Are Echoes Heard in Hell?

Summary: Marlope hears voices, has two names, a demon sister, a crush, and a prophesy. What's a 15-year old priestess-in-training to do?


"Use Bacal. Destroy them all. You know you can make them fall."

Marlope woke with a shudder. The spell that made people bleed, Bacal, was throbbing through her head. The man's voice spoke in her thoughts again. She slipped on her night robe and started to walk to the chapel room. She grasped her cross necklace and held it to her heart.

Her golden skin shone and her blonde hair flared in the candlelight coming from the alter. She could hear the light hum of worship melodies in the subtle sir of the healer's room. She bowed her head in prayer.

"Palow," she whispered into the air. The air blended with the power of the word. A small sparkle glimmered and grew till the room was filled with light.

"Child?" a kind voice beckoned, "Why are you not asleep?"

"I had nightmares Sister Fallun. So I came to seek healing of the mind," Marlope answered.

"The Lord is with you always young priestess. Don't worry, the devil can't get in."

"Yes, Sister," Marlope lied, "I just dreamed I was being chased again."

"Child, you have too much on your mind," Sister Fallun shook her head, "go back to sleep. That's the most healing you can give your mind. Malow." The light went out in the room.

Marlope's head throbbed. How could she sleep now? She sat down on the pew nearest her and stared into the milky black. No one understood her. No one ever would. Why was there no one to speak to?

"Frae," a whisper echoed around the church room. "Speak Frae," the voice urged. A red glow fell soft and slow upon the room. The alter changed into a black nothingness. The wooden crosses hanging from the banisters fell and cracked on the pews below. Marlope's necklace burned her skin.

"Where are you?" Marlope questioned boldly at the voice. A dark hooded feminine form gathered where the holy alter had once been.

"Hullo Frae!" the woman's voice greeted excitedly.

"Um…Frae? My name is Marlope. Who are you? What ar…" she was cut off.

"Oh…Mar-lo-pe," the woman cooed, "Don't you know your own name? You should know who I am, or have you forgotten your sister as well?"

"My…my sister?" Marlope was taken aback. As far as she knew she was an orphan with no family at all. Well an orphan with a prophecy, who was been guarded and trained in a church, but an orphan all the same. "Who are you?" The woman pulled back her hood to reveal black hair with two shiny red horns sticking out from each side of her scalp.

"I am your sister," she said calmly, "My name is Luce." Marlope stared at her sister with her mouth gaping. "Daddy has wanted to see you. Why have you not answered his dream calls?" Marlope grasped her necklace even though it burned against her skin.

"You're…a demon? Daddy? Dreams? Oh no! This is not happening! Wake up!" Marlope stood up off the pew and dashed down the aisle. She yanked open the doors and fled down the black and red distorted hallway. Luce dashed behind her, quickly gaining.

"Wait! Sister! I only wish to talk! Frae!" Luce called to her, beckoning she slow down. Marlope shut her eyes.

She opened her eyes to an empty corridor. Everything was back to normal. The candles were gently flickering, and all the doors were closed.

"Marlope?" a voice questioned. Oh, no, not again, she thought. She sat on the ground her eyes tearing up. "Marlope? What are you doing out this late at night?" She looked up to see the dark brown eyes of Tyev. She flushed red.

"I think I was sleepwalking again," she answered shakily, "I sorry to wake you."

"Are you sure you're all right? You were running through the hallway."

"Huh. I guess I was sleep running then?" she tried pathetically to lighten the mood.

"Okay, but you better get back to your room, before a nun catches you in the boy's quarters." He winked slightly, just adding to Marlope's embarrassment.

"Right…I'll see you then," Marlope raised from the floor and slowing started to make her way down the hall. As soon as she turned a quarter she immediately broke into a sprint, her tears fell as she ran. Great! She thought, Now even Tyev thinks I'm crazy!

She burst into her room, slamming the door behind her. What did it matter if she woke more people up? She collapsed on the small mattress sobbing.

"Sweet one? Why do you cry? Tonight was a breakthrough! Be proud of who you are!" The man's sickening voice echoed over and over.

"Shut up!" she yelled at nothing in particular, "Stop speaking to me! Why do I have to be the crazy one all the time?"

"But you're not crazy. Not at all."

"Oh really? So hearing voices and seeing a demon isn't crazy anymore?" she commented sarcastically, "Sorry I missed the news! Oh! Now I'm even talking to the voices! I am insane!"

