I knew the minute I stepped inside
the gold doors I was in the presence of something more powerful than
mankind itself. Three beautiful white
angels lay in
glass boxes. The light
that radiated from them was causing my eyes to water. I wanted so bad to touch
the closer I got, the
light became blinding as I was surrounded in light. A gentle hand grabbed my
waist and pulled me back.
“Don’t get too close,” Mirium said.
He was in awe also of what lay before us. “How is this possible?” I asked to no
one in particular. But
when I looked
around at the occupants in the room I wasn’t surprised. Mirium, Marcella,
Avitus and Draco all looked at me. Mirium gave me a warm smile. “They are our
founders,” then his smile faded.
“They are dying, Sarajane, which
means Lucian has started to raise.” The hairs rose on my arms and the back of
my neck. I looked back at the angels. I was in the presence of angels.
“What are their names?” I knew it was
irrelevant but I wanted to know.
“Jeremy is to your left. Veronica is
the angel in the center, and Sara is to your right.” I just nodded, not able to
avert my eyes from them. Their wings were barely visible through the light, but
what I could see was snow white feathers that looked so soft.
“How much time do we have?” I asked,
again to no one in particular.
“We honestly don’t know” Marcella
answered, in the serious voice I wasn’t used to. “We thought you might be able
to tell us,” she said with hope in her voice. I felt like crying. How the hell
I would be able to tell was beyond me. I was only a girl and felt it in the
presence of something this almighty. But
I closed my eyes and asked the question out loud, “How long have I got, in
order to save Saskia?” The angel
Veronica stirred, sending my heart rate into over drive. Her glow became less
intense and I could see her face. Her beauty made tears come to my eyes.
“Come to me Sarajane” she whispered
in my head. When I reached her, I fell to my knees. In awe of her, I couldn’t take
my eyes away from her angelic face. Her beauty was so unnatural that it did not
belong to this world. “Closer,” she
whispered again inside my head. I moved closer, leaning against the glass, as
tears slipped from my cheeks, landing on its surface, and then the glass was
gone from under my palms and I fell through it. All around was white. I felt as if my life was slipping away. Maybe
it was, but I felt so peaceful. I lay on Veronica’s soft wing.
“My child,” my heart skipped a beat
at the golden voice that rang in my ear. I couldn’t seem to open my eyes but I
didn’t mind. The breath that brushed my face was as warm and fresh as the most
beautiful summer's morning. More tears came to my eyes. “I will tell you the
future of what I see, and I see it so clearly. There are two paths. The first
is that you will win this war, but you will die, and in doing so save Carew. Or
he will die saving you. Your second path is a more unfortunate one. You will
try to save a loved one’s soul, but in doing so you may lose your soul, and if
that happens the world will be no more.” Both sounded awful, but the second
one, of course, more so. How would I lose my soul? I could feel
the angel stir underneath me, her hand reaching out to my face. I didn’t need
to see to understand what she was doing. The warmth that washed through me was
enough. I felt as if the angel had
touched my very being. “You have been touched by the hands of God,” and then
there was a burst of light so strong that I was sailing through the air.
The wind was knocked out of me when I
hit cold, concrete ground. I didn’t want to open my eyes, as the warmth was
leaving my body. I knew I was no longer in the presence of the angels. I was
lifted and could feel movement around me. A door closed, more walking, then
another. I was laid down on a bed no comparison to the angel’s soft wings.
“Veronica,” I called out like a child
wanting its mother on a cold and frightening night.
“Get some water,” someone commanded.
My face was held by old hands. “Sarajane come back to me,” Mirium's voice said
gently. I knew he would be worried but I didn’t want to come to this world. But
I had to. I opened them slowly,
expecting to be blinded by light. But
one candle burned in the dark room. Mirium's worried face smiled at me. He
didn’t said anything only kissed my forehead.
“What did she say?” Marcella asked
unable to control herself. Everyone looked at me, waiting. But
my eyes filled with tears not of fear
but in want of the angel. Mirium brushed my tears away, and smiled
sympathetically as if he understood what I missed.
“It can be unbearable to leave them,
when we are in their presence. I can not imagine what it must be like to be
touched by one.”
I went to explain, but my mouth
opened and closed, but no words would do the angel justice. Mirium nodded in
understanding and then Avitus appeared with water, waiting patiently as I sat
up. “Thanks” I whispered. I stared into nothing, thinking about what Veronica
had just said, the shifting bodies in the room made me look up. Marcella, Draco
and Avitus waited patiently. Everyone was waiting for my answer. I took a deep breath and told them exactly
what the angel told me, without meeting anyone’s eye. I could feel them watching
me. Mirium let out a heavy breath.
“Okay this is good then. We could win
this,” he said turning to Marcella and Draco, who also looked optimistic.
“We just need to keep the war outside
at bay” Marcella said in her new voice. She could see the disbelief in my
voice. “I’m a good actress darling,” she said in her old crazy voice.
“Why?” I genuinely couldn’t
“It keeps people away from Humus,
the crazy leader with no brain. It keeps my people safer.
No one sees me as a threat,” she
explained. It seemed a bit over the top, but an amazing deceit. Draco
went into military mode. “We must attack back now at the gates before they try
to overpower us again.”
I zoned out as they talked, and
Mirium joined them. I couldn’t stop thinking of all the implications of what
Veronica had said, even if we won this war against Lucian either me or Carew
would die. My heart felt heavy, and yet I was confused with my own feelings.
Why did it bother me so much that Carew might die, what hold had he over
Avitus moved to my bedside. “I am
going to organize our new lodgings so you rest and Mirium will walk you over
later” Avitus patted my hair, with such tenderness. I fell asleep for a few
hours; when I awoke only Mirium was in the room. He took me back to Avitus' new
home, not far from his own. I was greeted with open arms. Avitus had a fresh
bed made up for me, along with clean nightwear.
“Goodnight,” he said as he closed my
bedroom door. I changed and fell into bed, feeling warmth around me that sent
me into a deep sleep. “Veronica” I whispered just before my mind went