Flash Fiction Friday: The Centurion

This man was the Son of God.

The Centurion stood at the foot of the cross, dumbfounded. The words had spilled out of his mouth before he even thought about them. A few members of his century shot him sideways glances, but he could see the fear in their faces just as clearly as he perceived it in his own heart. He felt himself begin to tremble. How many times had he seen death, never once troubled by it? How many times had he overseen the torment that led to the death of criminals and insurgents? This man was different. Why? Why had he forgiven where others condemned? Why had he prayed where others blasphemed?

If this man—this wretched, beaten, whipped man—was the Son of God, then what judgment would fall on their heads for their participation in his death? The Centurion staggered back from the cross a few steps, craning his neck to read the words Pilate had written: Rex Iudaeorum. King of the Jews. From the rumors, Pilate had not even wanted to crucify the man in the first place. Now here the man was, this “King of the Jews,” his body dead and slack. The sky raged. The earth shook.

There could be no question of it. Death and judgment from the heavens would surely fall on the Centurion and his men—this God would strike them down for their crimes against his Son.

Yet no judgment fell. The man’s body was removed from the cross and taken away to be buried.

One of the soldiers, Quintus by name, walked to the Centurion’s side and grimaced. “Son of God, sir? I think not. He is dead. They are carrying him away now as we speak.”

The Centurion’s eyes followed the mourning group of Jews who walked away with the man’s body. “No. That man—that ‘King of the Jews’—he is the Son of God. I am certain of it.”

Quintus scoffed. “Which God, exactly?”

“That,” the Centurion said, glancing up at the clouded and stormy sky, “is what I do not yet know.”

“The Centurion” copyright 2017 by A.L.S. Vossler.

Constructive criticism welcome in the comments.

Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net

The Beta Editing Has Begun!

As of today, I am beginning to implement changes suggested by Beta Readers for my debut novel, Charybda!

Koltyrin Alexander/Shutterstock.com
Charybda: Book I of the Worldstrait Duology
Cover image: Koltyrin Alexander/Shutterstock.com

This is an exciting (and terrifying) new step for me. After completing the second draft and giving it a quick run-through, thus producing the third draft, I sent my novel out to the intrepid folks who read over it and provided feedback.

Lots and lots of feedback.

While I waited, I focused on some other writing projects as well as the cover design for the book. Now, however, the time has come to get back to the old grindstone and produce the fourth draft of Charybda, which then gets to be edited for grammar, thus producing the fifth draft, which then gets a final edit and formatting for the sixth and I pray FINAL draft. I hope to launch the book sometime in November.

So what is Charybda about? Here’s what is probably going to be on the back cover:

Nivin has never seen the colors of a sunrise. She has never seen the brilliant green of trees in summertime. She has never even seen her own face. Blind from birth, she has lived seventeen years in a culture where anyone with physical defect meets death by the King’s sword. When she is discovered and flees, she encounters the first thing she has ever seen in her life: a Charybdon, a portal in the form of shimmering ribbons of light. Along with a fellow fugitive, she meets a young man who seems to be from a different world altogether—a world where the dragon Scylla and the wicked sorcerer Scyllorin hold the lands in an iron grip. Sword and steel have proven worthless against their reign. Out of her element in more ways than one, what part can a blind girl play in a centuries-long war?

Intrigued? I hope so! Check my blog regularly for updates on the editing/rewriting process, and also look for regular content such as Flash Fiction Fridays and book reviews. Or, if you’d rather not have to check all the time, subscribe to my blog using the form in the sidebar or the email “follow” icon at the bottom of this post.

Share any thoughts in the comments!