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The Witching Hour

3rd June, Story #155/366

By L.C. SchäferPublished 10 days ago Updated 9 days ago 3 min read
12
The Witching Hour
Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

The kettle boils. Again. The spoon clinks on the mug. Again. We sit (small, quiet) in this house where something big is pressing in on all of us. We whisper in deference to it. We wait.

It's a time of edges, wonders, miracles. Raw emotion. I've been here, at the witching hour, many times.

People come, and people go. They seem to do it a lot now: 2am. A very special point on the clock, give or take sixty minutes or so. A time of first breaths, and last breaths.

There is a smell you get. With birthing and with dying. They each have their own smell. I've done my stint in the hospital of course, but I also take my turn tending to people in the community, and it's just different out here. And one of the things that's different is the smell, unmasked by the familiar antiseptic aroma you always get in hospitals. They're all the same, and all different. Each one unique and sacred and utterly ordinary all at once.

This time, I await a first breath, and it must be no great stretch for you to understand that I like those a fair bit better. It's been normal enough, I suppose. She paced awhile, she rested, she breathed, shouted, cussed...

He... well, he's a man. He's doing his best, surely.

And then the little lad makes his appearance. At last! Streaked with blood and, not to put to fine a point on it, shit, and just about every fluid from his mothers body, probably. All normal, my love, all normal.

What's been unusual this time round are the visitors. We're strict about those, in hospital, but like I said, it's different out here. There's a bunch of sheep in the garden, and a donkey! Plus three daft-looking men wearing tea towels on their heads and slightly confused expressions on their faces. A couple of fellas just knocked on the door with a big bottle of perfume, and there's one at the front gate wearing a turban and carrying (I'm pretty sure) a great lump of gold.

All for a wee babby who needs the muck wiping off him the same as anybody.

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Word count, excluding note: 366

Submitted on 3rd June at 23.57

*Quick Author's Note*


First, and most importantly:
thank you so much for reading my story! The ha'penny that Vocal will toss in my hat for your eyeballs landing on this humble piece will be well-spent.

If you enjoyed this one, the very best compliment you can give me is to share it, or read another!

A Year of Stories: I'm writing a story every day this year. This one continues my 155 day streak since 1st January.


Please do consider lending your support to the other creators who are also on this madcap "a story every day" adventure. They are putting out excellent content every day!


Rachel Deeming


Gerard DiLeo

The story behind the story: This one has been sitting in my drafts since Christmas would you believe. I am not a religious person, just found it fun to do a nativity story. It is weird when you think about it, and I wanted to highlight that by putting it in a more modern setting. I'm also wildly late posting because I've been working all day, out all evening, and not long got home from watching The Fall Guy. I recommend, by the way.


Leave a comment: Please do leave me a comment. It makes it easier for me to reciprocate the read. I know I am behind on reads, but doing my best to catch up - bear with me!

Thank you

Thank you again, most sincerely. Especially if you are one of the wonderful people who has been staunchly reading these daily scribbles since the start of the year. I see you, and appreciate you very much indeed! 😁


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Short StoryMicrofiction
12

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (8)

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  • Anu Mehjabin8 days ago

    Truly enchanting prose, keep writing!

  • Cathy holmes9 days ago

    I love this one. At once human and magical. Well done.

  • I love it, especially the way in which you make the identity of the baby known... Quite a twist!

  • A fantastic take on the classic tale, loved it!

  • John Cox9 days ago

    This is a wonderful, visceral and human story, LC. Absolutely loved every line of it!

  • Caroline Craven9 days ago

    Christmas in June… why not?! Ha! Love this - didn’t expect that ending!

  • Gerard DiLeo10 days ago

    Glad this finally saw the light of the Nativity Star. I have visited this scene a few times, myself. What I find amazing is that with our iffy biology and the crapshoot (no pun) that pregnancy is, God took a chance on us before we took a chance on him.

  • Kenny Penn10 days ago

    Ok, L.C., the ending of this story cracked me up good. I didn’t see that coming at all. 😂

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