Sunday 22 October 2023

On the Origin of Holy Relics

 Over the years, I have travelled with Adrienne to many countries in the Levant and the Balkans.  I have been struck by the numbers of churches dedicated to St George.  Many of them are guardians of bones; precious and plentiful relics of the saint. St. George is the patron saint of England an many other countries and causes.  This prompted me to write a piece of short fiction from the point of view of his famous adversary, the dragon.  I hope you like it.

Postcard from St. George's Church, Adaba, Jordan

On The Origin Of Holy Relics

With just one roar, I made my toast, seared my bacon and heated my coffee. Life’s good when I can generate that much dragon fuel in a night. Talking of knights, what is going on? Every day for the last fortnight there’s been another one of the blighters. They all look the same: horse, lance, chain mail, white tabard, red cross. Every man jack of them calls himself Saint George.

I can’t remember half of them. There was one, patron saint of Portugal. I saw him off and when I say I saw him off I mean that, having given him a good grilling, I sawed off his leg and ate it. I sold the leg bones. I have a trusty man in Aleppo.  He can get me a good price for relics of St George.

On Thursday, it was another George claiming to be the patron saint of Lithuania. He was easy. Sold off a jawbone and an arm.

Then there was the one with the fancy saddle. Said he was patron saint of saddle makers. Sold off his Ischial Tuberosity — that’s bum bones for the uneducated — talk about saddle sore. Mind you, I didn’t get much of a price for them. They don’t make for a dignified relic.

And the George who said he was the patron saint of syphilis? I just incinerated him. Best to be on the safe side.

My man in Aleppo passed me a special order today. Some geezer called Robert of Jerusalem wants a whole arm, shoulder and ribcage of St. George. He will pay a tidy price. I don’t need a fight. I can find that lot in the spare bones at the back of my cave. Some of them may even be human.  He won’t know the difference.