Escape from Montségur: The Parfaite’s Tale #writephoto


Photo: Sue Vincent

My response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – cave – #writephoto. The offering here is mere speculation and the weaving together of various strands (fictional of course) recounting the story of a survivor of the massacre at Montségur. She escapes, bearing a very important artefact. Sanctuary is eventually found in a cave far from the horrors left behind in Occitania and a time of introspection begins. This little piece may take on a life of its own, I’ll wait to see what it does!

The Light has retreated into the Silence and the stench of burning flesh and screams are a world away. The Inquisitors have been ruthless in executing their plans, thorough but not thorough enough. We live. Our spirits being inextinguishable. Yet, this gives me no comfort. I tried to save many but to no avail. Their blood can never be cleansed from my hands. Such horrors I have seen, praying for blindness to remove the visions. What of my vows? Poverty, Chastity and Obediance. Shall they be abandoned at this time of great adversity? Am I worthy to call myself Parfaite? He foretold of this time of tribulation, when our faith and lives would be put to trial by fire. The hatred in the hearts of our persecutors burns unceasing day and night. It is the forge within which are fashioned weapons of darkness and hatred. I fear that darkness may have tainted my heart. Yet, compassion and understanding hold fast to my beleaguered spirit. They urge me not to falter, not to fall prey to the delusions of this false world.

What being has brought me to this place? It’s familiar air brings solace to my soul.   This sanctuary, vast in earth and stone. Its halls trodden by ancient feet. What hand etched such strange beings on its walls? I seek answers to calm the turmoil within. My heart entreats me to listen to the silence. Gnosis exists within the Silence. It is the space within which we commune with our brethren. Prayer and contemplation are the pillars of my house. Our time is not dead, I sense we will take on different guises in ages to come. Far will we travel on our journeys, as mine will be now. May strength and courage help me carry out my sacred duty as guardian of the vessel. May I be a source of strength to the Credentes.

“E vec vos eu so com vos per totz dias entro a l’acabament del segle”.
(“and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”).

That voice, finally the Light has emerged from the Silence. I’ve waited long for this moment. How may I serve?


24 comments on “Escape from Montségur: The Parfaite’s Tale #writephoto

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Beautiful, Jan… balancing tragedy and hop. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. stevetanham says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. In places, it reads like far memory…


  4. […] Jan from Strange Goings On in the Shed […]


  5. Morgan says:

    Spellbinding 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

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