24. Inglorion Claims His Inheritance

Inglorion moves into his father’s house, and takes over the garden, bees and chickens. In theory, there’s a satisfying symmetry to this. Certainly Lucius seems unsurprised, and quietly agrees it’s for the best. In reality, Inglorion’s confronted with an immediate, practical task. The walls, ceiling and floor are all spattered and stained to various degrees. When […]

10. The Iron Owl

By mutual, tacit consent, Brutus and Inglorion settle into a casual master/apprentice arrangement. Inglorion knows little about farming and water harvesting in this climate; Brutus knows a lot. Though the older man rarely provides step-by-step lessons, or even explicit advice, he’s willing to let Inglorion shadow him as he tinkers with his cisterns and basins, […]

7. The Knowledge Grows Slowly Within

It’s full night when Inglorion walks back. It’s a sweet, cloudless evening. Brick and stone have begun to cool; the moon is waning. Inglorion can see again: The hesitant, frozen forms of rabbits crouching in the weeds; a handful of bats, flying irregular trajectories. A stray cat drops and rolls in the dirt, and eyes […]

5. “To the Pure, All Things Are Pure”

The following morning, a package appears on the front porch. It’s wrapped in brown paper, secured with twine, and addressed to Inglorion in a bold, slanted hand. He opens it with trembling hands to find the first volume of Sir Richard Burton’s Thousand Nights and One Night. The paper and binding are stiff and fragile with age. […]

4. The Thousand Nights and One Night

Now that there are two mouths to feed, Lucius sends Inglorion to buy a half-dozen pullets, saying, “Lots of people sell them around here, but I’d recommend this fellow Brutus. He sells a few from his flock every now and then, and I think you’ll find him interesting.” And so Inglorion walks a few miles […]

19. The Golden Evening Rushed In

8/25/17— I should admit — at least in these pages — that I have come to care for Tereus: A man who revolted, angered and disgusted me — someone whom I hated. There are times when I still hate him, when his coldness and lack of empathy surprise and anger me. I’ve always respected his […]

18. The Carnal Pleasure of Work

7/15/17— Did I say the labor was unremitting? I had no idea. Now, in midsummer, all intellectual labor has ended, and leisure is a fond memory. We’re in the thick of manual labor, back-breaking at times. I have been canning for days on end, drawing water and chopping wood, standing for hours on end over […]