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The Dead Bishop

by SamMorris 

Posted: 26 May 2007
Word Count: 294
Summary: For the wk 152 challenge. An extract from a book wot I am writing.


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"That's a shame, he's dead," said Friar Dominic. This observation made only after he'd rocked the prone figure back and forth, poked his ghost-white cadaver with an outstretched index finger, and finally pulled him up to his full-height and dropped him down onto the floor of St. Paul's Cathedral; the revered stillness of the nave broken by a schism of echoes.

"What do you think he died of?" I said. My voice hushed in tones of respect more appropriate to the recently deceased. My approach towards the now crumpled figure cautious from the fear he might have died of some gruesome disease or other.

"Don't worry, he's quite safe," the Friar said, his voice easily filling the cathedral's cavernous space.

I came to a halt as close as I dared to the Bishop's body which lay at the very centre of the Cathedral; at the crossing underneath the tower, over which rose the tallest spire in all England. A structure completed only two years previous to our visit.

"Ah, yes, I see," I said, now closer and able to see the Bishop's throat noticeably slashed from ear to ear, "that may well have done it."

"Nasty," said Sister Celeste, joining us around the body. "I think we can rule out a shaving accident."

"It's murder then," I whispered. An unbecoming shiver of intrigue caused as the 'M' word passed my tongue.

"But why. And by whom?" asked Sister Celeste.

"By someone who wasn't keen on him. No, not keen at all," suggested the Friar. His wagged index finger conclusively in the air and paced to and fro in front of the body.

"Excellent, good work," replied Sister Celeste, "the mystery is solved and the stolen manuscript of the apocalypse as good as ours."






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Comments by other Members



optimist at 11:16 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Love it! Gorgeous and gruesome.

He waved his index finger?

'Schism of echoes' is very good.

Wot's the book? Is there any more posted we can read? Is it Morris the Monk?

Also a ? - 'What do you think he died of?'

I liked the character of Sister Celeste.

Thanks for the read,

Sarah

tractor at 11:29 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Great comic piece. I particularly liked the actions the Bishop takes to confirm the corpse is cold.

Possibly a couple of minor typos you might want to address.

What do you think he died of
may need a question mark.

as close as I dare
maybe dared?

I too would like to read more when it's available.

Cheers


Mark

V`yonne at 11:47 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Hello there Cadfael! Nice one.

SamMorris at 12:17 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Hi Sarah, yes it is the further adventures of Morris the Monk! (Although I've renamed him several times since.) It's great you noticed the connection. I've not posted anymore yet. I wanted to finish the first draft. But more might slip out so to speak.

Sam

SamMorris at 12:17 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Thanks Mark, especially for the grammar spots. Its amazing how obvious they seem once someone points the buggers out! Glad you liked it.

Sam

SamMorris at 12:20 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Thanks V`yonne. Funnily enough I might have a couple of Cadfael audio tapes in my car. I tell anyone who finds them that they belong to my mother (which truth be told is bit of a fib).

Sam

Forbes at 14:08 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Hi Sam

Er...wouldn't a slit throat be bloodily obvious?

And I think the good sister a tad hasty in her summary to close the case.

Or did I miss something?

But I liked the atmoshere and the humour of the piece.

TFR

Forbes

Prospero at 15:07 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Ahh! I thought this was to be Thomas a Becket so you took me a bit by surprise there. But good stuff nonetheless.

pulled him up to his full-height and dropped him down onto the floor of St. Paul's Cathedral

I can see Pathology was an infant science at the time your story is set. :)

An interesting and intriguing introduction to your novel, I shall look forward to reading more.

Best

John

crowspark at 17:37 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Very funny, Sam.
Poor Bishop. Clever Friar. Hope they find the stolen manuscript of the apocalypse soon, I hear it is a corker! :)
I look forward to hearing more.

Thanks for the read.

Bill

Jumbo at 23:49 on 26 May 2007  Report this post
Sam

I enjoyed this. Some great lines, I particularly liked

"Ah, yes, I see," I said, now closer and able to see the Bishop's throat noticeably slashed from ear to ear, "that may well have done it."


But "His wagged index finger conclusively in the air and paced to and fro in front of the body."... got me. It may need looking at.

Is the book complete?

Regards

john


Elbowsnitch at 08:34 on 27 May 2007  Report this post
Hi Sam - love the way this begins, with Friar Dominic's casual and callous treatment of the corpse. And
the revered stillness of the nave broken by a schism of echoes

- although shouldn't 'revered' strictly speaking be 'reverend'?

I wondered, which century are we in? I guess the clue lies in the fact that the spire of the old St Paul's has only just been completed.

Touch of the Da Vinci Code at the end! But better written.

Frances

tiger_bright at 10:40 on 31 May 2007  Report this post
Brilliantly funny and gory flash, Sam. I enjoyed it very much.

the revered stillness of the nave broken by a schism of echoes

This would have been a beautiful line in any literary fic, but here there was the added fun of the contrast with the humour of the piece.

Tiger

SamMorris at 11:50 on 31 May 2007  Report this post
Thanks Forbes, Prospero, Jumbo, Frances and lastly but not lastly Tiger. Sorry for not replying earlier. I thought I had, but apparently not!

Jumbo - I'm correctly about half way through, about 50,000 words. It's a six month project that I started a year and a half ago...

Sam



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