NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

September 21st, 2013, 10:52 pm #11

[align=center]
PEPITA ZAMORRA de DOMINGUEZ[/align]

Pepita looked at him, surprised by his request. Of course she would have used the tea caddy if he didn’t ask for it back, but she didn’t object at all.

”I’ll give it back to you. And if you come home again sooner, the better!” she answered with a smile.

She hadn’t expected to learn so much about her eldest brother… and she had no idea that there were still a lot of things she didn’t know about him. She repeated, together with her daughter, the British name to get it right, then she focused on serving the courses and making sure that everybody had a full mug of chicha, drank in the memory of the departed.

After dinner, when the people remained gathered around the altar, telling stories about the deceased and playing and singing their favourite songs, Chago had played foreign, strangely sounding but beautiful songs, as well as the well known ones which described better his grief.

She felt suddenly ashamed for all her matchmaking attempts.

As promised, all of them have said together, upon Josema's leading, the prayer for the rest of the departed souls, mentioning also Hermione. Pepita hoped it would help, especially that Chago had done the novena before the mass too.

Upon Chago’s request, later in the evening, Juancho brought him a quill, ink and paper, but he hadn’t started yet to write the letter until all of them had gone to sleep.

[align=center] This post has been written by ELENA[/align]
Last edited by NPC on September 22nd, 2013, 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Like
Share

Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:50 pm

September 22nd, 2013, 7:39 pm #12

The night was advanced when Chago started writing. At first, the letters came with difficulty, as if he had forgotten how to write. Then, they came in a hurry, keeping up with his feverish thoughts, in the candlelight and in the smell of incense and spices from the altar. He was alone to gather his thoughts and put them on the paper. To evoke Hermione’s love and his honest intentions.

Beloved queen of my heart,

I don't know how to start this letter, as there are so many things I had longed to tell you and I couldn’t anymore. I have never thought this would happen, never thought that it would be over, that we would say our last goodbye when I had to run away.

I promised to return to you and I did, with a ring (which, even if it couldn’t mean what it usually does, it was a lifelong promise from me to you) and with the intention to take you away, to a safer place, and to a life surrounded with love. The ring which is still here, making waves as deep as the tears I could or couldn’t shed when learning about your death… your execution. And everything from my fault!

Three months have passed since I have seen your face and heard your sweet voice professing your love for me – as if I needed any reassurance, when the facts showed it better. You have endangered yourself for me; you have put your reputation at risk going to ask for my employer’s favour; you have kept loving me …and I kept loving you too, no matter what obstacles life gave us. And instead of anything else… you gave your life where mine would have been asked for. There is no word in any language for my grief in these circumstances, and it is too hard to realize that we will never again have a conversation. Never again will I feel your delicate touch.

Well, this love letter – the only one I had ever written in my life – is my side of the conversation which had built up inside me… like the turquoise waves on the ring, willing to get out somehow. And tonight is the night when you are here with me, unseen but present, reading over my shoulder what I am writing to you, knowing my love for you. Probably you have heard the prayers too. Including my sister’s and the children’s. You got a glimpse of the life I would have offered to you.

Somehow, every day I am reminded of you in some little way, and I wonder if this is meant to happen for the rest of my life. Yes, I know, in my thoughts I had compared you, for a while, at the beginning of our relationships, to a past flame, finding similarities and differences. And the differences were exactly why I love you, while for her it wasn’t exactly love. Call it lust mixed with admiration, respect and friendship… but not the love we shared. And this was why it was easy to break up with her without bad thoughts, while I couldn’t get my thoughts off you when I got scared, in June, that I was too attached to you and I had tried to run away from myself more than from you.

I can’t believe how badly I ache for you right now, and I have been for a long while. Thinking about it brings the feelings back all over again. I loved the way you felt in my arms, so fragile yet so strong, the silky softness of your body, your touch, the taste of your lips. Words could never express the waterfall of emotions you opened inside me. How you made me quiver with every touch, how my heart resounded with the music of your soul. I loved holding you, kissing you, just being with you. You were everything I wanted, and not only someone I lusted for, but whose witty conversation and wide culture I admired. I was lucky to feel, for a short while, the thrill of knowing I am the one for you, that out of all the people in the world, you chose me, I was the one you needed.

