Daaskmere Monk

William of Meadowsford

Book Cover

arrowShawn Postoff

Copyright © 1997 - 2009
arrowInfinitive Ink Limited


VIII ill title Tom Falls

Like stormclouds blown inland from ‘cross the mad sea,
Dark passion did rush to unleash and set free
The rage of Sir Robert who thund’rously cried,
“Sad Tom will regret him the day that he tried
To hide from the tempest of honour defiled!
I’ll not be outwitted or by him beguiled!”
And hastened then I with my lord through the house,
Past paintings of fam’ly, Sir Robert and spouse.
Through chambers with hearths burning firelogs bright,
And corridors arching to shadowy heights.
We flew down the staircase into the Grand Hall,
Where ‘pon our arrival on knees did he fall
The man named Meek Tom who did not seem aware
Of angry, dark whirlwinds alive in the air.
Indeed, it was true that his senses were blunt,
To compliment tools that would craftsmanship stunt.
For as we approached such a sight did we find:
Poor Thomas was eyeless and bloody and blind.
The fury of thunder was instantly spent,
Replacing the anger, confusion was sent.
Sir Robert bent down and then asked the man how
He made him his wretched arrival state now.

“My lord,” answered Tom, “it was terribly done
By honourless thieves in the woods where we run
With horses when to the king’s palace we go.
I was on a Pilgrimage Holy, you know,
When through the thick trees I did spy me some men
Who’d taken from my fellow trav’lers right then
Their pouches of gold and their food and their wives,
And then they quite gleefully ended those lives.
The villains then came my way, brashly they spoke,
So quickly I hid me behind a great oak.
But noise had I made and with ease was I found,
Once captured, a great fit of laughter went ‘round.
The men, they were evil and violent and sure,
Declared that no witnesses they would endure.
Unsheathed one a knife to then carve away doubt
By cutting my swollen and wretched eyes out.”

Aghast were we all upon hearing that tale,
And some of the servants let go a sad wail.
But then from the back of the room and the crowd,
‘Twas Wimstayme who bellowed a hearty laugh loud,
And said with a mixture of malice and mirth,
“Blind Tom has him found a new man, a new birth:
It seems him a Player he wants to become,
But better he’d fare to enact a show dumb.
His argument lies, and that story was made
From swampwater wherein his mind goes to wade!”

In awe the crowd parted to let him advance
And take by Sir Robert a confident stance.
Right then when he knew our attention he’d caught,
Continued his story to challenge Tom’s plot:
“My Lord, I was there in those woods on a chase,
While running my horse through the bush full apace,
When off in the distance and through some tall trees
I saw me this liar right making no pleas.
I jumped from my mount and crept up from behind
To watch him this man and see what I could find.
There were no such robbers, no evil decrees,
But only a soft wind to tenderly tease
That wretched old Tom who discovered a stick,
And then at his eyes did he eagerly prick.
Two orbs, wet and bloodied, made fall to the ground,
And then probing hands went them searching around
To find the eyes quickly and pick them right up
To place in his mouth and bite into his sup.”

The crowd was in horror and shock at this news,
But still kept on Wimstayme exposing the ruse.
“So then I did wait me a short space of time,
And soon I approached him, all laden with grime.
Pretended to be me a trav’ler and friend,
And asked if I could any help to him lend.
He bade me conduct him unto this estate,
Assured me his master did worry and ‘wait
His final return from the place he’d been sent
‘As messenger charged with a stately event.’
I asked then what happened unto his poor soul,
In answer he acted right out his new role:
Put on him a costume of victim and child,
And played me a player intense and more wild.
The same one, in fact, he just now full performed,
In front of Your Grace who was thus misinformed.”

And now the rage doubled, for I too had paid
With scores of investment that now was betrayed.
My heart ‘came a cauldron of fetid, dark broth,
Where Tom was himself the black warlock of sloth.
‘Twas he who had tossed in that wide, yawning pot
Affections that now in my soul bubbled hot:
Remorse and confusion were first on the list
When banished sad Tom I mistakenly missed.
Came next drifting currents of shame and disgust,
Then followed by poisonous doubt and mistrust.
And through the air drifted the vapours above,
All empty of substance, devotion and love.
For months had it bubbled and festered in stink,
And now in my rage would he forcibly drink:
“Thou wretched, unfeeling and selfish old dog,
Your conscience is clear as an ancient, dead bog!
I marvel that always your heart will condone
The theft of all trust and all care but your own!”

But then the great demon did finally win,
It soaked through his pores to discolour Tom’s skin.
And with his twin pockets of vile and red gore,
He faced me and warned me then what was in store:
“You talk all confused and unsightly things say,
Your manner is rather unknightly today.
And tho’ I do bring you no joy and no mirth,
Says scripture, The Meek shall inherit the Earth!”
The rage I unleashed was from Hell in its birth,
I screamed at the man, “You are not the world worth!”
And dropped my hand down to grip tightly my blade.
A grind from the metal on scabbard was made,
And out flashed the steel screaming brazen-cold edge,
The sword came exposed with its lethal-tipped wedge.
A thrust fuelled with anger and silver turned red.
Eternity shuddered, and Thomas lay dead.