The Wrong Summoning

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I had stolen the Occult book from the antique bookshop a few days ago and now everything was almost ready to summon Satan. I planned to do a bargain with him, my soul for fortune and fame.

I lit the last black candle at the fifth point of the upside down pentagram. I took the sliver jeweled dagger and slit the blade across the palm of my left hand. With a glance at the open page, I shut my eyes, muttered the Latin words and wrote out the word ‘Satan’ in my own blood across the bare wooden floor of my parent’s attic.

Finishing the ritual, I peered down and saw my blood shinning in the flickering candle light. I read the letters; S-a-n-t-a.

‘Ho-ho-ho!’ a booming voice shouted out.

I jumped, my hands landed across the still wet name on the floor, smearing the blood. Looking up, I saw a mountain of a man standing in the middle of the black chalk pentagram. He was dressed in a bright red suit, trimmed with white snowflake like fluff, he had black shiny boots laced tight and with brass studs down the sides. A top his head was massive red hat, trimmed white which flopped over at the end with the weight of a huge white pom-pom.

He had long, white snow glittery hair and beard decorated with sliver bells, small baubles in red, green, blue and gold, also holly leaves and red berries. He had a fat, jolly face with pink circle cheeks and some wrinkle lines about his bright blue eyes and large lips. There was also a sweet smell like; warm biscuits, cinnamon and hot chocolate.

‘Satan?’ I whispered.

‘Santa!’ he corrected me.

‘What?’ I mouthed.

‘Hee-Hee! Ho-ho-ho!’

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t want you, I wanted-‘ I trailed as I looked down at the bloody letters on the floor.

‘But you did summon me, young man,’ Santa’s booming voice came.

I pressed my lips together, not sure what to say.

‘Now, what is it you want? You have disturbed my slumber. Christmas day was two days ago, you know,’ he said in a jolly tone.

‘I’m sorry,’ I called out, finding my voice, ‘there’s been a mistake. I want Satan! NOT YOU!’

Santa stared at me with piercing blue eyes. The happy, jolliness faded from his face and he become angry and menacing. That look really didn’t suit him and I felt a shiver of fear.

‘James Michael Benedict,’ Santa spoke, ‘you have been on my Naughty List for as long as I can remember.’

I opened my mouth then closed it again, words failed.

‘Have you called on me to try and change your ways?’

I shook my head.

‘Right then.’

Santa put his hand in a deep side pocket and pulled out a yellow scroll and a white feather ink pen. He unrolled the scroll and handed it to me with the pen.

I took it, unable to refuse, my hands shaking. The script on the thick paper was in curly writing and the words the kind lawyers use on fancy business contracts. I couldn’t make much sense of what it was saying but that also might be because I couldn’t focus. My brain had seemed to have left me.

‘Sign at the bottom, James,’ Santa said.

‘What is this?’ I asked, trying to read it.

‘What do you think it is? The reason why you summoned me; a bargain.’

‘My soul for fortune and fame?’

Santa frowned, ‘not exactly. Those are not the deals I do.’

‘My soul for what then?’ I inquired, looking over the top of the scroll.

‘To get on to the Good List, James,’ Santa explained.

‘No!’ I cried.

I threw the scroll and pen away over the top of the candles and against some forgotten, dusty box in the attic.

‘That’s not what I want! I don’t care about the Good List! I want money and fame.’

Santa clicked his fingers and the scroll and feather pen were back in his hand. He pushed them on me again. I tried to stop myself from taking them but my hands were not my own.

‘Now, sign,’ Santa demanded.

I felt the cut on my palm re-opening, the blood lined the wound once more. I dipped the ink pen into the blood and wrote my name at the bottom of the scroll. I couldn’t seemed to stop, even though I wanted too.

The scroll and pen flew away from me. Santa held them once more. He looked down at them, seemed satisfied and put them back into his pocket. Then he held out his hand and took my own, the one with the cut palm.

