Ιερά είσαι, οικοδόμος του σύμπαντος
ιερό είσαι, τους οποίους η φύση hath δεν σχηματίζεται
ιερό είσαι, η μεγάλη και ο ισχυρός
οικοδόμος από το φως και το σκοτάδι
In the ribbons of an early morning mist, Mumsy Abigail Sharp and Father Ora Moonwall stood reverently a short distance from Brother Dominic Lapis as he recited traditional words of exorcism and cast a measure of oil upon the ground. There was a young novice there as well; he stood quietly, moving only to present the consecrated tools needed for the ritual and make the Sign of the Hammer at appropriate junctions.
Although a turn of fortune had reduced this once upscale district to little more than a derelict neighborhood, the property on which they stood overlooking The Gut remained a prime piece of real-estate. Prior to The Great Fire this hill had been the estate of a young doctor, his wife and baby son, but neither the home nor the marriage had survived the inferno. Since then structures on this spot seemed to come and go, the most recent occupants being what Mumsy had dubbed “that ghastly fish church.” What foul rubbish were they up to? she wondered. Whatever it was, the ruins of their fallen temple now lay strewn across land she had purchased, and before she would consent for it to be cleared, it would need to be cleansed.
Σπάστε τα ξύλα που ήταν κρεμασμένα από το καταραμένο
Σπάστε τις πέτρες που είχαν τεθεί από το κακό
Πρωταγωνιστές πίσω στο φούρνο εκείνα τα πράγματα που δεν είναι αλήθεια
She visualized the place as she had once seen it from her own home at the bottom of the bluff; yellow with white trim and a bright blue door, colorful leaded windows, a proud weather vane. Martha was there wearing her summer dress, the one with the lacy sleeves, laughing in the yard and waving an exuberant invitation to tea. Abigail’s stepson was away at school and Jasper was in his study – he was always in his study – so she left him to his work and began the climb to the smiling yellow house. They had been so young!
Εκεί που κάποτε υπήρχε άμμος, υπάρχει τώρα ένα ισχυρό θεμέλιο
Εκεί που κάποτε υπήρχε χάος, υπάρχει τώρα μια δομή
Εκεί που κάποτε υπήρχε ένα κενό, υπάρχει τώρα ένα σπίτι που δεν χτίστηκε από τα χέρια
The deep, somber tone in which the exorcism was spoken brought her back to the present, her joyful remembrance dissipating through time.
Truth be told, there was a sad nostalgia about the place; even recalling the stately beauty of that house on the hill did little to dispel the lingering darkness. Echoing accusations of betrayal, conspiracy, greed, madness and death pushed their way up through the very ground. By the Builder! Had the sorrow that emanated from that house infected the entire street? Was the Great Fire meant to cleanse those ills?
Martha’s grave was a short walk down the hill, as was Jasper’s hollow tomb. The old woman scowled. Perhaps it was fitting that a cult had chosen this place for their dark worship; it was as haunted as ever a patch of soil could be. Of the haunting, Mumsy Abigail was certain. What she could not explain, however, was what it was that had drawn her back here. Her husband was dead. Her friends were dead. Her stepson, lost. Her beauty had faded long ago. Perhaps she was merely lonely and it was simply to be near an old acquaintance, so that they both might finally rest in the shade of friendship. Perhaps this was all just a dying prayer.
Brother Lapis exchanged a shrouded glance with Father Moonwall before turning toward the her, his countenance grim. The child kept his eyes cast downward, in what…respect? Deference? Fear? The old woman squinted as she considered the strange trio.
“It is done,” Lapis said. “May the Builder have mercy upon this place.”
Mumsy Abigail made the Sign and he nodded. Brother Dominic Lapis, man of the cloth, beckoned for his novice to follow as he and Father Moonwall descended the hill, leaving an old woman alone with her ghosts.