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Chapter Four

The youngster looked around at all the lavish adornments of this newfound abode. His eyes traversed the bejeweled boxes and golden candelabras. He thought of wealth. The sort of wealth that only accrues to those who have given their lives over to a specialized field and garnered the degrees therefrom which said, "This is ME. I am a ....."

But what was he, really? A scruffy ragamuffin from the streets who had previously sought recompense in arranging situations for wandering minstrels and circus acts which roamed from one village to the next. What were his qualifications, really, except a sort of street sense that he had not fully understood until one evening, about a year ago.

The Bearded Lady from one of his acts had offered to allow him to part her fur, as she put it. In that act of desperate, mad animal brutality and love, he came to understand that his was a calling not of the streets, but of the temples. He had given himself over to chastity as his master, after using several bottles of dissolvent to cure the small infestation, and had knocked on the door of the monastery which was Callitus.

In this sense of melancholy self-absorption, Claustral Prior Bones said the following:

"The one thing I ask, and the only thing I require, is that you allow me to serve you without question. The tapestries of thought which I burn, as well as the scrolls which I deem worthy of salvation, shall be my decision and mine alone. I shall not waver in my service to you, mein Liege, but you must promise me that no one, including yourself, shall ever question the judgement that I have rendered upon what is valuable and what is dross."

Callitus, with a tear forming at the edge of his left eye, attempted to compose himself after such a forceful and yet loving display. He put his right hand out and touched the left shoulder of his young acolyte, and said,

"Never have I been more sure of a decision. You shall be the arbiter for all that will be known of us as the chariots of time wheel across the skies of our uncertain future."

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