Happy 2nd birthday blog!

Happy Birthday Cake

Hi everyone!

The 6th part of The Train Station will soon be up, but before that when I logged on this afternoon to check things out, WordPress told me that today my blog is 2 years old! So, I thought that needed a quick shout out. And of course, a chance to say a big thank you to all my readers, followers and people who take the time to like and/or comment on my stories.

I think I’ve written about the beginnings of this blog before, but basically it began as a way to help me break my writer’s block and depression that had been affecting me since I left Uni. I thought having to do something everyday would help give me a focused purpose and I ended up choosing to write stories because it was something I wanted to get back into. Also, I have been told I have a talent for it and I do have a love for writing stories.

There have a been a few times that I’ve thought about stopping or reducing the postings on this blog. I’m not earning any money for it and sometimes not many people read my stories, which makes me wonder why I carry on. I guess it’s because it’s become habit now. I’ve been doing it for so long that missing a day actually scares me and I think when that happens the chain will be broken which will led to me closing this blog.

The Stories Files has always been for me though. I set out to create a space I had to write my stories too. Originally that started on another website which has now been taken down, but I was a bit restricted to what and how much I could post on there. So, I set up my own blog and started writing. At the back of my mind, no matter what happens, I keep hold of the knowledge that I’m doing this for me and it’s all about my progress on the techniques of writing short stories and novellas.

Writing has always been a big big part of my life. It’s something that I can’t even dream of not being able to do because it’s me. It’s what I do and sometimes what I think I was born to do. Everyone who knows me will tell you this, it’s what I’m well known for, though I’ve had very little officially published. My dream always has been! One day I want to go into a bookshop and see my novel on the best selling shelf. I want more people to know my name and to love my stories, but it’s a long road.

I know that some of the stories on this blog are rubbish, but there’s also gems. Of course, they need some polishing and I’ve got a few already I want to make better. I still want to get those anthologies sorted too. I know I said I’d have the first one done last month, but I suffer from a range of different illness and depression still, which have slowed down my plans. Also, I’m dyslexic, which doesn’t help. I’ve battled through with it though and it doesn’t stop me. In fact, writing is helping to improve this, but I’m always going to have issues.

I should stop before this becomes any longer, below I’ve put together a list of things I thought people might be interested in checking out. I do hope that my followers keep on growing and my stories do get shared, but to be honest, even after two years, I’m still doing this for me. So, thanks to everyone again and happy reading.  Hayley.

Stories written: 738

First ever story: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/too-late/

Most popular story: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/bridge/

My favorite story: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/ruby-and-wolf-part-1/

 

My first novella (Not finished) : https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/trust-part-1/

My second novella (not finished) : https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

My third novella (finished) : https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/a-foot-in-the-past-part-1/

 

Second blog: http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.com/

Third blog: https://negativitybreakout.wordpress.com/blog/

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Church (Chapter 5, Part 3)

Angel

(Continued from Church Chapter 5, Parts 1 and 2)

I stood up and collected my sheathed great sword. Oddly, I knew it wouldn’t be much use right now, but just holding it made me feel better. I turned to Rain, she was still sat on the trunk lid. Her head was down and she seemed to be fighting something in her mind. I went over slowly, my bare feet hardly making any sound on the wooden floor.

‘It’s your sword isn’t it? I asked softly, ‘there’s a spirit trapped in there.’

Rain’s head shot up. Puzzlement swept the concentration away on her face. She nodded once, ‘Normally, it takes a lot longer for people to get that. And even longer for them to understand it,’ she explained, ‘I had no doubts about you though. I’ve not met a more powerful angel than you in a while.’

‘Then why didn’t you tell me sooner?’ I pressed.

‘There was no point till he started affecting you. Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to block him out.’

‘I want to know,’ I started then paused, remembering what she had said about secrets she had to keep.

Rain looked up at me almost shyly and embarrassed from under her hair.

‘About him, the spirit. And how you ended up with that sword. Can you tell me that?’ I finished.

‘Only, if you tell me the reason why you were sent here. You must remember some of your mission,’ she countered back.

‘I’ll try,’ I responded.

Rain dropped her head and took a deep breath, ‘the legend goes that there was a great Japanese samurai in the medieval period and he lusted after power. He enjoyed killing and death. He went against the samurai code and let himself become consumed by greed. He went insane, perhaps he gave his soul to a daemon, but it’s unknown.’ She shrugged.

