87. The Patron Saint of Bastards

“Thank you, Father.” says Inglorion. There’s an awkward pause. Inglorion is waiting for Father Nate to go, and wonders if it will be necessary to dismiss him explicitly. Finally Father Nate says, “Look, Inglorion. Much of my ministry has been of a practical nature. You’re in a tough position, maybe worse than you know. I’ve […]

86. Doing God’s Work by Digging Privies

Inglorion’s kneeling there, hands clasped, when Father Nate pokes his head in the tent flap. The priest says, “I can come back later, or I can join you in prayer. Whichever you prefer.” His expression isn’t what you’d call gentle, but he seems kinder and more human than he has before. “I’m done praying, but […]

85. A Plea for Guidance

Just before daybreak, the temperature drops and a chill breeze kicks up, waking Virginia from trance. She’s shivering. Inglorion has somehow stolen both cloaks in his sleep. He’s curled up tightly, deep in trance, and she’s huddled next to him for warmth. She disentangles herself gently. He’s limp, breathing deep and slow. When he’s awake […]

84. With My Body, I Thee Worship

Once dinner has ended and they’re heading back to Inglorion’s tent, he whispers to Virginia, “Is Lucius well enough to spend the night alone? I want us to have a little honeymoon.” “Of course. What did you have in mind?” “Go fetch your cloak and I’ll show you.” She gathers her cloak, kisses Lucius goodnight, […]

83. Man and the Reason for Living

That evening, the refugee camp hosts a double-wedding. Father Nate Szyba looks cold and solemn and forbidding, and reads the rites in sepulchral tones. Aramil looks radiantly happy, and Ajax is composed and prim, with an air of quiet triumph appropriate to someone who has been wooed and won. Aramil wears the same outfit he […]

82. The 39 Articles

“My dear, I’ve got Father Nate outside. Can you talk to him? He’s asking about your faith, and I feel you should answer for yourself.” Inglorion has poked his head into their little tent, where Virginia is tending to Lucius. She emerges from the tent, wiping her hands on her apron. “Certainly. What do you […]

81. Virginia Replies

Inglorion takes Virginia’s arm again, and they walk further down the post road. Finally she says again, “I hardly know what to say.” Her manner is calm, but he can tell that she’s puzzled and confused. “My dear, only three answers are possible: Yes, no, or a request for time to think it over. Why […]