He hurried along the unlit underground passageway trying to be as quiet as possible. However, his sandals were slapping too loudly on the worn flagstones and the ends of his dark brown robe were making swishing noises around his legs. He wanted to stop and catch his breath, but he was late for midnight prayers.
He felt a welcome sense of relief as he saw the glowing outline of the door. He pressed on, battling the tightness in his chest and aching pain in his thigh. Keeping his eyes fixed on the light ahead, he wondered how many steps further it was.
Then his thoughts changed and out of no where, he saw an image of her by the flicking candlelight. The whiteness of her skin as the dress slipped off her, that desire in her bright blue eyes. The gold curls of her hair, the red rose bud lips and her voice whispering softly for him to come to her.
His toes suddenly hit the stone steps. He stumbled and fell spread eagle. Feeling pain his head, hands and knees he lay there for a few moments collecting himself. Then getting up slowly, he went up the stairs and through the door.
The corridor was well lit with flicking white candles. Male voices filled the air their words of hymn coming together to seem like one sound. The air was heavy with wax and incense.
He shuffled through an open archway and to the church which was filled with monks. Slotting in with the few at the back, he tried to looked like he had been there all along. Hiding his hands in his large sleeves and joining quietly in with the prayer, he avoided the glances of the men around him.
When it was over, he was the first to slip away. Walking quickly, he went to his cell and knelt down by the side of his bed. His thoughts tumbled and twisted, ideas coming to him then going. he tried hard to think about what he should do but nothing seemed right.
He looked up at the small window in the wall and the single candle on the sill. Then at his desk where another candle sat ready to be lit and the Bible beside it.
‘It is not wrong to love,’ he whispered, ‘you teach us we should love all…but this is stronger then love.’
He looked down at his hands for the first time and saw they were cut and bloody. He put them into his sleeves again and fixed his eyes on the ceiling.
‘I do not know what to do. I do not believe she is a devil of any kind…And was it not I that started this…?’ he stopped and let his voice fade.
He shut his eyes and cleared his mind, after a few minutes he spoke again, ‘perhaps it’s best I just leave. I am no longer a pure vessel for carrying your messages. And I have always wondered if my path was somewhere else.’
Getting up, he looked around his cell and realising he had nothing to take with him, headed to the door. He opened it and listened to the silence. Stepping out, he took his sandals off and carrying them walked through the empty corridors and to the passageway once more.