Hi all, Just thought I would share a small sampling from the book I have been working on. Hope to have it finished in the Spring. Thanks for looking. Lori
Rennes-le- Chateau ( 1917)
She had no intention of coming to Francois' funeral, but they had insisted. Emma had been able to live her life in quiet disregard of the past for many years, always careful never to move too far away from the circle of mentors who had helped shape her early spiritual views and career. They were all here today though, to pay their final respect to this man whom many in this tiny village in the south of France still considered their priest. The society which they all belonged to had continued to survive without her presence and would continue to survive without his. The order was assembling on the stone walkway now, having placed Francois on a chair near the wall. He looked surreal wearing the traditional garb of the high priest. The burgundy tassels on the hem of the cloak swayed in the wind while they waited for the final words of the Master. She had been told that they would be allowed to take one of the tassels to use as a talisman for future ceremony and to commemorate Francois sacredness of purpose. She would take one as remembrance of the afternoon they shared that had tore at her soul for years. He was her first love, the hard love, the forbidden love. She was alone within this order now. Her unwillingness to participate in the rituals and ceremonies of the society had ostracized her from this powerful group. She believed it was her fame and silence that had kept her safe from reprisals, but everyone on that walkway understood differently. It was at the insistence of their high priest Francois Berenger Sauniere that her status within the society would be honoured, and nothing else. Her sadness was debilitating. She hadn’t eaten very much in the past three days. Emma was surprised at the strength of emotions this man could still call from within her. She had believed that she was over him all these years, but the pain in her heart said otherwise, as did her now ex-husband Galileo Gaspari. Emma was uncomfortable to think that the others who had gathered for this final farewell could feel her distress. She knew she was a better actress than this but her body and mind were not responding to her attempts at light heartedness.These people did not frighten her anymore. As she aged, and her fame grew around the world, she knew it was not in the groups’ best interest to cause her harm. She had made many powerful allies around the world including Queen Victoria and the Czar and Czarina of Russia. All because of a voice, she thought, notes sung in one hall for one moment had made her life what it was today. She was rich beyond her wildest dreams and wielded influence in circles others fought to belong to. She had decided to stay on at her house in Quillan for a few days to get her bearings before returning to Paris. She would revisit the places that had made her smile all those years ago and try to put to rest or at least come to terms with Sauniere and her feelings for him. Emma found her way to her favourite stone seat on the walkway, a small corner to the right leading to the library. She had spent many days and evenings sitting and peering over the edge of the walls of this stone thoroughfare. Today, the magnificent valley below was blanketed in the whitest of snow. The light playful breeze lifted and swirled its brightness over the valley floor. As usual, she would not partake in the ceremony for Francois today. Although she had not lost faith in the sacredness of such matters, she had lost her respect for many of the people involved in the society. The weather was bitter, but Emma was not cold, her floor length fur coat and numbing grief saw to that. She sat and watched the ritual of farewell performed on her favourite soul, and as she did, Emma drifted and swirled herself, back to a time when the sacred union of male and female was practiced, back to a time when Francois was her voice of reason.