Trust (Part 24)

The blood was all consuming. Fern felt it tinging through her body, warming her and calming the growling hunger. Swallowing mouthful after a mouthful, she wondered how she’d been able to resist the blood’s lure before. Perhaps, I didn’t know how hungry I was? So much has happened over the last forty-eight hours. The thought faded from her mind, replaced with the dancing red swirls in a lava lamp like imagery.

She felt a hand pressing into her shoulder and a distance voice telling her to stop. She pressed her teeth and mouth over the bite mark more, determined to ignore the voice. Fern’s arms had wrapped themselves around the woman seconds after the first taste and now she couldn’t really feel them. Thinking about that, she couldn’t really feel anything other than the warm blood filling her.

‘Fern. Stop,’ Brook hissed into her ear.

I don’t want to, she answered back in her head.

Tough luck, Brook’s voice sounded within her thoughts.

Surprised, she slightly broke her grip on the woman. Brook noticing it, peeled her away quickly and pushed her towards the wall. Fern took the shuffle backwards caused by Brook’s shove before standing perfectly still in the middle of the room. She watched Brook lick her bite marks then set the woman down on the floor amongst the cardboard boxes.

‘How did you do that?’ Fern whispered.

Brook rubbed his hands on jeans then collected the backpack.

‘You said we couldn’t talk in our heads,’ she pressed.

‘We can now. We’ve shared the same human blood at the same time,’ Brook responded.

Fern looked at the woman and saw a fast healing bite mark on her left arm. Brook hadn’t bothered to arrange her as he had put her down, instead going for a just collapsed look. Fern tiled her head and really studied the woman.

‘I can sense things about her…’ Fern muttered aloud.

Brook, bag now swung over his shoulder was having a quick look through the boxes he hadn’t been able to before. He shot Fern a look over his shoulder, but didn’t answer. The sounds of him rummaging echoed loudly in Fern’s ears and she found it odd that she could detect each sound down to the movement that made it, even though she wasn’t looking. There were Brook’s sleeves and hands against the cardboard, the rustle of paper, plastic, the tiny tears of packing tape, the movement of items.

‘Her name is Nola,’ Fern spoke again.

‘Good to know. There’s nothing else here. Take this,’ Brook said and handed her the backpack then grabbed an empty one from the box. This bag was completely light blue and larger.

Fern didn’t move to take her bag, but continued, ‘she’s twenty-eight. An orphan and the only thing she ever wanted was for God to give her a family. He never did, so she made him her only family and became a nun.’

‘Fern. Here,’ Brook urged crossing the room and pressing the straps of the school bag into her hands.

She took the bag, not feeling the weight of it, ‘I didn’t know there were still nuns.’

‘Sure there is and monks, Pagans, Satanists…’

‘Satan?’

‘Yeah, you know, devil worshippers. We still need clothes…’

‘She is going to be okay?’ Fern asked in a small voice.

‘Yes. She’ll sleep it off and be fine. We need to go.’

‘Maybe I should stay here and make sure…’

‘No. The blood will lure you back and you’ll kill her. I can’t risk it and nor can you…I’ll explain more later. You’ll understand when the blood isn’t so fresh in your head,’ Brook clarified.

He opened the door and looked out. The soft voices and gently snoring of people reached out to them. Fern became painfully aware of how many sources of blood were around her. She licked her lips and thought about taking them all like the grim reaper. Their sleeping bodies would never know…it’d be so easy, she thought in a voice that wasn’t her own.

We’ll find someone else before we leave, Brook’s voice poked into her head, right now, the mission needs completing.

With a deep sigh of regret, Fern followed Brook out of the room and to the next door. She watched him open it, look inside and close it again. He crossed over and opened the two doors opposite them. Fern lent against the wall, her senses of hearing, sight, smell soaring and seemingly rushing everywhere to bring information back to her.

‘I feel…’ she looked down at her hands and dropped the backpack to the floor as she raised her hands to look at the crazy lines on her palms, ‘invincible.’

Brook bent before her, the bag’s handle tight within his three fingers, looked up at her.

‘It’s…strange…I feel able to do so much and there’s the wanting to do it. Nothing else matters…how can it?’

‘Here, put it on,’ Brook said rudely and shoved the bag into her arms again.

‘I want to fly, Brook. Let’s go outside! I want to fly to the moon!’

Fern tried to throw the bag away, but he held on to it. With a roll of his eyes, Brook pulled Fern off the wall and put the backpack onto her shoulders and back. Fern smiled, for the first time actually witnessing the fast movements of a vampire.

