She was dreaming again. The same dream she’d had every night since “the incident” -whether he’d ascended to Heaven or not she’d had to kill him for him to do so, but she couldn’t bring herself to say Ash’s death. She was standing in the church with the dagger in her hand.
The Angel Killer flashed silver as it caught the light from the moon that streamed through the stained glass windows, drenching it and her arm in red like an omen of what was to come. Before her, Ash hung, Christ like, from the chains that kept him weak and immobile. He watched her, calmly waiting for her to come to him and smiled in encouragement. She took a step forward looking up into his eyes so full of love for her that it broke her heart.
‘Please, don’t make me do this,’ she begged.
‘It’s alright, Kate,’ he said, softly. ‘I’ll always be with you.’
She placed the point of the dagger against his chest then plunged it into the heart of the man she loved. The blood pumped out of the wound, flowing over her hands and across the floor of the church, chasing her as she danced backwards before it could reach her feet.
Every night, she would back away until she could go no further. Ash would be gone, but the blood kept coming. It would soak into her shoes, filling up the church like flood water, then rise to her ankles, her knees, her waist. When it reached her chin she would throw back her head, taking one last gulp of air as it covered her head. When she screamed, it rushed down her throat, choking her, filling her lungs, drowning her, until she woke coughing, spluttering and sobbing. But this time the dream changed. Just as the blood touched her shoes Ash called to her.
‘Kate,’ he cried.
She looked up startled to see him standing there, free of the chains, his eyes fading from a brilliant viridian to the dull green of a stormy sea. The knife wound she had made in his chest had disappeared, but there were others now and he was badly beaten as though he’d been outnumbered in a violent fight. He was dying and reached out to her, but she couldn’t move towards him, the blood, thick and viscous was already rising up her legs. She felt about her, expecting to feel the cold, hard stone of the wall behind her, but it wasn’t there and she caught herself teetering on the edge of a massive canyon while the blood rushed over the edge like a waterfall and curled away into the black void below.
‘KATE!’ Ashrafel screamed her name again and she tore her gaze away from the gaping hole behind her, cringing at the desperation in his voice.
His frightened eyes searched this way and that and she realised he couldn’t see her. She would have to move forward, against the flow of blood if she was to stop herself from being swept over the edge. The floor was slippery underfoot and it was beginning to crumble. Her fingers groped for the edge of a nearby church pew, but it was too far away and she knew there was nothing she could do. She threw one last look towards the angel. His massive black wings extended out on either side of him, in his hand he held the blue sword he had once fought demons with. She’d never seen him look so angry. The intensity of his rage made her gasp then he raised his hand and slammed his fist into some invisible barrier.
There was just time to raise her hands protectively in front of her face before the whole scene burst outwards, showering her in shards of glass. And she fell.
Kate plummeted through the darkness like Alice down the rabbit hole, except she knew at the bottom there would be no wondrous world of talking animals and magic potions. She closed her eyes and waited for the jolt.
Didn’t people who dreamed they were falling usually wake up before they hit the bottom? she thought. She had read once that those who didn’t died in their sleep. But did they know they were dreaming before their hearts stopped? she wondered.
She opened her eyes. She was still falling through space, but she was slowing and had somehow turned in mid-air until she was falling feet first, floating downwards, coming to rest in the chair at her desk at work.
James, Nathan and Brian stood behind her, all of them looking eagerly towards the door, waiting for something or someone. As she watched, the doorknob began to turn and all of them held their breath. It opened so slowly that she began to give it some impatient encouragement.
‘Come on Come on,’ she whispered through gritted teeth
Eventually a figure stepped through, still obscured by shadow until they were suddenly caught in a weird shaft of light, as though someone had turned a spotlight on them. At the last moment she had closed her eyes, afraid to see who had entered, but forced herself to raise her eyes, at last, to the face of the stranger. The shock made her jaw drop. Brian gestured at her to close her mouth, but her heart soared.
The man that stood in the office doorway was tall, blonde, with flashing green eyes and an adorable lopsided grin. It was Ash! He pushed the flop of fringe from off his face and said,
‘Hello, I’m looking for Peter Sharpe.’
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