The Sound Of Heaven (Series 8)

1. Peterskirche, Organ Vienna Austria

2. Chiesa Nuova Santa Maria in Navicella. Rome, Italy

3. Dirksland Reformed Church, Netherlands

4. Johanniskirche, Luneburg, Germany 

5. La Madeleine, Paris, France

6. Saint Carolus Borromeus Church, Antwerp, Belgium

7. Basilica ds Estrela, Lisbon. Portugal

8. Visser Rowland Pipe Organ, Wooddale Church in Eden Praire, MN 

9. Abbey Church of St Maria, Riddagshausen, Braunschweig, Germany 

10. Quoirin organ; Cathedrale de Notre Dame, Evreux, France

faustyna in france

Rest assured, faithful Easy Joviality followers, I have not forgotten or abandoned you. It’s true, I never wrote my thoughts on the culmination of the epic Toadtrip. It’s true, I have been writing in numerous other blogs, instead of on here. But I’d like to continue being a part of Easy Joviality, if you’ll let me. I have stories to share. It’s going to be a lot of writing, for me, but I think that it’ll be worth it. Each time I write, I find a new perspective on things. It’ll be interesting to go back through all of my writings after this trip-of-a-lifetime is over and gather all of the moments that were important.

So, perhaps I should explain. This “trip-of-a-lifetime” is indeed that. I am in France, in Évreux, to be exact, and for the duration of the school year I will be an assistante d’anglais. That is, I’ll be the resident English expert, helping middle school teachers instruct their students. I’m not entirely sure what that means, quite yet. From what I’ve gathered, I’ll be a conversation partner for the students. I’ll be helping to lead the language club. Come Christmastime, I’ve been recruited to help out with the school play. All within twelve hours per week, six hours per school.

That means a lot of free time.

I arrived a few days ago, and have been exploring Évreux by day and making plans/writing blog post drafts/listening to music/reading books and magazines by night. Évreux is not a big city, by any means, but it is a sizeable town. It’s quite bizarre, actually. After being nearly destroyed during the world wars, it’s understandable that many buildings would look like they were built in the 1950s (read: ugly). But these newer buildings are in complete symbiosis with beautiful old mansions, a giant and noble cathedral, and a belfry from the 15th century. The town has been built around the river Iton, whose many long, thin arms provide the perfect environment for pedestrian promenades and, bien sûr, outdoor cafés. So far, I am finding it completely and utterly charming. The weather has definitely been helping—upper 70s and sunny all week!

For the year, I’ll be living in a tiny little house on the rue de Pannette, which is a fifteen minute walk from the main part of town, and a five minute walk from the train station. It’s also a seven-minute walk from the Wal-Mart-esque supermarket, and a three-minute walk to one of the nicest public gardens in the city. Location, location, location! I’m one of six people living in this house, and I’m still feeling out my roommates. They seem nice enough, when I see them, but I think that actually being friends with them will be difficult. Not only do they already have their lives established here, but also the language barrier is making it incredibly difficult for me to feel comfortable and like myself. In a word, it’s making me very insecure.

So, in order to practice my French skills, I bought some French magazines and a mini French to English dictionary, and have been spending a few hours each day (typically along the banks of the Iton) reading and trying to acclimate myself to the nuances of this language. I think I’ll be able to make even more progress with that once school actually starts, as well.

It’s funny; before I left for France I was a bit unsure that I actually wanted to do this. I saw several of my friends begin their careers, or go off to grad school as part of their carefully laid out plans, and was jealous. The idea that these people have such a clear vision of what they want to be doing and where they see themselves, in both the near and immediate futures (and also know how to get there), is completely foreign to me. My plan is to seize this opportunity in France…but then what? It all sounds incredibly romantic and, well, a little like I’m putting off my future. But you know what? I’m coming to terms with that. I’m going to focus on the present and focus on figuring out who I am and what I want to be doing. And how lucky am I that I get to be doing it in la belle France? Pretty darn lucky.

Busy yourself as much as possible with the study of divine things, not to know them merely, but to do them; and when you close the book, look round you, look within you, to see if your hand can translate into deed something you have learned.
—  French tosafist Moses of Evreux

Who would have imagined my first mission would turn out to be the one that turned my life upside down? I was so young and took so many wrong turns. I was not sure where to start telling this story, but I guess it is time, to accept my mistakes and move on, I remember her as if it were yesterday, she was beautiful and had me lost at words when I first saw her. She knew how to conquer anyone and she was queen of her own world. I was sent to kill and, instead, I fell in love. I let my emotions take the best of me and forgot who I was.

But, alas, I am getting ahead in this story. I should start from the beginning. 

I am part of a brotherhood dedicated to hunt demons and creatures, with the intent to keep order on earth. I was raised inside the brotherhood and I didn’t really know any better except, all creatures are evil and deserve to die. I didn’t really believe that and so it took my superiors some time to let me go on with my own missions, until I made them think I would go and cut heads as they wanted me to. I was more into justice, men and creatures are both evil. Men can be as viscious as a vampire or a demon, it’s in our nature. After all, vampires and demons were humans once too, they just embraced the dark in their lives while others fight against it.

My name is Nichole Évreux and so my story begins when I became a new Master member, I was sent to travel across Europe to find vampires and report back to the brotherhood. I spent months going everywhere; from London back home to Paris to Rome, Berlin, Amsterdam… And I found several unlucky creatures, they insisted the strong ones were scattered across the world but most mentioned Romania. Of course we all laughed in the reports I gave, the irony was just beautiful. I was supposedly a descendant of Van Helsing himself, hence my special abilities and traits to find and eliminate my targets, I didn’t even think him to be real, I just followed along what they told me. So when my superiors began the teasing on how I had to go hunt Dracula, I was honestly everything but amused. 

Still, I traveled to Romania and went from Bucharest all the way to Brasov, just to point the irony in my life, chasing after Count Dracula himself. My mission was simply to recover information on creatures, find strong ones and get as much information as I could, hopefully they’d lead us to some of the leaders. I didn’t even know, I was just a pawn back then anyway. 

But Brasov greeted me with a snowfall at night, the inn was full and I was freezing my arse off. I hung my backpack behind my shoulder and pulled a cigarette from the side pocket, turning it on, trying to focus my thoughts. I could always stay in Dracula’s castle, doubt he’d mind… Hah. I stood in the middle of the almost deserted town, it seemed people went to bed early. I found a bench by a fountain and sat down, I was beyond tired. I looked around me and lights were on in the different houses and taverns, I simply inhaled my cigarette and let my backpack on my side as I looked down on the white, snowy concrete.

Tankers belonging to the French 2nd Armored Division (12th Cuirrassiers Regiment) are happily putting some war trophies on their M4 Sherman “Evreux”, Strasbourg, France, November 1944.

risk is the youngest in line for the glorious space empire that i haven’t named yet. on the far left is the current space empress, ever evreux. left to right is oldest>youngest for the sisters. he’s in the middle cause he’s the baby.

young engle is in holiday’s elite command force