Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Beginning 877

"Bless me Father, you you have sinned, and we both know what you did. You have never confessed because you thought you were safe..."

"This is the confessional of the Holy Church. A sacrament..."

"Yes it is, Father. And this is a gun. It's pointed at you. All you have to do is yell out and I'll be caught. You'll be dead but I'll be caught."

There was a long pause. The barrel of the automatic pressed against the grill of the confession booth.

"You are sick, my son, and in the name of the Lord I am willing to hear your confession."

"You are afraid, Father. Now, follow me out of the church. There's a small crowd, they won't miss you stirring sermon. Walk with me, Father."

Father Constant rose slowly, left the confessional, and walked out of the Church of St Aloysius.

Three blocks on, down a dim alley, the gunman turned to confront the priest. "Right. Now we-- What the...? Shit! Where'd he go?"

Even so devout a priest as Father Constant could see what the gunman did not: Sometimes, faith alone is not sufficient.

Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: Anon.


Evil Editor said...

P1: you you.

P6, S3: change comma to semicolon and you to your. And whattaya mean they won't miss the sermon? I'm pretty sure they'd notice a church service with no sermon.

As the continuation implies, the one without the gun doesn't usually follow the one with the gun.

It sounds like the priest is about to give a sermon; Is it normal for confessions to occur so close to sermon time?

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

Since these characters speak in complete, grammatically correct sentences despite being in what one might imagine is a tense situation, I assume you mean "your stirring".

none said...

I'm troubled that only one religion is represented here. If these characters are in America, they will encounter a huge variety of religious belief.

Anonymous said...

Uh, it's OK. He's already got a rabbi, a preacher and an imam in the freezer at home, eh.

vkw said...

The dialogue is weak. It's not natural.

Try this:

"Bless me Father, you have sinned."


"You have sinned father. I know what you did. It's time to hear you confession."

"Now see here. This is a confessional. A sacrament..."

"Yes it is, Father," . .. . said. He pressed the barrel of the gun against the grill between them. "And, this is an automatic. If you yell for help, I'll be caught but you'll be dead."

"You are sick, my son, and in the name of the Lord I am willing to hear your confession and absolve you of your sins."

"Walk with me, Father. We are leaving this church. It's time for you to be absolved of your sins."

Father Constant rose, left the confessional and walked out of the Church of St. Aloysius.

Stacy said...

I wonder how the writer would fit in more religions into the (approximately) first 150 words of an opening scene.

"A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a confession booth ... "

That said, I like the idea of the scene, but I can't tell if this is supposed to be the priest's story or the story of the person holding the gun. If it's the person with the gun, we need more details. If it's the priest's story, I think that needs to be made more clear.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

I actually loved this, except for the two typos, which EE pointed out.

I would read on :)

Anonymous said...

I like the situation, but I feel like the writing is weak. The dialog isn't believable, and I don't like the last line at all.

Dave Fragments said...

This works for me. I like more of VKW's rewrite but the original with EE"s remarks is OK.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I'd read on. Good opening, good continuation. Make the repairs and off you go.

Love to know what the padre did, I'm thinking nasty, icky things. Not too many openings make me wonder about the characters.

R.T. said...

Interesting opening. Seems to be going somewhere. Just a few things I noticed.

"You have never confessed b/c you thought you were safe" Why would a renegade priest confess at all.

Why is his last name, "Constant"?
Why not Constantine, or Bernard?

I sense that the author isn't totally familiar with Catholic church rituals. (awkwardness w/ Confession before the service)

Jo-Ann said...

I thought the opening was interesting, and just needed a good polish to make the dialogue flow more easily.
I like the idea of a Priest with a Secret, and would read on.

Anonymous said...

Set in a Catholic church with a priest in the confessional this clearly isn't an interdemoninational gathering with mutliples religions represented.

D Jason Cooper said...

The opening line is take from traditional Roman and Anglo Catholic confession, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been [period of time] since my last confession..." The dialogue is not realistic in the sense of conversation, it's reference is to a ritual.
The reference to sermon (which could be reading or homily, really): as there is a bishop (still off stage) he's basically accusing the priest of overweaning ambition, but that isn't clear in the very opening. I have yet to see a Muslim in Roman Catholic confession. It's neither the priest nor the gunman's story, it is the story of the two of them. POV is to be between them. This is the Church of St Aloysius (patron saint of ...) Constant is his last name, and he is constant. OK, Bulwer-Lytton is turning in his grave.
Priests are not absolved from seeking absolution: the Pope, for example, has a dedicated confessor. The confessor is appointed by the Pope, but who the confessor is is traditionally not published.