Abbey of Saint Gallbycowboy109©
In spring of 1298 AD, the Abbey of Saint Gall rose to power of the village St.Gallen. The monastery with its church, dorm, and library rested at the head of the valley. A lovely stream passed the monastery on its way to the village of little houses. The houses were in all different shapes and periods facing every which way the builder had deemed best at the moment. The forest at the boundary of the village and meadows reached up into the high Alpine mountains. The bare rocky mountain tips were the furthest the inhabitants could see.
Bernard was in his monk cell. The walls and floor were large granite rock rectangles. The only things in the cell were a straw cot and a rough hewn blanket. Bernard was kneeling on the night-cold stone floor. Both of his hands were holding a wooden board. He smashed the wooden board against his forehead: "Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus (Outside the Church there is no salvation)." He looked at the wooden board. A fresh drop of red blood was there. The old blood had dried in different shades. The borders of the blood blotches were darker.
He repeated the rite once more. Then, he lay down the wooden board and laid himself down in his cot. He wrapped his body tightly into the rough brown blanket. The endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, were rushing in. The body temperature dropped as the body responded to the pain of the rite. He shivered and began sweating. The shivering provided a cool release of the tension in his life. He felt nurtured by the warm blanket. A cozy, peaceful sleep came over him.
The mighty church tower rang the five in the morning bells. Five bell rings vibrated throughout the monastery and the near village. Bernard rose from his bed. He was still wearing his monk robe, a brown sack with a hood and white hip cord. He folded his hands into the sleeves of the opposite arm to keep them warm. The only room heated in the monastery was the heating room and the infirmary.
He left his cell. He walked down the spiral stair case. The walls were heavy granite rocks. They were cold and pulled all warmth out of the air. Even his footsteps were soft, the echo of the flap-flap echoed through the walls. The darkness of the night made him see everything in weak shades of gray. Yet, he knew is way around the familiar monastery. He stopped in front of dean Philippe's door. A faint candle light flickered its light through the keyhole and gap at the bottom of the door. Bernard knocked.
"The one who knocks shall be received," said dean Philippe inside the room. Bernard opened the door. The candle on Philippe's desk painted the room orange and cave like. Philippe's hands were holding a book. A bed with linen sheets was in the corner. A plate with a white chocolate cake rested on the desk next to the pen. Bernard kneeled in the door frame with his head bowed down until Philippe expressed mercy and allowed full entrance and the comfort of a simple wooden chair.
"I see on your forehead that you have been working on your piety. The wounds will heal soon. But tell me, do you still feel the pain?"
"Yes, father, it still hurts."
"Do you remember the story of Jesus walking on Lake Genezareth? He told his disciple to follow him. Yet, the disciple looked at himself and sank. When he looked at Jesus, he could walk on the water again. It is the same with you, dear Bernard. As long as you look at yourself, you will feel the pain. When you can look completely on Jesus, you will feel no pain. Until then, you live in sin without faith. You must repent before death can take you away. To show your sincerity, I want you to think of a way to repent."
"Yes, father. I shall only eat from the scraps leftover of other monks for the next month to vow my freedom of earthly ties."
"So, shall it be."
"Dean Philippe, you have always advocated open discourse. May, I ask you a question?"
"Of course, Bernard."
"Last week, you had a monk whipped for three hours, because of his indulgence of sprinkling cinnamon on his oatmeal. I see that you have a chocolate frosted cake on your desk. I do not understand?"
"Bernard, when you have a solid as a faith as mine, no temptation can touch you anymore. So, you have to bring the devil into your very cell to give you the most precious temptations. Only that can challenge your faith. Only challenge lets you strengthen your faith. I will eat this cake and the evil one will tempt me to denounce my vow of poverty. Yet, I will rise above it and eat the cake without giving into the desire to indulge. Bernard, it is time to hasten to the chapel for the Prime (6 am service)."
"Thank you, father."
They walked down the hallway into the medicinal herb garden. The fresh scent of rosemary crossed their noses. The high mountains above the monastery had their tips already lighted by the coming sunrise. A couple birds were roused to chirp by the monk. More monks joined them at the door to the chapel. Their walk had slowed to shuffling steps in the mass of brown hooded man. Once inside the church, the mass of people dissipated as monks were leaving the central aisle to enter the black hard benches.