I bet I could do that too now, she thought.

Brook took her hand and led her back a door. He opened it and inside where racks and plastic boxes of clothes. They slipped inside and Brook closed the door as footsteps sounded in the corridor. There was a loud coughing and Fern saw the old man from before in her mind’s eye. Suddenly her vison was out in the corridor with him and she watched as he looked around. He moved off and out of the door, heading for the bathrooms, his clutched hand tight against his chest and thoughts wondering where the kids had gotten too.

‘You should watch out for the busy bodies,’ Brook whispered as they both heard the bathroom door close.

Fern nodded.

‘Clothes. Okay. We need….’

Brook moved off and began looking for underwear in the boxes.

Fern, trying not to giggle, looked through the racks of clothes. There wasn’t a great deal of choice and nearly everything was second or third hand. Quickly though, they gathered a selection of autumn and winter things and packed most of them in the backpacks.

‘Sorted,’ Brook stated and helped Fern slip into a long black faux suede coat.

Fern fixed the large hood and let Brook help her put on the now heavier bag. Fixing the straps, she watched Brook putting on the other bag.

‘Now what?’ Fern asked.

‘Now, I teach you how to be shadow and we nip someone on the way out,’ Brook answered.

Fern nodded, ‘a shadow. Do I just image being my own?’

‘If you want. Firstly, call the darkness in this room to you,’ Brook instructed.

Fern glanced around and realised they were in the dark for the first time, with just a crack of light coming in under the door. Wiggling her fingers against her side, she emptied her mind and focused at the wall.

‘What do I say?’ she breathed.

‘Nothing,’ Brook chuckled. ‘Think of nothing but the shadow in front of you and draw it into you. It’s a blanket and you are cloaking yourself with it.’

Fern bite her lip and did has he suggested. Something cool brushed against her skin and began creeping around her. A slight wave of panic then nothing but calm filled her. She had become the shadow. She looked down and saw her hands covered in a misty blackness, it seemed to be everywhere. Shooting a look over at Brook, she saw he was wearing the darkness too.

‘You made that look easy,’ Brook said, his voice high in awe.

‘Shouldn’t it have been?’ Fern asked.

‘Well…learning all these tricks can be difficult…’

Fern shrugged, ‘beginner’s luck? Oh, that man came back again…’

They stopped and listened to the man opening the first door then the one leading into the overflow room. He went into the corner again and folded himself up on the floor. Fern listened to his thoughts and grew worried by them.

Let’s move. We can’t be seen like this by humans, Brook’s command came.

Brook opened the door, Fern sticking behind him and they walked out of the room. Fern drew some more darkness to her as the corridor lights flickered above them. Brook was striding to the door and she hurried to catch up with him, thinking only of staying in her shadow cloak. Brook opened and slipped through the door. Fern did the same and as she surveyed the shelter’s main room this time, she didn’t react to the human suffering. Instead, she was filled with the urge to feed. She could hear so much blood pumping beneath skin and hearts making that motion possible.

Isn’t there a child or young innocent woman I could take? No one would notice, the vampire’s voice questioned in her mind.

There’ll be a night watch person we can take in the front hall, Brook’s mind whispered.

She nodded, feeling a slight flicker of disappointment at that, but falling into step behind him anyway. Brook led them to the double doors, opening one halfway and they easily went through. Fern guided the door back into place and tried to ignore the finger like tugs of the blood drawing her back. Instead as the door slotted into place, she looked up the hallway and saw a man sitting in a chair.

Brook went up to him and Fern followed. The man was dozing, his arms crossed against his chest and a torch slowly slipping from the fingers of his right hand. He was wearing a dark blue night guard’s suit and had the matching cap pulled down over his eyes. Brook stepped over his out stretched crossed legs and signalled to Fern to stay where she was on the man’s other side.

You try and take him, Brook spoke loudly into her head.

But I…What if he wakes? She called back.

I’ll take care of it. But you are strong enough now…go on.

I…don’t think I can…can’t we find a child or someone younger? Wouldn’t that be easier?

No. just do it. I need to see you can take them, Brook stated, do it now. We need to go.

Fern pressed her lips together and slightly bend down to try and see the man’s neck. She felt the shadow cloak slipping from her and hurriedly tugged it back up. The man’s neck wasn’t visible.

Where shall I bite? She asked.

Her eyes flicked to the man’s wrists and hands, which were the only bare skin she could see, other than the lower half of his face.

