Saints Ch. 1
Okay this really sucks heads up I am rusty AF with writing. Thank you doc for pressuring me into doing this.
Achilles sighed, once again searching the room for a hidden clock. The pastor had been droning on for what felt like centuries to him. He had lost count of how many times he had been stuck in this cramped room, waiting to be freed.Achilles counted under his breath and felt a sharp jab of pain in his left side: Laura. He sighed again and looked over at her. She glared at him and shook her head sharply, her long, brown ponytail bouncing behind her. Achilles rolled his eyes but stopped counting. Instead he began tapping his foot, the sound causing a dull echo along the line of the pew. Frustrated members of the church began to stare and Laura grew red. Achilles snickered.
“Achilles, do you really want to do this right now?” she hissed, leaning closer to him until he could feel her breath on his ear. “I know you must be anxious to meet your w***e, but really, church is more important.”
“Shut up,” Achilles murmured back, his face quickly becoming blotchy with suppressed anger.
He continued to tap his foot, staring innocently before him while members of the congregation looked in his direction. He looked up at the stained glass windows, the pictures of Jesus on the cross. He glanced at the nails in Jesus’ hands and feet. Achilles wondered what church had been like back in the time of Jesus, when Christianity wasn't even beginning yet. He contemplated what it must have been like to be in the temples. When he was in church, Achilles did whatever he had to to take his mind off the present moment.
Eventually, everyone stood back up for hymns and Achilles reluctantly stood with them. He mouthed the words quietly, stumbling along the lyrics though he was supposed to know them by heart. Laura knew them by heart, but she had always been “the good one.” Achilles knew his parents wished he could be like his twin, but he had never felt the need to act like her or his family. In a way, he was honestly repulsed by them. He sighed.
The choir stopped singing and Achilles breathed a sigh of relief. He felt Laura's gaze bore into him, watching his every move, as the church congregation rose to their feet and began milling about the room and moving in mass herds to the common area. He looked at his father who smiled and nodded, a sign that he could leave. Achilles made a beeline for the double doors he had long since nicknamed “Freedom.”
The sunlight was blinding on his face after the dark hall and he brought a hand up to shield his face from the rays. Adam and Diana were sitting on the hood of the car, Adam smoking a cigarette and holding another one out for Achilles. He grabbed it and took a long drag, blowing smoke in the face of a pouting Diana. She sighed and pushed herself off the hood, walking around to the car door. She got in the front seat and after a moment looked questioningly at the two boys.
“Are you coming or not?”
Achilles nodded and Adam got to his feet, holding open the door for Achilles to climb into the back seat before getting in the driver’s. Sunday afternoons had been Achilles’ favourite part of the week since he and the siblings had become friends. Sunday afternoons were when they could escape their realities.
“So Achilles, what was today's lovely sermon about?” Diana asked, having to shout over the sound of the wind whipping past the car with all its windows and hood down.
He lit a cigarette, pressing it to his lips. He thought for a moment and then smirked at Diana. “I couldn't tell you if you had a gun pressed to my head.”
“We could arrange that, Joven.” He rolled his eyes. He was in fact the youngest of the group, but not much younger than Adam. Diana sighed and reached back, smacking him lightly on the head. “When will you listen to your priest? He may have good things to say, you know.”
“He's old, Diana. Whatever spark he had for ministry died in the Middle Ages. Besides, if he knew I was listening he'd probably go off into some spiel about demons, drugs, and rock and roll. You know, stuff to get me to stop hanging out with your addicted a**."
“I was not addicted to drugs, Achilles, I was merely experimenting,” she replied, waving a hand holding an unlit cigarette. Achilles shot her a glare and she stared back at him, eyes never wavering.
The car rolled to a stop and the two looked up. In front of them was the building they called The Fortress, an old fire department. It was known as a hideout, mainly for drug use, back in the thirties and forties but now it was a hidden sanctuary for the trio. They had slowly snuck their own things into the place; blankets, pillows, paints and canvases for Adam, books Achilles had stolen to fuel his reading habit. In middle school, they had started coming to escape a reality that seemed to hate them, but now it felt to Achilles like they came to escape a reality of the people they were becoming. Diana stared at the front of the fortress for a moment, cursed, and abruptly threw her cigarette out of the car.
“Why would you waste-" Achilles began to yell, but was cut off by frantic waving from Diana. “What?”
“Something is wrong,” she replied in a low whisper. “The door is open.”
Achilles glanced at the entrance to find what she said true. He pushed open the car door and climbed out, slowly approaching the building. His hands curled into fists, trying to stop himself from shaking from anger and anxiety. Slowly, he approached the doors, trying not to make much sound. He widened the half open door and walked in, sucking in a breath as he surveyed the open space before him. The room was utterly trashed; paint scraped off the murals that Adam had spent hours painting, books strewn across the room as if they'd been thrown, and in their nest of pillows and blankets, completely in disarray, lay an angel.
He had to be the most beautiful person Achilles had ever seen, sweat soaked blonde curls plastered to his face. His shirt was unbuttoned to reveal a tanned, muscular chest. His mouth hung open and his body shook slightly. He thrashed, and Achilles ran toward the boy, dropping to his knees as he shook his head in disbelief.”Adam! Diana!” He straddled the unknown man, grabbing his arms and pinning them above his head.
“Achilles, don't hold him, he's having a seizure.” Adam pushed Achilles off and turned the boy on his side.
“What the hell are we supposed to do?” Achilles pulled at his hair, barely suppressing his frustration. “Leave him like this? We need to call someone!”
“Who would we call?”
“I don't know, maybe the police?”
Diana shook her head. “He’s been on drugs, Achilles. We can't call anyone. Just say we do; he'll go to jail for sure and we could face charges if they think we're related to his cause.”
Achilles stood up and kicked at a book. “F***! I think he's going to die, Diana.”
“He's not going to die, he's just having a rough comedown. He'll be fine, eventually.” She wiped a bead of sweat off the boy’s face. “We, unfortunately, can't really do anything to help him.”
He had stopped seizing and his eyes had closed. They waited like that, sitting next to him, for what felt like forever until his eyes slowly opened and he took a shaky breath. He looked around, eyes glasses over, panicking as he saw the three. He jumped to his feet, hands curling into fists. He swayed and promptly fell into a heap on the floor. Diana propped him back up against the wall and looked at them. “Who are you?”
“We're the scumbags that generally inhabit this place,” Adam replied. “And you are?”
Diana stood up and jogged over to the car, coming back with a jug of water and handing it to the strange man. He pressed it to his lips and took a few gulps before Diana pulled it away, murmuring something about dehydration. “Hosea. My name is Hosea.”
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