Historical setting: 589 C.E. A cottage ruin in the Mountains
Ana answers the door of this place with the sky as its ceiling and she welcomes Brother Servant. He’s come with a cart and a wrap of linen apparently to gather up my remains for burial.
She invites him in so I choose to keep still here and just play the part of the table I’m lying on.
Brother Servant sits down on a bench and Ana offers him a biscuit and some tea.
“It was a very long night here. I lit torches all around so I could see to work, and I was able to learn a great deal about mending a deep wound. And now by God’s grace alone he lived through it all.”
Brother Servant comes near.
Ana offers the prognosis, “He may yet get his strength back. But I think it would be dangerous for him to be taken too soon for a long cart ride back to the infirmary at Annegray.”
“Would you like me to stay here then?”
“That won’t be necessary.”
“Do you feel in danger should he become stronger and rise up?”
“I’m safe with him. He was my teacher’s family, and I knew him when I was a child. In a waking moment now he has already remembered me. I’m pretty sure neither of us will need to report for confession while he is healing here.”
I hear a bowl drop onto the hearthstone and shatter and Brother Servant goes to help her pick up the pieces. Helping her seems to be his assignment always.
“It’s been a long night for you, saving a man and then making fresh biscuits.”
“I seem to be clumsy from sleeplessness.”
“Would you like me to keep watch while you get some rest?”
“Thank you that would be kind of you.”
“I’ll finish slicing the carrots for the porridge pot.”
“Thank you, Brother. You’ll just have to stay for the noon sup then.”
As Ana goes out through the door by the hearth I ask Brother Servant if she has a room in there, “with a roof.” He seems surprised to find I am aware, and assures me that she does sleep under a roof. Now he has moved the bench closer, so that we can talk in whispers as I seem to do this day.