www.marilynshistoricalnovels.com

Showing posts with label persecution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label persecution. Show all posts

Monday, September 7, 2015

What Happened to the Living Bread

This is based on a true story from what we call the Dark Ages. Thank you Google Images for the suitable picture.

Margit looked anxiously as her husband Jacob.

“Are you sure the children will be safe whilst we are gone?”

“They are in the Father’s care, wife. He will watch over them just as He will be with us.”

Margit nodded and picked up her satchel. If it were not for the urgent need to see her dying mother in another valley and another town, they would not have considered leaving their children overnight.

“Fear not, mother,” seventeen year old Eloise comforted, “We will be fine. Obed will care for the goats and other outdoor chores and I what pertaineth to the house.”

Margit nodded, and then whispered in Eloise’s ear. “Beware of the soldiers.”

Eloise was fearful, but pretended not to be, as she let her handkerchief flutter gaily in the breeze while watching their parents make their way through the empty streets.

Soon the early morning mist hid them from view.

                Well, we might as well start with our chores,” she began. “It will make the time go faster.”

Obed nodded and picked up the milk bucket, “Beware of the soldiers,” he also warned.

Once again they were on a rampage against the Christians. She shook her head woefully before picking up the straw broom to sweep into all the corners of their three room abode.

After that was done, she cleared the breakfast dishes off the table, and washed them in a pottery bowl, searched for the eggs from their tiny flock of chickens clucking in the yard, and laid out the ingredients for making the daily bread.

A few minutes later her fifteen year old brother handed her the milk from the goats then caressed the Bible resting on the corner of the wooden plank table.

“Henrik and Maria were taken in for questioning, “He informed her.

Although Eloise’s hands were busy adding the starter mixture to the ingredients in her dough trough, she stole a glance at the word of God.

“Aye, but it is so precious,” she murmured. “Our lives have been much changed since Papa and Mama have been taught by the Word. Papa no longer comes home drunk and brutal, and---“

“Shh, I know. But be careful. I must needs bring the goats out to pasture.  But ye be careful, ya hear?”

Eloise nodded and had a strange impulse to hug him, but that was not done in those days, so she dismissed it.

The silence hung heavily about the house after the last family member departed. Eloise wiped her hands on her apron and strained the milk.

I will put it to cool in the stream once the bread is rising.

Eloise found herself gazing frequently out the one small window at the street winding past their house. Then she heard it: the tromp of soldiers’ feet. They were across the street now, pounding on Neighbour Saul’s door but within minutes they would arrive at their own, ready to confiscate the Bible once they laid eyes on it, and possibly throw her in prison for breaking the law.

Eloise’s heart pounded as she snatched up the life changing word and pressed it against her bosom. Where oh where can I hide it?

The rough, angry voices grew louder, they were nearer.

“Forgive me Lord,” she whispered as she plunged the Bible into the dough that she had begun to knead  and carefully folded another portion on top.

“Open up! We command ye!”


“My hands are in the dough,” she responded with a slight tremor, “But the latch string is on the outside.”

The three burly men seemed to fill the space as they crowded in. Eloise noticed their eyes were blood shot.

“Hand over the heretic’s Bible,” the spokesman demanded. “We have heard that your parents purchased one from that wicked bookseller who came into the valley.”

“How we can hide anything in this small abode, “Eloise asked gently, “If ye insist on searching, look for yourselves for my hands are sticky.”

It didn’t take long before everything was upturned and even their straw pallets were slashed open.

“Where are your parents?” Simon demanded.

“They went to visit a dying relative. “She sprinkled some more flour into the mix and continued pressing it with the heels of her hands.  It is a good thing that Mama asked me to make a large batch so we would have some to give to the poor and needy, she thought, but one corner of the Bible did want to protrude.

“Did they take it with them?”


“Take what with them?   

“The Bible, you imbecile!”

“I trow not. They would not prate around town with such a dangerous item.”

“Simon, we are wasting your time here,” Thomas grabbed him roughly by the shirt. “It’s obvious there are no books of any kind in this humble cottage. We must be going.”

Simon cast one last suspicious glance at Eloise’s pale face before stomping out.

Many hours later Obed returned, his eyes wide with concern. “Where is the Word,” he asked? “I heard they made a search."

“Be careful when you cut the bread,” she answered simply.


www.prairieviewpress.com (Marilyn Friesen)







































































Friday, February 28, 2014

The Folks Next Door Part Two

     
“Goedemorgen, Claudine!” Verena hurried over to the young mother who was strolling down a wooded path near their town home. “May I take a peek at your baby? Hallo Jans, did I wake you up? What a sweet little boy you are!” She sighed happily and looked around. “What a perfectly lovely day to be out for a walk. Aren't spring days beautiful?”
Claudine nodded. “ Pieter and Nicholaes do not play too far from the path. We need to go home after awhile to make supper for your father.”
“Where is Margriete?” Verena asked while she was making silly facial expressions to get the rosy cheeked lad to giggle.
“Over yonder,” Claudine pointed. “She is gathering an armful of flowers to fill our rooms with.”
“Meenen is such a pretty little town.”
Claudine fell silent. At least it doesn't have a dungeon like Ypres does. She suddenly felt cold and it had nothing to do with the stirring of a summer-like breese. How I would hate to be confined to a dark prison cell when the air is so fresh and there are all kinds of interesting things to do. She felt her grip tighten around the baby's small form. Verena didn't notice Claudine's change of mood. She was already rushing back to chat with Margriete.
“Mama!” Pieter called. “May I hold Jans please?”
Claudine handed the baby to his brother who promptly sat down in the grass and entertained him by tickling his face with a daisy.
What happy, sweet children I have, and such a good husband. Why then am I feeling cast-down in my soul, all of a sudden? Claudine started singing and the rich, pure tones filled the air with a rare beauty.
Claudine had a good soup cooking by the time Piersom entered the door. Claudine quirked her eyebrows. He didn't bound in with his usual boisterous good humor.
Piersom motioned for her to step outside.
“Margariete, you can start feeding Jans. He's so hungry after all that fresh air this afternoon. Yes, Piersom?”
Her husband closed the door behind Claudine before speaking. Then he laid his hands on her shoulders and looked deep into her warm, brown eyes. “ Hendric matched my step as I was returning home from work.”
Claudine nodded. Why such a sober look?
“Titelmannus is out and about.”
“Who is he?” Why did I whisper?
“The Dean of Ronse.”
When his wife still wore a blank expression, Piersom continued, “The Inquisitor. A pious councillor warned me to flee. I will hide in yonder woods.”
“Could you not pause to sup with us? You must be tired after such a long day.”
“Nay, I must hasten. He may have rounded up the bailiffs already to come and fetch me.” He turned to go, then paused. “You come, to, Claudine. They may be after you as well.”
Claudine knew the danger they were in. “I will fetch the baby, but you go! Go! Don't wait for me! I'll be but a moment later.”

“Where's Papa?”
“Why doesn't Papa come in for supper? I am hungry!”
“Papa and I are going for a little walk. Go ahead and eat. Pieter, you can lead in prayer. Hallo Janzie! My what a sopping wet baby! Did he eat much?”
Margariete nodded. “Everything that I mashed up for him.”
Claudine quickly and deftly changed the baby's sodden garments then hurried out the door.
She saw a ragtag, but determined looking bunch of men heading down the street so ducked into the woods and quickened her pace.

Page 737
Claudine de Vettre

MARTYRS MIRROR