Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Bringing of the Bell (Ten-Minute-Dash), by Maureen L. Hough

(Descriptive passage describing the process of an activity in a way that conveys more than method - i.e. revealing character, humor, etc.)

The Frankish bishop’s gift arrived several months after he unseated the abbess from her customary seat, protesting that only after the mildewed ship could the monastery be a charm. The impure candles, the loose binding of thatching, the thickness of the dinner table against his weak chest - he stage-whispered his ailments to the secret of their common God. The abbess bore it a time with the sanctity of a fish too long in the net, which was more than could be said of the novices, who decided to prepare the brethren for the promised bell by bonging and clacking the midnight hours themselves. Surprisingly, only the bishop heard the display, and he shouted out some words of his native tongue. Thankfully, they were unintelligible, preserving the young ones’ minds and saving the abbess from having to blame yet again the tightness of her veil for her deafness.
As with all bad guests, the blight of the bishop’s presence was soon forgiven when his gift arrived, promising to make more noise than he did. The ship with the bell was flagged from far off, and transferred to a skiff through the shallow waters. A good many more hems were drenched than needed, as it neared the shore, but the bell’s package was well attended by hands keeping it in its balance. Although most were suitably ascetic toward abundances of food and comfortable postures, none were prepared for the abundance of glory awaiting them, and most heartily [sprang at the honor] of bringing the bronzeness home. There was a scramble for grips under the rims until it was decided who indeed arrived first, and who would have to satisfy themselves with the suddenly glorious task of placing the logs before the front of the skiff. This job was mostly given to the postulants, and directed loudly by the bishop, since several of them cleverly thought that the “bell of God” was an affectionate term for an inflammatory saint like the “Hammer of Heretics”. And truly, at half a tons weight, the relics of such a saint would indeed be formidable.
-Maureen L. Hough

1 comment:

  1. Maureen, your imagery is beautiful! "bonging and clacking the midnight hours-" and "A good many more hems were drenched than needed -" actually, if I were to list all the phrases that I like so much - well, it wouldn't be a comment any longer but a transcription! By the way - I still laugh everytime I read the "bell of God - Hammer of Heretics" sentence. Love it! ~