Advanced look at my newest project.
Here it is:
The wind tearing at the
cemetery's corrugated iron hut roof made pastor Greendale hesitate
before continuing towards the small, brightly-painted chapel. He
steadied himself before turning the elaborate door knob. The attacks
were more frequent now. He found it harder to shake them off and
compose himself. The chapel would probably only be half filled with
parishioners; times had changed, but he still needed to stay strong
and put on a show. He stepped across the threshold and hoped he had
the strength to deliver the sermon; he could see his assistants
handing out the hymn sheets, and they acknowledged him. He smiled
back: Ellen and Sheenie had been with him since he first moved to
Breakwater when he started his vocation as their religious
Breakwater was a small coastal town set high on a ragged hill. Fearsome storms regularly attacked the small town, and the cliff face frequently transformed. Luckily, the small chapel was set far enough away from the cliff edge to quieten any misgivings. The townsfolk were set in their ways and shied away from most of what modern life had to offer; that suited pastor Joel Greendale just fine.
A voice whispered to Joel, "You hypocrite, how can you preach to these people when you have sinned yourself? God does not love you - he hates you!"
Joel ignored the voice. He had heard it too many times to flinch in surprise; he knew the voice was right. Joel did not need telling, having chastised himself enough over the years. He stepped up into the pulpit and looked across the people of the town who regularly came to worship at the small chapel. These were fine people. Joel knew every one of them. They were loyal and had attended his sermons, mostly without fail, over the years. Granted, the congregation was shrinking now as older folk passed away, but, in general, for these times, it was a good turn-out week after week.
Ellen and Sheenie took their seats, and Joel began his sermon: He ignored the presence at his side; it was there, breathing down his neck - if it breathed. The numerous demons that plagued Joel over the years first appeared when he became a pastor. In the beginning, Joel thought he must have been suffering from a psychological condition by hearing voices; but it soon became apparent that the voices belonged to entities that could manifest themselves and harm him physically; they were leaving bruises on his body from the blows they rained down upon him.
As Joel spoke, he pictured Carly in his mind; she was lying on her sofa and beckoning him over; he had liked her ever since junior school, always admired her from afar and never had let his feelings be known. His vision lingered on her creamy-white legs then he suddenly jolted himself back to the sermon. His face was flushed. Had the congregation noticed? They might have thought their pastor was putting extra enthusiasm into his speech and becoming flushed with passion.
When his sermon was over, Joel helped Ellen and Sheenie collect the hymn sheets. They both seemed very excited about something and itched to tell him. It would have to wait; Joel had to mingle with the stragglers first.