A Workman’s Wages

Dom's HandiworkDom carted his tools over to the abbey, a slight spring in his step at the thought of getting paid. He tunelessly whistled his way over the stone bridge – a childhood habit to keep the trolls away.

He’d spent several days enquiring – none too subtly – of Sr Agatha into the dear priest’s recovery before committing to finish the work. No point getting into a job if the customer just up and dies on you; one of the few lessons he’d learned well from his father.

Avoiding Sr Agatha by heading up the back stairs, he caught a glimpse of the priest carrying what looked like a cross down from his room toward the church. Letting himself into the unlocked apartment, Dom quickly finished replacing the window and allowed himself to admire his handiwork. He then started to admire some of the even finer handiwork in the furnishings and paintings in the room, carefully adding up the values in his mind.

He went looking for the priest in the church expecting to find him reading the breviary, but he was not to be found. Grumbling at the prospect of having to settle his bill with Sr Agatha, Dom was relieved to see the priest scurrying over the stone bridge toward town and gave chase, not even stopping to drop his tools at the smithy.

He followed into the Warden’s office, resting a moment to catch his breath just as a gaggle of townsfolk emerged from the inner room. He’d hate to think how fast the priest would move when he was fully recovered from his illness.

He negotiated his payment and was readying to leave as talk turned to the upcoming wedding for the countess. A queasy tension mounted in the room. It wasn’t just the prospect of claustrophobic work in the dank of the crypt and catacombs under the church that Fr Bernard requested. It wasn’t just the strange dwarf snuffling around the wench from the tavern by the docks. There was a distinct joylessness to the wedding plans that even a clod as insensitive as Dom could discern.

Still, he now had more work and Bryantt, the new Warden, had made clear who was now in charge of finances at the castle.

Leave a Reply