Saturday, April 2, 2016

Bells of Wesley Ring

They stood together on the balcony of their hotel room that overlooked the large city. Dirigibles
carrying their passengers floating through the sky in the distance. Sarah grinned. “What a spectacular view. I’m looking forward to seeing the sights.”

Jonathon slid his arm around her waist with a mischievous expression as he kissed his wife. “I have all the sights I need to see right here.”   

She laughed and wiggled away. “You saw plenty last night and if you want to see more tonight you’ll take me out, Sir Jonathon Adam Hargrove.” She picked up a brochure. “Take me to the Franklin Wesley Gallery first.” 

He smiled. How could he not indulge her? Her life was about to be cut short. “Where ever you wish my dear.” He kissed her taking a long drink of her essence.

When they parted she blushed feeling a touch dazed. “We should order breakfast, I'm a bit lightheaded. Probably all the excitement” Sarah walked over to the bell rope and started to tug when Jonathon rushed over.

His hand closed over hers to stop the pull. “We should go out for breakfast. You wanted to see the city.”

When Sarah moved away to fetch her coat and hat, he slowly put the rope back into place as he watched the bell. When it lowered back into place without so much as a ting he sighed in relief.

His eyes stayed on the bell for a moment as he moved away from it to help Sarah with her coat.

When they stepped outside the paperboy stood on the nearby corner. He rang his hand bell and called out the headline. “California becomes 31st state of America.”

The moment Jonathon heard that sharp ting and tang of the bell he started to tremble. “Sarah, this way, away fr..from that.”

She looked at him, for a second her husband looked as though he’d seen a ghost. “Are you alright?”

“Yes, yes, the café is just this way, my darling.” He guided her down the walk away from the boy and his bell. He attempted not to show too much haste in his efforts.

Sarah noticed he finally calmed when they had gone far enough the ringing was washed away by the sounds of the city streets. It was a very odd behavior for him, he was the calm in their marriage. She had always been the emotional one. She dismissed it with a shake of her head.

Thankfully they reached the café and Jonathon opened the door and the tiny bell at the top tinkled to let waiters know patrons had arrived. He froze in place; his hand trembled on the door handle.

He backed out the door still holding Sarah’s hand. She followed him; she didn’t understand his reactions to these places. He didn’t act this way back home. Maybe the city was too much for him. He’d lived his entire life in the small country town they grew up in. “Jonathan, what is the matter?”

He shook his head and wrapped her hand around his arm and started to walk her down the sidewalk. “Nothing, everything is fine. That café didn’t seem… clean. We’ll find some place better.

She wanted to protest but didn’t as she gripped the side of her skirt and lifted to keep from tripping as he moved quickly away.

They turned the corner and his pace started to slow to a stroll, which Sarah was grateful for. She looked up and smiled seeing the great church with its stained glass and tall bell tower. “How beautiful, may we go inside? I love church glass.”

He paused his walk and followed the line of her sight. “Perhaps later, aren’t you famished for breakfast, my darling?” He would be able to distract her thoughts during the meal into other locations.

“Oh, but we’re here now. I’m sure it won’t take long.” She gripped his hand and dragged him up the steps to the doors. “This chapel must be very old, perhaps medieval.”

His voice was tight as he stood before the great doors with large round glass windows with images of Christ in them. “Perhaps. I think it would be better if we came back later, Sarah.”

She opened the door herself since he didn’t seem to be feeling himself much less gentlemanly. “Nonsense, we’ll get caught up in some other exploration. Jonathon, you are acting very strange today.”

She went inside, his hand still caught in hers which gave him no choice but to follow.

His throat felt tight and he eased his hand from hers to keep from venturing further into the building than just over the threshold. When Sarah looked back to him, he gave her a tight smile. “Go ahead, darling. I will… wait here.”

She cast him back a vexed expression then turned away to explore and look at the glass.

The longer he stood there the more his skin felt as though it were going to melt from his bones. It was hard for him to look at anything for too long it made his eyes ache. He had a great need to rush outside and back to the sidewalk away from all that these ancient stone walls held.

He saw his wife had finally started to walk back toward him. She stopped to speak to a priest then carried on to him. It wasn’t Sarah, Jonathon’s eyes followed, but the priest. He saw the man in his long black cassock disappear behind a door. There was a small brass plate on the door, inscribed… Bell Tower.

He reached out to Sarah in an effort to urge her to walk faster. “Sarah, let’s go.”

She sighed and looked at him. “What has gotten into you?”

He opened the door and they started to step through when the first tone rang through the building, Echoed by the tall open ceiling. It was a deep rich bong of the largest bell in the tower, followed by two higher pitched rings. The sounds began to loop growing in strength and rhythm. 

Jonathon trembled at first, then began to hug himself and crumble trapped in the threshold of the old church. His body shook as he cried out, the sound of a man falling into madness.

Sarah dropped to her knees beside him. “Jonathon… my love what is…”

Her breath caught in her throat and she scooted backward away from him against the wall. This just couldn’t be she’s been so weak and ill through their marriage, surely her eyes had played a cruel trick. This vision couldn’t be real.

One of the parishioners fetched the priest to help the wailing man. He started to kneel down to try and ease the man’s suffering when he saw the eyes. Solid black pools of the deepest darkness known to man. The priest felt his soul tremble as those eyes gazed into his own. He crossed himself and lifted the gold cross that hung over his heart.

Jonathon turned his head away he couldn't stand any more assaults. “Get away.”

The priest stood and ran to the alter. He grabbed the aspergillum and ran back to Jonathon. The priest began to recite prayers to protect those present and rid his church of this horror as he flicked the aspergillum.

Drops of Holy Water fell upon Jonathon. He cried out in terror and agony as the bells continued to ring. He couldn’t take anymore his body arched, mouth opened wide as if to scream. Instead, something else slipped out of the body. It was smoky, the scent of sulfur filled their nostrils as it flew out the door and out to the street.

The priest watched as the demon melted into the cracks. He knew it wouldn’t be last dark soul the Bells of Wesley would terrorize and he said a long prayer of thanks for that. 

Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the letter B. Visit the site for the linky list to visit more great and creative blogs as we journey through the alphabet this April. 


2 comments:

Juneta Key said...

Interesting story. Was any of the story based on real things? I like what you did with it,

Happy Writing
Juneta

Elise VanCise said...

Everything is fictional accept the superstition :) It's based on the superstition that demons fear the sound of a bell ringing or a ringing bell will reveal one.

Each of the stories posted this month will be based on a superstition of sort :)