HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
And to mark the occasion I won a small competition on a writers' forum with this 200 word story, prompted by the word GLITTER. I make no apology for the fact that my background theme is again Christmas - in Tenerife the festival isn't over until after tomorrow - EL DIA DE LOS REYES - Kings' Day.
So - Felices Reyes to everyone, and may 2015 bring peace and prosperity to us all.
At the cry of a newborn the villagers rejoiced – a new life was always worth celebrating but on Christmas Eve it was a double blessing. They clustered round as his father held him up.
“What will you call him?” a woman asked.
“Jesús, naturally,” Josef answered.
An hour later a dog barked and was instantly silenced, but it had been tied up deliberately far from the village and had done its job before it died.
Josef woke his children with his hand over their mouths. “Run and hide in the caves,” he ordered and they slid silently away, Maria close behind them carrying her baby.
The villagers cowered deep in the caves while rebels burned everything and then rampaged through the forest, slashing wildly with glittering machetes. Maria’s children clung to her skirts and Jesús whimpered.
The rebel leader stopped, listening.
The villagers watched in horror as Maria, with tears pouring down her face, held her hand over her baby’s mouth.
“They have gone,” the lookout reported eventually but the cave remained silent – Maria’s baby lay limp in her arms.
Then the air moved as if wafted by angel wings, the tiny chest heaved, and Jesús lived again.