Thursday, April 13, 2006

Once more, with feeling

It has been a long time. I would have wanted to write more frequently but other tasks overtook the writing process. I know, there should be no excuses. Someone who claims to earn a living from words should write daily. That's one lesson I learned from my editors in the past.

There are new tasks ahead of me. New challenges await in the next corner, so they say. Another blog site has been set up to force me to do more writing. I will later put a link from here for you to visit the site. It's still a work in progress.

I was scanning old files today when I opened what was supposed to be the beginning of the first chapter of a book I was commissioned to write a few years back. In the spirit of the Lenten season let me share to you the first few paragraphs of what I still believe would be another book within the year. God bless!

THE MEN WERE wearing masks. Under cover of the early evening darkness, they moved quickly past the empty wooden church to the nearby convento. The shadows cloaked their presence.

The clock just struck seven.

Rodrigo Laureto, 13, shut off the motor of the water pump behind the priest’s residence. He has been doing this every night since he stayed in the convent with the old priest and the other sacristans.

The men momentarily froze when they saw the boy.

“Is Father around,” a man in black jacket stepped up to Rodrigo.

“He’s already asleep,” Rodrigo said.

“Take us to him,” the man insisted.

Rodrigo obeyed. He ran to the convent and called out to Jose Monterde, 18, an older sacristan. “Some men to see Father Ling,” Rodrigo told the older boy.

The older boy had no time to react. He blanched at the sight of the two men who shouldered their way inside the convent. The man in black had a .45 caliber pistol in his hand and the other, who was wearing a green sports shirt, had a snub-nosed weapon that could have been a .38 caliber.

“One peep and we’ll shoot you,” the man in black jacket hissed as he shoved the older boy up the stairs.

Jose’s knees shook as he reached the top step leading to the priest’s room on the second floor. He could feel the gun at his back. He knocked softly on the priest’s door.

“Father, Father,” he sobbed.

Father Godofredo Alingal, 58, opened the door. He had already stripped to his shorts and T-shirt for the night. Disturbed from reading, he had his glasses on. For one brief moment, his eyes stared fixedly at his murderer.

There was one loud explosion.

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