Fear not then

Fear not then said the angel

Let nothing you dismay

For unto Christ our savior, a blessed angel came

To save us all from Satan’s power when we had gone astray

Ohhh tidings of comfort and joy

Comfort and joy. . .

Ohh ti—iii dings of cooooooomfort and joy

The Christmas carol blared across the mall. The irony of this struck her again as she dashed around on Christmas Eve buying presents for people she didn’t care about. Every Christmas, she swore that she wouldn’t do this, and here she was again wishing she could be saved from Satan’s power. Ha. She wished an angel would come to her on high and give her some hope. Imagine a savior in our world, she thought. A Christ figure in the mall! At his inception, the mall would disappear and the field in which it stood would return to its original state. The music would stop blaring. The angel wouldn’t have to shout anymore. Everything would be calm and she would be free from her obligation to buy gifts year after year. Is this what He wanted? Malls? Obligatory decorations? Angels rapping over the static PA system?

The jingle of the Salvation Army’s bell broke her out of her reverie. Like I have an extra dollar to spare, she muttered to herself. That Santa has about as much jolly as Darth Vader. Was he fulfilling some prophecy? Certainly, no one was paying him to ring that bell. Where does that money go anyway?

Sarah stopped dead in her tracks. The music fused into the blur of the mall — its decorations, the screeching mothers, innocent babes hungering for milk, children with high hopes. A giant blur of greed and obligation. She dropped her bags and walked toward Sears. That was the way she came into this god-forsaken place and the only way she knew how to get out. Ahead, the black shield of night held back the glimmer of light held within the confines of the mall. She leaned against the door and pushed herself into the night.

Excerpt from another piece (untitled)

The drum’s pulse entered her bloodstream as she made her way down the river. It was loud, loud, loud. And it throbbed through her body that was frozen from wading through the cold April river. The current had probably carried her more than a mile, which was more than she could stand. When she put her feet down, she was not sure if she was touching the river’s bottom or not. With no feeling in her legs, she forced them to move across the current to the bank. She hoped that the distance she had covered floating downriver was enough to outsmart the search party which was probably gathering right now to find her.

The night was black without a hint of how much time had passed since she had etherized the guard in the infirmary. After she dragged herself onto the bank of the river she fell into a panic. Her legs were paralyzed from the cold water. She felt as though she was in a dream, being chased, but unable to move. She wasn’t sure how long she lay there under the black, starless sky wishing for the feeling in her legs to come back. Her heart pounded so hard that it hurt and forced her breath to escape in small gasps. Then she heard the drums. A pulsing beat that muffled the pounding of her own heart. She lifted one knee slowly, never taking her foot off the ground. The blood reached for her toes one by one until the pain was unbearable. Freezing needles of heat crept up and stabbed her feet and then her calves. She started pounding the life back into her legs with her fist and the pain slowly started to bring back the rest of her frozen body.


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