Tides of Sorrow

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7.5 - BLIND FAITH

Rapid knocking sounded at her door, pulling her awake. She was disorientated at first, pushing herself up and out of the ball she’d curled into. Slowly, her focus returned and she recognised her room in the Waverley Guest House. The knocking sounded again.

“I’m coming, hang on,” she said sleepily. She stumbled out of her bed, dragging her dressing gown around her shoulders.

She opened the door to find her two angelic friends. Nick was holding a tray with some breakfast.

Becky pressed herself against the wall allowing then both into the room, then closed the door and followed in behind.

“How are you feeling?” Nick asked, laying the tray down at the foot of the bed. He ushered for her to climb back in. She didn’t argue, she was still a bit tired.

She looked at them both, her eyelids heavy. Opening her mouth it went through shaping all the vowels as she yawned, but otherwise remained silent.

“Well, that’s good!” Nick smiled as he sat beside her pulling the tray towards them. He started spreading butter on the toast.

“You have some explaining to do,” she said, finally finding her voice again.

Nick agreed. “Well, I told Tania you were a bit under the weather and asked if I could bring you something to eat. I promised no mess would be made and that I’d...”

“Shut up!” Becky mumbled. Craig grinned and joined them both on the bed. “I’m not on about bloody breakfast!”

Nick took a bite of toast and munched, waiting for Becky to speak next.

“So you’re not just a couple of guys who like the festival then?” she asked.

Nick shook his head. “No. But we do enjoy things like this.”

Becky nodded, slowly. “And you are angels, right?” She looked at them both.

They nodded.

She looked back and forth between them, then shook her head. “How did I not..?“She shook her head and tried again. “Why the pretence? All this gay stuff and costumes?”

“We are Fallen, Becky. That means we are no longer considered part of the Heavenly hierarchy. We have had to adapt to life down here and actually we have embraced it - with all its variances. We do not judge the humans’ ways in certain things.” Nick smiled, keeping her eyes locked on him.

“You role-play then? In a bid to mingle and blend in?”

“Yes.”

“How come you are - so different from Samael?”

“Those of us who survived the Fall did not all end up hating, decrying or wanting to punish God. For all we had questioned and challenged some of His decisions we had never lost our way. Unfortunately, He did not differentiate when the antagonists rallied against Him in force. Millions were cast out. But, those of us caught up in the Fall who were fundamentally still faithful, turned our backs on the ones who wanted revenge.”

“How many of you are there? Good ones, like you, I mean.”

“We do not keep a census any more,” Craig replied. “I know the likes of Samael and his troop have hunted us down over the millennia, too. We are considered a blight upon their lineage. That is not to say we do not put up a good fight. We are not without means, some of them even fear us, especially if they are outnumbered.” He laughed lightly.

She accepted a piece of toast from Nick, nodding her thanks. “They are at war with everything and everyone then?”

“Bitter beyond belief, yes.” Craig agreed.

“Except with Cain,” she said, her voice wistful. “Or at least that was the case until last night, I take it?” She looked across at the bathroom door. It had not escaped her notice that she could not hear the shower any more and that no doubt she had been out for the count for some time. “He’s gone, isn’t he?”

The two angels glanced at each other. “Yes,” Craig said, somewhat regrettably. “He’s gone.”

She couldn’t hide her disappointment. Aware of its treachery, she dropped her gaze to the duvet. “From Whitby?”

Nick’s fingers curled around hers. “That we don’t know. He knocked on our door to let us know you were still sleeping and that he had to leave. That was about half an hour ago.”

She took a deep breath and exhaled between pursed lips. She had so much more she had wanted to talk to him about and now that opportunity was gone. An odd sensation filled her - the sense of being incomplete. It burned somehow. She had to overcome it though, there was no point wallowing in any more variations of self-pity - hard though it was to shift.

Things had expanded beyond her own little world now. She had to try and think of herself as a privileged visitor in a strange domain rather than just a broken-hearted woman licking her wounds like so many did every other day. Still, it seemed Cain, whether he realised it or not, had become an essential part of her life now and with him gone, she felt emptier than ever before. It wasn’t eased any when she remembered what today meant. “You are leaving also, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Nick’s fingers tightened around hers. “We are needed elsewhere. We will look in on you now and again, if you wish.”

She nodded eagerly and inhaled loudly through her nose, sniffing, fighting off the need to cry. Realising it might be the only opportunity she had to find out more about the preternatural battles that were ongoing she asked them to tell her more.

Craig obliged. “We travel the world trying to right some wrongs whether those things were influenced by our Fallen brethren or Man himself.”

“We have encountered the likes of Samael and his troop many times.” Nick continued. “His little stunt yesterday at the restaurant ended quickly, by the way, for we too have evolved over time, each developing our own abilities, if you like. He sensed us in the area. Thankfully he did not realise it was us with you at the time. But he hates the likes of us as much as he does humans - ‘talking monkeys’ as he refers to you all. Unless he wants to breed with your women.”

Becky grimaced. “So are there a lot of half-angels walking about?”

“There are some, yes. Not all his, I hasten to add. They do not all have the characteristics, traits or appearances of angels though. Some are very ...ordinary if you will forgive me saying so.”

She nodded, knowing what he meant. “What of Cain though?”

Craig sighed and picked up the conversation again. “As you know, Samael is his father and he tried to manipulate him into becoming some sort of Super-Commander to forge an army of vampires. It was his ambition for his son to piss God off by turning His creations into the very thing He made Cain when He punished him. Thus making Him regret casting us all from Heaven...”

“Well, maybe not all of us,” Nick said, grinning. Craig smirked.

“But... all this time? How long has this been going on?”

“A very long time indeed, from your perspective anyway. We - angels, that is - measure time very differently. Major events denote a passage in time for us, not days, or weeks or even years.”

“And Cain?”

“Sadly, he has had to endure it with a human’s time-frame. He has lived thousands of years, Becky, and each day he has fought with his own demons. Now, he has more to contend with, knowing the truth. His road will be even harder than before.”

“Then I still question the validity of your God! If He is so powerful and forgiving and all that, why did He make Cain suffer this way? The whole unfortunate incident was manufactured by those who offended Him in the first place. Cain was as innocent as his late brother.”

“Not quite. It was still his hand who smote Havel. Regardless of what drives one to such lengths, the law is “Whosoever smite a man until he is dead, shall he himself die.”

“But he’s not dead!”

“No. God spared him.”

“Why? If it is against His law, why?”

“Because He knew who his father really was; one of His own, once upon a time. And that makes Cain, Nephilim - offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men and the first of his kind. But, he still needed to be punished for killing his brother. That is why he walks this Earth for eternity as a vampire. Now he has fully evolved he has enormous potential to help keep this world in order.”

Her hands balled into fists. “Then I am sorry guys, I adore you both, but I cannot love nor believe in this deity you all worship. Yours is indeed a blind faith. He is a vengeful being, who seems to change the rules as it pleases Him in a bid to justify bringing about others’ misery. He uses Cain just as much as Samael and his troop tried to - but the difference is, they failed.”

Craig and Nick smiled, sympathetically. “We are what we are, Becky. Without Him, there would be nothing.”

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