Robin lay prone on the frigid cathedral floor. Darkness sang the haunted echoes of his worship, days old. Weeks old, he corrected, just before Leoshine’s fever.
“I’m not tired, you know,”
Arthur had lied. He needs sleep, Robin told the Master of the Cathedral.
“I can take whatever you hand out,” had been Arthur’s meaning as Robin had applied his craft to long neglected knots and tangles of muscles.
see how he trusts you? I remember your question, Robin addressed Ao Kevad again. Often You come when I am employed, deep in my duty, distracted so that I am surprised at Your voice. I wish You would come when I am still, ready to hear.
give it to me.
Robin held his breath. The cloud of evapouration on the stone under his nose cleared.His cheek bone ground into the smooth surface. In training for his personal devotion to the most magnificent Being he had ever met, and could still not fully comprehend, he had learned to carry his anger, sorrow, and elation to Ao Kevad. In training to lead worship, he had learned to carry the anger and sorrow of others, and in training to serve Arthur, his mind tottered backward in remembering the burden of that anger.
That’s what You said. Are You saying it again now? More of the conversation permeated his mind.
you’re being a little rough.
He’s not complaining. Robin had fenced and twisted to disguise his burden. I can’t tell the difference between Your voice then and Your presence with me now, he confessed. He tensed his shoulders and flexed his fingers as he remembered Arthur’s breath coming short and sharp. He felt again the flesh beneath his palms and the fire in his heart. Whose anger? He wondered now. Who was more angry, and why was I angry?
i’ve humbled him too.
Ao Kevad, You humble us all. Robin stretched his spirit wider, feeling into the unseen realm with the outer edges of his soul. I know…
I said that to Leoshine, he sliced the thought through the heart. She humbled me.
Leoshine! His spirit soared. I adore Your work there. She is growing strong and, he struggled to describe her. Challenging. Her wit is sharp.
give it to me.
Take it! Suddenly Robin screamed and arched his body away from the stinging cold. With one knee on the stone and his hair hanging over his bowed face, he vomited anger into his Master’s cupped hands. Blood surged into his vision, into his awareness, blinded, deafened him to all but his inner anguished cry.
He sank to both knees, gripping his head with both hands. Did You take it? He asked the void. I feel nothing.
Shivers seized his body. He was drenched in sweat. Did You take it? He asked again.
He forced his body to still. His spirit darted in all directions in the crushing silence. If You are not asking, does that mean You have what You want?
The shivers returned and he gave them sway until he lay on his side, numb and exhausted. The silence continued to weigh, but he sensed a difference that he recognised.
The Hands, as unique as Arthur’s, pressed into his hemorrhaging heart.
Into his mind came images of serving Arthur, helping him dress, feeding him. Healing in the line of duty? He wondered. I can do that, he decided.