It’s really not that hard. To convince and to believe in things we know that shouldn’t exist, things that only exist in stories and legends, horror stories, the chilling tales that will make people remember to pray and ask for the man above’s guidance.
I was raised in a pretty religious family, waking up in the morning to kneel and give praise for another morning to wake up for and a guidance for a day that was just beginning.
Praying and going to church was a normal part of my day. I was 13 when I started having weird dreams, at first it’s weird and slowly it changes into a dark, chilling dream.
My family had just relocated to the city and we found a really old house just beside an aged church. In the past the neighborhood was bombarded by bombs and the remains and remnants of the war was decided to not be touched, to let the ruin and the time remind the people of the fruits of war and conquest.
The day we arrived I asked my parents to be excused and to be allowed to look around the neighborhood. It was a hot summer then and the school was out, people were outside of their homes and the children was playing in the street.
People looked at me with puzzling eyes and weird grins. Other children ignored me as I walk by the side of the street, looking around the houses. Being in the city for the first time in my life light a fire inside me. A great curiosity and a thirst for new stories.
It was almost dusk when I decided to come home. I found the local elementary school, a hospital, a local park and a cemetery. Everything looks different but being around tall, looming trees keep me at ease. The fresh air accompanied by the buzzing noises of cars, people and the brimming life of the city.
On my way home, As I pass by the same neighborhood again, I notice that all the houses are tightly closed, no open windows or doors and no souls left wandering as the night finally came in. It was a very humid, hot night then. Just when I was going in to our house, I notice something in my peripheral, someone or something was waving at me and I turn around to see a girl standing beside the front entrance to the front yard of the church.
She was tall, thin and had a really long black hair that kept her really white, really pale face. It looked like she was smiling to me though I can’t really see her features from the distance, I decided to wave back and turn back to our house, deciding to visit the church the next morning.
That night, the first night in a new home I had a really good sleep, a night without a dream.
The next day I was woken up by the sound of a bell tolling, I checked the time and its four in the morning. Slowly I got up, opened the window to my room to let the cold wind of the morning and the sound of bell inside.
After breakfast I told my parents that I’m visiting the church. It’s a weekday so the place should be calm and quiet. It was when I stood by the entrance of the church that a feeling get to me, the feeling of being watched.
I ignored that and decided to come in and see the old church, see its face for what it is. The walls of the church was built in stones, large granite ones and the ceilings were painted to present the story of Jesus’s sacrifice, a long and painful one. As I stood and watch in awe a priest came in and greeted me.
Father Emilio Guarin, an elderly priest with a pair of really cloudy eyes and one of the survivor of the world war 2 according to him. The man gladly obliged to my questions, the petty and the inquistive and in the end promise to show me something later the day.
“Something you should see by the light of dusk, come and see.” The old priest beamed at me as I excused myself and walk out the church, but not before giving the place another look. The feeling of something or someone watching never left until I step out of the church domain, the freeing feeling and weight in my shoulders were gone.
I remember sleeping for an afternoon siesta after lunch and woke up at 4 in the afternoon. I asked my parents to come and see the church but they were still busy unpacking and my father was busy preparing, already excited for his new job in the city.
I remember running to the front yard of the church and from the garden see the girl that was waving at me from yesterday. She was just standing there, watching me, unmoving.
I waved at her. But she just looked at me, really look at me from where she was standing, in the distance from us I knew she was staring at me but again I can’t seem to see her features. I was about to go and walk to her when Father Guarin suddenly appear out of nowhere and call to me.
“I thought you weren’t coming,” the old priest smiled widely. “What are you looking at?” he asked, looking to where I was looking, but the girl was gone. She was not watching me anymore.
“Come on, I’ve got to show you something, something that only a few have seen,” Father Guarin put his right hand on the top of my head.
After minutes of walking we stopped in front of a really tall, round building with a tall, enameled door with intricate designs in it.
“Please, come inside,” Father Guarin said when he pushed the door in to show a dimly lighted room. One moment it was dark then it was not.
From the top of the building came in a bright light, the burning light of the sun, the yellow and the red mixing to bring the color of fire inside the whole room. It was then that I see what was in the walls; Gravemarks. “Who are these people?”
“This room is the resting place of the people who died from the war, those that was lost in time and violence and pain and suffering.”
“This is what we could offer them, something that would keep them at ease if they are out there still lost.”
“But Father, why show me this?” I asked the old priest earnestly. He and I talked about the history of the church and the neighborhood but he didn’t say much about the war.
“I just thought that you should know. It’s been a while since we have someone like you in our neighborhood. Having someone new in the neighborhood, someone with your light could be a beacon of light to the lost and depraved.”
“This kind of light that you have, this shine. More than anything this light is what they crave for, yearns for.”
“I hope you will understand and wish that you will find the meaning in this,” The old priest’s put a hand at my shoulder and look away, I thought I could see tears in the old man’s eyes but he left, leaving me alone to look at the gravemarks.
That night I started having dreams, weird vivid dreams. It was in my dreams that I keep meeting people, people I seem to recognize but don’t know where I met them.
I knew their names, each of all of them. All of them they want to see me and talk to me. I started having recurring dreams, episodic kind of dreams that continues and end abruptly.
Each time the dream will end when everything turns cold and suddenly the surrounding turns black and sad. It was an elderly woman who would push me away, ask me to wake up so that the dream will end. “Go, child and thank you,” she would always say.
Two months passed and school has just startes. I was enrolled in the local elementary school and on my 1st day at school I see the girl with the long hair again. It’s been a long time since the last time I see her.
She was watching me again. She looked really sad as she watch me go. It was at school that I learned about Carina, a ghosts story of a girl around the neighborhood.
Carina was a young girl that died during the last days of war, the last living child from the devious and miserable episodes of war. Along with the elderly and the children they hide in the church when the war is on its end, crying and praying for all of it to end.
Bombs falling from the heavens, the whole world shaking and the rattle of guns and cries of people can be heard outside the church.
One moment it was pandemonium then all the noises were gone, followed by a deafening silence. The people in the church was scared and the silence only makes it more scary.
It was after a while that everyone thought that the war is over, news about the american general can be heard from the radios. The war was won. People started to rejoice at the sound of the voice screaming and rejoicing at the radio, soon after people were crying again, crying for joy, for piece.
It was an elderly man who excitedly came through the locked door of the church, one moment he was chasing a light then he see a lone man standing by the door, bloodied and holding a gun. The man points the gun to the elderly man and let the weapon rattle, killing the old man before he fell to the ground.
Carina came to the rescue of the old man, she tried to fight the soldier but the man was enraged, the fires of hell burning inside his eyes. She screamed and shouted to the people, asking them to run and in the end she too was gunned down. A lot of people was killed inside the church, the old, the young and the weak.
I remember crying, I remember asking why it happened and I remember my parents coming to take me home. That night I remember seeing the girl from my dream, it was her.
The girl from the church; it was Carina.
I knew then what Father Guarin meant. I know why I keep having those vivid dreams and why I always feel that suffocating dread, the crushing feeling in the end of the dream.
It’s Carina, She want the light in me.