Chapter 9 Shimmering Blue and Silver

“She’s shimmering blue and silver. The crown on her head is a bright gold with red and green jewels on it. Now she’s looking right at me.”

I have a lump in my throat and my temple aches.

“She’s standing on top of the tomb and walking back and forth. I think she’s going to speak,” I say.

She’s turning around and lifting her arm up in the air. I step to avoid her arm and turn toward the casket of Afonso II.

Afonso II king of Portugal from 1211 to 1223 and husband of Queen Urraca. Married in 1206.

“The images are coming in quick of the King, and he is yelling at women that are changing from young to old faces. A young version of the King is running in a field of flowers with girls. They must be his sisters.”

I turn back toward Queen Urraca.

Possibly the only depiction of Queen Urraca created shortly after her death. Queen from 1211 to 1220

“There’s red-coloured smoke coming into my head. Her voice is loud, and she is pursing her lips, furrowing her brow and squinting her eyes. She looks upset.”

I focus on Afonso again.

“The King is in a circle of men where he holds up a piece of velum he then spreads showing a map with rivers and hills. Now there’s dark purple vapour, and a man with a white skullcap on his head holding his hand up and striking the King. She looks toward her feet; is she ashamed because the man in the white cap did something to the King? Did the Pope excommunicate the King? Farmers are rushing a castle of a man with a bishop’s hat on. The king is signing the velum and people are cheering. Gold coins accumulate in a chamber, the King is pacing with a satisfied look on his face.”

“He’s moving now,” I say.

“I think he is saying he was fighting with his sisters. The pope excommunicated him because he was taxing church land. He was being cheated out of taxes by the church because they were taking land that did not belong to them. Afonso II got common folks to tell where the boundary markers had been moved instead of relying on forged land documents. Afonso II’s father, Sancho I gave to the sisters too much in his will and testament he did in his last days before he died,” says Dad.

“Afonso II was the first king in Portugal, and one of first in Europe, to have Cortes[1] with people other than nobility and clergy. Afonso held the Corte in the first year of his reign, 1211, in Coimbra, Portugal’s capital at the time of his reign. He put in place laws that applied across the country and replaced the laws that were at the whim of local lords. He sent ambassadors to other countries and established alliances that brought peace to Portugal,” Dad continues.

Now she is shaking her finger at him.


[1] Cortes – Legislative Assembly

Read Chapter 10 I Can Hear… English?