Historical setting: 563 C.E., Bragda
Here in these Holy halls where even bishops tip-toe on marble floors to soften the echoes, I have found a quiet place to take a moment to mesh the stories the bishop told with the fragments of memory and now I seem to know too well the things I have not allowed into my waking thought before this.
As the bishop told it to me today, it was the story of an imaginary hero, a missionary who saved the people and the gospel too. I know it was no missionary hero but an ever-grieving servant, a Christian pacifist who chooses no sides in these wars. My wound healed more quickly than my grief.
Now I leave the basilica expecting to find Nic who excused himself from our meeting with the bishop to practice with his horse.
What will I tell Nic now of my true remembrances? Should I tell him about Susannah, who saved numbers of the people from the war, and was the very one in the first place who demanded the bishop send a missionary to dispel the cult? Should I tell him that my remembrance of marriage to the woman with the golden hair was nothing more than my twisted grief for Susannah beyond the tragedy of her death? It was my own pretending that allowed me to be spared the reality of grief.
Maybe it is like the doctor told me in Nance, some memories are better kept forgotten in the bandages.
Now I shall see if my old soldier-friend Nic has learned to vault into the saddle yet.
Nearly blinded by the glare of autumn sun I find Umber still tethered, but a bit more loosely than when I left him so now he is able to reach down and gnaw at an apple carefully lain at his feet. I have no guess where Nic and The Rose may have gone. I don’t blame him for leaving though. I must be a terrible disappointment to his onetime dream of sponsoring a monk who would be copying scriptures quietly and uneventfully. He meant to be the mighty protector fending off all ravages of evil outside the sacred wall of the monastery, guarding the sanctity of the written and copied word within. He meant, at least, to be a very good man, even if some bishop of old would not see him into the inks as a true God-man.
(Come again tomorrow)