‘When he was finally killed, it was decided that he had to be punished further. His soul was fused to his katana and his line cursed. At the time, the samurai had no male relatives, so the curse fell upon the women. Thus, the katana has been passed from mother to daughter, sister to sister, aunts to nieces. Never breaking the line.’

‘And they…all used it?’ I broke in to question.

Rain shook her head, ‘in the early days they kept it hidden and only told the story on their deathbeds. Then, one day a mother used it to defend her daughter from a rapist. It’s claimed that act woke the samurai’s soul. Since then, he has grown and grown in power. People have tried to stop him, but nothing has worked. He can’t be locked away or destroyed or released.’

‘How could humans have wielded such power?’ I mused.

‘They couldn’t. The Mestemalum Senātus, The Reapers Of Death To Evil Senate, sensed the power and went to studied it. They decided that the katana was too dangerous and they tried to remove it, but the woman at the time, my great times four grandma, didn’t want to let it go. She made a bargain with them. If they would train her and her daughter to control and harness the katana, she would carry out any task they give her.’

‘And they agreed,’ I slotted in, ‘and that’s come around to you now?’

Rain paused, her face saddened. She looked at her boots then at me, ‘my story is different, but she and her daughter created my first destiny.’

I tried to digest everything she had told me, but I had never heard a story like it. Clutching my sword, I went and sat down in the chair. I felt Rain watching me, but I just wanted a moment to reflect. It felt like she had told me so much and yet she was avoiding the true point.

I heard her getting off the trunk and coming over to me. Gently, she took my sword from my hands and carried it over to its place against the wall, as if it was a child’s teddy bear.

‘No one can lift that sword but me,’ I gasped, turning to face her.

‘It’s bonded to you, yes,’ Rain said in a low tone, ‘and it has the powers of Heavenly Light, but it would let anyone use it to do good and defeat evil, because that’s its purpose. But it’s not alive.’

I frowned, trying to grasp her meaning.

‘Haku is,’ she stated simply, ‘no one else can touch him. If they do, he gets inside their heads and convinces them to kill themselves. He feeds off souls. That’s how he gets his power.’

‘I understand,’ I answered reflectively.

Rain sat down on the bed again and drew her black pants up. Underneath, her skin tight leather boots went up to her knees. She began to unlace them. I watched, but didn’t take any of it in. My mind was on what that whispering voice had been saying before.

‘Is that his real name?’ I asked aloud.

‘No one knows. It’s the name he gave me. Sometimes it’s different, or so I heard,’ Rain responded. She placed her boots slightly under the table, then started undoing a silk belt around her stomach.

I glanced over at the trunk then back at her. Questions drifted into my mind, but I didn’t give voice to any of them. Instead I pushed it from my mind and watched Rain taking off her top.

Underneath, she had on a black vest, which revealed her shoulders, but covered the rest of her upper body. Her breasts were now clearly defined. She lay down, arranging the pillows and blankets.

‘Why the trunk?’ I muttered to take my mind off her.

‘Huh?’ Rain yawed.

‘Why put him in the trunk?’ I repeated.

‘It helps to contain him. It won’t fully stop him from reaching out though. The more you think about it and open your mind to it, the more he can get in. Don’t think about it. Come to bed,’ she added and patted a tossed aside blanket.

I nodded and stood. I went to take off my robe then thought better of it. I walked over, stepping over her and knelt down to make a space for myself. Rain had rolled over and curled her hands under the pillow. I settled down, laying on my back with a single blanket covering my lower body. I put a hand behind my head and looked at her bare shoulder.

‘Tell me your mission,’ Rain muttered.

‘Later. You’re tried,’ I pointed out.

‘No, now,’ she mumbled and rubbed her cheek against the pillow.

‘All right, I’ll tell you want I remember.’

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 5, Part 2)

Angel

(Continued from Church Chapter 5 part 1)

I felt the words on my lips, but couldn’t get them out. My thoughts tumbled and I was back in the alley with those thugs and that poor girl. Rain had seen everything, but I didn’t seen or sensed her. My eyes were frozen on her’s as my mind tried now to work out what this staring look was. Rain didn’t seem pleased or concerned. It hadn’t bothered or fazed her either. Pity, I decided. That was what her eyes said, I pity you.

