Title: THE WATCHMAN OF ROTHENBURG
Genre: Adult historical thriller
Word Count: 97,000
MC’s favorite movie genre: Silent films, because after working in the shoe shop most of the day and patrolling the walls at night, he just wants to sleep.
Pitch: Autumn, 1631: Tilly’s army advances through Bavaria toward Rothenburg’s centuries-old walls, threatening annihilation. Lowly night watchman Rudolf Tockler must outsmart a vindictive councilman who threatens the woman he loves and save the entire city.
First 250 words:
October 14, 1631.
Steam puffed from the messenger’s mouth as he delivered the terrible news Rudolf Tockler wasn’t supposed to know. Neither the messenger nor the militia commander to whom he said the three dreaded words could see Rudi standing atop the stone wall, but voices carried in the gray predawn mist.
Finishing his shift as a night watchman, Rudi eyed the messenger as he mounted his horse. The beast reared in the half light and surged toward the Rathaus, where Rothenburg’s elites would learn what he had overheard.
He descended the stairs silently, following the rider’s path on his way to the Marktplatz.
Morning in Rothenburg was an uneasy time. Layers of darkness shielding good people from base desire faded away, bringing an awkward mixture of humanity that saw opposing classes mingling for the briefest of times. Prostitutes passed preachers. Drunks staggered into streets full of children. And watchmen walked among respectable people.
Rudi avoided the contemptuous gazes of the other Rothenburgers as he walked. The looks originally stung him, but he’d gotten used to them. Now they were just reminders of the life he’d once known, and how far he’d fallen.
The air in the Marktplatz carried a medley of smells – from the stench of the tanneries to the pleasing aromas of the bakeries.
Rothenburg swelled on market days, and the city center was already filling. Rudi spotted his mother meticulously arranging pairs of shoes and boots on her display table.
“Mother!” he shouted, forcing a smile.