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   Chapter 66 Lost Along The Way

SANCTUM By JMFelic Characters: 18214

Updated: 2018-08-30 23:18


Dreams are sometimes the doorway to reality. It is a premonition of some sorts... sometimes of prophetic significance. It is the evaluation of what happened in the past too, but for Aurora's dream now, neither could be chosen.

Finding herself standing in the entrance of the newly-built chapel of the orphanage house, its door suddenly opened slowly on its own. From the inside, she saw a silver-haired man sitting in a pew in the front row. He was silent, neither praying nor doing anything in particular.

He just stared at the altar which was adorned with an array of golden saints and a big wooden holy cross hung on the center wall. On its mahogany table, there were two pairs of silver candelabras on each side and a sole golden ciborium in the middle. The altar floor was made of marble and right overhead, white glass windows were installed that welcomed a soft ray of light from the morning sun.

She didn't have the intention of approaching the man; however, something seemed to pull her towards him. When she neared him carefully, she found that his face was blurred. She couldn't detail his facial features except the fact that his lips were curved in a small smile towards her way.

He wore an open black topcoat with gray v-neck shirt and black pants. Around his neck was a pectoral cross Aurora recognized as worn exclusively by Vatican priests.

So, is he...a priest? a thought crossed her mind.

He sat casually, calmly. He didn't say anything when he gestured for her to sit right next to him, patting his hand on the wood.

Despite feeling hesitant, she did so. There were no words spoken between the two. Aurora just sat there silent, but felt her hands shaking without any reason.

What a wonderful scent, that was what she first thought of. He smelt divine, like rosewater and musk combined. This made her intoxicated for a moment.

"Why—why are you sitting here?" Aurora tried to ask out-of-the-blue, unable to keep herself from being mute anymore. However, as she turned to look at him, she noticed the man's body turning transparent, slowly...gradually...and this alarmed her.

"Hey!" Aurora shouted, "Hey!"

For no apparent reason too, her eyes quickly watered as he then disappeared entirely. No long words of goodbyes. No gestures of farewells from him. Wordless - that's the exact word. The unendurable silence around the chapel accompanied her right after.

His disappearance astonished Aurora of course, but she couldn't deny that the man's absence left her completely empty.

And this pricked her heart. So, so much...

*

*

*

"Where am I?" Aurora asked herself as she woke up, finding that the room somehow seemed familiar, but at the same time alien in her eyes. She sat upright, cradling the bed sheet near her breast, but the moment she touched her cheeks, she was surprised to see that it was wet with...

"Tears?" she uttered, confused. Tears and tears streamed down her cheeks. She wanted to stop it, but it continuously flowed of its own volition. A heavy heart and a feeling like there was a lump in her throat made her breathe deeply and swallow hard.

"Why am I...crying?" she asked.

The creaking of the door diverted her attention then. She looked up and from there, she saw Marcus entering from outside the room. This immediately made her wipe her tears dry with the cotton sheet.

"Big sis!" Marcus exclaimed, surprised to see that Aurora was sitting already.

"Marcus."

The boy was relieved to see that she was finally awake, but he realized then that it was the start of his predicament. It has been two hours since the two demons had left the Clave Ancestral House, but still Marcus hadn't found the right words to explain it to her what had happened. Surely, Aurora would immediately ask that and surely, she would ask about the whereabouts of Father Azrael too. This made him feel a tad bit anxious.

"Hey, big sis." The sacristan moved to the side of her bed, watching her closely. "How are you feeling?" he asked with a half a smile.

"How am I...feeling?" She reiterated deliberately, suddenly feeling lost. "I'm—I'm fine...I think."

Casting an eye around the room, she realized there was really a familiarity about the place.

Marcus raised a brow and crossed his arms. "You don't look good however, " he remarked, noticing the dullness of her eyes and her seemingly drained aura. Watching the untouched food in the tray made him think that it might be because she hadn't eaten the whole day.

