above and lazily flapping his wings. His tongue longer and more forked than before, hissed at me, whilst his triangle pointed tail flicked at the top of my head. He looked more lizard like than anything else, with his shimmering orangey scales and flat head complete with jagged horns. His four short legs ended in wicked claws and he was no taller than an eight-year old human child.

‘It’s your turn now!’ I called up to him.

He snickered, ‘you try too hard. To honour-able, Angelic Knight. My powers greater.’

I swung my sword up at him, but he dodged it easily causing the heavy blade to slice empty air and into the side of the car. With his laughter echoing in my ears, I pulled out the weapon and tried again. The tip scrapped his foot. He yowled in pain before hissing and zooming down at me. I arced the sword, leaving a fiery red line in the air and blocking his attack. He took a sideways hit and landed on the floor.

‘Angry, so angry,’ he spit, ‘you make me. You want to see power? See Death?’

I jabbed at him and his scales reflected the blow. He shot up, rushing me in the face and his claws scratching me right across before he spiralled away. I turned after him, lashing my sword out and catching his side. However, it wasn’t enough to stop him and with an anguished cry he soared away. Bring a hand to my face, which felt on fire, I watched him land on top of the chain link fence, shriek out a call and flap away into the night. Lowing my sword to the floor, I rubbed my long sleeve across my face. It came back smeared with blood.

Breathing deeply, I sheathed my sword and sank down beside the car. I had nothing to put on the wounds, but the heat was already fading from them. They would heal in time, though I was more concerned about the loose Daemon. I dapped at the blood again then began searching for him. His evil aura trail made it too easy to track him, though I had no idea where he was going. Gathering my strength, I flew after him. There was no knowing what he’d do now, though it was unlikely he’d take over another human as he was at his strongest right now. The more possible options, were that he was heading for a constant source of evil power such as a gateway, or he had some friends in the area that he could rally against me with.

His trail took me to a far edge of the city and a wooded park. As I landed, I could hear the chanting of daemons and a slight dread filled me. The wind ruffled the tree branches and the sounds of city faded behind me. At least this place would be easier to battle in. Slowly, I drifted through the trees and undergrowth. I made myself float just above the ground to quieten my steps, but they already knew I was coming.

Wings, claws and teeth shot out of the shadows and into my chest. I cried out and battered at it. The small demonic servant darted away, twigs breaking in its awake. I grabbed my sword and took up a stand, whilst my eyes flashed around. The trees provided too many dark spots and the wind now rushing through them was blocking all other sounds. Wicked eyes watched me, but I couldn’t aim at them.

I began pushing through the trees, hoping for a clearing somewhere. A monkey chattering followed and branches swung around as they kept my pace. The trees and undergrowth thickened. There was no space to swing my weapon here and knowing I was vulnerable forced me on. For a second I questioned why they didn’t attack now when I appeared weak, but perhaps they thought it might be a trick and hung back. Forcing that thought away, I suddenly bust into the clearing I had been hoping for.

To Be Continued…