Fiction Friday: Jan 20, 2017

Frere Jacques

The bells tolled long and loud. They reverberated through the monastery, calling time for devotions.

Jacques turned over on his narrow, hard bed. The blankets called to him, held him captive. They clasped his limbs as tight as a lover. With a groan, he finally freed himself, kicking away those tempting blankets. If he wasn’t on time, he’d get yelled at again.

His brothers marched silent down the cold, stone hallways, their faces solemn. Jacques joined the queue, his head bobbing against his chest, his eyes barely open.

He made it through two lines of prayers before slipping away into sleep. His brothers worshiped God through their mouths — he worshiped in his dreams.

He did most activities in his dreams. Whether it was praying, singing, cleaning, eating, or meditating, Jacques found inspiration through mad images that changes at a moment’s notice. Life in the monastery was dull and repetitive. The world he saw in sleep was anything but.

So he slept thru life. He didn’t need blankets or a bed or even a place to lie down. He liked it better sometimes when he had none of that.

The walls of the monastery trapped him inside, forever cold and hard. In his dreams, he saw only wide, warm fields, each with more wonders than the last. Why should he stay awake, when that world beckoned?

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