‘What did you say?’ I finally forced out.

‘Nothing. I didn’t reveal myself. I couldn’t risk the exposure. Too many reapers know me or are aware of me. I didn’t know him though,’ Rain explained.

‘But you saw everything I did?’ I pressed.

She nodded and helped me slip the left arm and shoulder guards off. They were added to collection on the floor. Rain stood before me and put her hands to my chest. Her fingers rubbed against the rough cotton of my under robe. She looked down, almost as if she was thinking of pressing her head to my chest too. I waited for her to speak, but she didn’t say anything.

‘Don’t you care about it?’ I asked desperately and grabbed her hands, ‘you could have helped. Maybe then…’

‘No. It’s human life. It’s nothing to do with me. I can’t save people…’ she trailed off.

‘You just take their souls?’ I ended for her.

‘I only take the non-human souls,’ she stated.

I let go of her hands, but they didn’t fall, she kept them against my chest. I pulled her chin up and noticed the determined look on her face. I had no idea what was going through her head, she was so closed to me.

‘Then why did you watch?’ I enquired gruffly.

‘Because…I felt sorry for you and have done since we met,’ she confessed, ‘you are doing tasks you weren’t meant to do and are blind to the job you need to do.’

‘Rain,’ I grabbed her shoulders, ‘do you know something about me? Do you know what I need to do?’

She shook her head and I badly wanted her to be lying.

‘You must tell me!’ I pleaded.

Rain pressed herself to me. She wrapped her arms around my neck and put her forehead to my throat. I could hear her breathing and warmth swapping between us. My hands slipped from her shoulders and wrapped around her upper back. I turned my head and put my cheek to her soft hair.

‘You have to concentrate on finding a way home,’ Rain began, ‘stop wasting your powers on things. Do you remember why you were sent here in the first place?’

‘Not really,’ I said aloud, then give it some deeper thought.

Rain rubbed her face into my robe before looking up at me. It looked like she was about to cry. I had the urge to kiss her.

‘You were going to tell me how you ended up here, remember?’ she recalled.

Keeping one arm around her, I brought the other hand to her face and rubbed her cheek between my thumb and finger. Her skin was soft and warm. A ghost of a smile appeared on her face, then flowered into a real one. She tiled her head slightly and kissed the side of my thumb. Her lips were softer than her cheek. My head emptied and I just wanted to kiss her.

‘Blaze?’ she hummed.

‘Yes?’

‘I think you’re getting distracted.’

‘You’re the one causing it,’ I pointed out.

Rain pushed away from me, breaking the hold I had on her. She walked over to the bed and sprawled out over the mountain of pillows and blankets, ‘I’m sorry. I shouldn’t lead you on. I’m bad.’

‘No you’re not bad, Rain,’ I argued and went to sit beside her.

‘You don’t know me. What I’ve done,’ Rain muttered.

I looked down at her. She had shut her eyes and was clenching her fists as if the memories were too hard to deal with. Her hair was scattered out around her and the candle light was making some strands shimmer bronze. Her face scrunched up then relaxed.

‘Confess to me, Rain. I can forgive your sins,’ I said in a low voice, ‘I have the power to release you from them. Just like that man I let go in the alley.’

Rain shook her head, tousling her hair more, ‘you can’t. If the Mestemalum Senātus couldn’t, then nor can you or anyone else.’

‘Not even God?’

‘Not even Him,’ she whispered.

I paused and tried to think what the beautiful, fierce Rain could have done which was eternally unforgiveable. I heard her fighting back a sob and I grabbed her hand. Lying down next to her, I watched her eyes open to blink away small tear drops. I squeezed her hand and she rolled over into me and nestled at my side.

‘You could still tell me. We could find away together,’ I offered.

‘I can never walk in the Light,’ Rain breathed, ‘my path is darkness to the end of time. No one can save or stop me. I’m a lost cause.’

‘I won’t believe it!’ I cried and held her hard.

‘It’s okay, Blaze. I’ve all ready accepted it. And you’re going to have to too. Just like everyone else.’

Like the owners of the notebooks? Like everyone who stayed in the bedroom before me at the Paradise Garden? Surely, someone must have tried to help her? Or is this all recent?

I heard a small snicker, which I knew hadn’t come from Rain and that same hissing male voice from before crept into my head, ‘she’s completely right, Feathers. Nothing can save her. The only way to help her is to give your soul to me.’