A chilly, north wind howled around the attic, snowflakes drifted. The candles went out, the smoke curling into nothing within the darkness. Jingle bells sounded.

I felt a whoosh, freezing air blazed me and I was flying up the old chimney. We landed on the roof which was covered in frost. Snow was still falling and the wind blowing. Before us was a glossy red sled, decorated with bells, holly and tinsel. A team of  harnessed reindeer were pulling the sled.

‘Wait…’ I spoke out.

‘Get in,’ Santa said.

‘No…What did I just agree to?’

‘Your soul is mine now and since it is still December and just in the season, I am allowed to claim it now.’

‘But that’s not what I wanted!’ I shouted.

‘I’m tried of you now, James,’ Santa said.

He shook his head and dragged me into the sled. I tried to dig my feet into the roof but it was slippery. He picked me up with ease and put me into the back, throwing rough sacks over me.

I tried to struggle out, but the sacks, though empty, were heavy and I couldn’t move them.

‘Let me go!’ I screamed.

Santa climbed into the front, took the reins and slapped them down. The reindeer ran forward. I screamed as we took off. The reindeer and sled flew into the sky. My ears popped and my screaming echoed. I had accidentally sold my soul to Santa.

Music

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Music speaks to my soul. Every note holds an emotion that resonates within me and is released as they are played together. I can lose myself within every song and feel the weight of every word. Or even if there are no words and it’s just the tinkling of a bell, I can still make out what that person playing it is trying to say.

It’s always been my gift. A replacement for being born blind.

Little Boy

black-and-white, playing, happy

Emmy woke hours before the alarm went off. Coming to the familiarity of her bedroom, she wondered what had disturbed her. Laying in the early morning light, Emmy’s dark hair spread across the empty pillow next to her, she realised she was not alone.

‘Mummy?’

A soft child’s voice whispered in her ear.

A shiver rushed up her spine and Emmy felt frozen to the bed.

‘Mummy?’ the voice repeated.

‘Hello?’ she finally breathed.

‘Are you awake?’

‘Yes,’ Emmy answered.

‘Me too. I couldn’t sleep anymore.’

Emmy squeezed eyes shut and took a shuddering breath. She felt a small, cold hand on her bare shoulder and a breath against her face.

‘Can I stay with you?’ the voice whispered.

‘I wish you could,’ Emmy gasped, feeling tears in her eyes.

‘Why not, Mummy?’ her son asked.

‘Because you’re gone,’ Emmy chocked out.

‘Gone where?’ the small voice quivered.

‘To heaven.’

‘Oh.’

‘But it’s okay…’ Emmy trailed off as the tears consumed her.

‘Don’t cry, mummy!’

Emmy felt small arms wrapping around her and a head, pushing against her shoulder blade. She brought her hand up and patted the space were she felt the hands interlocked around her throat.

‘I have to go now,’ her son muttered.

Emmy fought back her words and bit her dry lip.

‘I’ll come back. They don’t mind sometimes. Goodbye, Mummy.’

‘Goodbye sweetie,’ Emmy burbled.

She felt the duvet move slightly to the side and the arms around her go. Emmy blinked away tears and finally rolled over. The other side of the bed was empty.

The Song Of My Soul

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All I want to do today is sit by the window and watch the rain falling outside. I want to listen to the patter of the drops as they hit the roof tops, cars, road and plants. Each sound to it’s own, but all together forming a rhythm that raises above all noise. I want to see the raindrops tumbling from leaves and dripping off. The motion so smooth that it captivates me and my eyes can not turn away. Upon the ground, the rain becomes one again like it was in the clouds. Forming stretching puddles of water that reflect the world. I witness the death of so many raindrops that I feel saddened, but in my soul I know they will soon come again.

Moor

Moor, Swamp, Nature Conservation, Landscape, Nature

They say if you listen closely it’s not the wind that’s crying but the poor souls that have been lost upon the moor.

