Authors: Amanda Long
Tags: #romance, #vampire, #love, #god, #fantasy, #faith, #violence, #christian
By Amanda Long
Copyright 2015 by Amanda Long
Editing by Josephine Dillon and
Ebook photo by Canva
I would like to thank few
people who helped make this book possible.
My mom, Sylvia – You
encouraged me to keep working by saying each new chapter was better
than the last
Pat – You helped me see how
meaningful my book could be
Josie – You wore many hats
during this books journey: inspirer, mentor, editor…just to name a
few. I could not have done this without you.
Blackness creeps in
Plunging too deep
Shrouding my soul
I lose control
Been cast away
One fateful day
What was then
Now never again
Who shall be
No longer me
Dorian struggled to open his eyes against
the light filling the church, but the intense brightness penetrated
his eyelids, sealing them shut. Thrusting his hand upwards like a
shield to shade his eyes, he granted them the reprieve needed to
adapt to his luminous surroundings.
Thinking it couldn't already be morning, he
cast his eyes around the sanctuary, seeking another source of
light. Once the amber gleam of altar candles came into view, he
knew it was still night. Averting his eyes quickly from the searing
flames, he finally registered his unusual placement in the
sanctuary, flat on his back in front of the church's altar.
“How on earth did I end up here,” he scoffed
as he tried to rise from the cold stone floor. His attempt stalled
after being stricken with nausea. Minutes passed as he lay there
supine; one hand clutching his abdomen, the other covering his
mouth. Breathing in and out slowly, battling his unstable stomach,
he eventually rolled over and rose up on his hands and knees. From
that position, he attempted to survey more of his surroundings, but
it was nearly impossible with thousands of black spots dancing in
front of his eyes. Blinking repeatedly, he cleared his sight. He
observed a dark liquid everywhere, splattering the floor and
“Is that blood?” Dorian whispered
suspiciously. “Can't be,” he assured himself, shaking his head.
Tackling his unrelenting nausea, he finally
managed to get up on his feet, only to be struck with what felt
like sledgehammers beating him on the sides of his head. Within
seconds, the pain had him bowed over. With his hands grasping his
knees, he tried desperately to soothe his stomach and head by
continuing to take slow deep breaths. Unable to do so, he stumbled
into the washroom.
Once inside the small space, he grabbed a
pitcher of water from the counter with trembling hands, spilling
its liquid contents all over as he tried to fill the basin. He
sighed and returned the empty pitcher to the counter. Taking the
linen cloth, he washed his face, hoping to calm his nerves.
What happened? Why can't I remember? Why was
I on the sanctuary floor? Was that blood everywhere, and if so,
whose blood was it?
All these questions raced through his mind,
provoking his head to throb even more.
Withdrawing the linen from his face, he
noticed a red stain. Stunned, he peered into the tiny mirror above
the basin. His jaw dropped as he saw blood clinging to his face.
Looking down at his body, he noticed more blood, along with a rip
in the fabric of his robe. He shook his head in shock. Stripping
off his ruined robe, he washed the stains from his face and body.
Surprise and relief flooded him after not locating any wounds that
would explain where the blood had come from.
Chilled after cleansing his body of all
traces of blood, he departed the washroom in only his shorts,
resolved to clean up his mess after putting on fresh clothes. He
hurried toward his sleeping quarters in the back of the church,
directly across from Father Murphy's room.
“Oh God, Father Murphy!” He shouted, having
completely forgotten about the priest.
Dashing to Father Murphy's
door, he swung it open only to find the old man snoring. “Thank
he whispered to God. Shutting the
door quietly, he proceeded into his room. He grabbed a loose pair
of pants and a tunic from his small dresser, along with his last
pair of sandals from under the edge of his cot. Donning his
clothing, he rushed back to the sanctuary.
I need to uncover what transpired here.
He rubbed his temple, hoping to ease the
ache and dislodge any memories trapped inside.
Back amid the trashed sanctuary, Dorian
inspected the scene, searching desperately for clues that might
help him discover what had occurred. The brightness still filling
the church made this search near impossible. Squinting, he stepped
over to the candle-lined altar and gently blew, extinguishing the
blinding light. He felt instant relief as the sanctuary plunged
into almost complete darkness; the only illumination being the
moonlight filtering in through the stained glass windows. No longer
blinded by the candles, he was dismayed by the large scale
destruction of his beloved church, with pews toppled over and
hymnal pages strewn across the floor. Viewing the spot where he had
awoken, he saw the perfect outline of his body in the blood
The sanctuary looked like the setting of a
brutal murder. This visual caused his head to spin. Unable to
comprehend the scene before him, he decided the only logical thing
to do was ask God for guidance. Falling to his knees in one of the
few places untouched by blood, he prepared to pray, but instead of
shutting his eyes and bowing his head, he looked up to Heaven
“Father, I am in need of
your infinite wisdom. I do not understand what has happened to me
or to Your Church. I see the destruction all around me and sense in
my soul, something horrible and vile has occurred. Someone has
defiled Your Sacred House with unspeakable violence, possibly
murder, yet there is no body, other than my own. Why did I wake up
covered in blood, yet have no wounds? Why can't I remember? I have
so many unanswered questions. Worst of all Father, without knowing
what took place here, I don't know if I am the victim or the
culprit. Please help me, Father.”
