Post #30.4, Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Historical setting: 589 C.E. In the Vosges Mountains

         At this waking I see the contents of my travel bag spread out on the ground and Anatase’s sickle is missing. Brother Crathias is still here, and I am lying on my back on a fleece with only my ankles tied now.

         “Good morning, Pirate. Brother Servant will return soon with a cart from the monastery to take you somewhere you can’t escape from in case you really are a pirate. But I don’t think you’re a pirate. You’re teeth are good.”

         “Thank you. I’m definitely not a pirate.”

          “But you know lots of young women and boys have been kidnapped by pirates to be sold for wives and slaves off in distant places where they can’t be found again. That is probably what happened to the girl whose child’s toy you happened to have. It seems unlikely the same woman you lost would be the one they found.”

         “Coincidences happen. Anatase is strong and clever.  And of course there is that possibility of synchronicity.”

         “Yes, Good Pirate, but you might have had a better chance to free yourself had you not given Brother Servant such a unique item to prove your hunch.  Because if she’s not that woman then it will prove you really are a pirate and things could go very badly for you.”

         “But the truth is I’m not a pirate.”

          “I think Brother Servant mentioned an old quarry pit behind the tattered fort of Annegray where they can keep you captive until Father Columbanus decides what to do with you. I know about Annegray because I was there last year at Lent and I saw that it is a ruin of an old fortress that the Irish monks only pretend is a monastery. It has lots of scary hiding places.”

         “I know,” I can speak more easily now, “I’ve even heard rumors from the pagans it is a haunt for the creatures of the underworld. But I wondered with beasts and rumors, and a hard climb to reach it, why would it be so popular for Christian pilgrims?”

         “Christians give no thought to the fears of earth, at least they shouldn’t say it aloud if the do fear, so being haunted surely adds to the challenge. And tattered and hard to reach is what sincere Christians gladly accept to assure the significance of the spiritual challenges they have taken on. And then, of course, Father Columbanus is beloved.”

(Continues Tomorrow)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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