Brook?

She glanced at him, but Brook was just standing there watching her. He had crossed his arms and ankles as he lent on the wall.

Has the telepathy ended already? Wow, it picked a crap time. Okay…the wrist…it’ll do.

Fern lowered herself slowly to the man’s wrists then gently touch his hand. Feeling like she was playing that tense game Operation and removing the most difficult bone, Fern eased the guard’s arm away. Quickly she unleased her fangs and sank them into the soft skin. Blood welled up and she gulped it down. Her eyes tried to flicker up to Brook to read him, but they fell shut beforehand.

The blood slipped through her and Fern tasted the difference from the nun’s straight away. The man’s was thicker, older, more salty and laced with something else….tobacco and whisky, she decided. She swallowed and went back for a second mouthful. A notion of movement above made her eyes snap open.

Had he awaken? No, it’s just Brook feeding too….

She shut her eyes again and took another few mouthfuls before stopping. Letting the man go, she pulled back and took in a deep breath of air. She wiped her mouth and got up off her bended knees. She spotted Brook back against the wall and stepped over to him.

‘You stopped yourself too…’ Brook whispered.

He reached for her and she moved into his arms, pressing her cheek against his chest. Brook wrapped his arms around her and put his chin on top of her hair.

‘You did good,’ he added.

‘I need some air…’ Fern mumbled.

Brook gave her a squeeze then led her to the door. He pressed a hand to it and Fern heard the turning of locks and drawing of bolts. Making a mental note to ask him about that later, she stepped outside. The rain and wind hit her, but she felt far above them now. She took a few deep breaths and cleared herself of the smell and noise of the shelter.

Brook closed the door behind them and took her hand. They walked down the steps, went a few meters away then turned into a narrow empty passageway down the side of the building. Brook took her right to the high wall end.

‘Now, we are going to fly home,’ he said quietly.

Fern’s eyes lit up and she almost began jumping up and down.

Brook put his hands on her shoulders, his face breaking into a smile.

‘Can we really?’ Fern gushed.

‘Yes. Just think about it. Think about going up and home,’ Brook described, ‘think about leaving the ground here and landing on the grass outside home. Concentrate.’

He took both her hands and shut his eyes. Fern did the same and tried to control the gigged feeling brimming inside of her. She thought about flying and home, about leaving the ground far behind and touching the clouds, the moon.

She felt Brook dropping her hands and hugging her again. His breathing was soft, warm and blood scented in her ear. She wiggled her toes and really thought about lifting off. How silly does this seem? The thought rocked through and she lost it. Fighting down a cry, she scrambled to try again.

However, she felt a rush of cold air and jumping motion as if Brook had thrown her upwards. The wind and rain hammered around them and she pressed herself tighter into Brook. Her mind declared they were flying, but she didn’t believe it. Maybe the weather had got worse? The wind howled in her ears and she felt the rain pouring into her hair. Why can I feel this icy coldness when I couldn’t before?

Her feet hit a soft but solid surface and she eased off Brook. She looked around, fully expecting them to be still in the passageway next to the shelter, but they weren’t. The sight of the woodland filled her vision and head. She smiled and let go of Brook. She stepped away and looked at the wind torn trees and bushes.

‘We did it!’ she yelled.

‘Just about,’ Brook spoke from behind her as he unlocked the door.

Fern laughed, unable to stop smiling, ‘we really flew…I can’t believe it!’

‘Come in out of the storm,’ Brook shouted.

Fern laughed loudly and was about to turn to him with something caught the corner of her eye. She stopped and looked harder into the patch of woodland. The shadow of a figure was stepping out from behind a tree.   

Trust will continue next month.

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

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Water Man Part 8

They waited for nightfall then set out for the river’s end source. The sea and beach were miles from the woods, but with a God’s power they arrived in mere minutes. Hali and Zale quickly kicked off their shoes and rushed into the sea. Poseidon, with a belly laugh followed after them. Poseidon stamped his trident into the sea and a daze of golden light spun out of it and lit the waters and the beach up as if the sun had suddenly returned.

The twins hit the cold water at the same time and the sea greeted them like old friends. Waves broke at their legs and the sand moved under their feet. They laughed loudly like excited children and began throwing sea water at one another.

Poseidon stood on the edge, the sea lapping at his big toes and saddles, watching them. He felt the pull of the ocean calling him to step in, but the matter at hand stopped him. He looked around the beach and saw it empty. It was too difficult for humans to get down to this spot due to the towering jagged cliff faces. It was also too remote for any houses, but that of farmers and sea rescue crews.

