When Roman Laneg turned fifty four years of age both his parents had died: First his mother went, then his father followed her to the grave four weeks later. Although he had once been married and had two sons, he had not seen his ex-wife and children since his youngest son had turned eighteen three years earlier. Laneg was alone in the world without any family or meaningful connections. While he was a surgeon, and had accumulated much money, his life felt empty and joyless. Bored with watching television alone every night he set to visit his local church in the hopes of finding a meaning to his existence outside his job. Not finding it there he tried other churches, a new age group, and even a community of atheists. Yet after a year of looking for a purpose and place to belong he felt no better than how he had when he first started. His life while comfortable lacked any meaning, and he found the various ideologies of these different groups entirely insufficient to answer his need.
One night at the hospital he had just finished his shift when he saw something that he hadn’t seen before: a medical doctor and a nurse having an argument about the diagnosis of a patient. The nurse was young, she looked to be least than twenty years old yet she was the calmer one in the argument trying to make her case rationally for why the doctor should order a specific blood test. While the doctor twice her age was gesticulating and talking over her with a raised voice and flushed cheeks. Normally no nurse that young would dare contradict a doctor, much less do so with such an insistent rational manner. Seeing that this nurse was in serious danger of being disciplined Laneg decided as the most senior physician present to intervene and restore peace. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 30”
Oriana proceeded directly from Kelly’s house to the community library. Her father had been in a better mood this morning and when Paul came around to pick her up in the morning he seemed relieved that she was with him. Paul was well liked by parents across the neighbourhood, Oriana mused that this was because while most boys were of the rough and tumble variety, Paul was a reserved and generous boy who had a reputation unblemished by teenage scandals. Oriana had speculated that her father secretly wished that she would date him instead of merely friend him, yet for all of Paul’s positive traits, there was something plain about him. It was splendid of him to care so much about the poor, yet a man who cares too much for the poor runs the risk of being poor himself, or so Oriana had reasoned, and while she agreed with her reasoning, she felt agonisingly aggrieved with herself to judge him so harshly. Indeed, sometimes in her low times she speculated if perhaps she was not unwittingly making the same mistakes her mother made.
However, there was now a new man in her life; Kent, and this man was in some ways similar to Paul. He was reserved, gentle, and exuded no malice at all in his manners, just like Paul. However, while Paul had a naïve confidence in the good nature of his fellow man, Kent was a troubled man who seemed suspicious and wary of everyone he encountered. Justifiably so since these Tyranni have appeared on the scene, but nonetheless, whereas Paul was naturally inclined to believe whatever someone might tell him, Kent was the opposite. Kent had in some ways the character of a bad dinner guest: constantly questioning and cross-examining others. He might even come across as arrogant to the eyes of someone who doesn’t know him well enough, but Oriana had by this time concluded that he was not in fact arrogant, but precocious and confident in his intellectual abilities. Perhaps too confident in them, although she didn’t feel ready as yet to make that judgement of Kent. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 29”
Paul typically wore jeans and jumpers whenever he was out in public, however, today he felt his lunch date, if that was what it was, with Deaspara required something a little more formal. He was dressed in a white shirt with a red tie and a pair of his father’s pants, which were noticeably too short for him. He arrived at the restaurant, and was guided to a table for two and commenced waiting for his date to arrive. Although, he wasn’t entirely sure if it was a date, he was sure he had seen a wedding ring on her left hand, but was it perhaps on her right hand and he had gotten confused? He would definitely check today, and besides, even if it isn’t a date, the soup van desperately needed some more money to pay for the food. The demand for food from the homeless only grew bigger each year; it was already beyond what the small parish could comfortably afford.
Deaspara was watching him from the balcony of a neighbouring building with the single minded focus of a bird of prey. Syndi was not far from her cigarette in her left hand, and a beer in her right.
“Awww, the boy has dressed up for our little lunch date! I forgot how sweet these innocent young lambs can be,” snickered Deaspara.
