Historical setting: 589 C.E. In the Vosges Mountains
As the two very different Christian monks continue explaining themselves to one another I gather both a terror and a glimpse of hope. Brother Servant explains why he was chosen as servant because a trusted eunuch was needed.
“I serve as a messenger back and forth between Father Columbanus and his followers when he is in his solitary wilderness place, but I also am messenger for a woman who followed some monks in a clandestine way. She is in hiding now, never trusting a man and always living in fear of pirates. She was raped and beaten by pirates that captured her on the River Loire. She’s followed that little band of monks all this way from the port at St. Milo and here she trusts me alone among men for her peace and solace.
“I’m always alert and watching for pirates who would be searching for her. I think we should bind his hands and feet in case he would be able to get himself up. We must assume he is a pirate unless he can show us otherwise. First we should check his bag for a blade.”
Dear God, thank you for amazing synchronicity.
The servant monk kneels here and draws my hands behind me — a terrible hurt to the wound. I try to plea while I can speak. “I’m not a pirate, but I am from the family of Ezra, who owns the vineyards on the Loire. There was a pirate abduction of a girl, surely a woman now; she’s named Anatase. She was apprenticed to a healer in my family.”
The servant monk is listening as though we share some knowledge of a truth. I tell him more, “I have proof that I am from her teacher’s family. When you search my bag for a blade you will find one. It’s a small hammered blade, a legionnaire’s dagger forged into a child’s-sized sickle. Take that to the woman who was abducted and ask if she has ever seen it before. If she is Anatase she will tell you it was made into this tool as a gift for her when she was a child – it was given her by the monk who taught her to read. His name was Nic. She will know this. Please tell her we’ve been searching for her.”
With wrists and ankles bound I’m turned again and I can’t speak.
(Continues Tuesday, March 8)