Church (Chapter 7, Part 1)

angle wolf

Continued from Church Chapter 6

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

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

Previously;

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

Chapter 7

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

1 John 1:9

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

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

‘What are you doing here?’ Rain asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘You can go now,’ she said softer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘I need a minute,’ Rain said softly.

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

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

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

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

I pondered that and let her go on.

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

‘The daemons?’ I asked.

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

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

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 6, part 5)

Nestled at the foot of Errigal (the highest mountain(2,464ft) in County Donegal) and overlooking the beautiful Poisoned Glen is the ruins of Dunlewy Church.

My breath caught in my throat. The wolf rumbled and I saw it’s storm cloud grey fur sticking up. It’s deep black eyes and nose fixed on me for a few seconds then turned to the daemon coming above it’s head. The wolf snapped a mighty jaw upwards at the same time as jumping. I saw all four of its paws leave the ground then land heavily back down. The daemon yelled out something and wheeled away into the haze.

The wolf turned back to me and I fastened my bleeding palms onto my sword. A growl came, rolling over me like a thunder clap. The wolf dropped into a change, racing straight for me. I could hear the grass zinging against that smooth grey coat. My stomping boots added to the noise as I took off towards it.

Grim determination settled on my face and I raised my sword. I battle cry escaped my lips, my sword ploughed into the wolf. The ringing up my arm caused me to realise that my sword had hit the earth and not the flesh. We had shot past each other. I spun on my toes and saw him – for it was definitely male- standing behind me, his body curving as he too turned.

Seeing him up close, I noticed that there was an electric blue outline around him. He was also seemed to be as high as my hip and not as gigantic as I had made him out to be. He flashed ice white fangs at me as his black-pink lips curled back. A snort came out of him then his large paws padded back to me, quickening as he slunk though the grass.

Re-positioning my feet, I darted to meet him. His jaw snapped out as I swung my blade too wide. I twisted it back, sending a spike of pain across my wrists and aiming for his rear. Somehow, he saw or predicted the movement, because he threw his tail and thus his rear away. His tail flicked back and he leapt on a turn.

I threw my arms and sword up in defence. He collided into me, shoving my chest plate down and scrapping his claws against the metal. The force caused me to stumble and as I struggled to stay upright, the wolf kicked off me. I lost my balance and fell. I hit the ground hard with a ringing in my ears. Struggling up, I had no time to assess the damage. The wolf was snarling at me and closing the gap between us.

A woman’s scream of, ‘no!’ made us both pause and look across. A black figure with a curving blade was standing next to a dirty white gelatinous blob shape in the hazy distance.

‘Rain?’ I called back.

The wolf growled and whipped around to me. I glanced at him then forced my eyes to stay down instead of looking back up. The wolf, keeping low to the ground, stalked me. I moved backwards aware of pain in my legs and hands. I gritted my teeth and knew I had to make this quick, Rain needed my help.

‘Come on,’ I muttered.

The wolf snapped at me and lines of saliva dripped from his mouth. He shook his head, clearing himself of it before charging at me. I easily side stepped, snaking out of his reach then brought my sword down on top of him. The blade pierced his spine. The wolf howled, twisted back and jumped me. I was faster. I whacked my sword around and ran him through.

The wolf slide off me and landed in the grass, which instantly flattened underneath him. I dragged in tight breaths and watch him fading. A wave of victory rocked though me and I felt the uncustomary feeling of satisfaction at killing my first evil soul.

Rain’s voice called me back.

I spun around, half trying to work out what she was saying and half assessing the next situation. She was too far away for me to do both. I broke into a run, sword dragging though the top of the grass.

‘You idiot!’ Rain screamed, ‘Stop!’

Her words whipped passed me. I ignored them, some part of my brain claiming they weren’t for me. Why would Rain say that when I was coming to save her? I pressed on and almost ran right into the dirty white gelatinous blob. My boots skidded to a halt, desperate breaths rattled my chest and my arms readied to fight again.

