Chapter Ten – The Scribe
Holly casted her eyes at the towering Cathedral. Her heart was pounding like a hammer in her chest. She felt uneasy, and unsure if she should continue forward. Stained glass windows painted the long double doors. They displayed pictures of beings she’s never seen before. The only thing she was certain of was that it looked biblical.
Aidan stood beside her holding her hand. His eyes looked confident, “In what though?” Holly asked herself. It was clear he knew what was to come, but it was up to her to uncover this herself. He believed in her more than she believed in herself. Insecurity ate at her. She had a constant fear that he has too much faith in the small Maine town girl.
“This is where I must stop miss. I’m not allowed any closer,” Aidan said.
“But why?” holly asked.
“The damned are forbidden,” he replied softly.
They both stood at foot of the steps to the large doors. Aidan put his hands on her face to ease her tension that clearly painted her face. His touch reminded her to breathe again. She felt more at peace.
“I will be on the other side miss. I promise once you exit those doors you will understand everything. I have faith in you.”
“Okay,” she softly replies turning her cheek into his hand. They met eyes one last time. They held the gaze softly. It was in this moment Holly had a small urge to kiss him, not out of passion, more of a thank you for always being so kind to her in a way nobody else was.
Aidan turned away and left. For the first time since they arrived holly was now alone. She felt a soft breeze whip at the back of her neck. It filled her body with chills as she slowly made her way up the stone steps to the large double doors.
Slowly she pushed the doors open. It made a loud creaking noise as they gave way. She immediately felt the warmth from the inside. She stepped in, and the doors shut behind her echoing into the cathedral.
An organ was softly playing from somewhere. It was a beautiful melody. It was almost calming. Two long rows of pews extended to a large stone altar that rested in the Isle in the front of the cathedral. A long red carpet lined the center Isle and ended at the altar. The floor was beautiful black and grey swirled marble. At the ends of each pew were white scentless candles. The flames swayed slightly.
Holly noticed humans in the cathedral. All of them had markings on their necks. There were at least 10. Some were sitting in the pews praying. Not one of them looked at up at her as she made her way in. Behind the altar bore a very large painting of Christ. Below him, and sitting at his feet were seven angels all looking up at him sadly.
Jesus was holding something in his hand. A vial of some sort. It was filled with what looked like blood. He was handing it to one of the angles wearing a long white robe that had rose petals on and around it. The painting was labeled “The Passing Of The First”.
This made her uneasy. Holly always felt uncomfortable with church. She never believed in God. No matter how hard she wanted to believe in him, she could never find it in her to do so. She remembered her mother trying to get her to go to church. She would always complain. She felt out-of-place. To her it was a story no different than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
To Holly it was just another elaborate way to get people to behave a certain way. Just symbolic for purity, and man’s way of explaining what we do not understand.
Holly swallowed hard and slowly made her way down the Isle. She reached the altar and saw a small white bowl filled with a murky liquid in it. To the left lay a ladle. Above it, and inscribed into the stone was a message that read, “SUBJUGATION OF THE MIND AND SOUL”
Holly didn’t understand. She picked up the ladle and inspected it.
“Drink from the bowl newcomer. It is the way to the scribe. Face your sins, and submit to the light,” a soft female voice spoke out from the pews.
Holly glanced over, and saw a young woman softly looking at her smiling. She then returned to prayer. Holly cautiously dipped the ladle in the murky liquid and brought it to her lips. It was warm, and tasted very sweet. She then replaced the ladle in its spot and made her way to the pews.
She took a seat and looked around the cathedral confused, “Now what?” she thought to herself. This was so bizarre. She was expecting to see more than just a church. Instead all she found was a bowl of something she had just drank. Holly felt almost stupid. Was she supposed to just wait? Would he come to her? If so, who or what was it? So many questions swirled around in her mind as she sat.
She looked up at the painting of Christ. His face frozen with a soft, but saddened look. The beautiful melody from the organ was still playing from somewhere. Holly suddenly felt at peace. Her shoulders relaxed some. A soft warm sensation formed like a blanket over her body. She suddenly felt weightless. Her eyes grew heavy. The last thing she heard was the beautiful melody of Moonlight Sonata as her head hit the wooden pew beside her.
“Wake up dear. Wake up now,” her mother’s soft voice echoes out. The sound of wind and distant whispers of several other voices rang out from all directions.
“Holly dear… Aww look at my sleepy head. She looks like a little angel when she sleeps,” an unfamiliar voice whispered out.
Holly was surrounded by complete darkness. She couldn’t find or feel her body. All around her was nothing but black. She was sure she was awake but couldn’t move nor feel. A vision of herself appeared in front of her. She was young. She remembers this version of her. It was her standing in the Isle of a grocery store with her friend kat.
