by SJ Longtaile
There is but one man in all of Brydain who fears not the fury of a Queen.
There is but one church on the whole of Lynden, named after the Holy Mother, she stands nearly taller and more grand than even the royal palace. Vaulted ceilings decorated with holy murals, gilded archways, the church stands in regal silence, most days. This day, however, the tranquil silence of the church is disrupted by the raging of a queen.
“Leif, you slimy mongrel of a priest, show yourself!” Titania stormed her way through the hallowed halls, rich skirts and dark cloak billowing out behind her like thunder clouds.
Emerging from the shadows at the far end, Father Leif replied, calm as ever, his verdant eyes and their mischievous glimmer eluding the queen’s attention,”I am here, majesty. What need have you of me?”
“He mocks me!” she snarled, marching towards him, menacing enough that any average man would have been quaking in fear for his life, pointing an accusatory finger up at the stain glass window depicting the Lord.
Bemused, Father Leif glanced up at the mural, ”He certainly does, when you assume his intentions.”
“You dare—“ she rounded on him, looking for all the world like she was going to tear him apart. She was quite tempted to let the shadows do exactly that, but here, in this place, the shadows were strangely quiet, not that she noticed, her anger was all consuming.
“Now, your majesty, getting angry with me will do you no good,” he said patiently, a placating hand raised,”The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
Titania swore, making as if to strike the priest, but instead, she took her anger out on the nearby candle stands, knocking them over, sending candles flying,“To hell he does! He is making fun of me, toying with me, deliberately thwarting my plans. He let that witch get away!” she screeched.
Father Leif sighed, ”I believe he did."
“What!” she whirled around, looking both affronted and disbelieving, ”Why?”
Father Leif couldn’t help but be reminded of an impertinent child throwing a tantrum. “Well, I imagine it is because he did not intend for you to catch the witch this day,” he mused, idly picking up the stands and candles, lighting them with one that had escaped the queen’s misdirected wrath.
Titania frowned in thought, she hadn’t considered that, her anger dissipating unnoticed. Nose wrinkling in confusion, she huffed, ”If any one is mysterious, it is you.”
“I suppose so,” Father Leif chuckled, walking down the rows of pews, black robes whispering over the floor; the sound, if one listened hard enough, was reminiscent of indiscernible voices, as he headed to the where confessionals were situated, tucked neatly off to the side of the pews. “Now, seeing as your majesty is already here, would you like to confess?” he turned to her, one arm swept out in an invitational gesture.
She eyed him, sighing, “If I must.”