General Fiction posted October 11, 2014 Chapters:  ...23 24 -25- 26... 

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Valerius called into action. Trellitia speaks with Julia.

A chapter in the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories

Valerius Begins His Practice

by michaelcahill

Two souls find themselves drawn to each other in several lifetimes although they are unaware of their connection. The try to connect though sometimes the circumstances make it near immpossible.

Previously, Trellitia spoke with Julia and her family and got to the bottom of how Cassius injured his leg, and what he and Julia were up to in the field that day. She began a dialogue with Julia in order to instill in her the idea that her life might be in danger if she continued to display the behavior that indicated she saw past lives. We continue the story now as Valerius rushes home. He is delayed on the road by soldiers carrying wounded back to Constantinople. To keep the peace, he intervenes and offers his services as physician.

~~~~~~~Valerius forced into service

Valerius rushed towards the village filled with excitement. It was a fair distance from the great city of Constantinople to the small village he called home. It suited him. The world outside of the village was filled with danger and uncertainty. War and anticipation of war permeated the countryside. The villagers enjoyed a life far removed from politics and power. The time spent on the road exposed them to the outside world they all abhorred. He thought of Julia as he hurried home.
When encountering troops of soldiers on the road, Valerius would give plenty of room, and even recede into the forest if necessary. To bring attention to one's self was not wise. A young man encountered on the road, regardless of the reason, was a possible conscript in whatever cause that happened upon him. The sound of battle filtered through the forest and bothered his ears. As a physician, the cries and moans of injury found their way into his psyche.
He walked with several other people on their way home. They were all disrupted by the shouts of soldiers.
"Make way. Make way, I say! We have wounded in transport to the city. Clear a path now."
Soldiers carrying wounded strapped to horses waited impatiently for ox drawn carts to pull to the side of the road. There was very little room for egress and the oxen were not of a mind to cooperate.
"Now! Or we will level the cart into the forest. Make way, I say!"
Valerius watched the scene unfold. The words of Gregorio came to mind. Stay in the shadows when possible. That is how you serve your village. Prominence will get you removed to the city as I was when young and foolish. He could see that the scene was beginning to take a turn that would prove unfortunate to the small group on the road.
The soldiers began dismounting. Valerius faded into the forest heeding the words of his mentor. The soldiers began to push on the cart and strike the oxen disturbing them. The result was confusion on the part of the animals. One of the soldiers drew his sword and Valerius could see that his next act would be to slay the oxen.
"Wait! Wait for a moment. I am a physician. Let me tend to these men. Better that they are tended to now then suffer the hardship of a long ride to the city."
"You're just a boy. What do you know of the healing arts?"
"I am young, yes. I apprentice under the hand of the great Physician, Gregorio of Constantinople. I am quite able to assist these brave men. Now, bring them from their mounts so I may see to their injuries."
There was an authority to his voice that resonated with the soldiers. They did as he asked. He watched as the soldiers brought the wounded to the ground. He felt fear and surprise. Fear that he might not have the skills to be of assistance, surprise that they moved to his wishes so readily. It occurred to him that it felt natural to give orders and upon giving them, he expected them to be carried out. Perhaps Julia is correct to remember me as a commander. He smiled and set about assessing the injuries to the wounded.
All of the wounds were considered serious, but not mortal. The mortally wounded were left on the battlefield. Those who received survivable injuries would receive treatment upon the conclusion of the battle if they were still alive. The first soldier he knelt down to examine was already deceased. He hesitated; this was not what he was hoping for.
"Well, get to it then." The soldier stood over him and displayed an impatient manner.
Valerius could see that establishing his authority was important. "This man is dead. Mind your tone. I'm not one of your soldiers and you have no authority over me. You'll want to save your orders for the battlefield. I've work to do here." He moved to the next man. "Water." He spoke firmly, as in a command, but not loudly.
The same soldier went to his mount, retrieved water, and handed it to Valerius. Valerius made no move to acknowledge him. He gave water to the injured man. There was an arrow in his shoulder. The shaft had been broken off to allow him to continue in battle. The loss of blood had weakened him and caused him to fall in the field.
"Hold him now. Tightly. I need to remove this arrow." The soldiers rushed to the task at hand. He took a tool from his bag and inserted it into the wound. It had a curved end and he searched for the tip of the arrow attempting to brace the tool against it. He grasped the one end in his hand and pushed on the tool with his other. The soldier moaned through gritted teeth. In one motion, the arrow popped out followed by fresh blood. He took the flask of water and poured it into the open wound, cleaning it. Then he dressed it tightly and moved on to the next soldier.
He managed to treat the remaining four wounded warriors in due course. He gave instructions as to care and advised them to continue into the city and seek Gregorio. Within another few moments, the soldiers had given their thanks and were gone. The small party continued on their journey. All felt safer with a physician accompanying them.

~~~~~~~Trellitia speaks alone with Julia

Trellitia spoke to Julia as they walked near the site where Cassius was injured. "Tell me what you saw, Julia."
"Very well. For what that may mean to you. What I might see others are often blind to. Perhaps my vision is more acute. Perhaps theirs is more dull."
"True, that may be the case, Julia. I'm not judging what you see. I'm trying to understand it and help you understand how others may interpret it. I am here as your friend."
Julia acknowledged what she said with a simple nod of her head. She didn't show any particular enthusiasm for it. "The hunters appeared out of the forest over there by the stand of trees. I recognized them as being from my tribe. The great beast had strayed from the herd and seemed a target worth the risk. Winters were harsh and our reserves were low. The risk was a necessity and not come to without due consideration. It occurred to Valerius, who was younger then and in the form of an orphan boy, that to climb a tree and make a racket might distract the great beast and further our chances of success."
"Julia, how is that Valerius is at my home in one form and in a tree here with you in another form at the same time? Do you see where that might cause one curiosity?"



Suggestions and input always eagerly sought! Wonderful input so far, much appreciated.

List of characters:

Julia- the current incarnation of Vision. Vision is one of the souls that we are following throughout time. Julia is considered mentally ill. She has recall of past lives in great detail and sees them unfold before her. Very unique.

Valerius- the current incarnation of Sound. Sound is the other soul that we follow. In this lifetime he becomes a physician and is drawn to Julia. As soulmates they are always drawn to each other although they are unaware of their connection.

Leopold- A church leader who is of a mind that the mentally ill are demon possessed. A danger to Julia

Trellitia- A mentor to Valerius and sympathetic to Julia. The widow of the former village physician.

Gregorio- Another mentor to Valerius. A well known physician in the great city of Constantinople.

Rastavius- A mentor to Leopold and a leader of the church in the great city. Would kill a demon possessed person to free their souls and has done so. Very dangerous and influential over Leopold.

The story takes place about 500 AD. It is the beginning of the Dark Ages right after the fall of Rome.

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