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A Burst of Light
by Julie Michaelson
12/22/09
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The people
who walked
in darkness
have seen
a great
light.
[Isaiah 9:2]
*********************
"What are you
DOING out HERE,
Antoni'?"

"I couldn't SLEEP, last
night. The STORM....."

"STORM?
What STORM?"

"You slept THROUGH
THAT? You didn't
HEAR it.....at ALL?"

"NO.....hm,
I must have drunk
more WINE,
than I THOUGHT!"

"Yes; I had some,
ALSO. But....that
terrific..LIGHTENING...
woke me UP."

"LIGHTENING?
Last.....NIGHT?"

"Yes....YES!
It was so BRIGHT!
I thought it was going
to strike the ROOF!"

"But......LOOK,
Antoni': the ground,
here....isn't even WET!
You must have been having
a bad DREAM....not,
that I'm SURPRISED.
The food at this inn,
is AWFUL!"

"Well.....THAT'S true;
let's get OUT of here....
I'll be glad to see the
back of THIS PLACE."

"We better meet the
others; I think a couple
of them were going to
be staying at
the INNKEEPER's house."
(Syrrus stoops down,
to pull on his boots.)
"COME! We have to
stand GUARD, today....
while they are taking
the CENSUS."

(The two soldiers
begin walking up
the hill, toward town.)
"Are you SURE...
you didn't see that
bolt of LIGHTENING,
last NIGHT?"

"NO! I have no
idea what you're TALKING,
about! Perhaps...you should
stop EATING so much,
so LATE...in the HOUR."

"I'm TELLING you,
Syrrus.....there was
a horrific STORM,
last NIGHT."

"You're INSANE!
LOOK; here comes one
of those JEWS going to
the WELL....it looks
as if he WORKS here:
taking care of the
ANIMALS, at the
BARN. WHY don't
you go, and ask HIM?"

(Pause.)
(Step in front of
a man carrying an
empty bucket; his
well-worn robe,
and uncombed hair
are covered in bits
of straw, and dust.
He has deep shadows
under his heavy eyes.)

(Authoritative voice.)
"YOU!
Hey....YOU!
YES, YOU!
Were YOU woken
up..by that great STORM,
last NIGHT?"

(Quiet pause.)
"No......no, sir."

"How do you KNOW?"

(Hesitant pause:
full of weariness.)
(Subservient,
respectful tone.)
"Because.....sir..
I... never went to SLEEP,
last night."

(Suspicious glare.)
(Demanding, authoritative
voice.)
"OH?
And, why was THAT?"

(Quiet voice: gentle,
and sincere.)
"Because, sir;
my wife....was
giving birth."
***************************
For to us
a child is born,
to us
a son
is given.
[Isaiah 9:6]


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