. Father, Father
“I don’t like being indebted to Foehammer,” Father Moonwall said to Brother Pizarro. “Even when you and he were students I never much cared for him. Brilliant, admittedly, but that superior attitude was insufferable.” Father Moonwall shook his head. “If you think the boys are healthy enough, we will take them with us. We can set up tents on the cathedral grounds. Tell the children to gather their things; they can rest for a day after we set up camp, then perhaps they can assist with the cleanup effort.”
“Why would we leave here?” questioned Leviticus from his bed on the far side of the ward. “This room and these beds are more comfortable than any tent or cots could ever be.”
Father Moonwall crossed the room with shocking speed, grabbed Leviticus by the collar of his nightshirt, threw him into the wall and pinned the boy using the strength of his forearm alone. Father Moonwall then spoke, enunciating each word with a precise and lacerating cadence. “You will gather your things without question or complaint because I tell you to do so. Am I understood?”
“Leviticus!” Joseph Foehammer spoke from the door to the ward having apparently been located by Nurse Rosamond. He looked haggard, as though he hadn’t eaten or slept in far too long. His white coat was stained with blood, both dried and fresh. “Obey Father Moonwall and Brother Pizarro.”
The moment was wrought with tension. Father Moonwall’s focus upon Levitucus remained unwavering. Leviticus seemed confused, as though he didn’t know where to look. His eyes shifted from Father Moonwall to Joseph Foehammer then back again. Father Moonwall repeated his question and though his voice was softer it sounded far more intimidating. “Am I understood?”
Leviticus surrendered beneath the pressure of Moonwall’s arm. “Yes Father,” the boy said.
Father Moonwall released his hold upon the boy. “You are a good student, Leviticus.” said Moonwall. “Managing your temper will come in time. The fire has caused the city unimaginable devastation. There is a lot of work to be done. Get dressed.” With the situation defused the church cleric turned to face Joseph Foehammer.
“Don’t you ever talk over me when I am disciplining a student again!” said Father Moonwall. “Where is Brother Kadmus?”
“Am I your brother’s keeper?” asked Joseph.
“Father Moonwall, if I might,” interrupted Brother Pizarro. “Taking the boys so soon after their illness may not be the wisest course of action. I would like a word with Dr. Foehammer away from listening ears for a moment. It is urgent and requires discretion.”
“There is a small office at the end of the wing.” said Joseph.
“Very well,” replied Moonwall after a brief pause. “I’ll go find Brother Kadmus. I want a full report on their health in ten minutes.”