Friday, February 17, 2012


Home of Morphe

Brother John was a quiet friar. After his daily chores in the monastery, he used to hide away minding his kitchen garden where he had planted turnips, tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. He also grew basil and chamomile, parsley and oregano. He was quite content with his simple monastic life. No one bothered him; no one demanded anything from him as long as he fulfilled his tasks for the community. One day, a somber man showed up with a letter. The man disappeared as quickly and unexpectedly as he had showed up.  Brother John read through the five words over and over again. He couldn’t understand them, they made no sense. As he walked back to his garden, he placed the letter in his pocket and forgot about it. A mad man for sure, sometimes they got those knocking at the door of the monastery. Time went by, months, years, the letter still forgotten in his pocket. Generations of vegetables grew and were either sold or eaten, till that day, that particular day. It was bright and sunny, birds were chirping in the trees, the temperature was mild, and there was a soft breeze. Brother John, now older, walked slowly to his garden while a younger friar minded it. “Who is this kid today”, he asked himself; he didn’t recognize the young friar. He walked weakly to the wooden bench and sat down. The young friar continued to work without saying a word. Suddenly, he looked up and said “I know you did it. He knew too.” Brother John trembled, thinking of the letter and recognizing the face, a face he had seen many, many years before. “Stern?” he said. He glanced at the pot with parsley beside him. The kid reached out to grab it. Brother John screamed “No!” in horror, but it was too late. The explosion killed both instantly. He had kept that memento of the war close to him all those years, ever since he hid in the monastery. That and the key he had brought from Dachau.

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