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 Chantilly Angevin and the Church

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PostSubject: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Jan 16, 2008 4:37 am

January 12, 1920 - St. Augustine, Florida
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It had been a long time since Chantilly had truly felt the presence of God, but she couldn’t remember it ever being like this before. It was as if His Eyes were watching her intently with an angry fire, trying to scorch her soul. She instantly regretted having stepped inside the church at all, even for the brief moment, and turned to head back outside.

“Mademoiselle, are you here for confession?” a bright voice came from behind Chantilly’s turned back. “No need to leave, I’m available now,” the priest said, beckoning her back inside.

“No, really, I just was… looking around. I don’t need anything,” Chantilly protested. There was nothing more she could ever want than to get away from here as fast as she could run to her ship and get back to the open sea.

The priest sized her up, and then laughed good-naturedly. “Nonsense. I am an excellent judge of these things, my child. Please come back to my office and we shall talk. God would never send anyone here without a reason, non?”

“I… uh…” Chantilly stammered as she found herself quickly ushered into a small, plain room with nothing more than a simple desk and a stack of thick books with religious titles. As the priest closed the door behind them, she felt an immediate sense of panic. She had never been claustrophobic before, but the room seemed like a clever holy entrapment, designed purely to torture her with her own memories.

“Now…” the priest began, “How long has it been since your last confession, child?”

Chantilly thought for a moment. The last time she had experienced the rite of penance, it was the day before she left Marseilles, but that rite… had been a lie. Not that it mattered now. “Three months,” she answered.

“Well, that’s clearly not why you’re nervous then. Why, I’ve had folks come in here that haven’t been since…” the priest trailed off as he noticed Chantilly’s eyes darting away to avoid his gaze. “Perhaps I should speak less, and you more,” he apologized.

Chantilly stood up quickly and stepped towards the door. “I’m sorry, Father, but I can’t do this,” she said, her voice breaking slightly.

The priest looked at her and gave a weary smile. “My child, there is nothing you can confess to me that I haven’t already heard. I can tell from your accent that you are straight off the boat from France. Let me tell you, the rite of penance here is a lot more… I’m not sure how to describe it. This place is very laissez-faire, and while I cannot condone the sins you have committed, I am not so naďve as to believe that the officers, the politicians, the traders and the pirates, that you all don’t have layers upon layers of blood on your hands that all the confession in the world will never make right. Because tomorrow you will go out and stake your claims and risk everything to make a new world for yourself, and as much as I might wish it otherwise, war is a vile and bloody business.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Jan 16, 2008 4:38 am

The words hung in the air for a moment as Chantilly composed herself. Finally, she managed to say what she knew she had come to say. “But Father… I am not here about those things. You are right about the kind of life I am now living, and I cannot ask for forgiveness for something I can no longer be sorry for. “

“Then what is it you are here to confess, my child?” the priest asked, unable to hide his surprise and curiosity.

Chantilly took a deep breath. “Father, I have stolen an exorbitant amount of money. I stole it for a selfish reason, and even worse is from whom I stole that money.”

“Who did you steal from, child?”

“My convent. In Marseilles.”

“Convent?” the priest exclaimed. “You are a nun?”

“I was a nun. Now I am… whatever I am,” Chantilly admitted dejectedly.

“You said it was for a selfish reason. What was it?”

“There was a man… I loved him. He used to come to the monastery to help with the business. We sold small things we crafted and vegetables from the garden at the market. He was responsible for selling them, and he would bring the money back to the convent at the end of the week.

“I was given the task of keeping our books for the convent. It was an honor, because I knew that they trusted me. I had been there since I was a child – my father was a crewman for hire, and my mother died when I was born, so whenever he was hired out on a voyage, he left me in the care of the Mother Superior at the convent. One day, when I was very little, he went on a voyage and never came back, so I grew up there in the convent, and when I was old enough they gave me the choice of joining or going out on my own. I knew nothing but the love of God then, and could not think of leaving my home, so I became a nun. I had been there for eleven years, and they felt there was no one they could trust more than a child they had raised themselves.

