Well here we are my last chapter to my fictional series 4, It appears I've made a faceoff between religion and myth but don't look too much into it. I'm a great fan of myths and the Gods and Goddesses of the old world. Hope you enjoy! R&R!
Annie ran into darkness, ran into shadows, long corridors and dank alleyways covered by twilight with no stars and no clouds. The moon wasn't even there to guide her way and make her feel safe Annie could swear she could see Mitchell's flailing arms as he was being dragged two or three metres ahead of her.
Along with his screams came the wails and groans of others, the worlds of Earth and the afterlife melted in one long blur as she ran after her lover. A terrible realisation came to her for if she lost Mitchell she would be lost also and she knew deep down this was not purgatory anymore.
Mitchell raised his head and saw Annie following behind; he was cowering and yelling with his faced pouring with sweat, the fear was nothing he had ever felt before. Without warning he disappeared and Annie was left alone in the passage of eternity. When she stopped running she found herself at crossroads, she could still hear Mitchell shouting her name but it didn't have an origin anymore, instead the voice echoed 260 degrees around her. She kneeled down and waited for her ethereal kidnappers to return. She saw a pair of boots and a figure with dark denim jeans kneel in front of her. Taking her arms the figure pulled Annie to her feet.
"This is no place to cry and certainly no place to dawdle" Vincent cooed as he wore more contemporary clothes, Annie hugged him in relief and he was happy to hug back. There were no wilful remarks this time, no more games to play for he wanted Annie Sawyer to know him beyond the vampire, the charlatan and just be Vincent Rothschild.
"Vinnie you came after us? Why, what for?" Annie panted, Vincent thought about revealing his heart but he wisely decided against it.
"Mitchell acts like he's the only rule-breaker in purgatory...Wrong! I'm here to help you find your way but only as far as I can, I'll be in big trouble though I'm not supposed to be here"
"What will happen to you?" Annie asked as she took his hand, he clasped hers rather bashfully and smiled.
"Penitence at best, if I find my way back I'll find my way back if I don't well...That's afterlife!" He tried to shrug off his predicament but Annie realised in order to help Annie save Mitchell Vincent was possibly condemning himself. Annie was floored by the gesture.
"You're a good man Vinnie" She said softly
"Yeah well don't spread it about, six centuries is a big build-up for a reputation just to smash it up for the love of a girl...Did I say love?" Vinnie coughed out his embarrassment at letting the cat out of the bag and tried to back away, Annie followed him.
"You put your soul on the line for little old me eh?" Annie teased
"You're worth it, whatever happens to me I want you to know I'm glad I helped out" He stammered, Annie couldn't find any words for how grateful she was to him but then sometimes words just wasn't enough. Cupping his face with one hand then the other she kissed him softly on the lips.
Vincent scrunched his eyes in longing as he kissed back only once, he knew she was no cheat but loved her even more for thanking him in such a beautiful fashion. Taking her hand he kissed it hard and began to run.
They ran for miles and miles and the groans became louder and louder, Annie clutched at her friend's hand tightly as a wind blasted out from nowhere.
"Don't be afraid, keep going!" Vincent ordered
They ran on and on until Annie saw the desperate figure of Mitchell still being dragged by his shadow. Vincent let go of her hand and stopped running but Annie was forced to keep going.
"Goodbye beautiful, see you when I see you!" Vincent voice echoed in the distance.
Annie then ran into a warehouse with navy blue walls, Mitchell was lying breathless at the far end, she started moving towards him.
"Stay where you are honey, I don't want her to hurt you" The Irishman seethed in agony and he tried sitting up.
Suddenly he was pulverised against a beam as shadows of raven started slamming into him, he screamed as he was pinned down.
"Mitchell who, who are you on about?" Annie wailed
"The Morigghan "He wheezed
Then there was a shriek and a dozen black feathers appeared and swirled like a tornado then dispersed to reveal a tall black-haired woman skin and cold and ashen as stone, eyes as grey as the darkest storm cloud. She was dressed in a feathered cape and black velvet dress. She wore a cap with a silver arch across it – Resembling a bird's beak. She spoke in the Irish of old and Mitchell had to do the same.
Inexplicable as it was Annie understood every word.
"You're a fool to cross an archangel but to cross a Goddess you are a condemned man John Mitchell of Dublin"
"I will pay my dues Morrighan and accept my punishment wilfully but Annie will be given safe passage to heaven" Mitchell pleaded, with one wave of her staff the former vampire was slammed against a wall, his body rippling in agony.
