Chapel

By: David Ihnen

CREATEDIn Progress
NOTESDraft, recieved feedback from Matthias, will revise and send to Ryx.
RATINGGeneral
SERIESWinter Assault
UNIVERSEMetamor Keep
Times viewed
This story is Copyright by David Ihnen. Please do not distribute without permission.

-- Back to universe Index Page --
Previous Story: Metamor Keep - Civil Engineering - Part 6
Next Story: MikeandKing - Mike and King

A contribution to the Winter Assault collaboration

...The attack on the chapel is thwarted....

.....................

The chapel was mostly filled with keepers. Several back rows of benches had been stacked against the wall, clearing an area where the covered corpses of the keepers killed in the attack lay silently. They had assembled for a christmas meeting. It had been interrupted by a rude attack, after which the sturdy doors had been firmly locked.

Skylos reclined on one of the benches, his bare foot paws resting on the arm of polished wood, staring up at the cieling and balcony overhead. He came to the meeting out of curiosity, forgoing the non-traditional lightbringer meeting to investigate the patildi. It had been several hours since the attack. The balcony was backed by tall stained glass windows, their colors muted by the dark storm outside. The wind buffetted them when it gusted, making the frames creak. The sound of the storm felt more distant than it was in the warmth of the chapel. His gaze moved to the morbid statue over the altar at the front, and shivered a little. When he had asked Vinsah, a raccoon currently seated quietly not far from him, he had been informed that in their beliefs Yeshua, the diety portrayed in agony there, had died to give everybody eternal life, and had come back from the dead. He still felt it was an odd way to portray somebody so loving, in their moment of pain and shame. They said the reason was life, but the statuary to dwelt on the death. His gaze shifted to the panels that decorated the end of the chapel to either side of the crucifix. They somehow reminded him of doors or shutters, but to what? He heard a youthful voice speaking over the murmur of the crowd, and raised himself on his elbows to see who it was.

"I know we're all tired of being stuck here." spoke Father Hough, "Why don't we sing some songs to pass the time away?"

"A fine idea!" responded a mother, holding her infant close under her blanket.

He started to sing, "A mighty fortress is our god..." about half of the congregation picked up and sang along with him.

"How about the Rattlin Bog?" asked a child of about six, ducking his head under his mother's arm shyly as people looked at him.

"That's a good song!" agreed his mother, a stout martin.

"I don't know that one." said Hough, scratching his neck.

"Its fun!" said the martin, setting the child from her lap on the bench. "Its a simple song, it builds up one thing at a time. The bog, the tree, the branch, the limb, the twig, the nest, the bird, the feather, and the flea. Its like this." Her husky voice raised in example.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now in that bog there was a tree,
A rare tree and a rattlin' tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

"Got it?" she asked, smiling at him.

Hough smiled back tentatively. "I think so, but you better lead them."

Vinsah stood, frowning. "I hardly think it approriate!" he began.

Hough shook his head at Vinsah. "It'll be alright."

The martin nodded, "Okay, but you sing along too! First the chorus again, then listen." She cleared her throat and began the song, getting first her children and then a number of the keepers to sing with her.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now in that bog there was a tree,
A rare tree and a rattlin' tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that tree there was a branch,
A rare branch and a rattlin' branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that branch there was a limb,
A rare limb and a rattlin' limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that branch there was a twig,
A rare twig and a rattlin' twig,
And the twig on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that twig there was a nest,
A rare nest and a rattlin' nest,
And the nest on the twig,
And the twig on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now in that nest there was a bird,
A rare bird and a rattlin' bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the twig,
And the twig on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that bird there was a feather,
A rare feather and a rattlin' feather,
And the feather on the bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the twig,
And the twig on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that feather there was a flea,
A rare flea and a rattlin' flea,
And the bug on the feather,
And the feather on the bird,
And the bird in the nest,
And the nest on the twig,
And the twig on the limb,
And the limb on the branch,
And the branch on the tree,
And the tree in the bog,
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.
Ho, ro, the rattlin' bog,
The bog down in the valley-o.

They finished amongst much laughing and clapping from trying to sing the whole verse in one breath, and calls to do it again. The martin sat down, laughing.

"Mercy!" she said, panting, "I'm all sung out!"

"I'll do it!" volunteered Skylos. The priest nodded to him.

"This time, we'll go faster and faster! See how long you can keep up!" he grinned, swaggering in front of all the attention.

They sung it again, more of the keepers joining in this time, even Hough lending his voice to the enthusiastic song. By the end, Skylos was going so fast that everybody collapsed in giggles, letting him finish the song by himself. They joined him on the final chorus, raising their voices to shake the cieling. Everybody was in a much better mood as they settled back down.

Skylos struck up a conversation with a skinny fox outfitted in a loose but neat tunic.

"I have been patildor as long as I can remember." the fox said, "why, down in the southlands, they have the most wonderful cathedral. It had a fabulous organ. Some of the lower pipes are big enough to crawl into!"

Skylos tilted his head curiously. "An organ?"

"You've not seen one?" asked the fox. He grinned, and twiddled his fingers in front of him. "They have a keyboard... rows of levers that you can press... you press a key, and trigger air to blow through one or more of the pipes. You play music on the pipes that way."

