The war had not yet come to us. We lived in fear and hope and tried not to draw God's wrath down upon our securely walled town, with its hundred and five houses and the church and the cemetery, where our ancestors waited for the Day of Resurrection.
We prayed often to keep the war away. We prayed to the Almighty and to the kind Virgin. We prayed to the Lady of the Forest and to the Little People of Midnight, to Saint Gerwin, to Peter the Gatekeeper, to John the Evangelist—and to be safe we also prayed to Old Mela, who during the Twelve Nights, when the demons are let loose, roams the heavens at the head of her retinue. We prayed to the Horned Ones of ancient days and to Bishop Martin, who shared his cloak with the beggar when the latter was freezing, so that they were both freezing and pleasing to God, for what's the use of half a cloak in winder, and of course we prayed to Saint Maurice, who had chosen death with a whole legion rather than betray his faith in the one just God.
-Daniel Kehlmann, Tyll