“Do it! Hurry! Nobody’s looking!” Kat giggled.
Holly glanced around, and when she was sure nobody was looking she stuffed the candy in her jacket pocket while Kat laughed. Then suddenly the vision disappeared into the darkness.
Another version of her appeared. This time she was older. She had gotten her first car. Her and her first boyfriend Daniel were on the side of the road after hitting a deer. It was still alive, and bleeding from its mouth and nose. It had a terrified fixed stare at her as she towered over it holding her hand to her mouth in shock.
“Oh my god! It’s still alive Daniel!” she sadly spoke.
“Kill it. Just kill it Holly,” he replied.
She had picked up a large rock she had found on the side of the road. With her heart pounding she brought the rock up over her head, and then hammered it down as hard as she could on the deer’s head. Then it was done. The deer had stopped breathing.
She sat on her knees and stared at it. She remembers this incident vividly. The deer’s eyes haunted her for the rest of her days because as she sat there looking at its lifeless body, its eyes never stopped looking at her even after death. This gave her chills.
“Dead eyes always stare,” she thought to herself.
Then once again the vision evaporated into the darkness around her. A beautiful sparkling night sky appeared above her. She can hear the sound of waves splashing up onto a shoreline. It took a moment for her to realize she was looking at a beach at nightfall. She remembers this beach. It was the place she had gotten intoxicated for the first time.
Then she saw herself. She was running down a sand mound to the shoreline holding a half empty bottle of Bacardi. She had ditched the glass, and started drinking straight from the bottle itself. She was alone the first time she had gotten drunk. She preferred it this way, that way she could be alone with her thoughts.
She ran to the shoreline and came crashing down on her knees. The salt water quickly made friends with her legs, soaking into her jeans. She was too numb to care. Her eyes were filled with pain. She looked up at the night sky, and decided to finally speak to him for the first time in her life.
“God?!” She cried out.
“Where are you?! If you are real then answer me!?”
“Answer me you son of a b***h!”
“Why did you take him from me?!”
“Give me back my dad!”
Her inebriated mind was filled with anger and hatred toward a god who took away the best thing in her life. She didn’t understand why. She couldn’t understand why a God so loving and kind could let this happen to her. She hated him. She hated herself. How could he expect her to love something, and put her faith in something who refused to speak to her?
No matter how loud she yelled into the night sky all the returned was her own echo. Her anger gave way to desperation as she dropped her shoulders down.
“Please…” she whimpered
“Please give him back to Me. I know you can… I know you can if you wanted to.”
The numbness from the alcohol exposed her insecurities, and unmasked the pain she held inside her for so long. It unveiled her resentment to a god she no longer believed was real. That night she decided she was no longer going to put faith in a fairy tale.
“F**k you!” she screamed, and threw the bottle into the sky as hard as she could. It make a splash into the ocean a few moments later. She sat there on her knees, and stared out into the dark ocean feeling defeated.
Everything in this vision that lay before her was exactly how she remembered it in her mind. She saw herself on her knees at the shoreline. Her chin was resting on her chest as she sank her head down in defeat. She remembered the terrible pain. This time though something was different.
Holly saw something… or someone… appear behind her. It was almost transparent. What was she looking at? Holly remembers that night very well. She was alone on that beach. She was sure of it.
It took a few moments but holly realized it was a person in a white robe. She recognized him. It was in the picture she saw of Jesus. It was one of the angels, the one Jesus was handing that vial to.
That wasn’t right. It couldn’t be. Angels aren’t real. What was she seeing? But there it was, standing there behind her. The robe hid his face. All she could see was a nose, and a chin. She could tell he was mysteriously beautiful. He placed his hand gently on the shoulder of the pain stricken girl on her knees.
He looked like he was comforting her. In the vision she had twitched when his hand touched her. Now that Holly is seeing this she vaguely remembers feeling something cold for a brief moment as she sat there, but when she peaked back there was nothing but darkness before her. Had she really been touched by an angel? This couldn’t be real.
Suddenly the mysterious being in the vision glanced in her direction exposing its face to her. It’s eyes were blindingly white.
“God would never allow you to bear pain you could not handle child,” it said.
“The pain you carry weighs heavily on your soul. Fear, and doubt will carry you into the darkness. You must surrender such doubt, and give in to the light.”
“Come to me. Let me wash away the questions that burden you. Now… Wake up!”
Holly sat up on the pew. Her head hurt. She looked around, and saw that she was back in the cathedral. The beautiful sounds from the organ was still playing. “What just happened?” she said out loud.
“You saw him didn’t you?” the girl in the pew asked looking over at Holly.
“What was that?” Holly asked confused.
“Everyone’s vision is different. He shows you your worst fears, and weaknesses,” she softly replied.