The lector began reciting the Latin mass. He was inside a white tower with a little roof at the front of the church. Sculptures of golden angels were flying above him. The stained colored tall baroque windows recounted a scene of the dead Christ stabbed into the side with a spear, a scene of Jonas being spewed out by the whale, and a scene of Moses receiving the ten Commandments. The pit of the church was lined by seats with tall wooden dividers between them. The highest religious leaders of the monastery would sit up front. Their bodies were completely hidden by the dividers. Only their knees and feet protruded to be visible. Even these limbs were covered by the same brown sack clothes as all the others, making them anonymous.
Bernard abruptly raised his head. He realized that his head had slowly lowered itself as he nodded off. The sleep was heavy on his eyes. The blood had drained his head from sitting. His finger nails scratched over the palm of the opposite hand. They left a white line in his pink flesh. He pinched his finger tips. The pinches did little to dispel the sleepy air out of him. For this problem, he had a small knife with him. He cut short quarter inch lines into the back of his hand to stay awake. Older cuts had healed into skinny white scars.
The monk next to Bernard opened his prayer book. He flipped to page eighty three. There was a slip of loose paper with a sketch in it. It was the primitive outline of a woman. A circle was the head. The hair was a curved line on both sides of her head. Notably, two circles on her chest stood for the breast. A cross hatched triangle at the bottom of the torso marked her sex. The monk reached his hand under his robe into his crotch.
Bernard tried to look away and focus on the lector. Yet, his eyes involuntarily peaked down at the drawing. They had to know. Was this girl like the girl that he remembered growing up in the village? Was this by rare chance the girl that had warmly hugged him after he had stumbled in school and bruised his knees? Was this the girl that had the purest blue eyes? Would that girl from school have breasts like these under her clothes as well? Bernard felt an erection despite the cold air. The stick figure naked woman and the memories of his school affection had aroused him.
When the sun had completely risen and flooded the chapel with light, the lector left his podium. The monks rose silently and shuffled to their morning chores. Bernard felt guilty. The mere thought of desire of a woman was adultery. This morning, he had adultered and perverted that innocent girl from his school. He felt horrible about hurting her. So, he took the path of penance.
The path of penance started at the back of the chapel. It was a trail that leads into the forest. The steep slope quickly gained altitude. Bernard looked back down at the abbey and the village. He felt like he had a good overview and was more in control of his life by seeing the big picture. The pine trees were large and towering around him. The wind whispered through the tips of them in an eerie woohoo. The dirt and rocks under his feet made a grinding sound as his weight pressed down on them.
The first stop was a shrine to Saint Abbo Fleury, who had written a passion about the martyrdom of Saint Edmund. Bernard kneeled on the sharp pebbles in front of the shrine. He prayed for forgiveness for his carnal desires earlier in mess. He tried to remedy the ill that he had done to Katherine, the school girl, by praying for her health. May, your arms be blessed with health. May, your legs be blessed with health. As he blessed her legs, he remembered an incident.
Katherine had been excited to fetch a certain wild flower for the teacher. The teacher was teaching botany and needed a specimen for demonstration. It was a dandelion. The teacher wanted to show us the little seeds. Katherine had jumped up from her chair. As she jumped out of the classroom, she had miscalculated the steps outside of it. She fell flat on her face. Her dress had risen up and over her, so that the bottom of it was resting on her back. As she lay face down, her whole legs were bare to the students looking out. She was exposed up to her panties. Those young, tender white legs had a bit of baby fat. The butt cheeks were firm under the panties. He had often thought about running kisses up and down the legs and feeling her butt cheeks with his lips through the panties.
Bernard rose. He walked to the next shrine. The shrine was hammered into a two man high outcropping of rock. This shrine belonged to Edmund the Martyr, who had been killed by Vikings. Bernard prayed for forgiveness of his earlier memory of Katherine's legs. He repented by praying for Katherine's life to be filled with joy and happiness. He remembered the time that he saw her at her happiest. She had been gleaming with joy that she had seen him naked. She had uttered the devious and forbidden word with a gushing passion: "I saw your penis."
