Red Valley – Chapter XV

Writing is no fun. The actual, physical act I mean. Before that though – the brainstorming, the theorizing, the pure world and character creating – that’s what I live for. Most writing (at least speaking for myself) happens on the whiteboard and in Moleskine notebooks. Typing that sucker out into whatever the appropriate word processing software is the final, final step (before editing those choices, of course).

It can be a bit of a drag, and sometimes it makes me feel hot beneath the collar. An urge to just get it done!

I can’t believe I have the audacity to post the first draft of this adaptation here, but I doubt anyone’s paying attention anyway, so that makes things easier.

Anyway, we’re getting into the thick of mini-chapters here. A nice quick read and then you (the imaginary audience) can go happily about your day. Cheers!



Father Alberto Sanchero lit the large red candles on top of the altar. Typically these duties would be carried out by the nuns of the parish, but something about the way the wax ran down the sides of the candles always made Father Sanchero feel at peace. He was a large man, pudgy and bearded, and his fingernails were grown out past the polite length. Father Alberto lit another candle and smiled before the front doors creaked open, letting in a draft that extinguished the flame. His smile disappeared.

“Uncle Alberto,” hollered a familiar voice. When Father Sanchero turned, he saw Roberto and the rest of the gang inside standing in front of the main doors of the church.  He marched purposefully towards the gang and Roberto extended his arms for a hug. “Uncle,” he smiled, but he was met with a strict slap across the face.

“I told you never here.”

Roberto glared down at his uncle. They were both dangerous men.

“Never in the House of God.”

Roberto broke into a grin.

“But uncle, we’ve brought you a present.”

Megedagik approached carrying the chicken cage with a blanket covering it and brought it forward. Roberto removes the blanket and Father Sanchero looked down upon Ellie in the rusting cage and smiled. He knelt down so as to be eye-level with her. She was gaunt and dirty and her skin was turning grey and in Father Sanchero’s eyes she was perfect.

“So you have.”

Father Sanchero reached into the cage to touch Ellie and she tried to push back but there was nowhere for her to go. Father Sanchero brushed her cheek with the side of his palm and took a deep breath. Then he stood and faced his nephew.

“She will do just fine.”

Chico smiles and let out what might have been a laugh.

“Come. Let us pray first.”

“We’re not really the prayin’ type, padre,” said Juan.

“Do you wish to eat?”

“Eat? Shit yeah, we’re starvin’.”

“Then you will pray. Come.”

Father Sanchero smiled at Ellie through the cage once more and then led the gang to the back of the church.

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