‘Rain?’ I uttered.

‘Yeah, I know,’ she responded, ‘just ignore it.’

A sudden bust of cruel laughter filled my mind. I sat up too quickly and pain shot into my head. Pressing a palm to my forehead, I looked over at my sword and thought about grabbing it.

Rain moved from beside me and stood up in a graceful single movement. She walked over to her katana, picked it up and carried on walking. She stopped at the trunk, swept my robe off it and opened it up.

Before I could ask her what she was doing, she had laid the weapon inside and shut the lid. She sat down on top of it, balancing herself on the edge and crossing her arms over her chest. The laughter stopped, disappearing just as fast as it had come. My migraine vanished and I felt an ebb of power returning to me.

‘You do that again, Haku and I’ll slit you in two from bottom to top,’ Rain hissed at the trunk.

‘Ameya, Aijin. I can’t promise that,’ the voice whispered before fading completely.

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 5, Part 1)

Angel

Continued from Church Chapter 4

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

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. He goes back to the church and reflects on Rain. Then he goes out and tries to rescue a human woman who is being attacked. Failing to save her, Blaze returns home to find someone has followed him.

Chapter 5

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’

Matthew 7:7

 I turned fully and stared down at the figure by the lichgate. I hoped it was nothing more than a trick of the rain and shadows, or else some kind of spirit. My hand went to my sword. The figure moved forward and walked right through the padlocked gate. I growled, shuffled my feet and began to draw my sword.

I couldn’t tell what this figure was. I felt no energy or aura coming off it. The rain seemed to pass around it, as if there was an umbrella over the shadow figure. I walked out to meet it, my sword half-drawn.

‘What are you? What do you want?’ I shouted.

The figure didn’t stop, but came right up to me on the path. Before my eyes it took shape into a masked and caped ninja. The body was wrapped in the blackness of the cape, which almost touched the floor. The hood completely covered the head and was drawn down over the top half of a face. A large black cloth covered the rest of the face, leaving only the eyes out. I saw they were mismatched in colour; one green, one blue. Instantly I knew it was Rain.

‘What are you doing here?’ I asked.

‘I followed you,’ she said simply, the mask not muffling her words at all.

I felt the rain stopping, but resisted glancing up. I could still hear heavy drops falling onto the headstones and tall grass. I slipped my sword back down and took her in again. Wondering what she really wanted. Did she know I’d taken the notebooks?

‘Are you going to invite me in?’ she asked after a few moments, ‘I was hospitable to you.’

I glanced over my shoulder at the church and felt uneasy about her question. I frowned a little and my mind went to suggest we find some other place, ‘perhaps we could go somewhere else? You’ve still not told me what you want.’

‘I got lonely after you left,’ she muttered.

‘It’s only been a day!’ I reminded her, ‘what do you really want?’

Her eyes tensed up and flashed with anger, ‘why would I want anything off you? I thought you wanted my help. Clearly I was wrong about you, Blaze.’ She turned and the back of her cape whished around her legs.

I felt the rain hitting me again as she took her first few steps away. She had her large katana stripped to her back in a fabric sheath. A whispering male voice, which I didn’t recognise spoke into my ear, ‘your loss, Feathers.’

‘Rain! Wait. I didn’t mean it like that,’ I called after her, ‘It’s a mess inside there. It’s been abandoned for so long and I’ve nothing to offer you. Not like your Paradise Garden.’

Rain paused and looked over her shoulder at me.

‘I just used it for a base. Unfortunately, it’s now become home. And…I wasn’t expecting to see you again so soon. You took me by surprise. You can come in, if you want.’

She half turned on the path, but I couldn’t make her expression out or read her eyes clearly.

‘Sometimes, reality is more beautiful than any dream garden you can create,’ she replied softly with an undertone of sadness.

I puzzled over her words as that same male voice muttered, ‘you are too easy, Feathers. Your soul looks pretty tasty…’

‘What?’ I hissed and looked around the graveyard. Somehow, I knew that voice wasn’t in my head. There was an malicious spirt watching us, I could feel it at the edges of my senses.

‘Be quiet, Haku. Stay out of his head,’ Rain whispered as she bounced the katana.

I put my hand to my sword and kept my eyes searching the graveyard. I heard Rain let out a deep breath and come over to me.

