Reaching out for the Congregation

For flofx‘s commissioned prompt, a continuation of

The kirkevaren was watching Mirandabelle.

It made her uncomfortable. It made her skin crawl. It made her fingers itch and her shoulders twitch. It made her want to cry.

But she went by the church every day. Every single day, after school, before work, after partying, before she went to bed. Twice some days, three times some days.

She went by because her mother had told her what had happened; because her grandmother had told her mother what had happened. She went because she’d heard the stories and, while this kirkevaren and this priest were innocent – she could see their innocence hanging over them like a halo, like an aura, like a crown – but the church itself, new and hallowed and blessed, the church was not.

She walked the edge of the fence, because the kirkevaren could not stop her from doing that, and she kissed the iron spikes, brushing her snakebite piercings against the metal and accepting the brief burn as her penance.

“Florence Carter,” she whispered to the first pike, “Benjamin Tomes,” to the third. She looked up at the kirkevaren as she said the third name, “Juliander Tempest.” Juliander had been her mother’s mother’s mother. She had died here, died when the church still hunted the fae.

The corpse-lamb stared at her at that one. Every time. Every time, with its dead blue eyes. With its protective gaze.

“My kin died here,” she told it. “My kin and my kind.”

Every day. Every night. School uniform. Club clothes. Work uniform. She looked like a normal kid. She looked like a human kid. But the kirkevaren knew. The corpse-lamb had been guarding the church from fae for centuries, and it came to the work easily again this time.

“My kin died here. My grandmother’s mother. My best friend’s great-uncle. The one they called the Grey Cat. The one they called The Nose. They died ere. They weren’t buried here, no. They weren’t put under your guidance. I won’t be buried under your guidance.”

She told the lamb that every night. Every day. It was three months before she got an answer.

“I can not stop what has already been done.” It wasn’t the lamb, and she nearly bolted when she saw the new priest, Father Nehemiah, standing in the shadows. “I cannot heal the old wounds… it’s Mirandabelle, right?”

“Some people call me that,” she allowed.

“Then I will call you that. Mirandabelle, I cannot help your grandmother’s mother, save to pray for her. I can’t help those this church once failed. But miss, I am not the priest who once stood here, and this church is not the church that once stood here.”

“The hallowed ground is hallowed ground,” she spat. “The land and the blessing was there, and it’s here now.”

He shook his head. “Yes. Yes. But the land has been re-blessed, Mirandabelle, and I would like to re-consecrate our relationship with the fae again as well.”

She ran a finger over the iron posts and listened to the faint sizzle. “With iron and blood?”

“No.” He swung the gate open. “With open doors and a handshake.”

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0 thoughts on “Reaching out for the Congregation

  1. I am stopped dead before I can read this by the word “kirkevaren” because I have no idea what one of those is and nor do, and DuckDuckGo. Nor does my dictionary. The searchers try to tell me I have mis-spelled “kirkeveien” and then give me a load of results in what looks like Norwegian. Which I do not read/speak. Help? I would like to read this but don’t seem to be able to at the moment.

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