It was late at night, and in the oily dim light, Theodora’s forehead was melting around heavy eyes, their lower edges marked by deep semi-circles of tiredness. The abbot, no less exhausted, retracted his head between his shoulders, raising his palms to the ceiling, as if softening the venom in the words he’d just spat out. That conversation had never taken place. The abbot was good at this game, even when he tried to blend in.
The time of a leaden pause, during which only the peeling frames creaked, preventing the briny breeze to carry away the scandal which words had just hinted at. The man dressed in black then reverted back to his sermon, as if the Holy Ghost were once more speaking through him: ‘The laws of men do not always adhere to the laws of God, Theodora – or is it Dora. This is, alas, a true shame.’