The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #23

stars and churchThe Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #23

The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day Ten

One Picture

One Element

One Emotion

200 Words

An Old Stone dwelling at night

Wonder inspired by a miracle

10 Lords a leaping

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5 thoughts on “The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #23

  1. ‘Why ten young women, all the same?’ the nurse said, examining the canvas being painted by the old man.

    ‘Another stop-motion type of photo-realism,’ he said, putting a dab on the face of the young woman whose foot just touches the ground, ‘like the painting I did of the Santas.’

    ‘What have they got in their hands?’ The nurse peered closer.

    ‘Microphones. For singing.’

    The nurse stood watching the old man’s brushstrokes, her head to one side. ‘Who is it modelled on?’

    ‘That little girl singer, the one from New Zealand. I’ve told you I grew up there? A long time ago, of course.’ He dabbed at the first face. Suddenly it took shape. ‘For the background I’m going to paint this lovely little chapel I know down in the South Island with tussock grass in the foreground, all under a supernatural night sky. Light on the faces to show them off. See?’ He filled in a bit of the background with dark blue paint and the figures suddenly stood out. ‘Her success is a total miracle. I’ve got to capture that wonder everyone has. She’s become a world phenomenon.’

    ‘Not Lorde?’

    He smiled.

    ‘Oh goodness,’ the nurse said. ‘I get it: it’s ten Lordes-a-leaping!’

  2. “I want to show you something,” Sara said to me after finishing with the mothers.

    She led me along through the corridors of the maternity ward to the nursery.

    Inside were a fleet of wooden carts, each with a transparent plastic tub that functioned as crib attached. Newborns lay swaddled in about a third of them.

    We opened the doors and were met with a chorus of hungry cries.

    “Good God, I thought they were sleeping.”

    “Soundproof glass silly. Our ten little lords are a leapin’ aren’t they? It’s nearly feeding time.”

    In the corner was a special crib with a heat lamp overhead and varied monitors standing to either side. A baby lay there. It was tiny, too much so, and barely stirred.

    “This is Trina. She is 5 pounds. I have been caring for her myself. The mother died during delivery,” Sara said.

    I stared in wonderment at the miracle before me.

    “How do you find the strength?” I asked.

    “Faith. Love. A little brandy.”

    A moonless night had fallen and the heavens cleared.

    Sara and I stood on the roof. We held each other for warmth and gazed silently upon the brilliant stars in the winter sky.

  3. Part 10

    He lay on the heath under the night sky among the stars and near an abandoned church, now only a remnant of what it once was. To his right was a mansion, with its windows lit up by the party inside. He didn’t need to count how many lords there were, he already knew. Ten lords a leaping, jumping across the long table in the lavish dining room, singing and drinking to the music inside. The crazy man was with them, dancing and laughing, so close to his goal. Brad turned back to the stars.
    What was the point? In only hours, Brad’s sense of reality, right and wrong, had been blown out of all proportion. Was he doing the right thing? Did he care anymore? With all the insanity he’d seen and experienced, was it worth continuing on with this wild goose chase, literally, or any other come to think of it? As he gazed on looking up at the sky, three green shooting stars swooped by. For a moment, it was like he had been inspired by a miracle, the wonder of the universe, in all its entirety and infinite possibilities. He knew what he had to do.

  4. Episode 10

    FX: Train sounds at moderate speed

    Narrator – “It was late that next night when the train began to slow down.

    FX: Train sounds slowing to a full stop and car linkages clattering at the cessation of momentum

    Narrator – “Jack opened the door and looked up and down the track.

    Jack – (to himself) “I don’t see … any reason … for stopping!”

    Narrator – “The train sat still with no apparent activity around it at all. That’s when Jack heard, no felt, inside him something like a voice, but in his spirit, telling him to get off the train. The sensation was compelling. He didn’t understand why, but it seemed to make sense. Jack climbed down from the boxcar and stepped away from the train. At that moment, the train started up again and began to move away. His reaction was to jump back on for he knew he was deep in the middle of nowhere, but the voice, again, seemed to whisper ever so gently, “Trust me”. Jack spoke out loud.”

    Jack – “OK … I will “

    Narrator – “The train pulled away, leaving Jack standing alone in the dark of night. The air was crisp and the silence contrasted sharply to the familiar white noise inside the train. The voice again stirred inside his being, “Jack, look up.” Jack raised his eyes to the sky and what he saw, oh what he saw was nothing short of a miracle. The heavens were filled with a majestic array of stars; some kings, some queens, but all shining clear and bright in numbers beyond comprehension. Jack felt himself being drawn up into them, consumed by them, joining them. And then he saw many shooting stars, and these words just came from his mouth … “

    Jack – “… the ten Lords a leaping … for joy they cannot restrain”.

    Narrator – “Then he realized they were traveling in a particular direction; to and from a focal point on the hill across the way. He was compelled to go and see.

    FX: sounds of footsteps on gravel then through grass: gentle breeze under

    Narrator – “Jack walked through the field next to the tracks, climbed a few fences, and up the hill past the creek. As he cleared the crest, he saw a single plain stone building with a dim light apparent from inside. This was the focal point of the heavenly hosts, and he knew that whatever it was that lie there-in, was very, very important. But he was afraid to draw any closer.

    FX: gentle wind rustling the tall grasses.

  5. “Sweet ten lords a leaping, Janie, I’m trying to find the generator switch! Could you please let me get to it before jawing my head off?” Bill fumbled on hands and knees under the kitchen counter for the switch that would get the generator going.

    Lucy put her tiny hand in his belt loop and tugged him toward the back door. “Daddoo!”

    “Not now, honey,” said Janie. “Daddy and Mommy are trying to get the lights back on.”

    “But Mamoo! Lookie!” Lucy grabbed her mom’s hand, and pulled her to the windows looking out on their back yard.

    “Ohhh, Lulu…Bill, come see.”

    A major transformer must have blown and thrown out the whole city grid; no lights were on anywhere. Lucy fumbled with the back door lock to get the door open, and Janie reached out to help. The little family stepped out to the snow-covered back porch together and stared up open mouthed at a billion billion stars. The Milky Way crept up the sky from the horizon, throwing the old church on the hill into dark relief.

    “Is that the big Christmas mir’cle?”

    “Yes, sweet Lulu. I think it is.”

    Bill and Janie hugged Lucy tight between them, and together they looked in awe on the face of God.

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