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THE BLUE DOVE#1: The Advocate Strikes! Part Five

Natalee removed the card board box of decorations from the passenger seat of her van and closed the door. She started walking across the empty parking lot.

“This place gives me the creeps,” she whispered to herself. “It’s like a haunted house or something.”

Saint Veronica’s Catholic School was located in the poorer section of Border City. The brick building had once been a pencil factory which a small group of industrious religious sisters had converted into classrooms back in the 1940’s. The parking lot was surrounded by a chain link fence. Several lights were on in the building. Natalee walked by the chipped, stone statue of Saint Veronica near the front door and walked up the three steps to the entrance.

“Ouch. Not even the saints are looking that good anymore.”

The door creaked as she pulled it open.

“Hello?” Natalee called out. “Is anybody here?”

She walked down the main hallway and into a darkened classroom. Natalee set the box of decorations on the teacher’s desk. She looked around the empty room. Natalee shuddered as she felt a cold sensation come over her body.

“You are the one the sisters have sent?” The old woman cackled. Natalee jumped with fright. She turned to see a tiny, elderly woman dressed in a nun’s attire standing in the doorway. She held an old Bible in her hands.

“My goodness,” Natalee gasped. “You practically gave me a heart attack. “Aren’t you supposed to be in a convent or something?”

“Are you the one the sisters have sent?” the old woman asked again. The nun flipped the light switch on. “I was not expecting someone so young.”

“Look lady,” Natalee said. “I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t have any sisters. I wasn’t sent by anyone. I’m just donating some ugly decorations for your art department.”

“Take it.” The old woman said. She held out the Bible.

“That’s alright,” Natalee slowly replied. “No gifts are necessary. We’ll take the tax deduction. And if you don’t mind, you’re really creepy and old and those are two things I don’t exactly care for so I’ll just be on my way.”

“Have you no faith?” The old nun said.

Natalee started for the door. The old woman blocked her way. They slowly backed into the classroom.

“Seriously,” Natalee nervously said. “I get to church every Sunday. I admit I don’t pay much attention. I even text or play games sometimes. But, I get the whole God thing…”

“Take it.”

Natalee backed into the teacher’s desk. The old nun forced the book into Natalee’s hands.

“I don’t want this,” Natalee said as she tried to shove the Bible back in the old woman’s hands. “Really, I don’t want this. My family already has one. It’s much fancier than this dusty, old thing. You can have it back. It won’t hurt my feelings. Really. Be a nice, old hag and take it back.”

“We would be happy to take that Bible off of your hands, young lady,” the deep voice said.

Natalee and the old nun turned. Six figures dressed in dark, hooded cloaks stood near the door of the classroom.

“Oh my goodness,” Natalee softly cried. “I have a feeling they aren’t here with you.”

“The Advocate,” the nun replied. “The cult has found us.”

“I should have known the Sisters of Veronica would be the ones charged with the protection of the last key,” one of the figures said.

“We will not surrender the book to your treachery,” the old nun said.

“This sounds like a personal thing between all of you crazy, strange people,” Natalee remarked. “So before this whole situation gets ugly and messes up my hair or something really drastic happens I’ll just…”

“Your sisterhood appears to be getting younger,” the Advocate said. “But you cannot hide your secret fraud for another century.”

“I’m not affiliated with this lady,” Natalee pleaded. “I mean, really, the nun simplicity thing, just doesn’t suit me. And then, the clothes, not to mention the whole…”

“Take it,” the old nun said as she thrust the Bible into Natalee’s hands. “See that it remains safe from the cult.”

“But, I don’t know…,” Natalee said.

The nun somersaulted across the classroom and landed a swift kick across the head of one of the hooded figures. She flipped backwards and punched another one in the face.

“For an old lady, she moves pretty fast,” Natalee thought.

The elderly nun tossed one of the figures across the room into a row of desks. Natalee raced for the door and ran out into the hallway.

“Deal with the sister,” the Advocate commanded. “I will handle the girl.”

“Ok. Ok. Stay calm,” Natalee whispered as she dialed a number on her cellphone. “Pick up. Pick up. For once in your life, pick up your freaking phone.”

The sound of a door slamming echoed down the hallway.

In the Dove’s Nest, Gabriel sat quietly reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. Suddenly, Anthony’s cell phone lit up. Gabriel swirled around in his chair. He quickly gazed at the display screen.

“Natalee?” he quipped. “This is odd even for her.”

Gabriel unraveled a small cord and plugged the cell phone into his computer console. He placed a head set on his head.

“Anthony?” Gabriel said into the microphone. “Do you read me?”

“One minute, please,” Anthony’s voice replied, “Just finishing something up.”

The Blue Dove threw a quick punch and watched as the street criminal toppled to the ground. The Blue Dove bent down and retrieved the older lady’s purse.

“Thank you,” the elderly woman said. “I don’t know what I would have done.”

“It’s a rough neighborhood,” the Blue Dove replied, “Might be best to stay home after dark.”

He rocketed to a nearby rooftop and landed.

“What’s up?” the Blue Dove said.

“I’m patching through a call from Natalee.”

“Natalee? She’s just dropping off some art decorations at that old Catholic school. I’m only a couple blocks away from there. Put her through.”

“Hello?” It was Anthony Blake’s voice on the cellphone.

“Anthony, thank goodness,” Natalee said. “I need you to listen.”

“Hey babe, I thought you were at the mall. You do know I’m going to be wanting that credit card back.”

“That’s sweet, but I need you to shut up and listen to me for a second,” she said. “I’m in big trouble. I came by Saint Veronica’s to drop off those stupid decorations you bought. Then this crazy, old lady scares the…, well you know what, out of me. She’s like a nun or something and belongs to some group called the Sisters of Veronica or whatever. And she keeps trying to get me to take this dusty, old Bible. Says I have to protect it. Like really?”

“Natalee, slow down,” Anthony said. “You’re going too fast.”

“Slow down?” She gasped, “How about you speed your butt up? I’ve got some psycho in a dark robe chasing me. That old lady nun is jumping around doing kung fu on a bunch of guys who are part of some cult with an Advocate, I don’t know.”

“Natalee, you’re not making sense.”

“No fooling, Sherlock. None of this makes sense,” she said. “And I still have the Bible that all these nuts seem to be after.”

“I’m sending help.”

“Finally,” she exclaimed. “Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”


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