I’ve been working on the fourth installment of the Saga of Will Fylbrigge for longer than I want to admit. I really do want to get that finished before the sun goes nova, but what I’ve got are just a bunch of small little episodic pearls, with no string to hold them together. It makes me wonder if there will ever be a string.
Anyway, I thought I’d share one of the pearls. You’ll be at a disadvantage if you haven’t read “In the Wake of Ashes” (note, shameless plug) so it wouldn’t hurt for you to go and get it at Amazon. (Kindle too!).
Ok, now for the excerpt. Think of it as a bridge to nowhere . . . just yet.
“Sanctus…Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.” The lad looked hopefully to his teacher.
“Very good!” the instructor said gently, smiling. “Now, Seany, please tell me the translation.”
The boy heaved a heavy sigh, then caught the sight of the man standing in the doorway, silently mouthing the words behind the instructors back. The lad betrayed his helper with a grin.
Father Ian turned, catching William in the act of helping his son with his lessons. “Forgive me, Father I have . . .” William began, then shrugged. “Ah well, guilty. Name your penance.” He leaned on his canes, walking slowly into the lesson room, smiling innocently at his old friend.
Father Ian shook his head, chuckling under his breath as he made a chair ready for William to sit on. “I should think enduring one of my insufferable lessons with my esteemed young pupil should be penance enough.”
“You mean we’re not finished?” Seany moaned, resting his chin on his fist. “Why do I have to learn this boring old Latin anyway? I’ve no desire to be a stupid old priest.”
William cocked his brow to his son in warning. “Careful lad. Remember who your teacher is.”
Seany blushed. “I’m sorry, Ian.”
“Father, Ian,” William corrected.
“Why must I call him Father Ian? He’s always just been Ian? And he’s not my father, you are Papa.”
“No harm, Will. Seany is right in this case. I may have taken back my collar and vows, but as far as he is concerned—and you as well—I prefer to remain simply Ian.” He mussed Seany’s hair affectionately, then closed the lesson book, much to the child’s delight. “And he’s absolutely right. Enough lessons for one day. Go on, enjoy the sunshine.”
“Really?” Seany perked up, grinning.
“Really,” Ian confirmed. “Now go before I change my mind.”
Seany was up and across the room and nearly out the door before he remembered William was in the room. He stopped, one hand on the knob. “Papa? May I go?”
“I’m not in charge in this room, lad,” William replied. “You heard him, go before he changes his mind.” He held his hand to the side of his face and grinned slyly. “You know how grumpy stupid old priests can be if you dinnae do as they say.”
Ian creased his brow, crossing his arms on his chest. “Very grumpy.”
Seany’s eyes went wide for a half-moment, before he broke into laughter. “Thank you!” he called, as he ran happily from the room.
Ian chuckled lightly, pouring some wine from a bottle on a nearby stand. He poured two goblets and brought one to William. “So much for being stern.” He clinked his glass against William’s. “Blessings…and all that,” he said, then gulped the contents down.
“Blessings,” William concurred before sipping at his, a bit slower than his friend. “I am sorry I interrupted your lesson. How is he doing all in all?”
Ian sat back in the chair, placing the goblet down lightly. “Let me show you something.” He shuffled through a pile of parchments on the table until he found the one he wanted, and handed it to William. “Take a look and judge for yourself.”
William looked at the parchment, confused at what he was seeing; a simple child’s drawing of the castle, a few scribbled illegible words scrawled across the bottom and another barn-like structure added to the left margin. “A drawing?”
“Don’t you recognize that?”
“Tis Drumoak, no…we have no barn—ah,” William sighed recognizing the structure. “The common barn back in Port Edin.”
“Yes. We have been back in Scotland nearly three years, yet he still insists that Port Edin is his home. I suppose there is no harm in it.”
“But it concerns you?”
“I know what is to long for a place you cannot return to,” Ian said quietly, finishing the last of his wine.
William looked to see the far-off look on his friend’s eyes. “Do you miss it?”
“Port Edin? No. I’ve put that entire episode far behind me. I was thinking of another time. When I was much younger when I decided to become a stupid old priest.” He gave William a wink.
“He meant no harm in that.”
Ian raised his hand, dismissing William’s concern. “I know. The truth is my friend, your son is very perceptive. He is, in many ways, his father’s son.”
Stay tuned. .. or go buy my books and get caught up. If you read slow enough (um..really slow) I may be done writing by the time you’re done reading.