‘It’s all right,’ she said and put her hand on top of mine, stopping me from drawing, ‘Let’s go inside.’

‘You heard it, right? That strange voice?’ I questioned.

Rain nodded and put her other hand on to my arm. Slowly, she hushed me back under the church archway. She tried to push against the door, but it didn’t give way. Easing my arm away from her, I used both my hands to open the door enough.

‘It’s wedged,’ I explained, ‘there’s some fallen bricks.’

I slide easily through the gap and tried to open the door further for her, but Rain quickly followed me through. We closed it together and heavy darkness settled around us. I let my eyes adjust and was about to reach out for her, when a ball of white light appeared. I paused and watched the light growing in her hands.

‘I don’t like small dark spaces,’ Rain declared.

‘Watch where you step,’ I responded back and moved off.

‘How did you end up here?’ Rain’s voice called from behind me.

‘I’ll explain upstairs. What was that voice? Did something follow you?’

‘No. I don’t…it’s complicated,’ Rain sighed, ‘Don’t worry about it.’

I stopped and spun back to her. She was still by the doorway with the ball of light now floating in front of her. Her eyes came back to mine, from having been on the glass-less windows.

‘There are some secrets I’ve to keep from you,’ she stated, the words heavy, ‘you must forgive me for that.’

‘Perhaps, I can help you?’ I suggested slowly.

‘It’s my burden to bear.’

I turned and walked on. She followed me and I took her up to the bell tower. Leaving her in the doorframe, I lit some candles and shuffled the notebooks under the books on the table.

‘I’ve some food and water, if you want,’ I called over my shoulder.

‘Thanks. I’m fine. ’

‘There’s only one chair…here.’

I pulled the wooden chair out for her, indicting with my hand and looking over at her. She was touching the stone blocks and looked distant. I let go of the chair and unstrapped my sword. Placing it between the wall and desk, I then took off my top robe. I crossed over to the large trunk and dropped the robe on top of it.  I took off my boots and socks, before starting on my armour.

Rain stepped in and after a quick look around, sat down in the offered chair. She pulled the mask from her face and the hood from her head. Her light brown hair fell about her and settled around her rounded cheeks. Her expression was unreadable, though her lips crinkled slightly at the edges.

‘I’ve stayed in worse places,’ she said gently.

‘I feel safer here,’ I countered, ‘closer to my real home.’

Rain licked her lips and pulled the sheathed katana off her back. She balanced it against the table. Then stood and took her cape off. Draping it over the chair back, she came over to me and began undoing the leather straps of my shoulder guard. She was wearing a tight black top and pants that covered her as much as the cape had done.

‘You’d have a lot more movement without this metal,’ she said.

‘It’s all part of the uniform,’ I explained and tried not to laugh.

Rain pulled a face and I couldn’t help but smile.

‘I’m use to it,’ I put in, dropping the chest plate on the floor. I started on the other shoulder guard.

‘I’m sorry I surprised you. I didn’t mean too,’ Rain uttered as she tossed down the armour.

‘It doesn’t matter,’ I replied.

‘I saw what you did in that alley.’

I paused and looked at her. She was unstrapping my arm guard and I could feel the brushes of her warm fingers. Her eyes were fixed on the buckles, but as soon as she had pulled off the guard, she looked at me.

‘The reaper who showed up wanted to know what’d happened,’ she concluded.

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 4, Part 4)

(Continued from Church Chapter 4, Part 1, 2 and 3)

He was dead. I knew it without even looking. I went her. She had sunk down the wall and struggling to breath. Blood stained her clothes and turned everything red around us. Kneeling, I watched the slow raising and falling of her chest and the dagger still protruding from her. I took her hand, knowing there was nothing I could do but offer comfort. Our eyes came to rest on each other’s and she seemed to study me, questions forming and dying in her head.

‘Are you my guardian angel?’ she finally whispered.

I shook my head.

‘But you are an angel. I can see it,’ she rasped.

‘I was just passing,’ I responded though there was heaviness to my words.

Her eyes left mine and she looked around, ‘are you going to take me to Hell?’

‘I’m not that type of angel.’

I watched her face change into one of confusion and her lips trying to form more questions. I squeezed her hand and tried to think of something else to say.

‘I don’t want to die,’ she stuttered and began to cry.