The blob loomed over me, blocking out the skyline. It seemed to be a swirling mass of white and grey shades of paint. It’s aura pulsed deep red across it’s outline. I stalled for a few moments, unsure what this thing was or how to kill it.

I felt, rather than saw, Rain come to my side. Her body knocked hard into me, shoving me out of the way. I almost stumbled to the ground again, but hung on. I shot her a look and opened my mouth, but she beat me to speaking.

‘Get away. Are you crazy?’

‘You need help,’ I stated.

Rain’s head turned to me and I saw her mismatched eyes through the slit in her mask and hood. They were full of anger, determination and power.

‘Not from you, I don’t,’ she snapped back, ‘your power is useless against this monster.’

‘But I killed the other one!’ I counted back.

A flicker of sadness appeared and vanished in her eyes. She turned back to the blob, ‘I don’t need your death on my hands. Go!’

I shook my head slightly, knowing she wouldn’t see it.

The blob shifted, turning tediously to us.

I heard Rain growl. She swung her katana out and it sliced right through the blob. The gash was wide, but in seconds it had healed over. She yelled out and slashed at what seemed to be the head, though there was no visible face. The blob paused to shudder then began moving again.

Rain turned back to me, darting over, ‘throw me,’ she rushed.

I frowned at her. She torn my sword from my hand and threw it away. I heard it whizzing through the air and slicing though the grass as it landed.

‘Hey!’ I yelled.

‘Throw me, God, Damn it!’ she shouted into my face.

‘Okay!’

She turned and I crouched. I grabbed her around the ankles and picked her up. She lent her body into mine as I did so.

‘How is this going to help?’ I asked gruffly.

‘I need to get on top of it,’ Rain called down, ‘the soul is in its’ head. You ready?’

‘Sure.’

‘Then…?’

Pushing all my energy in it, I threw Rain as high as I could. A grunt squeezed itself out of my chest and I watched her flying through the air. She land almost on top of it. Jabbing her katana in, she scrambled up the rest of the way. The blob didn’t seem to notice or if it did, it didn’t care. Rain walked across it then drew her blade into a downward killing stroke.

She dropped the katana down, slicing through the gelatinous blob and straight into something hard. I couldn’t see probably, but I knew she’d hit the soul. The blob began disintegrating. Large jelly chucks bounced across the grass or curved inwards.

Rain yanked her weapon out and half run- half slide down its side. She landed with her legs together, knees bent before coming over to me. She pulled down her mask and hood. Her face was flushed and she was breathing hard. She slotted her katana away and walked past me. I watched her pick up my sword and return with it. She handed it to me, refusing to meet my questioning eyes.

‘Is it died?’ I asked to break the silence between us.

Rain nodded once.

‘Did you see me kill that wolf?’

‘Yeah,’ she grumbled and moved forward.

The blob was all but melted down and fading fast.

‘Did you see that daemon?’ I questioned, ‘he’s the same one from before. You know with the bear?’

‘Sort of, but I wasn’t paying attention,’ she answered as she drew her katana.

‘He’s taunting me,’ I pointed out.

Rain hummed and held her arms out, her weapon in her right hand. She began to mumble some words.

A wind swept the grass and I felt it touching me then rushing off again. The blob parts vanished and the wind came back the other way. Rain dropped her katana to the ground and with the tip trailing behind started walking. She circled the area where the blob had died and when she reached the start point, she struck the katana into the earth. The blade wobbled and I got the sense of a white light running the circle that she had made.

Rain went to her knees and pressed her head to the guard and hilt. Her lips moved softly, though I didn’t catch the words. Following her, I knelt, lay my sword down and put my hands together. I prayed silently, thanking God for protecting us and asking him to help Rain cleanse the area.

A soft almost inaudible whinnying ticked my ears. I opened my eyes and saw the giant wolf standing before Rain.

I snatched up my sword, thoughts racing through my mind. The wolf give a low growl and Rain shot between us.