And now, that everything went upside down by a twist of fate, I am so lost without you. You are all I think about, the one I pray for, the one whose death I can’t find a way to avenge. At least if I hadn’t made a promise before it happened… a promise which binds me. Life without you, and with the guilt of knowing that you got killed instead of me, is a living hell. Now, Josema and the others are trying to alleviate it, but I can’t estimate for how long.

I am so thankful to have met you because you have taught me hope, and made me fall in love again. I know in my heart you were sent to me for a reason, to teach me the gift of love, to make me overcome Luisa’s ghost and dare again to offer my heart to a woman. If only I could figure out why I was left without you now. Why you were taken and not me.

I’ll go through each and every day putting one foot in front of the other while working hard to convince everyone that I am fine knowing that by my fault you had found your end. Until I hear a song I played to you, until I drink a hot chocolate flavoured like the one we drank together, or until I smell the same combination of spices I had offered you. Until I have to go to sleep. Until I fall apart and have to start all over again…without you, a lonely, errant knight who has as shield only your rosary.

I want you to know that you will always be in my heart. The times we spent together I will carry forever deep in my soul, keeping the memory of this incredible, untouchable, everlasting love for each other. A sad love like in the legends. And, like there, I am telling you that one day we will meet again. If it’s purgatory or hell, we’ll be together again, taking strength from each other. Our love will shine again once more - forever.


The page was filled on both sides with his neat, orderly penmanship. He let it dry and searched for the jug with chicha, to drink a sip more, then he folded the letter and kneeled in front of the altar, looking a place to put it. Perhaps under the scarf tied as a bow. He wanted to say another prayer afterwards, then go to sleep. As he was kneeling, he felt a feathery light touch on his shoulder, hearing a whisper he had heard a few months before:

”So you grace this place with your presence again, my kneeling Knight. Or do my eyes deceive me to see what my heart desires?”

He raised his eyes in surprise, recognizing both Hermione’s voice inflexions and her perfume.

”I am here, my lovely queen, trying to heal my heart from the grief you left behind. I love you, I could never forget you, and I can never forgive myself for having provoked you so much pain and the worst things possible,” he answered with a similar whisper.

He couldn’t see anything, but the reply came promptly:

”I love you too. My last thoughts have been about you, about our love. And it wasn’t you who brought me pain and shame – it was the cruel fate and that liar who had promised me something else. Your prayers do help, and so do your songs.”

”You will have more of them tomorrow, my love, and not only then.”

He hoped to hear something more, but it was just a gust of wind, blowing out a few of the candles on the altar, not all though.

In the morning, he told Josema that he had seen Hermione during the night.
Last edited by Santiago Moreno on October 1st, 2014, 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]
[size0]Quoted theme song Biography Plot Page[/size][/align]
Like
Share

NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

September 22nd, 2013, 7:49 pm #13

[align=center]

JOSE MANUEL ZAMORRA [/align]

Josema somehow expected this to happen. It was a night when it was possible, when God allowed the dead and the living to mingle for appeasing grief. And given that his brother was in deep sorrow, and thinking only about his loss, the approach was welcome.

”If you wrote her a letter, no doubt that she could understand it and she came to give you some answers. Were the answers satisfactory?” he asked simply.

Then, as he had to be in the cemetery before the others, together with the priests, for the mass, he told Chago that today, the novena in church would be prayed later in the evening, after the third mass, but there would be the traditional prayers in the cemetery too.
Like
Share

Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:50 pm

September 22nd, 2013, 7:55 pm #14

In the morning, even if he hadn’t slept much, Chago was ready to go to the cemetery with the others. He was feeling more serene after the brief discussion with Hermione, that he confessed to Josema, receiving only a raised brow and a direct question..

”I wouldn’t call the answers satisfactory. It would be too small a word for my feelings, but yes, she told me that my prayers help her, and that I am not to blame for what happened – and this makes me feel better. I will gladly rejoin you in church after the third mass – until then, I am with Pepita and the family.”

