Tower: A to Z Challenge 2017 Post #20


Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.

This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole.  I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing.  If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.

Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:

The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer).  Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.


tower, n.1
I. 1. A building lofty in proportion to the size of its base, either isolated, or forming part of a castle, church, or other edifice, or of the walls of a town.
2.  a. Such a structure used as a stronghold, fortress, or prison, or built primarily for purposes of defence. (In this sense the name is sometimes extended to include the whole fortress or stronghold of which a ‘tower’ in sense 1   was the original nucleus.)
b. In early religious use, often applied to heaven.
3. fig. (Cf. ‘stronghold’, etc.) Freq. in tower of strength. See also ivory tower n.
4. transf. A lofty pile or material mass.
5. In other transferred uses:
a. In ancient and mediæval warfare, a tall movable structure, used in storming a fortified place. Cf. n.
†b. The ‘castle’ borne on the back of an elephant. Obs.
c. The gun-turret on an ironclad.
d. A railway signal-box. U.S.
e. = pylon n. 5.
f. = control tower n. at control n. Compounds 6. Also ellipt.transf., the flight-control staff.
g. ellipt. = tower block n. at Compounds 5   below.
6. >Applied to various things having the form, figure, or appearance of a tower, or likened to one.
†a. Chess. The Castle or Rook. Obs.
b. A very high head-dress worn by women in the reigns of William III and Anne. It was built up in the form of a tower of pasteboard, muslin, lace, and ribbons. Cf. tour n. 4. Hist.
c. Applied to various technical structures and contrivances, now only descriptively: see quots. and cf. shot-tower n. at shot n.1 Compounds 2.
7. Astrol. = house n.1 11, mansion n. 5a.
II.   8.  a. Lofty flight; soaring. (Cf. tower v. 3.)
b. The vertical ascent of a wounded bird.
tower, n.2
One who tows or draws with a rope; esp. one who tows a boat on a river or canal.
tower, n.3
A rope-maker, a roper.
tower, n.4
Pottery Manuf.
A person who smotths the surface of earthenware or china when in the dry clay state before firing, by rubbing it with tow, sand-paper, or flannel.
tower, v.
I.   1.  a. intr. To rise or extend to a great height like a tower; to rise aloft, stand high.
b. fig. Usually const. above.
2. trans. To raise or uplift to a height; to exalt.
3. intr.
a. Hawking. To mount up, as a hawk, so as to be able to swoop down on the quarry: cf. tower n.1 8. Also fig.
b. To soar aloft, as a bird.
c. To rise vertically, as a bird when wounded.
†4. fig. To rise on high, to soar. Obs.
†5. trans. To soar aloft in or into; to rise to.
†II.  6. trans. To furnish with a tower or towers.

Today’s Story Segment:


The weight slowly lifted off Uriel’s back.  He glanced to the side, waiting for Rosario or Savino to tell him it was safe to move.

“Alright, we’ve got everything cleared and stable,” Savino said.

Uriel pushed back from the wall carefully, making sure Avery had his feet before letting go of the boy.

“Oh, Avery, thank God,” Mary gasped when she caught sight of him.

“I’m okay,” Avery said, trying to put on a brave face for her.  Uriel was so close he could still feel the slight trembling of the boy’s composure.

“You’re alright, Uriel?” Rosario asked softly.

“I am unhurt,” Uriel replied.  He could feel the malevolent presence moving further away.

“There shouldn’t have been things in the elevator without someone,” Mary said, peering into the little room.

“I’m sure it was an accident,” Uriel said.  He didn’t want the woman to be unduly alarmed, and he did not know if she would believe in what hunted in the halls of this building.

“Why don’t I walk you and Avery back to his room for now,” Savino suggested.  “Rosario and Uriel can clean up this mess and then we can continue our tour.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Mary said with a smile.  “We can take the far stairs.”

Mary gently took Avery by the arm and started to pull him away.

“No,” Avery said, pulling out of her grip and rushing back to Uriel.  “What if it comes back,” he whispered urgently.

Uriel leaned down, gently hugging the boy close.  “What if what comes back?” Uriel whispered in his ear.

“The monster,” Avery murmured back.  “The other guys said it wasn’t real.  They said it must be nightmares or something from before, but I feel it.  It’s in the hallways and the elevator.”

“Perhaps we can all walk Avery to his room,” Uriel said as he straightened, keeping one arm around the boy’s shoulders as he steered him toward the stairs they’d come up by.  “Such things can be quite startling.”

Rosario gave him an odd look but stepped past the mess of boxes to lead the way back down the hall.

“I’m sure he’s fine,” Savino was saying to Mary from behind them.  “But such experiences can be very unsettling.  I’m sure Avery will feel better in his own space.”

Uriel kept his arm around Avery as they entered the stairway and Avery turned them to continue upward.

“What floor do you live on?” Uriel asked.

“The seventh,” Avery said.  “I always take the stairs.”

“Because it never does?” Uriel asked softly.

Avery nodded.

“It’s alright,” Uriel murmured.  “I won’t let it hurt you.”

“You believe me?” Avery asked, looking up at him with wide, wondering blue eyes.

“I do,” Uriel said.  “I felt the presence of it and knew you were in danger.”

“It doesn’t like the seventh floor either,” Avery said.  “It’s never up there.  It’s why I asked to move all the way to the top when a spot came open even though it’s smaller.”

“It doesn’t like tall towers,” Uriel murmured.  “And it moves through the tunnel in the building.”

“What does that mean?” Avery asked.

“It means it is one of two kinds of demons,” Uriel said.  “And those two I am proof against.”

“You’re special, aren’t you?” Avery said.  “You feel different.”

“If you can feel the demon, then it makes sense that I would feel different to you as well.  Just know that I would never harm you, and never allow harm to come to you.”

“You feel nice,” Avery said.  “The demon just feels slimy.”

“Slimy?” Uriel asked.  That was an odd description for a human to use for something not physical.

“It’s like if it touched me I’d be covered in goo,” Avery said.  “I know it doesn’t make sense, but it just feels that way.”

“Your feelings are you own,” Uriel said.  “Don’t ever let someone convince you they are not what you feel.”

“You’re better at this than the new councilor,” Avery said.

“I have been helping people a lot longer,” Uriel replied.  He’d been serving his Lord by assisting human kind for his entire existence.  He had lived through hundreds of years on the earth before.  Humans had not changes so much that his knowledge was not useful.

They walked in silence as they climbed the last several flights of stairs.  Avery’s breathing evened out as they moved from the sixth floor to the seventh, and his steps sped up as well.

Once they pushed into the hallway, Avery actually moved out from under Uriel’s arm and hurried past three doors before stopping at the fourth.  He pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked the door.

“This is my place,” he said, holding the door open for them, with a shy little smile on his face.

“Feeling a little better?” Rosario asked.

“Yeah,” Avery said.  “I always feel safe in my room.”

“It feels like a safe place,” Uriel said.  There was an energy too it that echoed Avery’s own.  He must be one of those humans that was adept with the powers of the world.


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