"You came to immortality quite violently my child but don't ever think you can bargain with me because of it, she wished to be with you therefore she will face the consequences"
Annie's body was yanked into a jump before falling on to the floor but she tried crawling towards Mitchell in turn Mitchell tried to pry himself away from his containment. He roared out his frustration.
"Don't you touch her, your quarrel is with me Morrighan I should have died on the battlefield I've run from you for so long but here I am. Let Annie go please"
The shadows of the raven taunted and burned at his soul even more and he started screaming again.
"Stop please stop, let him go please I understand he must pay for his crimes Oh but I love him please stop it, take him away or leave him here but don't torture him!" Annie yelled as the room reverberated with her anger.
"Oh what's this? A mortal defying a deity, humans followed us for so long then along came Socrates and all his logic and the why and the when and the how. Just because you don't believe in us anymore doesn't make us unreal" Morrighan huffed and forcefully pushed Annie to her knees by her powers.
"Just get it over with, what are you waiting for? Make him disappear make him your slave, why all this?" Annie raged as she looked helplessly at her love.
"Ah I know who you are now, his kindred yes? Explains why you wish to defy me. The love you bear is deep, too deep. There is no sense in this my child, your soul mate is lost to you?" The Goddess leered at her captive then stroked his face.
"I don't believe that, soul mates are not meant to lose each other, not like this" Annie whimpered.
"Are you an expert in the cosmos, do you know the minds of Venus and Eros? I doubt that very much. But tell me Anna, are you proposing an exchange?"
"No she fucking isn't, Annie don't do it, don't do it sweetheart!" Mitchell was livid and began to kick and push against Morrighan's power with all the strength he had.
"I'm assuming his soul can't start again on Earth, can you arrange for Mitchell to start again, a clean slate?" Annie murmured
"Not too clean my dear, he has massacred people, the blight will be on his soul for eternity...but he can start again if he so wishes"
"NO, NO the price is too great Annie, you don't know what you're doing!" Mitchell pleaded, Annie was allowed to wander over to him. She kissed him softly and he was suddenly released from confinement. His arms swarmed around her he furiously shook his head and cried.
"So be it" said the deity
The lovers were pulled apart and this time it was Annie who felt the brunt of the raven's shadow, she screamed and yelled as Mitchell cradled her in his arms and held her tight. With a broken heart he waited for Morrighan to snatch her away. But then a name popped into his head and he called it out until his voice was hoarse.
"Michael, I need your help...I surrender, I surrender to you...Michael!"
There was a whoosh of air, a rumble of thunder and a blinding light as the archangel came to the rescue.
"Morrighan, be gone with thee, you made your point but these souls are mine now" Michael commanded as he unsheathed his grand sword.
"The girl has bargained her soul to me save the fool if you can but I keep the girl" Morrigan trembled.
"You will do no such thing, the exchange is forfeited by her love for him and love is not in your jurisdiction My Lady" Michael warned as the lovers hugged each other tightly below the immortals.
"Nor is it in yours!" The Goddess spat, Michael nodded and swiped the sword into air.
"No but mercy is, be gone crone!" He ordered and the Goddess shrieked as her feathers fell away she disappeared. The room had turned white, the danger was over.
Mitchell smoothed his fingers over Annie's cheeks and smiled, Annie was exhausted and bewildered.
"Who was that Mitchell?" She heaved
"Before Padraig came she was revered and feared by many of my people, it's difficult to explain but she is the Celtic version of the grim reaper, you've heard of the banshee?"
"Vaguely, I watched a weird film with Sean Connery as a young man once, it had a banshee in it" Annie recalled with confusion.
Mitchell nodded then chuckled and warily got to his feet as he faced the angel that saved him.
"She was right about one thing, your soul is forever tainted, if you do live on your conscience will vex you but you won't remember why or how"
"Thank you Michael, I'm grateful"
"You're not out of the woods yet" Michael said sternly, talking his sword his swiped it inches away from Mitchell and saw his shadow fall away where it faded into the floor. Mitchell felt like he had been actually cut by the blade.
"Annie time to begin again, I cannot say whether Mitchell will cross with you or even find you but life is yours completely so take it"
"I will Michael and Thank you for everything...please-" Annie stuttered then walked up to the angel who was dressed in white jeans and a white vest almost as he was posing for Calvin Klein. His wings shimmered and shone.