While Pepita and the older children were busy to strip the altar in order to bring the offerings to the tomb, Chago took the scarf with the ring, and a few orange flowers, thinking how Hermione loved life, sun and bright colours, so these traditional flowers were more appropriate for her than for anyone else.

He put first the letter on the bottom of the tea caddy, folded to stay there well. Then, he spread on it a few of the spices he had put on the altar two days ago: cloves, cinnamon, coffee and cocoa beans, a little vanilla stick, nutmeg, ginger and cumin. There remained some on the altar, to be gathered on a plate and put by the children on the tomb. But the ones already inside made him remember the original bouquet of spices he had brought her in June. Her passion, her caresses, as that was the first time they had laid together.

The scarf, tied in a bow as it was, lingered more in his hands. Half of himself was in favour of keeping it. It had been close to him when he was healing in Tortuga, and also after Michaelmas, when he had learnt the sad news. It had her scent, the memory of the last time he had seen Hermione.

The ring was also there, on it, staring at him with its turquoise waves. Assuming he would ever fall in love again, he would be able to buy to his new love a better matched engagement ring for her. This one had been meant for Hermione and surely it couldn’t belong to anyone else.

He caressed the silk and the metal before parting with them for good, and the flowers of the dead went over it, together with a few shells from Manolita’s collection. It was just fair, as their first date had been on the sea shore. One of the rosaries was the only detail missing there, and he put it before closing the lid of the tea caddy. He would keep forever the one from her, but she would have one to convey his prayers for her as well.

Once closed, the tea caddy looked like a little coffin, having inside Hermione’s soul …and his as well, trapped into the letter and the memories of a painful, short, suddenly and cruelly ended love story. At least Chago would know from now on, every time when returning to Nueva Valencia and to the tomb of his family, that the memory of Hermione was there too, buried at the foot of the flower cross, in the place he had left yesterday specially for it.
[align=center]
[size0]Quoted theme song Biography Plot Page[/size][/align]
Like
Share

NPC
Joined: August 1st, 2010, 9:04 am

September 28th, 2013, 5:49 pm #15

[align=center]

JOSE MANUEL ZAMORRA [/align]

It was the afternoon of the Feast of the Departed. Up to now, Josema had conducted two of the three masses of this special day – according to the traditions, held at the cemetery. At the second one, he chose as highlight the reading from the second book of the Maccabees:

”And when he had made a gathering throughout the company to the sum of two thousand drachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to offer a sin offering, doing therein very well and honestly, in that he was mindful of the resurrection. For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again, it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. And also in that he perceived that there was great favour laid up for those that died godly, it was an holy and good thought. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin.

It is a comfort to know that we are doing now, in our own way, the same thing they had done two thousand years ago, partaking our offerings with God, with the saints and with our dear depaprted. Our prayers soar higher when they are added with those of the departed, and theirs when added with that of ours. Since both we here and they who aren’t anymore with us have our souls sealed with the seal of baptism, we pray today for them and in their realm they pray for us that the Lord prepare us all to experience the heavenly bliss of resurrection. Because man was created for immortality, and by His resurrection Christ opened the gates of the Heavenly Kingdom, of eternal blessedness for those who have believed in Him and have lived righteously.”


The sermon focused more on the power of prayer and on the link between the deceased and the living ones, more apparent today.

”Our earthly life is a preparation for the future life, and this preparation ends with our death. The focus on others heals us of our selfishness and the focus on those who have departed reminds us of eternity and brings God’s will in our approach to life through repentance. It is extremely important and beneficial for the reposed if the loved ones who remained behind offer fervent prayers for their souls and have them commemorated in the liturgy, when the particles which are cut out for the living and the dead are immersed in the Blood of the Lord with the words: Wash away, O Lord, the sins of those here commemorated by Thy Precious Blood and by the prayers of Thy saints. We, those who were left on the Earth for a while when our dear ones had left us, have to do for them what is needful and within our power. To use our money not for outward adornment of the grave in which the body is placed, but in order to help those souls in need, in memory of our close ones who have died, and for churches, where prayers for them are offered. Show mercy to the departed by continuing to take care of their souls. The path that they have now taken lies before you. And when we have departed, how we shall then wish that we would be remembered in prayer! Let us therefore be ourselves merciful to the dead.”

