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Here’s an extract from the first story in what is slowly becoming a whimsical series about clerics in Gibraltar… No! Stick with it… You’ll like it 🙂

The sound was everywhere and he could not get away from it. Perhaps at this very moment the Goths and the Vandals were beating down the front door, while a giant Hun watched and played a wailing monotonous dirge on a handheld keyboard smeared with steaming hot Christian blood. At least that’s how the soundscape unfolding beyond the door appeared to the Dean’s delicate hearing.

He grappled with the massive brass handle and the latch lifted. He yanked the door open, nearly smashing himself in the face with the huge ageing oak. Bearing a look of faint surprise at his own strength, the Dean thrust himself through the door into the Cathedral’s Nave, nearly tripping over in his haste to get his hands round the neck of the heathen desecrating his eardrums.

He yelled at the top of his lungs “Osric. Osric. Is that you?? Osric?!” Then as silence assaulted his senses, he raised his eyes skyward and, with hands clasped, cried out aloud “O sweet Jesus. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” The cacophony had indeed ceased.

A hunched diminutive figure wearing a hooded cowl, lurched round from the high seat, and lowered down at him. The voice, however, belied the man’s looks. “Dean…” it began in a high, timorous voice.

But the Dean broke in, “Speak up, man! I can hardly hear you, after the complete and utter din you were making at the organ just now. What did you say?” Of course he could hear Osric perfectly well, but chose to pretend his hearing had been damaged. Osric knew this was pure theatre, but it was not worth mentioning it just now.

“I said” Osric paused for some noble, but wasted, dramatic effect, “I said… Dean…” But his thin voice dwindled away to nothing, as the Dean cut in again.

“Yes, that is me. I am the Dean of this fair Anglican Cathedral of Gibraltar and you are sullying the peace with your confounded organ playing! What kind of dratted tomfool excuse have you got this time, Verger? I have already told you that I have a beautiful record of some suitably wonderful organ music that I intend to play on Sunday! We do not have an organist of the required quality, and I will play my record! I am the Dean!”

(… and you’ll just have to wait for the rest of the stories to be written.)

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