This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Friday, 12 October 2012


“I don’t like it,” said the monk.

“What don’t you like?” the Abbot turned with some surprise. His round face shone with sweat under his tonsure. “I thought you said it had all gone well.”

“Yes, but…” The monk was young and still unsure of himself. His nose jutted from his face like a battering ram, and his cheeks were sunken. “It disturbed me.”

“It disturbed you, Brother Felix?” The Abbot was amused, and did not try to hide it. “But you swore to uphold the rules of the order, did you not?”

The monk hitched nervously at the cord at the waist of his dark brown habit. “I did. But this…” he made a helpless gesture with his hands. “It is not what I thought it would be,” he finished.

“Nevertheless,” said the Abbot, with a hint of iron in his voice, “you swore to fight evil and heresy in all its forms. So what was it that disturbed you?”

“Well…I thought…these people, they just look at the same thing, only from a different direction, as it were you, Father Abbot, looking at this bowl of fruit from that side of the table, and I, from this side. We see different fruit, but it’s a bowl of fruit all the same.”

The Abbot flushed and took up the bowl of fruit and put it on a sideboard. “That’s not for you to say,” he said sharply. “Your only duty is to obey your ecclesiastical orders. You have sinned against them, if only in your mind. I shall have to think of a penance for you to do.” He peered at the monk. “Was there anything else that disturbed you, Brother Felix?”

“Yes, their view of things…it seemed so peaceful. Not like ours.”

“That’s the Devil at work. He can make evil look good if he wants. Do you doubt your vows, Brother Felix?”

“No, Father Abbot, no. It’s just that…”


“The vows I took, and what I see around me, they seem different. Not the same.”

“Welcome to the real world, Brother Felix. In the real world, we might have to do things that we abhor, because the Glory of the One True Church demands it.” The Abbot was all smiles again. “It disturbed you then, about those heretics? I know, our Lord was a heretic Himself, against the established order. But that was then. And these that you thought so peaceful…when the fires were lit, they screamed loud enough, didn’t they?”

 The monk, remembering, shuddered.

And out in the square outside the monastery, the wood still sputtered and crackled, and the smell of burned flesh hung heavy in the air.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2008


No comments:

Post a Comment