The Height of Absurdity: Hilda’s Abbey 11.4

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15 May, 2018 by katelaity

The Height of Absurdity 1

I was like to have fallen into a rather languorous stupor had it not been for the rumbling of my stomach. It took some doing to get the pair of attendants to move any faster than slow slugs, but at last I was bathed and shaved and ready for the dining room. After that vile glass of ‘vitriol’ I was ready for the finest wines known to man and some good hearty roast beef.

Tansy had obviously been much more industrious than I, for not only had he changed—completely in this regard for now he was she—but had all manner of books and papers scattered before him—er, her—on the table.

‘I marvel at you finding a frock so very like your blue one,’ I said, rather surprised at my recognizing any of Tansy’s clothing but that one was very nearly the colour of irises and I thought it quite lovely.

‘It is my ‘frock’ as you say,’ Tansy said with an eyebrow cocked at me for clearly I had used the wrong terminology. It took me a moment to grasp the import of her words.

‘Your own? How did you get it?’

Tansy chuckled. ‘Mother Wishart had a vision, of course. Our bags arrived while you were in the bath, which seems to have improved you greatly.’

‘I am always better after a bath.’ I rubbed my chin approvingly. ‘And a shave. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in that gruesome twosome but I have come out of it all right. Where’s Chambers?’

‘Just here,’ he said taking a chair at the table with some obvious excitement animating his face. ‘It’s all arranged!’

‘What’s arranged?’ Things were always happening without my input. Let a fellow catch his breath now and then.

‘We are going to see the Abbess.’ Chambers’ face practically glowed with excitement.

‘Is that a euphemism?’ I was wary of being taken in again. After our adventures in the other lands, I was quite aware of the need to be direct and specific. I did not fancy another jaunt into strange places with capricious monarchs. The one was enough for me.

‘No, a genuine abbess,’ Tansy reassured me though not without a chuckle. A bit unfair that. I consoled myself with a large slice of bread and some generous butter lashings. The water may be decidedly odd hereabouts, but the butter was divine. It was good to live deliciously again without fear of fairy enchantments.

‘Why are we to see an abbess?’ I asked at last, curious once my stomach had calmed itself a little. Obviously it was in need of some roast. The heavenly scent wafting from the kitchen set it to rumbling again, so I patted it reassuringly. It would not be denied this time.

‘In pursuit of our goal, as ever,’ Tansy said, taking some bread and butter herself. ‘There are measurements to make.’

‘The abbey—well, it was an abbey, now a church—but the past is still very much there. History, my friend, much of it.’ Chambers rubbed his hands together as if he would gladly run off this very moment. I was not about to allow that to happen. On a full belly I could be easily persuaded to amble wherever, but until then I was steadfast.

‘I suppose one could make an argument about the absurdity of any religion,’ I said with a drawl, so no one would take it amiss, ‘but I can’t see anything particularly absurd about an old abbey.’

‘It’s not the abbey,’ Tansy said with a little laugh. ‘It’s the hauntings.’

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