90. Kneeling by the Altar

He lies there day after day in the little room that Sieia made for him years ago: The massive four-poster bed with its rich silk hangings and down comforter. It’s warm and snug and private, and the shrine is beautiful. Sieia has kept it stocked with candles. Sieia and Virginia feed and care for him, […]

89. A Close-Run Thing

Consciousness returns unsteadily. Later it seems as if he was awake and lucid for long stretches, explaining complicated matters to people who wouldn’t listen. He feels that perhaps he was interrogated at some point, and that he may have had visions, none of them memorable, thank God. When he’s first truly conscious, it’s evening, and […]

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 […]