Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"Hell's Hinges," Tenet cursed.

December 4, 1845
Glendalough, Ireland

"Hell's Hinges," Tenet cursed.

Father Billy Donnelly's thin, browish-red eyebrows jumped up like fairy legs doing a jig, and he crossed himself reflexively. "Language, Brother Tenet, language. What ever could be the matter?"

Tenet's odd, black and silver eyes were scanning the area just at the edge of the monastic city. The Father noted that there was far more dark than light there, in those strange eyes, which disturbed the priest deeply. Billy was Irish and that meant that he was no man's fool first off, but secondly, he was a man of the cloth--a true servant of the Christ--and he knew enough of the Good Book to know what Tenet was. However, he was the type of man to judge another not by his stock, but by his walk, and to date, the thing that called itself Tenet had proven itself to be honorable and trustworthy and for the most part, as good as any sinner born to flesh.

But, Billy Donnelly was no man's fool, and he would do his best to strike Tenet down if the need arose. After all, Billy was God's man and a Shepherd of the sheep of Glendalough. If there be a wolf in the glen, then it would be Billy that would deal with it.

Tenet was studiously observing the area around the foot of the Gateway, that two-storied granite, wood-and-slate roofed structure that stood as an entryway into the monastic compound and marked the outer edge of the sanctuary. The priest had told him that the structure, with its cross-inscribed keystone, had stood for as long as the monastery had been in existence.

Or perhaps longer.

The Father prompted again. "What troubles ye, Tenet?"

The pale-skinned man gestured with his chin-beard, long and pointed it was and mostly coal black except for two thin silver streaks. "That beggar there, outside of town. He's dragging something."

Father Billy nodded. "Aye, oh aye, we get our fair share of beggars, tramps, and thieves here, especially in these turbulent times. Everyone and their brother still at one another's throats. The Rebellion was horrible and lots are still sore to the marrow about it. Yet, we feed them, and clothe them if we can, and give them what they need. It is as St. Matthew says, yes, 'For I was hungered and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger and ye took me in: naked and ye clothed me...'"

Tenet nodded, dully, and then turned those strange eyes upon the Father. The priest got a shiver from the top of his tonsure to the bottom of his sandals. "True, but don't let that one in, Father."

Again, the fairy did a reel across the Father's forehead. "Why, in the name of God, should I not?"

Tenet began walking in the direction of the gate. By the line of his shoulders and the set of his pale face, it was clear that he was preparing himself for battle. "Because that thing is no beggar. It only looks like one. It brings death, plague, and suffering."

Father Billy was aghast. "Why would it want to do that? How do you know?" he called.

The pale man-who-was-not-a-man stopped and turned on a booted heel. "Because it wants to fill that sack with something far worse than death, plague, and suffering, Father. And I know because it cannot enter the Gate...and because of that." A pale finger pointed to the small, cream colored dog that followed Father Billy everywhere. The Wicklow terrier barely reached the priest's calf, but in its stance, it looked like the fiercest guard dog that had ever lived. It was growling and slavering, and its hackles were standing on end. It was staring straight at the man with the sack who was creeping around the edge of town.

Tenet turned and resumed his stalk to the Gate. "Your dog knows a rat when he sees one."

Art Source: "Hands Collector" (c)/by rawwad
Story and Characters: (c)/by Brannon Hollingsworth

#MMWW, #Makes, #Me, #Wanna, #Write, #BrannonHollingsworth, #Tenet, #TenetsTales, #WicklowTerrier, #Glendalough, #Ireland, #FatherBillyDonnelly, #GreatIrishFamine


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