REDWINE at DINNER
For Dinner: Chicken Sorrell Soup, Roast Quail Veronique.
Mood: Sad. Last times always are.
Written in the Year of our Lord 3580, March 3rd,
Location: my apartment, St. VS-8000 Seminary, Havlinn.
I met with my flock today, humble as it is....mostly menial
workers who help maintain Havlinn town, and introduced Father Lovchen,
who will be taking my place. I heard confession for the last time from
so many of them. I was struck, once again, how essentially decent
they are, no matter how many times they unburden themselves to me. I will
miss them incredibly. I found, listening to their lives, tears welling
up in my eyes, realizing how I would miss hearing their lives.
After the service, Father Lovchen heard my confession.
I outpoured my doubts, my misgivings, my fears, and my loneliness.
I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision in joining the clergy after
the death of my wife and children. I'm not tormented with doubts about
God, really...I know it's unfashionable to be a priest who believes in
God, but there it is...but I do have doubts about my own strength and worthiness.
I think of things I've done in the past, and might do again, except I might
be caught, and I sometimes think how my flock would revile me if they knew
who was presuming to tell them about Infinite Goodness and Perfection.
Afterwards, Lovchen and I walked the fens of Havlinn,
shallow little marshes dotting the plain, with silvery shoots growing from
them. The air was cool yet bracing. It really is a marvellous world, and
a fitting place for the Empress to reside. Lovchen had assisted me
often, and knew my parish almost better than I did myself.
We had our lunch with us, and stopped and picnicked.
We had marrow dumplings packed. He gave me a small gift...two books, actual
books. One was THE FATHER BROWN OMNIBUS, the other was ORTHODOXY, both
by G.K. Chesterton.
"Whereever did you find these?"
"Your parish chipped in and bought them. All things
eventually come to Havlinn. Where you're going, you might not have immediate
access to any sort of Net or library."
"Thanks. I'll miss you all."
"We know it." He pulled out the fruit cider, and poured
us both a glass to toast towards Sol and vanished Earth.
I would miss the marshy fields around Havlinn town, the
silver vegetation, the city which was the hub of human space, yet reminded
me of pictures of lost Venice.
I got home, and my "angel" Tom had everything ordered
for the trip and waiting in the apartment. I began packing. I received
a message from the Cardinal that Misltu the Traitor, the only Lokiite on
the planet, would meet with me tomorrow. Or rather, I would meet
with him, since he was constantly guarded, having an immense price on his
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