Pirates of the Anglican Communion:
Dead Man's Province, Part Cinq
Note: To read Part 1, go here. For Part 2, go here; For Part 3, go here. To read part 4 ... oh for Heaven's sake, just look back a couple of entries. Criminy. I haven't blogged that much lately.
Sparrow wakes up. His skull feels like his brains will simply pound through it. The floor beneath him is a bit uneven. It's cold, hard and dank.
With a moan, Sparrow pulls himself to a sitting position. His sword is missing, but quick checks reveal his flask, cross and Holy Water are intact in secret pockets sewn into his clothing. Sparrow takes a quick swig from the flask to ease the pain in his head, and becomes a bit more aware of his surroundings.
He's in a cell. A torch on the wall outside the cell provides its only light. Sparrow sees Father Jake in the shadows, and shakes him. Jake comes to, moaning as Sparrow did just moments before. Jake refuses Sparrow's offer of the flask, and pulls himself to a sitting position.
"Where are we?" Jake asks.
"I don't know. I only just came to, myself," Sparrow responds.
They hear slight sounds coming from the wall to the left of the cell door.
Jake puts his ear to the wall, listening. His fingers touch the bricks of the wall like those of a blind man reading Braille. He works out an uncemented brick, and the sounds of soft crying come through the opening.
"Who's there?" Jake asks.
The crying stops for a moment. A small voice says, "It's me. The Pirate Robert Duncan."
Peter Lorre plays the Pirate Robert Duncan
"Duncan?" Jake says. "What are you doing in a cell, here?"
"They took it away. All of it. My lovely church buildings, the pension funds, the tithes. They said they owned everything now, and didn't need me. When I told them they couldn't do that, they threw me in this horrible cell."
He starts crying again.
"Duncan, what is this place?"
"We're in the prison, on the lower level of the castle keep."
Duncan puts a rheumy eye to the rectangular opening.
"On the upper level is where the Gospel's being held prisoner," he says.
"The Gospel held prisoner? That's ridiculous. What are you talking about?" Jake replies.
"The Gospel. Pope Akinola has it encased in amber. He said, this way he knows nothing can ever change. The longer the Gospel stays trapped there, the greater the darkness grows. The farther back we go in time."
Duncan is silent for a moment, then his eye, opened wide, appears at the aperture again.
"Are you here to save the Gospel? To save us all? A prophet told me God will let the Gospel remain there, unless enough people want to save it."
Frowning, Jake asks, "Duncan, where are your pirate cohorts?"
"I don't know. They just disappeared."
Sparrow hears footsteps coming toward their cell. He motions to Jake, who replaces the brick.
The two men hear the sound of metal on metal as a key is inserted in the lock, and the cell door swings open.
"Here, you," a big thug says to Sparrow, and the thugs drag him off, his feet kicking at the floor in protest, and in a vain effort to get his footing.
A half hour later, Sparrow is the one crying.
Sparrow: swashbuckling no more
The big thug looks at him impassively. The smaller one cackles.
"Where is the Schori woman?" he asks.
"I don't know," Sparrow replies honestly, but he summonses as much defiance as he can into his answer.
He realizes his captors don't know where the bishop is, if they're trying to torture the information out of him.
"No one has endured the wheel more than 30 minutes without his head exploding," the short troll chortles, turning the lever, and the platform bearing Sparrow, tied to a chair, glides on wheels into a soundproofed room.
The voice in a video narrating the wonders of the Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) drones on again.
"NOOOO!" Sparrow cries. "MOMMYYYYYYY!"
He feels warmth coming from the pocket holding the cross his mother gave him when Sparrow was just a young lad. The cross she gave him just before she died.
Meanwhile, somewhere past the mists of Province X, somewhere where the sun shines, MadPriest has been fulfilling his mission. People are gathering -- Episcopalian, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Congregationalist -- even a few Nazarenes cautiously come out to join the chorus of voices. Pope Benedict prohibits Catholics from joining the ecumenical gathering, but millions, worldwide, ignore this just as they do most papal edicts, and join in.
People clasp hands and sing, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." They drop to their knees together, and pray for the Gospel light to be set free.
Even the Amish join in. At Archbishop Desmond Tutu's urging, people all over Africa (except most of them in Nigeria and Rwanda, of course) pour into the streets, singing and praying.
The Dalai Lama chants prayers for his Christian friends, odd though they are.
What is the meaning of this? Where is Bishop Schori?
Stay tuned to find out.