This week’s words: Madcap (wildly impulsive, heedless) Blister Strap Aureole (a halo) Accident Howl Gnaw Flagellation (flogging, associated most frequently with BDSM or religious penitence) Craven (cowardly) Scale Victim Shelf
Brother Andrew knelt on the stone floor before the altar. He had been there for much of the night. His madcap behaviour from the previous day had resulted in his penance being a night of restitution before the Sacred Heart in the hope that he would repent the scandalous accusations he had made to the Abbot.
For a long time it had gnawed at him that all was not what the Abbot had him believe. On a scale he had never anticipated the extent of the revelation had shattered his faith, his place in the monastery was now in question.
The men he lived with were not saints. The aureole that was said to shine above their heads masked an evil he never thought possible among men of such strong religious fervour.
Underneath their cowls they were craven men only to happy for no other reason than their own perverse pleasure, to inflict on others pain and degradation of the lowest order.
Many young brothers had fallen victim to their need for distraction from the harshness of monastic life. Those who fell victim and who didn’t recover were written off as accidents within the monastery and who would question the devout monks when they reported such an accident.
Flagellation was a common practice, a penance metered out by one particular monk who made sure he was nearby when the strap was applied noting the blisters that appeared on the recipient’s back and buttocks.
The howls of the victim would often echo through the cloisters, the monks in prayer at the time prayed for the soul of the victim, believing he was being cleansed of his sins.
The belief that this practice was wrong and perverse had gnawed at Brother Andrew for so long that on this particular night with the memory of his friend Brother Anthony’s howls of pain still penetrating his soul he decided it was time to make a stand.
Knowing where the strap was kept he made it his business to take it from the shelf above the Sacred Heart statute and bury it deep in the soil behind the vegetable plot.
He then fronted the Abbot and made his feelings known before stripping off his cassock and leaving it on the floor before stepping out the front door of the monastery on his way to a new life. There was no way he was going to become another ‘accident’ within the monastery walls.