Purified at the Monastery
A child is born (almost)
The scrubbing was rapidly underway at the monastery. Rose appeared inward and perhaps a bit frightened upon arrival, but the monks were experienced and knew better than to take such signs at face value. She had to wear a chastity belt as protection against any sinful behavior; this was only removed when nuns were present. They admired her good manners and insight into the corners of the Catholic faith, which gave them strong hopes that her resilience would prove stronger than the destructive forces to which she had been exposed.
He comes from far away. He does not like to set foot in the monastery unless it is required. He hates the smell, the cold floor, the wicked noises from men too far detached from the daily lives of those who live in natural conditions. He cannot say no, his gifts and talents are unparalleled, he is appreciated, but moreover it is his sacred duty to assist when called upon. A set of tools is at his disposal the likes of which are not often seen at the monastery. He uses them only sparingly and grudgingly, his wish to inflict upon the young lady as little pain, suffering, and damage as humanly possible. This is no exorcism, no witch hunt.
Rose wakes at his touching her shoulder. It is dark in her room except for a candle. A nun stands by holding that, which permits the purifier to develop rapport with his patient.
"Fear not," he whispers. "You look nice and good. I am almost sure that your soul is pure as ever, but only when the baby is born will we know for certain."
Even though she has been prepared for something to happen, she does not know what it could be, and so his arrival fills her with dread. To her he is the executioner, a threat against herself and her child. So afraid she is that it keeps her from paying attention to what he is saying, his gentle words of comfort to no avail.
He opens his bag. It is a fair colored solid leather bag, the type doctors use when making house calls. "I want to give you a mild sedative to make you relax," he says with emphasis on the last word. "I cannot have you working against me, time is scarce and there is much to discover. Will you let me give you that?"
She is now sitting up in bed, shaking her head vigorously. It is the poison that will kill her and her child, that she is sure of, so she will fight against it with all of her might.
"I pray for you my child!" the nun says in a deep voice. "Look at me!"
The nun, who has been standing by the door with only her left arm holding the candle stretched out, now takes one step forward and stares intently at Rose.
"You cannot resist us!" she urges. "Remember that it was your Papa who sent you here, and now you must be a good girl and do what is expected."
She awoke at five a.m., dazzled and not knowing how long she had been sleeping or if what she could see had been a dream or reality. Then she turned and moaned because of pain in her shoulder where the needle had been injected.
- Lurid Dreams and Fantasies
She had come to a place filled with goodness, something to which she was hardly accustomed. It was a small, self-contained place, a fiefdom of sorts, so tranquil if only deceptively so. The Count and his...