"...Please, take Vincent back he may never cross over but let him at least be someplace safe please!"
"Your spirit is a charitable one, very well" Michael grinned.
Somewhere is purgatory Vincent Stefan Rothschild appeared in mid-air and landed on a park bench with a thud, he looked around the tranquil scenery and smiled knowingly.
"I love you Annie Sawyer" He whispered to the wind
Michael left to the lovers to cross over at their own time, the threshold glowed pure white and beyond it was nothing but light.
The couple sat against a wall opposite it and held hands.
"Are you scared?" Mitchell asked as he looked at her with eyes so full of love.
"Petrified, maybe I won't be human maybe I'll be an animal, I'd like to try being a dolphin or a lioness. See what being a predator is about"
"Promise you'll try to be nothing more than what you already are" Mitchell said softly as Annie buried her head against his neck. Annie simply nodded and a few tears trickled down her face.
Mitchell kissed them away then found her lips. Annie hooked her arms around his waist and pulled up his top. Mitchell nibbled at her shoulder and hugged her tight.
Their love-making teetered between desperate and tender as both realised they could face lifetimes apart without knowing each other or possibly never seeing each other again.
Mitchell pushed Annie to the wall as they clumsily writhed against each other, partially clothed, partially crying together.
Annie grabbed at his hair while he gasped against her cheek then moaned into a kiss, nestling his face beside hers. They swayed passionately into one another while Mitchell made a breathless confession.
"I would have been proud to have been your husband, you, me and our children bashing around O' Connell Street, what a beautiful day that would have been" He panted
"I would have liked showing you off back in St Lucia we would have had a ball. You, me hammocks and sunsets and cocktails a plenty" Annie stammered
"Some other lifetime perhaps" He grinned
"Yuck never knew you to be corny, you're not going to burst into a Chicago song are you?" Annie teased
"No, get away out of that!" He chuckled before groaning again.
After passion peaked they slipped down into each other's embrace and sighed deeply.
As they dressed neither one could bear to look at the other as the threshold awaited them, they held hands.
"For better or worse you and George were the best friends I could have asked for" Annie smiled with melancholy. Mitchell kissed her hand and led her towards the glowing light. He turned to her and held her shoulders.
"I'll find you again if you believe anything I want you to believe that"
"I do" Annie softly answered.
With that they held hands and rushed into the light. As before Mitchell ran into nothing but white all he knew at that moment was the feeling of Annie hand's in his. But soon a gust of wind blew about him and Annie slipped away.
"I love you Mitchell" Annie called out.
Back on Earth three years had passed since their friends had left them, it was a balmy day and young John was playing on a trampoline in the garden. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and there was barely a breeze. George and Nina had since married and had moved to Devon where Tom McNair would visit on his holidays from college.
Suddenly a gust of wind came out of nowhere and blew hard through the wind chimes, George was puzzled but was baffled even further by the spontaneous whistle of the kettle. George hugged his wife and sighed with relief.
"Annie and her ruddy tea, I'm guessing they crossed over, they made their way back from hell...Mitchell could outfox anyone if he wanted to" George sniffled.
Somewhere in the distance, some years with many miles and lifetimes ahead. Two young boys were playing on the street outside their houses. A removal van parked up and behind it was a yellow Fiat car. A family of four climbed out of the car and went in and out of the house opposite.
"I suppose we should say hello" Jack Mullen quipped, at eight years old he was curious as he spied the teenage boy then a young girl of mixed race. She two dimples on her neck and her hair was neatly plaited.
"I'm not making friends with a girl!" His friend and neighbour yelped, at seven years old Greg Solomon wasn't too trusting of the female of the species.
"Fine I'll just say hello on my own, yellow-belly!" Jack teased then wandered towards the new family, without really knowing why he plucked a nearby daffodil and bashfully handed it to the young girl.
"I'm Jack, the mute over there is Greg he's harmless" Jack waved his friend over, refusing to be embarrassed by him.
"Hello" Greg said nervously.
"Hello, nice to meet you I'm Abigail, Abby for short" The girl said softly, Jack was already smitten, he didn't know how or why but he was.
"Abigail, nice name, nice to meet you Abby, hope we become...friends" Jack smiled.
Without knowing two souls re-connected again, high, high up above the trio the archangels looked on tnodding with satisfaction then went to work someplace else.
Thank you to those who stuck with it, MyLittleStorys, Saderia and everyone else thanks for your lovely reviews!