A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

writing: _ Christian Writers _ _ NaNo _

reading: _LibraryThing_ _ BookCrossing _ _ My local library _ _ Another nearby library _

blogs: _ Lorie Rees_ _Itinerant Iconoclast_ _ Rita's Ravings _
My Photo
Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Story Summary

In 2051, American Protestant missionary Bryce Wade arrives at his posting in Central Africe. Hired to do bible translation work at the ecumenical Works of Mercy Center at the old border between ___________ and ________________. Bryce quickly realizes that the Center is largely a ministry of teh Roman Catholic Church, and that his presence on staff represents their efforts at ecumenism. The only Protestant on staff, he nonetheless gets to know his co-laborers, including Brother Paolo DelHierro, the spiritual director of the Center, which has recently been renamed the Saint John Paul Ministry Center. He also meets the administrative director, Liesel Van Pelt, who is about halfway through her six-month stay at the Center, after which she will return to Denmark.

Wade's duties are not limited tot he cloistered academic life of translation, but finds himself performing outreach with Brother Del Hierro and teaching language classes with the teacher of the Center's school, Edmond Osuwa, a native of Mali. He develops an especially close relationship with Del Hierro, as well as becoming enamored of Van Pelt. Wade & DelHierro open each other's eyes about their own particular strain of the faith. They find that their commonalities outweigh their differences.

Independent of each other, Wade and DelHierro hear rumors of strange occurences in the surrounding villages: visitations in the night, animal mutilations, human deaths by exsanguination. Fearing evil spirits, the victims are burned by the villagers, thus destroying any evidence of these attacks. The pastors dismiss the rumors, but grow concerned as the rumors -- and the fear -- spreads. Around this time, DelHierro and Wade meet a newcomer to the area, Lucas Griffin.

Through flashbacks, readers have gotten to know Griffin, although his presence in 2051 should be a surprise to them. Lucas was born in 1901, to parents who were followers of Madame Blavatsky and the spiritualist movement. Mediums and seances were a regular part of Lucas' upbringing, and he acquired a "familiar" named Maplhas. In 1918, Griffin's father dies, forcing him into the workforce. He became successful, especially in the stock market of the "Roaring Twenties," and he credited the success to Malphas. During this time, Mrs. Griffin was hosting a regular meeting of the Theosophical Society. Lucas' wealth was wiped out in the Crash of 1929, and rather than face life as a poor man, decided to jump off the top of his bank building. On the rooftop, Malphas speaks to him, offering long life and success if he simply asks Malphas to enter him. At this point, 122 years before the current day, Lucas becomes possessed by the demon Malphas.

In 2051, DelHierro and Wade travel from village to village to gather information and offer the peace of Christ to the villagers. Lucas attends one of these meetings, and DelHierro grows very wary of him, a feeling that Wade confirms later. They suspect him of some involvement, but they do not know to what extent.

At this point it is revealed in violent scenes that Lucas is a vampire, and is indeed responsible for these attacks -- although his minds is "cloudy" about the events, and about his own past; he does not truly know who or what he is. Immediately before or after these violent scenes is a scene focusing on the Blood of Christ -- DelHierro giving communion, Wade preaching, etc . . .

Lucas realizes that the pastors suspect him, and under Malphas' leading, he attacks Liesel Van Pelt. Wade is able to break up the attack, but Liesel is seriously wounded. Realizing that the medical care at the Center is insufficient to heal her, DelHierro and Wade offer spiritual care . . . eventually she is healed.

Lucas allows himself to be followed/cornered by DelHierro and Wade, at which point they attack him. Eventually, the demon is exorcised, although DelHierro has to go beyond his Diocesan authority to operate in this manner outside the property of the Center. He must step out of his duties for a time, and the Protestant Wade takes over the spiritual care of the Center, causing all to be uneasy.

Lucas, meanwhile, is "empty" -- free of the demon, but still "clouded" about all he has done, and not saved, and his 122 years quickly begin physically to take their toll. DelHierro cares for him, as does Sister Ekatarina, the nun who is in charge of the medical ministry of the Center. As Lucas' mind clears, he realizes the extent of his villainy, and wonders if forgiveness can ever be available to him.

A series of happy endings ensue . . . . . . .


Post a Comment

<< Home