I already have Chapter 1 of EEL’S REVERENCE posted here, and a bit on Uncle Phineas’ Facebook page, and a bit here at Echelon Explorations, and a bit coming up on Friday at Nancy Williams’ blog, but Imma give you another sample. That would be kind of fun, wouldn’t it, and probably unique–post the whole novel in bits all over the internet and readers can hunt for the bits and see if they can put them together. It would be interesting to see how different the results were. Maybe that’s a good idea, or maybe I’m still feverish with my cold.
Anyway, here’s another bit:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There was a rap at the front door, the rap of someone for whom doors were opened expediently.
Blennie packed the remains of our breakfast away and slid the basket into a corner. He looked through the peephole.
“Well, I’ll be a— Don’t turn your back on this one.”
He opened the door. It was that sexton. The one who had dragged me out of Muriel’s restaurant, the one Muriel had kicked, the one who had gotten Loach beaten and Muriel’s place burned to the ground. Reynold.
He came in slowly, which Blennie didn’t like: The open door constituted a point of vulnerability. Reynold knew Blennie didn’t like it, and stood for a moment in the doorway, the sun striking glints off the copper woven into his cassock. His ashen eyes took in the temple with a gaze both condescending and covetous.
Blennie closed the door as soon as he could, so soon he brushed the hem of Reynold’s cassock with it.
I still thought the sexton looked like a skinflint’s sausage, and was almost surprised, when he prostrated himself at my feet, that his casing didn’t burst.
“Forgive me,” he said. “In the name of Holy Sweet Micah, I beg forgiveness!”
“I can only forgive you for what you did to me. That wasn’t much, and I forgave you for it while you did it.”
“Thank you! Micah bless you!”
Blennie looked very like a mermayd about to be ill.
“Please get up, Reynold. This may be the way things are done in the Eel but, in the rest of the world, people don’t grovel to priests. Get up at once, or I won’t forgive you for the indignity you’re doing yourself.”
Reynold rose, but he kept his eyes averted. “I’ve come to offer you my services.”
“As what?” said Blennie.
Reynold rounded on him.
I pulled at Reynold’s sleeve until he turned back to me, trying to hide his irritation at being interrupted.
“Never mind,” I said. “I want to know, too. You’ve come to offer me your services as what?”
“As sexton. I’m so sorry and ashamed of the way I treated you before. I want to make it up to you in service. You need a sexton. You can’t take care of the upkeep of the temple, get the best price on incense and so on, and keep accounts of donations and disbursements, so forth and so forth.”
“I certainly have the time for it. Or is it my ability you doubt?”
“Oh, no. Oh, no. But temple attendance is sure to swell, now that—”
“Now that the catspaw has come out unsinged?”
“What about the others? Can they afford to lose such a valuable man? Or would I be sharing you with them?”
Reynold thought he hid his smirk. “I must go where Micah calls me.”
“Then I hope he’s calling you from the street, because that’s where you’re going.”
“Open the door, Blennie, this person is leaving.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Remember, if you buy a copy of EEL’S REVERENCE ($2.99, cheap at the price, ordering information on the sidebar of every page) before Christmas 2010, my royalties go to my pal D. M. Anderson, who is in the hospital. Thanks!
WRITING PROMPT: Write a paragraph in which a character is asked to accept an apology.