(I wrote the following stories as part of an Advent Ghosts writing project in cyberspace, organized by Loren Eaton at http://isawlightningfall.blogspot.com)
Free for all
The Hungry line up outside the church. Damien frisks each one of them before letting them in.
Inside, plates fill.
Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes.
Shouts erupt. Fists bang. The line becomes a mob.
Damien locks the doors.
"Would you like a dinner roll?" Abdullah asks a man.
"No white bread. No white food."
"Yams, yes. God's first food."
The man has black hair, a feather dangling with a bead. Eyes wedged with grit. "Jesus died for all of us."
Abdullah leaves his station and walks toward the door. He overpowers Damien, lifts the latch, and lets the Hungry in.
Johnson was irate. He was on TV and Jeanie missed it.
She worked late. Again. She didn’t call home. Again.
Johnson hurled his hurt like a whip. “You self-absorbed, selfish ego-maniac.”
Jeanie took the lashes, and poured some wine. And more.
She switched to vodka.
She started retching and passed out.
When she awoke, Johnson was penitent.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m sorry. I made a mess.”
The voice was not his wife’s. He looked at her and saw bloodshot eyes, and a contorted neck. She laughed. A diabolic laugh.
Her arm whipped forward and Johnson’s world went dark.
Violations of Trust
Shep met Avery on Philbin Street, while photographing the streets. Avery was reciting verse.
They started talking, and Avery showed him his Book of Words.
Shep left the area, and months later Avery saw his picture with a story about the homeless. The photo angers him, and he turns to drugs while waiting for Shep to return.
On Christmas Eve, Avery sat with his nose in a sack, his eyes glazed but watchful.
His patience was rewarded. Shep returned.
Avery crept up.
“Do you remember me?” he asked, as the Book of Words formed a noose around Shep’s cashmere swathed neck.