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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: November 23, 2014      Views: 815
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Chapter 48 of the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories
Unexpected Visitors Abound
"Oracles and Quests" by michaelcahill

Two soul mates live various lifetimes. In spite of often impossible circumstances they attempt to connect with each other

Previously, Valerius met Father Travis who seemed much sharper of intellect than he had been led to believe. He conversed with him and discovered him to have misgivings about the motives of Cicero, but agreed to let Valerius examine him. Winslow and the others began their journey to the home of Trellitia and shelter from Leopold. Julia and Valerius found moments of solitude and their thoughts turned to each other. Both felt the presence of each other inside of themselves. They were surprised and moved by their connection. We continue now as Julia and the others make their way to Trellitia's. 

~~~~~~~They hurry to the cabin

"Julia, c'mon. We have to go fast now." Florentina tugged on Julia's arm.
Julia looked down at Florentina. The feeling of oneness with Valerius remained and her face glowed as she smiled. Florentina smiled back. She didn't understand, but she enjoyed the feeling of warmth that emanated from Julia.
Julia spoke, "Of course, I was just … well, yes, we must hurry." She took the little girl's hand and they rushed up to catch the others.
They all walked along in high spirits. Winslow saw dust down the road. "Someone approaches. It must be Cassius. Everyone hide, just to be safe. I will stick to the far side of the road, inconspicuous, in case it is not he."
Cassius rode up and dismounted abruptly. He addressed Winslow, "It is Leopold, by carriage. He comes with the young priest, I don't recall his name. There is another passenger in the dark of the carriage. I believe they are headed this way. Off to the forest for now. I go to warn Father. I'll return with instructions soon. I will see if I can come up with a plan for Father to delay them. Remember, quiet now. They will pass soon. His carriage is swift and he proceeds with purpose." He mounted his steed and galloped down the road in an instant. 
Winslow turned to inform the others. They had already begun to retreat into the forest. Winslow hurried to join them.
In short order, Leopold and Cervantes hurtled by. They were headed to the home of Abramus just as Cassius suspected. A silent sigh of relief came over the small conclave huddled in the forest. They continued under the forest canopy making their way towards Trellitia's and, hopefully, safety.
"Stop! The Oracle of the Forest bid thee state thy purpose." Grenadier stood looking up at an elderly man, at least to the young boy. He carried a tree branch as a staff and wore tattered and dirty clothing. His hair shot from his head in disarray and his eyes were not both fixed in the same direction, one looked directly at the boy, the other skyward.
Noreen, Winslow's daughter, seldom spoke, but now said, "He may come and go as he pleases. We all may." She shrunk away as though surprised at her own boldness.
Adeline surged forward sensing the unease of her children. "I am unaware of any special powers over rites of passage given to an oracle. I see you have upset my children. Of that, I am aware. By what authority do you stop us? If you are indeed an oracle you should know our purpose, is it not so?"
The Oracle stepped back and a look of terror crossed his face. "Please … I … I uh meant no … harm. I am alone here. I am beset upon and hunted. I only meant to scare you off. I only meant … I am sorry. I meant to harm, but they beat me so terribly. I can't go back. You won't tell them. Please, I won't harm you. I mean no harm to anyone. Please…."
Adeline relaxed somewhat and felt sympathy for him. "We mean you no harm. I merely came to the aid of my children. Your approach to strangers will bring you harm, I fear. The forest is not populated with the meek, sir. Are you in need of aid? We ourselves are being assisted in our time of need."
"I don't mean to burden you with my plight. I only wish the peace of my own solitude. I am an artisan, but there is little call for my skills. I have become ill and my body betrays me. I sought help and was rewarded with beatings. I fled the big city and sought shelter elsewhere. The priests of the villages are of the same ilk as the city. They believed me to be possesed of demons. I dwell in the forest now. It is the only way for me. I will take my leave and bother you no more. My apologies and best wishes." He turned to go.
"No, wait." Winslow stepped forward. "I believe an oracle would be of great assistance to us in our current situation. What say you, Julia?"
Julia stepped up the Oracle slowly and looked him over. "This does seem to be a fine oracle. I expect there are mysteries unraveling within him even as we speak." She addressed him directly, "What say you then? Will our journey be fraught with peril? Or a smooth adventure blessed with serenity?"
The Oracle smiled, as he understood the kindness being offered him. "Indeed there is peril in blindness. An Oracle can assure serenity as he sees the shadows of things to come and the pathways that avoid them. Of course, if there were those of a mind to keep his company."
Winslow took on an air of grave seriousness. "I don't suppose an oracle of your caliber would be available to such a disheveled group of travelers. We could offer but our company and some simple hot meals. Our gratitude would be immense, sir." Winslow extended his hand.
"I believe I am most amenable to such an arrangement." He smiled and shook Winslow's hand. "You are most kind, sir. I have not met with kindness in a long while. My gratitude is beyond my skill with words to express."
"What is your name, Oracle? I am Winslow."
"I am Agapito of Constantinople, a candle maker. Well, formerly on both accounts I am afraid." He held up his left hand, which appeared to be balled partially into a fist. His right hand had some flexibility, but was somewhat immobile as well.
"This may be a day of good fortune for you. We go to the home of a physician's widow and await the arrival before long of a skilled doctor. Perhaps they will find some remedy for your condition." Winslow nodded to him.
Winslow quickly introduced him to the others and they all continued towards Trellitia's home.