“But that man and I… his name was Armand. Armand Maugan. He was so handsome, so charming, so witty. I did not keep my vows of chastity, Father. I broke them often. I also sneaked out of the convent at night to be with him. He allowed me to be his companion those nights, and he took me to plays, to bars, to business meetings, wherever he was going. I was sure that he would ask me to marry him, and then I would leave the monastery to be his wife. “


Last edited by Chantilly on Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Jan 16, 2008 4:40 am

The priest smiled, knowingly, like he already knew how the story ended. “Go on, child. It didn’t turn out like you wanted, I assume?”

Chantilly laughed harshly, ruefully. “Of course not. One night when I went to see him, he told me that he was going to New Orleans to start a logging business, and that we would not see each other again for a long time. I begged him to take me too, but he flat-out refused. He said it would be too dangerous, but he promised to write, and maybe he would see me again someday.

“He left, and months passed, nearly a full year. There were no letters. There was no sign of what had happened to him. I was mad with worry, despair, with wild thoughts.

"So one night, three months ago, I decided to go after him to New Orleans. I went to confession that day with lies in my heart, and that night took all the money from the convent. The next morning I purchased passage to the Caribbean. I asked around in all the ports we stopped in if anyone had heard of Armand, and finally I had a lead.

"When we arrived in New Orleans, I followed that lead until I found him… in the arms of another woman. His wife, he said. I should never have come, he said. I had come all that way, and he just… didn’t care.”

“It sounds like you have had a rough journey,” the priest empathized.

Chantilly sighed. “Rough? I am here in a strange land with no friends or family, with money I stole from the one place I had to call home, and the reason I came did not want me here. Rough is an understatement. It is called punishment. Divine judgment for my sins.”

The priest nodded. “It could very well be. We reap what we sow, my child.”

“Oui…” Chantilly began to weep, her entire body shaking with shame and remorse.

The priest came over to comfort her, placing his hand on her shoulder. “You cannot change your past, mademoiselle,” he said gently. “The question is, what are you going to do now?”

“I… I’m a captain now, I have my own ship… and…I’m not very good at it, but…” Chantilly gasped between sobs. “…but I’m going to work until I can send the money back. Tenfold. With interest. And hopefully they will forgive me.”

“Ah, I see,” the priest acknowledged, then left Chantilly’s side to sit at his desk. He opened a book and began to read while her sobs subsided.

Finally Chantilly wiped her eyes, and asked, “Is that all? What additional penance should I do? I have a rosary, I could…”

The priest held up his hand to silence her. “It appears you were right, my child. You did not need anything from me after all.”

“But… my penance… what should I do?” Chantilly protested.

“My child… it is this holy man’s opinion that you have punished, and will continue to punish, yourself for your sins more than anything I could ever tell you to do. You have suffered enough. Go in peace.”
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edit: anyone is allowed to comment if they would like - story is done, you're not gonna mess with the flow or anything Smile constructive criticism also acceptable
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Jan 16, 2008 7:34 am

(A wonderful read, Aitelin. I was hooked from the priest's first words and couldn't stop reading until the tale was told. Very sad, but wise beyond her years is how I see Chantilly's confession of youthful indiscretion. Thanks for sharing her story with us.)
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Jan 16, 2008 8:05 am

Beautifully done!

Bog
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeTue Jan 22, 2008 9:22 am

Amazing story i really love it, at times it felt i was watchin' a movie or reading a book well done i say!

Tears to me eyes milady...
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Feb 06, 2008 5:13 am

[You write quite well. I enjoy reading your stories. A minor thing though, you dated it 1920? Razz ]
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Feb 06, 2008 5:23 am

Cathern Flowers wrote:
[You write quite well. I enjoy reading your stories. A minor thing though, you dated it 1920? Razz ]

((You're the first person to notice I did that, ahaha... I'm leaving it on principle. After all, Chantilly is also a time-traveling alien from Neptune, we just haven't gotten to that installment.))
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeWed Feb 06, 2008 11:13 am

*claps happily and looks forward to seeing moRe writing from Chantilly*

Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Chantilly Angevin and the Church   Chantilly Angevin and the Church Icon_minitimeMon Feb 11, 2008 1:38 am

*cheers* Who needs books when i have quality stories like this so well written. study Very nice Chantilly
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