The Dream Archipelago Week 7: The Miraculous Cairn conclusion
- Lenden and Bella meet Father Confessor Henner in the Seminary, and he shows them to her dead uncle's house. Lenden finds the place uncomfortable and wishes not to stay, but seems duty bound to see this through.
- The Seminary seems to care little for them. They deny them special accommodation which was supposedly arranged in advance, and force Lenden to sleep either on the floor or in her sickly, long-dead aunt's bed with unwashed sheets.
- Lenden is also forced to deal with her uncle's affairs quickly. The best stuff has seemingly already been taken by the Seminary itself. Those things that can't be carried away or incinerated are to be shipped away at Lenden's expense.
In the evening, Bella once again tries to draw close to Lenden, but Lenden remains emotionally aloof, and cannot explain why.
The action shifts again to the past. Lenden is in the tower, while Seri has gone outside to be with the priest.
- Lenden feels a presence in the tower, something bestial. She is drawn to a hole in the wall, and it seems maybe the beast is within. She put her arm in and the beast grabs it and starts eating it.
- Lenden undergoes an episode of panic and tries to withdraw her arm. The creature gnaws on it and wont let go.
- Then suddenly, the beast opens its mouth and she withdraws her arm. She finds it whole and unharmed, though her clothing is shredded.
- She leaves the tower in a hurry. Outside, Seri is nowhere to be seen. But she does see the priest suddenly stand up, then flee.
- Lenden runs to the spot the priest was and finds Seri on the ground, naked with clothes scattered about. Seri laughts hysterically and asks "Do you still want to touch me?"
Lended runs from her, back to the house where Aunt Alvie is being held by her parents over a chamber pot. The scene devolves into shouting, screaming, and a quick exit by Lenden and her parents. Lenden never sees Seri again.
Back in the present, Lenden tries to find this tower again, if only to satisfy her that it still existed. She cannot.
- Bella continues to try to break Lenden's shell. Lenden mistrusts her. They express, on the surface, an interest in one another and promise to visit each other, but after this trip ends. neither ever follows through on this.
- There's a lot of symbology here, and Neil pointed out last time. It seems obvious that what happens to Lenden inside the tower is mirroring what happens to Seri outside the tower. What's the significance of the tower, the beast, or the hole, if any?
- Of what significance, if any, is Father Confessor Henner's behaviour?
- What of Bella's? Why try so hard to break in, but then never follow through?
- Lastly, please share any thoughts on the story as a whole.