Before school, Bernard had taken a bath at the creek a little outside the village. His clothes had been resting on a rock safely away from the sprinkling of the creek as it splashed over the rocks. He was sitting naked in the creek splashing water over his head, when he thought that he had heard giggling. Then, he had discounted his hearing. After she had told him, she imagined her hiding behind a tree. He imagined her watching his naked body. He imagined her watching his butt cheeks, inspecting the clef between his butt cheeks, as he jumped head first into a swimming hole. He imagined her telling the other girls in class about the white stout shaft of his penis and the shriveled up scrotum from the cold water. He imagined the girls visualizing their interpretations of his penis as they looked at him during class break.
Bernard tore himself away from the shrine and his rampant fantasy. He walked as fast as he could so that the pang in his lungs may stop the sinful thoughts. The shrine for Saint Gratus of Aosta quickly appeared at the edge of an idyllic clearing in the forest. The grass grew freely in the clearing with wildflowers dotting the green. A couple of deer were grassing on the far side. Bernard fell to his knees and silently cried for mercy from the temptations. He blessed Katherine with safety from the dangers of war and thugs. He remembered the night that the village was ransacked by a warring neighboring village. The formation of the Swiss federation was filled with battles for political power. All the children were huddled in the only school room. Katherine had fallen asleep leaning on his shoulder.
Her hair had fallen into his face. The long strands of hair were wafting the smell of female and youth into his nose. She smelled like nothing else he had smelled before. The hair tickled his face a bit, yet he surrendered to that feeling. Her chest pushed against his arm gently as she inhaled. He felt the warmth of her body creeping into his skin and warming his heart. His mind started feeling drowsy, yet happy about feeling her. Once she shifted a bit and her ragdoll hand fell into his lap. Her hand squarely landed on his pants covering his penis. He did not dare moving.
Outside, weapons were making sounds hitting each other. Men were yelling taunts and orders. Inside, he felt her soft little hand resting on his penis through his pant fabric. He felt so much tender love that his penis grew hard. Katherine was innocently sleeping, while he was flushed with lust. All his limps felt alive and vibrating sensuously.
The door barged open. An out of breath man in armor with a sword announced that the attackers were running. We were safe. Katherine roused. She felt his erection with her hand. He blushed with deep embarrassment. She looked tenderly into his eyes. He looked back into her blue eyes. They were clear. He could see the dark blotches in her iris. He felt the tenderness and love that his parents never gave him. A tear ran down his face. Katherine's face reacted with deep empathy for Bernard's hard life as a boy, who had to be tough. All the while, her hand was still resting on his erect penis.
Bernard rose up from the shrine. He had a raging erection under his monk robe. He stepped behind a large tree trunk. He reached his penis. He imagined that it were Katherine's hand. He dreamed what her soft warm touch on his sex would feel like. He could almost see her blue eyes and mischievous smile hovering in front of his face, as she would jack him off. He had looked at those red pinkish lips often enough to remember their shape, how they were evenly thin, how the crooks of the lips would move around for her different faces. He furiously rubbed his penis behind the tree. Desire had completely overtaken him. He could feel that Katherine's happy, cheerful, and innocent spirit overtook all of his guilt, inadequacy, and struggling.
His penis spurted white gobs of semen that fell onto the brown forest soil with sullen thumps. He looked at his gelatinous white semen on the ground. There was a last drop at the tip of his penis. He squeezed the urethra of the penis to push out additional drops of semen. He wiped them against the rough, crumbling tree bark leaving his mark of sin. He was now overcome with immense guilt. He rushed back to the monastery.
As Bernard descended the path of penance, the monastery was busy in the morning light. Monks were chopping wood. Monks were carrying books to the famous library. Monks labored in the kitchen. Bernard found his way to a quiet patch of the medicinal herb garden. The supervising monk pointed out the section that he had to take care off. The neat beds were surrounded by stone slabs that were pushed into the ground. The stone slabs kept the weed away. Tanacetum patheniums were growing. The first crop of flowers has opened. The yellow flowers with white petals were thickly clustered. The dried flowers were medicine to reduce fewer, cure headaches, and ease arthritis.
