Part OneMature

Immortality isn't always what it seems.
Netheniel Bater knows that by experience.
Thirty years after being brutally attacked and turned into a strange, unknown immortal being, Netheniel resides in a Church his father ushers in. Patterned murders start appearing, and abnormal strangers follow closely behind.
The worst thing? Netheniel is caught in the storm--and is suspected to be the serial killer.

Church bells rang throughout the open attic. Birds flew from the sound, scattering throughout the spaces like a confused flock. In the dark corner of the attic, perched upon a rafter above the sanctuary of the church, was a shadow. Curled up in a blackened drench coat, Netheniel glanced towards the ceremony–families cried and a widow sat amongst the first row, head bowed and eyes shut.       

He let out a deep sigh and looked away.  It was yet another death of the city. The odds of the humans being of his church were few.          

Netheniel’s back stiffened as a rough breath released. Torment coated the air like a thick slime. He could feel the tension as if it were rubbing against all of his skin. Remorse, guilt, pain and--most of all, death--slithered along his skin. His lips curled as he heard a broken sob rise up above the others. His eyes flickered down towards the sanctuary, where the widow ran forward and collapsed before the coffin. The pastor rushed and grabbed her in his arms with gentle care.

Netheniel grimaced as he watched. His gaze then traveled through the rafters, where the birds watched with beady eyes and gaping beaks. Light shone through the closest window, only feet away from Netheniel. He flinched from the wavering beam, afraid it would shift towards his lazy body.

The lights were dimming, which meant that evening was near. Once the humans were gone and the sun descended, he could live again until dawn.

Netheniel exhaled and rubbed at his face. Life was tiring, especially when he had to hide.

Down below, everything continued as usual. The pastor closed his sermon without any more difficulties. Offering was brought up in a solemn silence. Everyone stood in unison and sung along with the organ, which vibrated the rafters. Netheniel clutched his rafter bar to keep in place and  grimaced.

Finally, the closing verses were said and the candle lights were snuffed. Netheniel's expression lightened as he watched the coffin was carried out and the little humans followed. Netheniel could hear the humans’ voices and heartbeats as they headed to their cars.

As the pastor and ushers locked the church, what left of the sun's ray finally disappeared from the windows.

Netheniel jumped from the rafter and fell to the floor. The fall was long, yet he landed with a soft touch that was barely audible. He straightened his old coat and started towards the sanctuary, where a door stood off to the side, unlocked. Netheniel swung open the door and hesitantly peered in, where a familiar, small man sat hunched over a frail bench table.

Ancient, grey eyes flickered over to Netheniel for a moment before settling on the table, where papers scattered the surface.

"Another murder case, Netheniel," David muttered under his breath.

"Yes, I know," Netheniel replied with a frown. "Any clues, David?"

The man shook his head and leaned back in his chair. It quivered and squeaked under his weight as he turned to Netheniel.

"I think it's time."

Netheniel raised his eyebrows in question. "Time?" 

David nodded before motioning towards the door. "You can't keep hiding here, boy. It's time to move on, especially with these events. If anyone truly knew what had happened to those victims and who's what, they'd suspect you."

"But I haven't done anything," Netheniel narrowed his eyes. "I shouldn't--"

"You have time and friends."

He thinned his lips and glanced away from David. To think, Netheniel was finally being kicked out--and by David, of all people.

"You're wasting your life here," David continued with a tense jaw. "It's best."

"If you say so."

David nodded and turned back to the papers. Netheniel watched as the man continued with his research. Frustration flustered within Netheniel as he gazed to the floor in silence.  He knew it would eventually happen.

"Alright," Netheniel mumbled and glanced toward David, whose hand hesitated above the papers. "I'll be gone by dawn."

"Midnight," David insisted in an emotionless tone.

Netheniel's eyes flashed with anger For a moment, his hand froze on the doorway to the attic's stairs. Netheniel glanced towards the small office door behind the sanctuary with a final hope. , but he didn't protest. Without another word he left the room and began towards the attic.

The door was shut.  

Netheniel quickly collected his stuff and left without hesitation.




The End

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