EXCERPT (Leseprobe) from the book
The ADONISPASTOR or Priests are only men at last
Main pastor in Obermeislingen in the Siegerland, dear god! If anybody had told him that 15 years ago, he would at least have caused roaring laughter, if not worse. He, who was born into this „stuffy“ mountainous country, who felt restricted not only by the narrow valleys but also by the religiously eccentric inhabitants and who never ever wanted to have anything to do with his background, neither with the land nor with its inhabitants, not to talk about the Christian belief in all its here appearing facets. He, Henner Bernshausen had to become a pastor, taking over the position of the first priest in Obermeislingen. His “boss” had sent to him, layed his arm around his shoulders and buttered him up (…….)
The rest of the conversation had developed to be more like a quiz about the Siegerland and had lead to the fateful sentence: “My dear Henner, (awkward pause) you well know that we are - much to our regret - forced to cancel your half-time position as a priest in Düsseldorf.
Because of your excellent references, I have kept my ears open and I am glad to be able to make you a fantastic offer: A full time job as a priest in the Siegerland – Obermeislingen to be precise. You could smoothly change from one community to the other. And as I would call you one of the locals (*), I’m sure you won’t need any settling-in period to get used to the local breed of people. A fantastic solution! Don’t you think, my dear young fellow?”
(* And as you are one of the locals)
Sure, his jaw had dropped, his mind had stopped working, his neck hair had bristled and his toenails had rolled up in his Birkenstock clogs (special German half cut shoe usually worn by people who feel close to nature). But except for that everything is in best order! Thanks a lot boss! (….)
Henner Bernshausen had taken a deep breath, closed his mouth, waited for a moment until his toenails had rolled back in their original position and his neckhair had smoothed down. Then he made an effort to look fraught with significance, had said something like: he was well aware of the confidence placed in his abilities as well as the huge responsibility he was to be given and that he understood that he obviously seemed to have the best prerequisites to lead the community in Obermeislingen as its shepherd.
During this rhetorically perfect reply the “boss’s” pastoral smile changed to a broad grin and all of a sudden Henner saw him becoming an outsized snake, mouth opened wide to gobble him up, him the bunny frozen with fear. To drive away this apparition, Henner rapidly shook his head. Still he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that this picture somehow had looked mighty realistic. (….)
Rocky had already disappeared behind the next curve when Svenja heard his cheerful barking and at the same time (she heard someone scream out) (a) loud “shit” and the sound of a sliding and then an impact that made her fear the worst. So she sprinted the next few metres around a ledge. The first thing she saw was a bike lying in front of a tree. When she looked over the slope, she saw a biker lying on the ground just a few metres down. “Damn it! Rocky! What happened?” Svenja asked the dog bending over the fallen man.
Svenja checked his breath and pulse in a skilled manner, everything normal. She carefully took off the men’s glasses. She gently smacked his cheeks trying to wake him up. “Hello, wake up! Oh come on, boy! Open your eyes!” After a while his lids began to flutter and then the eyes opened in full and looked at Svenja reproachfully – stunning eyes! Svenja immediately knew who that was: Henner Bernshausen! And he was still a bit dazed but obviously already mighty angry. (…)
„Keep cool, Reverend! I’m afraid due to the fall, one or the other vertebra has slipped out of position and now squeezes a nerve.” “Stop calling me Reverend and help me get up!” “Yes Sir, Mr. Henner, Sir!” answered Svenja in a good mood. “Great, simply fantastic, Mrs. Svenja! Thanks a lot for your compassionate help!” “I don’t understand why you are annoyed! I just do help you, don’t I? And in the end it was you who refused to accept my help!” “Yes, alright, now I do allow you to help me! I feel as if I were an old man!” Svenja laughed and cautiously helped him getting up with a stiff back. (….)
Svenja stepped behind him and laid her hands on his backside, to run her thumbs along both sides of his spine and find the blockades of each vertebra. Immediately, each muscle of Henner’s body cramped and Svenja said: “And if you could now decide not to grind your teeth and to relax (yourself), it would be an enormous help for my work.”
She kept one hand appeasingly between Henner’s shoulder blades and stepped to his side to be able to take a look at him. “My only intention is to help you! Really! This is no indecent proposal, Sir! O.K.? I promise not to make any nasty remark!”
She looked at him beseechingly and without any trace of irony so that he couldn’t help smiling. “Alright! I simply can’t oppose if you ask me that kindly. I’m sorry for my childish reaction. But somehow you again and again make me lose my balance.” “I solemnly promise change for the better.” Svenja smiled openly at him and she was close enough to him that he could see green and golden sparks in her eyes.
Svenja’s hands lay relaxed on Henner’s back and slid softly up his spine. Her voice created an unusual tender sound transporting her instructions to him as if she was saying “mantras”. Henner relaxed absolutely instinctively more and more. He closed his eyes, started to breathe deeply with an even rhythm and felt her physical presence warm and near, as if she leaned on his back, though she stood at least half a metre away from him. (….)
Her hands touching his face felt as if they were wings of a bird, soft and feathery and yet warm and vibrant. Her voice celebrating the “instruction’s-mantra” took him to a better world. At least that was what he felt. He discerned his surroundings in a soft fog and if he had been a tom cat, he would inevitably have started to purr.
That was about how he imagined the fogs of Avalon while reading the legend: covering, converting and simply magic. Oh yes, there was magic in the air. If he had been a superstitious man of the Middle Ages, he would immediately have believed that Svenja was a witch having cast a spell on him.