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Happy (Early) Valentine’s Day: Have an Excerpt!

February 13, 2014

I was really struggling this week with what to post on the blog, but I ended up deciding to note the Valentine holiday with a small excerpt of The Christening. I’ve talked about it a lot on here, but you honestly haven’t seen much of it, apart from the short story it grew out of. Though never fear: it’s still Evil Nemesis Day for anyone who wants it to be.

The excerpt is taken from Chapter 2. Irish monks Maclinmun, Macbeth, and Dubslaine have left their monastery in pursuit of white martyrdom, which is a form of self-imposed exile from your home country. They are now hiding out in Maclinmun’s mother’s village home, waiting for good sailing weather and using the time to build a coracle to carry them. They don’t know where the coracle will take them, and they’ve just been indulging in some speculation. This section is in Maclinmun’s POV. Family man Connall is Maclinmun’s older brother.


Later, when the sun glowed hot, they stopped for a meal of fish with a slice of coarse bread and a jug full of liquor. Liquor was the village’s main drink, and the monks had quickly become accustomed to it. They all sat together, Maclinmun, Dubslaine, and Macbeth, the skeleton of their coracle at their feet, the nearby small creek gurgling in the June weather. Dubslaine flopped down on the sun-warmed grass, laying himself out to the deep blue sky. After a moment, he picked a small, yellow daisy-like flower from the patch that grew next to him, twirling the bloom around above his head as clouds lazed above, his green eyes softening. He watched the slowly spinning bloom, and a small smile sneaked onto his face. “Maybe we could found our own monastery, someday,” he said. “Just the three of us.”

“I’d like that,” Macbeth said, putting his hands behind him so he could lean back. As if he could see it in the sky, too. He smiled.

“God would certainly bless the notion,” Maclinmun added, still watching Dubslaine twirl the flower.

It became almost a game. What would they do then? What would they do next? It was exciting, all the things they could do in the name of God. Maclinmun wanted to see the world, but also stay right here and watch Connall’s children grow and his mother age. When they came back to his mother’s house that night, Connall’s youngest, Ériu, ran towards them with a happy cry. Maclinmun scooped her up and bounced her on his hip as she babbled about her day. He couldn’t stop smiling.

  1. Scene is cute and fuzzy! 😀

    • Thank you! The monks’ default mode at this point is to be cute and fuzzy, so I’m glad it’s apparent in that short a scene.

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