A Cup Of Wine

"Thank you Father Nathan," Doc says to the offered cup of wine, "this should chase the chill away very nicely." He has a sip.

As the wine settles over his tongue and begins to warm a small spot in his belly, Doc looks around the room. Mark, to his left, sniffs the wine once and then takes a large swallow, smiles, and smacks his lips. Brother Broderick, on Doc's right, sits very upright on the bench and tries to disguise his shivers as he he holds his cup of wine in both hands and keeps taking small but steady sips. The room is decorated with elaborate tapestries and bookshelves crammed with scrolls, and even though the fire glows brightly in the fireplace, the frost is still edging it's way to the center of the window panes.

"There is no Duke of Bologna," Father Nathan insists, "Now, tell me," he demands, "who are you really?"

"As far as the Duke of Bologna goes, that is neither here nor there," Doc says casually.


"The Duke is neither here nor there. He isn't in Bologna and he isn't here either. That was a deception to throw off those who would do us harm."

"Which brings me back to who are you? Who are these people who want to harm you?"

"If I am vague with you, it is because I must. Trust me when I say the less I tell you, the safer you will be. You perhaps noticed the commotion in the village below today?"

"Yes, several of the brothers were shocked when this loud blast was heard from the valley below. Smoke and fire rolled for half the day!"

"It was even more frightening to behold from the valley!" volunteers Brother Broderick as he cringes and crosses himself at the thought. He quickly returns to his wine.

"There are dark forces in the land and they seek nothing but the rampant destruction of all things and they will stop at nothing to achieve that."

I have seen these dark agents of the Devil," Brother Broderick offers, his eyes wide with wine. "They travel in a black carriage with no horses and spit fire and lightening. Their vengeance shakes the ground. They are truly to be feared," he concludes and tries to shake the frightening thought from his mind before he returns to his wine and staring at the floor.

"They are terrible fierce," Mark suggests as he looks from Father Nathan to his now empty wine cup.

"So what is it you want from me?" Father Nathan says with more than a little exasperation. He quits leaning on his desk and brings himself to his full seven feet height and squares his shoulders.

Doc reads his body language and sees that Father Nathan is more than a little irked at being imposed upon and also that his questions seem to remain unanswered.

"What I need from you is a little information. I'm looking for a woman by the name of Jezelle. She is said to be a nun here and joined your order with several others from a local village at about the same time. If I can find this woman and her fellow villagers, I can steer these dark forces away from you and your abbey."

Father Nathan gives Doc a long, hard penetrating look trying to fathom the amount of truth there.

"I know I am asking a lot of you Father Nathan and I am not volunteering much in return, but I need to find these women quickly before more foul deeds are committed in this land, or even worse, on your doorstep. Help me find these people and we will leave with all haste and you will never see us again, of that I promise." Doc hopes that his words have found their mark and Father Nathan will be inclined to help. He waits for the good Father's reply.


Doc said...

Is there anything about Father Nathan's accent that I would recognise? He isn't from around here, that's for sure. What about his nationality or his features? Do they suggest where he is from?

Just curious.


ERR said...

He's a Norman and speaks Francish