Infirmary

by | Feb 24, 2021

The Infirmary is simply called Good Shepherds by local Estillyenites, who refuse to tack on the word Infirmary. A granite wall stretches for more than half a mile, encircling the infirmary. Up and down it travels, following the hilly terrain so eloquently that some folks believe the wall knows it exists.
The infirmary is run by Abbey sisters, called the Sisters of Good, or Good Sisters—either way. It’s was here, in room 107, that Oban Ironbout made a startling confession to Hollie and Goodwin Macbreeze. The gripping story is told in Messages from Estillyen. Presence, the Play brings readers to room 102, where Script, the playwright, ventured far from Estillyen shores in a comatose state.
This vignette, so brief, must include a word or two about Good Shepherds’ renowned mural. In central most part of the infirmary, where all the wide halls intersect, a mural on the ceiling depicts Estillyen life as it might have been two hundred years ago. People travel from around the world just to see the mural. Some contend the stunning mural is a masterpiece.
A strange thing, though—the artist who painted the mural never signed it. He wouldn’t divulge his true name; preferring to keep it a mystery.
It was during the restoration of the infirmary some seventy-five years ago that the mural was painted. As the story goes, the artist wasn’t from Estillyen, and those working on the project simply referred to him as Uncle Art.
He was fond of rolling little cigarettes and smoking them while sitting out on the stone wall. It’s said that the tobacco had a very sweet, lovely smell. Nobody had ever smelled tobacco like that.
Uncle Art was modest, quiet, and kept very much to himself. He sang little tunes, almost inaudibly. Uncle Art worked as a regular laborer with the construction crew. No one gave him any notice.
Until one day, that is, when he asked if he could do a wee sketch on the ceiling, promising to paint over it if the infirmary objected. No one knew what he was going to draw.
A month later there was a masterpiece on the ceiling, and soon thereafter, Uncle Art was gone, never to be seen again.

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