“Wake up! Wake up! Fire! Fire!”
“Fire? Where?”
“The library. Hurry, brother!”
“Brother Jérôme, wake the abbot! Brother Jacques, take some of the brothers and rescue the books! The rest of you, follow me!”
Chaos. A fire in the middle of the night. Someone must have forgotten to blow out the candle after the evening Bible studies. This will be investigated later. Right now they have a more serious problem. The wooden roof of the library is ablaze. It has not rained for five weeks. The buildings of the monastery and their surroundings are dry as bone. The water level in the well has dropped drastically.
The red flames lighten the black sky as the monks form a chain to hand on the buckets of water.
“Save the books!” Among many others, the nearly finished set of liturgical books that the monks decorate with colourful miniature and that the abbot wants to give the archbishop of Avignon for the anniversary of his consecration is inside the burning building. The Brothers Jacques and Jean-Baptist as well as four novices ran into the library and return with their arms full of scrolls and leather-bound books.
The first bucket filled with water is handed to Brother Ambroise who is standing the closest to the fire. Another bucket. And another.
The abbot is awake. He takes an empty bucket and joins the chain.
“The fire has spread to the stables!” somebody shouts.
“May the Lord have mercy with our souls!” an old monk mutters under his breath.
Where should they go next? The chain resolves. Men are running in different directions. The goats trapped inside the stable bleat in terror. Brother Jérôme trips over a pitchfork. Is this night ever going to end?
Suddenly, something falls from the sky. It is drop of water. The monks look up in grateful anticipation. Only a few seconds later the rain rushes down.

Rut Neuschäfer
What were your prompts?: picture of a book, rain, pitchfork

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