Effortlessly, the new savior in my life replaces the wooden bar within its proper location on the back side of the gates and smiles as the doors shudder with impacts from the men on the other side.
“Thanks!” I say as Griff eyes the man up suspiciously.
The rotund, bald, and smiley man nods silently.
“We’ve gotta get out of here,” Griff says in agitation. “I can’t imagine they’re going to let us just sit around here for too long.”
The man nods again and walks away from us rather speedily. I look at Griff with a raised eyebrow before deciding to follow.
“What is this place?” I ask as I look around at the beautifully manicured garden we’ve just entered.
The man continues on in silence.
I look at Griff again in question.
“Maybe he can’t hear you. Could be deaf, you know.”
The man reaches a doorway on the other end of the open area and gestures for us to enter. We oblige gratefully and the man closes the door behind us. He stays outside.
As our eyes adjust to the darkened interior, we see there are several men seated around a table within the room we’ve just entered. It is absolutely silent in here, save the sound of breathing. The men seem to be oblivious to our entrance, pouring over books quietly.
“This is pretty screwy,” Griff says, breaking the silence.
The men at the table turn their newly widened eyes upon us, a sense of relief crossing them quickly thereafter.
“Hey,” Griff says as he approaches the table, “anyone here have any ideas on what we can do to get to safety?”
The men return their attention to their books without comment.
“What the hell?” Griff says, his voice rising in anger. “Can anyone give me any ideas on what we can do to get away from the men that are out there trying to kill us?”
“Language, please,” a voice says from further within the building. We are soon joined by yet another man, wearing a brown robe and a bald head. He frowns at us as he enters. “These men made their vows of silence to keep from hearing such blasphemy in addition to keep from speaking it. The least you could do is try to oblige them in their wishes.”
“Finally,” Griff sighs, “someone around here who will talk to us.”
“Vow of silence?” I ask.
“Of course, are you not here to see the monks of York?”
“No, sorry, we don’t really know where we are, we were just in a spot of danger and—“
“Say no more,” the man says. “Although this may not be a church, this is indeed a place of sanctuary. My name is Father Addy, I am the head rector of York. Or, rather, I was the head rector of York. I believe the man who has taken up residence within our chapel has taken that title upon himself now.”
“What?” Griff asked, still sounding pretty angry.
“He’s the minister around here,” I translate. “Or at least he used to be before The Wizard took over.” Addy nods in agreement with my paraphrasing. “Is this the rectory then?” I ask him.
“Yes, darling, although I’m not entirely certain how appropriate that title would be anymore,” he answers sadly. “My brothers here have taken their vows of silence in hopes that the Lord will hear our prayer and bring us salvation from the tyranny which has oppressed our town.”
“Speaking of tyranny,” Griff changes the subject. “Your fake-bearded friend has got a few folks hot on our tails. Is there any place we could hide for when they finally break through your doors?”
“Ah, ye need not worry about that, my son,” Addy answers. “The Wizard’s minions would not dare break into the rectory grounds. For all the fear they have regarding the mystical man, they fear treading on this hallowed ground even more.”
“That’s what you meant by this serving as a sanctuary then?” I ask.
“Yes, you’re safe here.”
“Great,” Griff grunts. “Now we just spend out the rest of our lives living with a bunch of monks from the Dark Ages. I guess that’s what I get for a life playing the game.”
“Would the two of you care for something to eat?” Addy asks. “I have just finished a batch of gruel, if you’re interested.”
Griff’s eyes light up as a groan unintentionally escapes my lips.
“Gruel, you say?” Griff answers.
Go to Chapter Fourteen