Greg was scared to death.  Absolutely, positively petrified.  Claire on the other hand seemed jovial.  In fact, Greg had never seen her so radiant.  Okay, that wasn’t quite true.  She was this bubbly on their wedding day — seven years, three months and two days ago.  Greg didn’t think he’d ever felt quite like this before, even on the day they exchanged vows.  He was so nervous his palms were sweating.  He wiped his left hand on his brown WWF hoodie and tried to focus on making his breathing regular.  Claire was babbling away.  Something about painting the spare room and decals.  Decals?  He was lost.  His right hand felt slimy in hers.  A strange feeling of panic was rising from the middle of his gut.  He kept swallowing to force it down.  This was normal.  This was natural.  Why was he having such a difficult time processing this?  He, Gregory Alan Arendt, was going to be a father. A dad. His heart was beating against his chest and reverberating in his ears.  He actually felt sick to his stomach.  He briefly closed his eyes and then opened them wide in terror.  No.  The images were returning.  He was so sure he’d left them behind.

Claire was ecstatic.  Aside from marrying Greg, she’d never wanted anything so badly in her life.  The first two years of marriage they hadn’t even thought of having children.  And then after three years of trying, Claire had lost hope.  Now, out of the blue, when she had forgotten her longings, it happened!  The doctor had confirmed it.  They were going to have a baby. A baby!  Claire was going to get to be a mom.  She felt lighter than air.  It was she that had suggested they walk the ten long blocks through the park from the medical center to their apartment.  Autumn was such an intoxicating season. Dank earthy fragrances, golden showering leaves, noisy kids with empty notebooks clamoring off to school.  School!  Their child would one day go to school. Parents’ evening!  Homeroom mom! Baking cookies and reading storybooks at bedtime.  Claire squeezed Greg’s hand and began chattering away.  They’d have to fix up the little spare room for the baby.  It could use a fresh coat of paint.  And she had seen the cutest little duckie decals at the Home Depot shop the other day.

Uriel sat and waited.  Patience came naturally.  Things would happen when they should.  All things would be woven together perfectly in the fabric of time.  While he waited he mused on the casing he inhabited.  These poor humans, tied to these awkward bodies.  To be so finite must be extremely vexing. And yet these funny simple creatures occupied one of the highest places in the created order.  Uriel smiled to himself. He currently wore the skins of an old woman. And in his hands were knitting needles, red wool and a half-finished sweater.  Uriel didn’t understand how all the pieces fit, but he didn’t question.  His was just to do as he was told.  And so he began knitting.

Greg was in full panic mode.  He was sure his legs would give way as he half-stumbed across the damp grass. Claire was nearly pulling him along now.  What was he thinking?  He couldn’t possibly go through with this.   And then he saw her.  A small elderly woman sitting on a park bench knitting.  Greg came to an abrupt halt. His breath froze in his lungs, his arms hung senseless at each side. “Mom?” he barely whispered.

Claire had been talking about a diaper service when suddenly Greg stopped and went limp.  She turned to look at him.  Her first thought was that Greg was seriously ill; he looked sick.  He stood transfixed, mesmerized by an elderly woman on a park bench.  She started to say his name, to wake him up from the stupor into which he’d fallen, but then she heard him.  He was calling the old woman mother.  Claire was confused.  Greg’s mother had died in a horrible car accident a few years before she had met him.  She remembered hearing the story from a mutual friend.  Greg’s fiancée had also been in the car.  There were no survivors, not even the intoxicated man in the other vehicle. Claire stared at Greg and tried to make eye contact.  She called his name, but he didn’t seem to hear her.

Uriel felt the nudge as a young couple holding hands came walking toward him.  He lifted his eyes and watched them approach.  The woman was animated, her enthusiasm bubbling all over.  By contrast the man stumbled forward exuding fear.  When Urial’s eyes met his, the man stopped.  Urial stood and pronounced the words he’d been given.  “Greg. Don’t be afraid. Rejoice, for the Lord has restored unto you that which was taken. Let go of the past, and live today in the joy that is yours.”  Uriah watched the man sink to his knees and begin to sob.  With a look of confusion and concern, the woman also fell to her knees and held the man.  Uriah knew the words spoken through him had been for the man alone, so that the woman hadn’t heard.  He stood watching them for several minutes before he was called home in a fast-swirling mist.  He would never understand these creatures.  Surely one of the mysteries of the universe.

 

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Today’s assignment:  A man and a woman walk through the part together, holding hands.  They pass an old woman sitting on a bench.  the old woman is knitting a small, red sweater.  The man begins to cry.  Write this scene. Today’s twist:  write the scene from three different points of view:  from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

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