Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mary, Christmas and Joe

"Yes, I'm pregnant," she said between sobs, "I'll say it again, I'm pregnant, I'm with child, I"m whatever you want to call it but it's true, I'm going to have a baby."

He stood there stunned, the girl is was about to marry drops this bomb on him. He hadn't even touched her, the baby couldn't be his. The first thought he had was to beat her and her baby to death, but reality was sinking in and he walked away without a word, the worst he'd do to her was to shun her. Let her live with the stigma of being an unwed mother, it's of no matter to him now.

Later that night while sitting around the fire, all his brothers and friends said the same thing, "We need to kill her, she can't do this disgrace to your good name. First we find who the father is and we'll kill him too. We'll send them to hell together." But once again he was the voice of reason, and refused to be swallowed up in their hate.

"I'm going to bed," he said, "and deal with it tomorrow. Go now to your own house and forget my problem."

Sleep finally came three hours later. He drifted off thinking that he still loved her, even if he wasn't the father of her child. Then came the dream.

"Joseph." the voice said, "Joseph, take Mary as your wife as planned. She will have a son and you will name him Jesus. This is all part of God's plan that He gave through his prophets, "The virgin shall conceive a child".

The next day Joseph what he was told and brought Mary home to be his wife. He didn't touch her until after the baby was born. The baby grew up and to this day people talk of Him. A holiday has been named for His birth and His death. Some say His name with honor and love. Others yell it at football officials and bad driver's. Some love to hear His name, others sue to have it deleted from all society. Some know that He is the only way to salvation, while others choose to make it to heaven on their own. Two Thousand plus years have passed since this baby was born, and still today He is as important to this world as He was to Mary and Joe.

Truly celebrate Jesus this Christmas, after all, that's what Christmas is all about.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Fabricated Event

My response to a writing prompt on "something in a pocket":

It was that time of year, the time I hate the most, time to get the coat out of the closet and bundle up against the North wind. I wrapped my scarf around my neck and pulled my wool cap over my ears. Walter, the door attendant, opened the door to my building and with a nod, I was headed down the sidewalk.

I looked at the woman walking in front of me and laughed. Her coat had a crease that ran across her back, clearly she did as I did, hang the coat up last spring and forget about it until today when it was again needed. It was the pocket that caught my attention, it bulged out as if her gloves were stuffed inside, but she was wearing gloves, scarf and beret. I started fantasizing about what was in it.

I grinned when I thought about it being a handkerchief and it bulged so because she just emptied her sinus cavities. No, that’s too gross, it has to be her sandwich for lunch, a cucumber sandwich. Yeah, that has to be it, she’s trying to lose a couple of pounds before the office Christmas party. I dunno, she looks pretty good from my angle so it must not be a sandwich. Maybe it’s a wad of cash and she’s on her way to buy something like a Christmas gift for her dear mother or maybe a dime bag or two. This girl of my fantasy couldn’t be a druggie so it must be something else. What could it be?

She suddenly stops and thrusts her hand in her pocket. We’re standing in the middle of a sidewalk filled with people rushing to wherever all these people go at this time every day. She withdraws her hand and in it is a 9mm pistol, she points it at a middle aged woman walking by her and yells something about Allah and the movement. The next thing I see is blood sprayed over Macy’s window. Everything went into slow motion as she pulled the trigger time after time. As she pointed at me the clip ran dry and a hollow click, click, click echoed through my mind. Everything starts to speed back up to normal living speed, I duck my shoulder and do my best imitation of a middle linebacker and tackled her to the ground, my shoulder driving her stomach into the sidewalk. I take the gun from her hand and stand, watching her as she laid there gasping for breath. She made a move to get up and I pointed to her and said, “Stay down, you’d better stay down.” From my right I see a blur go past me, before I could react a lady with blood splattered on her kicked the shooter in the head. Then the stomach. Then the ribs.

I look around me, no one tries to stop the kicker until the police roll up. The shooter’s face had boot tread marks all over it. I walk over and looked down at her, the one eye not swollen shut looks up at me, radiating hate even now. I look her straight in the eye and said, “Merry Christmas” and slapped her across the face with her pistol.

That dear children is how your father spent his first Christmas in New York City, and is why we now live in Oklahoma where I thought we’d be safe until one day in April at 9:01 a.m. when hell decended on Oklahoma City, but that is another story for another day.