those last words spoken, Dorian bowed his head, eagerly awaiting a
God regarded His servant mournfully,
saddened by the turmoil he was enduring. Dorian's lack of knowledge
had rapidly shifted from a blessing into a firestorm threatening to
consume his fragile being. Would answers extinguish the flame or
feed it? Believing that the memory of what happened, at least part
of it, would prove less damaging, God reached out His Mighty
The subconscious wall Dorian had erected
crumbled, unleashing the torrent held behind. He screamed out in
agony, clutching both sides of his head as images contained behind
the protective barrier flooded back into view. Rapid flashes of
memory crashed like waves of a turbulent sea inside his mind, until
he no longer knelt at the altar. Instead, he watched himself
tidying up the sanctuary after last night's service.
Standing at the altar, snuffer in hand to
extinguish the candles, he jumped as the church door swung open and
three young men waltzed in. By the way they were staggering, Dorian
could tell they had been recent patrons of the tavern. Before the
young men were halfway up the aisle, he approached them.
“Father Murphy has already retired for the
evening, but if you want to give confession, I should be able to
assist you.” None of them spoke, but the oldest of the three and
possible leader of the gang advanced toward the altar, so he
dutifully followed. “How long has it been since your last
A punch from out of nowhere collided with
his left cheek. The force of the strike knocked him backwards,
causing him to topple over the first two rows of pews as he fell.
The young man who had thrown the punch coldly stalked around the
toppled pews, while the other two heathens ripped out pages from
Dorian stared into the face of the young man
as he approached and was met with an evil sneer. Crawling
backwards, attempting to evade the young man's outstretched arm, he
The man grasped a handful of his hair and
callously lifted him off the floor, punching him repeatedly in the
stomach with his free hand. Dorian could hear the other men
cackling like jackals in the background. With one hand still
clenching his hair, he dragged Dorian back toward the altar. Before
he had a chance to wrench free, the young man reached behind his
back and pulled out a dagger.
“NO!” Dorian screamed as the man plunged the
blade into his abdomen. Stumbling backwards after being released,
he fell to the floor, blood oozing from his wound. He watched in
horror at himself lying in a pool of blood and taking what appeared
to be his final breaths.
As the sea of memories calmed itself, Dorian
was pulled back to the present. He immediately lifted his shirt to
inspect his abdomen where the wound should have been. Unable to
find any traces, he returned to his prayer.
“Lord, did that actually happen? Did I just
watch myself die? How is that possible, when I seem very much
alive? Did you save me, God?”
Unable to imagine another explanation, he
rose from his knees, assured he had experienced a miracle. "Thank
You, God, for giving me another chance. I will not let You
God smiled, hopeful His Servant's faithful
promise would be kept.
With renewed conviction, Dorian undertook
the incredible task of cleaning up the sanctuary and washroom. As
he bent over to pick up the first toppled pew, the nausea plaguing
him since he had awakened, intensified.
Speculating that some food might settle his
stomach, he decided to eat a piece of the leftover unleavened bread
from the previous service. As soon as he swallowed the first bite,
he hunched over heaving, expelling the remnants of his last
Once vertical again, he decided to wake
Father Murphy. Though hesitant, he knew he would not be able to
clean up the sanctuary in his current condition before his father
awoke on his own. He thought it would be better to explain to him
what happened, instead of having him walk in on the devastation
unprepared and die from a stroke.
As he neared the bedroom, Dorian heard a
faint thumping noise. Ignoring the sound, he continued to approach
the bedroom door. As he reached out for the handle, the thumping
What is wrong with my head, first the
hammering pain and now thumping noises!
Still not deterred by the noise, he entered
the room. Father Murphy still lay sleeping, snoring softly. He
crept quietly to the side of the bed and stared down at the only
father he had ever known, having been abandoned on the church's
front steps by his mother twenty years ago at the age of two.
As he reached out to touch
the man's shoulder to gently nudge him awake, the thumping in his
head tripled in volume. For the third time tonight, he clutched his
head in his hands. He stood still for a moment, waiting for the
sound to cease. When that didn't happen and a peculiar sensation
arose from his stomach
a gnawing hunger unlike anything he had ever felt
sprinted from the room, out of his church, and into the blackness
Dorian didn't know what was happening or
where he was going.
“Maybe I am dead and some
sort of apparition
” he whispered, beginning to question his
He had no idea, but he knew he wasn't the
same. Wandering around his humble village for what seemed like
hours, he attempted to let the cool of the night calm his mind and
body. As he walked, the thumping sound vanished, but the persistent
pounding in his head became unbearable. Noticing how far he was
from the church, he knew he wouldn't be able to make it back in his
Barely able to stand, he entered a nearby
barn and gradually climbed up into the hay loft. Finally,
collapsing from the excruciating pain, he didn't awaken until the