Chapter 2: The Messenger pt 5

When I got there, Hopps was standing on the doorstep of this great gothic church. On the columns, it read Established 1879, by Saint Barris. I felt sick to my stomach. My skin was so hot to the point of sizzling. I began to have dry heaves.

“What’s wrong with you?” Hopps cried out. I stumbled away from the Church and fell in a snowbank. He followed, knelt beside me.

“Well, Hopps, it seems I can’t go anywhere near a Church. I get violently sick.” I told him.

He pushed the brim up of his bowler from his eyes and smirked at me. “That puts a damper on your plans.” He pointed to the Church. “Romy Berline, my friend, is a Nun.”

“Okay. I need you to go in there, ask to see her. Tell her I’m hurt. Tell her someone with a feather struck me down.”

Hopps nodded. “Sit tight. One Nun coming up.”

I felt better in a half hour. But it took an hour or more for Hopps to bring Romy Berline out to me. He got twenty feet from me, and a bright light formed between us. I heard Sister Berline scream, then Hopps screamed. I saw his chest being sliced open like a knife through hot butter. Blood spurted out as if a soda bottle had been shook up before opening it. The expression on Hopp’s face is one I will never forget. His mouth was jarred, teeth clenched tight, eyes bulging out. He touched the feather that was thrusting out from his trench coat. He fell in the snow in a pool of red that formed beside his listless body.

I ran to them. The light turned towards me. In an instant, G’nal appeared from a cloud of smoke. There were words from G’nal and a very blond man in a gray suit with a white rose in his lapel. He was standing bare foot in the snow that melted from his touch and green grass began to grow immediately.

“Please,” Sister Berline wept as she tended to Hopps. “I beg of you, end this. No more bloodshed. Please, in the name of our Lord and the Father. Please….”

G’nal and the man in the gray suit were locked in an eye to eye game of standoff. The man smiled, plucked his white rose from his lapel, and handed it to Sister Berline. She graciously accepted it. The man turned from us, wings had sprouted from his back. A bright light consumed him, and he was gone. So was G’nal.

After they came and took Hopps body away, and Ragdale and Hemlock screamed at me. I asked Sister Berline to sit with me at a coffee house. We ordered nothing, nothing was said for the longest time.

“I didn’t intend for this to happen. This…chaos.” She had intense gray-blue eyes. I wondered what she looked like underneath her Nun get-up. “I was in the basement of the Church. I found an old book, began reading something I knew I wasn’t supposed to delve into. Apparently, I called out an ancient creature known as a Messenger. The Greeks and Arabs often wrote of these creatures created by God—not Evil not good to bring messages to us, in many forms. I saw not its true form, but its human form. I …did something. Was doing …something I shouldn’t have done …I fell in love.”

She broke down. Tears streamed down her rosy cheeks. She was touching her belly with her hands, rubbing gently. I reached out, took her hand. There was a jolt through both of our bodies. When I reopened my eyes, the message was gone from my arm we looked at each other. Nodded. I stood and walked out of the coffee house, never to see or hear from Romy Berline again.

Next Tuesday: The Haunted Shotgun Part 1

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