When she pulled the tower door open, a powerful gust of wind howled down the steep stairs, sending her hair flying, her robe flapping, and making her stumble back a step. Once inside the stairwell, the storm seemed even fiercer, the wind buffeting her from all sides as it was funneled down the narrow space.
Thoughts of lightning seeking out high points, such as bell towers, made her hesitate on the lower steps, but the cacophony resounding from above needed to be stopped before it woke the town, so she tugged her robe tighter and resolutely continued her ascent.
The intervals between the blinding flashes of light and the deafening thunder claps were growing longer as she climbed the stairs, giving her hope the storm might be moving away.
Reaching the top, she stepped onto the platform, sweeping her light from side to side across the rain spattered floor, watching for obstacles on her way across to the bell. With her eyes focused on the floor, she didn’t see what dangled from a rafter until her shoulder bumped into it. Stepping back and swinging the light up, she gasped and dropped her flashlight, and then scrambled to reclaim it.
What she thought she saw was impossible.
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