A stranger came to Sheldon’s house. He was nervous about the visit from the strange man. Sheldon had heard tales of inquisitors paying visits to people and then they disappear forever. It didn’t matter if you were sick anymore, someone could simply say they heard you sneeze and then a mob would come to your house and drag you out into the street.
Sheldon answered the door cautiously and looked about for torches. The stranger was alone. He was tall, thin, and pale. He handed Sheldon a little white card. It was an invitation to a meeting. Sheldon questioned him about such a gathering. He said it was from the Prophet and his ministers. One did not deny the Prophet what he wished if one expected to survive. He was obliged to accept the invitation.
Sheldon watched as the man left and headed down the street. The whole town seemed empty. The houses were dark. There were no sounds of children playing on a warm summer night.
Summers were the most frightening, more people died in the Summer due to the better ability for the virtuous to move about. Those few who were left hid during the Summer months. One never knew if the Prophet would send an army to eliminate a town thought to be over-run with sickness.
It was late according to the old grandfather clock. Sheldon blew out the candle and went to bed.