Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pirates of the Anglican Communion:
Dead Man's Province, Part Trois

Note: To read Part 1, go here. For Part 2, go here.


rides his horse all the way up to the command post before dismounting. He's immediately beset with questions. Brushing the queries aside, he grabs the coffeepot, fills a mug, and downs it.

"You need everything you've got to keep you going out here," he says.

"Sit down and rest for a moment. Are you all right?" Schori asks.

"Yes. I'm exhausted. It's that place," MadPriest replies. "It's oppressive. With each mile into that Godforsaken land, the air became heavier. Stifling."

"What about the horses? Where's your Geo Tracker?" Father Jake queries.

"I had to abandon the Geo Tracker about five miles in. It just quit. No modern invention works there. Even my watch quit, a bit after the Geo sputtered out. Then the watch started running backwards," MadPriest says, holding his watch up for them to see.

The watch hands jumped erratically, forward and back.

"I think it's trying to right itself now," MadPriest explains.

"Were you able to determine where Province X is? And where we are?" Father Jake asks.

"Maps are useless there. I think it's somewhere in Texas." MadPriest rubs his face. "Although, there were some indicators of Nigeria. It's all very confusing. Where we are now? Just in a wasteland, on the edge of Province X."

"Listen," MadPriest continues. "Most of the people there are confused. They don't know where they are. And it's growing darker and more oppressive by the hour. The people are frightened, and they don't know what to do. They don't know which direction will take them out."

"How did you find your way out?" Father Jakes asks.

"It was the oddest little fellow. He's some sort of mystic. He found me wandering, and told me, 'Madly Priest. This way is no good you go. Go you must back to the real world, and tell them, you will. This: pray you must, if you want the Gospel light. If to pray no one cares enough, then God will not work to perpetuate the lightness. Tell them, pray they must, to free the Gospel light.'"

MadPriest went on, "The gnomish bloke said there's a castle in the heart of Province X. There, the Gospel light is imprisoned. There, also, is the source of a spreading darkness. We must set free the Gospel light, but it will be impossible, without worldwide prayer in support. He gave me the horses, and pointed the way out. He said to find you and tell you."

"How did he know about us?" Father Jake asks.

"I don't know," MadPriest says. "He just seems to know everything."

The three brood for a bit. Finally, Schori says, "Then, that's what we must do. MadPriest, take the truck and go back. Get everyone to pray. Tell them they must believe, and pray."

Schori turns to Jake. "You and I will lead in as many as we can get on horseback. We're going in. We have to."

Jake bows. "I am at your service, Madam."

Soon, a line of riders on horseback threads across the wasteland. Behind follow vehicles, whose drivers refused to turn back. They pledge to follow on foot when their vehicles quit.

Stay tuned for more adventures of the Band of the Three-Legged Stool.

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