The twins’ laughter and game faded as they paddled back to their grandfather. Both seemed breathless and had faces full of joy, it was a long time since they had last stepped into the sea. Hali stopped before Poseidon, but Zale carried on walking to collect their shoes.

‘I have decided,’ Poseidon boomed, ‘to grate you the last of my power.’

Hali moved his hair out his eyes and stared in puzzlement at the God.

‘I have realised you are able to do far more than me, the pair of you,’ he added as Zale appeared at his side. ‘I think it should become your duty and I shall retire.’

‘But grandfather, you can’t do that!’ Hali broken in, ‘what will become of you?’

‘The same as any other almost forgotten about God, I’ll still be there, but lingering. But I shall be happier though as in you two my power will become stronger. I can see that now. Here,’ Poseidon stated and handed Hali the trident.

With steady fingers, Hali reached out to touch it. He heard Zale dropping their shoes and coming around and their fingers wrapped around the trident at the same time. Almighty power shot up their fingers, hands and arms. Pain burst into their heads and they both felt sick and dizzy. For a few moments something screamed at them to let go, what they had touched was not for them. Then it subsided as it found Poseidon’s blood inside of them and realised that it had been handed over to another generation.

‘Boys? Are you alright?’ Poseidon’s voice echoed alongside the sea in their ears.

Hali and Zale opened their eyes and looked up at their grandfather.

‘I think so,’ Zale said and let go of the trident.

Hali just nodded and kept his fingers still. He could feel the power flowing within him and knew he now had complete command over any body of water.

‘Then I’ll leave you to sort things out,’ Poseidon stated, ‘you know where to find me and good luck.’

‘But wait! What do we do now?’ Hali called out.

‘What you’ve always wanted to do of course. Fix the waters.’

Hali looked down at the small waves lapping around them. He could feel the sea urging him to come further in. It was an odd sense.

‘I must go. Goodbye my children,’ Poseidon said and he walked into the ocean, which readily welcomed him.

Hali turned to Zale and held the trident out. Zale touched it once more, but this time felt a warmth radiating off the God’s instrument. He also felt the power that Hali could feel and he knew deep down that they were now destined to carry out their dreams.

The End.

Water Man Part 6

When Zale found him, Hali was standing naked under the waterfall he had created. Zale called out to his twin, but as the name left his mouth he knew Hali wouldn’t hear him. Mumbling a string of swear words, Zale took off his boots and almost all of his clothes. He put his big toe in the water and commanded the river to hold him.

Slowly, he walked on the water’s surface and when he got within the waterfall’s spray, he told the water to stay away from him. He reached out a hand and the curtain of water parted. Hali snapped open his eyes and stared out at him.

‘What are you doing?’ Zale asked.

‘Enjoying a shower,’ Hali replied.

‘I’m sorry things didn’t work out with grandad. Maybe, next time I should go with you.’

‘I’m never going back there,’ Hali cut in with a shake of his head, sending water drops flying, ‘He won’t listen to me, he doesn’t care.’

‘That’s not true!’

‘He can’t do anything, just like we can’t,’ Hali stated and stepped forward.

He came out of the waterfall and stood opposite Zale on a large rock. Water dripped off him and returned back to the river. The sound of the waterfall masked their conversation and air bubbles popped around them. Hali stared at Zale, who reflected him perfectly. It seemed to be only their expressions which were different as Hali looked anger and Zale calm.

‘Then we’ll go and talk to the others,’ Zale suggested, ‘someone else will listen. Maybe we could band together and make him see.’

‘What’s the point?’ Hali dropped his shoulders and turned away.

Zale frowned, ‘you can’t suddenly be done with this! You’ve been trying for years.’

Hali got out of the river and not carrying about his clothes, set off into the trees. Zale clenching and unclenching his fists decided to let his brother go. Turning away, he put his clothes back on and went to the cabin. There were chores to be done and Hali clearly need to cool off.

Hali enjoyed the feeling of dry soil under his feet, but not the undergrowth that clawed at his skin. He pushed passed it all and found himself going uphill on an old deer track. He followed the track along, not caring where it led too. He just wanted to get away from his twin, his thoughts and himself. The track joined an actual footpath two miles later and Hali followed it around and down back to the river.

