The Anglic Gene

An orphan girl unsure of who she is or why a man wants her dead carries a secret. She will experience humanity.

Are you ready?

Join Sophia in a heart thumping adventure across England set in the 1870’s, exploring faith, doubt, love and fear. A story, quoted by the editor as “really something special”, you’ll continue to contemplate long after the journey unfolds

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12. Prophecy

Sophia analyzed Mendel, trying to discern if he was friend or foe. The priest collar he wore and his general, rather open demeanor gave her comfort. Her inner voice said to trust him even as her conscious mind searched for reasons not to.

Mendel put on a pair of silver framed glasses with spherical lenses and then flipped open the The Order of Esdras towards the back. After turning a few pages to locate a particular passage, he cleared his throat, and said, “This book speaks of prophecy where a young girl will come looking for this book on a quest to find Jeremial. Is that young girl one of you?”

Sophia shuffled her feet and turned her gaze towards the bookshelves.

“The book goes on to say this young girl will exhibit abilities that go beyond the capabilities of a normal human. Do either of you have any such abilities?”

Anne said, “Once, quite a few years back, I fell down an embankment, broke my leg and So—” She stopped abruptly, reached down and began rubbing her shin. “Ouch,” she whispered, turning her attention to Sophia. “Why did you kick me?” Sophia glared at her with one brow raised. Thereafter,  Anne fell silent.

Mendel directed his focus towards Sophia. “So, you have these abilities?”

Sophia bit down on her bottom lip, ignored the question, and resumed scanning the books on the shelves. Many were topics related to spiritual warfare: angels, demons, myths, and legends.

“The prophecy says the girl is a descendent of angels,” Mendel said, lowering his head so that his glasses slid down to the tip of his nose as he eyed Sophia over them, very carefully, before continuing. “There is a legend about a group of twelve angels led by one named Araton who gave up their wings, and became thereby somewhat mortal—to live amongst the humans. In that capacity, they had the ability to involve themselves more personally in human affairs. They are said to have had descendants.”

“Nephilim?” Anne queried.

“No, the story, somewhat vague in areas, occurs after the great flood. This group of angels, holy angels, volunteered at the request of the highest authorities. They came to assist in the battle of evil in the world within the mortal realm at a time when sorcery, dark magic, and necromancy were rampant.”

“I don’t remember reading that in the Bible,” Anne replied.

“Dear girl, not everything that happens in the world is in the Bible. That said, however, what you can be sure of is that what is in the Bible is factual—and without error. Some things are better kept secret. The enemy reads the Bible as well.” He slid his glasses back up the ridge of his nose. “Know this: God does not sit idly by when the world is in times of distress. Evident by how God gave his only son, Jesus, when the world needed a savior. He cares for us and so do his angels.” He directed his attention back to Sophia. “What do you know about your parents, Sophia?”

“Never met them.” A wave of remorse washed over her—a feeling of losing something she held dearly, yet she, unlike Anne, never knew her parents to lose them, which caused the emotion to stir up a raging inner conflict. Her fingers rolled into clenched fists in an attempt to squelch the rising adrenalin increasing her heart rate. Could I truly be a descendant of an angel?

Mendel leant back in his chair, rubbing his chin while keeping his gaze fixed on Sophia.

“Tell me, Sophia, has anyone tried to harm you or those you love?”

A reflexive thought bubbled up: Time to become the questioner. She knew it was most likely to protect her from having to think about the death of her loved ones. She closed her eyes and felt the sadness, the awful grief, over losing the Sisters and Mr. Brumby almost hit her before she said, “Where did you get that book?”

“Sister Mary from your orphanage donated the book to our library several years ago. Interesting, is it not?”

Sophia nodded, admitting to herself that the situation raised questions to spark curiosity.

“Tell him what happened,” Anne said, her droopy eyes pleading.

Can I trust him? Sophia thought. What if he is one of the ones who wants to kill me? But then why would Sister Mary have given him the book, and why would Diniel tell me to search for the book? After considering all of those questions, she decided it was time to put the facts on the table. “Sister Mary, Sister Catherine, and a friend named Mr. Brumby have died because of me.”

Mendel nodded, lowered his eyes. “We heard about the fire at the orphanage.”

Anne and Sophia spun around directing their attention on footsteps coming down the stairs.

“No need to be alarmed, girls. It’s Michael. He will be joining us.”

A young man in his late teens entered the room. Mendel greeted him and asked him to sit. Sophia looked him over. Handsome, shoulder-length hair, dark and straight, sapphire blue eyes, slender physique, and about six feet tall. Anne looked him over, too, and as she did her face lit up and her cheeks blushed a rosy red.

