Weary souls felt a hopeful thrill at the first knock. Night was endless, no one and nothing familiar. No worth, only sin and error.
So many hours waiting for a new morning. Where had he been? They had been waiting so long.
But he pointed to the floor and said only,
Fall on your knees.
Angel voices were everywhere, talking nonsense, crafting fear.
He pulled up the blinds, everything outside the window was still dark.
One angel’s voice was steady.
Be not afraid.
They trembled. But the angel said,
That was not Him.
They waited on the earth for dawn.
This is an exactly 100-word flash fiction piece for a tradition of writing ghost stories on Christmas Eve. We acknowledge a sinful and hopeless world, and welcome the dawn in full awareness that Christmas day brings us light.
In 3 days I’ll post my 2022 Advent Ghosts 100-Word story. It probably won’t change your life or be a big deal to anyone but me.
But it’s a big deal for me.
Last year’s was, too.
Last year I wrote about a surreal drive I made to my hometown to try to rescue my father. Note for the rookies: Rescue drives are a bad idea, most of the time. Misguided.
This year, my story is inspired by a Christmas song that has always had a note of fear in it for me, and it was interesting to me to read about the song’s origin.
“O Holy Night” (original title: Cantique de Noël) is a well-known Christmas carol. Originally based on a French-language poem by poet Placide Cappeau, written in 1843, with the first line “Minuit, Chrétien, c’est l’heure solennelle” (Midnight, Christian, is the solemn hour) that composer Adolphe Adam set to music in 1847. The English version (with small changes to the initial melody) is by John Sullivan Dwight. The carol reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity’s redemption.
As a writer myself, I’m ashamed to say that I don’t research song-writing the way I do other forms. But that is going to change.
This is a scary song. I respect that and I feel that every time I hear it or attempt to sing it.
So this will be a ghost story. It will be about fear, But it will also be about faith.
Because as much as this song scares me, because it does, it walks me into hope. I think this is how it goes, a journey of faith and connection to something beyond our understanding and outside of our power. You agree to take another step. You agree to not know. You trust.