Lost Saving

Lost Saving

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

When a pastor finds a girl running into his church late one night, he can't deny being taken with her, however, something a little more sinister follows her. I bet you think you know how this story is going to end, don't you? Bet you're wrong;)

Summary

When a pastor finds a girl running into his church late one night, he can't deny being taken with her, however, something a little more sinister follows her. I bet you think you know how this story is going to end, don't you? Bet you're wrong;)

Chapter1 (v.1) - Lost Saving

Author Chapter Note

When a pastor finds a girl running into his church late one night, he takes the opportunity to save a lost sheep, but it doesn't take long before he realizes he's stumbled into something a little more sinister than he thought. I bet you think you know how this ends, don't you?

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: September 01, 2015

Reads: 1585

Comments: 1

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: September 01, 2015

A A A

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Her hands clapped over her mouth to avoid the sound of her sob echoing through the woods. Even though she couldn't see the light from their torches and flashlights, she could hear them calling. Girl. Woman. Annabeth. 

Witch. 

Gnarled and wicked roots rose through the earth, but only as she passed by. It seemed every tree which she brushed by felt her fear through its silvery grey bark and shivered in anger on her behalf.

She slid down a hill of soggy moss towards a fence of thorned brambles. Wildly, her arms reached out to protect her from the impact of running into the sharply defended bushes, but the brambles parted for her. Call her crazy, but the brambles seemed to grow twice as tall as she passed through.

Her skin didn't even look real, not in the moonlight. She was still so pale that the moon made her look silver. She didn't know, but her lips were the most delicate trace of a pink so innocent.

Storm clouds were gathering above her a sheet of rain moving fast towards her. As it did, she stumbled back, running, looking ahead to follow the path set before her by aparting of the clouds. Magic wasn't real, and neither was anything divine, but something was making the elements guide her somewhere, and she hoped it was to safety, not that it could be worse than where she had come. She came to a clearing, and there sat a little stone church. Weird. Buildings were made out of wood around here.

Beyond it, she could see a dirt path that no doubt led to a major road, but she had a feeling that the elements would be a lot less helpful if she went beyond this church.

Taking a chance, she left the safety of the brush to bolt across the grassy parking lot and up the church steps.

The wooden doors practically opened before she even touched them. Did she imagine that?

Carefully, she walked into the church, shutting the doors behind her and then moving along the pews, finding a place she could hide. Why was she supposed to be here? What was here for her?

She needed to hide before they found her.

Before the pulpit, she stopped and looked up at the cross, gulping. 

Abomination. 

How was she even standing in His house?

Why did He let her be born?

"May I help you?"

She jumped at the presence of in a doorway off the side. He wasn't dressed like the pastors she knew, he wore every day slacks and a regular button down shirt. He looked normal, like an average person, but he had to be the one in charge of this church. Every church had a shepherd.

His face was round and kind and he smiled at her.

"Child," he said softly and took one step towards her, palms extending to her aid.

For his one step forward, she shuffled two back. Although the pounding in her veins had slowed, she felt her pulse quicken again. Already, she had fallen back into trouble. The elements had tricked her. Instead of delivering her to safety, she was delivered to judgment.

Salvation. What a cruel joke. 

For a moment, Mark took the site of her in. Stained and torn clothes, dark hair making her skin look nearly translucent in the moonlight and that slight quiver of her soft, pale pink lips. Her dress clung to her body, wet from where she had ttrampled into and fallen in the river, hoping to throw off their dogs. It clung to her breast in an I'm moral way, leaving nothing to the imagination. Su check a soft, delicate curve, giving her the hint of a womanly figure.

"Child, I didn't ask if I can help you. I know I can help you. All is possible in this house, in His house," he said, taking another step toward her. She shivered. Him? He wasn't real. Not to her. Something was out there, she could feel it, but not that. If she went back anymore, she'd be blocked in the corner. "I asked may I, because I can't help you, if you don't allow me. Please allow me to help you. What danger are you in?" 

In the distance, she could still hear their voices, or so she thought. Calling her, seeking her out. Didn't he hear them too? 

Annabeth. Didn't he know? Hadn't He told his precious pastor, whom he guarded so well in this church? Annabeth was the danger. 

