3 Replies to “1.4.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. No one is out on this snow-soft silent night.

    Not unless you count Merryman the baker who starts his ovens before five and he punches the dough kindly on a great wooden table and he makes the noise of a dull beating drum and he sings a hope-full church song; and he’ll tell you, if you ask him, that it’s the singing makes the bread rise. And the door of the bakery is flung wide and the lights are all on, and it is as though the yellow sun has crept inside to watch Merryman and his heaven-reaching bread.

    Or Miss Gillan who tiptoes back to her single bed, her size four tell-tale prints left in the new snow, dancing all the way from Mr Arthur Tomm’s to her own front door. Mr Arthur Tomm who lives alone and has not the courage to ask Miss Gillian, the pretty Miss Gillian, to be his lovely lawful wedded wife, for she is more than twenty years his junior and what would the nattering neighbours say to that? So Miss Gillan sleeps in his bed some nights, if sleeping is breathless and kicking, and she quickly and quietly is up and out before the day is awake.

    Or Christopher Solomon, eighteen on his next birthday and never been kissed, and he has just finished his shift at the Great Mercy Hospital. He’s on nights this week and last night an old lady’s last gasp words were gifted to him as he held her in the gently rocking cradle of his arms, and he says them over and over in kiss-whispers like a prayer as he sleep-walks home to his cold bed and a cold pillow for his head.

    And then there’s Corporal Tunis who must saddle the heavy horse that pulls the cart that carries the rattling milk from the Dandelion Dairy to all the waiting steps leading to all the shut doors of all the houses in the town. And he has two ragged stripes high up on the left sleeve of his old great coat, and he wears an army beret atilt with a brass cap badge that wants a polish, and he moves with his shoulders hunched and his boots stamping the sorry snow; and he mutters under his visible breath, cursing the horse and the milk and the people all sleeping when he is not. And it is a wonder that the milk does not curdle in the bottles.

    And just for a moment there’s Legume and he’s dressed and with a brush in one hand and a shovel in the other, the same this morning as any other, except Sundays when he rests. And Legume the street sweeper, arms like knotted rope and his back bent and his legs bowed, and he steps out briefly to find the snow. And he laughs and thanks God and goes back to his grateful bed.

    And there’s me. And I am always about, looking for stories to tell to myself when I dream. And I listen at windows to the whole town sleeping, and I collect the shiny fragments of their eiderdown dreams to make my own. And the snow falls in thick flakes, like feathers when a pillow has burst or when an angel falls out of the sky, and I stick out my tongue to taste the nearest thing to heaven – unless you count Merryman’s risen bread fresh from the oven.

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