Human voices echoed in his ears and he slowed his steps. Keeping hidden in the dense bushes, he peered down at the river and saw a family below him. The mother was sat on the river bank on a blanket and next to a wicker basket. The father was in the river with the three children- one girl and two boys- they were paddling and building a stick structure. A yellow dog appeared from behind a tree, a large stick in its mouth. Hali watched the dog rush into the river, drop the stick and began to bark loudly. Hali cringed away from the noise, but couldn’t take his eyes off the family. The father threw the stick and the dog chased after it, dashing into the undergrown and trees. The man turned back and began helping his children make a dam.

Hali was drawn to turn away, but he ended up watching the family complete the dam and leave. He gave them a good few minutes, before he moved and walked down to where they had been. His body felt stiff from the hour or so of standing still, but he ignored that and came to a stop next to the dam. The barricade of branches let a trickle of water through in places and really it was doing nothing to hold the river back.

He knelt down and began tugging the dam apart. The branches easily give way to his strong hands and he let the river carry them away. The water seemed grateful to have been released and sung merrily to him. Hali finished off breaking the dam and sat back on the grass. The water surged and tumbled on its way.

    To Be Continued…

*********

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Water Man Part 5

When Hali woke up everything had come back to him. He stayed in the bed, looking up at the ceiling and listening to Zale snoring. Oddly, he also remembered the whole of yesterday and wondered how he could have gotten through it so blindly. Casting his thoughts further back, he saw himself standing beside his great great grandfather, Poseidon, their pleasant conversation falling into a heat debate.

Hali sigh and turned his head into the pillow as he recalled Poseidon’s harsh words, ‘why should I save the sea if the humans are hell bent on destroying it and the rest of the world?’

‘Because, it’s important Grandfather and some of the humans do care,’ Hali had counted back.

‘This world isn’t ours any longer,’ Poseidon had answered thoughtfully, with his free hand running through his long blue-green beard.

‘So, what does it matter that no one believes in you or the other Gods anymore? You still have the right to do something!’

Poseidon shook his great head and clutched his golden trident tighter, ‘it matters.’

Hali groaned into his pillow, not wishing to remember the argument. He got up and went to the bathroom. Splashing water on his face made him feel better. He got dressed and went downstairs without waking Zale. He unlatched the front door and went outside.

The sun was shining in a too blue sky and dappling the tree leaves on the ground. Hali sat on the porch and listened to a breeze rustling the leaves and the distant tumbling of the river. He put his head in his hands and wondered how his grandfather could be so blind to all of this.

If I had it in myself I’d change everything, Hali thought.

He got up and walked towards the river. Birds sung in warning of his approach and darted from the trees as he walked. Far in the distance, he thought he heard the delight cries of humans and a dog barking. Forests were no longer the perfect hiding place. Throwing that thought away, Hali reached the edge of the river and sat down before it.

With his right hand, he reached out across the surface and watched the water eagerly coming towards him. He syphoned more water from the natural course of the river then turned it into a bubbling fountain. The water, happy to do as asked, cascaded down from a single jet and back into the river. Hali dropped his hand and stared into the bubbling depths.

He couldn’t command the sea like Poseidon could, he was only one third God and thus could only bend willing rivers and streams. Hali hung his head and knew he should be grateful for his gift, but it seemed all but useless in the twenty-first century. He thought about how in the past he had wowed crowds with his power to control water. He had given visibility to the water sprites, made huge waterfalls, redirected might rivers away or closer to towns. Now people could do most of that themselves and they now longer believed in the ancient magic.

Hali had watched the humans longer enough to see their fears changing and the old worlds slipping away. Ancient Greece was little more than a few broken statues and buildings, with the imaginations of tourists or children studying history giving but a glimpse of what it once was. He was kidding himself if actually knew that world though. Ancient Greece had already fallen by the time he and his brother were born, they had merely been brought up in the shadows of it.

Hali raised his hand, dismissed the fountain and watched the river get on its way again. He should go wake up Zale and discus what to do. Instead he turned away from that idea and plunged his hand into the river. He pictured a towering waterfall, with the water roaring over the edge and white waves below.

The river was happy to oblige the command.

To Be Continued….         

Church (Chapter 2, Part 4)

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

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

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

‘No, go ahead. Thanks.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was followed by a handful of blank pages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author’s Note:

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

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Church (Chapter 2, Part 3)

Continued from Church chapter 2, parts 1 and 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Is it raining?’ I asked.

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

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

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

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

‘Why is that?’ Rain breathed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rain gave a little laugh, ‘yes.’

To Be Continued…