Skylos nodded. "So how does it work?"

"I'm not really sure about the details." said the fox, "But you need a helper to run the bellows that give it the air."

Skylos frowned. "Bellows. Maybe that is what that thing was in the choir."

The fox's ears swiveled towards him. "The choir?"

Skylos pointed above them. "Before the meeting... I was looking around. There was a handle sticking out of the wall near the corner up there. I tried moving it and it felt like a double action bellows, like they have at the smithy."

The fox looked excited. "Could you show me?" he asked, wringing one paw with another eagerly.

Skylos shrugged. "Sure." he said shortly, rising leading the way to the narrow staircase that led into the choir.

Upstairs, he showed the fox the handle, and tested moving it up and down. It moved with some resistance, making a quiet woosh as air was moved in the apparatus behind the wall.

There must be a keyboard around... the fox murmured, scanning the balcony area.

Skylos pointed to a level platform near the front corner of the balcony. "That's different than on the other side." he said.

The fox joined him. The wall paneling was segmented here, Skylos and the fox found some recessed handles. With a firm pull, a whole segment of the wall moved aside with the quiet hiss of wood on wood. Behind it was a complex arrangment of polished levers and nobs, arranged in a rough semicircle around a bench. Below were pedals in the same light-dark colored progression as the keys, and some larger, flat levers. Skylos poked at one of the keys curiously. It depressed with gentle pressure about a half inch, and sprang back when he released it.

"This is an organ! The keyboard!" grinned the fox, his tail lashing happily.

"But where are the pipes?" asked Skylos with a guesture encompassing the room.

"Hidden, I imagine." said the fox. "Quick, pump the bellows."

Skylos shrugged and walked back to the corner, within easy view of the fox, who positioned himself on the bench in front of the organ, fingers and footpaws running over the many keys and nobs. He pumped the bellows, the air whooshing steadily, the resistance growing slightly but not much.

The fox moved a lever on the left side of the console, and the keyboard came to life. Air whistled inside, stilled by a series of sharp pops as a number of the nobs partially away from the panel snapped flush. A gasp rose from the congregation below.

"Will you look at that!" exclaimed a voice.

Skylos and the fox looked at the front of the chapel. The formerly relatively drab appearance of the wood paneling had been replaced. The panels had swung aside to reveal an impressive array of shiny pipes, glistening in the torch light. The largest stretched from the floor to the cieling.

"Yes, Yes!" exclaimed the fox, gesturing to Skylos to continue pumping, "Listen, to this." he grinned at the hound, and pressed several of the keys at once.

A moment after his fingers touched the keys, a soft chord sounded from the front of the chapel. He held down the keys, left paw pressing one of the keys below him, adding a deep reverberating note to the chord. The other paw moved the pedal, and the sound swelled to fill the chappel. Skylos pumped steadily, noticing a pointer on the side of the Organ towards him that dropped when he pumped slower, and rose when he pumped faster. The fox shifted his fingers and feet, and the chord changed to a more powerful one, that seemed to shake the very foundation. Skylos paused to pant, and the pointer quickly reached the bottom of the scale. The sound rapidly died out, and the shutters at the front of the chapel swung closed. The nobs the fox had pulled out snapped back in with soft pops.

"Wow." said Skylos, "What happened?"

"You have to pump the bellows to keep it going." he said, grinning widely, his fingers dancing with soft clicks across the keys in some remembered pattern, his feet dancing on the keys below.

A night strode across the choir from the staircase, Father Hough and Bishop Vinsah close behind him. "What're you trying to do!?" the knight hissed, "Lead the lutins to us?"

The fox ducked his head. "I'm sorry, I got so excited! Its an organ!"

The knight surveyed the complex console the fox was seated at, Hough reverently ran a fingers over one of the keys. He looked up at the fox. "You can play it?" he asked, eyes bright.

The fox nodded. "Oh yes, I played a similar organ in the southlands, in the mighty cathedral..." his eyes glazed a bit as he smiled widely, fingers rippling over the keys dreamily.

Hough looked up at the Knight. "I think it would be okay... if he played it quietly?"

The knight grunted. "Quietly." He sat down on one of the choir benches.

The fox turned to Skylos. "If you would pump the bellows?" he inquired.

Skylos nodded and crossed the loft, taking hold of the handle and pumping it, restoring the pressure to the system opened the shutters once again. The fox played a slow tune gently on the organ, intermittently pausing to pull or push one of the nobs, adding and removing various sounds.

Hough and Vinsah went back downstairs as the fox played, Skylos pulling and leaning on the bellows hard enough to keep the indicator well away from the bottom of the scale. Their playing came to a sudden stop as pounding reverberated on the door below.

............

...Knights arrive with news of Thomas's kidnapping....


Encourage me to write more with a donation!
-- Back to the top --
-- Back to universe Index Page --
Previous Story: Metamor Keep - Civil Engineering - Part 6
Next Story: MikeandKing - Mike and King

This is a machine-generated file, created at Fri Oct 7 11:21:38 2011 from the data stored in the stories themselves.