"Locked in my chambers upstairs," he said.
"We must not leave here without it. It is too important" Aida exclaimed.
"Why? Why is that violin so important to you and your husband?"
"Because of what it carries."
"What does it carry?
"Change," she said softly.
"Change? What does it plan on changing?"
Clement removed the pistol from his waistband, a meager six shot revolver. Once belonging to his father, it had been passed down before his untimely death. Five shots. He had test fired it the night before, a drunken birthday party misfire. Since Aida had left to retrieve the priest, those slivering shadows hiding amongst the trees had broken their cover. They quickly manifested into six, two legged bodies. Masked by darkness, the exploding stars provided short glimmers of description. They were armed and moved with stealth. Clearly military, or at least had some extent of tactical training. They moved on their targets with impeccable speed. Clement calculated their approach. Five hundred yards and closing. From behind he heard the arrival of footsteps and low murmurs, he turned his body, gun raised, finger on the trigger.
"Do you always aim guns at priests?"
"Sorry father. I'm a little tense at the moment."
The priest motioned to Aida.
"That door there leads to my chambers."
The priest raised his hands to his neck and removed a hidden leather necklace, with a large copper key attached to the end. He removed the old necklace and handed it to Aida.
"There is a silver case beneath the bed. This key will unlock it. Inside of the case, is your violin."
Without a single word, Aida rushed into the priest's chambers. Clement returned his tiring gaze to the impending threat just in time to see them split into two groups. Three flanked right while the other three flanked left.
"Do you know how to use a gun, father?" Clement asked.
"I know that a bullet has the power to kill a man and the trigger makes the bullets fly."
A weird response but Clement didn't have time to challenge it. He handed the priest his pistol with five remaining shots.
"Take this and watch the front. If anybody tries to enter, you make those bullets fly."
The priest looked at Clement with horror and confusion, clearly uneasy about the idea of killing. So Clement reassured him.
"Trust me father. The next people to walk through that door have no intention of letting any of us live. So unless you have plans to meet Jesus this morning. I suggest you prepare yourself to pull that trigger."
Clement turned from the stale gaze of a scared old man and hurried to the back of the church.
"Where are you going?" Screeched the priest.
"To make sure they don't enter through the back and kill us before we have time to defend ourselves."
As Clement was making his way through the rubble of the church to check on the southern defenses, Aida reemerged from the priest's chambers. She was carefully cradling an oddly shaped object wrapped in silk.
She had a maternal look about her, as if she was holding her newborn child for the first time. Aida began to panic. She jerked her head and body back and forth.
"Where is Clement?" she asked.
"He went to make sure the back door was locked and secure-."
Aida and the priest both froze in place. Three more gunshots rang out, making six in total. The shots were spread out, as if from a long rifle or heavy pistol. They started to ricochet off the marble pillars. Two went zipping directly over Aida's head, close enough to flick her hair. Two more found homes in the pews next to where the priest had sought cover. One bullet hit one of the Mud Rainbows, sending shards of stained glass and mud flying through the air. The last bullet, after penetrating wood and marble, finally nestled its way into the priest's lower back. A quick, sharp cry let Aida know he was hit. She was currently two pews down, seeking cover herself. She managed to crawl herself over to where the priest lay still, silent.