Thursday, January 03, 2013
New Beginning 985
Angba Skullcrusher quietly made her way across the Basilica to the sturdy wood door with 'Father Balbain ' printed in neat gold letters. Patting the stray hairs back in place, she gave her forest green day dress a last dusting so she would at least be somewhat presentable after the long ride. Cautiously she rapped the brass knocker.
From inside the room a man called, “Come in.”
Steeling herself for the look of disappointment, she pushed the door open. “Father Balbian?”
“Yes?” Father Balbian sat behind his desk, thick with layers of papers and books. His spectacles gave him the look of a friendly owl. “What can I do for you, miss? Come and sit with me.”
Encouraged, Angba settled onto the padded chair. Opening her bag, she withdrew her letter. “Father,” she began, “my name is Angba Skullcrusher. Tallis sent for me.”
She did not expect his reaction.
“Angba? You’re the Angba?” He stood, a joyful smile spreading from his face to his body, until it seemed as though he smiled with every part of his being. “Angba? Praise the gods! I thought I’d never get to see you. Tallis talked about you constantly. You were his pride and joy.”
“I was? I mean--I have a letter from him,” she said, handing the paper to the priest. “He wanted me to come and stay here and learn with him. I did send him a letter telling him when I was coming.” She managed to smile. “I—I’ve wanted to meet him for a long time. You have no idea how grateful to him I am for everything.”
“Oh, I have an idea,” said Father Balbain. His smile slowly drained from him.
“What’s wrong? Wasn’t I supposed to come here?”
“No, it’s not that.”
“What, then? Is it because I’m an—“
“No. no. That has nothing to do with it. Angba,” he sighed, “I buried Tallis two days ago.”
"You . . . Oh no. If only I hadn't delayed my departure . . . How . . . did he die?"
"Lack of oxygen, I'm afraid. At least I assume so, as he was still alive when I buried the coffin. The screaming stopped after a couple hours."
Opening: Khazar-khum.....Continuation: Evil Editor