I have a bucket load of unfinished fiction stories, and I had planned to share two of my recent (failed) attempts at a FaithWriters challenge entry. Instead, when I went to write this post, I found myself drawn (again) to a story I started long ago for the topic "Advent". When I read it again today, I saw that maybe I had actually ended it last time I tweaked on it.
It's not half-bad, if I can say that about my own writing. The bad half is the part that needs overhauling, of course. :) Keeping that in mind, I present to you, out of season and not perfect, .....
John peeked around the doorjamb and spied his young wife, Marcy, still asleep. He padded across the rough plank floor to her bedside, the precious package held carefully behind his back.
His tender gaze caressed her face, and his eyes misted as love clenched his heart. A tiny noise escaped his throat.
Marcy’s eyes opened a slit. “What a fine sight I behold as I open my eyes to the world this morn. Good morrow, my love.” Marcy angled her sleepy face to receive a kiss.
“And a good morrow to you, my wife.” John bent down to oblige her, and Marcy’s arms struggled out of the bedclothes and quilts and wrapped around him.
“Well, now, what’s this?” Marcy sat up in bed, and tried to see what John was obviously hiding behind his back.
John stood up straight, and brought around a rather large object, crudely wrapped in brown paper and tied with rough twine. “For you,” he said, and placed it delicately in her lap.
Marcy touched the package, and gazed up at him in wide-eyed wonder. ”Why?”
“Open it first.”
John hoped he had gotten it right. She had described it on numerous occasions and he had done his best to recreate her memories. He dearly wanted their first Christmas together, and their first away from their families, to be perfect. It would be just the two of them—the nearest neighbor was near a mile distant and the closest town over five. Marcy did well at masking her melancholy, but the toll that loneliness and isolation had taken on his effervescent young bride was evident to John.
Marcy tucked a wayward tress behind her ear, and set to work undoing the wrappings. The paper and string fell away, and she was overcome by the treasure underneath.
”Oh, John! An advent wreath? And it’s just like Mama always had.” Tears glistened in her eyes as they feasted on the fragrant boughs of pine, twisted into a garland and tied into a ring, then fastened to a large wooden plate. Four circular gaps were trimmed into the greenery around the wreath
She raised a shaky hand and put her palm to her husband cheek. “It’s like having a piece of home.”
“You’ll have to show me how to use it – the rituals and whatnot.”
“Not just rituals, John. Celebrating advent is worship. But … , we need special candles….” Disappointment crept into her voice. “Oh, never mind, our plain candles will be fine.”
“Special candles? Do you mean like these?” He lifted the wreath, leaving the wrapping paper in Marcy’s lap, and revealed a smaller package hidden under the wreath.
Marcy squealed and tore open the paper. “Yes.. they’re perfect.” She lifted her shining eyes to meet his loving gaze. “How did you…? When…?”
John laughed. “Mrs. Bowen, at the store, she told me what we’d need.”
“Ah, good old Mrs. Bowen. I’ve always liked her.”
“She special ordered them for me.” John watched Marcy lift a candle to the morning sun streaming through the window and admire its silky lavender surface.
“So, can we light them now, my love?”
Marcy looked at him and giggled. “Not yet. We must wait until the fourth Sunday before Christmas. And even then not until supper time.”
“And that would be today, wife.” John swooped down and nuzzled her neck, still fragrant with sleep. “And if you don’t rise from your bed soon, twill be suppertime before we break our fast.”
Our host for Friday Fiction today is Lynn Squire at her blog Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful. (Doesn't the name alone make you want to see what's there?) Click on over and find links to the other Fiction Friday Fanatics--some great reading awaits you! You can post a link your own fiction and join the fun!
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)