Writer's guide & Short Stories:
special menu for this section of the web site.
Index of Stories
Shaded section is a list of sort stories on this web site
"Fishing Hole," story of Amos by Joshua
"Lorainne," story by Sherris Neary
"Maddie" Another story by Sherris Neary
Christmas short story that spawned my novels
A new story every 1 or 2 months.
← Snakes In The Outhouse a poem
Writer's Guide for aspiring authors. ↓
What defines moral writing? ← Go to the Writer's Guide menu. Writing tips
Have your stories published in my magazines
This is a two or three page section from my first novel, Hawk Dancer. It is rather self explanatory of what
historical event this is about. The Genre, Historical Fiction, is where the author takes a real historical setting, event
and/or characters and applies his or her fictional story into that frame work.
A common critique of my novels, and of a few other writings, is my bouncing back and forth in time, space and location. I accept
the input from readers. And so, (en so), I took care to add a brief note, sometimes a sort of sub-title pointing out to the readers that there is a switch
in time, dates, years and places when I issued the 2nd Editions of the novels. The story on this page rapidly changes
locations, De Nederlands (Holland), Deutschland (Germany) and Poland, three locations in the USA (East coast, mid-west and Pacific) and even an Indigenous
tribal area of India (Ranchi). However: The time frame is the same - globally - though in different time zones. In other words, this is a telling of
what is happening at the same time in different parts of the world while a Divine Liturgy (Mass) is going on in Boston.
Ordination to the Deaconate was December 6th, 1941. The next day, Sunday, a large crowd gathered to witness the first celebration of Fr. Gregory, Deacon
Richard and four others ordained the previous day.
The doors of the small seminary chapel opened at 9:30 a.m., Eastern Standard Time on that sleepy Sunday morning in Boston. It was only 3:30 a.m. in Pearl
Harbor. In Auschwitz it was already 5:30 p.m. and a yet to be discovered horror rose out of the chimneys. An old Ford pick-up truck outside Birch Clump
rested in a ditch with its engine running and the driver shriveled up grotesquely behind the steering wheel with a stroke.
The newly ordained Deacons and Priests were presented to the Greek-Syriac Catholic Community and took their places in the sanctuary, removing their shoes
for they were in a sacred place, where the Kingdom of God joins Earth in the Divine Liturgy. Second year seminarians, and a 14 year old, serving as acolytes,
draped their own vestments over their arms and approached the new priest for a blessing. The gentle jingle of bells from the incense bowl prepared by Deacon
Richard called for respectful silence of all present.
By 10:00 a.m., Boston time, everyone was vested and in place. The ritual offerings of bread and wine were prepared at the side table and a few drops of water
added to the chalice, then covered with veils. The new deacon spoke these words to the new priest: “Master, it is time for the Lord to act.”
Eucharistic Divine Liturgy began.
Job, given a seat of honor, wore black trousers, and had a black dyed buckskin vest ceremoniously decorated Potawatomi style over his white shirt and tie.
He watched as his brother scooped grains of incense, mixed with an offering of chopped sweet-grass Job’s aunts sent along, into the censer. Billowing
clouds of sweet, sacred smoke rose up as the congregation and chief celebrants began the ancient chants praising God. The 14-year-old acolyte held out a
rabbit fur pouch for the deacon. Reaching in, Richard pinched a bit of tobacco and dropped the herb into the burning incense. Few took notice of the
rabbit pouch. Fewer still knew of its significance as a Native American custom.
Once the Throne, Altar and Icons were honored with incense and every corner of the sanctuary purified in smoke, the baritone voice of the young deacon was
already offering the first of the petitions: “For peace throughout the world, we pray to the Lord.”
Smoke rose into the evening air in far off Poland. The ash from mankind’s largest crematorium fell inside barbed wire fences. What prayers, offered there,
were in silence. In stealth, the crews of the Imperial Japanese aircraft carriers watched their smoke stacks as they crept towards Pearl Harbor like a
cat ready to pounce on a large bird.
In Boston the mid-morning congregation responded, “Lord, have mercy.”
The congregation reverently bowed and blest themselves as the Priest held up the Book of the Gospel. The Minor Entrance, as this part is called, consisted
of the acolytes, deacons and Priests processing the Gospel Book through the congregation, and then to the sanctuary. The Priest stopped at the berm,
turned to the people, then opened the book and rested it on the forehead and raised hands of an acolyte. Fr. Gregory introduced the sacred reading while
the crowd gathered around him. Deacon Richard, not far away, handed the incense to an acolyte.
“Sophia, Let us stand and listen to the holy Gospel. Peace to all.” chanted the Bishop.
“The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthews,” the priest announced, and then stepped aside for the Deacon to take over.
“Let us be attentive,” chanted the Bishop as he blessed Richard.
In Holland, a farmer clutched his worn Bible. His family huddled about him while angry soldiers of the Third Reich tore up his house. In a sealed off
section of the same house a Rabbi squeezed a bound copy of the Torah close to his heart. His family, the remnants of other families, huddled around him
as bayonets probed the walls of their hiding place. Human ash continued up the chimneys in Poland. The Japanese Imperial Navy pushed closer to Pearl
Richard put a fevered pitch to the final line of the Gospel, closed the book and blessed the people. All sang out, “Alethos Kyrie, Alethos,” as they
stepped forward to kiss the Book of the Gospels. The new priest delivered his first sermon; then once again the Deacon belted out petitions: “For the
sick, the oppressed; for the widowed and orphaned, let us pray to the Lord.”
A passer by and his family pulled to the side of the road north of Birch Clump to render assistance to the poor, longhaired driver curled up in the
The Boston congregation chanted, “Lord, have mercy.”
In bombed cities of Europe children and grandmothers searched the rubble for food. Tattered blankets were pulled closer to ward off the December chill
“For favorable weather and an abundant harvest, we pray to the Lord.”
“Lord, have mercy.”
Convoys of soldiers, tanks and ambulances inched their way along the warfronts across two great oceans. Japanese pilots readied their strike planes on
board their carriers.
“For all travelers this day, by air, land and sea, we pray to the Lord.”
“Lord, have mercy.”
The trampling of international boarders was not confined to the better-known regions of the world. In the tribal lands of India, stood a young,
bare-chested boy, draped from the waist down in long, green, plaid skirting. He stared in wonder at the thundering objects flying overhead. He has
never seen such things cross the sky before. Modern warfare, airplanes, had come to the interior of India.
“For this city, and every city and village throughout the world, let us pray to the Lord.”
“Lord, hear our prayer.”
Posted in honor of Jan Hein & his wife who I met today (May 8) from The Netherlands @ St. Mary Major in Rome.