“Who does?” Holly asks.
The woman nodded at the picture of Christ and the angels behind the altar.
“The angel in the white robe. He was there. He spoke to me,” Holly said.
“He speaks to us all,” the woman replied.
“What did he say to you?”
“He told me to come find him,” Holly said.
The woman’s eyes widened. “Oh wow! You are lucky. Most of us never physically meet him. He comes to us in visions. You must be special if he is requesting to see you! Oh… please…. you must tell me how it was once you are done!”
“I’m nothing special believe me. I don’t even know where to find him. What do I do?” Holly asks.
The woman points to a small circular chrome platform behind the altar just below the picture. Holly Was so distracted by the painting she hadn’t noticed it.
“If he wants to meet you, then simply stand on it,” she said. She smiled at her, and the clasped her hands, and went back to prayer.
Holly Made her way to the small platform. It stood out from the rest of the church. It looked futuristic compared to the Gothic surroundings. She bravely stood in the center and waited. Holly could hear her heart beating in her ears. She was nervous. Was she really about to meet an angel? She felt so small compared to this unbelievable being. Why did he want to physically meet her?
After a few moments she felt a small vibration underneath her feet, followed by a mechanical humming sound. Holly could hear the other people gasping at the sight of her slowly descending down underneath the church. She held her breath as the church disappeared from her sight. She kept her arms tightly to her side as she descended lower, and lower. It was some sort of strange tube like elevator.
She was encased in a tube as she moved down. Behind it in all directions was nothing but darkness. She could only hear the sound of humming, and nothing else. She was afraid to move so she stood there stiffly.
Finally after what felt like hours it stopped. The tube opened, and holly felt a soft breeze hit her face. She welcomed it. A strong smell of roses hit her nostrils. It was pleasant but left her even more confused.
The sound of electricity rang out as a soft light illuminated her surroundings. Holly was standing at the base of a metal walkway. Below her lay only darkness on both sides. At the end was a large metal door with an engraved picture of an angel with wings extended outward. It was a magnificent sight to see.
Holly stepped forward and placed her hands on the railing. She felt something brush against the top of her palm. She pulled away only to see a white rose petal floating down to her feet. Another rose petal landed on her shoulder, and then another on her nose. Rose petals were floating down all around her. Holly Smiled, grabbed one, and put it in her pocket.
Slowly she made her way forward. Rose petals brushed across her face as she walked toward the large door. She noticed there was no handle. She placed her hand on the door. It felt warm. It felt almost alive even. Suddenly off in the distance she heard the sound of wings flapping. Was she hearing things?
She felt crazy. This was all to surreal to her. She stood there confused, not knowing what to do. Suddenly she heard noises all around her. She heard sounds of children laughing, and whispering. She couldn’t make out what they were saying. It sounded like prayer. Then she heard it. It was a young female child’s voice. She was praying
“O Powerful Archangel, St. Barachiel, filled with heaven’s glory and splendor, thou art rightly called God’s benediction. We are God’s children placed under thy protection and care. Hear our supplications. Grant that, through thy loving intercession, we may reach our heavenly home one day,” she cried out.
The door shook, and holly quickly removed her hand. It parted way opening slowly into a large circular room lined with large bookcases, and ancient paintings of figures holly has never seen before. The room was breathtakingly beautiful. She stepped in, and saw the floor was showered with white Rose petals.
She felt dizzy as she spun around taking it all in, and then right in the very center of the room squatting down, and completely covered by large bright white wings was a beautiful being. He immediately stood up tall, and his wings stretched out wide as well as his arms. Holly gasped at the magnificent sight.
“Welcome Holly. My name is Barachiel, chief angel of the first and fourth chora, angel of lightning, and the scribe of Kanthos. I have been waiting a long time to finally meet you face to face.”
Holly couldn’t move. Her whole world was shattered. Before her stood the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. It was real. Angels were real. He had shown her he was there with her that night at the beach as she cursed her god. Her face felt hot. She tried to speak but nothing came out. Her knees started shaking.
She fell to the floor. Not knowing what else to do, she did the only thing she could do. She began weeping. For the first time since her dad died she cried. The tears fell hard from her face. She cried out in joy, sadness, and awe at the beautiful sight of an angel. She cried out all the bitter painful tears she held inside her for so long.
She cried for her dad. She cried for her mother. She cried at the discovery that life was much more than she was led to believe. She cried at the discovery that death was in fact not the end.
He approached her. He removed the hood from his head, and smiled gently at her. His blinding white eyes faded into a normal blue-eyed being for her comfort. He placed his hands on her face. They were soft, and warm. She immediately felt comforted by his touch.
“Come child,” he softly spoke to her.
“We have much to talk about.”