Syndi burped loudly before responding, “You reckon you can break his faith in god? Telling him how scared you are of god probably didn’t get far with him last night.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 28”
Oriana rapped on Kelly’s door, flanked by Paul. Kelly opened it up it up almost immediately, but instead of her usual boisterous greeting she placed a finger over her lips and motioned for her friends to come in quietly. Moments later the trio were sitting in the back room overlooking the backyard.
“Well?” Started Oriana, “what happened? Where’s Kent and Suvarin?”
“Kent helped to drop Suvarin off this morning and then left right away. He figured that you guys would want to come over and he didn’t want to put all five of us in the one location to tempt the Tyranni into killing us all. He said he had work this morning too, and besides, I think it would have made my mother more suspicious.”
“What does your mother think of Suvarin being here?” Asked Paul.
“The story I have told her is that I was at a party with Suvarin and she got so drunk that she fell down a slope into the mud and almost drowned.”
“How is Suvarin?” Asked Oriana.
“She went back to sleep, she’s in my room completely out of it.”
“So what happened last night?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 27”
Elwin fell through the water, falling. Falling deep, falling through the riverbed. Deep down into the Earth. There was nothing but darkness in every direction. No light, no sound, nothing he could hold onto, nothing for him to grasp. The only thing he could feel was the burning agony in the centre of his chest. A thought crossed his mind: have I died? Has my hearted stopped beating forever? A pain oozed through his flesh as though liquid fire was spreading throughout his body. The pain reached underneath his skin and thousands of sharp hot needles started to jab into his body from every direction. He panicked and tried to flail but could find nothing to push against. Realising his powerlessness against the pain he stopped and just let the sensations wash over him passively.
Acceptance of his torment eased it and soon he discovered thinking again:
“Where am I? I have fallen down somewhere, to someplace deep underneath the surface. I must be deep under the Earth. Yet there is only darkness everywhere I look. Am I in Hell?”
The darkness was complete, but the silence was not. Somewhere in this dark empty place Elwin could hear a voice. A faint distant voice… he could just make it out. A spark of recognition fizzled deep in his memory, a voice he knew very well: Agatha. She was the nursemaid who had been so kind to him when he was very young.
“Come to me…” Continue reading “Thorns – Part 21”
The door to the cabin opened unexpectedly, Kelly flinched, but it was only Kent returning. He was carrying a large backpack with him. He took out a pillow and carefully placed it underneath Suvarin’s head. She stirred and tried to speak. Kelly noticed there were a couple of sleeping bags inside the bag too, along with what must be some of Suvarin’s clothes.
“It’s ok Suva, you’re going to be ok, you’re safe now just rest.”
Suvarin wasn’t ready to lose consciousness, “the blood!” she cried out.
“I delivered it to Laneg, he is treating the knight now.”
“The knight! Will he be ok? I only got two units of blood!”
“Laneg said he would make it, he will just take much longer to recover. Relax, you did really well. You saved his life.”
Suvarin slumped back down into her pillow, “Tell Laneg that my brother has O negative blood, he is training to be a knight, maybe he can donate some?”
Kent gently soothed her, “Laneg has everything under control. He’s an excellent surgeon, one of the best. You just focus on yourself, you need to rest up and get better.”
Suvarin’s face contorted to one of fear mingled with sadness, “Kent, I feel so cold, I am weak, I don’t know if I will get through the night.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 26”
The tunnel was old, in fact is was so old that the bricks felt like sponge underneath Kelly’s touch. Decades of exposure to moisture had seeped through the bricks and rotted them through. The water lapped at their knees and if it the tunnels hadn’t been so narrow the current would have easily washed them away. Their progress was slow but morale picked up when Kent announced that he could get a clear signal from Suvarin’s phone.
“Just up this way, Kelly!” exclaimed Kent.
Kelly’s legs were going numb as the water sucked the warmth out of them. The air was stale, thick with enough moisture that it was becoming difficult to breathe. Kelly started to wonder if maybe there wasn’t enough oxygen this far underground and if she might faint? Kelly had started out this adventure believing it to be fun, but the rising waters were filling her heart with fear now. At last the tunnel opened up into a large rectangle concrete tunnel with a trough running down the middle.
“According to the tracker, she’s located just down this tunnel.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 25”