"Shush, go to sleep, all will be clear in time…" Marlope buried her head in her thin blanket and cried herself to sleep.

The morning bells rang out through the stone walls of the convent. Marlope let herself fall off her mattress and onto the floor. As soon as her skin touched the cold granite floor her eyes shot open. She quickly scrambled up to her dresser. The cracking wood gave some resistance against her pull, but she managed to open it and grab her crimson day robes.

She slipped out the door as she tied on her golden rope waistband. The corridor was filled with rushing priestesses, nuns, and monks. From the corner of her eye she spotted Tyev waving to her. She meekly returned the gesture but kept walking forward.

The prayer classroom was brightly light, and the cerulean blue mats were laid in a circle with one gold one in the front. Marlope sat down in her spot as other priestesses filled in the room. This was a class for seventh to ninth level priestesses. Marlope was a ninth level as indicated by the robes she wore. The sevenths wore olive and the eighths wore tangerine. Marlope was very glad she was above those colors. In one year she would graduate to tenth level and get to wear the white robes of an adult priestess.

"Welcome class!" Sister Drewt entered and took her spot at the front gold mat. "As you all know today is the test on the light giving prayer and closing prayer; Palow and Malow." Her blue eyes seemed to smile warmly as she looked at the full room. "Now I will demonstrate," She rose, her dark hair bouncing gently on her sholders. "I will start by putting the lights out in here, and then I will bring them back." She bowed her head and folded her hands. "Malow," the room turned pitch black. Some seventh level girls squealed. "Palow," The room became bright again, and the young girls sighed in relief. "Now please form a line and I will test you."

Girls rushed to form a line. One by one they tried to darken the room, and then make it bright again. The sevenths had much trouble with it; they were too distracted.

Once it was Marlope's turn she stepped up to the gold mat.

"Hmmm...Doesn't this seem familiar?" the voice had returned.

Marlope ignored it and turned to Sister Drewt.

"Malow," Marlope commanded without bowing or closing her eyes. The room went dark, just as much as it had with Sister Drewt. "Palow," The lights returned even brighter than before.

"Hmm…seems we have a natural," Sister Drewt commented, "Though I must say I disprove of your technique. You didn't seem to even pray for the power." Marlope looked straight into her teacher's eyes, then turned away and went back to her mat.

"So, Marlope, did you pray?" the voice taunted.

"Shut up!" Marlope yelled aloud.

"My dear! Whomever are you talking to?" Sister Drewt exclaimed, clearly disapproving Marlope's use of words.

"No one," Marlope replied emotionless, "Um…I just don't feel well, may I leave?"

"Yes," Sister Drewt answered, "I think that would be best." Marlope quickly left the room, but not quick enough to escape the sound of laughter behind her.

"Oh, have I embarrassed you?" the voice mocked. Marlope kept walking determined on ignoring the voice. "Marlope you can't escape me."

"I can try!" Marlope pulled her hood over her head and ran to the entrance of the convent. She pulled the doors open and the sunlight blinded her. Blinking a couple of times she adjusted to the sun and headed for the gardens. She entered the vast maze of plants and began to run.

"Where do you plan to go? I'm in your head not the building!" Marlope's angered heightened and she ran faster. She came to the end of a path.

"Cruya!" she yelled at the hedges. They immediately burst into flame and disintegrated forming a doorway to the path behind them.

"Where did you learn that now? I don't think they teach that at a convent!"

"Go Away!" Marlope shut her eyes tight while continuing to run. When she opened her eyes it looked as though night had fallen within two minutes.

"Frae!" The woman's voice from her dream last night called again. "Stop running Frae!"

"Leave me alone!" Marlope yelled back. She continued to run and then a force suddenly knocked her backward onto the ground. She stared up at the now black sky.

"Have you ever heard your prophesy Frae?" The woman asked calmly. Marlope did not answer convinced she was daydreaming or insane. The woman began to sing hauntingly.

"One born of sun and of night,

Will start or end the fatal fight.

When an angel and demon join as one,

Their child's fate will be done.

Created to destroy or save,

Secured by power they gave.

Given this task by only her birth,

Her choices now show others worth."

Marlope remembered this as a lullaby somehow. She closed her eyes trying to remember who sang it. She opened her eyes to see a cloudless blue sky and a beautiful garden. She pulled herself up and began the long walk back to the convent.