~~~~~~Cassius arrives home

Cassius dismounted quickly and rushed inside. "Father, I bring news."
Abramus was in the kitchen warming tea. "Yes, I observed you from the kitchen. I take it the news is urgent by your pace."
"Leopold comes by carriage. He brings the young priest and another passenger. I couldn't make him out in the darkness of the carriage. I warned the others and they retreated to the safety of the forest. I am hoping to delay Leopold or even divert him to a new course as Julia and the others make their way to Trellitia's."
"I see. Cervantes, he is the new priest. A nice young man. I can't imagine that he would bring Thurston with him. We wait and see who his passenger is. Hmm. No sense in devising a strategy, as we know not their purpose. Let me speak, son. We don't want to utter something in haste. Leopold is clever and given his state of mind I would imagine on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary." Abramus sighed. "It seems there is no end to this matter."
Cassius peered out the kitchen window. "He arrives. The passenger is a priest as well. I do not know him. An older priest, ancient even, I would say. The young priest seems excited. He treats them both with the respect one would imagine a saint would receive." They see my horse. Okay, then. A simple ride in the country. Inspecting the fields of barley. Nothing exciting or unusual. "They notice my horse is recently in service. I will say I was inspecting our barley field."
"Ah yes, further lies. Very well. I imagine you saw it as you passed by." Abramus sighed as though that would calm his nerves. Older priest … ancient? Hmm. Abramus looked out the window for himself. "Rastavius. He comes from Constantinople on these matters? What must that damn fool have told him? Say nothing. He comes with a great deal of power behind him. He is more dangerous than Leopold. This is not good, Cassius. Watch your tongue. Remain humble and do not cross him for any reason. He has power. Do you understand?"
"Yes, father. I am aware of the situation. I defer to your wisdom." Cassius did not look pleased.




The book continues with Rastavius Returns. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
Wonderful feedback. I listen to every word and take it to heart. I often get excellent ideas from your thoughts and comments. The encouragement has been so appreciated. I apologize for my terrible record in responding to reviews. I'm buried and try to keep up with reviews first. I swear I read every word and appreciate your input more than you could possibly know. Thank you so very much.

List of characters:

Julia- the current incarnation of Vision. Vision is one of the souls that we are following throughout time. Julia is considered mentally ill. She has recall of past lives in great detail and sees them unfold before her. Very unique.

Valerius- the current incarnation of Sound. Sound is the other soul that we follow. In this lifetime he becomes a physician and is drawn to Julia. As soulmates they are always drawn to each other although they are unaware of their connection.

Petrus- The father of Valerius

Abramus- The father of Julia

Cassius- The brother of Julia

Leopold- A church leader who is of a mind that the mentally ill are demon possessed. A danger to Julia

Lourdes- A young woman that Valerius meets on the road home. Mother of Florentina.

Florentina- Daughter of Lourdes. A new patient for Valerius. Showing signs of mental illness. Loves music like Valerius.

Thurston- Another priest in the village. An ally to Trellitia and Valerius. Left Constantinople to get away from Rastavius and now has to contend with Leopold.

Winslow-husband/Adeline-wife/Noreen-daughter/Grenadier-disturbed son-- a family cast out of a nearby village when their son was accused of demon possession. The family fled to save their son's life. New patient for Valerius.

Father Cicero-A priest from a nearby village that had been performing prayer and other rites on Grenadier to drive out the demon he believes the child has inside him. He is searching for Winslow and his family.

Father Travis-The priest from the nearby village that Valerius has been called upon to treat.

Agapito-A man in the forest met by Winslow and the others. He claims to be "the oracle", but only to scare the others and protect himself. They take pity on him and offer help.

The story takes place after 500 AD. It is the beginning of the Dark Ages right after the fall of Rome. The church is becoming conservative and considering mental illness the work of the devil. It is a danger to Julia and Valerius who wants to treat her and protect her. Other patients come to Valerius and they are in danger as well.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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