Ever the Hope


This too shall pass.

Orthael gave her a smile and lifted a conspiratorial finger to his lips, then indicated the smouldering taper with one hand and the unlit candles with the other. Sparks flew, smoke rose and embers flared - the taper crumbled to ash, the candles flamed. He chuckled at her open-mouthed disbelief.

"The Flame finds a way, fair maiden. What was your name?"

She recovered then, bowing properly this time.

"I'm Herrin, minister."

"Thank you for your help, Herrin. Do you know the reading and the colours for this morning?"

The young woman brightened visibly.

"Yes, minister! It's the Season of Hearths, so the colour is orange. I've set the hangings, and the reading is ready on the lectern."

He had been meaning to find a good verger for his own chapel, and this was exactly why.

"Thank you, Herrin. If you can go and ring the bell, then, I think we're ready to start."

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