1307 Oct 31
Bret kissed the silver crucifix around his neck, and then gently kissed the Star of David. The knight made the sign of the cross before walking out the cottage door. Would it be the last time Jared would see his son walk out the door?
Earlier a fine meal had been prepared while the whole village of Colville celebrated Bret’s birthday. “Today, my son turned twenty-seven years old. What a way to celebrate Bret’s birthday,” Jared said watching his son walk down the lane. Bret was leaving this night to go on a journey where there may be no return. Jared was not sure he could bear this cup.
He bent over unexpectedly, and grabbed onto the table to keep from falling head first onto the floor. “Please, God let me live long enough to see my son leave,” Jared whispered, taking slow breaths of air.
He knew he would not make it through this night after Zarelda’s deception. Sir Jared relived the nightmare in his thoughts. He had gone to sleep last evening with his wife, and when he awoke this morning, Zarelda was lying beside him, not Lee de Colville. How could it be? he wondered.
When he saw Zarelda, he immediately looked out their chamber window, and saw his wife, Le. She was in the back of the cottage, picking gourds from their vines. Beside him, lay a witch, smiling as if she were his love. Jared reached for Zarelda to throw her out the door, but she disappeared suddenly before his own eyes.
How in the name of all that is decent, did this happen? “‘Twas witchcraft, plain and simple,” the man reassured himself. Jared thought twas his darling Le, he held in his arms earlier at dawn. Twas Le, but somehow, someway, his wife became a trick of the she-devil herself. Jared was as shocked as he would ever be in his life. How long had Zarelda been there? Did he really want to know?
“Witchcraft!” Jared had screamed. And by the time Le, had run inside their sleeping chamber, Jared was sitting straight up in his bed.
“Husbandman, what is it?” Le asked, breathlessly. “And will you be sleeping all day? You have slept much too late this morning, my darling?”
Jared’s thoughts returned back to the present now, and he took in a slow breath, and then breathed it out a little at a time. He must never let Bret know, for twould please Zarelda too much. He prayed to God, Bret would never find out. But as for himself, his heart could not bear this evil thing. For sure twas a trick of the devil, and only her image was portrayed before him. “Could not have been real,” he reassured himself.
“There, better,” Jared said, standing straight. He was sure Zarelda played a wicked trick on him, just to upset him. Of course, he held his beloved wife in his arms this morning. He knew it to be so, and the witch was trying to play a game with his mind. Evil witch that she was.
Jared forced himself to walk slowly to the knoll to see his son off. Lo, his heart was heavy. Outside, the uneasy villagers gathered on the knoll near the stone memorial to pray their beloved knight a safe journey into the Underworld. . .