Of course, he remembered that he had a purpose why he was here in Nueva Valencia now and not in his corner of the jungle, so he added:

”And those who have enough money to spare, might give for charity a duro for their parish church, and one for the missions meant to bring Christ to the heathens of the jungle. The Cathedral receives such donations for one more week, and the benefactors will be listed as church founders, being in the priests’ and congregation’s prayers at every mass.”

Then, he passed from a tomb to the other, blessing the offerings and ending the prayer with the words:

”May your hearts and souls find peace and comfort too, while God grants His peace to the souls of your dearly departed through our prayers.”

He did the same at his family tomb, however he spent a longer time there, not doing only the usual blessing, but also praying together with them for the rest of their souls. When he pronounced Hermione’s name, all the voices repeated it too. She was already a part of the family memorial since last night.
Last edited by NPC on September 28th, 2013, 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Like
Share

Joined: July 31st, 2010, 9:50 pm

October 6th, 2013, 1:50 pm #16

Chago had listened reverently to the sermons. Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the dead, that they might be delivered from sin. This was what he was doing now, and Hermione’s apparition last night made him understand that it sort of worked. Indeed, it was a confort to know that for two thousand years, people did the same and felt a communion between the living and the dead. And… if we pray today for them and in their realm they pray for us, the better. Hermione and him might be reunited, some day, in a better world.

She had sort of said it, even if not with these exact words, last night, when appearing to him. She was thinking of him, exactly how he was thinking of her. Prayer was just one step forth, and Josema’s word about the liturgy as commemoration for the dead illuminated his thoughts again. He would leave Pepita enough money, before leaving, for having her commemorated at all masses. He could afford this, and he wanted it from all his heart.

Charity was, according to his brother, the next step in commemorating the beloved one who wasn’t anymore with him. And making a substantial donation for the mission church in the jungle meant for him more than honouring Hermione’s memory and his own mother’s alike, who belonged to one of the tribes. It meant an atonement for the sins of his Army years as well. A part of the blood price he had received, going to wash the blood from his soul and not only. Yes, this was a good idea too, as Josema had read in the Holy Scriptures: ”From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” He was one of them.

He lived intensely the day in the cemetery. He knew that now a part of Hermione’s soul and memory was there as well. He bowed his head when receiving his brother’s blessing and continued the prayer:

“Please, Lord, give all the departed souls eternal rest, and let Your everlasting light bright over them, so they may rest in peace. Allmerciful Father, please, take care of the souls in Purgatory, waiting for Your fair judgment! Remember Your endless love for them and show them the infinite qualities of Your beloved son. Free them of pain and sorrow, so that they can enjoy Your peace and the happiness of the place of eternal rest.”

He knew already, from the novena, most of the verses of this prayer. And there would be still time to learn them all by heart. The prayer gave him peace, both then and later, in the church, when alone with his brother, kneeled both in front of the altar.

When, late at night, overcome by tiredness, Chago fell in a deep slumber, Hermione appeared again in his dream. She was as beautiful as he had always known him, and as delicately smiling as in the day they had gone to admire the sea from the cliff above. Her words were sweet and encouraging, telling him that it was a good idea to leave her there, among his family, and that she felt welcome. That his prayers were the best proof of love now, and that God would look upon him with mercy and give him, some day, another woman to comfort him, a totally different one.

This made sense. Healing coming step by step, exactly how Josema and Old Garrick had told him. He still had to learn how to live every day without her, exactly how he had written in the letter, but at least he had his soul easier. He knew Hermione hadn't thought him to blame for what happened. He knew now, even if he was conflicted about it, that maybe God had different plans for the evil Fort Commander. And that he had to go forward, to find his peace and peace for Hermione's soul, somehow.

But what was the most important, he knew that his family was by his side, and that there was a ray of hope somewhere ahead. Somewhere in time.

[align=center] - Chago's story continues here -

- THE END - [/align]


[align=center][/align]
Last edited by Santiago Moreno on October 1st, 2014, 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
[align=center]
[size0]Quoted theme song Biography Plot Page[/size][/align]
Like
Share