“Michael, meet Sophia and Anne.”

“Pleased to make your acquaintance,” he said, in a smooth, polite voice.

“Michael, who turned eighteen only days ago, is our newest White Monk.”

“Oh,” Anne said, “a monk,” sounding a little disappointed.

Sophia rolled her eyes. Many a times Sophia had seen Anne falling for older teens or as she would tease Anne, having a crush on one fair-faced young man or another.

Mendel slammed the book shut. “Enough prophecy. Tell me, Sophia, what do you want with this book?”

“We figured the book might tell us where to find Jeremial.”

“Uh huh. Well the book certainly will.” He paused. “The thing is.” Mendel reopened the book, this time to the front section that revealed a hidden compartment. The first several chapters were dummy pages, with a square section chiseled out to allow for storage. Mendel withdrew a bracelet from it with five silver charms equally spaced, one a small crucifix, the rest small discs, each inscribed with a different symbol—an earth, a star, a moon, and a sun. “How can I be sure you are the ones of which the prophecy speaks?”

“You mean the one?” Sophia replied.

“No, the ones,” he said. “The prophecy says to give this bracelet to the travelling companion.”

Anne’s eyes widened as she bolted upright in her chair. “Me?”

“Yes, I believe the prophecy must be referring to you, Anne. I doubt it means Dash.”

“There is also this.” Mendel retrieved a tiny golden key from the compartment. “It is said this key will unlock the cross of the one of whom the prophecy speaks.”

“The cross?” Sophia replied.

“Yes. May I take your necklace, Sophia?”

Sophia had forgotten she was even wearing the crucifix Sister Mary had given her, hidden under the neckline of her dress. She took the shiny silver cross in her palm and eyed it before handing it to Mendel.

Key in hand, he turned the crucifix over. Towards the top of the cross, nearly invisible to the naked eye, was a tiny slot glowing faintly white. As he inserted the key, the white glow suddenly surrounded the key and cross like an aura. Startled by the reaction, Mendel dropped the cross onto the desk.

Sophia gawked in amazement as the key turned by an invisible force and then vanished, seemingly consumed by the white light. She carefully retrieved the cross from the table, examined it for any change. Towards the side, she discovered the tiniest of clasps. She unhooked the metal latch. The cross opened to reveal a compartment inside containing a stack of several paper-thin flat silver crucifixes. “Hmm,” she mumbled before flipping the crucifix over on her palm. Six crucifixes in total, nearly weightless but sturdy as pure silver, rested on her hand. A faint white glow surrounded each one. “What are they?” she asked.

Mendel leaned in for a closer look. “I don’t know. That is something you will need to work out.”

Sophia placed the crucifixes back inside the cross, closed it, and then put the necklace again around her neck, allowing the cross to dangle on the outside of her clothes.

Anne eyed the bracelet like a puppy eyeing a fresh bone. “Yes, you can take it,” Mendel said. Without hesitation, Anne snatched up the charm bracelet. She had never had a piece of jewelry before. Her eyes went owl-like as she placed the gift around her wrist. “Wow, it’s so pretty.”

“What now?” Sophia asked.

“Now, you carry out the prophecy and go find Jeremial.”

“Where is he?”

“Hermitage Castle on the border of Scotland. The journey will take you several days, which is why Michael is here.”

Sophia glanced towards Michael. “And why?”

“The prophecy states that a newly dawned White Monk will accompany the chosen to The Order of Esdras to protect them on their journey.”

“Protect us,” Anne echoed, facing Michael. His lips curved slightly upwards, not quite into a full smile. Her cheeks blushed.

“What if we don’t want protecting?” Sophia asked, arms crossed over her chest. The way she reckoned it, having Michael travelling with them would only add to her responsibility.

“You will not be responsible for me, Sophia,” Michael said as if reading her thoughts. Her arms relaxed a little at his reply.

“Right,” Mendel said. “For the journey you are going to need supplies.” He looked the girls over, added, “And some new clothes. Tomorrow, I’ll have Sister Bridget take you clothes shopping.”

“Shopping,” Anne said, her eyes widening even more.

Sophia cut her eyes at Anne, figuring the girl must be thinking all her Christmases had come at once.

“Michael, show the girls to the guest room. Then have Sister Bridget meet them there to show them to the bathroom and gather them some sleep wear. Can’t have them sleeping in those dirty clothes.”

Michael nodded, then stood and proceeded to lead the girls out of the room.

“Dinner is at seven,” Mendel said as they left. “Have Sister Bridget bring the girls cleaned and dressed in something presentable.”

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