The Dash-All Chronicles: Slow but Steady


I stood still on the steps of the church. It was the largest building in town. And the oldest. It was gray and heavy and ominous, somehow. As though it had ears and was constantly listening for that one sound, that one word, that would force it to shake off the ages of dust and transform into some living thing set for destruction.

I had no problems with God, I might add. I hadn’t been raised in a religious family, but I’d had plenty of religious friends and knew all about faith and its dealings. It had never truly appealed to me, it felt as though there were more restraints put on you than freedom was allowed you and in my teens I had been all about freedom. About travel and getting as far away as possible. I hadn’t turned to God, but I had been shackled all the same. To family, to friends, to a job that didn’t pay enough for me to really save anything and definitively not enough to actually leave, make a break for it.

I realized this as I looked up at the structure before me, it’s large, colored window glowing in the sunlight, and suddenly it didn’t look so foreboding.

However, the visor grip of my sister’s hand on my arm brought me back to the fact that this building, as far as I knew, represented death to the undead who bit me and clearly my sister had brought me there to that end.

“Maryann,” I said softly.

She let me go as I followed her in through the heavy wooden doors. It slammed shut behind us, causing a loud echo to vibrate through the church as the doors leading into it were propped open.

The pews stood at a slight angle toward the aisle, the altar at the front had two steps leading up to it and a pristine white linen cloth covering it. Two candles burned and a golden cross has been placed between them on top of the altar. Hand-paintings of Jesus and his apostles covered the walls. It was a beautiful, serene place, empty of worshippers at that time of day.

“Maryann,” I more or less hissed and she stopped, impatient as she turned to me.

“What?”

“Could you let me in on the plan here?” I asked quietly.

“I’m taking you to see Father Ignesius. He’ll let you in on the plan.”

“A priest?”

She merely smiled and continued down the aisle, leading the way into the sacristy. It smelled of aged stone and burned candle wax. Father Ignesius was there. He was younger than I had expected, with a dimpled chin and a wide, white smile. He was actually quite handsome, not older than forty, though I was fairly certain he was closer to thirty-five. He received a kiss on the cheek from my sister, but his eyes stayed in mine and he reached out his hand.

“You must be…”

His smile faded as he suddenly spotted the markings on my neck.

“Bitten,” my sister more or less filled in his sentence.

He nodded slowly.

“So, it’s true,” he murmured. “They’ve come.”

“All of it’s true,” my sisters stated. “Ask her. That’s Sebastian’s handiwork. Or, I guess, toothywork.”

“You saw him?” Father Ignesius snapped and suddenly the calm, priestly exterior gave way for something as focused and determined as my sister. “When? Where did you see him? Did he speak with you? Did he carry something with him?”

“Look, before I tell you anything I just want to say that Seth saved me, okay? There was this guy and he was huge and threatening and he would’ve hurt me, I know it.”

“You know it?” the father inquired. “Or you know it because you were told to know it?”

“What do you mean ‘told’? Seth didn’t say anything about… He didn’t tell me to… Did he? He said there would be bad men coming. That I shouldn’t speak of him to anyone. He tried to make me forget.”

“He told you to forget?” my sister asked, clear surprise in her voice. “And you didn’t?”

She shared a quick glance with the father that made me frown. I didn’t get a chance to ask before the father repeated:

“Did he carry something with him? This is very important information to us. Please.”

I couldn’t see how it could hurt to tell them.

“A sword,” I therefore said.

“My God,” the father mumbled, taking a step back in what I assumed to be shock.

“See,” my sister said quietly. “It’s all true. They have the original sword. Hell is about to freeze over.”

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~ by mescribe on January 20, 2012.

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