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   Chapter 12 Fire in the Chapel

Sanctum By JMFelic Characters: 15958

Updated: 2018-08-10 21:49


"What happened Father Azrael? Why the long face?"

Bishop Elliot emerged from the main hall door without them even noticing. He cocked an eyebrow looking at the two who seemed to be flustered over something.

Father Azrael took a step back and turned to face him. "Bishop, we have been waiting for you, " he said.

"Ah, yes. My apologies. The guests have been too persistent that I should stay longer in there. I would want to but more pressing matters needed my attention now."

Bishop Elliot smiled at Aurora's way and approached her, offering a hand when he was an arms-length from her.

Aurora nodded and took his hand.

They climbed the stairs to the second floor wherein in the first room of the left hallway was the Bishop's office.

"Please make yourselves comfortable, " he said when they entered.

Aurora found a single cushioned chair to situate herself. It was across the table, near the casement window Father Azrael liked so much. The Bishop sat directly in his own chair leaving Father Azrael the only one standing in their front. He wanted to be like this though as it evened his composure.

"What's with all this Bishop? I don't understand why Father Azrael here says it is for my safety and the protection of the orphanage, " Aurora asked, crossing her arms in her chest.

"Uh, I don't know how to say this to you Aurora. I hope you understand this is also hard for me, " he said solemnly, his jolly disposition now a fleeting memory.

"What do you mean?" She quirked a brow.

"My child, you need to come with Father Azrael in Rome as soon as possible. The Pope has received the report this morning and has already ordered that, and Father Azrael here insists on it too."

Confusion was evident on her face then and Father Azrael didn't miss it.

"Why? What's the matter with me? I don't see how this is connected to my safety and the charity house, " she expressed.

"It is for your safety Aurora, in more ways than one. The protection of the orphanage comes after that, " the exorcist priest finally butted in.

She gave him a frown and said, "Please enlighten me, Father." Her words were caustic enough for the priest to notice, but he didn't give it much thought. Not waiting for Bishop Elliot's signal to proceed, his answer came straightforward.

"Your presence is dangerous here Aurora. With that mark in your neck, you are inviting demons inside the house unconsciously."

"What?!" Her voice came out strained and her face turned even paler than before.

"Aurora. My dear. You–you have a mark of a demon. It is a potent one. After Father Azrael's investigation, he found out that the demon attacks might be related to you, " the Bishop said, struggling to make her understand.

"Might be?!" She stomped her foot and stood in fuming rage. "Bishop! Stress that word – might be! It is not even proven that I am the reason all of these attacks came so often! How could you ask me that I need to leave the orphanage?! It is not that simple!"

"Aurora, please calm down, " Bishop Elliot stated, gesturing her to sit back with which she did, albeit reluctantly.

Father Azrael stepped closer to her. He was so ready to sermon her stubbornness, but avoided it in the end, instead choosing to explain facts she could understand.

"Aurora, it is not a question anymore. I know for a fact that your mark caused all of these possessions. And I don't suppose these attacks are diminishing. It will be more frequent. The demons will grow more and more aggressive and some would be a higher class than the ones before. I can't let that happen. I can't put anyone else at risk knowing this much is true." And I don't want you harmed – he wanted to add that too, but refrained.

"And I can't put the children in the charity house at risk also, Aurora. Please consider, for your safety and for the children, " the Bishop added, his hands clasped tightly in the table. "I know how much the orphanage means to you. I know it is your only home. And I know how much you care for the children and the nuns there."

A bead of tear dripped from her eye. How did it end up like this? It was definitely the most absurd thing she had ever heard.

"This is ridiculous, " said she through clenched teeth, acting tough, but deep inside it hurt her. She quickly stood up and straightened herself, wanting to make her point known. "I can't let an exorcist priest dictate my life for me! I don't want to leave the charity house and that is final!"

"Aurora! Please reconsider!" Bishop Elliot stood himself. His jaw tensed and sweat collected in his temple.

Taken aback by the old man's sudden show of temper, she couldn't deny it made her feel a bit frightened. She had seen this side of him when he was in a supervising mode; be i

y enticing lips. It was tormenting him apart, and it had successfully clouded his logical judgement to stay in the house until he can figure out where the burnt smell came from.

He tsk'd once again, giving his window reflection a frown. "Mr. Sherd, please drive faster!" he ordered gruffly.

"Good God! I hope they are safe!" Bishop Elliot exclaimed in worry. He massaged his forehead with his fingers feeling an aura of headache coming down on him. A fire would be a manageable occurrence, but a fire that was created by a demon was a mammoth of a problem. That, he was sure of.

It was a good thing he had Father Azrael to provide help, but he was beginning to believe that it will be too late by the time they would get there.

*

*

*

When they arrived, there were three firetrucks already stationed in front of the house. A handful of firemen were inside the courtyard hauling with them a heavy fire hose, pointing the nozzle upwards to the roof and entering a pathway to the blazing chapel. Now, one-quarter of the charity house was burning.

The children were grouped together in a lawn across the street. Together with them were Sister Cene, Sister Clarice, Sister Rhea, and six other utility and kitchen staff. It was Sister Clarice who immediately saw the two priests running down towards them.

"Bishop Elliot!" she wailed in anguish.

"Sister Clarice! My God! Are you all right? Are the children safe? Is there anyone hurt?" The wrinkle in the Bishop's forehead grew a hundred as he examined the readily observable damage.

"Bishop, everyone is all right. The children are safe! But the house! My God! We will lose the orphanage house if the firefighters cannot control the flames!"

"Sister! Where is Aurora!" Father Azrael suddenly butted.

She looked at the towering frame of the priest and saw panic in his eyes. Before answering, she recalled the events first and then batted her eyelash rapidly as recognition hit her.

"My God! Father Azrael. Aurora is not here! She's not here!" She stared at the house in great horror.

Father Azrael didn't wait for any confirmation any longer. He was sure as hell she was trapped inside her room, or possibly being trapped inside her room with the damn demon.

He launched forward, focusing on the single door of the house for his entry.

"Father Azrael! No! You can't possibly go back inside!" the Bishop yelled loudly, but he only rebuffed it.

There was only one thing in his mind now, it was Aurora's safety and the others, he cared less.

He cared less of the Fire Marshall's warning on him when he closed in on the front door — shoving the man into the ground, out of his way.

He cared less of the scanty oxygen when he entered the living room — summoning the wind to provide him with a good quantity of it.

He cared less of the thick grey smoke blurring his eyesight — his demon eyes he used as an advantage.

And he cared less of the flames that licked the skin in his arm when he turned the knob of Aurora's door — because he didn't even feel the scorch of it. It was nothing but a tickle for him.

Being a demon in this dangerous situation truly was an advantage for him.

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