General Fiction posted October 14, 2014 Chapters:  ...25 26 -27- 28... 


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Valerius speaks with Florentina and gets to know her better.

A chapter in the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories

Valerius and Lourdes Journey Home

by michaelcahill




Background
Two souls meet under impossible circumstances in various lifetimes. They are unaware that they are connected. They are drawn to each other and seek each other out regardless of what appears logical.
Previously, Valerius met a young woman and her daughter on the road home. The daughter was thought to be demon possesed according to the mother. Valerius agreed to examine the girl and speak with her. At the home of Julia, Trellitia continued to speak with Julia in an attempt to impart the importance of keeping her visions to herself. We continue the story now as Valerius speaks to Lourdes, the mother of the little girl, Florentina.



~~~~~~~Valerius & Lourdes continue the journey home
 
After a while, he spoke with Lourdes about her daughter. "She doesn't appear to be possessed in my humble opinion. I suggest that she is bored and has a keen mind which needs nurturing. I was once such a child. My family found me strange and given to foolish notions. But, they did not discourage me as long as I tended to my chores and work in the field. As you can see, I seem to have turned out fairly well."
 
"So, you would say that she is not possessed? But the priests, they… "
 
"You must understand that the priests are responding to their perception of a problem. They are looking for a demon for they already suspect a demon exists. I can only determine what is there, as I have no perception to sway me. I find a little girl who longs to play and live life. My advice is to encourage her. My advice to you is to join her. It would do you both good."
 
Lourdes smiled. "That makes perfect sense. I am so relieved to hear what you say. In hearing it, I know it is true. Thank you."
 
"It is my pleasure."
 
They continued to walk along the trail. They heard the sound of hooves pounding the ground in the distance.
 
The soldiers. They come back for me. I can feel it. "Lourdes, I need your help. You may be able to offer payment for my services after all. I suspect that the soldiers whose men I treated are returned to enlist my services. I am needed in my village. I will hide in the forest. Tell them I left on horseback to the city. Or, well… I don’t know. Tell them something, but tell them I am gone. I will be in your debt."
 
Lourdes merely nodded in the affirmative. Valerius slipped into the nearby forest and sought a suitable hiding place. Minutes later the truth of his suspicions shone as the men dismounted their steeds before Lourdes and her daughter.
 
"The physician who traveled with you, we have need of his services. Where is he?" The soldier was tall and intimidating. Florentina clung to her mother's leg and noticed it was shaking.
 
"He returned… uh… he returned to the city. He… after you left… he left and ret… "
 
"Left, you say? Walking back to the city? What is the sense… "
 
"By carriage. A… a man came by carriage seeking him. He returned to the city. Well, perhaps elsewhere. I know of nothing else east but the city. But, that is the path. In a hurry. A carriage. A man of means it seemed. A matter of some urgency it app… "
 
"That will do. I get the general picture." He offered nothing else in the way of conversation. He mounted his horse and spoke to his small group of horsemen. "Perhaps we might catch him on the road or locate him in the city. The general seemed to think it urgent."
 
Lourdes watched as the soldiers galloped off down the road. The ordeal left her near fainting. Valerius reappeared from the forest. "Well done, I am in your debt."
 
"No. We are no more than even. I expect it is I who am still beholding to you."
 
"In any case, we should be well out of their path after they fail to find me in the city. I'll keep eyes and ears at the ready. You are practiced at clever deception now. The next episode should be less taxing on you and young Florentina here. A good song might come of this though. What say you?"
 
The young girl forgot her fear and her mother did as well. She set to the composition of her next great epic ballad encouraged by her newfound friend and fellow balladeer.
 
A mile or so down the road and in the middle of her new composition, she screamed out, rushed behind Valerius, and stood trembling in fear.
 
"Protect me! They come for me. Don't let them take me… oh please. You mustn't let them take me."
 
"What? Who? Take you… what is it you speak of child?" Valerius was taken aback by her outburst.
 
"The wolves! The wolves! They've come for me. They took my brother and now they come for me. Please!"
 
"Her brother? You have a son?"
 
"No. I have no son. I don't know what she speaks of. This is the demon, the priests say. The hellhounds coming to greet their master. But, there is nothing there. Yet, she screams and hides in terror. God help me. I never should have left the city. But, those men… they terrified her so. They hurt her."
 
Lourdes lifted the back of her daughter's blouse revealing welts and cuts that looked to be fresh. "This is what they did to her. They beat her until she passed out. I tried to stop them and they knocked me to the ground. They implored me to be strong or the demon would enter me too. Thank God, they were done for the day. I was to return in the morning. You see me here now."
 
"Do you still see the wolves?"
 
"They stand there. They just stand there now with glowing eyes staring at me. I know if I move, they will move. Make them go away."
 
"Be gone! Run now or it will be your doom!" Valerius ran in the direction the girl was staring.
 
"Yes. You run! Run, or you will be done in." Florentina joined him.
 
Lourdes looked on not knowing what her reaction should be. Should she join in the imaginary chase? Thank Valerius for chasing away ghost dogs? She was at a loss for words and speechless.
 
"Did you see? They ran, mother. They ran in fear." Florentina seemed overly pleased considering she had been frozen in fear.
 
"Yes. That's fine dear. Very nice." Lourdes looked at the Valerius with concern in her eyes that belied the smile she had managed for her daughter.
 
"It is a trick of the mind and nothing more. Surely a hellhound would not scurry and run from a mere man waving his arms and shouting. The mind is complex, we know little of it. Why is one man clever and another dull? We know not. This has nothing to do with demons. It is a sickness like any other. There are treatments that can help. But, you must keep her from the church. There are forces of great evil in the church that have taken to murder. Perhaps they think it is God's work, but to kill a breathing human being with a soul as though it were a lame horse is not the work of the God that I worship."
 
"Can you help us?"
 
"I will do what I can. I don't mean to give myself over to such fervor, but the innocence of children cannot be a matter a deaf ear or a blind eye is turned to. We will help your little girl. There is no demon in her. She is as God made her. We cannot know the reasons for all that God does. We can only accept what he does and make the most of it." He smiled and picked up Florentina and hoisted her to his shoulder. They continued their journey. A song about wolves began to take form. 




 


Recognized


Florentina is a new character that Valerius has met on the way home. As sometimes happens in life, things happen that are unexpected. This is one of those things. Your input is continuing to be a huge plus to me. I can't tell you how many great ideas come from reading your thoughts. Thank you so much.

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.

Lourdes- A young woman that Valerius meets on the road home. Mother of Florentina.

Florentina- Daughter of Lourdes. A new patient for Valerius. Showing signs of mental illness. Loves music like Valerius.



The story takes place about 500 AD. It is the beginning of the Dark Ages right after the fall of Rome. The church is becoming conservative and considering mental illness the work of the devil. It is a danger to Julia and Valerius who wants to treat her and protect her.




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