The Grand-Moyther quickly went to the door and opened it. Mistress Laura entered the kitchen, her arms laden with a bundle of clothing. “Lady Abigail, bid me take this. She said it was more appropriate than what Goodwoman Sarah had been borrowing, and that it should fit given it was made based upon her court dress.” Mistress Laura set the clothing gently on the table and took a deep breath. “She also told me to apologize for she sent all that clothing back to Griffon should his daughter require it.”
“She did?” Sarah furrowed her brow, wondering what on earth she was going to wear.
“She did, but she also stated that she was nearly finished making a suitable size wardrobe for you, thanks to help from numerous friends.”
“Wow.” Sarah was astonished.
The worst part was she had no idea how to thank Lady Abigail or any of the women who’d helped. Sarah dried off and slipped into the chemise, followed by the skirt and at last the jacket. It felt nice to be clean and in clean clothing. In fact, it felt so good that she didn’t mind that the skirt was ankle length. A stifled giggle made Sarah look up to see Mistress Laura trying very hard not to laugh. Sarah raised her eyebrows curiously while the Grand-Moyther gave the young woman a ‘stop that’ stare.
“I am sorry,” Mistress Laura smiled, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you look so different than you did and...” She paused to recompose herself. “The lack of long hair just, just...”
“Yes, it does make her look odd,” the Grand-Moyther stated, “but I am sure Lady Abigail will have some sort of solution for that.” Sarah looked at the hat on the table and hoped that wasn’t the solution. “Now go get Master Edward and deal with the dirty bath water. Lady Phoenix and I are retiring to the parlor for tea and instructions.” She turned to Sarah. “Come child.”
Sarah followed the Grand-Moyther past the front door and into the parlor where a fire crackled merrily on the near wall.
“Take a seat,” the Grand-Moyther gestured to the three couches that sat against the walls.
Feeling warm with so many layers of clothing, Sarah chose the couch on the opposite wall. From there she watched as the Grand-Moyther prepared the tea in a ritualistic manner.
“It will only take a few moments to steep,” the elderly woman stated as she turned around to study Sarah.
Sarah found herself studying the woman in return. She looked to be of a grandmotherly age. Her eyes were a kindly brown, soft and wise. Her skin not too wrinkled as if she’d been spared much of the extremely hard work, but knew enough of how to do it should the need arise. At last, the Grand-Moyther turned to finish preparing the tea. Bringing it over to the table, she sat next to Sarah, angling herself to face her.
“I do not believe we have been properly introduced.” The Grand-Moyther smiled. “I am Grand-Moyther Magdalene, the female half of the religious leaders. My husband, and the male half, is Grand-Fayther Jesus.”
In her surprise, Sarah barely managed to keep herself from spitting out the tea. “Your name is Magdalene and you are married to Jesus?”
“Yes,” Grand-Moyther Magdalene studied Sarah. “That intrigues you?”
“Well it’s just that,” Sarah suddenly felt as though a train was barreling for her head.
Shakily she set down her tea, preparing for the worst. These divine headaches were aggravating. Sarah wasn’t even sure if they had any purpose other than annoy her and keep her from trying to convert people to her religion. She inhaled sharply as the pain hit full force. It’s not like she was trying to convert anyone. Tears sprung to Sarah’s eyes from the pain and lack of understanding. That’s all I'm trying to do, her mind whimpered, understand the world around me so I can be a part of it.
“Oh Child!” the Grand-Moyther’s voice somehow broke through and Sarah was vaguely aware that the woman was pressing her hands hard upon Sarah's temples.
Almost imperceptibly, Grand Moyther Magdalene began to release the pressure of her hands. With that release, sound began to return to Sarah’s ears until at last she could hear the woman’s prayer.
“Trust upon your judgment of her character that she will follow the path you have set her upon. Gods bless us all.”
Grand-Moyther Magdalene removed her hands from Sarah’s head and gave her a quizzical look. Sarah blinked. God, she thought. Gods, she continued. God and Gods and Nigiri Assassins, whatever they are, and... Sarah stopped her thoughts.
“Names,” Sarah stated. “Your names have religious significance to the Christian faith that I was brought up with.” No head ache, nothing; Sarah grinned. “Jesus was the son of our God, born of flesh and blood to sacrifice himself for us that we might be saved from sin. I was horrible at remembering all the tales and parables. But, there was a whole controversy around Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Some say they were married, other’s claim she was just a, um...” Sarah suddenly stopped not sure what to say that didn’t sound offensive. “Anyway, it seems funny that it’s Moyther Magdalene and Fayther Jesus that lead the religion here. And then, there was Moyther Mary and Fayther Joseph of Riverbend, that couple was Jesus’ earthly parents. They aren’t Grand-Fayther Jesus’ parents are they?”