curio by laura ellen scott

 

 

Christmas Eve

Winter nights fall fast enough but even faster in the country. Those starless voids in the meadow are men, fanning out. Searching every inch without aid or need of torches. 

The darkness is not metaphorical, no bullshit of the soul. Cloud smother and a canopy of tall oaks:

Where’s the moon?
There is no moon.

Where are the lights from town?
What town? The town’s asleep and there’s nothing to see but black air—eyes open, eyes shut.

Nights are never silent. Locust song. Turkeys and woodpeckers. Screaming owls. Gunfire. Entities root among the dry leaves.

Mountain men roam the meadow. The dogs won’t leave the porch any more.

Men out there. Looking for a ring, a coin, the key to an ancient box. They seek a child, a leader, a woman who understands. Someone to sacrifice or save, it doesn’t matter. O holy holy. O holy moly. Button up yourself. If Jesus had lived and gotten a greasier job and a cap, you wouldn’t be able to tell which one of them was Him until he Spoke, scattering what few stars are left:

“There.”