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The Strange White Man 48

Brother Sebastian stood on the porch of Carpenter's ranch house and uttered a silent prayer to God that all his years of research and interpretations of the most ancient texts were correct. As the sun rose further in the sky, he watched the beams of light, as they moved slowly across the yard toward the house, illuminating everything in their path..

It reached the porch and slowly moved up the two stairs falling on the hem of his robe. It was an effort to conquer his base fear and not run back inside, but he stood fast and It finally reached his hands that were at his sides and lit up the backs.

He waited for the intense pain of the sunlight striking his undead flesh and the reaction that he read about to occur, but nothing happened. Oh it was hot, very hot, not unlike stepping into a hot bath, but nothing else happened.

He stepped off the porch tilting his head back and stretching out his arms allowing the sunlight to strike his face and palms, once again nothing happened. He did not burst into flames, as he had read and was not in agony.

The uncomfortable feeling soon vanished, as his body became accustomed to this long forgotten feeling. He dropped to his knees and wept, while he thanked God for allowing him this discovery.

"You OK, Padre?" Marcus asked, as he walked past the front of the house heading toward the barn.

"I am fine my Son, just offering a morning prayer," he responded with a smile quickly wiping any trace of blood tears from his face before he looked up.

"You look a little pale."

The Monk wanted to tell him that if he had not been in the sunlight for seven hundred years, he too would look a little pale. He kept his comments to himself and again assured the ramrod that he was fine. He returned to the books and papers spread out on the kitchen table and commenced to record all that had occurred in his notes.

He went to the mirror mounted on the dresser and checked his appearance. His skin had a slight red tinge to it not unlike what the field hands get after working that first week in the sun after the long Winter rest. He wondered, if he would tan and how long the tan would last.

Then the next test. He grabbed the poker from the fireplace and attempted to bend in ,but he was unable to.

"So during the daylight hours I only have the strength of an average mortal, interesting," he said aloud to himself.

As he committed this newest discovery to paper, a wave of lethargy swept over him. He had not been awake at this time of the morning in seven hundred years, let alone stand in the sunlight and his body was not used to it. After placing all his papers in an iron box and locking it, he headed to the couch where he stretched out and was soon fast asleep.

Earlier that evening in the territorial capital, Holly was in the rail car meeting with a well known local seamstress and dress maker named Mrs. Parsons. She had brought pictures of all the bridal gowns she had made and Holly was having a difficult time making a decision.

When it was suggested, that Holly come by her to her shop tomorrow morning, Holly sharply declined and the older lady gave her a strange look.

"Please forgive my manners. You see I had been traveling in the Orient a few years ago, where I picked up a virus that made me real sick for about a month. When I got better, I found out that sunlight hurts my eyes real badly. It just makes me very angry," Holly informed her with a sad look on her face.

"Oh you poor dear," Mrs.Parsons replied.

"Would you consider opening up your shop after supper tomorrow? I will make it worth your while,"Holly asked.

"Lets make it around 7:00 pm," the dress maker stated.

"Will that inconvenience you?"

"Not a bit. I live above my shop."

Holly assisted the older woman stepping down the rail car steps and walked her to her buggy. As she rode away, Holly breathed a sigh of relief. Mrs. Parsons had accepted the story that she and Carpenter had agreed upon to explain her reasons for not wanting to be out in the sunlight.

She found that she could not stop smiling to herself. She was happier and more excited than she had been in a long time. She found a woman to make her the perfect wedding gown and couldn't wait to wear it and see Carpenter's reaction of her in it.

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