God Indeed
Friday, July 14, 2006

Book wasn't born a Shepherd, you know. For the Friday challenge prompt "music".


Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I'm not making any money off this, just playing with the toys.

Set: pre-series

The Southdown Abbey was no different than the abbeys from Earth-That-Was. Had been a time when travellers needing shelter would find the places a haven. Food, drink and soul clearing, they were. The thick walls protected those inside from the out or vice versa, depending. A man could find salvation if he was interested. Or just a bed for the night.

It had been here that Derrial Book had come, wet and shivering during a heavy thunderstorm. All he carried was one small bag that was drenched as well.

“I’ve heard that these places give refuge,” he had said.

The Brother nodded and reached a hand to Book’s shoulder. “Let’s get you dry and some food into you.” His smile was genuine and welcoming.

Their steps echoed the stone floored halls. Fake candle wall sconces attempted to make the place more reminiscent of simpler times and gave shadow to the walkway. Book smiled in spite of it; place was warm.

The Brother took him to a small closet of a room. “You can leave your things here,” he had said. “I’ll get you some dry clothes.” With another smile, he was off leaving Book to stare.

Dumping his soggy bag on the cold floor, he quickly scanned the room until he was satisfied with it. Allowing himself to relax, he let the bed come up to him, scoffing at its hardness. Religious men always had a non-existent thing about comfort. Book tapped the mattress a few times then the pillow and found both unyielding.

He rose at the knock and opening of the door and gratefully accepted the dry garments. After he finished changing, he stepped into the hall and found the Brother waiting patiently. Book pulled a little at the tightish collar, but made no comment. He’d had worse.

As dinner had been over hours earlier, there was little left in the kitchen other than some bits of bread and a sauce that tasted very much like tomato. “We’ve a garden in the back,” the Brother stated. “All kinds of fresh vegetables.” He smiled. “We’re lucky to have it.” He watched Book scoop the last of the sauce from the bowl onto the bread, questions filling his brain, but remained quiet.

Book eyed the man. Didn’t seem natural for a body to be so open, inviting even. That he wasn’t asking questions gave Book some relief. He wasn’t ready to answer yet.

The men toured the Abbey, though it was difficult to see much with the storm and darkened rooms. “Most of the Brothers turn in early,” the man explained. “Though some of us do like the sounds of thunder.” He smiled again.

They found themselves at Book’s temporary room. “If you need anything,” the Brother stated, “I’ll just be near the front door.” He pointed in the general direction. “Good night. God bless.”

Book merely nodded and shut the door. God bless, indeed. Only fools believed in a god that would allow men such as him to exist. Settling into the firm bed, he was surprised to find how comfortable it actually felt. He would also be surprised when morning came sooner than expected.

And to the sound of something he’d not heard in a very long time.

It was there in the back of his awakening and slowly pushed forward. After a minute, he registered the noise then opened his eyes. It wasn’t a dream. He rose from the bed, dressed and went towards the sound.

Walking through the grand archway into the open-air courtyard, he stopped dead and marvelled. Droplets of water hung from the leaved trees, the stained glass coloured the ground. The shaft of sunlight perfectly fit the chorus of men with their books in their hands and music in their hearts. They lifted themselves up with melodies a thousand years old. Haunting basses and tenors resonated through the walls as the men sang praises to God.

It was then that Book felt the tears caress his cheeks and the hole in his heart that he didn’t know existed.


Friday, July 14, 2006 6:48 PM


Very good - i have often thought about what drove Book from being an operative (I just assumed he was an alliance operative) to the church. I can't wait to read more....

Friday, July 14, 2006 7:03 PM


Ok, this is one of my favorite themes... one that I've played with in my head countless of times (and only attempted, and failed, to put on paper once). I'm so glad others are curious about Book's past and enjoy the delving into the "might have been." Very enjoyable to read!

Friday, July 14, 2006 7:41 PM


That is very, very grand. I cannot say enough. Your writing style is very strong.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 6:22 AM


Beautiful...simply beautiful, ArtemisPrime! You definitely captured both the cynicism and hope of a pre-series Book here:D



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