Bernard enjoyed clipping the flower heads of the butt. The cheery flower and the tactile feeling of the plant provided a serene oasis in the austere monastery. He dropped the flowers into one cup. Occasionally, he would separate the lush stalks of the plant to pick a weed that had started to grow in the ground. The weed would be dropped on the tile next to him. One of the monks began a hymn to praise the good fortune of a beautiful day, surviving the rough winter, and the blessings of the lord. Bernard merrily joined the happy singing. The supervising monk merrily smiled at the good progress they were making to maintain the medicinal herb garden.
Dean Philippe stepped towering next to Bernard: "Come with me." Another gardening monk silently moved to take Bernard's cup with flowers and the weeds. Philippe's robe was fluttering in the draft of his rapid steps. Bernard followed slightly ducking. As the passed the walkways of the abbey, the monks averted their gaze and stopping any momentarily pause to take an inhale. Philippe pushed open a heavy lumber door with sturdy iron hinges. The storage shed had a circle of monks surrounding two monks. One of the monks was red in the face with rapid twitchy movements. The other looked sullen and slouched.
"As the Dean, I shall speak justice. Brother Marcus you accuse Brother Dmitri of masturbation. That is a grave accusation for masturbation by clergy is worse than murder. We all know that the virgins are the wives of the one in heaven. Thus, to think of touching them in ones mind is like adultery against god. There can only be a harsh penalty. For the mercy of a harsh penalty may wipe clean the sin and allow passage to heaven. Brother Dmitir, do you admit your guilt?"
"Sir, Dean Philippe, I understand Brother Marcus' suspicion. Though, I merely applied an herbal cream for my urinary infection. It may..."
"Well, enough, Brother Dmitri. We have an impasse. One of you is a liar. You all remember the story of Moses praying with his arms held up. He prayed all day. By nightfall his arms started sinking. An angel descended to lift up his arms, so he may continue until the grace of the one smiled on him."
"(Continued) You two stand next to each other. Raise your arms parallel to the ground. Keep them there. Whoever benefits of the help of an angel to keep the arms up longer will be proven true."
"Sir, Dean Philippe, Brother Marcus is much stronger than I am. He does a lot of physical labor."
"Quiet, Brother Dmitri. Do you believe a man can be stronger than an angel? Of course not, if you are truly innocent, what do you worry? The angel will keep your arms up with no effort on your part."
The two monks stood with their arms reached out at their side. Marcus was broad shoulder from working timber. He had a confident smile on his face. Dmitri was a timid library worker. His back was bent forward from copying books many hours of the day. His arms were shaking the moment that he had lifted them. A tear rolled down his face. The circle of monks assumed him guilty, because he clearly did not expect an angel to rescue him.
The last minute, Dmitri fought hard against his sagging arms. When his arms were inches away from touching the side of his hips, he gave up dejectedly. His clothes were stripped from him. He stood naked in the half light of the dark storage shed. His body was lean, so that his muscles were clearly defined. He may not be strong, yet his body clearly showed the six bulges of his abdominal muscles. His legs were sturdy and firm. His arms were slender and pleasant. His sex hang exposed from his crotch.
"Dmitri, tell us, whom did you fantasize about when you masturbated?"
Dean Philippe took a coiled single tail whip from a wall hanger. His strong hand gripped the single tail. The other hand uncoiled and smoothed the tip. He reached over his head and behind. Then, he flicked the single tail whip through the air. The loud bang of the whip snapping rattled the thin metal pots in the shed and the ears of the monk. The tip precisely landed on Dmitri's right upper back. The skin split on impact leaving a red fluid mark. Dmitri cowered and turned away, while protecting his head with his hands.
"Who was in your fantasy?"
"Helen, Helen from the village!"
A smile swished over Dean Philippe's face. He handed the whip to another monk and instructed five lashes as punishment. Dmitri would run into the corner away from the strikes. Yet, the monk followed him without mercy. Dmitri was naked like an animal with his bare bottoms, the manly bulges, showing to the monks. Eventually, he rolled up in the corner of the shed to receive the last lash that cracked his skin. Six straight flush-red lines were on his back and butt with a few drops of blood running out.