A knock startled him from the drowsy afternoon, and he pushed himself up from his armchair to open the door.
‘Hello ?’ he said to the stranger just outside.
‘The name’s Leonard. I’m looking for a Mr Guido.
‘Well, come in. Take a seat.. over there..Mr Len, by the window.’ Said Guido.
Leonard picked his way through an untidy room carefully and sat down.
‘Like a glass of water then Len ?’
‘No thanks Guido, I won’t be too long I suspect.
Guido, now wide awake and a bit worried took a seat back in his armchair across from Mr Leonard.
Guido, let me introduce myself, said Leonard. I’m a monk and actually from another time, far back in the past. 6th century France that’s me. Don’t be alarmed though anything is possible to God who gets me around anytime and anywhere depending to help out. I’m here now though responding to a significant amount of prayers which had been said on your behalf over the past few years.
Guido responded simply, ‘That’ll be since the war broke out then. I’ve been stuck in this far flung sun burnt country since that time and spent the whole time as a POW, incarcerated here.
‘Well I presume you’d like you’re freedom back wouldn’t you.’ said St. Leonard. [he was in fact St. Leonard] who brought out a large key from one of his coat pockets. ‘Here’ he said, handing over the key to Guido. ‘Just hang onto that for now.’
I don’t know if I really want to leave anymore. you see it’s ironic in a way. When war broke out, we were all rounded up in trucks by the military police and sent to these vineyards here to work the land and the vines and keep the economy rolling along. At the same time, the local boys were all conscripted sent off to the way, leaving their crops, dogs and women all behind. While working I met up with Sally a local woman whose husband was sent overseas to fight and she’d needed people to help run the place and keep things ticking over. Well since I stayed, we got to be close, her husband didn’t make it back and so now we’re as good as married I guess.’ said Guido.
‘Oh I see.’ It seems you would be happy to stay, but still the wristband.’ said St. Leonard. How restrictive is it ?’
‘Well I can go anywhere I like within about 1 km.’ said Guido. It’s on a fail-safe, so if it comes off and stops transmitting, the cops will come running. I’ve been quite lucky really and feel quite protected, even though how long this war will go on for we don’t know.’ said Guido.
Guido got up from his armchair and walked over to the window. Something seemed a little odd. He looked down at the spare chair and noticed it was empty and the person he’d been talking with, this Mr Leonard was nowhere to be seen. He looked at the key in his hand, the key given him by Mr Leonard. It had a small cross on the end where the key should be. He put the key down on the chair and looked out of the window. The sun was setting over the nearby hills. Perhaps he’d mention it to Sally, about Mr Leonard and the key to his freedom.
Key Photo : Tersiiska : Flickr – Used with permission 2014