"Can I ask you a question Marcus?" Aurora stated.

Whoops. So this is the moment he had been waiting for. His big sis is going to ask why Father Azrael is absent in her side.

"Ye—ah. What is it?" he answered, feigning as if he doesn't know what she was about to ask.

"Do you know where we are?" A genuine lift of her brows displayed in her face. Marcus was stunned to hear it. The question was definitely not what he was expecting at all.

"Huh? In your room of course, " he answered, smiling a bit.

"My room?" she uttered in disbelief. Confusion started to cloud her mind.

"Yes, in the Clave Ancestral House. Why do you ask?"

"Ancestral house?"

Marcus stared at his big sis with worried eyes. This is definitely not a good sign at all. It almost looks as if she doesn't even know what he was talking about.

To Aurora, upon hearing Marcus' answer, it immediately dawned on her that something was definitely missing on her memor

thing about Father Azrael. How's that possible?" Sister Cene asked immediately by the time Marcus sat in a chair in front of her desk.

"I also don't know why she seems to have a memory loss Mother Superiora, but I hope this is just brief. My guess is that it has something to do with the demon mark."

Marcus caught a glimpse of his big sis outside Sister Cene's window, just passing, and from the looks of it, she was heading to the chapel grounds.

"Where is Father Azrael anyway?" the old nun inquired again, holding a pen in her dominant hand. She was in the middle of her accounting of the expenses made of the orphanage as per Bishop Elliot's request.

Marcus became hesitant. It was already expected that he needed to keep Father Azrael and Heron's secret safe. He was not in a position to divulge it to the nun, even though it would answer a bit of the confusion about his big sis. "I—I'm really sorry, Mother Superiora. I can't tell you. It's a promise I made with Father Azrael."

The nun frowned; more wrinkles in her eyes were immediately seen. She released a long sigh then.

"Well now, we better hope and pray he returns quickly because this poor child certainly needs help. I honestly believe that he is the only one who can fix this problem."

With the Mother Superior's words, Marcus pondered for a second. Could Father Azrael actually surface back to the human world? Would a demon actually return back for just a meager human?

"I am already doing that Mother Superiora. I am worried with big sis too, " he answered nervously, hoping with all of his heart that the popular exorcist priest would return.

"All right then." Sister Cene went on to close the accounting booklet. "So for the meantime, she will stay here. You can stay in the Archbishop Palace just like before if you want to. I will call Bishop Elliot about that."

Marcus thought for a moment. Probably it was better for now to return to their old ways. He knew that his exorcist priest training wouldn't continue also if Father Azrael wouldn't return. For now, he will have to focus on serving in mass again in the Palace chapel as a sacristan.

"I think I should Mother Superiora, " he answered whilst feeling for the pectoral cross in his pocket with his right hand.

*

*

When Aurora stepped inside the chapel, a momentary memory crossed her mind. For some reason, she seemed to see a brief picture of a man sitting in one of the pews. He was facing the altar, only his silver hair was clearly visible from where she stood. After managing a couple of blinks, the vision of the man was gone.

She clenched her jaws. Surely, she was not hallucinating now was she?

From where the man was supposedly sitting, there Aurora sat too, her eyes never peeling off from the wooden cross in the center of the wall.

Tears suddenly fell then. For all this time, she had never ever felt this much empty inside. Her parent's death; her being an orphan and living in an orphanage house; her having to daily combat the obstacles in life alone; they were all but a natural life crisis for her.

But now this kind of feeling... this feeling that she wasn't whole... this feeling that she was incomplete... It was indeed suffocating for her. This was definitely not just a crisis. This was definitely more than that.

She gathered herself up the pew, embracing herself tightly and pressing her forehead against her weakened knees. There was nothing she could do for now but to cry, and hope for the best that it would lighten the heavy feeling in her heart... hope for the best that the tears would drown the chasm in her heart.

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