Here’s the first excerpt from my current WIP, a western romance set on the 1870 Chisholm trail:
“Lord, have mercy among the sinners among us, and allow us to walk in your holy light, free from the flames of damnation that lick at us daily. And as the Bible says, ‘Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.'”
“Amen.” The woman’s soft voice sounded in counterpoint to her husband’s rasp.
Maddy Lassiter squeezed shut her eyes and tried to ignore the pious intonings of the Rev. Burrows and his wife. Even on her deathbed, they aggravated her beyond all reason.
“As the Holy Book says in Romans 7:5, ‘For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.'”
The cholera might have addled her wits, but even so, it sounded to her like the Reverend took pleasure in emphasizing the word “death.” The Reverend had been praying over her and quoting Bible verses at her ever since the unfortunate situation with his son six months ago. Now, no doubt, he saw her deathly illness as the well-deserved wages of sin.
Hot, thirsty, and enervated by days of vomiting and flux, Maddy tried not to agree that she was being punished by the Lord, but it was hard. She had never thought she’d lived a sheltered life by any means, but the suffering she’d endured in the last few days made her doubt that. The wagon they’d been traveling in all the way from Indiana had become a torture chamber. Hands clasped above her makeshift berth, the Burrows wouldn’t quit praying over her. It made passing on seem like a reasonable alternative to their endless disapproval.