Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Brown (11/26/09)
TITLE: A Silent Child
By Marita Vandertogt
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“It’s no use,” he said and sat on the ground beside the two. “Maybe we better rest here.” The man helped his wife down, a smile on her face, a wince of pain deep in her throat.
“How much farther do you think we have to go.” The woman spoke the words softly, looking down the road ahead of them. It seemed endless in her sight.
“Well,” his dark eyes focused on the swelling of her belly. “I think maybe another few hours before sun down. After that, I’m not sure. How are you feeling?” His big caloused hand patted the top of her stomach and then he bent slowly at the waist and kissed the rounded lump. “You rest,” he said. “I’ll make us something to eat.”
Soon the sky above them turned black, so black it was hard to separate land from sky. Stars scattered themselves every which way, and the woman breathed in the freshness of the air. “Lay here,” her husband told her, after throwing blankets in a heap on the ground. “This should get you through the night.” With that she eased her heavy body down, and lay face up, counting the stars until she fell asleep. The man fell asleep beside her, tired from walking so far, his feet burning.
But nothing else slept.
There, in the small mound of a woman’s stomach, lay the Creator, surrounded by flesh and blood and water. He lay curled deep inside her womb,rising up and down with the softness of her breath. It wasn’t time yet, but soon.
They woke up the next morning to the sound of the little brown donkey, braying in a distance. “I’ll get him,” the man said. “Besides, he’s right. It’s time to go.”
Over two thousand years have passed. The woman gave birth so many years ago, to a baby that lay curled in her arms, innocent, yet knowing.
Every year carols come through the speaker systems in malls. Santa ho ho’s from his makeshift throne, and little green elves run around in busy circles. Trees sparkle bright lights, and shopping bags are filled to the brim with stuff.
The woman lay and watched the stars in the deep black silence so many years ago. Some day the birth of the child that lay in her belly would be celebrated by millions. But who could have known like this.
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