(MARGINALIUM 3.) Saint Gracejoly-under-the-Bedchamber, fetching and celibate, was Imen’s nun centuries before Disjunction, and her small order ministered a lawless ruin, only recently resettled, on the edge of a desert. When a gang of thugs breached the walls of the nunnery, they confronted her in the refectory, reading scripture after waking from a nightmare. She willingly sacrificed her virginity to purchase a few more minutes of life and perhaps an opportunity to escape for her terrified sisters. Stricken by her beauty, the intruders waited their turns for her in the refectory rather than defile her fellow sisters in the dormitory above; one by one, she rode them to death from exhaustion, to which they succumbed gladly. This is called Gracejoly’s hagiophany. The effort broke her back, and she never walked again; but she was delivered of a daughter whose rule turned that ruin into a paradise. Saint Gracejoly answers prayers for the mastery of impulses, and also those for fortitude during sexual congress.
Men and women alike burned themselves alive for her when Gwenaelle Prozart wept, I do not doubt, although I do not know why; unregenerate Imenites shy away from the militant orders. But it seems she is all but unknown now. I cannot mourn that no more life is wasted in her name, but it is the worst sort of irony that her story seems to have died just when so many of us could draw strength from it.
But what do I know about our old myths in this new order? Perhaps the story of Gracejoly-under-the-Bedchamber diffuses through our barrios and whorehouses like a healing plague, breeding in the blood of those most susceptible, waiting on a fortuitous mutation to burst from dormancy in amplified splendor. I would like to think that it is so.
(© Matt Weber, 2009)