Thursday, April 15, 2010

Early Travels

I present to you a tale from when I first came to the mortal world, and I took a job with a king.

A Simple Traveller

His face was obscured by filigree; a motif I thought more common in Moorish architecture than in the confessional of a sixteenth century Catholic church. Not that our surroundings were as luxurious as they might have been five years ago. With the dissolution of the monasteries, money had ceased to flow so freely into the coffers of the Roman Catholic church. The walls and tapestries were grimy from soot and the yellow candles were from the local chandler rather than the virginal white refined fats from Italy.

"And what is your confession, my son?"

The priest's words were slurred as if he'd been at the communion wine. To be charitable, I put it down to tiredness. Perhaps he'd been at Matins and just forgotten to open the shutters in his bed chambers, and perhaps Sister Gentian had been in only to wake him up when I saw her leaving at the devotional bell.

"I have paved my road with trickery and deceit, father." I wondered what he'd make of that. Sure enough, I heard him draw himself up. He cleared his throat.

"And... er... what form of trickery have you undertaken?"

"I represent myself as a simple traveller, father."

"And are you not?"

"No, father. My name is Thomas Cromwell and I make... recommendations... to the Crown about the closure of churches and monasteries."

"Then I trust you have found no reason to condemn this parish?"

"Nothing that can't be... sorted out... away from prying eyes, if you get my meaning."

"I do. I do." His face became more distinct as he pressed it against the grill. "Shall we say fifty pounds?"

"You can say what ever you wish, father, but your attempt to bribe a king's official proves your guilt. The parish will be dissolved." I opened the door. "Good day to you."

I walked away, my troop of six armed men falling in behind me as I mounted my horse. Fifty pounds was a paltry sum compared to the ten percent I would receive when the church and land was added to the king's coffers.


aims said...

Well now. How very interesting in so many ways indeed!

Leatherdykeuk said...

True, too...

stephanie said...


This was excellent!

Leatherdykeuk said...

That's the piece that took time to research.

Thank you.