‘He’s my friend,’ she stated, ‘could you kindly not kill him again?’

Church (Chapter 6, part 2)

Nestled at the foot of Errigal (the highest mountain(2,464ft) in County Donegal) and overlooking the beautiful Poisoned Glen is the ruins of Dunlewy Church.

I had the urge to confront her and demand the truth. She was high ranking and had never once hinted it. That would make us equals, I noted. Unless, the Reapers had a different organisational structure to Angels? Why would they, though? I shook the questions away, knowing they were unanswerable at present. I steadied the book and looked at the line again. Something else made me paused, RR. I had seen that somewhere before…

Frowning, I closed the diary and picked up the notebook with the drawings in. Under a sketch of a Tawney owl were the two R’s. Could it be the same person? My mind questioned as if solving a great riddle. I opened the diary again and looked at both the initials side by side. They didn’t look to be the same hand. Could it just a coincidence?

A growl escaped me and I closed both notebooks. What difference did it make? I lay back, sprawling out on the bed and put an arm over my eyes. I heard an owl hooting, the half-whispering voices of the graveyard spirits and my own quickened breathing. I should go out, I told myself, do some fighting and stop thinking about her. But if she comes back…?

I snapped myself out of it picked up the diary once again. Skimming through the pages, I caught a few more lines about the garden, Rain displaying her powers and fighting skills, training that Lucius had completed, discusses about other people and their plans. Finally, on a page dated 8th August 2009 was something that stilled my fingers. The handwriting seemed rushed, desperate. A tale spilled out across the page;

We had our first real fight as Company 9 today. Captain Rain sensed something very early on into our nightly hunt, but she didn’t let on, until everyone had had a go at sensing it. The tracking of the evil soul was exciting, especially amongst the younger one. Though what we would find worried me. My job as Lieutenant really came out. I had no time for self-doubt, but found I handled anything fine.

The soul had taken the form of a giant boar. Which was a surprise to all of us- though Captain never showed it-. The boar was dark grey with bristled fur, beside from its face and tusks which were red. It howled as if in agonising pain and charged at us.

 I stopped, having been reminded of the Demi-God bear that had brought Rain and me together. For some reason, that first image I had of her had stayed close to me. I refocused my eyes back on the page and tried to picture how the next few paragraphs had planned out with my limited imagination.

I was afraid that Captain would take over and completely forget about us. Instead, she hung back and watched everyone else trying to plunge their swords into the soul. Despite the boar’s size, he was fast and avoided must of the jabs. We, or the Company members to be exact, because I hung back to, made the mistake of crowding around the boar. I do not think there had been any plans to overwhelm the soul, it was just that they were all excited and wanted to be the victor.

The boar started to get angry and with a bust of power, it speared Durell. Everyone backed off as he was thrown in the air and rushed to him as he landed. I glanced over at Captain Rain and she didn’t do anything, but there was a look pain on her face. I went forward and the boar and I fought quickly. His taste of blood had given him the scent of victory and I was no match for him.

I heard everyone call me away. Durell was hurt badly. I stole a glance at Captain, then did something which I still and will forever regret. I went to Durell. He was laying gasping on the ground, blood frothing at his mouth. The tusk had broken a number of ribs and pierced his lung. I abandoned my sword and starting to perform the Healing Ritual.

It was the look on the closest Reapers’ faces that made me glance over my shoulder. I saw in a flash of grey and red the boar racing towards us. I reached for my sword and aimed it at the soul’s face. There was an all mighty half cry-half roar from the boar’s mouth, then it did a sharp turn which caused it to fall to on its side and slide the rest of the way towards us. I heard the swooshing of a sword, a crack of sharp laughter then Captain Rain sliced the boar’s head flawless off.

 I had stopped breathing. I turned the page eager for more and noticed my hand slightly trembling on the page corner. Setting the book down, I linked my fingers together and took a few deep breaths. I snatched the notebook up again and with my heart pounding in my ears, I read the last the record.

