Historical setting: 589 C.E. Near Annegray in the Vosges Mts.
Ana and I have a journey before us and we’ve barely finished preparing. A bird arrives with the message that Thole is waiting at the monastery with our horses. So on this fine summer’s day we take up our traveler’s bags and our bird in the box and we walk to the monastery. On our way we meet Brother Servant, with another bird in a box and his bag as he plans to tend the gardens while we are away. He mentioned it again, two men with horses are waiting for us.
Two men? It’s both Thole and Daniel and it’s good to see Daniel again. The last time I saw him was at the count’s “victory feast” and his mother was touting him as a dragon slayer. I think it was to assure him a smidge of fame so that he could marry into aristocracy – a fine move for a commoner, though dragon slayers seem in abundance in these times.
The journey that was mapped for us starts with Metz, a city with the legendary St. Clement the first bishop who slew the dragon Graoully, [Footnote] and chased the snakes from the Roman amphitheater that was already in ruin when the Christians arrived. But in our own time we have Daniel as the rumored dragon slayer.
“Daniel! So good to see you again.”
His gaze is riveted on Ana. He seems bedazzled to see her again, older now and looking so well. The stories of her struggles no doubt, have been rumored all around.
Daniel knows, “They call you Ana now, I hear.”
“Ana, I am, and wife to this man I still call Lazarus, but everyone here calls him Ezra.”
I add, “When last I heard, Daniel, you also had marriage in mind or at least your mother was fixing up the necessary gossip to make that so.”
“Yes, indeed. I have a wife and soon we will fill the Count’s castle with little children again. Bert’s and Celeste’s children are grown up already.”
“Tell me how they are, and what they are doing now.” Ana asks,
“I’ve thought of my old friends so often, especially when I was so alone. And look here! You’ve brought that blue speckled mare, Teardrop, I always used to ride her at the Count’s stable.”
“I think she thinks she’s your horse, Anatase. Everyone missed you and worried for you, even Teardrop.”
[Footnote] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clement_of_Metz, retrieved 2-9-22.