Willow was trying to gaze through the stained glass windows of the little church. Outside, she knew that this morning's wind was still blowing. She could hear it whistling over the walls. As a result of the high cold wind, there wasn't a single cloud to contrast with the Brandeis blue of the sky and the sun shone radiantly white.
However, Willow didn't think that made the cold much more pleasant to bear. Although it made perfect sense that the same weekend she came home from college would be the weekend that the weather decided to act up.
Her parents had taken her to the St. Benedict Catholic Church in her home town of Bangor this Sunday because her dad had to provide Honor Guard service. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, it was his duty to participate in the church services, especially on holidays. And today was very special indeed because it was the Sunday before Columbus Day.
Anyway, Willow had dressed up for the service in one of her favorite outfits, which was a two-piece dress-and-blouse combo. It was covered in a pattern-less swirl of black, gray, white, and three different shades of turquoise blue. On her feet she wore her four-inch black heels, and to pull it all together she was wearing a pure black suit jacket that she had dug out of her closet. Her light-blond hair framed her lightly-but-naturally-tan face and hung straight past her shoulders and halfway down her back. And just for the hell of it, she had swiped on a little black eye-liner around her blue eyes and smeared on some dark-pink lip gloss before heading out the door.
Not that it makes any difference how I look right now, Willow thought. The only reason she had gotten out of bed at all was so she could be here for her dad. She didn't know why, but Willow had not been able to sleep at all the night before. Whatever had kept her awake, it had made her a little bit cranky.
It had made her cranky, and it seriously disrupted her day.
Willow had tried to start in with the other worshippers while they sang, but she just didn't have the energy to keep up. It made her sad because she loved to sing.
Her mom noticed her utter lack of enthusiasm right off the bat. So she brought it up while before the priest could start speaking after the song ended.
"Are you okay, sweetie?" Carol asked.
Willow looked over at her mom when she asked, and she saw the concern in her eyes. Willow didn't want her mom to worry, but she decided to be honest. "I'm fine," Willow said, "just a little tired, that's all. I didn't sleep good at all last night."
Carol Brassle's bright green eyes clouded with worried disapproval. Willow's mother looked very young for her age. She was 54 and only looked to be about 40 years old at the maximum. Her chestnut-brown hair was curled and was half-caught in a small bun. A few wisps had escaped, but they framed her pale angular face so prettily that anyone else would have said Carol had done it on purpose. Indeed, it often looked like everything Carol did was on purpose. However, in most cases, many of the things that occurred to Carol were just cosmic acts of serendipity. That didn't make her any less enviable in the eyes of the other women in town, though. That's just the way Carol liked it.
Willow's mom asked her, "Have you been having bad dreams again, honey?"
Willow shook her head. "No, not bad dreams. Just . . . really weird ones." She thought back to last night, how she had tossed and turned trying to fight off a feeling of coldness and a confusion of random images in her head. "It's just so frustrating. I feel like if I can just chase down the thought that's causing the dream, I can get to sleep. But every time I get close, the thought slips away, my mind goes on a tangent, and I have to start the whole cycle over again." As she spoke, Willow realized how crazy it all sounded.
In fact, her mom was almost looking at her like she was crazy. "Honey, why didn't you tell me you weren't sleeping? You could've talked to me about it. I could help you figure out what's going on."
Willow had known better than to try to explain the fabric of her mind to her mom, and she inwardly groaned at herself. "That's like asking a translator to tell you what a bunch of diplomats are saying when he doesn't know the language they're speaking," Willow told her.
Willow could see that the analogy made at least some sense to her mom. Carol nodded, and just patted her daughter on the back. Willow realized that her mom was going to let it drop and gave a silent sigh of relief.
The priest started in on the readings of the day, and Willow just tried to focus.
She made it to the priest's third sentence before she completely zoned out. Her mind turned to her dreams from last night. The first part that she had been able to decipher clearly had involved flying. She had been able to feel a brisk wind and had seen things go by in a blur as if she were going incredibly fast. Willow had also felt another sensation, like she was being cushioned by something soft and wispy, but she had woken up for the first of what must have been twenty times that night. The second and third moments of clarity had both involved fire and shadowy figures.
It had been nothing unusual compared to some of her other dreams.
But Willow had had one final clear dream, and it had spooked her beyond belief.
Her last dream had begun with looking into a fire, a great orange blaze that you only saw at beach parties. Then she had looked up and was able to feel nothing but horror.
Willow was looking up at a night sky that was bespeckled with stars set against an indigo sky. It would have been beautiful if it had not also been the scene of a battle. And it was a battle in which the heavens themselves were waging war.
There were angels and other winged creatures above her, and they were all streaking towards each other. Willow saw the glint of claws and the cold flash of metal. Swords and claws clashed while the angels collided with the creatures and fell to the earth in death spirals. For several fighters, the spiral ends in a meteor-like impact with the ground, spewing dust and soil high into the air. For one such display, the fatally-locked pair burst into flames halfway to the ground and landed in a spectacularly terrifying inferno. It brought Willow's attention to the battle ensuing on the surface. The battlefield extended out as far as she could see, and every spare meter of space was taken up by strange creatures and humans fighting against one another. Fires burned sporadically everywhere on the field, casting off orange and black smoke and silhouetting the combatants' shadows in red.
Strangely enough, though Willow should have been scared out of her mind, the only thing she was capable of feeling was the breaking of her own heart.
As consumed with sorrow as she was, Willow was almost distracted enough to miss the sound that came up right behind her. Almost, but not quite.
She felt and heard a deep rumbling beneath her as though the earth under her feet was an angry bobcat growling into an amplifier. At the same time, she heard wings beating rapidly as something flew towards her. Just before she could turn around to face the source of the sounds, she heard two distinct cries.
The first was a fearsome screech, and the second was the sound of a human battle cry.
Just as Willow turned around, a voice whispered into her ear a single word.
Instead, she awoke and only just managed to suppress a scream. The scene still gave her shivers, even here in the world of daylight and reason. It should have reaffirmed the fact that it was just a dream, but it only served to remind her of it more. It made no sense.
Willow was contemplating all of this as the priest spoke on, but she was distracted by her mother poking her in the arm. Willow looked around and realized that the priest was about to issue the first prayers and everybody was starting to kneel. This also made Willow realize that her feet were killing her.
Ugh, why do I always pick the heels that hurt the worst? So before kneeling down, Willow kicked off her shoes and pushed them under the pew. Hey, she reasoned, it's not like they don't clean the floors here. Besides, bare feet used to be the rule in a house of God in some places. Willow contented herself with that answer and just let her mind focus on things other than her dreams last night.
The minutes passed while the service continued, and Willow was in the middle of recreating a Hail-Mary she had watched on the football game with her mom yesterday afternoon.
Willow would come back to this moment several times in the future, and wonder how the entire universe could tilt at a right angle in a matter of seconds.
The priest had just finished with the communion when all hell broke loose.
This is written very well, you used some very nice descriptive word choices
Thanks! I'm just wondering if I should keep going in the direction that I have in mind right now. I'm all the way up to part 11, but I'm just wondering if my story is getting lost.
what do you mean?
Well, I tend to take a long time working my way up to a point, but right now I'm thinking I'm taking too long. I haven't exactly got a whole lot of critiques to go on, and I took a really long break from it to get over writer's block. I'm wondering if anything's gotten lost in translation.
if it is like this I can not wait for it but of course I will
I certainly hope so!
Glad you like it!
Glad you like it!
I will have to wait for it though as I can not make it happen before you are ready
It won't take long on the second part I don't think. At least it shouldn't.
I hope not you have great talent in writing I wish I had half that talent
Oh I like