The evil soul began to fade. Captain stood in-between the head and neck, her expression unreadable. I tried once again to perform the Healing Ritual, but Durell was coughing up too much blood. The others called Captain over and she did join us a few moments later, slotting her katana away. Someone begged her to save him. She knelt down beside me and put her hand over his chest. I saw white electrical pulses then Durell stopped coughing. His head flopped to the side and he was still.

We watched more healing soaking into him and listened to his gasping breathe become normal. Captain Rain took her hand away and placed both her hands in her lap, she fell into pray. The rest of us joined her and I could hear the wispy voices of the younger ones reciting.

The boar had all but gone when we finished. Captain give instructions for us to head back, she would stay a few minutes and do a cleansing. We left silently, four of us carrying Durell and each coming to terms that the path before us was a lot harder than it had seemed.

We made it back and waited for Captain to arrive. A soft, clean rain was falling and I felt it washing away the tint that the evil had left upon us. She arrived at last and took us into the Garden. There Durell was attended to as his needs dictated and we all rested. Captain, after checking in with me, went to her room and no one has seen her since.

I am grateful that we all survived, but it is cleaner now that we need more training.

 I glanced at the next page and saw a new date. I closed the book and placed it on a pillow. I wondered if Rain knew what had been recorded. If she did, why would she leave a window into her past like this? Or maybe she didn’t know? The questions bloated my mind. I lay back, feeling twinges of a headache coming on. I had to go out and fight. I had to purge myself.

To Be Continued…     

Church (Chapter 5, Part 4)

Angel

(Continued from Church Chapter 5, Parts 1, 2 and 3)

I thought about arguing further with her, but decided against it. My story wasn’t as long as her’s. Fixing my eyes to the ceiling, I tried to recall back to that day in the Heavenly Realm when I had received my orders.

‘I’m listening,’ Rain cut in.

I smiled, ‘my General called me. He told me there was a hard mission they wanted me to go on. It involved the hunting and slaying of a manipulating daemon. It sounded easy enough, but they told me the daemon had gone to ground and I’d have to track it down. No one else had been able to.’

Rain hummed to show she was still awake, so I carried on, ‘just before I set off, another General, who was soon to be retired, came to me. He told me that there was something I needed to know that everyone else had refused to tell me. The daemon was manipulating fallen angels and making them kill any angels they could find. The Generals didn’t really know what the daemon’s ultimate plan was, but it had to be stopped.’

Rain shifted slightly and I thought she was going to roll over. Instead, she pulled a blanket over her shoulder. I glanced at this before turning my eyes back to the arched ceiling. There was a spider building a web up there that I hadn’t noticed before.

‘What did you say?’ Rain spoke.

‘I would still go. It was my duty,’ I replied, ‘he then told me that the last warrior angel to face the daemon had been one of his Lieutenants. He had been killed, the daemon had taken his power and grown stronger. They feared the same thing would happen to me. But they currently didn’t have anyone else they could send.’

‘What was his name? The warrior who died?’ Rain cut in.

‘Jarad. I think, I didn’t know him. The daemon has a name too…it’s Bane.’

There was a pause. Rain rolled over and looked up at me. I kept my eyes to the ceiling, trying to think about what else had happened.

‘See? You’ve always known what you had to do,’ Rain’s voice whispered.

‘I’ve been putting it off. Trying to believe I couldn’t find the daemon,’ I explained, ‘it doesn’t scare me. It’s my duty, but I…perhaps, I’ve been enjoying my time here too much. It’s been years since they last give me anything to really do.’

There was a moment then Rain asked, ‘Blaze, how come you’ve only just remembered all of this?’

I took a deep breath, ‘I don’t really know. I guess because you made me think about it.’

‘Do you want me to help you?’ she suggested.

I looked at her then. Her cheeks were slightly flushed and her eyes looked wet. Her hair was scattered around her and she looked so childish. So innocent. She had her hands under head and was almost curled into my side, just like before.

