Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 5

More unexplored territory! Chapter 5! This boy’s still a’ writin’!

Read Tag…One More Time – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 1.
Read Tag – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 2.
Read Tag – Part I Verduan of Nant – Chapter 3.
Read Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 4.

Tag – Part II Forgeron the Tinker – Chapter 5

Forgeron stood at the rim of the hollow, adjusted a small axe in his belt, and watched Father Baillott. The priest, oblivious of his approach, held his face close to the hand shaped growth on the witch’s oak Forgeron couldn’t tell if Baillot kissed it, sniffed it, or cursed it. He turned an ear towards the priest and stopped breathing.

Baillot whispered and Crossed himself, whispered and Crossed himself, whispered and Crossed himself. Forgeron remained silent until Baillot stood back from the tree.

Forgeron put his weight on a dried twig until it cracked.

Baillot spun, falling back against the tree, holding himself up by sliding his hands down the trunk behind him as if hiding a lover.

“Are you talking to the oak, Father?”

“Who are you? What do you want here?”

Forgeron loosened a cord keeping a wineskin close to his side. “My name is Forgeron, a Traveler, a metal-worker by trade, looking for hickory to replenish my stock.” He held it out towards Baillot. “It’s a hot day, Father. Would you care to replenish yourself?”

Baillot smoothed the folds of his cassock, straightened his Crucifix and saturno. He walked up the rim and past Forgeron without looking at him. “There’s a hickory grove the other side of the village. Replenish your stock there.”

“Thank you, Father.”

Forgeron watched Baillot walk away, hurrying without hurrying, his steps nervous, articulated, an almost mechanical gait. The priest’s voice came and went with the wind. When Forgeron could no longer hear him, he walked down the rim and inspected the oak. “What is it you hold so dear, Good Father?”

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