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The Fallen One

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Italy, 1630

A cold chill blew through your room through the open window, causing small bumps to rise to the surface of your arms. You sat up in bed with a groan, squinting to see as you looked around your dark room, however upon seeing nothing, you laid back down and closed your eyes once again. Soon after, there it was again. That scratching noise, the sound of long nails being dragged down the wood on your closet in the darkest corner of your room. You slowly sat up in bed once again and lit the candle on your beside table, holding it in front of you as far as you felt brave enough. The scratching continued, your breath grew heavier and deeper as you continued to listen to the sound. Suddenly, it stopped. You gently pulled back your cover and climbed from the bed, gasping a little when the bare soles of your feet touched the cold tiled floor. With the candle held out in front of you, you slowly made your way towards the corner of your room. You closed your eyes, took a deep breath and quickly flung the door to your closet open, moving the dresses inside away to check the back, yet you found nothing. The noise had been happening for months now and you still had no idea what was causing it, with a deep sigh, you closed the door once again and chuckled to yourself a little before you blew out the candle and returned to bed. ~~~ You held the old, tattered Bible in your hands, following the line with your eyes as the Father spoke at the front of the church. Beside you, your Father whispered the prayer to himself, not even requiring to read the words. Somewhere near the back of the hall, you could hear women whispering gossip amongst themselves, something in particular stood out to you. "He looks strange." One of the women whispered to the other, who merely hummed in agreement. "Maria says he passed the church only yesterday and a Sister fainted merely at the sight of him." "Well, if he is that handsome then I wish to meet him." The woman replied before they both tried to stifle their laughter. You smiled to yourself and shook your head at the sound of the women, however the smile soon fell from your face when you noticed your Father grow agitated by their noise. He sighed deeply through his nostrils and simply turned to shoot them a glare over his shoulder- a glare you knew all too well yourself. It was a glare that could 'place fear into the heart of the Devil himself', your Mother had often said. When the sermon ended, you left the Church behind your Father and Mother, keeping your eyes locked on the ground as you overheard him complaining about the women to your Mother. "That's all we need. Another foreign stranger causing trouble, interfering in our affairs." He muttered, which only caused you to silently roll your eyes. The market square was busy that day, people rushing to buy the latest arrivals in fish and vegetables from over seas. You stopped for a brief moment to admire a flower stall, smiling as the sweet, floral aromas filled your senses. Just then, you felt drawn to look to your left- back to the church. As you did, you felt your head begin to spin when you saw a man clad in a black robe, a cardinal's hat sat atop his head and his piercing eyes were locked onto yours instantly. You found yourself unable to look away from the man, your heart began to race in your chest and there was a loud ringing in your ears. "What are you doing, girl? Keep up!" Your father shouted, causing you to turn and look behind you, nodding briefly to your Father. When you turned to look back at the man, he had gone. You remained on the spot for a few minutes, trying to wonder what had just happened--however, you shook your head and quickly ran to meet your parents once again. 1 Week later You smiled as you placed your book down onto the side of the fountain and looked down into the clear water. The square was not as busy today, the market was closed. The church bells rang loudly and echoed through the quiet air, bringing a sense of calm to you. As you ran your fingertips along the cool water, you hummed a tune to yourself, one that you weren't sure why you knew. A cold breeze suddenly blew past you, causing you to shiver a little. "That is a pretty tune." A voice said behind you, causing you to gasp and turn to look behind you. You went slightly wide eyed when you saw the mysterious man from a week ago standing there. You turned around fully, straightened out your dress and smiled shyly. The man stood taller than you and as he looked down on you, you couldn't help but feel a little intimidated. "What is a young lady like you doing sitting all alone on a day like this? Should you not be enjoying the time with your friends?" You raised one eyebrow, wondering why the man was asking you all these questions, but you simply cleared your throat and answered. "I am supposed to be studying but... I guess I allowed myself to become distracted." You pushed a stray strand of hair behind your ear and smiled a little. The man smiled in return, motioning to the space beside you and sitting there when you nodded. A tremendous cold came from the man, causing you to wonder if he was ill. He picked up your Bible and chuckled a little. "A lady of the Lord, hm?" He remarked, causing you to turn to look at him. The man's slightly wrinkled skin seemed smooth and pale, like porcelain. His dark eyes scanned the leather bound bible cover and his hands ran over it. You couldn't help but find something strangely fascinating about the man. Was he the one the women had been talking about? A string smell of spices came from the man, mixed with a faint whiff of incense. "You seem to be a man of the Lord yourself." You replied, glancing at his robes once again. He turned to look down at you and you noticed his lips curl into a dark smirk which frightened you a little. You quickly looked over your shoulder and back at the water, smiling when you saw a white feather float down and settle on its surface. "Look, there must be an angel near by." The man turned to look at you for a moment before following your eyes to see the feather. He chuckled deeply, causing you to look at him. "You believe a white feather automatically means an angel is here?" He asked, laughing when you nodded. "Well.. Tell me, do you see an angel here now?" You both looked around the square and you finally shook your head, causing him to laugh. You noticed a dark twinkle in his eye as he laughed, yet you felt intrigued when you looked at him. "Why do you believe this?" "Well, when I was a child my Mother taught me that when I saw a white feather, it had fallen from my guardian angel's wing. So that must mean he is nearby, watching over me." You replied, you waited to hear the man laughing, however when you looked over at him he was merely sat smiling at you, holding the bible in his hands. When he sighed deeply and looked down at the book, he passed it back to you and bowed his head slightly, pressing a kiss to the back of your hand as he did so. "Your Mother sounds like a wise woman. Very wise indeed." He commented, you simply smiled and nodded as you felt a heat rise to your cheeks and the ringing sound returned to your ears. When the church bell loudly rang once again, you looked up at the large bell that over looked the square and turned to look back at the man when he stood from the fountain. "It was a pleasure to speak to you, Miss. I am sure we will meet again." You smiled and nodded to the man and watched him as he started to walk away. Before you could stop yourself, you stood and called out to him. "Hey... What's your name?" You called, causing him to turn around with a small smile. For a moment, he hesitated and looked down at the floor, before he looked back at you and replied. "Copia. My name is Copia."