Chapter IX: The old church
Word count: 1537
Time Taken: 2h 13m
"Sophia? Where are you going?" Jeremy said, following me as I stumbled more or less in the right direction, climbing the hill, feeling disoriented and foggy from the drug.
"I saw something." I said. "I just want to check it out."
The figures in the bushes were still hard to distinguish even as got closer, but I had the feeling they were staring at me intensely. i could hear them chatter to themselves in chirps and cricks, sounding far more like the sound of the woods than speech. I was about ten yards away from them when they simply vanished into thin air.
"What the..." I blurped out in surprise. "It's gone..."
"Satisfied?" Jeremy asked, scanning our surroundings, with one of his hands protectively put at his waistline, like he was getting ready to grab something. "There's nothing here." He said sounding a tad bit evasive.
"Don't tell me you didn't see that." I exploded. "They were right there!"
"They?" He asked, raising an eyebrow at me.
"The figures, they were pale, slender and kind of blurry..." I began, looking back the the woods, trying to find trace of them. I walked closer to the bushes and looked at the ground; there was no track or even traces of passage such as broken branches, yet the ground was humid...
After a few seconds, he grabbed my arm and pulled me out. "Alright, let's go back. It's not a good idea to be roaming alone in the woods..." He said. I sighed loudly, feeling a bit like an idiot. Maybe it was just because I was high...
"I'm sorry... I really though there was something." I grumbled, going back the way we came.
"Happens to everyone." He said, with a empathic smile. "It's this town, makes people see things when they aren't completely awake.
We walked halfway back to the bonfire, but I stopped, looking at the old decrepit church. The board in front of it was missing a few letters; marking it as 'Te apostli chael of Sant Andr.'
"Sophia?" Jeremy asked me. "What are you doing?"
"Want to check it out?" I asked, pointing at the church. "Get away from the noise."
He shrugged and we walked inside, pushing the massive oak door, that had been spray painted full of weird looking symbols, open. The church was barely lit, a handful of candles burned at the back, casting long shadows of the piles of pews that had been relegated to the two entrance corner. While a bunch of things had been laid out on both sides of the central alleyway or things like circles had been painted directly on the ageing wooden floor that creaked under out weight as we walked on the tattered carpet that composed a way to the altar.
"Is there anyone in here?" I asked, my words echoing inside the chapel but not getting any answers.
We approached the back, stopping along the way as I gazed at a large circle full of lines and tiny symbols that had been drawn there. "What is this, a satanic hangout?" I muttered to Jeremy.
He knelled down by it and approached his hand. He was about to touch it when someone called. "Please don't touch my stuff." Someone said, having walked to behind us without a sound. It didn't take me any time to remember him, his tired looking face, the pale mirroring gray eyes, the black leather and his 'I don't give a fuck about what you think' look.
"It's you!" I said, almost accusingly.
"Yes me." He said without seeming amused or anything, he his hand holding an old book that his eyes focused on. "And it's you, that chick from the wood who almost got mauled and that other guy who hangs around with the annoying british guy."
"Sean's scottish, actually." Jeremy quietly corrected him. "And he's not annoying."
Lucius gave him one dirty look before focusing on his book, which I doubted he could seriously read in the penumbra, but it didn't stop him. He turned his back and started walking toward the altar, sitting down in indian on top of it.
"You guys have a reason for barging inside my place?"
"Your place?" I commented, surprised.
"Check the city hall records, it belongs to the Kane family." He said. The name sounding familiar but distant.
"And you live here?"
"More or less."
"Are you always so cryptic?"
"Are you always so probing?" He responded, this time a shit-eating grin forming on his mouth. I sighed in desperation. I had a feeling this guy was not going to be of any use.
"Since you own the place, you know why it isn't raining here?"
"This is holy ground, nobody can enter without the groundskeeper permission." He said.
"The rain isn't somebody."
"Keep telling yourself that."
My fist clenched, I was struggling to keep calm and not hit the guy in the face. But apparently Jeremy noticed and he took my hand in his and whispered in my ear. "Don't let him get to you." I unclenched my fist and took a deep breath. He was right, that guy wasn't worth getting angry over.
"Oh and if you can, avoid stupidly following the Nunnehi in the woods again, it almost got you killed last time." Lucius said, sounding annoyed. "Could have been the same if it wasn't my place."
"Nunnehi?" Jer and I asked at the same time.
"Fairies, elves, pixies, gnomes, what ever you want to call them. The sleepless especially are a bit meaner than your usual run of the mill Fae..." I was about to ask what he meant, but he slammed his book shut and glared at us. "Alright, scram, get back to the party, I have things to do."
I started walking away, resisting the urge to hit the guy for his insolence when I felt something hit me in the leg. I stopped dead and looked down. Spike was there, brushing against my leg and purring like a kitten.
"What are you doing here?" I asked, rubbing the guy behind the ear.
"You know spike?" Jeremy asked, extending a hand toward him which made the bobcat move away from his reach.
"It feels like he's been following me around." I said, scratching his neck. "Ain't that right, furball?"
Spike let out a sharp meow, as if he was answering before turning away, walking toward the door that hung open. He stopped on the threshold and turned his head toward us, like he was waiting for us to follow, his large puffy tail raised in a friendly manner. When we came closer, he started walking toward the bonfire, expecting us to follow.
"Cats." I said with a shrug, looking at Jer. "I wonder if anyone can figure them out."
He chuckled lightly just as we got back to our spot, which was still empty. We sat down, Spike already there waiting for us. Jeremy walked toward some people and came back with a bottle, handing it over after a long gulp.
I took it or rather snatched it from his hand and started chugging it down a little too fast, looking around absently at the rest of the people. It was getting late, but I didn't care. A little further I could see a few couple making out rather blatantly or under the shadow of an isolated tree.
Danielle was amongst them, clinging heavily onto her boyfriend. The girl Jeremy had shown me earlier, Gwen was lying down on the grass, an empty bottle and a passed out girl at her side. She gazed at the stars contemplatively, her eyes looking glassy under the fire's light.
Then I turned back at Jeremy, who was sitting next to me, his eyes fixated on me. I stopped drinking, putting the now emptier bottle next to me on the blanket.
"You'v head enough?" He asked.
"Yeah..." I said, nodding distantly and lying down on my back, noticing he had taken my hand at some point, it was warm and I could feel his heart beating through it. I looked back at him, his cheeks were reddened and a small content smile occupied his lips and he lied down next to me, still holding my hand.
"He's kind of cute when's smiling..." I found myself thinking, taking a moment to register my own line of thoughts and reddening past the point I thought possible, my heart pounding and my body crisping a bit. He looked at me after he seemed to notice.
"Are you alright?" He asked rolling a bit sideway so his body faced toward me.
"Yeah... Just a bit lost in thoughts..." I timidly answered, focusing my gaze on the fire and not at him.
"So was I." He said, smiling a bit deeper before biting his lip gently as if to contain himself.
I looked back out at the starry vault, thinking; "Maybe this town isn't so bad after all..." I closed my eyes and chased away everything insane that had happened and just focused on the present. I soon found myself drifting out, holding Jer's hand extremely tightly and a dumb smile stretching across my face...