Which Opening….

…would Involve You More Quickly In this Novel? Thank you!!!!

Rudolf June, 1524

“Where is Hannes?” Old Johann paced back and forth just outside the gate to the courtyard, in earshot of the house. “He’ll be here, Father. I told Thoman to hurry.” “Why didn’t Thoman take a horse?” “I don’t know. He should have.” “Pray God he gets here before it’s too late.” The old man crossed himself. Thoman and Hannes appeared at the bottom of the hill, running, Hannes lifting his priest robes so he would not trip. Inside, Verena lay exhausted on the bed where hours earlier she had given birth to a tiny boy, two months before term. She had wept weakly and named him Rudolf. Verena had already several grandchildren. “Go!” said Old Johann to Hannes. “There’s no time to waste.” Hannes found Verena wavering between worlds. He looked over at tiny baby in the carefully padded apple box. The midwife who tended Verena sat with slumped shoulders, her face red with crying, knowing why Hannes was there and what  lay ahead. “Mother,” he began, but his voice caught in his throat. He squeezed his eyes tightly together and shook his head to regain himself. ”Sister Verena.” He swallowed and began again, placing her rosary in her hands. “Do you sincerely beg our Lord for forgiveness of your sins?” Verena nodded. He opened the cross-shaped, silver box he wore on his belt for the services of Last Rites and took out a small vial of Holy Oil and a wafer that had been blessed by the Holy Father in Rome. With the oil, he traced the shape of a cross on his mother’s forehead and placed the wafer between her lips. He knew she could not eat it, but it would protect her from Satan who could be lurking anywhere to jump into one of the body’s openings and steal Verena’s soul at the last minute. “May our Heavenly Father pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, his holy mother, Mary, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph and St. Verena, name saint of our sister, my mother, Verena.” He made the sign of the cross over her body. Verena soon followed the infant Rudolf in death. ————————

Rudolf June, 1524

Brother Hannes found Verena lying on the bed where hours earlier she had given birth to a tiny boy, two months before term. She had wept weakly and named him Rudolf. Hannes looked over at tiny baby in the carefully padded apple box. The midwife sat with slumped shoulders, her face red with crying, knowing why Hannes was there and what lay ahead. Verena wavered now between two worlds. “Mother,” he began, but his voice caught in his throat. He squeezed his eyes together and shook his head to regain himself. ”Sister Verena.” He swallowed and began again, placing her rosary in her hands. “Do you sincerely beg our Lord for forgiveness of your sins?” Verena nodded. He opened the cross-shaped, silver box he wore on his belt for the services of Last Rites and took out a small vial of Holy Oil and a wafer that had been blessed by the Holy Father in Rome. With the oil, he traced the shape of a cross on his mother’s forehead and placed the wafer between her lips. He knew she could not eat it, but it would protect her from Satan who could be lurking anywhere to jump into one of the body’s openings and steal Verena’s soul at the last minute. “May our Heavenly Father pardon thee whatever sins or faults thou hast committed. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, his holy mother, Mary, St. John the Baptist, St. Joseph and St. Verena, name saint of our sister, my mother, Verena.” He made the sign of the cross over her body. Verena soon followed the infant Rudolf in death.

10 thoughts on “Which Opening….

  1. I find the first sample more engaging, because it makes me wonder who Hannes is and what the rush could be, and I’d also add the last paragraph of the second sample to it.

    • The last paragraph is already there. I just didn’t copy and paste it. Let’s see how this pans out by the end of the day — I’m really surprised to see how close it is.

  2. Yes, I do have a preference, but I’m not telling you which it is – the fact that they’re running neck-and-neck probably says it all without me adding my tuppenceworth. Use the one you’re most comfortable with. It’s your book!

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