THE CHAPEL A novel by Sheila Willar Copyright 2016 Sheila Willar ISBN 978-0-9867101-4-8
CHAPTER 8 ............................ LOOK UP
Erin and Lila arrived at Mrs. Mancinni’s by midday and raced along the maze of paths that led to the chapel. “Wait till you see what’s inside,” exclaimed Erin as she opened the heavy wooden door.
Both girls stood in awe of the hallowed place of worship as Erin pointed to details that she noticed on her first visit.
“Can you believe it?” asked Erin.
“It’s not like I thought it would be,” sighed Lila. “I expected something special, but this is beyond that. It’s stunning. It’s alive.”
“I know what you mean,” replied Erin, remembering all too well the voice and the bright light. It was the purest light that she had ever seen. Erin directed their focus to the broken circle of stone and Lila bent down to touch it with reverence.
“Do you know that this could be THEE Irish Blue?” asked Lila as she brushed her fingers over it softly. “It’s not in too bad a condition,” she explained, opening up a satchel that she brought with her. “We can fix it now and it could be set in time for the wedding.”
“You mean right now?” questioned Erin.
“Yes, of course,” said Lila, “Unless you have something more important to do."
“Not likely,” said Erin. “But don’t you need tools and adhesive and grout?” asked Erin hoping that Lila knew what she was doing.
“That’s all coming. A whole team will be here soon. All we have to do is remove the pieces and find any fragments that may have fallen through.”
Erin was glad that more help was on the way but she also felt a tinge of failure in that she didn't do the work on her own. She also wondered what Mrs. A would think of all these people on her property.
They laid out a grid of string across the centre floor and using special gloves they extracted each piece of stone, and labelled and wrapped it in a protective cloth. Then they sifted the sandy foundation to recover missing bits.
Soon Professor Foster and his team arrived with wagons full of materials and tools, and a host of students began examining the stone with magnifying glasses and scales and microscopes.
“Yes, yes,” he kept saying. “This is it. This is THEE Irish Blue.”
The professor made a phone call to Alexander Mancinni and then directed the team to restore the foundation and tamp it down. Next they prepared the “glue” that was a special solution developed in house. It would bond the stone fragments back together as good as new with near invisible seams. The only problem was that the glue required time to cure and it may not be ready to take the pounding of high heels and a lot of foot traffic that the Mancinni’s expected over the next few days. Therefore they said that they needed to procure more of THEE Irish Blue stone as a backup, but Erin assured them not to worry because she had already done so.
“We’re done!” said Lila jubilantly. “I’m going back to the city with the rest of the team. Would you like to come with us?”
“No. I’ll stay here and clean up,” replied Erin even though there was nothing for her to do. She simply wanted to catch her breath and make sure that she had done the right thing as far as Mrs. Mancinni was concerned.
The team left the chapel and Erin made busy work for herself. She dusted what didn’t need to be dusted and fretted over what didn’t need fretting. She paced around the repaired stone and wondered how many people had stood on it over the centuries and made vows to God and each other. Just when she started to settle down she heard a distinctive voice say, “Look up!” Erin stared straight past the ironwork of the chandelier and once again saw the bright white light, but this time she saw more. Through what looked like a hole in the roof she could see into another cathedral and instantly she was transposed inside a magnificent and brilliant place that took her breath away.
Erin would have stayed in that place but Mrs. Mancinni entered the chapel and asked, “Are you alright?”
“Yes,” answered Erin as she was shocked back into her present reality.
“It’s perfect!” cheered Mrs. A as she admired the restored stone work. “Erin, thank you so much. It means the world to me.”
“But I didn’t do anything. Lila and Professor Foster, they did it all. I just watched.”
“It has the eyes of God you know. Legend says that if you make a vow on THEE Irish Blue, that it cannot be broken,” mused Mrs. A wistfully.
“It has to be cured and it might not hold up for the wedding,” cautioned Erin.
“Alexander told me all about it. Come now Erin, let’s get you home."
Erin and Mrs. A walked back to the main house in near silence, each lost in the thoughts of the day. Erin wondered why she was asked to fix the floor if the others were going to do it anyway, and Mrs. A wondered if her husband John would actually show up for the wedding. On the drive home Erin tried to shift her thinking to what she needed to do for Maggy’s event, but all she could think of was what she saw in the heavenly cathedral. Who would believe that she had seen the very eyes of God?