Historical setting: 588 C.E. Forest Primeval
She isn’t dead and I see she has no bubos or signs of plague. She is fevered and thirsty the same as was the count that night when she brought him tea. I’m not sure what she says, but she seems to mumble some form of gratitude. Maybe I’m standing in for some little god, though I’ve not heard of one of those elves who would visit a bedside. Mostly I think they just play among themselves in the otherworld below the earth. But then who am I to know?
My own prayer is simple. Thank you God, for sending me here to see this holy virgin back into life. Amen.
She really looks nothing like the Holy Virgin, but then the true look of Mary matters not in the Christian world either. That Mary of the churches is plump and pink, crowned with jewels and really hasn’t any likeness to the plain and devout Jewish mother of Jesus who saw my friend through all the hurts and woes of his unsung childhood.
The first thing to do is ask the women who are chanting outside to provide things. I need some fuel and a flame to make a warming fire, and a blanket. Some clean straw would be helpful and a bowl of water and a cloth, and of course some of that healing tea that rescued the count.
They quickly return with the things I requested but they are only willing to leave them outside the entrance still fearing plague. I know she would want her sisters near her, but the druid won’t allow anyone of the village to have contact still fearing plague.
Now I can give her a clean mat for her bed and warmth and light with the fire. Just a few sips of cool water have brought her to full awareness now and I have yet to give her the tea. She thanks me for the cool cloth on her forehead, but suddenly realizes I’m a stranger.
“I was one of the men who came with horses on the night of Samhain. You were so kind to our leader that night and now he is fully healed. Surely there is no one’s justice that would allow you to suffer for your kindness.”
“What day is this now?” She asks me.
Why would she need to worry about the day? “Don’t worry. You haven’t slept through winter yet. It isn’t even the solstice.”