‘It’s not so bad,’ I whispered.

Gently, I drew her into a hug and held her. Her hair was soft on my cheek and I could feel her tears falling on my shoulder. She smelt of sweat, blood and old perfume. She tried to put her arms around me, but instead I felt her collapse against me and her breathing becoming slower. I wondered where her guardian angel was and when a reaper would show up. I looked down, moved some of her hair from her face.

She went quietly.

Laying her down, I sit next to her and took some deep breaths. The city was still carrying on around us. I could hear cars and people going by, the ebb and flow of voices. Harsh breathing caught my attention and I looked over the three bodies to my left. Knife man was still alive.

I flattered my palms on the cold road and pulled myself up. Arranging my clothes, I walked over, anger burning in my heart. In a flash image, I saw myself dragging him up from the floor and shaking him. I demanded he tell me the truth about everything and why the girl had had to die. I had seen her aura and yes, her life had been tinted with badness, but she had tried to overcome it.

I reached him and made myself visible as an angel, with my wings unfolding around me, my sword appearing at my side, my armour glowing and robes flowing about me. Kicking him, bought him further around and he opened glazed eyes into mine, but as I looked down, I felt only pity.

‘I should kill you,’ I spit, ‘you helped bring her death.’

He groaned and twisted his head away, but all he could see was the body of Boss.

‘You would have had her after he was finished with her. I know it. I should bring you to judgement. You’re not worth of this life, you act like a daemon does.’

I nudged him to get him to turn back. Blood was drying on his face, but I could see that his breathing was steadying. This time his eyes widened and he took me completely in. I saw a spark of fear and his tongue roamed his mouth as if wetting it. My hand strayed to my sword.

‘Beg for forgiveness now and vow that from this moment on you will live a clean life. This is your only chance at redemption. I’ll grant it to you if you swear to this and that you will become a good man,’ I stated.

His mouth began to move, then his lips formed around a single word, ‘yes.’

‘Say it,’ I demanded and stilled my sword arm.

‘I beg your forgiveness for all my sins and vow to live a good clean life,’ he spoke quietly.

‘You will take up a religion,’ I added, ‘this will help you to keep you vows.’

He stared at me, trying to decide if he had heard me right.

‘Christianity, in its many forms, is often the preferred one,’ I suggested.

‘Yes, I will do it,’ he muttered and shut his eyes.

‘And if you don’t stay true, I shall seek you out and finish what you started today.’

‘I understand.’

‘Then I renounce you. Go in peace and may you see the light.’

I turned, my boots shuffling on the floor and went to the entrance of the side street. I lingered there, making myself invisible and watching for an angel to arrive. The sky had gotten darker and the streetlamps were flickering on. I leant against the wall, hand on my sword and watched knife man get to his feet.

He stumbled over to his Boss, kicked him hard whilst muttering some foul words and then headed my way. I ignored him, but placed him in my memory, meaning to stay true to my word. I shut my eyes, feeling a peculiar tiredness coming upon me. My job was over, I should leave, but I wanted to meet a reaper or any other angel. I turned over what I would say to them, but the two questions that kept coming to my mind seemed stupid.

It began to rain.

I opened my eyes as I felt the first specks fell and noticed the spray of droplets under the streetlights. A black cloud bank had rolled across the night sky blocking out the sprinkling of starts and half full moon. I turned my face up as it began to rain more heavily and marvelled in how refreshing and cleansing the simple water was. I decided I had to leave. I turned the corner and walked away. A reaper would come by to claim their souls, but clearly they were in no rush. I was feeling drained and couldn’t risk being exposed any more. I found another empty side street and took off. The rain beat down on my wings, sticking my feathers together and making it more difficult to fly.

I regretted leaving, but what would I have actually said to another angel? Really, there was only one I wanted to see and talk to. I flew higher and the weather didn’t change, but I battled on. I went over a few towns, then the park, then fields. The village was a dot under me and everything had become darker. I landed in the church graveyard, just as the wind picked up and forced me to hurry under the archway.

I shook the water from my clothes and hair, before putting my hand on the door. The sensation of being watched ran up my spine. I twisted my head and rested my chin on my shoulder, thinking it was nothing more than the spirits. My hand slipped from the door and I turned, knowing that it couldn’t be them in this weather. I glanced around the graveyard then down to the lichgate.

A figure was standing there, watching me.