Good Night! Goodbye!

November 3, 2014

Alas, I must call an end to my day, here. I leave you with one last excerpt from I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills, one that shows the other side of Ezekiel’s job–the darker, less-amusing side.

 

“What was the difference between the McKays’ home and the church at Mayvale?”

Justinian pushed a boiled carrot across his plate. “I think it’s that… it’s people. At the McKay’s… the shop, it wasn’t—they were animals, and they were… already dead. They were supposed to be dead. Because we eat them, and because that’s their purpose. To be eaten, I mean, and so it’s not horrible. But in Mayvale… in Mayvale, they’re people, and….”

Ezekiel nodded at Justinian’s helpless wave. “A fair explanation. Good.”

They subsided into silence, Justinian picking at his dinner and Ezekiel methodically eating his. At last, Justinian spoke, not looking up from his food. “Br—Ezekiel?”

“Hm.”

“How do your Brothers…? I was thinking. About those people. And wondering… why? How do you, how do your Brothers…. Don’t you wonder why? Don’t you, maybe….”

“All men are blessed and cursed alike with the knowledge of good and evil, and we are also blessed and cursed alike with the ability to choose to do evil,” Ezekiel said, making a small arc with the tines of his fork. “And the fact that you have spent so much time among those who strive only to do good adds to the horror of someone choosing to not only do evil, but to do it on such a scale. Then there’s the location of the evil deed, as well.”

“I see.” It was something to hold on to, anyway.

“I have seen, on two occasions, people who were… wrong. Not simple, because most simple people have decent natures, but just wrong. They did some horrible things, but I don’t think that they understood that what they were doing was both illegal and a sin. I recommended mercy, but I don’t know if they received it.”

“In Blakenall Heath, there’s a man that everyone calls Angry Berg. He isn’t simple, but there’s something not right about him,” Justinian said, considering the idea. “But he just shouts and can’t be still. He’s really rather sad, not evil. Whoever was in Mayvale… whoever that is, they… they don’t deserve mercy.”

“These people…. It was deeper than that.” Ezekiel put his fork down and wiped his mouth, then pushed his plate toward the edge of the table. “I would not recommend it, no. That is not for us to decide, however. We must not allow our righteous wrath to lead us down the same path we condemn.”

Justinian looked up, frowning and trying to decide what to say to that when Ezekiel spoke again.

“Some days, though, I surely would like to hang the bastards from the nearest tree without so much as thinking about taking them to court.” He smiled at Justinian’s startled laughter. “Better, now?”

“I think I may be, yes. Thank you, Br—Ezekiel.”

“You are quite welcome.”

You can find I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills at Dreamspinner Press and other fine retailers; you can find me at connorwrites.com. Thanks for hanging out with me!

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