Weekly Writing Challenge: Christmas Light

I generally write in Third Person omniscient. To challenge myself (as dirrected by the Weekly Writing Challenge) I chose a new point of view. One I have never written in, and only seen published once. First Person Omniscient. I hope you enjoy this short holiday story.

Christmas Light

 I find myself on the outside of things too often. I can’t help it, you know­­—it’s in my nature. But one day I decided that I should challenge myself. Try getting inside for a change.

I saw the train far below, whizzing along on its shiny steel tracks. A perfect target. There was just enough smoke to make it difficult for me to get through to the train, but not too much to obscure my progress. It was decided; the challenge to get inside of the train.

I shot out of the sky, dodging smoke, until I was at eye level with the window. I had no trouble keeping up with the train, although swerving to avoid low-hanging snow-covered branches interfered with my concentration. Beyond the rattling pane of glass sat a man in a grey trench coat with his head bowed. The lines of his mouth were tightly folded shut, holding in whatever emotion was trying to break free.

He didn’t notice me. Humans never do. They take me for granted, but that’s fine. They notice me when it matters.

I reached out one finger toward his hand, hoping to console him. Then I noticed an envelope, peering out of the pocket of the leather bag he had stowed beside his feet. An envelope inside of a bag inside of a train. A double challenge.

I pulled hard, pushing back the darkness in agonizing slowness. Each inch stretched me thinner and thinner, until I gently brushed the edge of the envelope.  Please notice me, I prayed, or at least notice this envelope.

As if the man had heard my plea, he reached one tired hand down into the bag. “What’s this?” He pried the envelope effortlessly from me and slipped one finger under the flap. He gently removed a piece of paper and began scanning the lines scrawled across the page. I leaned in closer, illuminating the words.

Dear Harold,

Though we are apart this Christmas, I know that you are doing what is best for our family. The children and I wanted to find a way to show you our love this year. Little Samuel came up with the idea.

Light touches the outside of everything. The trees, buildings, and even people. Even you and me. So, in a way we are connected by light. As you work in the candle factory this Christmas, I want you to think of how much we love you every time you see light. The light of the sun, the light from the candles, the light from the stars, and the light from our hearts. Let the light dwell inside and outside of you and let our love do the same. We love you.

With hearts full of light,

Your Loving Family

P.S. Merry Christmas!

The man set the letter down in his lap and a tear slid down his cheek. The lines of his mouth softened into a gentle smile. “Thank you,” he mouthed to the air. “I love you too.”

I was overcome in the moment. Forgetting myself, I burst into the room getting in the man’s eyes causing him to squint. But he didn’t turn away. He closed his eyes and smiled, drinking in my warmth. I felt him relax for the first time and I practically smiled myself.

I will never forget that day on the train. The day I truly got inside—inside of the heart.

-M.M.

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