He looked down her old and torn white dress, dirt and grass stains from where she had stumbled. It could have been her Sunday best, passed down from an older sister. In this hills, there were poor, austere faiths that he didn't agree that they forced girls to marry young, to marry before they understood the meaning of marriage. It could be her wedding dress, for all he knew. It didn't reach her feet, which were bare and scratched.

Wet hair was flattened to her face, but it looked like it was wavy and dark brown. She was too slim for her frame, but many of the young generation in the poor communities were.

"Were you caught in the rain?" he asked, sitting down on one of the pews, in case his height and the fact that he was a man, a strange man at that, scared her.

"No," she breathed.

That's not why her hair was wet.

He wondered if she was an anabaptist. Some of the churches around here were more like cults. She wouldn't be the first he helped flee.

"I am Mark Alderman and I am a pastor at this church," he said. "I think that you've been hurt and I think some benevolence and wisdom beyond our understanding has led you here. You don't have to be a believer, but if you are looking for shelter, you have found it. You do not deserve the evil that has come upon you. Let me help you." Extending one hand out to indicate the cross. "Let us help you."

Her eyes followed his hand to that cross. A world in which religion didn't want to punish her? A place where the men, the people in general, didn't hate her, was tempting.

He looked up at her with such pleading and such mercy, it nearly broke her. She wanted to believe him, she really did, but her own church had just marked her worse than a sinner.

How long was it before he did the same? Would she get a night? Would she make it to dawn?

"How do you know I'm not the evil?" she whispered, her lower lip quivering and her eyes wide, scared at what his answer may be.

He had to bite back a smile at the picture of innocence before him. "Evil doesn't ask that question. May I ask your name?"

"Annabeth," she replied, thinking over his response to her question. Evil doesn't ask that question. Does evil ask any questions? No one ever asked questions at her church, at least, not once the patriarchs had spoken. 

"Well, Miss Annabeth, I think you've seen some evil lately, and I think you recognize it when you see it. Do you see it in yourself?" he asked.

A worried line appeared between her brows. She didn't know. Part of her didn't think so, but there was an undeniably scary power within her that she couldn't believe nor deny that she had and that . . . might be evil. It was if everything she was raised to believe was true.

Seeing the conflict, he changed his question. "In your heart, do you see evil?"

She shook her head, her hair more damp than wet now.

Lord, didn't it just frame her face like an angel? He kept reminding himself to not let his eyes stray from that face and onto the way that wet garmet clung to her body. She didn't need any more evil inflicted upon her tonight, even in the form of mere, salacious thoughts. 

"Do you see it in me?" he asked.

Blinking at him, she tried to see him, through her regular eyes  . . . and through that power that had guided her here tonight, the one she didn't want to believe she had, the one that felt so right, no matter what anyone else said.

She shook her head. "No. You were touched."

"Touched?" A smile twisted his lips in a way that she couldn't help, but notice was so handsome. His eyes danced with a playful light she hadn't seen in any pastor's eyes before. "Hopefully, by good?"

She nodded. She didn't dare say something crazy like angels. Maybe that was her problem. She didn't have some special power, she was just insane. It happens when your family is inbred, she heard and her community couldn't deny those allegations, could it? If you don't accept outsiders into your fold, unless they come to you willing to be baptized into your faith, a certain amount of inbreeding was going to happen.

"Well, that's a relief. Annabeth, you can come as far as you are willing, but through the door I entered is a warm fire, food and dry clothes. Men clothes, but we'll have to see what we can find you tomorrow."

He stood and she looked down at his feet. His eyes were eating her alive. Why was she always taken in, tricked, by a pair of kind eyes.

She touched her ring finger. Someone else had drawn her in like that before. Closing her eyes, she could still feel those lips on her skin, worshipping her breast as this man, this lie from her past pressed her against a tree, against the wall of his house, his bed.

Her skin was burning from where he had touched her, or maybe that was the church finally realizing she didn't belong there.

What was she going to do? Stumble around the woods, starving? Walk down the road and become a begger, a freak in someone else's community.

At least, there was the promise of food here.

He walked to the threshold of the door he'd come through. Something was pushing her towards him, the same thing that had guided her here. Then he slipped through, leaving it open for her.

She looked back at the stormy night and thought about how the purest man she knew had just betrayed her to the worst men. She looked back to this strange, friendly pastor. And she followed.

 


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