Hiding at Church
“Don’t you let that fire die out. Smoke keeps the gloom away!”
“Yeah? Then all those years breathing fumes at the Works should keep our insides nicely proofed.”
The voices faded behind Elias, as did the light. As his eyes quickly flicked back to being accustomed with the darkness, he saw the path to the church. For the first time all night, he took the straight path without jumping any corners. He didn’t want to mess with the graves in the grass. He managed to reach the gate to the stairs down into the church. It was open.
At the base of the stairs stood the man in black. He was talking to someone. Elias could only hear the words of this man.
“The best kind.”
. . .
“It’s the only one I know.”
. . .
“That you know everything that happens in this city?”
. . .
“A year ago I was at Northcrest mansion. Something went wrong. . . What happened to me? What happened to Erin?”
At this point, Elias leaned so far forward he brushed against the gate, which swung with a creak. The man in black looked up towards Elias. Elias’s entire body became encased in ice, it felt. He was frozen, and he was freezing. Elias had one thought on his mind: Does he see me, in the dark?
It didn’t appear so. After a short pause, the man in black turned back to the room he was in and spoke.
“That’s your answer?”
Elias still didn’t let out a breath. He just breathlessly stepped backwards, further and further. Only when he was behind one of the pillars in the courtyard did he finally, raggedly, exhale. The air came out all at once, like a fish thrown onto a table. It took a minute to calm down. In that minute, it seemed the man in black had grown tired of the conversation. His footsteps darted up the steps.
“Careful, Garrett.” A new voice, strained with age and sharpened into warning, shouted from inside the church. “There are worse things in the shadows than you.”
The man in black — Garrett — continued up the stairs. He passed through the courtyard, swooping quickly and angrily past Elias, who was behind a pillar and encased in ice.