The summer winds blew into the the old crowded room of books, that in the care of one Domingo Tremarco, monk of Padua, felt soft on his brow.
The great work had absorbed him since the suggestion of Pope Julius had moved the cleric to sort out his library. This Pope was known for his lazy rich life and his ways of idle hours. It was June 1549 and the old monk had almost completed his task. Six more books and all would be indexed ready for the Popes inspection. Proud of this more so than pleasing anyone it felt good in this mans most tidy of minds.
Six books and the last one fell open to a page recorded on punishment. It caught easily the eye of the monk. The date he knew as his own birthday but the year two years prior. Somehow he just had to read it. Open fully on the desk top the monk, head down, grew pale. The great arched roof lights blackened now by nights dead shades. Did this account carry truth? He read on head bent and alone.
For some silent time had passed before Domingo sat up with wider eyes and sorrow. The tallow candles almost at end of burn. Flickering in and out but his mind was far from the light. For now he knew the fate of one Thomaso Parisi monk and cleric in this same library. Once,long ago this man had fallen for the love of one Contessa De Gordino the young daughter of the Popes cousin Duke of Lombardi. Banker to the Vatican. His love became known as she too loved he and so as of old the Pope came to know.
For the girl she was hurriedly married to a noble twice her age and who cruelly mastered her every move. Domingo now knew what had occurred and the fate recorded he read with grief. This Pope had had Thomaso walled up in the cellars below the library a room no bigger than a coffin in measure . No more was told by the script who wrote this as fact as recorder.
The old monk was now alert to the ways of this old Pope as mad without mercy. The candles replaced he went on. What could he do that would not endanger himself against the most powerful man in this world who claimed to be the voice of Gods wishes. Silently he filed the last books but undid the index of that last book to hide it well in ranks below shelf. He alone knowing of this new index. With noting left to complete he asked to be returned to his duties as monk. This was swiftly granted and no more would have been brought to light if not for fate.
Not happy just to drop his knowledge in the deep well of fact that was his mind. He found time to search the cellars below his last work place .Over three months he found the place and had kept it safe until time allowed him to think. In time the chance came to remodel the cellars to house more books of Vatican records. To his amazement he was voted into the job of caretaker recorder.
Slowly with a metal fork from the refectory table he scratched away around the stone blocks until at length he was able to remove just one stone block. With burning flame from waxen torch Domingo was able to detect a human hand in claw like bones. Hurriedly now he effected his wish to see the skeleton that some 60 years had lain unseen or detected in the silence of a library.
When the builders arrived all had been set back in place and the bones hidden from sight. The builders set about making a room with windows at the rear across the Popes gardens. The wall was not under ground as all other walls were. Once achieved the shelving went up at speed.
It gave Domingo just four days to bury with sanctity the remains of the sad monk who had tried so hard to dig himself free his fingers clawed but had clearly starved to death.
All then was over and he prayed for the soul of his former job holder. All was moving towards the death of this Pope and all devotion to his soul was demanded. Domingo fained illness and remained out of it.
He from his desk looked across the gardens and there was the sight of a man in habit hold the lovely maiden close. His sinews stiffened, his voice a breaking scream like gasp. For he knew now what was true and mercy had been granted as all vapor fell to the earth below their feet. The vision melted away before his eyes. A mere vapor hung like silk in the breeze and vanished.
He gasped and his fingers touched the cross that hung around his neck. He lifted it slowly to his lips to kiss it when the news that the Pope was dead was being announced. The Monk knew God was at his side as the guilty would be punished he had no more to do but keep books as they should be kept. One more look to see the garden .It was all as it should be and peace had reached his mind. What will be will be, he thought. He walked into history un noticed un aware of but the Pope will be forever known. What sins on earth one commits will be recorded for judgement they say and i do so believe that of all of life is but a test. We see it as distance but it is but a flash in time we have to prove who we really are and find what is lost to us namely God. That is the test that is meant in recorded scripture. Who ever wrote it did meet God in person without doubt. I know this now.
End of story. Yours always Sir Kevin.
Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2019.