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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Laura on December 19, 2008
"My car wouldn't start today. And I thought about what would happen if it had been even closer to Christmas at the time. And this is what I came up with."

Christmas Eve in a parking lot

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the lot,
not a vehicle was sitting, or leaving its spot,
for I was the last one, and I'd filled up my trunk
with presents and laundry and all sorts of junk.

When lo and behold, as my key gave a turn,
not one rev resulted - not the least little churn.
All I heard was a click, and the sound of the wind
through the parking lot ghost town - I felt quite chagrined.

Though I tried it again, and I hoped and I prayed,
the results of each turn came out equally vain.
So I stepped out the door, and I slammed it back hard,
and I looked heavenward with a raging facade.

"How could you just leave me?!" I yelled at the sky,
and held up my hands to defame and decry.
"You must care nothing for me, not one little sprout!
Surely this is not what Christmas day is about!"

And I thought of my family, the warmth and good cheer,
and how much we would miss if I did not appear.
I thought of the angels who'd lit up the sky
that first Christmas morning, and I let out a cry:

"Please send me a signal, just show that you care!"
For I felt that the Lord should appease my despair.
But I heard not one thunderclap, and saw no great light,
There was nothing but wind chill, and the darkness of night.

Then I slumped to my seat in the car, dank and dim,
and I rested my head on the steering wheel's rim.
And as I felt disappointment well up in my heart,
I was gently directed to look back at the start:

To Mary and Joseph, so young and afraid,
with no comfy car for the journey they made.
My thoughts then returned to that stable most rare,
and the state of the family who spent the night there.

I saw that young couple through a much clearer lens -
they weren't with their family, and they weren't with their friends;
no happiness greeted their home-coming there -
no egg nog, no presents, no cookies to share.

And I thought of the gift that our father bestowed,
that night to his children, in a dirty abode.
How those who had seemed most alone in the town
were the ones who experienced his glory come down.

And here I was asking for lightning and sparks,
while the gift I was missing was there in my heart.
And once I saw clearly, and realized this thing,
my heart quickly melted, and I started to sing.

I'm sure I looked strange, and I sounded quite bad -
My station had not changed, but my view of it had.
For what greater gift could our good father bring,
than a night of pure worship, alone with the King?

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