‘I couldn’t ask you…it’s not your job,’ I replied.

‘I’m not asking,’ she said quickly and I realised that something else was going on here. ‘It’d be better. I’m good at tracking things,’ Rain carried on, ‘I’d let you kill it of course.’

‘You knew,’ I responded and sat up.

I crossed my legs and put my hands into my lap. I dropped my head and glanced at her. Rain hadn’t moved. She had been lying to me all this time. I shook my head and tried to control my anger. I had the urge to shake her and demand she tell me everything. No more secrets.

‘I…suspected,’ she corrected.

‘You could have said something!’ I snapped.

‘No, I couldn’t.’

I grabbed her shoulder and shook her, ‘why not?’

‘Calm down,’ she said sternly and put her hand on my arm.

I felt a small electric shock travel up my skin. I stopped shaking her and tried to look for the source. I felt Rain move and her other hand pressed against my cheek as she sat up. She turned to turn my head so that I’d meet her eyes, but I refused. I clenched my teeth, swallowing words I wanted to shout at her.

‘We…can’t talk about it here,’ Rain spoke out, ‘there’s too much listening.’

I felt her grip tighten on my arm and the electric charge growing. I give into her wanting to turn my head and our eyes meet. Her’s looked different. There was power shinning out of them. I loosed my hold on her shoulder and felt a slight stickiness of sweat on my fingertips.

‘I’ve my reasons for staying quiet,’ Rain picked up, ‘you’ll just have to deal with that.’

‘And if I can’t?’ I shouted. I felt the need to re-press my fingers down then grab her other shoulder. The anger swelled inside me, like a balloon about to pop. A small part of me wasn’t sure why I was reacting like this. It felt as if something else was puppeteering me.

‘Then you’ll fail and die just like Jarad,’ she concluded.

His name jarred me back and quickly I pushed away my anger. Rain wasn’t the enemy, she was making herself my aid. Yes, she had kept all this from me, but at least she was telling me now. I didn’t have the right to behave like this.

Taking a deep breath, I heard a voice hissing in my ear, ‘You can’t let this go, Feathers. She betrayed your trust. You should punish her. She lied and deceived you. No one should be able to do that to an angel like you and get away with it.’

Get out of my head, Haku or whatever your name is, I thought back.

There was a lash of laughter and I saw a black mist in my mind’s eye. The laugh faded and was replaced by more chilling words, ‘she’ll never tell you the whole truth about anything. You think she’s helping you? She’s just doing it all for herself.’

That doesn’t make sense. This daemon isn’t the kind she vanquishes. I’m not listening to you.

I imaged a wall and put it up. The voice of Haku sniggered then faded. I looked at Rain. From her expression, I knew she had heard that conversation. I removed my hand from her shoulder and rubbed her face, trying to erases the pain across it.

‘You have to keep fighting him,’ she breathed, ‘believe what you want. It’s probably all true anyway. Though, Haku only lies when he wants something.’

‘He want’s my soul,’ I stated.

Rain nodded. She put the hand she had had on my arm on top of my hand, which was on her cheek. Her fingers stroked my knuckles and she kissed my palm. I felt tiredness pulling me to sleep. Without saying anything, I gently pulled Rain against me and lay down. I held her and put my chin on top of her hair.

‘He’s a danger to you,’ Rain mumbled, ‘but I’ll defend you.’

I kissed her head and tried to tell her I was sorry, but the words stuck in my throat.

Rain nestled against me, her hands curling up on my chest, just below her head. I listened to her falling asleep, before finally giving in myself.

Red and Black

I was never what they were expecting, but I had gotten use to that over the years. The dying saw my colours first, just like I saw and was drawn to theirs. I knew what the human race had imagined throughout the centuries; the black cloak, the scythe, the boat, the angels. They never cast me in that role though and yet here I was; the girl child in the red coat with the black umbrella, come to ferry your soul.