By Ben Preheim
Not many alive today know how to listen, but for the few who do, they would know that even the trees were nervous. The shaggy bushes and neatly trimmed hedges stood on edge; their leaves were silent. The air was still, the animals quiet. A figure in a flowing black cloak strode like a ghost down a narrow rubbish-strewn street. He had been overwhelmed by the noise and chaos of the main streets. These people were insane in their love of bright lights that burned without wood or oil, and their noisy vehicles. He chuckled, they called this progress, but they were barbaric than they had been hundreds years before. The air was so laced with pollutants that it nearly made him choke.
He made his way to what the locals called Seraphim Abbey. He could see it now, plainly visible in the pallid light of the possessed lamps that illuminated it. The abbey was a large gothic church with a majestic rose window at the front, flanked by two square stone towers. One tower held the bells, sweet bronze bells that rang on festival days. The other tower had an enormous clock face on the front side; its hands read five minutes from midnight.
Tension started to build in his chest, and he shivered with excitement. Oh, how long he had waited for this moment. After years of preparation, plots, and counterplots, he had come to this moment. He could barely contain himself. Finally, after so many years, he’d be able to complete his mission.